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.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Still putting in a few minutes here and there on the WIP. For three days I've slowly worked on grounding a plotty scene that's been sitting there in raw pieces for a long time. I'm doing the roughest of rough grounding--like where everybody is and what's going on physically--and I get so bored that I keep jumping up and walking off to take care of something else. However, day after day I've been forcing myself to stick with it for my 15-20 minutes, so I can get down that first solid layer of the scene.

I'm almost through this first rough pass, so soon it will at least be all one piece.

Last night as I knitted two bits of dialog together I noticed that one character's comment would completely knock my MC for a loop. I sat there and looked at the gap between the two lines of dialog, trying to think what would go there--just some kind of emotional marker to be replaced later with something sturdier and more carefully thought out. But I came up totally blank. I looked at the situation, and couldn't for the life of me think how to get across the stunned feeling my MC was hit with.* Finally I just put down:


which is slightly pathetic, but at least it's still a step up from pieces of unknitted dialog scattered all over the page.

Anyway, I don't feel too bad, because I keep remembering that w-f-h piece where I started figuring out this whole idea of "layering," and also the fight scene from this WIP that was so boring to work through, mechanics-wise, but that people seemed to get into when they read or heard it. I know by now there's a good chance that, although the first few layers are an excruciating drag to write, the scene will probably start perking up after I get it grounded and the characters start to enter into it more.

*I can't stand the thought of writing "stunned" as a placeholder here. "Stunned" is exactly what the MC is, but it's so smoothly generic a tag that I can't afford to stick it in there now, because that might allow me to ignore the gap and not pay attention to it. If I'm going to use "stunned," it will need to be chosen and placed,** not tossed off and then forgotten about since it more or less fits the bill.

**"chosen and placed" means I need to play around with sentence structure, paragraphing, and also think deeply about how it really feels when you get this kind of news, like physically, and also what it does to your perceptions of what's around you (what are you noticing as you feel that way?). I cannot afford to stick in f*cking "stunned" just because it's easiest right now. Sloppy writing is a slippery slope.