Salvage the Story Line

Commencing operation “Salvage the Story Line”.  I must extract all that is good and holy from this mélange of words.  Carve out the quirks, charms, wit, eccentrics, theme– all of its ju-ju– and let it breathe for a moment before I take it all in.  Like opening a bold Cabernet Sauvignon… let the hints of chocolate, black cherry, and coffee tickle your senses before the wine blesses your mouth… 

I’ve plucked my off-beat characters out of the dimming narrative and set them out to sun.  I mean, what would an adventure/love story be without a thieving squirrel, a demented grandfather, a ukulele-playing “adventure” guide, a chain-smoking cat, a couple sets of star-crossed lovers, a Hindu goddess, and a jedi-wannabe bovine?  Ordinary.  I want extraordinary. 

I jotted worthwhile scenes onto notecards and tossed the others into a disposable mental file labeled What Were You Thinking, Michelle?  (Said file shall be devoured in the fiery lake of bad ideas at a later date.)  Chiseled nuggets of dialogue from jagged pages and banished useless conversation.  Kept specifics and tossed the vague.  (Do I really need all these adjectives and adverbs?  Nope.  Let’s lighten the load.)  As I sifted through the wordy mess last night, I fell in love with the characters and the story all over again. 

I sit here now and realize that not only do I want to finish this because it’s a fantastic story (honestly), I want to finish it because I believe in the message behind it:  fight for true love.  Fight for the love you can’t let go of; fight for the one you can’t get out of your head and heart and soul; fight for the one who makes you laugh and smile and believe in yourself like no other person ever has.  Fight through fear and embrace all that is possible through love. 

And if your fight for love turns out to be one-sided…  well then pen a quirky, beautiful love story and pay that love the respect it deserves. 

Tonight’s agenda:  decide on a different beginning– something that hooks a reader in with slap-happy smile.  I’m thinking the nursing home scene is just the right spot…

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