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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

ETA Oh, forgot to mention. Figured out talking with Steve, Kit, and Ann last night why I was having such a wrestling match with Carnival. And the sad part is I figured this out once before and forgot it.

My three main characters are a diplomat, a spy, and a political officer. And they all have something to hide--from themselves, their governments, their friends, and each other. I tend to remember that Michelangelo is frictionless, because he's so frictionless. He's practically a null space on the damned page; he doesn't even tell himself what he's thinking.

The problem is that my usual method of writing, which is very kinetic (method writing, Steve calls it), involved getting into the character's head and emoting through a scene with him. It's kinetic writing. I feel what the character feels, and know what he's going to do on a cellular reptile brain kind of level.

Doesn't work with these guys. They won't tell me a damned thing.

Which is also why I'm having to wait for people like leahbobet, cpolk, katallen, and truepenny, who do close-reading explicatory style reader-reaction crits to tell me what the heck the characters are thinking. Because they are apparently thinking stuff.

They just don't see fit to pass it along to their damn author.

Stubborn slow-moving story.

Progress notes for 31 July 2005:

"Something Dreaming Game"

New Words: 740
Total Words: 2,610
Pages: 12

Reason for stopping: Work
Mammalian Assistance: Marlowe came and slept on my chest last night
Stimulants: A Stone pale ale (last night, not this morning. lushes.)
Exercise: four hours of jawing with friends in the living room. *g*
Mail:  SF Crow's Nest thinks Scardown is a little too action-packed. Plot in an SF novel. What will they think of next?

katallen blames it on me being influenced by too much Farscape. And I cannot argue with the critique--this book is less tightly focused on Jenny. Moral of the story for aspiring writers: if you have a strong central character and lean less heavily on him/her in one installment, people will hate it. I think Steve got this in one of the Vlad novels, too. Which is not to say that Jenny isn't *in* the book. But the range of the novel is a lot wider than Hammered.

I could have put in more filler scenes with Jenny and stretched it out to two novels, of course. If I knew how to write filler scenes....

(Of course, it's the one in the series that I like best. Figures. Ah well, he's really going to hate Whiskey & Water.)

Today's words Word don't know: 
Words I'm surprised Word do know: n/a
Tyop du jour: the fireman hooks his feet in the runs of the ladder and hauls
Darling du jour: The Ken doll didn't jump hard enough. He falls short of the ladder, and the miniature fireman lunges frantically to catch him.
Books in progress, but not at all quickly: China Miéville, Iron Council; Richard Overy, Russia's War: A History of the Soviet War Effort, 1941-1945; Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Interesting research tidbits of the day: n/a
Other writing-related work: n/a


Scardown is slowly moving up the queue. :Grin:

So how DO you chisel into the thoughts of your trio in Carnival?

So how DO you chisel into the thoughts of your trio in Carnival?

Uh, dunno. Watch this space? :-D
I realized Scardown was less Jenny, but you also expanded the cast of characters. As you always switched among POV, with more people there is going to be less Jenny. Although I enjoy spending time with Jenny, it was neat to find out more about the others.

With Hammered I felt that I was reading mostly for Jenny (except for the last 10%), as the plot wasn't that compelling for me until the end. With Scardown there was not quite as much time with any one character, which resulted in the characters being slightly less compeling... but, oh, the plot! And the characters were a pretty nift bunch. Can't wait to see what you did with Worldwired. :)
So people who identified more with Jenny and her 1P narration in the first book might get a jar that it isn't as central to the second, and blame that on "too many plots, too many other people."

Well, which is pretty much what I wanted. She *is* an unreliable narrator. Which I think a 1POV narrator *has* to be, unless he's (a) God or (b) Mary Due, and the universe really does revolve around him.


I really like reading your analyses of my work. And other people's too, frankly.
Okay, I wanna read the story with that Darling.

send me an email addy and you're on.
Hey, it's not your fault that reviewer has a one-tiered mind. If you can't keep up, drop out of the race.
You didn't write the same book twice. Silly you.
It's an ongoing problem.
And the sad part is I figured this out once before and forgot it.

This is the thing I find so twisty about writing--that you can figure something out with one project and forget about it on the next. There must be something in there about brain compartmentalization, but I'll be damned if I know what.
Speaking as the reviewer, it wasn't that I didn't enjoy Scardown. It's just I felt that for the amount of story - there was a lot more plot this time round than in Hammered - it needed to be a little longer. At 368 pages, it's only *checks books* 44 pages longer than the first book but there's a lot more going on this time round. I still enjoyed reading Scardown, but I think pacewise, for the amount of plot in it, it would have been better clocking in around 450. But that's just me.

Tomas L. Martin
Hey! Thanks for stopping by! And thank you for reading--and reviewing.

My publisher only gave me 110K, and I was right up against it. Actually, the sequence in the middle of the book with the trip to the raptor rehab center *almost* got cut due to length issues (because it's not strictly necessary to the *plot*, but fortunately--to my mind--got kept, because I think it's necessary character development, and the emotional impact of the ending is stronger with those pages in.
Heh. Too much plot AND not enough plot. Whatever is an author to do? ;-)
You can't please etc etc.

basically, I just write the books I have to write as best I can. There's not much more to do than that, and I do give every one my best effort.

I can't work with what I don't have--either in terms of skills or materials.
It's kinetic writing. I feel what the character feels, and know what he's going to do on a cellular reptile brain kind of level.

So that's what it's called! *happy dances* I'd never thought to look for a name for the way I write, since everyone I speak to about writing tells me that I'm weird. Thank-you, Bear!
Steve Brust says he writes that way too.

So, no, not weird.
Weird. I'm writing a story in which something is compared to a Ken doll.