I fell into a Tom Petty shaped hole on YouTube tonight. There are much worse ways to spend an evening.
It’s amazing how the amount of writing related work I have to do swells to make up for lacking a hard and fast deadline. I’ve written guest posts and I got a request for another one today. There are some open invitations floating around too. Soon–very soon–I’m going to take advantage of those too. I have odd bits of freelance work to do as well.
And then there were the proposals I just finished writing for an option novel, or novels if I’m a lucky writer. I sent my agent proposals for another Gabe and Delia novel, a standalone novel about Dora in Atlanta, and a proposal for the Philadelphia duology. Philadelphia was the easiest one to write because the first book is already written.
Writing proposals was a new and interesting experience, a lot like writing outlines for stories I don’t know yet. Even when I know the beginning, middle and end of a book, there are so many things I don’t know. They all come to me while I’m writing.
If I get to write these novels, all of that will still happen. Rumor is that writers venture away from the outline all the time.
Now that the proposals are finished, I’m trying to get my head into Philadelphia again. I’m taking it as a good sign that getting back into the book wasn’t as hard as I was afraid it would be. Considering how often I get jerked out of working on this due to the dayjob and other calls on my time, I’m never sure. Loving these characters and this story with all the love doesn’t hurt.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about heroes while revising this novel. My heroes, male or female, aren’t perfect. They aren’t cocksure or always brave, they aren’t so confident of victory they forget they can lose. My women aren’t quivering, fragile flowers and I don’t write my male characters as stoic, ever fearless supermen, who solve every problem by beating the shit out of someone.
And I poke at this idea of heroes, and think about the ramifications of how heroes are portrayed, because there are people in this world who think my idea of a hero is totally wrong. I ponder because I don’t have all the answers, all the time, and I will always have new things to learn.
But, ladies and gents, I have come back to where I started, convinced that no, I’m not doing it wrong. My female heroes will not be useless and my male heroes will not be assholes.
I promised to post darlings from this book awhile back, something that hasn’t happened. The scene I was working on tonight is the perfect one to post tonight, both because I love it, and because it illustrates what I was thinking about.
Darling pasted below. I’m going to bed.
Frank was barely visible now, glimmers of power against the trees and cabin about all that could be seen. “I can’t help you find this man. Start thinking which houses might have reason to start a war. If you find who’s paying him, you’ll find your mage. Talk things out with Lorene, she might know more than she thinks. A lot’s going to fall on you, Captain Giles, but it can’t be helped. You’re all she’s got.”
Josh nodded, head full of thoughts he couldn’t grab and hold onto. Fair or not, he laid the blame for half of them at Frank’s feet, seeds planted for later. The other half he blamed on fear. He’d never been so scared in his life. “And this book of yours is going to tell me how to do all this.”
The last shimmering light belonging to the mage vanished, but Frank’s voice was in the wind. “There’s more in that journal than just history, son. Don’t let anyone get it away from you.”
Josh stood there a little longer, head tipped back so the stars were all he saw, shaking and fighting not to cry. He hadn’t cried when his parents died or when his uncle beat him; pride wouldn’t let him give Jasper the satisfaction. Pride wouldn’t let him give into fear now or let the weight of responsibility drive him to his knees.
Once he was sure he could face himself, Josh went inside to face Lori. She was counting on him.