The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Monday, October 6, 2008

First off, here is one of the most striking illustrations I've ever seen of a spark flying between artist and the piece s/he's working on. This is a portrait by John Everett Millais of his teenage sister-in-law, Sophie Gray:

But to appreciate how clearly inspired and connected he was to this work (or to Sophie!?!), you have to see the companion piece he did of Sophie's younger sister Alice around the same time:

Yowsa. That is the difference between "feeling it" and "not feeling it."

No writing yesterday, and I know there won't be for the rest of the week at least. And then next week things have to change around here, so I don't know what's going to happen to writing time. However, I have been thinking about GNs, and my GN, and have been feeling more and more agitated and restricted about the whole thing.

I feel that the GN format fits this ms well because the storytelling isn't exactly linear; I mean, the main story is, but it's intercut with myths and there are scenes that take place far away from the MC or in the past when she wasn't there. PLUS--this is a biggie--this ms has never wanted to have traditionally set scenes. It has never even peeked over its shoulder in that direction. Which as far as I can see leaves me with either an experimental-format-type-ms, or a GN. I didn't want to do experimental format, because I was really wanting to make it accessible. There are things I want to say, and it would be nice if people were able to understand it.

However, I'm really feeling frustrated at the whole GN thing, because it brings the market and business and all that other stuff smack dab into the middle of my writing process. I'm not an artist, and I'm not that knowledgeable about comic format; I can only get so far on it without some kind of collaboration. But you can't get the collaboration unless you can get market interest in the ms (don't even get me started on the publishers' end of the GN market right now). And you can't get market interest in it till you make it good enough, and you can't make it good enough without collaboration. So there my ms sits, readable and interesting but just not quite up to the mark.

So I'm trying to think: What does the GN format do when it solves problems like non-linear intercuts? It gives the reader clues that they understand, letting them know that this is not part of the regular story. There's no blip at all for the reader, who knows the clues so well that s/he doesn't even have to stop and regroup, the way you sometimes have to when a non-linear novel shifts gears. That's where a non-linear novel loses readers, because sometimes they just give up. But in a GN, the clues are non-verbal, like maybe the color palette dims, or the framing changes, or the illustration style is different for the duration of the intercut.

So what I'm doing now is thinking how to do this in a novel: how can you tell the various story parts or put them on the page so that the reader knows some of it is in real-time, some of it is taking place far away, some of it is in the past--yet make it all fit and flow so that it doesn't drive the reader away in frustration?

And now, back to the tons of sh*t I have to do that have nothing to do with writing.

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