Thursday, December 31st, 2015

lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I considered doing a round-up of all my works-in-progress (or should-be-in-progress), but it would probably just harsh my mellow. And I'm feeling pretty good about writing these days. In the past few weeks, I've finished a story that was doubly-stuck, on what-happens-next and on an indecisiveness of tone ("A Cold Day In Spells", for the record); finished another story that's been an opening in search of a story for about eight months (not sure "Dinosaurs Taste Like Chicken" lived up to the promise of the opening paragraph, but done is still good); figured out the vital Thing to un-stick the Mars novel; and, just recently, found the tweak to take a story that's been in not-quite-right limbo for several years from "this needs something" to "this could go out now" (and hit Send on it today).

(Writing is cool. Also weird. What that story's been waiting for was a better punchline. What it got instead was a line or two of character-reaction just before the end. While a better punchline still wouldn't hurt, what's there now works, because the earlier tweak refocused attention on the characters, and now the existing punchline means more. I was startled.)

And perhaps the best bit of un-sticking, which I am intermittently giddy about, is something I thought of yesterday for Highway of Mirrors. I haven't talked much about it, but my last round of revisions introduced a small but significant inconsistency. It took me an unconscionably long time to realize it was there, and once I did, I didn't have a clue what to do about it. And it's been really bumming me out. But this new idea not only doesn't involve either cutting the clever bit in Chapter 4 or mutilating the new scene in Chapter 10, it may even introduce an additional cachet of ominousness (ominousity?) to the central story issue. And it's a fairly small tweak (not that those can't be as hard to wedge in as larger changes). I still need to ponder it to make sure it'll work (and won't inadvertently introduce a new problem), but the prospect is making me excited to have another go at the manuscript, whereas before I wanted to pull the covers over my head and not come out.

So, after a year of mostly poor productivity, things are starting to look up. And that's enough of a round-up for me.

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