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, December 7, 2009

No writing of my own this weekend. I shouldn't be doing any of my own today, either--too many other things to do--but I'm gonna.

Finished Swordspoint, and I don't want to go back through it and pick at it. It's such a rare gift nowadays for me to read fiction and get caught up in it not only for pages, but through the whole book.* So I'm not going to go pick at it now, but if I get stuck on my own writing in the swordfighting ms, I might go back and examine parts.

I did notice one scene near the beginning that didn't seem to have much to do. Maybe if I went back and looked now, I'd see what its purpose was, but I don't want to. At the time I just thought, I don't know what this does, but I like it. It was short, just a brief page or so, in the moment with one of the characters who wasn't doing anything of import.

I also noticed that the POV could be from any given character at any given time. I probably could understand more about how or why if I went back and picked at it, but again, I don't want to.

So I've been thinking about all this, and although probably the story is really tightly plotted (I think Kushman writes plays, too--not sure and don't want to check right now) what I've decided to take from the book is to enjoy immersing myself in my ms and characters and not worry about whose story it is or when anything takes place or whether something matters to the story. And when I get to feeling doubtful about that or run out of steam, I'll think of something else to do.**

*Some books I've read or reread in the past few years that have made me read like the reader I used to be rather than the writer I've become:

Swordspoint and Privilege of the Sword
Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otari books, except for Harsh Cry of the Heron
The Harry Potter books
K.M. Peyton's The Right Hand Man
The Penderwicks
Megan Whalen Turner's books
Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel and Court Duel

I don't know what they all have in common. I'd say they all have intricate world-building, but then there's the Penderwicks. I can't say it's about some kind of perfection of craft because the Harry Potter books are a little rough, to my eyes. But I didn't care, I just blipped over any roughness in my eagerness to stay in the book.

Something to think about: there are several manga series that have caught me up like this. Must think why. Maybe it's because the pictures carry so much of the story that I don't have a chance to get hung up on the words?

**Hopefully get back to the former GN ms. I was determined not to set any goals with it, and then of course within a week or two after saying that, I told my agent I thought I'd have a working draft by Jan., and would agent be willing to take a look? "Sure," said agent. And sure enough I bogged down shortly after and came to a stuttering halt on the ms. Maybe some day I'll learn not to say stuff like that, but at after this many years I'm not counting on it.

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