This morning I loaded my kids into our mini-van and began our Thanksgiving vacation. Our Destination: Grandma's house. It was snowing in Cache Valley when we left and the clouds followed us until we pulled into my parent's driveway.
I am normally a stormy weather girl, but today, it pushed my limits. I needed sunshine and was met with gloom. It just so happened that the only music available to me during this short road trip was Karen Carpenter. Normally, I have a limit to the ooo's and aahhhh's and la la la's that I can take. But not so today. Her voice was like balm to my soul. I hit repeat on "On top of the world" at least seven times. I'm not kidding.
Why this sudden change? I mean, I like Karen Carpenter, I do, but I usually avoid the songs like, "Sing, sing a song" and the other campfire, folksy-type songs and move right to her deep, darker melodies. Today, however, I drank them in and by the time our three hour drive concluded, I figured out why.
It's my WIP. This book that I'm writing for NaNo, is depressing. It's heavy. It's number two in a series of three. I start out with drama and crisis and I end with drama and only slightly less crisis. It's dark (which I like, but I'm in serious danger of overdosing)and it's loaded with stress, heart ache and hopeless situations.
Can I just throw this question out to those of you in our friendly blog-0-sphere: How do you keep a dark, heavy book doable? Likable? Readable? I have a good light-hearted character in there, as well as a bit of humor where I can squeeze it in, but I'm being honest when I say that I could have driven around the block four more times just to here Karen sing, "Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eye and I, won't be surprised if it's a dream. (all together now) I'm on the, top of the world, looking down on creation and the only explanation I have found; is the love that I've found ever since you've been around, your love's put me at the top of the World!" I was aching for sunshine and love and happiness and birds singing in the air. My WIP is bringing me down, folks, and I'm afraid it just might sink the ship. :(
For a brief moment, I was on top of the world; I just don't know if I can transfer the Karen Carpenter warm fuzzies to my characters. What do you do to lighten it-up, propel the story forward, and bring a welcome ray of sunshine without spoiling the good, creepy, heart-wrenching darkness? Am I making any sense?