Will somebody please explain to my writerbrain that I am writing a genre thriller here, one half planetary romance and one-half caper novel, and not only does it not need to be the First Great Novel of the Twenty-First Century, but this is a first draft, and that spending half an hour fussing over each sentence and worrying about making the prose, plot, characterization, absolutely taut and shiny and perfect is somewhat counterproductive?
Christ, Bear. I realize that you want to write really, really good books. And you do know a fair amount about writing, now. But you do not have to use every ounce of it now.
I'm trying to get myself into the habit of using the comment function to leave myself a note to go back and fix something (frex, when I notice myself sticking a second-order cliche into a sentence and can't immediately come up with something better, or when some minor point of motivation eludes me) rather than staring at it for half an hour while wishing I smoked cigarettes.
The problem also arises when I find myself going this is all internalization and it sucks, where's the action, where's the momentum, Bear? Because somehow my brain has gotten hung up on show don't tell--in excess, judging by how much exposition and internalization my editors made me go back and put into both Carnival and Whiskey and Water.
(No, I'm not looking for advice on how to handle this, thanks; I know exactly what I'm doing and why. It's just a problem of making myself not do it, because I've written two books in this state and it gets old. I've become, in other words, like the centipede who has to think about how it walks. So I find myself saying things like "I suppose this massive chunk of internalization would be less noticeable if I grounded it in some worldbuilding." And it gets tiring thinking so damned much alla time.)
I've also come to the painful conclusion that I will have to go back and put characters in this book when it's done, rather than the caricatures I have in here now.
This is conscious competence. Do you suppose it ever ends?
Today's problem: figuring out what !Karen Silkwood learned that got her killed.
Progress notes for 29 April 2006:
New Words: 2064 (I remember when this was an average day, rather than a really, really good one.)
Total Words: 18,352 (I could hit 20K and 100 pages tomorrow if I was butch.)
Deadline: August 1
Reason for stopping: wrist hurts, also, I want to watch Doctor Who.
18,359 / 100,000
Stimulants: seltzer, Blue Lady tea
Exercise: none. Maybe Gothercise later.
Mail: a short story anthology sale that I think I'm not allowed to talk about yet.
Today's words Word don't know: spiderweb, landward
Words I'm surprised Word do know: n/a
Mean Things: Andre is stuck in a skiff and a hail storm is coming.
Tyop du jour: what little breeze there was brew the voices across the water, just beneath the oft brown water
Darling du jour: The wind died as he passed through the next belt of reed, and now he smelled the storm.
Books in progress: Wendy Moore, The Knife Man;
Interesting tidbit of the day: via riba_rambles, An Uncompromising Vision of Snack Time
sartorias wants your opinions on fictional matrimony
Other writing-related work: n/a