Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Where's Evie? -- Eve

While diving deep into my revisions for Kidz In The Wood, I've been MIA lately, unable to be reached by phone or e-mail. Robin finally had to break into my house to find me! After neglecting my dogs, my taxes and American Idol for days upon days, I'm still not satisfied. It's been 3.8 YEARS, and it's still not perfect.

During yesterday's hour long run (I'm allowed out of the chair for one hour per day), I conversed with myself:

What is your goal? To write an original, exciting, poignant story that kids will want to re-read over and over.

Have you done that? Sadly, NO.

What is the main idea? Young, tough gang kids from L.A. leave their element and learn to have fun in the mountains. It has adventure, drama and comedy…it's an “Addromedy.”

What do you like about your book? The dialogue, the premise, LOVE the characters

What don't you like? The plot is cliché, unoriginal, uninspiring.

It suddenly hit me that I can keep the dialogue and characters, but amp up the story by focusing on one thing. The kids sort of form their own “gang” without realizing it. I didn't even realize it until now. I've always defended gangs because, from a psychological perspective, they make perfect sense to me. Street gangs were originally created to meet the basic primal needs that all humans share. Safety and security, love and belonging, confidence and respect, basic food and water. Gangs provide all these things, just like a family, tribe or church. Yes, some gangs deal drugs, burglarize and hurt people. But that's not what they were founded on, and I'm convinced that most gang members don't engage in this stuff.

I think I've figured out a way to have my story evolve much in the same way that contemporary Los Angeles street gangs evolved in the late 1960's (the history of which I find fascinating!). I'm taking these kids with no hope and nothing to lose, and throwing them into a situation where their basic needs can be met through bonding with others, and uniting for a common goal. The heart of the story develops from the human truth that commitment and loyalty to a group always comes at a price.

Hope I've finally figured it all out, 'cause I'd really like to join the real world again someday soon. Wish me luck!

- Eve


Don Tate II said...

Wow, Eve. Did you sell a novel, and I missed the news?

Disco Mermaids said...

I wish! No, the book made the rounds to five editors, all of whom said great things, but ultimately didn't think the story had a big enough "hook"...so my agent suggested major plot revisions before we send it out again.

I've been a mess for the last month trying to figure out how to do it. I think I have it now, but tomorrow I may feel differently. Any suggestions, Don? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Thanks for the message. Love your pic, by the way!