Grandma’s Rack, the short story turned novella turned full-length collaborative novel is bouncing right along with enough speed and determination to rival a pair of smooth, round, metaphorical melons bounding down a steep and obstacle-free figurative mountainside.
Today, my co-author – veteran horror novelist Tamara Thorne – and I spent three hours brainstorming new scenes and smoothing out the plot before heading separate directions to each spend several more hours writing. Tomorrow, we meet to establish and appoint the final components of the book’s third act which, once completed, will catapult us into an even more accelerated momentum. We realize that completing the project by the spring deadline will be pushing it, but we also believe it can be done. We’re in the last stages and luckily, we’re having enough fun that what’s left to write will hopefully flow smoothly by. I go through a series of mental and emotional stages during the course of completing a novel, and the one I’m in now is probably my favorite.
By the third act, the climax is rising, and all those things the characters said and did pages and pages ago suddenly start to make sense. This is where we are now in Grandma’s Rack, and it is my favorite because it assures me that my instincts to trust the characters were correct. It’s been said that writers don’t create story as much as they discover story – like some creative archaeologists of sorts, digging up pre-existing plots from the trenches of the mind, the universe… or wherever it is that stories come from – and I am inclined to believe that.
Today, during our three-hour brainstorming stint, all the misfit pieces of the puzzle fell wonderfully and magically into place, revivifying my passion and magnifying my feeling that this was going to be a great story. In fact, although I always knew it was going to be good, today I realized that it’s going to be even better than I thought because I realized it has all the ingredients that are key to the kinds of books I love to read: characters of both the loathsome and lovable kind – traits which are often found within the confines of the same character – a seductive setting, an intriguing plot with a fair blend of humor and horror, a series of little scandals, and enough human truth to sustain the creative inventiveness of fiction.
And so… we plug on, and as we do, I become more excited as the end draws ever-nearer. I suspect it will be a bittersweet farewell once the final words have been written… and this is why we have decided to continue working together. Tamara and I both have our solo projects to write, but we’ve decided our power as a unit is too total and too dynamic to end at one collaboration… and this is just one those little life wonders that forces me to think that maybe… there’s some method to the madness around us after all.
To see more of Grandma’s Rack and other projects, visit me at: www.alistaircross.com