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.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
1. narration (just outright tell it)
2. have characters bring it out in dialog
3. in scene, as flashback
3. in scene, but go back and make it part of the regular story in real-time order (no longer a flashback).
How to tell which one? This is a problem because sometimes the past info is presented properly, it's just not in the right place in the story. Maybe look at how clunky it feels? Also look at how much emotional engagement it requires from the reader? How much space does it need--how much story interruption is too much?
Friday, February 27, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
I need to get a grip. Maybe the thing to do is spend more time checking up on myself as I work, and not delve into the character's head for lengthy periods.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I'm also wondering if first person present is more along the lines of what they're looking for. I would slit my wrists before I'd let anybody tell me how to approach my own from-the-ground up stuff, but w-f-h is a different compartment. The w-f-h compartment allows compromise. It has different goals; the object is to end up with a piece of writing that fills a preconceived need. In the w-f-h compartment, somebody else sets the parameters. I may push the parameters or bend or break them, and of course I have to figure out my own way to approach them--but I know that I don't have final say over anything. In my own private WIP compartment, I do it my way or I don't do it at all. There is no compromise; all my obligations are to the ms itself, and to the characters.
So anyway, I guess I'll try this out in both voices/styles and see which one seems to read better for this particular need.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I did have a little blip of a thought re. the MC for the Night Road sequel. I have no idea why that would pop into my head, out of all the things I've got to get done or want to get done. That ms isn't anywhere close to being worked on. It's, like, four or five books down the list. It's not connected to anything I'm working on or hope to work on. Still, it was a nice surprise to have even the thinnest of creative thoughts pop out on its own instead of me trying to pry it out during a specified time slot.
Today I am going to try to work on the w-f-h sample, which should have been finished last week. I'm going to set a goal of having it done by the end of the weekend. Along with a couple of other things.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I may be seeing a pattern; last time I tutored (several years ago) I reached a point where I sort of stopped writing, or only wrote sporadically. Tutoring is not the same as teaching (I don't know how any teachers can also be writers, although I know some are); teaching takes up some of the same parts of your brain and uses some of the same creative energy. Tutoring doesn't involve creating lesson plans, generally. But once again with (part time) tutoring I seem be reaching overload, where the back of my head is not working on writing during downtime. Like, sometimes in the early morning right before and as I'm waking up my mind flits over writing problems. But now it's flitting over numbers. Just numbers, not even anything interesting about them.
And then today I was trying to talk to some writer friends about characterization, and suddenly I looked at what I was doing:
I think part of the trouble I have sometimes is that there are too many variables:
1. the way I perceive my character
2. the way I think I'm presenting him (what I'm showing, what I'm dwelling on)
3. the way I'm really presenting him (things in #2 that I am doing but don't notice, or that are out of balance)
4. the way other people perceive him
Of course, in #4 everybody brings their own baggage along, so they may see the character differently. But when #1 and #4 are not anywhere near being in sync, I guess that means something's wrong in #2 and #3.
I am starting to think of writing in terms of middle school math problems, breaking it down into steps and numbering them and referring to them by number. I don't know if this is necessarily bad, but I'm thinking it's not good.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Plus, looks like I'm getting another student to tutor, so that makes five. Nope, no time to think about my own stuff.
Not that these other projects aren't mine. It's just that I can't hurl myself into them and wallow around for ages the way I do with my own from-the-ground-up novels. The wallowing is actually most of the fun, and I for one can't wallow properly when the bottom-line reason I'm writing is to win somebody else's approval.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
I have an opportunity to send a sample/audition for a project that will be very time-consuming, but that will also pay well, so I have to get that done; I'll say within two weeks. But first I need to look at the project description and figure out what questions I have about it, and that will take time and also require some background reading (I've already started that). But I'm betting that I shouldn't discuss this project here, so I will try not to.
I sent the first pages of the new version of the swordfighting ms to a writer friend, who says it does read differently from the old version--of course it is different because the scenes are not the same in any way, but WF says it also has a different feel to it. I was curious as to whether the difference I feel as I write is coming out on paper, and apparently it is.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Kind of busy here again, but I plan to get some writing in today. It's just that other things will have to be set aside to do it; things which probably shouldn't be set aside. Still, I do plan to write today. Yesterday I ended up pulling pieces from all over the (latest) earlier version and fitting them into a new chapter in this version. It all feels like it's working, or will work once it's revised and cleaned up.
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- note to self re. backstory
- No writing of any kind. I did think about a writer...
- This sample/audition is giving me a hard time. I t...
- I have a voice for this sample, but now I'm wonder...
- No writing of any kind for the past few days. Ther...
- Slowly proceeding on w-f-h. I have a voice/style I...
- No writing, no writing, no writing. I think I can ...
- No writing of my own--all w-f-h, tutoring, family ...
- No writing of any kind yesterday; today I did a li...
- No writing today, and no thinking about it. Got a ...
- No writing today, of course. No time to even think...
- Okay, what I've decided to do is put my own writin...
- Did a very little bit of writing today. My time wa...
- Today I worked on getting characters from point A ...
- Yesterday I looked at what I had and jotted a very...
- January (32)