Too darn hot

What my manuscript looks like

Cole Porter wrote a song years ago called “Too Darn Hot.” Maybe some of you remember the lyrics from “Kiss Me Kate.”

It’s about being too hot to coo and pitch the woo with my baby tonight, but I can’t help thinking it’s too darn hot to do anything. At least outdoor work, and that’s what I’m not doing right now. The painting is half done, the hedge needs trimming, and I’m staying inside where it’s cool

Because it’s too darn hot.

Which means, I’ve had time to sit at the computer and work on my novel. Yep, no excuses.

I’ve been putting off working and thankful for the excuses I’ve managed to come up with until now, because I need to end the darn thing and I’m trying to come up with a believable ending.  Someone once said you shouldn’t start a book without knowing how it will end and of course I know it ends with the two main characters working out their differences and getting together for that Happy Ever After.

What I want it to look like

It’s the part in between that takes work. I’ve set up some situations that the characters have to solve and that means their coming face to face with their deepest fears and conquering them. But how do I get them together again when walking away seems the most logical answer? To them, I might add, not to me.

Obviously, they have to realize walking away isn’t what they need.

I want to make the ending believable in light of what has happened in the first 200 pages. And to do that, I have to go back and make sure all the clues are there so that the reader (hopefully) will say, “Of course!”

And not depend on a deus ex machina to swoop down to make everything right. That might have worked for the Greeks  (the phrase is a Latin translation) but modern readers demand a more realistic solution.

I told a friend that people who have never written a book think it must be easy. It isn’t. Frankly I’d rather mow the yard or trim a hedge than sit down and try to make my characters behave. Writing isn’t a smooth journey from Once Upon a Time to The End. It’s constantly going back and forth, changing a word here, a paragraph there, so it all flows seamlessly to the conclusion.

If these characters do realize they can’t live without each other, it has to come from something more than, “Gosh, I’ve changed my mind.”

So…pondering and re-writing, and x-ing out and starting over. I come tantalizingly close to an answer and then realize it won’t work because…

And start over again.

That’s the trouble with being a pantser rather than a plotter. We pantsers like to say it’s more fun this way, but we also set ourselves up for just this kind of situation.

I’ve no doubt I’ll figure it out. After all, it’s too darn hot to do anything else.

(My apologies to those who live in cooler climes and wonder what I’m complaining about. It’s been in the 90s with no rain and I’ve had to trudge outside every night to water my flowers, and my ankles are mosquito bitten and itchy and I’m not in a good frame of mind.)

Maybe I’ll just kill off the two ninnies a la Romeo and Juliet.

Ah, no, that wouldn’t be believable either.














1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. CrizGazr
    Jun 18, 2017 @ 06:33:55

    Oh it is ‘too darn hot’ -I love the Cole Porter song

    Yesterday, for a theme song, mine was the Lovin Spoonful song: Hot Town, Summer in the City

    Here’s a tip for northerners moving south. You will feel guilty about the air conditioning, to overcome the guilt -get Siberian Huskies (just joking, this is not their favorite climate) and own your a/c register -like mine do! Anytime someone tries to say anything about how cold I have my home, I say “I have Siberian Huskies” then it’s all okay. Heaven forbid, I say, “I’m melting!”


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