I’m spending the day with Joanna Lockwood. Who’s that, you ask? Well, she’s a very central character in my WIP, but I seem to have forgotten that fact. I’ve been so caught up in her adorable teenaged son, Andy, and her aching-for-a-father daughter, (now named) Maggie, that I’ve been giving poor Joanna short shrift. It occurred to me this week that by opening the book in Andy’s point of view, the reader might not realize this is a woman’s story, first and foremost. How to fix? That’s what I’ve been struggling with in the back of my mind while goofing off with company for the past couple of days. Andy’s chapter is so strong and has such a grabber that I don’t want to lose it. Yet, I need to start with Joanna. So my idea as of this morning is to give Joanna some brief journal entries from the time when Andy was a baby and Joanna was in rehab. I’ll open with one of those entries.
 But I then realized I don’t truly know who she was back then except for the emotionless words  I’ve used to describe her in outline form. To resolve the problem, I’m hanging out with her today. Or rather, I’m hanging out with the Joanna who existed in 1992. Right now we’re going to the furniture store because I’m STILL searching for a coffee table or big ottoman. I know she’s going to want a drink. Or maybe she only drinks in secret? Hmm. I have much to learn about her–and then I have to relay what I learn to my readers in a way that makes them understand why she is the way she is without losing sympathy for her. And wouldn’t it be great if I could find a coffee table in the process?

5 Comments

  1. Brenda on October 15, 2006 at 5:59 pm

    Glad you had a good day with Joanna.
    I spent l0 hours at the lap top working on a research design model about Vietnam War, doing an Ethics Model, writing an essay about Women’s Lib, and doing a Matrix on the 60’s-90’s Women’s ISSUES…whew…none of it really great…
    I love the name MAGGIE–of course. My third granddaughter is Margaret Rose and some of the family calls her Maggie…she is beautiful.
    I can’t wait to read this book.
    B

  2. Brenda on October 15, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    Forget the coffee table-just something to look pretty and dust (I have two)…the ottoman sounds great to me.
    As to Joanna-good that you are opening the book with her. I have to say that when a book (other than Nicholas Sparks) starts with a man’s viewpoint, I am tempted to pass-don’t know why…I’ll try to do better.

  3. Margo on October 16, 2006 at 10:18 am

    I know I’m going to love this book no matter who’s viewpoint comes first but I like the idea of reading Joanna’s journal entries first…as far as the coffee table, I still like the idea of marble…when I’m ready to re-decorate that’s what I’m going for!…LOVE the name ‘Maggie’ which was the name of 1 of my fav Kim Novak movies…

  4. Guntha on April 16, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Did you know that the Name of your character is the Shared with an Australian actress, the Daughter of Johhny Lockwood, Another Australian acting legend, Joanna was a very popular actress during the late seventies early eighties on Australian Television, she played several roles around this time but the one she will always be remembered for is the Role of Valerie Johnson on the Police drama come soap opera – Cop shop. I had a massive crush on her as a young boy and found your page while searching for her, and thought you might be interested to know. best regards Guntha.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on April 16, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Guntha,
    Very interesting! I ended up changing Joanna’s name to Laurel, but not because I knew about the actress. I’m sure there are some Laurel Lockwoods someplace too. There are only so many names to go around. Hope you were able to track her down.

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