Friday, April 24, 2009

Film Festival

The Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock is in the middle of its spring Film Festival. On Sunday, I saw Everlasting Moments, a Swedish film set in the early 1900s about a woman who enjoys taking photos. The main character in the movie was in a horrific marriage, and I kept thinking, "She should get out of there. She should use her photography skills to support herself, or at least to document what has happened to herself and her kids." But she never did, and the story didn't grab me as much as it might have, if only...
Then I had to laugh. From my seat in the audience, I was trying to rewrite the plot. I was figuring out how to make the story into what I wanted it to be.
I already have a story that's historical fiction and includes a female main character who loves photography. I don't have to sit through someone else's story line. I can make it what I want it to be. I want Sophie to be a heroine who uses whatever skills she has to address the world around her. And I can do that from my seat at my computer.
This Sunday is Defiance, based on a true story, so I guess I can't try to rewrite the plotline.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Getting help with my details

A couple of months ago, I bought a late 1930's Balda 61 German camera on ebay and I hope to use it as the model for the camera Sophie uses in my book. It's in great shape considering its age, but the bellows are a bit brittle and I'm unsure of some of the mechanisms. The camera didn't come with an instruction book and I haven't been able to find one online.
I am at the place in my story where Sophie uses the camera a bit more often, and I want to understand the details of its use so I can describe it to a reader. I need some expert help, some knowledgeable person willing to share info about the workings of a 70-year old foreign camera. My local yellow pages was not helpful in locating an expert, but a quick Google search for 'camera clubs' and 'Scranton' brought me to the Northeast Photography Club. An email to the club's president brought me a quick response and a name and email address for the camera enthusiast/expert I've been looking for. I plan to pick his brain, but not until next week, after Easter.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Filling in the gaps

I have a tendency to write a scene or two and then not write anything for days. The rest of my life interferes, you know? Then, when I get another block of time to write, I assume I'll pick up where I left off, so I reread 8 or 10 pages to get back into the flow. More often than not, I find gaps in the story that I need to fill in.
Sometimes it's minor stuff, places where someone starts to speak but I never told the reader they entered the room, that sort of thing. Other times, it's bigger stuff, like instant character development that should have taken 100 pages worth of trials and tribulations.
I guess that's why this writing process is taking me so long. I need the distance between write and rewrite to even see the gaps.