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Sucky vs. Suckier

Growing a new story is fun. That thrill of the new project, new characters and situations. Finally, after the 5th rewrite of In Pursuit of Caviar - which is off to agents and editors, so cross your fingers for me - I'm ready for a new project.

I was going to continue with Floating Downstream, but last week, I picked up a manuscript I wrote five years ago and got pulled back into the story. So, I've started a rewrite on that one. I'm aiming to submit it to the Golden Heart this year, but not sure I'll make that deadline, as it only leaves me about six weeks.

The thing I really find interesting is to see how much my writing has changed since I wrote the first draft ofwhat I'm now calling Swing Patterns. It was my first attempt at writing with publication in mind, and I was lucky enough to get a line edit from a friend of my mom's who's an editor. She's the one who told me about RWA in the first place. Bless her.

As I flip through those pages and read her comments - she was a champ to read that draft, let me tell you - I can see how much I didn't know then. But the thing that really caught me is that I had a story to tell there. Okay, so I did it badly, but the plot line is still viable and solid and the characters themselves are good. They just need a little, er, direction.

What comes to mind is something Deb Dixon said recently in her Hero's Journey workshop. She came to Minneapolis to give this all-day workshop for our local chapter and she is fantastic. Here it is in a nutshell: Sucky vs. Suckier. In every scene, your character will choose which way to go. One path is sucky. The other is suckier. In other words, no matter what she picks, she's pretty much screwed for getting what she wants.

Boy, I'll tell you, we all laughed when she said it, which is probably the point, but it's actually true. I mean, think about it.

Your character can choose to take the stray dog home knowing she'll get thrown out of her apartment by her rules-stickler landlord. Or she can take it to the pound, knowing it's chances of getting adopted are slim to none, hence certain death.It's not a cute dog.Sucky vs. Suckier.

All right, all right. I'm playing to your sympathies with the dog, but I made my point, right?

I think this is true in life too. I mean, look at it this way: The next time your power goes off in a storm, causing you to miss the latest Desperate Housewives broadcast, just remember, it could have stayed on, been struck by lightning,causing a shortand burning your house down.

Sucky vs. Suckier. What a concept.

Talk to you soon,



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