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My brain is determined to teach me bad lessons about my body.
Last night, I had a caffeinated beverage at about 7. I don’t usually, but I decided to risk it cuz I’ve been pretty tired lately, and I was at my writing group. So, I didn’t end up leaving until after 11, and then had an hour-long drive home. I put on some nice classical music* and set to pondering stories, both my own and those of my friends. By the time I reached 92, I’d completely reworked the (new) beginning of my story so that it will be much more dramatical. It was a totally visual experience, I could see all of the scenes that need to happen. Once I can see them, they’re usually right–though my ability to transcribe them onto paper is often imperfect. Then I had to pay attention to driving, because it was nearly midnight and very foggy and 92 is twisty. When I got home I scribbled for another hour, completely wide awake and buzzing, totally jazzed about making my vampire more creepy and my MC’s problems more troubling. (And I may have figured out a theme.)
Finally I went to bed, and as I tried to fall asleep, I figured out what will make the climactic scene with the new MC unique from the last version–and more powerful, I think**.
So apparently being tired and drinking caffeine when I should be winding at the end of the day is the right way to get breakthroughs. Just as I’ve been fearing. That needs a warning label with it: WARNING: USE DRASTIC MEASURES ONLY WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, AS IT CAN CAUSE SLEEPINESS, POOR PERFORMANCE AT WORK, AND ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES TO CONCLUDE YOU ARE IRRESPONSIBLE OR DON’T LOVE THEM. Or maybe it needs indications. USE ONLY AS DIRECTED. USE ONLY AS MUCH AS NECESSARY. DO NOT USE MORE THAN ONCE EVERY 6 HOURS, AS IT CAN LEAD TO INTERNAL BLEEDING AND HALLUCINATIONS. DO NOT OPERATE HEAVY MACHINERY [sic] WHILE USING DRASTIC MEASURES LIKE SLEEP DEP AND STARVATION TO INDUCE CREATIVITY.
Yeah. Or as Ben said when I described the effect this morning–“Oh, you’re an artist.” :-/
* Ax, Stoltzman, Ma : Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart : Trios for Piano, Clarinet, & Cello, which is currently one of my favorites.
** One of the nice things about not sharing the first draft^ with anyone is that no one will be able to gainsay me about whether the second draft is actually better than the first. They’ll have to take it on its own merits. 🙂
^ Or at least the ending of the first draft–I realize I did share a lot of the beginning with my writing group. Fortunately, when I shared the new beginning with the group last night (not the one I re-envisioned while driving home, the first version of the new beginning with the new MC), everyone agreed the MC has a personality. Yay for small victories! Yay for main characters who aren’t wet blankets!