it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken
matociquala

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I walk on guilded splinters. I walk on pins and needles.


The storyteller's intelligence is partly natural, partly trained. It is composed of several qualities, most of which, in normal people, are signs of either immaturity or incivility: wit (a tendency to make irreverent connections); a refusal to believe what all sensible people know is true; mischievousness and childishness (an apparent lack of mental focus and serious life purpose, a fondness for daydreaming and telling pointless lies); a marked tendency toward excessive eating, drinking, chattering and a weird fascination with dirty jokes; a strange mixture of playfulness and embarrassing earnestness; patience like a cat's; a criminal streak of cunning; psychological instability; and finally, an inexplicable and incurable addiction to stories, written or oral, bad or good.

--John Gardner




Unless you are a writer of some hard experience, it is challenging to understand this basic contradiction: the more intense and disturbing the content of a scene, the harder it is to write the damned thing without making it unintentionally funny.

The reader's defense mechanisms really pink up close to the surface when you start hacking limbs off or raping people. And that's not the sort of thing that you want to have provoke snickers.

Orgasms are challenging that way too.

Progress notes for 5 June 2006:

"Orm the Beautiful"

New Words: 347
Total Words: 347
Pages: 2
Deadline: none
Reason for stopping: I should not be working on this short story. I should be working on that book.



"Les Innocents"

(Please note, I have two unfinished New Amsterdam stories already started. I do not need a third one.

This one will tie up the arc, though.)

New Words: 48
Total Words: 48
Pages: 1
Deadline: none
Reason for stopping: I should not be working on this short story. I should be working on that book.



Patience & Fortitude

New Words: 68
Total Words:  7746
Pages: 35
Deadline: none
Reason for stopping: I should not be working on this book. I should be working on that book.

...now he's admitting to his girlfriend that he's been getting sex tips from a lesbian.

I love this character. He is such a giant dork.



Undertow

New Words: 1900 
Total Words: (actual / ms)
58,821 / 67,750
Pages: 271
Deadline: August 1
Words per day to meet deadline: 566
Reason for stopping: end of scene. MUST SLEEP.



Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
58,821 / 100,000
(58.8%)


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
271 / 400
(67.8%)


Two thirds of a book!

OMG, we really are in the homestretch now.


Stimulants:  assam
Exercise:  Gym with ashacat, 90 minutes: weights, elliptical, rowing
Mail: I've been Thogged! What's really crushing to my poor underdeveloped ego is that I know there are far worse sentences in that book.

I find them every time I do a reading.

This is, alas, the reason why my draft manuscripts are spotted with highlighted text that when hovered, reveals comments such as "This is the worst paragraph in the history of paragraphs. Fix it."

It doesn't help.

Also, SF Signal feels metz-a-metz about Worldwired. 

Today's words Word don't know: doozy
Mean Things: Jean just saw the black helicopters
Books in progress: Martin Cruz Smith, Stallion Gate; Jay Lake, The Trial of Flowers
Other writing-related work: slushed, critted a chapter
Interesting tidbits: The Bride of Absolute Write: the reconstruction is under way.
The glamour!:Cut a bit of protein and some keratin off my left index finger while chopping lemon balm. Fortunately, I was using a just-honed Henckels knife, so it doesn't hurt a bit, but it was pretty gruesome for a few moments there.

Tags: progress notes, promethean age, qotd, short fiction, undertow
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