February 12th, 2008

writing softcore nerdporn _ heres_luck

sometimes i live in the country. sometimes i live in the town.

I'm trying to grow a book in my head. Which is in some ways a fun and interesting thing to do, and in other ways is immensely frustrating. As as I was putting around the apartment today, wallowing in tom kha and ginger tea, nursing my headcold, ity occurred to me that in some ways what I'm doing is trying to build a relationship.

I need to fall in love. I need to find the cool in this book, the whee!, the sensawunda, and wrap my head around it and internalize it and get excited about it. I need to get to know Tristen and Caitlin better, get appropriately crushed out on them so I don't mind spending months in their exclusive company and so I have fun following them around and makign up cool exciting things for them to do. Because if the story isn't wonderful fun play, nobody else is going to want to read it either--especially when so much of the ethos of the Jacob's Ladder books is come with me, I have something fun to show you.

And once I have that love affair started, I need to start thinking about ways to work these characters around so what they're doing, and what's happening to them, hits my narrative kinks. So that it's the kind of stuff that gives me chills to write about, or catapults me out of the shower grabbing for an eyeliner pencil so I can scrawl notes on the bathtub tiles. (It works great. *g* Try it.) I need death or glory stands, and battles against impossible odds, and bravery in the face of the inevitable, and terrible choices, and all that stuff that makes stories good for me. And they have to grow organically out of the characters, and out of the situation they're in.

And they need to make me happy and excited and a little nervous that maybe this time I've gone too far over the top, because if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

I am starting to have some ideas, which is comforting.

I just need a whole bunch more.

So if you want us, me and my cold will be on the couch, reading stacks of Scientific Americans and thinking really loud.