Day 202

Spoiler Alert! May contain planning-stage plot/character details or other spoilers!

24 May 2017

So um, yeah. A long weekend to escort mom to family up north turned into a week. Not… not quite sure how that happened. Other than, my ability to focus is apparently connected very little or not at all to the urgency of deadlines. Ugh. I had hoped to squeeze some work in on the drive up or while we were out there, even if just to knock off that one outstanding freelance assignment, but while 5 hours feels like ages to sit in a car, it’s apparently not long enough for me to pull out the laptop. And then, once up there it was just… yeah, focus. Don’t have much of it.

And then coming back, one thing led to another and… yup. Two days blown on catching up on stuff without actually getting the main things taken care of. In my defence, I’d probably have churned out something yesterday if we hadn’t had a storm front moving in and I hadn’t had a passed out/nap afternoon because I’m too much of a wimp to work through atmospheric pressure changes. So that was… well, actually it was kinda fun, but also frustrating because PRESSURE and DEADLINES!!! I had this awesome fever dream where there was a leech in my mouth attached somewhere in the back of my throat and at first I didn’t realize it was there, and then I knew it was there and couldn’t get it out until I convinced somebody to just yank it… yeah. Awesomely messed up. And creepy but not in a night-terror-y sort of way. I mostly don’t get scared when I’m lucid-dreaming, even if they’re situations that I should be scared of. Which is perhaps why I don’t write good horror.

I’m reading the second book in Libba Bray’s Diviners series and annoyed at the dream walkers. I can’t decide if I’m on-trend or just boringly derivative. I didn’t think I’d lifted the idea from anyone, but maybe subconsciously…? At least it’s not shifters, lol.

Of course, all this lack of productivity is probably just a smoke screen so I can keep myself from realizing how terrifying it is that I’m pretty much down to the wire with story changes and I’ll be judged but good on what I come out with past this point… I totally believe in no-mercy reviews, but it does give one pause… especially how every indie author out there seems to think they’ve done a great job and all due diligence… yikes.

I’m not the biggest Maggie Stiefvater fan ever; she’s a good writer, I just can’t get into her stuff. But some of her comments on writing have been very helpful. Particularly her article (blog?) on drawing and characterization in storytelling. (Unless that was Julianna Baggott… who it totally could have been…) Anyways, the idea is we tend to have levels of clarity and quality in literary portrayal that can be broken down like stick figure > comic art > realistic art > photorealistic art, roughly. Like the difference between drawing lollipop trees to sketching off of reference to a line drawing that’s indistinguishable from a photograph. And beginner writers start somewhere in the stick-figure to comic art range with first drafts. It’s maybe identifiable as a person - possibly because you told us, proudly, that that’s what you meant to create. But it lacks depth, dimension, realism. So you flesh it out, after a tough reader or your editor gives you a poke. And it looks more human. But often you don’t make it to the photorealistic level. And, arguably, that might be ok. You might choose to make artistic decisions that take you away from a perfect image to craft a better reading experience. But if characters stay two-dimensional, you probably haven’t learned to flesh them out properly. Which is all to say, I probably struggle with characterization, but my male characters and villains in particular are barely past stick-figure level and it’s a problem. Partly, being caught in Cole’s POV feeds that issue, because she doesn’t relate to others enough to be perceptive yet, but I’m trying to remember that making artistic choices that aren’t in the service of the story is gonna hurt down the road. So there’s that.


Start Time: 2:30 pm

Location: Abbotsford; home; chair

drinking: Cabernet Sauvignon

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