15 March 2007

A new outline

The last time I ever made an outline for Perfect Girl was back in August 2005. It's been a year and a half.

I've changed several things during that time. First, the Los Angeles and London ending will no longer work, and will be replaced by a new one in Seattle and Vancouver. Second, Martha will die at the hands of Jamaican thugs and indifferent NYC cops, not on Flight 93. Those two changes alone make for a completely different story, and will need tweaks here and there to make sure that the storyline still makes sense.

When I get home, I will work on an outline that reflects these changes and still makes sense. Hopefully I will be alert enough after that, to possibly start a new scene. (I currently estimate that half of the novel has been written, and I need to get the other half going soon.)

Between ever-lengthening work hours (including nights and weekends), a new commitment to Spanish-language drills, and lack of privacy and support, I have found it an uphill battle to keep writing. In fact, I've pretty much given up on taking any new writing classes until I move. However, two recent developments - the Steve Stanton fiasco in Largo, Florida, and the wonderful workshop with my mentor this past weekend - convinced me that even if I have to do it all alone, I will have to do it. As Ann Lamott says, I need to have a shitty first draft with which to work with, and I feel that I need to finish and polish Sarah's story, and get it out there, if only to prevent another Steve Stanton disaster from happening somewhere else.

(And of course, there is another transgender story for me to write, one that's more ethnic and meaner than Sarah's, but that will stay only at the concept stage until I finish Perfect Girl.)

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