Anybody out there using IM at work? What do you use it for? Is it "sanctioned" by the powers that be in your organization? If yes, are your IMs archived for FOI/DOJ/SEC type purposes? And, generally, what are your thoughts on IM in the workplace?
Well, I'm on page 22 of "Lumiere," and trying to decide if I should do that this morning after I play guitar, or go to the gym. (I only have time for one today, as I'm being a pickup truck for arcaedia this afternoon. Kung Fu Tse say, woman with pickup truck never buy own lunch, nor be bored on weekends.) Still, I've gotten everybody to Paris, by roundabout routes, and established motivations, and the actual plot can start. I'm going to have to figure out if there actually is a !Tesla character in this thing, and exactly what I'm doing with him.
Alas, I can't shake the feeling that this is all very contrived, which may be, after all, because it is. Storytelling is contrivance. One just attempts to hide the strings. Well, usually. Sometimes watching the strings move is part of the play.
I've been under some pressure for a while now to explain myself more in my novel length work, and I can't shake the feeling that all that exposition may not be the best idea. I've gotten quite good at exposition (if I do say so myself) and half the trick of it is just to stride in with confidence and to be interested in what you are talking about. But you know, I'm not sure making all the backstory and worldbuilding very plain is always the best choice.
It's an odd tension--most things in art are tension, I find, sliding scales, situations where you can have X or you can have Y. Accessibility and transparency are virtues. But you know, too much of that and I become profoundly bored, both as a writer and as a reader, more importantly. I think it's more fun for the reader if the narrative has implications which she can fill herself, deduce the answers to, play around with. I don't care to be told what character motivations are. I care to deduce them, as I would when dealing with real people.
On the fall of the other shoe, however, one doesn't wish to be obscure for its own sake. Specifically, there is a place where the act of coloring in the narrative is a satisfying part of reading it, but the the narrative has enough flesh and bones and sinew to carry itself. And there is a place where one is hand-held and bored to tears, and a place where one is hopelessly confused. The tricky bit is, of course, that those lines are different for every reader. One man's painfully obvious is another man's obscure.
It is something of a dilemma.
I think my learning curve is flattening off, finally. I haven't had a major revelation with regard to craft in quite some time, though I still occasionally figure out little bitty tricks and things. I can't say it's unpleasant: pushing one's limits all the time is hard. I mean, I hope I will continue to improve, and I plan to keep working at it. But I can't be too upset that I'm no longe finishing each book a noticeably better writer than when I started. Because that made matching the bits a trifle hard.
I am getting better at this guitar thing, at least. I can play most of "City of New Orleans" in G (the B flats elude me. As well they might, so right now I'm just skipping over them--which makes "and the sons of engineers" sound a little funny, but what are you gonna do?) and I've figured out that if I swap out the A flat for a straight A I can play all of "Seven." And really, who can tell the difference? Especially given how sloppily I chord.
Also, I can play "Jingle Bells." And a really hypersimplified version of "When The Saints Go Marching In." And the wedding march.
With that in my musical arsenal, I think I'm prepared for any eventuality.
Now I just have to learn how to strum. *g* And, you know, the notes on three more strings....