Monday, September 13, 2004
Dark of the Moon
Sunny and warm
I’m overtired and exhausted. I pushed myself yesterday. Angel Hunt: I revised issues 52, 53, 54, & 55 and sent them off. I wrote, revised and sent issues 56, 57 & 58. I broke down the upcoming week’s deadlines into segments I think I can actually do. But I’m overwhelmed anyway, and not sure how I can get it all done.
I felt I was floundering a bit in the overall vision of Angel Hunt. So I sat down to do both a character plot and a character list.
The Character Plot is a spreadsheet with the names of the characters running down the left column, and then the episode numbers running across. Whenever the character appears, I put an “X” in the column. It’s similar to plotting out a call sheet for a production, in that I’m tracking who is where when. It helps me see the overall flow, and whether or not I’ve lost track of a character who’s needed to push the story forward, or if I’ve forgotten someone. For instance, Niall and his subplot have been pushed aside for too many issues, and I need to bring him forward again, in order to raise Lianna’s stakes. By looking at my Character Plot, I can see just how far away I’ve veered from him, and work to bring the story back around.
The Character List is just that – each character’s name listed, with a paragraph or more (in the case of the leads) about them. This way, I can jot down details that may turn into helpful plot points later. I’ve dropped some hints in character details early on, but without finding the scraps of paper on which I’ve jotted down the story arcs, I might lose the importance without putting them onto the list.
I don’t do detailed Character Charts or Personality Profiles before I start my first draft. They work for many writers, but don’t work for me. During the first draft, I want the process of getting acquainted with my character. If I know everything about the character before I start, I stop listening to the character and try to make the story do what I want instead of letting it evolve in the best interests of the piece.
A thread on one of the boards upset me enormously today. I tried to craft a reasonable and well-thought out response when what I wanted to do was fly off the handle. Hopefully, I showed enough respect for the differing position while still demanding respect for my own. I don’t mind different opinions. What I do mind is ignorance being trotted out as fact because Mrs. Smith down the road claims to know what she’s talking about. It all goes back to fact-checking. Certain things, however, are difficult to check.
Well, the Chiron Retrograde is interesting. My soul’s purpose is certainly testing me. Hopefully, I’m rising to it – otherwise the upcoming Saturn Retrograde is just going to finish me off.
On the agenda for today are two more chapters of Angel Hunt, two of Cutthroat Charlotte, and two of Widow’s Chamber. I don’t like flipping around that much, but it’s the only way I can get things done. I also need to finish the press releases.
My front hallway smells better, but the building still smells like a swamp.
I’m hoping for the best for those in the path of Hurricane Ivan. I wish there was something one could do to dissipate a storm – like fly into it and sprinkle something that will quiet it. Maybe someday?
Or maybe Nature just needs to remind us occasionally who’s really in charge.
I feel about as inspired as wilted lettuce today. It’ll be one of those days when I have to rely on craft rather than creativity.