March 7th, 2008

writing dust bible 'house of dust"

everything is fine. higher mathematics of the mind.

Oh, silly me.

Of course.

What this book needs is giant man-eating plants. And villain POV. And giant space squids.

And a dragon.

And a gonzo attitude.

Right. I forgot for a couple of months that what I was writing here was the literary equivalent of those early 80's fantasy novels with, you know, flaming Clydesdales and bone-sucking web monsters in them. Only without so much awfulness. At least, I hope.

Silly Bear.

Dunno what I was thinking.

More coffee, please?
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Quest for inspiration!

Okay, guys. I have an assignment for you.

Please, if you've read it and liked it, tell me what you thought was cool or touching or fun or interesting about Dust, and why.

Because since I have no gut on Chill, no sense of the shape the book should have, I'm trying to figure out why the first book was successful for the people it was successful for. And if I can't feel my way through it, maybe I can intellectualize my way through it.

Comment thread may contain spoilers, right?


I think another problem I'm having is that I was trying to limit the book to three points of view, as I did Dust, and that's not really working out. Because rather than two colocated ingenues working toward a goal without really having an idea of the larger picture, I have a widely scattered uneasy alliance of cynical old bastards working towards a goal without really having an idea of the larger picture. I have come up with a pretty cool structural inversion that I want to see if I can pull off. That will be fun if it works.

So I think I need at least 5 POVs, and possibly 6--two primary ones and three or four secondaries.

Right. Silly bear. Borrowing a different narrative convention means borrowing a different set of structural tools. The Interminable Quest Fantasy Novel structure is not the same as the Get The Bad Guy structure. And you knew that, didn't you? But you were in a hurry and wanted to write another book just like the last one, only different.

And of course, that is a trick you never mastered.

writing gorey earbrass unspeakable horro

enoch begat uruk begat nineveh begat babylon begat sodom begat jericho begat cairo begat port said

Progress notes for 7 March 2008


New words: 2076 (Don't get excited. 776 of those are actual narrative. The rest were accomplished by pasting in big chunks of the Talmud, Wikipedia, Thomas Hobbes, and the KJV. However, since much of that will be epigraph, it counts as wordcount. But I know what happens next, and tomorrow and Sunday and Monday and Tuesday I really need to have Focus.)
Total words: 12,964
Deadline: April 15
Mammalian assistance: The cat now seems to be working on a trick where she flops down by my leg, cranes her head back, and lectures me extravagantly.
Reason for stopping: It's 10:41 at night. And I hit quota. More tomorrow.

Darling du jour: I hate it all. But it's written.
Tyop du jour: whatever held its intention (that should be *attention*)
Jury-rigging: Finding places to put more POVs.

Other writing-related work: none
Exercise: There was climbing Wednesday. I onsighted a new 5.6, which is not really all that impressive, but hey, you take what you can get. And while I flamed out badly on a 5.7 I've actually done three times before, I got higher on it without dogging on the rope than I ever have before. I also did a new 5.5 (mostly for the exercise) and tried a new 5.7 (no luck.) And two on the slab wall--an easy one I mostly just do to remind myself that there are things I *can* do, and a harder route I just cannot get the last move on, though I have now failed in two completely different ways. Yesterday, ashacat and I went for a long walk. Today, there was calisthenics.
Miles to Lothlorien: 254.4
Guitar practice: none. SHAME ON ME.
Mail: I can has bound galley of Escapement! Thank you, jaylake!

Today's words Word don't know:  microlamps, sonographic, noncritical, shipwide, djinn, whuffled, hypersaturation, maneating, Sarracenia,
Words I'm Surprised Word Do Know: n/a
Sustenance: popcorn
Mean Things: Filial devotion. Daddy issues. Are they so very different, after all?
The Internet is Full of Things: 80s music as charts.