Friday, July 07, 2006

Writing is Fun - Not Throttling My Family is Hard

I've been spending my week hip-deep in Ghost Dancer rewrites. They're going really well so far, much better than I would have anticipated. I even thought up a really good, and yet reasonably logical plot complication to throw at my poor beleagured heroine. (And boy howdy is she beleagured. The poor thing thinks she's relatively normal, but the universe really is out to get her.)

I love being a writer. Where else do you get to chuckle evily about condeming a planet's worth of people to a horrible death - and still consider yourself a good person at the end of the day?

On the downside, if I were writing my own life script, I'd have timed this rewrite for the fall. After the boys have gone back to school. It is amazingly difficult to write an intense scene involving death, depression, or psychotic breakdown - and then hop up in the middle to fix some mac 'n cheese, or push a swing. It feels like an exercise in multiple personality disorder. In a memorable moment yesterday, my character was going through the aforementioned psychotic break, brought about by the horrible death of her family - and in between sentences, I was speaking in the voices of dead fish in boxes for my younger son, who was playing a Scooby-Doo game. Horrible grief and loss - dead fish voices - severe attack of agoraphobia - dead fish voices - continue on for an hour.

I mentioned this difficulty to S - not because he can really help right now. The plant he works for is in shutdown, which for him (as opposed to everybody else), means he's working 16+ hour days, and we practically never see him. - but because I was hoping for a smidgen of sympathy. He looked at me like I'd grown another head, and said "Really love, learn to compartmentalize." Because trying to get into somebodies head while they're having a breakdown, and write accurately about it while voicing cartoon charactes, is exactly like working on a spread sheet, and having somebody call you up about a broken valve. Grrr.

1 comment:

Becky said...

LOL! Good luck with your novel. And really! Men just don't seem to understand that it's not nearly as easy for women to compartmentalize as it is for them. Then again, getting sympathy from a man is like getting feathers from a fish.