April 21st, 2006

bear by san

Why I like writing science fiction.

Come on. You are standing on a planet that has developed naturally occurring fission reactors and evolved multicellular life, and you're going to tell me that what I make up has to be plausible?

Honey, that was your first mistake.

I feel better now that I've remembered that, in the first hundred pages of any given novel, I always feel as if I'm wandering about windmilling my hands and having no clue what the hell I'm on about or how I'm going to cram everything I need to cram into the narrative.

The story-generating engine is pretty well trained, at this point. I should just get the hell out of its way and let it write the book.

This reminds me of the distant past, when I was trying to get sane, and part of that process was become hyperconscious and analytical about everything I did or said, considering my motives and reactions and so forth. Finally, my then-boyfriend said the most important thing to me that anybody had or has ever said. "You're not as crazy as you think you are."

Which triggered the realization that the self-training had started to take. It was very freeing.

Now, perhaps I need to understand that I have reached a point in my writing where I don't have to do everything consciously and through intellectualization anymore. Maybe I can relax, a little, and let the story tell itself.

Which would be good. Because really, I think I may be overthinking this novel.

Now if I can just figure out how to get all this plot, these necessary characters, the thematic elements I like, the worldbuilding, and the several shiny ideas into the same jigsaw puzzle, I may yet pull this thing off.

Also, books that one has not been thinking about for the past fifteen years are harder to write than books that one has been thinking about for the past fifteen years. My problem is, I get more fantasy ideas than I can actually write or sell, so they sit longer and get more cooking time and are thus easier to write when the time comes. But I could probably sell more SF than I get ideas for, and so they get written faster, which means I have to do the thinking and worldbuilding and plotting frontbrain instead of backbrain.

And that's like, you know, work.

Yesterday, at stillsostrange's journal, we learned that Emerson College is hell. (Go ahead and click on the location link if you don't believe me.)

Alien report: alien fragments coughed up smaller and less frequent today, but I still sound like Kermit with laryngitis.


bear by san

(no subject)

Progress notes for 21 April 2006:


New Words: 1635
Total Words: 8841
Pages: 43
Deadline: August 1
Reason for stopping: end of scene

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
8,841 / 100,000

Stimulants: This yummy Imperial Russian tea that kelliem sent me
Exercise: still recuperating, no exercise
Mail: nomail
Today's words Word don't know:  luminesced, steepled 
Words I'm surprised Word do know: n/a
Mean Things: Timothy's in trouble with his boss. Also, started two alien wars.
Tyop du jour: Gourami sank down into the calming mug and water (or) reflecting sprinters off the water.
Darling du jour: --strong A.I. is still fifteen years in the future, just as it has been for the last three hundred years.
Books in progress: Wendy Moore, The Knife Man; K.M. Briggs, The Anatomy of Puck
Interesting tidbit of the day: n/a 
Other writing-related work
: three crits
bear by san

I am friend to the Undertow

Well, I'm somewhat concerned that Timothy Closs and Moon Morrow sound a bit too much like Fred and Alberta; but really, colonial corporate overlords in a sticky situation have a limited range of responses. And I guess repeating a trope twice in fifteen books isn't too bad. (Closs isn't actually all that much like Fred. He's less charismatic, for one thing, and more moral. And Closs ain't nohow as funny as Fred.)

I'd just hate to start repeating myself already.

I want to do more with Novo Haven. I wonder if I can work up a good natural disaster to illustrate why everything is floating. I also want to demonstrate ranid biology a bit more, especially their reproductive cycle, because it's coooool. And I want to show off an old ranid.

Somehow, magically, in the last six pages, the novel started to gel. I have a broad idea of what the next three scenes are, which is good, and the foundations of all the major plots and mysteries on the page by the end of the third chapter. So now I get to start complicating, entangling, and raising the stakes.

At least I think I got through the shoals of the worst of the exposition in relatively good order.

And I should probably get somebody started solving the murder, shouldn't I? Gourami looks like se's nominating se-self for that job....

Hmm. It may, in fact, have just turned into a book. At least, I have things that are humming pleasantly in the back of my head. It's clicked, and it's starting to set roots and send out feelers and grow of its own accord.

I like it when that happens. That generally means I'll keep running on a good patch until 30K or so, when I hit The Dreaded Middle.
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