Jan. 1st, 2010 11:28 pm
Quite a nice date.

I am re-learning how to write secondary characters. That is a problem I've been struggling with (and knew that I struggled with) for the past year. Somewhere along the way, though, I found a loose thread, and now I intend to keep tugging on it.

I am also re-learning how to write scenes with more than 2 characters. I used to write scenes with hundreds...well, at least a dozen characters. Sooper dooper long scenes, lots of words, lots of characters...not so much on the Happenings.

I think I will be happy to have this book come in under 200k, at this point. Then I'll cut cut cut cut cut Act I into 2-3 chapters, and Acts II and Acts III can have the bulk of the word count.*

Now I must go resurrect a zombie and write a Goodbye Letter.

*No, I'm not nuts. I just don't think Act I is very interesting, but I need to write it. It'll be good practice if nothing else, and then I can hope Act II and Act III will be better.


Nov. 28th, 2009 10:31 pm
Nadia has given me a possible partial solution to the problem of Form.

It's actually something I've experimented with, for the current novel, actually. I would say it was a failure in terms of content generated, but perhaps not so much in terms of structure. 

Writing at this pace has been good for me. I have less of the bipolar ups and downs. Or rather, it's in a much less compressed time-scale. That's worth something, at least. 


Writing fiction is serious business. It demands nothing less than everything you’ve got to give: your blood, sweat, heart and soul; your time; your ego. You expose yourself in your work and again when you show your work. It deserves to be taken seriously, and yet somehow we have to find a way to treat it lightly, hold it lightly, so it doesn’t slip away from us.

I have been meaning to write this post for awhile now, but the fabulous Justine Musk gave me a little push. 

I am not nearly as eloquent as Justine.

For me, it has simply been a case of gaining a little perspective on my work, and in particular, how I approach it.

I wanted to stop and think. That's why I chose such a long time for my hiatus, 2.5 months. Perhaps, subconsciously I also knew that is how long The Pathmaker had been in my head before I wrote down the first word.

Taking that route has made me more objective. I have fewer 'I am a sucky writer' days. True, I believe I haven't had enough practice to be anything but a sucky writer, but you know, it doesn't make me suicidal/depressed or kick the vicious cycle in either.

On the craft side, it has given me a measure of restraint I didn't use to have, both in the stylistic and the 'OMG, this is so bad and it has to go Right Now' sense. Now, I have the mental space to consider 'Is this where I think the story is going, or just where my writing preferences are leading me to?'

When I am not in the grip of 'create or die,' as Justine puts it, I feel freer. I am freer, not just to do whatever I want, but to create. And isn't that exactly the point?

Because I cannot resist turning every WIP into an experiment with goal: Make M a Better Writer.

Why? Why not? 

With -- and goodness knows I hate this title but I haven't come up with a better one yet -- The Pathmaker, I'm going to make it stick to what happens in my head.

I'm not going to let the writing take it where it will. That is, I'm not going to let voice/style/ability dictate what happens in my stories.

If it wanders off-track, I'll drag it back to what I've already visualized in my head, by hook or by crook. People always say that if it wanders off-track, that's okay.

But since I haven't finished something yet, I've decided that it's within the acceptable bounds of probability to say that it doesn't work for me. And that's all that matters: me.

Now I just have to figure out whether I want to keep the whole scenes that I'm going to cut.

*mutters* I really really don't want to have to cut this scene!



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