I’m getting there. It will happen. I will finish this book.
I just have to figure out what happens, why it happens and how it will end. That’s all! Well, the other day, when I was stuck in the muckiness of all these whats and whys and hows, I remembered some advice I’d heard at this year’s national SCBWI conference. Wendelin Van Draanen spoke about how she plots her novels (Sammy Keyes, Shredderman, etc...). She said she often reads what she wrote that day just before she goes to sleep and then trains her mind to actually dream about her characters. She finds that her subconscious will work out the plot problems for her! Wow, I thought. And all without prescription drugs.
So, I tried it. I curled up in my bed and read my half-written manuscript and told my brain, “Tonight, I want you to write this story. I need it finished and polished and perhaps even award-winning. ‘Kay?” My brain nodded ‘yes’ back to me. (It was a weird moment.)
So I happily fell asleep and had big, epic, fanciful dreams. A lot was accomplished, but it had nothing to do with my novel. What did I dream that night? I made-out with Bill Clinton. He’s a good kisser, really. But then he wanted me to do “secretarial” work and update the phone numbers in his phone directory. I said, “Whatever, Billy. I have a book to write.” And I woke up.
I hate it when stories end with “and it was all a dream.” But it was. However, I think from now on I’ll stick with daydreaming instead.