writing rengeek magpie mind

November 2014

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twain & tesla

every heart to love will come, but like a refugee

Progress notes for 10 March 2008

It's helpful to reduce my expectations of perfection. As my critical and editorial acumen has expanded, I've gotten into this mode where I am evaluating each sentence as if it were a line in a poem; scouring out all needless words, trying to make it balance like a spinning plate. I want them all to do work (establish character, move the action forward, worldbuild, increase or resolve tension, and illuminate theme). While being beautiful. And accessible.

This is a laudable goal. We call it lapidary prose. It's a goal, writing like that.

It's also not something I need to be worrying about on a first draft, when I am trying to figure out what the hell the story is. And that's part of what's been paralyzing me.

Just sit and spin the tale, Bear. Worry about that other stuff later.

It bothers me in that I feel like the prose I've been spinning lately (in Undertow and Carnival, in particular, though not quite so much in Dust) is very plain and doesn't hold a lot of tension. But you know, I may not always be the best judge of such things. And comment seems positive.

I'm not looking for frilly prose, mind you. There's a difference between purple and evocative. But the sound of the words, the flow of the language, the emotions it evoke are very important to me. And sometimes lately I feel like I'm not doing that very well anymore. But shut up and write the story, Bear.


Chill:

New words: 766
Total words: 15808
Deadline: April 15
Mammalian assistance: none
Reason for stopping: quota, after five hours of working, and I have to go to the post office soon.





Darling du jour: "Carry me."
Tyop du jour: cleverkness, the bores of her skin
Jury-rigging: n/a
There's always one more quirk in the character:  n/a

Other writing-related work: post office, figured out something cool for "Ballistic" in the car yesterday
Exercise: none
Miles to Lothlorien: 254.4
Guitar practice: none, because I suck and it took me five freaking hours to write three pages.
Mail:  some, but it's secret.

Today's words Word don't know:   none
Words I'm Surprised Word Do Know: none
Sustenance:  leftover tom kha
Mean Things: disambiguation
The Internet is Full of Things: Not today, it isn't.

Comments

Even lapidaries have to choose the raw stones and make many cutting and polishing passes before a jewel emerges. The fact that it's not beautiful on the first pass doesn't mean that it won't be by the time you're done.

You knew that, of course. But it sounded like you could use the reminder :)