Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Current Project

Yesterday I told myself I'd post about my new project today, assuming nothing crazy happened. I should've known better than to go and say something like that. After not having a functioning satellite dish for two days, we got that fixed just as we ran out of water. Then the internet stopped working overnight. You don't realize how addicted you are until there's an unexpected outage (as opposed to a trip where you can tell people you'll be MIA for a bit). Nine hours later, here I am.

The good side is I got a lot of writing done. If you're a regular reader you know that my memoir is about my relationship with Ibis and all the turmoil we went through when we moved to Mexico. When I finished the first draft, Ibis said, "Now you can write my memoir." My first response was "or you could write your own memoir," but the idea stuck. For various reasons I chose not to write his story, but the idea of a young Mexican man giving up everything to find a better life in the United States intrigued me. Since I didn't plan to write his personal tale, per se, I found myself free to embellish the details, adding twists that never happened to him.

I finally discovered for myself what other writers talk about when they say the main character (MC) tells the story, they just write it down. I'm nowhere near finishing but already my MC has taken side trips that I never expected - including a strip club, never saw that one coming! - and I'm enjoying how different this process is from writing a memoir.

One early reader of my memoir commented that she thought I should include more detail about Mexico itself; the little, everyday things that you can't know unless you live there. I didn't think they fit in my personal story, but I'm finding ways to work those bits and pieces into my current work in progress (wip). It makes sense for a Mexican man to notice the small details that someone new to the country would overlook.

So without further ado, here's a blurb describing my wip, tentatively title The Other Side:

Mateo's one goal is to make a new life on the other side. His first attempt to cross into the US ended with him in a border patrol holding cell, so he turns to his sister, who already made it across, for help. She tells him where to find a coyote, a man who sneaks people past the guards for a price.

Mateo doesn't realize that the coyote is part of a smuggling ring being tracked by the US government until he's already in their hands. When the crossing goes bad, he finds himself alone in the desert, with nothing but memories of home and dreams for his future to keep him alive.

Let me know what you think!

14 comments:

Melody said...

Wow. Your blurb sounds great. Makes me want to read it.

Melody Platz

>The Writer’s Comfy Corner

Janna Qualman said...

Awesome, Melanie. Awesome!

spyscribbler said...

Kick-ass! I still haven't gotten to your synopsis, shame on me. I think you should totally sell that "other side" view of immigration issues. It's your hook! You put a human touch to it.

Melanie Avila said...

*blush* Thanks!

Spy, that synopsis is for my memoir, not thing, but they do both have an immigration theme. Side effect of marrying into the situation, I suppose. ;)

I can't wait to hear your comments, but you should know I am planning to update it soon. So if you want to wait a little longer...

Nadine said...

Sounds fantastic!! I already want to read it!!

Aimless Writer said...

I think I want to hear this man's story!

It also brings me back to the thought that I think our boarders with Mexico should be opened. The fence is a thorn in my side. I understand secured boarders and all that but if we shared our countries (Mex & USA) perhaps we could work on securing both boarders from terrorists together.

Jenna said...

Very interesting...can't wait to hear more!

colbymarshall said...

Cool, Melanie. I'm excited about reading it sometime!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks everyone!

Aimless, the border issue really needs to be a priority. I'm hoping once the election is over the government will turn its attention back to it.

WendyCinNYC said...

That sounds like an interesting book. I'd want to read more.

Zoe Winters said...

It's great when your MC starts talking to you. Makes your job a lot easier and you stop feeling like you're "making it up"

heatheraynnebrooks said...

Sounds like a wonderful story!

Turkey Lurkey said...

(Slides into the post a little late.)

Mel! That is fantastic! What a wonderful idea for a story. :) Don't you love it when a character takes control. You never know what will happen next. It is cool to be surprised even though you are the one writing. Have fun with this!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Turkey. :) Better late than never, and you're only a day behind. You mothers get an extra cushion.