The Super Multi-tasking Writer!

The Day Is:  Hectic.

Traffic in Los Angeles a couple days after a holiday is horrible!  I had to drive into LA this morning and the traffic was worse than usual.  What made the drive more pleasurable were two things: my daughter Leighanne and listening to HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, by J.K. Rowling on CD, and read by Jim Dale.  He is a fabulous reader!

I was enjoying the story, but my mind was swirling with thoughts and ideas for writing.  Rowling is so good at slipping tiny clues into any seemingly ordinary scene in such a casual manner that the reader doesn’t realize the tidbit is significant until it explodes.  I hope I am not spoiling it for anyone, but here is an example:  This scene transpires at number twelve Grimmauld Place between Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Lupin.

“I’d have been here three days ago but I needed to shake off the Death Eater trailing me,” said Lupin.  “So, you came straight here after the wedding?”

“No,” said Harry, “only after we ran into a couple of Death Eaters in a café on Tottenham Court Road.”

Lupin slopped most of his butterbeer down his front.

“What?”

They explained what had happened; when they had finished, Lupin looked aghast.

“But how did they find you so quickly?  It’s impossible to track anyone who Apparates, unless you grab hold of them as they disappear!”

“And it doesn’t seem likely they were just strolling down Tottenham Court Road at the time, does it?” said Harry.

“We wondered,” said Hermione tentatively, “whether Harry could still have the Trace on him?”

“Impossible,” said Lupin.  Ron looked smug, and Harry felt hugely relieved.

(HPDH – Chapter eleven, pages 204-205)

In this snippet, “It’s impossible to track anyone who Apparates, unless you grab hold of them as they disappear!” is not only an important fact about the laws of Apparition, but it is a clue as to what will happen.  Placed within this scene, it is not blatant or in-your-face, it’s just a simple part of the conversation.  However, later in the book, this little fact is precisely how Harry, Ron, and Hermione loose Grimmauld Place as their base of operations. Brilliantly done.

It made me think of some of the clues I had placed throughout my manuscript, hoping I had done as well as she.  Possibilities of other clues I could insert were also popping into my head.

And then, I had a stroke of genius.  Well, at least that is what it felt like to me.  One of my CritMates, Cole Gibsen, had asked me to describe the gazebo in the middle of my fictional town, which was decorated for the Fall.  I had already described other things, and I wanted this description to be different, but nothing wonderful came to me.  After grappling for a while, I decided to post my revision without the description.  But today, it came to me.  FLASH!  It was there, and I loved it.

I think it is imperative for a writer to read and listen to books by other authors.  You never know when something you have heard or read several times is going to smack you and say, “Hey!  Pay attention, this could make you a better writer.”

And as a side note, I knew mothers had to be multi-taskers.  But this morning I was not just a multi-tasking mother driving through LA.  I was a Super Multi-tasking Writer – driving the freeways of downtown Los Angeles, dealing with traffic and my daughter, listening to an audio book, discovering cool tricks to look for and feed into my manuscript, getting dazzlling ideas of description, and dictating my thoughts to Leighanne for her to write down (hello…I was driving).  By the time I arrived at our destination, my mind was exhausted – thrilled and exhilarated, but exhausted.  Phew!

**DON’T FORGET** Add your Charcter Sketch for Bertrand Cutteridge in the comments for Wicked Writely Fun!

Stumble It!

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~ by bloggingexperiments on September 3, 2008.

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