Jennifer Hillier

Rainy days and Mondays

Jul 21, 2009 | Uncategorized

I don’t like writing when it’s sunny.  And it’s pretty much been sunny for the entire month of July.

There’s something about the sun that makes me feel antsy.  When the sun is shining in full force, like it is today, I feel obligated to go out and do something.  I feel guilty sitting in my office trying to write when there are kids playing in the street and the smell of the neighbor’s barbecue is wafting in through the windows.  It doesn’t feel right to be holed up inside, pecking away at a computer, when I’ve waited all fall, winter, and spring for beautiful weather like this.

The rain gives me permission to stay inside my house and be introverted, to stay inside my head because oh look, it’s raining and gray and misty and who’d want to be outside anyway in such crappy weather?  But I’m starting to wonder if the rain in Seattle is why I’ve been so productive for the past year.  By nature, I’m not an outdoorsy girl.   I don’t like bugs.   I don’t like getting dirty.  I don’t like getting wet.  And I really don’t like the feeling of Seattle “mizzle” (mist and drizzle) on my face.

However, I do love the sound of the rain when it pelts the windows.  I love the look of the fog over the Cascades.  I love how green everything looks against the backdrop of titanium sky.  I love feeling cocooned inside my house when it’s wet and gray and chilly outside.

But it’s sunny today.  It will be all week.  As it was all last week.  And I really, really need rain right now.

The third novel’s not coming along like I’d hoped.   The writing needs massive rewriting (obviously, since it’s a first draft), but the main problem with the piece is very easy to identify.

The story is going absolutely nowhere.

The characters are strong.   They should be by now, since this is the second novel they’re starring in.   They have fleshed out backstories and I know what their goals are, and I have a strong idea for how the book should end.  Problem is, I can’t see a way to get to the end. I’m completely and utterly out of ideas as how to get from page 85 to page 400.

Beginnings and ends are easy to write.  I can write beginnings and ends till the cows come home.   But they only compromise about 20% of the book in total.  The 80% of the story that’s in the middle – that’s what separates novelists from short story writers.  How do you keep people reading?

Middles are the worst.  Middles are where good beginnings go to die.

I guess I’m going to have to kill someone.  Damn.   And I really like them all.

Do me a favor and pray for rain.