(I can hear Nat King Cole's wonderfully soothing, crooning voice as I write this post: What a day this has been/What a rare mood I'm in/Why it's almost like being in love...)
I've been shouting this from the social networking rooftops all day today: I'm so friggin' in love with our supporting character. Seriously, I wanna make out with him.
There are several reasons why this feeling is so, er, stimulating.
For one, it's a sign that the writing is working. The idea for the scene was my writing partner's. It's relatively simple in that it's not a love scene or crucial to a story arc or climactic in any way. It's two characters who see each other at an unexpected time and place and circumstance. She (my writing partner) called me yesterday morning with the idea, excited, and I could practically hear the percolating sounds her brain was making as she explained it to me. "Go write it!" I commanded. She sent me the draft this morning, and the more I read, the more I fell in love with him (our character) and the moment he was immersed in.
For another, it's a sign that the character is alive. He takes deep breaths, wipes the sweat and mist from his face. She smells the salt in the air. They have a casual conversation. No pretense, no flirting, not even the slightest physical contact. And yet, we can see just a hint of vulnerability in both of them. Just enough to make them real, to make us care.
Third, it's a sign that our collaboration is working. Actually, this has never been an issue. It's worked from day one. And while it's not a permanent partnership--I'm already sketching my next couple of novels and planning to write them solo, and I'm sure she'll move on to her next project w/out me, it's a once-in-a-lifetime alliance that has made writing this novel such a blast. We have had to make concessions, argue to keep things in or take things out. We've had to shift the balance of the workload, but we've almost always managed to share the vision. We've managed to stay on the same page, even when we're working on different scenes and chapters, or not working at all. A match made in heaven, I suppose.
So many times, the writer is immersed in the laborious part. The constant re-seeing, re-reading, re-thinking, and re-writing. I think the average reader doesn't see how much doubt goes into the process. A good writing day is essential to the process. A good writing day makes all the difference in the world.
So today I am in love. I'm in love with our character, I'm in love with our novel, and I'm in love with our process. I'm in love with writing.
Now, if we could just figure out how to bottle these days...