Friday, October 23, 2009


I thought I'd give you an update on my second novel, After the Fall. I finished the first draft several weeks ago, then sent it to my beta reader, who sent back some wonderful advice. She'd also read The Other Side so I felt comfortable sending a relatively unpolished early draft, along with several questions about voice, plot, etc.

Then I decided to put it away for a couple more weeks.

I'm currently working through Peachpit Press's Hands-On-Training: Flash CS3 Professional and I've decided that my writing energy (or really, my creative energy) will go to that. Once I've finished the tutorial, I'll start the second draft of After the Fall.

That decision is working well for me, as I'm two-thirds of the way through it, but I've noticed something interesting: my characters are talking to me again. Or if not talking (since as I told Jenna, they don't really do that) but they're living their lives and rearranging scenes that need reworking. It's very considerate of them.

I'd gotten into the habit of thinking about the upcoming scene before getting out of bed, that way as soon as I sat down I could write without getting stuck, and apparently it's the habit that's stuck. This morning I kept replaying the final scene -- one that needs tweaking and I know exactly how, but I haven't touched the file -- and at this point it's so locked in my head I don't even need to take notes. Some of the bigger issues, like making the male POV sound more fatherly, still need more thought, and I'm hoping I can focus these morning ponderings on his perspective.

It's nice actually looking forward to edits, and it's giving me extra motivation to finish the Flash book.


Janna Qualman said...

That's great! And very exciting.

I need to do that, make a habit of fleshing out the next scene in my head.

Natasha Fondren said...

I do that imagining thing too! Whoa! After the Fall has a new name, doesn't it?

Good luck on the Flash!

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, it's really helped me, but I'm fortunate that aside from a puppy, I don't have anyone demanding things from me first thing in the morning and can lounge until I think of something good.

Natasha, I came up with the name over the summer and have mentioned it quite a few times. Are you blogging asleep again? :P

Edie Ramer said...

Good for you! I love it when I get ideas on making a book better.

Like Janna, I should flesh out my scenes in my head before I get up. I'll try to get into that habit.

JLC said...

Its interesting to see how each writer gathers their thoughts.
My story ideas jump at me as I do my day to day stuff. (Usually when I am not in a position to drop everything and write it down!) Poetry, however, seeps into my head like a gathering fog while I am resting or in the shower. Its almost as though I have two different muses. ;)

Melanie Avila said...

Edie, like I said, I'm still percolating on the father's POV. He sounds too much like the daughter in the first couple chapters, lol.

JLC, I think it makes sense that you'd have different muses for different types of writing. Poetry is such an artistic way of expressing yourself that I can see it tapping into the more visual parts of your brain.

Nadine said...


I'm so glad the characters are talking to you even though you've stepped away!

I haven't been able to work on my WIP -it's just not calling to me. Maybe I should do a Flash tutorial :) LOL. I'm willing to try anything at this point!

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, OMG that made me crack. Maybe you need to make a gourmet meal to get the creative juices flowing.


Erica said...

That sounds like a great habit, kudos for finding it!

I unfortunately, think about my scenes before I go to bed, so thus I sometimes lose the best parts in sleep. Sometimes (if I'm feeling saucy enough) I get up and go into the living room (wake up the puppy) and attempt to type through crusty eyes. It sometimes works :)

Enjoy the Flash too. I love design stuff!

Robin said...

So that's the trick, eh? A flash tutorial. I'm there.

That's the one downside of writing with someone else. My partner and I brainstorm, and then I write our scenes. But if I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, (or my son is failing chemistry), I don't write as much, and I'm letting someone else down. I'm OK with letting myself down, but I didn't anticipate the pressure of being responsible for another person, too.

Melanie Avila said...

Erica, I've had a couple times where ideas come to me as I'm falling asleep and I force myself out of bed to right down the notes. But I never turn on the computer in the middle of the night.

Robin, you guys are funny with the Flash. I'm the same way about not wanting to let other people down. That would probably push me more than my own flimsy goals.

And failing chemistry? Uh oh.