Today, bright and EARLY, I drove my son down to the high school to pick up his class schedule. He worked his way easily through the combination assembly-line, processing center (his description), while I waited in the parking lot (with Meg Cabot’s Insatiable for my reading pleasure).
We’re at a milestone here, of some sort. Oddly enough, things feel pretty calm and seem to be flowing easily toward next week, when school actually starts. I’m pretty sure we’re not just in the eye before the storm, that my son is ready for the next step and, I guess, so am I. The next few years are obviously going to be about letting go, and I think we’re at the right place to start doing that.
I’m writing about a hero whose mother can’t let go–can’t let go of who she thinks her daughter should be, of who she needs her daughter to be, for her own sanity. And it’s not going to end prettily, I can tell you that.
And I’m trying to be a writer who can and does let go of her characters. It’s starting to happen, where Caro will take over a scene and suddenly start talking to another character, or she’ll make a decision without consulting me and get a scene going in a direction I didn’t expect. And I’m working hard to go with this, to go where she’s telling me. It’s pretty clear there’s no point in arguing.
Does this mean I won’t argue with my son in the next few years?
Yeah, right. Does the sentence “Get out of bed now, or you’ll be late!” mean anything to you? (Other than being a direct quotation of my mother’s words, every morning, 30+ years ago?)
But…I will have to keep my mouth closed more often. I will have to listen and watch a lot more. I’ll be making fewer of the decisions and sort of just “being there” for the consequences, good and bad. Hopefully, mostly good. (As opposed to Caro’s story, where they’d better lean heavily on the bad side.)
Milestones. So much more complicated than plot points, you know?
What’s changing for you this year? What changes do you plan for your characters? Happy writing through all of it!