Friday, July 23, 2010

The Flutters

It's been almost two months since I worked on Transparent, and you might remember the letter I wrote to the book. I've been reading through the 37k I had in order to get back into Fiona's mindset, and something happened yesterday.

I fell in love again.

It didn't happen right away. At first I kept getting these icky editing feelings like "Oh, that'll need to be smoothed out" and "I should probably flesh out those feelings better." But I didn't touch it—this is still a first-ish draft, afterall, even if it's a rewrite.

And then I hit page 101, and I got all mushy inside. My heart warmed. I knew for the first time in a while that this story was worth it, no matter what came of it.

It wasn't a life-changing scene. In fact, it was actually quite simple (as you'll see), one that could probably be cut if I needed. But it made me remember something—I love these characters. I love them so, so much. I love building friendships with big groups of friends, and this was one of those moments. Not only that, but this scene wasn't in the original draft, making me feel like the rewrite has been worth it in many ways.

So I'm going to share today (though this will probably make zero sense without any context, mwahaha). A rare thing, I know. It won't be up long. But this moment was so important to me—I want to hold on to this feeling forever. After all I've been through with the book...finally, I love it again.

From Transparent:

After Hector and Tony both finish their tenth, Seth clears his throat. “Would you hand me another one?”

He’s not exactly out of reach, but I’m so taken back by the civility that I comply.

“Thanks.” He glances at me, almost meeting my eyes. “Aren’t you going to eat?”

I bite my lip, wondering if this is some kind of joke. “I had a couple tacos before you guys got here. The burritos gross me out.”

“They are kind of gross.” He takes another bite.

I hold in my laugh. “Then why are you eating it?”

He shrugs, and it’s so like Miles I’m temporarily thrown off balance. “I’m starving. Free food.”

“True.” I take a long sip of my drink. What the hell is up with him? I think this is the first normal conversation I’ve had with Seth, and it’s so…well, normal.

I glance at him, and for a second it seems like all the tension in his face is gone. Just like Brady changed yesterday. I don’t understand.

“Hey.” Miles snaps me out of my daze, but when I look up I realize he’s not looking at me. He’s looking at Bea and Brady, who’re whispering to each other. “You guys look like you’re plotting.”

Bea laughs, her Trixy grin firmly in place. “Oh, we are. We thought some night games were in order after dinner.”

“Night games?” I say.

Brady’s face lights up like a five-year-old about to tell a cool story. “Yeah, you go to a park after dark and play. I call Fifi for my team.”

“Hey!” Carlos cries. “No fair! She has way too much advantage.”

“You’re the one with night vision!” Hector says.

“That doesn’t mean I can see through invisibility, stupid.”

So there you go, the scene that made me fall in love again. I still don't know exactly why, but I'm so happy it did. Rewriting is much easier when you're happy to do it.


  1. I can see why you fell in love with it. Despite needing context, I'm getting a feeling for all kinds of currents and undercurrents between the characters and I'd love to be able to read on.

  2. awwwww that is so sweet! And I love scenes like this, where it's just the characters hanging out and being themselves. Yay that you have fallen in love with your book again!

  3. The names are so awesome! This is my favorite part of YA that falls off the wagon in "adult" lit, characters being with their friends and not worrying about stupid stuff, like if they kiss up enough will this person help them do blank. Please don't fall out of love again, this little scene makes the story look so special.

  4. Can I just say... I love how it's written in the present tense. What a great style! It really gives the speaker an interesting voice!

  5. I'm so glad you found love for it again - what a great place to be! I can't wait to read more someday... :)

  6. "“That doesn’t mean I can see through invisibility, stupid.”"

    LOL. Love it!

    You know another thing that makes rewrites easier? (Well, in some ways. In others, it just adds pressure...) Knowing that there are people out there who love you and your ideas and can't wait to read them!

  7. I'm glad you've fallen back in love with Transparent. I love it too :)

  8. Aw, this is adorable. And funny. I have no idea of the context, but if I just flipped open to this scene in a book store, it would definitely make me want to read more. As Elizabeth Poole said, I love scenes where the characters are just "hanging out" -- and yet, this seems like an important scene for showing subtle shifts in character.

  9. Thia dialogue is fantastic! It flows so smoothly.

    falling in love with a story is always magical.

  10. I can't believe you call that a first draft. *grumble grumble*

    It's awesome that you're still in love with it. I find you can push yourself a little bit further if you are.

    Good luck with it.

  11. Your dialogue is great, and this little bit makes me want to read more about the characters. Thanks for sharing, Natalie!

  12. This is great! Even without context, I can feel the love you have for your characters. It's so much easier to write and to be inspired when you feel a deep connection to the piece. Great work!

  13. I want to be their friends and eat tacos with them.

  14. hoorah for falling in love again. i love that feeling.

  15. One of the best things is falling in love with your story again :)

    And if that's a first-ish draft, that's pretty awesome. I always have to edit like crazy before I even think of posting any sort of excerpt from my own work.

  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.