Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WIP Wednesday: How Did I Get Here?

My "House" novel, now going by the name In the Memory House is nearing first draft completion.  First draft completion doesn't mean much in my book. As a writer, I am a "pantser" for the most part, one of those free spirits wandering through the plot, dropping suspense and characterization along the way. The characters tend to reveal themselves better this way...

But then I have to pick up the pieces. My lead, a graduate student in psychology, has really shown me dark and secret corners of her life.

Now I have to go back and makes sure the early, more "private" chapters work.

From one of the final chapters:

Kelsey glanced once more at the door, took a breath, and plunged into the dark, groping with both hands now, reaching in front of her and to the sides to find the layout of the space. Her knuckles dragged against stone. She stopped, felt on both sides, and noted a rough, circular cavern. Her hands played with its boundaries. Behind her, the door had vanished, leaving no lingering ambient light. 

She found herself in a cave. She hadn't stepped inside a cave since she was eight.

What are some of your most-powerful childhood memories?


Anonymous said...

Oddly enough: standing behind the clothesline eating a stolen stick of butter. I think I was 3.

And as one pantser to another, buena suerte on the first draft revisions!

Aaron Polson said...

Milo - Mmmmm... Butter. My mother tells a story of how she and my aunt would fight over the little peak in the center of a tub of margarine. Yum.

Erin Cole said...

A great paragraph - I love the knuckles dragging on stone.

My earliest and most vivid memory is that of a jello jump contest, a giant swimming pool full of orange jello. People dove in to retrieve prizes, and then emerged looking like the mother on Poltergeist after she saved her little girl from the 'other-world.'

Aaron Polson said...

Erin - I hate dragging my knuckles on stone, but the imagery works. ;) Nice Jello memory. How fun?

Danielle Birch said...

I love the process of getting a first draft down that way as well. I used to be more severe about trying to get the story down as perfectly as I could in the first draft but now I enjoy that first ride into the story :)

Love the new title too.

Aaron Polson said...

Thanks, Danielle. I thought about Midnight in the Memory House but it seemed a tad cliche.

Cate Gardner said...

Jumping up and down on the sofa... Wish I could do that now.

Katey said...

I'm definitely halfway between pantser and plotter (I know where I'm going, I just don't always know how to get there -- which sometimes make the end look different than expected, but I like that).

Childhood memories, man. I remember the attic in the first house we lived in when I was a kid. I still have dreams about it. Weird.

"Her hands played with its boundaries."

I love that line. I have this thing with the sense of touch and how it's where we end and other things begin. That's the perfect way to describe it, what you said there.