Friday, August 19, 2011

Getting the meaning of denouement

Denouement is the French word for the final scenes of a play or novel. In English, we call it the climax, I think, because we're keen on the giant cymbal crashing of the final events. But denouement comes from the verb that means to unknot or untie, and it focuses on resolving all the unexplained mysteries. And that's what I've been working on the last two Writing Fridays for my novel, Fog of Dead Souls. How did the killer have the deadman's sperm? How did he track the college professor? How did the detective follow her?

My experienced mystery writing reader also had questions about loose ends and had said that the final scene was unsatisfying so I've spent today rewriting it and really coming to understand my killer in a way I hadn't before. It was fun writing and fun thinking. When Ed first suggested I delve into his motivation, I balked. I hadn't wanted to go to that dark place (as I imagined it to be). But like so many things in writing, it turned out not to be that way at all. And I grew to like the killer for his honesty and wit.

I also wrote a synopsis today and that was helpful for seeing all the parts of the plot and I think it was a good preparation for rewriting the ending. Though when you're writing a novel that runs two parallel stories in different time frames, it's a big tricky. I'm getting these last pieces in order so I can send off the requested pages to the agents I met two weeks ago. As I worked on the synopsis, I could see other places where I might take the story deeper, but I think I'll see what these agents have to say before I work on it any further.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A big list that was fun to make

 If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know I like lists. So when a member of my creativity group, the Monday Muses, sent around her list of ways to rejuvenate her art life, I decided to take on the challenge myself and come up with 50 possible things I could do that would be fun. Here's my list. Anybody want to take on the challenge?

July 29, 2011

1. Do a study of Van Gogh works with the books I have
2. Read in all the writing books I have and discard those that aren’t useful.
3. Write another 100 poems
4. Pick 10 prompts already written and write a short story for each one.
5. Choose one of my drawing exercise books and do the exercises.
6. Draw 15 minutes a day for 100 days.
7. Have a portfolio sale of my art.
8. Work on the third novel.
9. Create a chapbook from the first 100 poems.
10. Do a workshop with Jeanne Carbonetti
11. Enter 10 poetry contests
12. Read and learn about the poetry market
13. Read and learn about the short story market
14. Use some of my less successful pastels in collages
15. Commit to 4 pastels a month or 4 acrylics
16. Learn the color wheel and color theory
17. Read Van Gogh’s letters
18. Read Robert Henri.
19. Send another 20 pitches for novel #1
20. Do a pastel of the fence for the cover of novel #1
21. Collage with the photos of my own art work that Dave did
22. Assemble my easel horse.
23. Read and do the Poet’s Portable Workshop
24. Read Poemcrazy and other books on poetry that I own
25. Read and do Drawing with Children
26. Read and do Drawing on the Artist within
27. Listen to music and paint from within me
28. Work through Maisel’s Book of Creativity
29. Write a creativity manifesto
30. Do 10 artist dates a la Julia Cameron
31. Do the Artist’s Way again, perhaps in a group
32. Make a set of creative soul collages
33. Write a group (a book?) of prayers and meditations for creatives
34. Draw or paint from photos in my family albums
35. Commit to a 90-day creativity program and blog about it every day for the 90 days.
36. Do a study of style using Tufte’s book and Perrine’s book
37. Schedule time for dreaming and doodling a couple of times a week.
38. Schedule a lot of art play dates.
39. Read the Vocabula website 1-2 times a week for a set period of time
40. Listen to music and look at art in my books
41. Learn to use my digital camera well and easily, both shooting and uploading
42. Learn to print and manipulate photos on my printer
43. Ask David for some landscape photos for Christmas to paint from
44. Practice enough to get over my fears about drawing figures and faces.
45. Fool around with water colors
46. Take a poetry workshop
47. Take a short story workshop
48. Develop a comfortable confidence with line
49. Ask Ingrid about getting the Charles Belle book for me
50. Read through my blog posts to see if there’s a book in there