Michaeline: Wishful Beginnings


A muse (Clio) writing in a book.

Write and write and write again. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

A story has to go through a lot of revisions before it’s the story you want. Way back when I didn’t keep accurate records about such things, I started a novel about a paranormal plumber, and the first two paragraphs went like this:

Mrs. Copra had sounded very worried when she called about her stopped up toilet, and Jennifer knew, as soon as she stepped into the noxious miasma in the foyer, that it was going to be a tough job. She checked her toolbelt, flipped the switch to warm up the cryo-zapper on her back, and felt in her bandolier to make sure the tranquilizer darts were ready and waiting. She could feel the tension, like stage-fright, building up, so she glanced back out the door at the truck to read her slogan. “We don’t save the world, but we make it a happier place.” She looked over at her partner, Tilly, and nodded. “Let’s go make some happy!”

Tilly’s tense face suddenly relaxed into a zen-like calm. “Aaarrrgh,” she growled like a pirate. “Let’s go happy that motherfucker.”

This gave me, the writer, a lot of information about the story that was supposed to come. My heroine was going to be a kick-ass plumber who knew her business and was a total Ghostbuster type. She was going to have a female buddy, and this was going to be a lot of action and some fun. But I didn’t really know what the conflict was going to be, and the first sentence was awful. Still, as beginnings go, it was promising and fun, so I went on to write my first NaNo about my paranormal plumber.

In 2010, Jennifer became Perz, and Tilly became Perz’s sister, Demi, and the new beginning looked something like this: Continue reading

Michaeline: A Cabin Retreat

Ah, no cooking, no cleaning, just writing, writing, writing! (A summer fantasy by Michaeline Duskova.)

Ah, no cooking, no cleaning, just writing, writing, writing! (A summer fantasy by Michaeline Duskova.)

I’m visiting relatives in the US this week, and spent Monday and Tuesday nights in a darling little cottage at Worlds of Fun Village. I can’t stop thinking about what a great writing retreat it would have made!

I’m sure you’ve read anecdotes about how this writer checked into a hotel or that writer escaped to a friend’s cabin to start or finish a book. It makes good sense. Being someplace that’s Not Home makes it easier to ignore the thousands of things at home that need to be done. A writer can sit down and really concentrate on his or her writing.

What I liked about my cottage Continue reading

Michaeline: Wrestling with Conflict

I spent a lot of time this week not writing the second scene of my book.

You see, with the NaNo method, I just sit down, start writing, and trust that words will come. And they do, and it’s great for a first draft. But, I’m working on a second draft now, and I feel like the NaNo method is just too meandering. I know the characters I am working with, and know where the overall story is going. Even with that knowledge, I was terribly afraid of this unwritten scene. I had just finished a really good, solid scene that I’ve been working on for the past 18 months. I am venturing back into the crap territory of an early draft.

But venture I must, if I want to finish this before the decade ends. Here’s a blow-by-blow account of how I wrestled the basics of this scene to the ground, and got enough information to start writing. Continue reading