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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No writing yesterday. Brief respite from w-f-h today while they sort out specs on their end. I worked on part of Menelaus, and of course after taking a couple of days off I had to get my mind back into gear. While doing so I noticed that I've got a lot of work ahead of me because the first section has got waaaay too much stuff in it. This Menelaus section has specific, clear points to make, and in comparison I can feel how that first section slides into self-indulgent, bordering-on-trivial blah and fogs out. I am going to have to put on the heavy gloves and do some serious, merciless pruning. I'm going to have to stop thinking about all the things I want to get in there, or have been getting in there, and just look at what needs to be there. What has a purpose, what moves the story forward. I suspect that if I can clear everything I've already written out of my mind and truly look at what is there, I will end up cutting things I've always assumed were integral to the story. I suspect there are other ways to make the same points more cleanly and quickly and without adding extraneous baggage that must be explained and dealt with.

It's going to be a challenge. I never did figure out how to get the hemes on the road quicker in NR. They should have been out the door much sooner. I got that moved up as much as I could in the story, but there was just no way to put any more of the earlier info later, as far as I could see. I tried moving it around, and it just didn't work--it didn't make sense. So the beginning is a little slow for people who open the book expecting vampire-y action and death and attacks in the night. Those people probably quickly give up trying to read the book. I challenge them to figure out how to get everybody on the road quicker without messing up the world-building, the establishment of character, and the necessary backstory.*

But this WIP...I think this WIP will be snappier than it is now if I can manage to drop the selfish writer bit and figure out what is best for the ms. Not what I want to do with it, or what I like dwelling on, but how the story needs to be told, in order for me to do right by it.

*But if they do figure it out, I don't want to know about it. I'm not one of those writers who appreciates a post-mortem of my published book. I'm one of those writers who thinks that if you go up to writers telling them what you think is wrong about a book that is a done deal and completely out of their hands, you should probably be hurled off the nearest cliff. I don't tell you that your baby is ugly and you should have mated with a different genetic partner, and give you examples of the traits you should have been more aware of during your mating process.

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