“Here's the kind of writer I want to be: a better writer today than I was yesterday.
John Vorhaus

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Primarily Concerned With Weather
Thu 2006-02-16 21:00:00 (in context)
  • 51,507 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 16.00 hrs. revised

Should anyone ask, "With what was today's novel-editing session concerned?" well, now you know.

Additionally, it was concerned with better placing Diane's fight with her father (Chapter Two) in the context of a well-developed plot arc. The scene ought to be an example of Life With The Lenner Family; it's far too early for stakes-raising earth-shattering revelations. First drafts, even those not of the NaNoWriMo variety, are often front-loaded with every great idea the writer has for the story. It takes a second draft to properly space them out.

(Oh, and, by the way, don't you just love the way I'm proclaiming Universal Truths About Writing in spite of my largely unpublished status? I'm so humble. No, no, really--just pretend I've said "I'm discovering that..." at the beginning of each of those kinds of sentences and we'll get along fine.)

But anyway, fight ends, Diane storms off from the dinner table, and heads out onto the balcony where she can see the stars "speckling a cloudless indigo sky" and yet complain that "it was cold and snowy out here." Snow falling. Out of a cloudless sky. Yeah... Plot doctor over here, stat!

Boulder snow is lots of fun. And by "fun," I mean entertaining. At least in hindsight. I mean, sometimes you get a decorative overnight blizzard that's done by the dawn, leaving mounds of dry sparkly flakes all over the trees and lawns but easily plowed off the streets. And then sometimes it starts up in the midafternoon and doesn't stop for three days, and the snow plows never quite catch up.

We had the latter sort of snow starting Tuesday night. We were fooled at first by the light dusting over the neighborhood that evening as my husband's birthday guests were leaving (yes, he's a Valentine's baby, cho~ kawaii), and the illusion of getting off easy was only enhanced the next morning by a stingy sky that had to practically be petitioned for each tiny snowflake. But it picked up Wednesday afternoon, and when one of our friends drove over around eight or so in his '74 vehicle with rear wheel drive, it was fish-tailin' fun for everyone. A Thursday night on the town revealed abandoned bicycles heaped with snow at every U-rack on Pearl Street, and though it stopped actively precipitating by the weekend, damn it was cold on Saturday.

Which is just to say that Boulder weather will accomodate all sorts of plot necessity, but the author has to meet it with at least some minimum of effort. So this morning I did a lot of combing over Chapter One and Two for places to wedge in weather references: that cattle smell coming in as Diane skipped out of class (what we at Chez LeBoeuf-Little like to call "A mean wind from Greeley"), the first flakes falling as she encounters Babba, a full-grown blizzard as she runs home, and a clear sky after dinner due to the storm having blown away to the south.

Of such glamorless minutia is a convincing novel made. At least, I hope it'll be a convincing novel. More convincing than the idea of snow actively falling from the freakin' stars, anyway.