Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

My new word’s first milestone

Thursday, 25 March 2010

You can now Google ‘cerebrescript’. All hits lead to this blog of course.
For now…

I’m Not In; I’m Out

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

For a while now, I’ve struggled whenever I get to the middle of this book I’m working on. I do well at the start; I do well at the end; I just seem to get lost in the middle. I thought it might be me, or maybe the story. Then, when I needed it most, I read Neil Gaiman’s pep talk for the 2007 NaNoWriMo Authors, reprinted (with his permission, of course) in the QWC’s monthly magazine. 

It was as if Neil had read my mind.

He described my feelings about my book with frightening precision in sentences like this: “You don’t know why you started your novel, you no longer remember why you imagined that anyone would want to read it, and you’re pretty sure that even if you finish it it won’t have been worth the time or energy and every time you stop long enough to compare it to the thing that you had in your head when you began – a glittering, brilliant, wonderful novel, in which every word spits fire and burns, a book as good or better than the best book you ever read – it falls so painfully short that you’re pretty sure that it would be a mercy simply to delete the whole thing.” 

And then, with the words that followed – “Welcome to the club” – relief just welled up inside me. “Oh!” I thought. “Even published authors feel like this. I’m not an incompetent freak after all; I’m just a writer.” 

Only a short time before this, Kim Wilkins had said something similar on her blog. She talked about the two states of being while writing: inside the story and outside the story. She said: “Outside is not much fun. You chip at it, feel dislocated, distracted. But you must keep writing, because that’s the only way to get inside. Once you’re inside the story, everything flows, the world goes away.” 

I’m not inside my story right now. That feeling of dislocation – of being disconnected – is so strong that I see my mid-story plot now as fuzzy cloud of possibilities with only the most tenuous links to what it should be. I find myself wondering where to start, what to do to get out of this mess. Both Neil and Kim say the same thing; write. One word at a time, one sentence, one paragraph, one page.  

There’s no other way.   

References:

Pep Talk from Neil Gaiman: http://www.nanowrimo.org/node/1065561

The Frantic Writer (Kim Wilkins’s Blog) – ‘The eleventh one’: http://kimwilkins.blogspot.com/2008/01/eleventh-one.html  

Rain

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

I was caught in the rain today; no umbrella, no raincoat and no shelter. Can’t say I was happy about it. I was at work at the time and spent the afternoon as a living definition of ‘bedraggled’ and hoping I didn’t remind anyone of the smell of wet dog.

True to my word, I did make the effort to capture in my mind the sensations of being rained on. I didn’t get drenched – not properly – just wet. The wind direction and my walking forward resulted in my front ending up a lot wetter than my back. I noticed this most of all on my chest, arms and thighs, and, of course, my head. Instinct prompted me to frown and tilt my head down, using my brow as a shield against getting rain in my eyes. Water gathering on my forehead dripped off my eyebrows – I remember that particularly – and more ran down to fall off the end of my nose. My hair formed into spikes and lengths of string, sticking to my head. My footsteps were pleasing little wet slaps, except when the toe of my left foot skidded out behind me as I used a zebra-crossing – the wet paint was very slippery.

People with umbrellas gave me strange, puzzled looks.

This rain was the cold stuff from a dark, grey sky; if I’d had to stay outdoors for much longer, I would have started shivering. Once indoors, I mopped myself off with some paper towels and was mostly dry within an hour or so, but my hair never recovered; all my hairspray and styling gel hardened in the spikes and stringy bits. It’s a new look; I might try it again someday.

On a happy note, The Beholder has read my 72-page draft of the material I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. He likes it! Yes, he’s my husband; doesn’t mean he likes everything I write. I’d prepared myself for the workload that usually follows his first read-through of a draft, anticipating he might dislike a character for being dull or wimpy, or complain there was too little detail about what was going on.  In all 72 pages, he had less than a dozen notes; a couple of typos, an inconsistency, two instances of words he didn’t like and one niggling curiosity about a character that was easily explained when I corrected the inconsistency. I’m on a roll and loving it. With The Beholder’s amendments made, I will now submit the work to the Evil-Minded Plot Mistress and the Demon for Detail and see what they think. Fingers crossed!