Kate George on the craft of writing and the vicissitudes of life.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Organized disorganization would be if I had all my chapters in one place and could put my finger on the one I wanted at any given time. Actually even if they were in different places if I could identify them and find them when I need them I'd be fine. More than fine. Peachy.
That's what I thought I had. Organized disorganization. I even thought I had them in the same file on the same flash drive. Wrong.
I have a very long chapter somewhere. VERY LONG. That. I. Can't. Find. It's possible I emailed it to myself at some point so I'll drag through my inbox shortly, but meanwhile the frustration mounts. How could I be so wrong about my organizational system? How could I lose such a huge chunk of my story? It had a giraffe in it for heaven's sake. How the heck do you lose a giraffe?
I have a difficult time organizing my novels as I'm writing them. I usually start sequentially but then some where along the line a scene pops out at me begging to be written even though I'm not there yet. So instead of a chapter number I give it a descriptive title thinking it will be easy to find later. Yeah right. By the time I've written a dozen or so out of order scenes I'm sunk. I can normally figure things out eventually, but this time I've gone beyond my normal level of ineptitude. I'm missing things.
I can't tell you how big a headache this gives me. It appears not only do I need an assistant to follow around after me and pick up the things I put down carelessly and then never can find again - I also need an assistant to keep my writing in order. File it properly after putting the date in the title and making sure I can identify which scene it is. Jeez, it makes me look incompetent!
Ah, the life of the creative mind. It's very messy.
Ms. George has always been easily distracted by books and has a life long love affair with mysteries. Her early influences include Mary Stewart and Agatha Christie. Ms. George began writing at an early age and by age 25 had written her first book, a truly awful novella about a marine biologist. She then wisely took a break from writing.
Ms George has always loved animals and they find their way into her novels on a regular basis. The dogs are often based on her own canine children and their fictional antics are usually rooted in the truth. The incident with the crazy skunk in California Schemin’ (March 2011) is not fictional. For the record, the dogs would rather stink than be washed with peroxide, baking soda or dishwashing soap ever again.
Ms. George is currently living in Central Vermont with her husband, four children, three dogs, and two cats. She once had 28 chickens, all named, none of them especially keen to lay eggs. I'm sorry to tell you that Hermione and Speckles were eaten by coyotes. The rest were given to good homes to avoid any further emotional distress.