Monday, August 08, 2005

Monday, August 8, 2005
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Hot and sticky

The weather’s been relentless. I am so looking forward to fall!

Finished the horse racing article last night and got it off. Played with a few other things, but nothing concrete. It’s just as important to have “writing play time” as “writing work time”. Not everything has to have a purpose that’s immediately apparent. Sometimes the purpose is just to have fun. Verbal sandcastles, so to speak.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the serials and my Serial Avoidance Syndrome. One thing I did yesterday was to take the first five episodes of The Widow’s Chamber and put them together as though they were the single chapter of the novel. Because the serial format is so different from manuscript format, and it has to hit very definite points in a very definite rhythm, it would need a good bit of rewriting to make it a smooth chapter. However, there’s a crispness to those early episodes that I’ve somehow lost, and I want to get back. They were very focused – and I also had much more time to work on them and polish them.

I believe it would be frustrating and detrimental to both projects to rework Widow’s Chamber into a novel while I’m still trying to write the end of the serial. However, I do think I can get back some of the pace and the drive of those early issues as I go towards the end. I’ve enjoyed the tangents a bit too much, and there are definitely places within the text where I’ve vamped to stretch the episode because it didn’t make sense to make a scene switch or meter switch within an episode; but, when it’s in novel format, I can.

And I will cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, CUT, and add in a good deal more relevant detail. I’m going to go from broad brush strokes that tell a story (very much in the spirit of something like The Perils of Pauline) to much more detailed and focused work. Sort of like the difference between painting a house and painting a miniature portrait. Right now, I'm a house painter.

The Widow’s Chamber will take the longest to rewrite of all of the serials. But, ultimately, it will be worth it, because I’ve created an ensemble of characters that I can use to track the growth, change, and turmoil of several decades of American History.

I’m fighting to keep up with the serials, and I’m so tired of it that as soon as I’m even with a current deadline, I stop. What I need to do is continue to do steady work, getting even farther ahead of where I need to be, so that I can wrap them up for myself in the next couple of months, even as they’re running longer.

Basically, I do approximately 2000 words per day (although I can do as much as 7000 if I have to, but it just about kills me). Six days per week – I rarely write much on Tuesdays, my regular day at the show. That’s 12,000 words per week.

If I wasn’t constantly scrambling with the serials and doing 12,000 words per week of focused work, I would be a lot closer to my long term goals.

That’s something else to take into consideration as I reassess this year’s GDRs, see where I’ve evolved, and project towards next year.

The thing with goals is that, if we set a goal and then find it no longer fits our lives and wants, we need to allow ourselves to get rid of it. Growth doesn’t always follow a rigid plan.

The biggest lesson I learned this year is to remain open to new possibilities, and not use “the plan” to stifle creative impulse.

“The plan” is there to support the creative impulse, and when it stops doing so, it’s time to reassess “the plan”.

Which is pretty much where I am right now, which is as it should be.

The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project
The Place and Space Journal Project

The Widow’s Chamber
Angel Hunt
Cutthroat Charlotte

For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.


At 10:13 AM, Blogger Lara said...

Good for you, Devon! Wow. 12 thousand words per week...if only I could be that focused...



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