July 31st, 2005

bear by san

(no subject)

ETA Oh, forgot to mention. Figured out talking with Steve, Kit, and Ann last night why I was having such a wrestling match with Carnival. And the sad part is I figured this out once before and forgot it.

My three main characters are a diplomat, a spy, and a political officer. And they all have something to hide--from themselves, their governments, their friends, and each other. I tend to remember that Michelangelo is frictionless, because he's so frictionless. He's practically a null space on the damned page; he doesn't even tell himself what he's thinking.

The problem is that my usual method of writing, which is very kinetic (method writing, Steve calls it), involved getting into the character's head and emoting through a scene with him. It's kinetic writing. I feel what the character feels, and know what he's going to do on a cellular reptile brain kind of level.

Doesn't work with these guys. They won't tell me a damned thing.

Which is also why I'm having to wait for people like leahbobet, cpolk, katallen, and truepenny, who do close-reading explicatory style reader-reaction crits to tell me what the heck the characters are thinking. Because they are apparently thinking stuff.

They just don't see fit to pass it along to their damn author.



Stubborn slow-moving story.

Progress notes for 31 July 2005:

"Something Dreaming Game"

New Words: 740
Total Words: 2,610
Pages: 12

Reason for stopping: Work
Mammalian Assistance: Marlowe came and slept on my chest last night
Stimulants: A Stone pale ale (last night, not this morning. lushes.)
Exercise: four hours of jawing with friends in the living room. *g*
Mail:  SF Crow's Nest thinks Scardown is a little too action-packed. Plot in an SF novel. What will they think of next?

katallen blames it on me being influenced by too much Farscape. And I cannot argue with the critique--this book is less tightly focused on Jenny. Moral of the story for aspiring writers: if you have a strong central character and lean less heavily on him/her in one installment, people will hate it. I think Steve got this in one of the Vlad novels, too. Which is not to say that Jenny isn't *in* the book. But the range of the novel is a lot wider than Hammered.

I could have put in more filler scenes with Jenny and stretched it out to two novels, of course. If I knew how to write filler scenes....

(Of course, it's the one in the series that I like best. Figures. Ah well, he's really going to hate Whiskey & Water.)

Today's words Word don't know: 
ideations
Words I'm surprised Word do know: n/a
Tyop du jour: the fireman hooks his feet in the runs of the ladder and hauls
Darling du jour: The Ken doll didn't jump hard enough. He falls short of the ladder, and the miniature fireman lunges frantically to catch him.
Books in progress, but not at all quickly: China Miéville, Iron Council; Richard Overy, Russia's War: A History of the Soviet War Effort, 1941-1945; Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Interesting research tidbits of the day: n/a
Other writing-related work: n/a
bear by san

gabba gabba we accept you

I see a bunch of new faces in the friends box on semagic. Please do feel free to say hi, introduce yourselves, comment, or whatever. I do read all the comments, though I don't always respond unless I have something to add or argue, and I am interested in all of you.

If I haven't friended you back it's because I'm at my limit for this account, and every time I friend somebody I have to unfriend something else. But I almost never post locked entries anyway (and frankly, I am lousy at keeping up with reading the massive friends list on this thing) and when I do post something locked it's mostly pointless spam. So don't feel left out or unwelcome.

Say hi!
bear by san

sacrifice to my hand so this mouth can be fed

Progress notes for 1 August 2005:

"Something Dreaming Game"

New Words: 2,630
Total Words: 5,750
Pages: 23
Reason for stopping: DONE! With the draft anyway.
Mammalian Assistance: nolove
Stimulants: chai
Exercise: I was going to gothercise, but the draft got the better of me:
Mail: big mail day:

Ellen Datlow at SCIFICTION wants "Long Cold Day," the infamous pool-playing Hounds of Tindalos story. I've now sold her something that doesn't take place in Las Vegas. w00t!

 Reflection's Edge review of Scardown. " Scardown's gaffes are so few that I can list them all here:"

Still not Litrachur, alas, but that's one of the more unequivocally good reviews I've gotten. (Although I'm still insanely pleased with the Mumpsimus's "...like a juggler who is also a magician..." I think I want that on my tombstone.)

To quibble a bit, though, actually, where I grew up, the saying is "almost only counts in horse-shoes and hand grenades." Such are the vagaries of regional dialect.

Although yeah, my characters are wrong a lot. About history, and other things. That, I'll grant in a heartbeat. (There's an entire scene at the end of Worldwired that consists of Jenny and Riel being wrong at each other. And just to amuse myself totally, it's the "Clarissa Explains It All" denouement scene. Jenny's wrong more often than Riel is, though.)

And to complete the theme, here's the article on intrigue that I wrote for Reflection's Edge this month. (And now I understand why they asked for that article in particular. There was a plan!)

Today's words Word don't know:  firetruck, hypnagogic, hypoxia, staffer, squinched, palp 
Words I'm surprised Word do know: n/a
Tyop du jour: worse coffee, this, from the staff room pot, lightened with artificial creamer and too sweat because that was the only way it was drinkable (or) psichiatry (that last actually sounds like something you might *do,* in the right sort of novel.) (or) a quantum computer ship
Darling du jour: "I'll talk to her. If asking nicely doesn't work, there's always extortion."
Books in progress, but not at all quickly: China Miéville, Iron Council; Richard Overy, Russia's War: A History of the Soviet War Effort, 1941-1945; Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Interesting research tidbits of the day: rescue breathing refresher
Other writing-related work:  I have a plan. This is the plan. Now that "The Something Dreaming Game" is finished, I write the other short story I need to write, "Lucifugous," and the other article I promised RE (one on writing older and otherwise nontrad characters) by August 10th. From August 10th through the 16th, I am working mad overtime at the dayjob. During that week, I will not try to write.

On August 18th, though, I am getting into gear on Carnival and I am coming back with my manuscript or on it. It's only 60K, after all. I should be able to put that away in a couple of months if I push. Heck, if I can get 2K a day, I can do it by the end of September.

There. Plan. Hold me to it.

And so to bed.