Monday, March 29, 2010

Mystery Madness

It's been a long time since this has happened to me, but I know it isn't the first time. My brain has been TAKEN OVER by the learning process. I've lost control entirely, and know I ought to just give in to the process, but it is always so strange to be LEARNING something unintentionally... well sort of intentionally, but the intentional part had forgotten this process happened sometimes... let me e'splain...


The Subconscious Brain

(see how it looks like a penis probing in there? I wonder if that is where the term mind-f*&#; comes from?) Yes, this is psychology, but I'll put it in Tart-Speak, so it shouldn't be that painful... when we work really hard at something, trying to absorb things that are new (or think about old things in new ways) the brain has a little rebellion. Sometimes you can even hear it in there saying, 'Yeah, I don't get it'. But those tricksey brains are better at stuff than they admit, so when they really don't get it, they try to pull this new stuff into old frameworks to make sense of it.

So see, now, I haven't plotted to kill anybody before (other than staring at the kitchen knives, I mean), and I certainly haven't plotted cover-ups, motives... all that good stuff (I mean anything I had done would have been justified, right?) And the Tart may be sneaksy in some ways, but she sorta lays it all out there most of the time—one of those by-products of being a flasher.

So my brain has been engaged in meandering to places henceforth unexplored, of late.


The Intentional Stuff

I have a notebook full of ways these characters are tied together that will be revealed as the book goes. There are three separate loops, each of which generates a couple suspects. I have actually written the first part of the book, weaving these things carefully in—I sent through chapter four, and have written five (did I start 6?). I wanted to be a little farther in than what I sent because when I start something, then set it aside for a few weeks, it seems like I usually want to tweak what I wrote last before going on...

I've also been READING! You know what is REALLY FUN? I have a stack of books to get to written by people I KNOW! I know, I don't know most of them very well, but when I jumped into the Blogosphere, it seemed like there were two well-established communities of writers—the Romance writers, and the Mystery writers. I didn't write genre, but Mystery was MUCH closer to my stuff than romance, so that was the community I dived into. I'm reading a Beth Groundwater book right now, but I've got a Patricia Stoltey in my stack and an Elizabeth Spann Craig on inter-library loan order. How fun is it to read a book by somebody you know?! These all have different flavors, different sleuths, different approaches... so that's good. I can be a mimic at times, and didn't want my own voice to pick up the accents of others, so to speak...


The UNintentional Stuff

So Saturday night I dreamed all night about editing, and you know what? Not a SINGLE change I made had been saved in the morning. I hate that—working so hard and all your work is lost like that... Seriously, though. I know that is because BEFORE I WENT TO BED, I'd just spent about three hours EDITING. (see how tricksey that brain is?). That though, is standard, run-of-the-mill anxiety dream... when you brain keeps going on the same project, even after you've gone to bed.

Last night though, is another story... I was plotting, conspiring, conjuring settings, motives and murderers... Oh yeah... I was DEEP in the learning process. Though I'm darned tired, today.


They say (don't ask me who 'they' is, because I don't know) that you can improve as much OVER NIGHT while your brain assimilates new information, as you do actively practicing during the day. Let's just hope THEY aren't insane...  Otherwise I may follow them off the deep end.

11 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I've heard that too! Let's hope it's true...I've worked all night in my dreams too and it's so frustrating to wake up after all that work and nothing is accomplished!

Hope you enjoy the book! Is it "Pretty?" "Dyeing Shame" is too hard to find these days (1st of the 3 publishers I've had!)

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Watery Tart said...

Yup, Elizabeth--Pretty Is as Pretty Dies--they said 2-4 weeks... I wish our own library would just get it! (I've asked)

Jan Morrison said...

Ah, the brain. As in 'my brain hurts'. Yes, well mine does because I'm not working on my mystery - I'm working on my 'literary' fiction. And I don't know what to do without the easy conflict of a mystery structure. And my brain hurts - oh I said that already. So, I'm whining.

Watery Tart said...

ACK! Oh, you're ambitious! Literary fiction? My brain would hurt too! Don't get me wrong. I actually would really like to have that on my list of achievements one day, but when I am all over the place, like I am right now, even thinking about READING literary fiction makes my brain hurt! Good luck to you!

Stephen Tremp said...

I admit I dream that O work then wake up disappointed I'm no longer along in my draft. But hey, sometimes I have some pretty good ideas to add so I'm thankful for that.

Stephen Tremp

Helen Ginger said...

I don't usually edit while sleeping, but I do tend to dream new scenes. When I wake up, be it in the morning or the middle of the night, I have to write down what I dreamed quickly or it will fade away.

Helen
Straight From Hel

B. Miller said...

Loved this post. My brain does that sometimes too. I hate when I dream about the story all night and then wake up and forget it in a matter of seconds. So frustrating!

Hopefully one day I'll have a book to add to your "I-know-this-person" books! :D

Sugar said...

I am just a lil relieved to see I'm not the only one who has "penis" on the brain! bwahaha!

Watery Tart said...

Stephen and Helen--yes, so FABULOUS when dreams can give us a scene or connection. For me, most often it is 'set-up' that dreams give... sort of the overarching situation. My dreamed plots are completely incoherent, but there is still some good stuff.

B.-I hope you've got one too! And nice to know I'm not a freak for the learning process going this way.

Sugar *snort* Ah yes... we ALL have some penis on the brain, eh?

The Daring Novelist said...

I think I trained myself to dream my stories when I was a kid. I always dream in fiction/drama. I don't often dream that I'm writing or editing. (When I retyped my first novel, in the days before word processors, I did dream I was Sherlock Holmes one night - following footprints in the snow that looked like typewriter keystrikes.)

Watery Tart said...

Daring Novelist, welcome! Lucky you that your dreams behave! Love the Sherlock one! And I tracked you to your blog--looks like a great project!