Thursday, June 1, 2006
Cloudy and Humid
Today is, potentially D-Day. Destiny Day. When the Situation gets even worse.
The morning glories have already come up. I hope they grow well and will blossom later this summer.
Yesterday was an excellent writing day. 14 pages on Real. They’re done in Rome and are now working in Prague. I’d like to have a mere chapter in Prague to wind up this section of the book, because more major changes come for the characters in Tahiti and then back in the studio in England. I’m writing the Prague scenes as I think of them, but, looking at them, I think I want to reorder them. There’s a rhythm I want, and something I want to build like music between the scenes.
Also worked on two short stories, which was fun. They’re actually quite short – I wrote them for the exercises, and, although I shouldn’t be revising yet, I am. They’re demanding attention. But it gives me more meat for next Wednesday’s column. Had a breakthrough on another story written for the exercise – something that wasn’t working at all, I figured out how to fix. That’s always a relief.
Worked on the column for The Literary Athlete – it’s going at a good clip, but needs more work.
Made some more notes on the treasure hunt piece. I’ve got the set up. Now, I need to work out the details of the treasure and the points of the hunt, and the end. And then, I can figure out the middle. In order for this to work, it has to be plot-perfect. Plot is my biggest bugaboo – hence, this challenge is exactly what I need to progress. It’s also taking on a hint of magical realism, which more and more of my work deals with lately.
I’m using some of the tips in Elizabeth George’s and Terry Brooks’s books. However, Ms. George’s preparation is so structured that it makes me feel like I can’t breathe, much less create. It’s a case of very different processes, especially when it comes to character. I like the way she researches her settings, though, with the photographs and the notes. That’s very similar, although I think I stretch geography and insert houses or streets or whatever into existing geography more than she does.
Wrote a few pages on the ghost story. I love it. I still need a title, but the piece itself surprises me, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, in the best possible way. My female protagonist’s name is Caitlin. I wanted to change her name to Verity, because I thought of great title, but she stubbornly refuses.
“Verity will work better for the story,” I pleaded.
“My name is Caitlin,” she responded. “Now shut up before you join the others on Boot Hill.”
So I guess her name is Caitlin.
Nate needs to get in there and calm her down, but he says it’s not time yet.
But he does have a few surprises in store for her.
Also – hop on to JA Konrath’s blog (linked to the right) – he put up a six-sentence challenge for a continuing story. I thought it was fun and jumped in, although my six sentences are a supreme example of why I never let anyone read first drafts. But hey, this is supposed to fun, right?
I’m going to take a break from one of the forums I frequent. I don’t hop on it that much anyway – maybe once or twice a week. But there are only about three published writers on it, and too many spoiled brat newbies. There’s nothing wrong with starting out and having questions. But the whining, demands, and manipulation of some of these people is just too much. I’m sick of people who claim they want to be writers, but refuse to make the time, aren’t willing to put in the work, and try to manipulate responses to questions. Stop being a spoiled brat amateur and LISTEN! It doesn’t mean they have to do what’s advised. Simply listen and see what might work. Don’t tell someone who’s got ten times the credits you know more, because, bluntly, you don’t. That’s why I’m published and you’re not. I work my butt off and listen, even when it’s something I don’t want to hear. Because there are plenty of people who know more than I do, and I want to learn from them, in turn. There’s a difference between a genuine question and an attempt at ego massage. There’s a difference between a genuine question and trying to get someone else to do the work for you. (Yes, this is the same forum about which I raved a few weeks ago, where the chickie comes in and tries to get other people to do her work for her – she calls it brainstorming, but, in reality, she wants other people to give her their ideas because she’s too damned lazy to do the work). Don’t ask the question unless you genuinely want the answer. And don’t argue with the answer because it’s not the one you tried to manipulate. Passive aggressive behavior does not work in this field. That’s different than simply having a different point of view. I’ll miss the people I like, but there are too many annoying people for me to deal with right now.
Line through that name, right? Not worth taking the time to respond to those who keep up that pattern of behavior.
I checked in at another forum I used to frequent about two years ago and left, just to see what the atmosphere over there was. Just as snarky and vicious as ever. Glad I’m gone.
I know I’m getting older because my work is getting quoted in other people’s work! :) My mentee quoted me in her seminar paper, which was quite lovely. I’m glad something I had to say worked in the context she needed. And, a few months ago, I picked up a book and found myself quoted from another article! Properly sourced and all that, but I wish I’d known! Now, I have to figure out how to list in the CV, which is in the process of a major overhaul.
I’d like today to be quiet, not traumatic. I’m still under the weather, although it’s mostly a cough at this point. I want to write a lot without interruption.
And I’ve made a few other decisions that need to go into effect.