A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


As noted in my last post, yesterday I put some time into revising the script for Love the Way You Love vol. 6, the last currently on the schedule. I actually wrote the first draft a couple of months ago, when Marc Ellerby was first going to start vol. 5. My process on the book was to be sure I wrote a new script just as he was starting the preceding issue, that way there would never be a lapse.

When I finished it, though, I kind of looked at the final page and thought, "What the fuck did I just do?" Sometimes, you finish something and you know it's good. You Have Killed Me, The Everlasting, vol. 4 of Love the Way. Those I knew. I finished them and I knew.

Other times, you type "The End" (or, as it were, "# # #") and you have no clue. Have You Seen the Horizon Lately? is one I got done with and felt kind of perplexed about. Did I hit it? Or did it hit me? Only time and a future reading can answer the question (it's one that must be answered by the author, outside opinions can only do so much). For Horizon?, I was pleasantly surprised. Even in the many later readings, sections of the book made me cry (though I only have now come to realize it's because that section is a letter from myself to me as much as it is a central part of the narrative), and the novel managed to surprise me the right way. When I am done with this blog post, I am going to read the first draft of This World and Body in hopes that it won't inspire me to want to throw myself off a cliff in a bad way (the writing is lame), but make me want to throw myself off a cliff in the way I'm supposed to (it's a dark, dark book).

So, Love the Way You Love #6. It's a strange one. I have a character come in and kind of act like the angel from It's a Wonderful Life. There are no fantasy elements, but what I mean is this guy shows up and he leads Isobel around and talks to her and they kind of hash over what has happened between her and Tristan. As I was writing, the scenario kind of took over the writer, and dialogue between them felt like it was coming independently of me--which is very cliche to say, I know. I hate when writers speak of their characters as telling them what they want to do or anything like that, for me it's really that something more metaphysical called "story" takes over. I often liken it to reaching into the air and snatching the tale from the sky, or plucking it from a tree.

The problem is, when that happens, the work flows easy, but when I'm done, I'm completely baffled by what has come out.

Thankfully, I'm rather pleased to say that vol. 6 is pretty fucking good. Whether I knew I was doing it or not (I can't remember, honestly), I think there is a lot of symmetry between the first issue and the last. Things get resolved, discussed, recontextualized, and everything feels right. Tristan is the hero, and he's totally swoonworthy, and I think what Isobel goes through is honest and true. If this is it, if there is no more (and I do think I'd like there to be more), I believe readers will be satisfied. They get their promised happy ending, nothing is really left dangling, and all is right in the Jamieverse. (Maybe for the last time, too, if my notes and plans continue to take the path they're taking. What is that line about "writing songs I can't believe"? Not that I don't believe these others, they were all meant (I did say "honest and true"), it's just I'm changing, yeah? Bear with me. I know I'm being complicated and vague.)

I think we're talking October for this, so not too far off. Oni has a provisional page up for it, though I wasn't sure that was the cover and the page says September. I'll keep you posted. Plus, if you read that description, you will have a #5 spoiler in your possession!

For now, though, I'm a goddamn genius.

Currently Reading: The Nightmarist by Duncan Rouleau

Current Soundtrack: The Glove, Blue Sunshine

Current Mood: cynical (no, really)


steve said...

Hmm... not sure what all to make of this, but I'm along for the ride!

Maryanne said...

In On Writing, Steven (or is it Stephen?) King writes about unearthing the story like an archaeologist. If you're really careful it all comes out in one piece, if not you have a bunch of skeleton pieces you have to fit together. It seems to me that the process of fitting together the pieces would make the writing feel more your own, whereas when it just flows, all of the sudden you have this crazy, majestic looking dinosaur in front of you and you're not quite sure what kind it is.

Or something. Either way, I'm glad it's flowing, and I can't wait to read the new stuff!