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, October 13, 2009

Slowly working my way along, getting the early portion of the ms into first draft shape. I think I'm getting a workable spin on this section (or maybe not, but we'll hope). It seems to be in a good order, and now I'm trying to shape it so it says something and isn't just a buncha pretty words. Now I'm on the last page of it (the section) and am struggling to tie it up with strength and with an idea that can move forward. What do I want the reader to "get" from this part and take with them to the next?

Unrelated thought: I was looking at a textbook about atoms and molecules (against my will; I care not one whit about atoms and molecules), and as I was trying to understand what the book was saying about electrons and octet rules and ionic something-or-others (bonds? I think it was ionic bonds)*, I realized that these people--the ones who write books about atoms and molecules--are just trying to describe what's already there. They're just picking matter apart mentally so they can understand how things work. When they understand how the molecules trade electrons and such, they can then understand how wee little cells get food and energy, and then they can understand how larger beings function. And that's kind of what writing is. You can pick apart how the meanings and the sounds of the words add up to create something larger, and how the phrases and sentences and punctuation and white space add up to create something even bigger and more complicated, and so on through paragraphs, scenes, chapters, etc. But you don't have to pick all that apart; you could just go by gut and not understand any of it. Just like you can eat and breathe and feed your cat and never know a thing in the world about ionic bonds.

OTOH, there aren't reviewers and critics in your house judging you on how you eat a bag of potato chips. And you aren't asking people to pay you for eating potato chips, either. So perhaps it behooves writers to think about what they're doing, at least a little.

*I forgot all this right after I understood it, so if you see me don't bother asking me about it, because I don't know.

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