March 31st, 2008

writing whiskey wicked faerie

if you can't dig on esther, you turn and leave town

First things first: I do not get a kickback for this, but--

For those of you who are, like me, wicked faerie apologists, F-Bod Studios offers new authorized Kelpie schwag. For the maneating pony in your life.

That's an old photo, from when Whiskey was still wearing the Black Stallion guise (by which he's better-known in folklore).



There's a nice thing about having this much of a manuscript written. Which is that, as long as I keep exceeding my quota by a little bit every day, every day the quota I need to exceed gets a little smaller.

It would be more thrilling if I weren't feeling quite so burned out on the whole process. Even characters I know and like--Tristen, Benedick, Caitlin, Gavin, Mallory--people who have been in my head for years--are turning in lackadaisical performances, and I'm having a hard time feeling them and just knowing what they would do or say in any given situation. And the words, right now, just lie there on the page, without insight or spark or beauty. Or tension.

Well, if I can't feel my way through it, I shall simply have to think my way through it. This is, after all, the reason why I've spent thirty years learning this craft: so I have it to work with when the art part is being recalcitrant.

It's no fun writing like this. It's work, and hard work.

The funny thing is, when you go back and read it six months or a year later, you can't tell the difference between the bits you slogged through, cursing every word, and the bits that came out as if Odin himself was feeding you the lines. (300 ccs Mead of Poetry P.O! STAT!)

I wonder what it is that my backbrain is working on so hard that it's got me flailing away without any sense of strength or balance or narrative control, and has been working on for so long? Usually, conscious incompetence a sign that the subconsious is preoccupied with working through some knotty problem of narrative or craftsmanship, and is making the conscious brain do all the heavy lifting that usually gets handled by the guys in the back room, while they stand around looking at the thing on the floor, cocking their heads, and saying, "Well, what do we do with that?"

Whatever it is, I'd like it to get on with it. This thrashing and hating is boring, and I am ready to start my long pathetic slide into complacency and mediocrity now. Especially if it means I might have fun with writing again.

(Well, I'm still having fun with Shadow Unit, mostly, although "Overkill" kicked my everloving ass and I'm still not sure I'm ready to face the revisions. But that's okay, because first I have to get a draft of this damned novel. Right? Right.)

In other news, the page proofs for Hell & Earth landed today. If you love me, and ever want to read Promethean Age #5, by the way, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pre-order Ink & Steel and its fraternal twin, because I'm out of contract and the early orders will of course have an influence on whether Roc picks up the fifth one in the series.

Also, I was paid for a short story I'm not allowed to talk about yet, which is nice, so I paid off my credit card. Life as a freelance artist is the opposite of how everybody else lives: instead of saving up for things, we put them off as long as possible, or buy them on credit and then pay it off all at once when the money finally comes in. The trick is, of course, to actually pay off the debt when the money comes in, rather than letting it pile up to the sky.

Getting paid in large chunks every six months or so is an interesting way to live.

Secrets to living by your wits #275: do not carry debt.

Well, I have student loans, but what are you gonna do about that? Fork over the cash every month, that's what.

And now, back to the unrelenting toil.
writing dust rengeek shakespeare

'til I burn up. 'til I burn up.

Progress notes for 31 March 2008

Chill:

New words: 1920
Microsoft wordcount: 51764
Manuscript wordcount: 61000
Deadline: May 1
Mammalian assistance: The cat might learn that loving me very much when she wants wet food is a bad way to get it, especially since that's the only time she ever gives me sugar at all.
Reason for stopping: Time to go climb.





Darling du jour: "And have you kept your conscience, Sir Tristen?"
Tyop du jour: violent-blue
Jury-rigging: Tristen is in Scary Danger. Finally, some peril.

This book needs more scary danger on the next draft. Maybe I can add some lighting effects and creaky foleys.

There's always one more quirk in the character:  Aw, Tristen. Poor you. Poor your angst.

Today's words Word don't know:  cookstoves, tailtip, nevermind, shadowless, kinslaughter,
Sustenance: bean burritos
Mean Things: inherent nobility
Other writing-related work: I did not open the page proofs. Maybe tonight when I get home.

Exercise: none
Miles to Lothlorien: 248.5
Guitar practice: none. maybe tonight
Mail: page proofs!