My World and Welcome to it

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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Joined: January 14th, 2010, 7:45 pm

My World and Welcome to it

Post by nancycoffelt » January 14th, 2010, 7:59 pm

Oh, baby it's a-cold outside. Both the old man wiener dog and the terrible min-pin puppy, usually pretty happy little creatures are fidgety, irritable and there have been mighty turf battles over the heater register. I think next time I'll get dogs with actual hair.

But I know how they feel. I'm a temperate clime girl. In my perfect Nancy World it wouldn't get below 45 degrees in the winter and not above 78 in the summer. Oh, and would only rain at night.

I wouldn't miss seeing snow fall so prettily across the hills. That's what the Weather Channel's for - or those glittery winter scene Christmas cards. Then I could gaze upon that wintry beauty at a time of my own choosing and then go out to play a nice game of tennis. Oh, I so love Nancy World...

I know it may be hard to believe, but I've been accused on a few (okay, lots of) occasions of having a few (okay, lots of) control issues. And I really have spent some good, quality introspective time thinking about this. Usually, I end up trying to figure out how to get people to see things my way-and then problem would be solved, right?

Wait, bear with me here. This tactic works beautifully in one regard - when I'm working on a first draft of a manuscript. I'm the ruler of my story. It's Nancy World come to life! I create only the characters I want to hang out with and they have no choice but to do my bidding. I can put said characters into any setting I want and then make them do anything I want them to do. Bwaa-hahaha! I am the puppet master!

See, control issues can come in mighty handy.

But then a shadow falls across the land. What is this looming darkness, threatening to do away with my puppet mastery status? What nemesis could it be?

Actually, there's more than one of them. And they're not evil villains, but super heroes, swooping in to save my story from the ultimately going nowhere'sville of Nancy World.

There's my first readers. They can cock an eyebrow even in an email. "What's this mean?" they ask.

"You know," I answer.

"Actually, we don't, " they insist. And then they meanly send me back to clear points up. In Nancy World, I have ESP and can mind meld them my thoughts. No revisions necessary.

Then, there's my writers' groups. "You're doing a lot of telling in this spot," they say, devil horns sprouting on their writers' heads. "I'd like you to show more." Back I slink to my keyboard.

Agent Superman can be just as stern. "Are you being oblique just for the fun of it?" he asks.

"But that's what it's like in my, this world," I protest.

He stands there, mighty arms folded across his chest. He heroically scans the horizon, cape waving in the wind. "Wow," he says. "Seriously?"

Slinking back to my keyboard is now a very familiar feeling. My control issues sit there silently, lips set in grim lines as they watch me make my story something more than it was. And when I finish, they shriek, "Who are these characters? What is this place? It's cold, for heaven's sake!" They fly around my head like angry bees. "This is NOT Nancy World!"

And yep, they're right. It's now a hopefully relate-able world - one that more than just some people (okay, probably just me) can um, relate to.

The editor now comes in with her magic sword. Slash! Chop! Slice and dice! And then with her magic highlighter. Expand! Clarify! Are you being oblique just for the fun of it? More slinking for me.

And then it's done. And you know what? Nancy World is not dead. It's there, right at the heart of my story. That part of it never goes away. But the new world that envelopes it is richer, more fully realized.

Thanks to all the wonderful marvelous people I get to work with -

it may even have snow in it.

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Joined: January 14th, 2010, 11:11 pm

Re: My World and Welcome to it

Post by dsimon » January 15th, 2010, 10:51 pm

Great post, Nancy! *applause*

Posts: 118
Joined: December 6th, 2009, 2:23 pm

Re: My World and Welcome to it

Post by rose » January 17th, 2010, 2:10 pm

Nice blog. Few people realize what a collective effort goes into good writing. Creating a world for others to inhabit is not easy!

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