March 29, 2004
Lisa 1, Exposition 0
I'll start with the easier of the two journal entries I'm planning on writing today... the retreat this weekend was its usual mix of insanely productive and productively insane. I rewrote almost two chapters of The Exile's Daughter and found my momentum again. While today hasn't been quite as productive, I wrestled with a strong bit of exposition, and I think I won. At the very least, I beat it into submission.
I also got to read about two-thirds of the novel that Mer has been working on feverishly. Aside from being entertaining as hell, it reminded me that I used to write a lot of fairly poetic prose, and I haven't done it much lately. I don't think there's much of anything poetic in Exile, but I have to grudgingly concede that it's too action-y to allow for much poetry. Beautiful flowing prose would be out of place. But now I want to write something as pretty as it is functional. Hrm. Not going to be room for much poetry in False Light either, I think.
My goals for the year include writing another novel first draft, but now I'm wavering as to which one it should be. I think after Exile I should possibly step back from bang-pow action and I should definitely not write Exile's sequel. Maybe I'll rework Sword in the Mound. Or, quite possibly, something else will ambush me between now and the time I'm ready to start working on a new novel.
I double checked, and I am now officially farther along in this rewrite than I ever got with my attempt at rewriting The Host. Score one for me. (Although, I'm still tempted to cannibalize bits of The Host for short story material.)
Listening:"In the Midnight Hour" -- The Commitments / "Superunknown" -- Soundgarden (yay, random play)
March 24, 2004
Chapter two, finished!
In an insane burst of productivity, I rewrote all of the first draft of Chapter Two this morning. There's a scene I'm thinking about adding to the end of the chapter, but all of the actual rewriting is finished. Things are smoothing out, I think. I've definitely made one of the characters stronger--in fact, I'm a little concerned that I've overdone it with her, but that's what third drafts are for, right?
The best part is that I felt focused again. I wasn't jumping all over the place every time something got tricky or hard. If I can maintain that, I'll be thrilled.
Sad, but true
Write Club was a marvelous thing last night. I managed to get past the scene that's been making baby Jesus cry, and actually did a fair amount of rewriting. I'm poking my way through this rewrite, mostly because I'm not mustering enough discipline to keep working on it. I've gotten sidetracked lately with the employment search and the housing search--both very important things, but neither things that require quite as much energy as I've been throwing at them. I mean, it's not like I'm DOING either thing during my writing time. No, instead, I've usually been worrying about them, or just generally thinking about them, during my writing time. And that needs to stop.
So yes. Huge step forward at Write Club last night, and I feel prepared to make another step this morning. We're also having a spur of the moment writers' retreat this weekend, so I expect the drive to work to continue. Wow. Maybe I'll finish Chapter freaking Two here soon. :P
March 18, 2004
How to tell you're a spec fic writer:
You manage to FILL one of Word's custom dictionaries, mostly with various made-up character names, place names, and RPG terminology.
(No, I'm not rewriting right now, unfortunately. However, I am working on a freelance editing--mostly copyediting--project, and enjoying it immensely. I'd forgotten how much I like this.)
March 10, 2004
It's another closed door morning around here. There's so much going on around here lately (in addition to my increasingly frantic job search, we're considering buying a place) that it just felt necessary to try and shut it out. And it's funny, I could feel the difference in the room as soon as the door clicked closed. I felt peaceful, immediately.
Now let's see if I can feel productive too.
"Requiem aeterna" from Mozart's Requiem--Berlin Philharmonic
March 09, 2004
Today has been interesting. I haven't made much progress in terms of actual word count, but instead I went back and rewrote a scene from the perspective of a different character, and what do you know. I think the scene works MUCH better this way.
I also had a small worldbuilding revelation. (Actually, it might not be that small.) Bear with me if it's obvious to everybody else--in truth, I think it was unconsciously obvious to me, it was just nice to have it float to surface consciousness.
I was thinking about how my sidhe in Exile view death, then thought "Oh! I should make sure it's clear that although they don't age or get sick, they can die by other means."
Then I realized I already had, without spelling it out in exposition. Alex's father is sidhe. He died. Alex, although she is naturally angry and grieving, isn't baffled or confused or shocked that a sidhe would die. It's accepted as a fact of life because of how the characters react to it, rather than because I stuck it in exposition somewhere: "Okay, sidhe don't age, but they can die."
I don't know what to call this technique, although I'm sure someone else has already coined a term for it (in fact, I've read about it before). It makes me wonder what other aspects of my world I've presented this way--and more importantly, it makes me wonder what exposition I can go back and cut in order to present the information this way.
Gods, the more I write (and rewrite), the more I realize just how much I still have to learn. I'm still planning to use Exile to agent hunt, but I swear, if I get an agent because of it, it's going to be because the agent saw some potential in me, not because of my mad writing skillz.
March 08, 2004
Not bad for a Monday
1200 words rewritten on Exile this morning, including the complete restructuring of 1.2 and 1.3 into the same scene, cut down and reworked. Alex's personality is showing a little more. She's a little more proactive. She's a LOT more angry. She's also awake in my head again, whee! I might wrap up Chapter 1 today if I don't get buried in the minutiae of job hunting.
And also, I forgot post about my new toy, which arrived on Friday. Unable to replace or repair my laptop, but desperate for some way to affordably work somewhere other than my desk, I stumbled across this. So far, it is nigh perfect for my needs. I have no idea why the Pocket PC phase is passing, cause I love this thing. I'm untethered from my desk! Woo!
March 04, 2004
Ha-ha, I'm so funny!
Yeah, me and my "ooh, I'm going to finish Chapter 1 today" crap yesterday. RIGHT!
Grar. I've spent the entire day today trying to wrestle Chapter 1, Scene 2 and Chapter 1, Scene 3 into a single scene without slowing the action to a dead stop or drowning the reader in exposition. I made a little progress, but I think tomorrow, when my brain is fresher, I may need to just rewrite the new scene from scratch all over again.
Granted, there have been a few external distractions today, like a crazy lunch outing, but still, this scene should NOT be this hard to write.
March 03, 2004
Finally off my ass!
Well, technically, I'm on my ass. Working. Rewriting.
Yes, it's true. I finally stopped futzing around with notecards and outlines and notebooks and started writing the second draft of The Exile's Daughter. My goal for today? Finish Chapter 1. I think I can do it, Chapter 1 didn't need an extensive rewrite.
(And for those who've read it and/or who've heard my dilemma: I found a way around the 'fuck' obstacle that makes me happy!)
March 01, 2004
What's my motivation?
Has anyone seen my motivation? I know I must've left it lying around here somewhere... I think part of the problem is that I've been staying up too late recently, so when I sit down to work, I'm tired and whiny. Here it is, nearly 11, and I haven't done a thing except watch all the post-Oscar stories on the news.
I had some self-discipline this summer and fall, I know I did. I just need to get my hands on it again. :P If I'm going to meet my goal of rewriting one novel and writing the next this year, I need to get off my ass and start rewriting!