April 20th, 2006

bear by san

(no subject)

I have reached the portion of the cold where my body attempts to expel the foreign matter clogging its various cavities and interfaces as aggressively as possible. Dear netcurmudgeon and ashacat, do not expect me at archery tonight.

We will all be happier if I stay home on the sofa with the aliens in my lungs today.

There are a bunch of new people (that I'm aware of) watching this blog. I just want to say Hi, and feel free to introduce yourselves and join the discussion. I do not generally friend people back, and I cannot possibly answer all comments. This is not reflection on you; it has far more to do with the limits of my ability to manage information and time.

I should note that I talk about writing a lot in this blog. I can only talk about my experience and how it works for me, and part of that experience is that the whole process is quite slippery and subjective and works very like a Zen koan; part of writing, for me, is the ability to hold mutually contradictory ideas in one's head all at the same time. Also, it's a series of approximations, and there are always exceptions. And people will disagree. (So far this week I have disagreed with a lot of people who are better writers than I am. I expect in six months I will come to understand how I am wrong-headed.) 

There are no rules; there is only what works.

I've been thinking about POV. Specifically, writing books from a single limited POV (first or third--or even second, I suppose), and how it restricts the narrative. It shifts the focus from what happens, and why it happens, and how it happens, to who it happens to. That's very interesting, that is. It's also kind of necessarily a more subjective experience, reading and writing, because there's less opportunity to question or undermine the narrative as it's presented to the reader and as it occurs to the character. You get the point of view without parallax.

That's something I would not have understood before I learned how to write in omniscient.

Thank a random deity, while the epiphanies keep coming, they are about smaller and smaller details of craft these days. I think that means the learning parabola has hit a point of diminishing marginal returns.

I hope I shall keep getting better at this gig. I also am not upset to be apparently getting better at it more slowly than before.
bear by san

Follow the money

Bureaucracy in action: American cities are competing for limited federal anti-terrorism money. Las Vegas is among cities annoyed at having been left off a Committee of Public Safety Department of Homeland Security list of most at-risk American cities, and claims this is because of inaccuracies in reporting that fail to report the existence Vegas' nearby military bases and convention centers.

It actually doe$n't $urprise me at all; La$ Vega$' inferiority complex i$ $o $evere that it would prefer to be bombed than thought in$ignificant. Or lo$e out.

bear by san

(no subject)

How is it that my apartment continues to get dirtier when nobody is in it and all the windows are closed?

NB: I never mind when people disagree with me, or comment negatively on my work, or my blogging habits, but please don't do it anonymously. That annoys the hell out of me.

Anything somebody can't say to my face, I don't want to hear. And I will turn off anonymous commenting if it continues. Which will only annoy the people who don't have an lj ID and do sign their posts.

I mean, I probably won't have much of a response if you really dislike something I do, other than, "Sorry it wasn't to your taste, please feel free to do better or to avail yourself of the work of another writer," because I am over here doing my best and falling on my face as honestly as I know how, and there are very few ways to politely answer public criticism--but I am always happy to answer honest questions.

Progress notes for 20 April 2006:


New Words: 1024
Total Words: 7,206
Pages: 36
Deadline: August 1
Reason for stopping: Spooks break

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
7,206 / 100,000

Stimulants: chamomile and Red Zinger tea.
Exercise: still recuperating, no exercise
Mail: nomail
Today's words Word don't know:  eeled, unaugmented
Words I'm surprised Word do know: n/a
Mean Things: 'splosions. air pressure change. ear poppy ow!
Tyop du jour: n/a
Darling du jour:

"It could have been a nuke."

"My eyes hadn't melted."

Books in progress:
Wendy Moore, The Knife Man; K.M. Briggs, The Anatomy of Puck
Interesting tidbit of the day: truepenny on Omit needless words! Omit needless words! Omit needless words! Exactly. Here's an old post of mine on writing koans. And a post on unpacking "show, don't tell."
Other writing-related work: Finished the Chains galleys last night