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bear by san

March 2017



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rengeek fucking silence

fear finds its place in you. the water will take you.

So I've got bread in the robot, two racks of ribs on the grill (doing the real four-hour slow cooking with regular applications of soaked apple wood; probably driving the neighbors to riot by now.) doused in Moroccan spices, and soon I'm going to start brown and wild rice and roast up some red peppers. September is not the cruellest month.

My brain-cleansing has ended. Really, I should have ended it yesterday, but climbing was more seductive, and anyway we got to see peregrines out at the crag. So now the dog and I are sitting out on the porch watching the grill. We're both hard at work: I'm going over the first 3/4th of Range of Ghosts to push it into shape so it can bear the weight of the ending, and he's making sure no squirrel or dove enters the boundaries of his domain.

The reason I'm talking to you now is because I've paused in my progress on page 27, where the first draft consists of half a scene and the note to myself to find some bit of business to put here that establishes a secondary character as charming and charismatic, and now I need to figure out what bit of business that is. Maybe I'll borrow something from the Sol Todd playbook. (Probably not the bit about the Argentinian Racehorse, though.)

So I'm blogging while I think.

It's a nice thing that at this point in my career I have enough command of my craft to look at a scene that's not pulling its weight and have an idea of exactly what it is I need to do to fix it. The what, I mean--obviously, I'm still working on the how. Or I would be doing it, rather than nattering on about doing it. That's the difference between craft and art, I guess--once upon a time I would have known something was missing, but not what or how to fix it. Now I know all of those things, but I still have to wait for the old right-brain to kick up the magic.

In the meantime, I guess I'll go have a fiddle with the draft on the grill, because I think the fire's a little too slow.


Mmmm, sounds delicious.

I'm looking forward to Range of Ghosts -- 64 sacred colors of horses!
"I guess I'll go have a fiddle with the draft on the grill..."

And burn a few pages?

(Nice switch in meanings for "draft".)
Maybe I'll borrow something from the Sol Todd playbook.

Beware; rumor has it that Todd walks away with any scene you give him. Even if the horses in question aren't Argentinian.

I guess I'll go have a fiddle with the draft on the grill

You put the draft on the grill? Noooooooooooo!

Oh, wait. That's the grill draft, not the Range draft; for a moment there, I thought you were fiddling while the Eternal City Sky burned. Never mind.
I love reading your craft stuff. Were you ever at a point where you could SEE how other (better) authors accomplished something, but couldn't figure out how to do it yourself? Because lately I've been analyzing storytelling like an analyzing thing, and I can see a lot of the framework behind the set dressing, but I can't figure out how to build the damn thing myself. It's been making me crazy.
Hell, I still do that.
I find that both encouraging and discouraging. ;) What's your way past it? Trial and error? More analysis? Sacrifices to the gods?
Write it as best you can.
Thank you. Seriously. Especially for being one of the writers I analyze. :)
Hey. Seriously, we learn by failing.