For one reason or another (and another, really), it seems I may be posting here more often.
I have to get away from FB. I was doing some serious and kind of difficult processing, partly about the writing, and it certainly seems as if my writing has gone to the suck in large part because of FB. FB is such a skinner box, even more so than LJ and email. I could play with it for hours, and have done so.
And my writing? Pfft....
Those in the know always say that when one manuscript is making the rounds of editors, work on another. I've been half-heartedly poking at one or two with a stick. I had been working on Book 2 of the Horses of Achilles trilogy, but since a certain rejection I have been looking at other projects. I thought NaNoWriMo would be a big kick in the keister, but it really hasn't been, due to family stuff and due to my own wretched lack of discipline. So out of all the things I have going on, it seems the Book of Face has to go. Maybe just for now, maybe forever, but certainly I have to kick it to the curb.
1. Go to page 77 (or 7th) of your current ms 2. Go to line 7 3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
On the bed rested an alloy box. Sealed against moisture, dust, chemicals. Keyed to my thumbprint alone. On my way out I picked it up. For four years it had remained locked. Perhaps tonight I would open it.
When I walked into the Ximenez’ reception room, the door whispered shut behind me. No archaic slamming here. And yet suddenly I found myself the focus of perhaps twenty, thirty pairs of eyes. Tiresomely gorgeous men and women, some swathed in violent splashes of color, others in drear blacks and greys. Perhaps fifteen people I recognized, even a couple of Second Wave mates sharing a dish of hummus. Next to Moira stood the all-important food import coordinator.
I'm feeling a bit better than I was earlier in the week as this morning I was able to cap a chapter that I'd been reworking the end of.
The writing has been so very hard. I sit in front of the screen, and it seems as if my words have all fled me. It's incredibly distressing.
It's been suggested to me that I work on something else. I do have a couple of something elses I could work on, including a story that was inspired last year by the Blaschka invertebrate models. It has to do with glass, and tactility, and prejudice, and altruism. I really want to write it, but I'm a little afraid. So in order to combat that fear I'm going to plot it out as hard as I can. That should be a learning experience in and of itself. It seems every time I sit down to write a story, I'm trying something new.
What about you folks? What's your experience of plotting been? What's worked for you? And what totally needed to be pitched over the side?
I am currently bashing my brains out on the keyboard over revising a particular scene. So far I've been researching how humans manifest extreme pain (don't do a google image search for that one, let me tell ya), and fun fun fun weapons of the future that are not slug throwers. You know all those cool laser guns and plasma rifles of your beloved space operas and other variants of SF? Not as easy as one might think to make them happen. Right now what we have available needs to be carried around on a truck. And is like a rilly rilly hot flashlight. Researching less-lethal weapons is a lot easier.
Did you know caltrops are still in use? Wicked things.
A couple of people have advised me to employ handwavium, but I have a very hard time doing that. I have to understand what's going on. So biology, geology, etc. in SF is easy for me; physics and chemstry is super duper hard. But I do my best. That's part of the beauty of getting involved in science fiction; and I'm afraid for you, O my Reader, that my delight in infodumps with regards to scientific processes may show up in my writing. Sorry, and all that.
Current Mood: working
Current Music:Robert Plant, "Tie Dye on the Highway"
So yeah, I've written the book--and now I'm in revisions. Sneaking in a couple of character-enhancing scenes.
My agent, who is just as nice as anything to work with, says (more or less): "This is good; and this is great! But how about making this character more (adjective here)?"
"Yeah, terrific idea!"
And then apparently I forget how to write. All the sentences are constructed exactly the same--two clauses joined by one conjunction. All beginning with a third person pronoun. No, I can't do this because it makes her character look weak. No, I can't do that because, well, it's physically impossible. If I do the other thing, I have completely lost sympathy for X, Y, and Z. Wait--should I use seize or snatch? Should she be suspended, or should she be hanging? Why are there eleven present participles in this paragraph? Could this situaiton not be resolved with a punch to the groin? Can I block this scene out with SpouseMan? No, because it'll put him in the hospital.
And on, and on.
Current Mood: frustrated
Current Music:Francesco Geminiani - "Concerto Grosso N2"
Having picked the final datum From the universe And fixed it in its column, Named the causes of infinity, Performed the calculus Of the imaginary i, it seems
The body aches To come too, To the light, Transmit the grace of gravity, Express in its own algebra The symmetries of awe and fear, The shudder up the spine, The knowing passing like a cool wind That leaves the nape hairs leaping.