Wednesday, October 19, 2011

ROW80 Check In - And Talking To Myself

Here's my Round Of Words in 80 Days Wednesday Check-In:

Sunday Day 14 - 125 minutes. Stayed up much later than I meant to, but I got a lot more done. Too tired to deal with the emotional texture of the sign-off of Chapter 17, though. But it may be less tricky than I thought.

Monday Day 15 - 61 minutes. ...but I enjoyed every minute of what I wrote. Chapter 17 is now whole and satisfying. I was really suffering from sleep deprivation Monday. I got to bed after 3am the night before, and had sinus problems which disrupted my sleep in the morning. I somehow managed to not do any work at all until nearly midnight.

It took a lot longer to get through Chapter 17 than I expected, but I think part of the reason I was struggling before is because I was compressing too far. Taking my time with it, making multiple runs, is working out really well for the tricky emotional texture.

I also found it very helpful to let the characters be wise. It can be fun to let the audience get ahead of the characters -- to let the characters be clueless about themselves. But it's often overdone, sometimes to the point of being automatic. It can get the characters, the audience and the writer in a rut. I find, very often, the solution to being in a rut is to let the characters get you out. Let them be wise and clever and deal with it for themselves. I'm going to talk about this in a lot more detail later.

Tuesday Day 16 - 61 minutes (again). I played around with scenes at random from the end. Knitted together a few things. I realize one other thing that will give me a certain amount of trouble is the last chapter -- "The Detectives sit around and explain it all to each other" scene. I think I've got a good set up so I don't have to explain too much, but maybe it's time to nail that down, so I know what I need to firm up or set up. Christie is a great model for this, and I've read a bunch of Christies lately.

In the meantime....

A conversation between Me, Myself and my Brain for your delight and edification:

Me: I guess I'll just start my routine with a little random proofreading.

Myself (scandalized): No, no, no! You need to get to the scene in Chapter 18. You can't write the follow up scene until you've done that. You need to do that NOW.

Me: Oh, all right. Brain? Can you give me a hand with Chapter 18--

Brain: Eeek! I'm not ready. Avoid! Avoid!

(Brain dives into the closet.)

Me (to Myself): See?

Myself: Brain is just being lazy.

Me: Then you try telling him what to do.

Myself: We're not on speaking terms since the Chapter 14 debacle.

Me: I can lure him out with proof reading.

Myself: But that's such a waste! You're gonna change it so why proof it? How do you even know you're not going to cut that scene?

Me: Oh, Brain? Are we going to cut the scene in Chapter 9?

Brain (sobbing and rocking): ...Not ready, not ready. Nope, not ready, not ready, not ready....

Me: If Brain can't handle that, he's not going to handle anything else. There's no point in writing at all, so we might as well--

Myself: We could do research instead!

Brain (perks up): Research! Did I hear somebody say research!

Me: No, Brain, proofreading!

(Brain comes out of the closet wags tail.)

Me: Good, Brain. Good good, Brain.

Brain: Hey there's a "hte" but it doesn't count because spell check would have got it. Oh, but you left out "can" in that sentence. Score! Oh, look! You wrote "theire" when you meant "they're" -- that's a double score! Typo AND wrong word! (pauses to think) Hey, you think we should cut this scene in Chapter 9? I bet we could make this work without it....

The big issue, though, is that Mr. Brain has been working very hard and is tired and cranky. I often slack off on Wednesday anyway (it's my long day at work), but I think I'm going to schedule it as completely off except for one thing: update the reading copy on the Kindle.

See you in the funny papers.


ModWitch said...

Multiple personalities may not be a disorder for writers... ;D.

Tracy McCusker said...

Haha! I love the conversation between you and your brain. My brain is equally reticent unless I offer it easy editing tasks.

Even though your Wednesdays are a bust, it's always heartening to visit your blog and see the novel chipped away with steady effort.

(Also, a hurrah and shout-out for the Christie wrap-up. When she was on, her endings were brilliant!)

The Daring Novelist said...

Yeah the personalities inside a writer need traffic management.

As for Christie: Murder On The Links in particular is a masterpiece of discussion and explanation -- the summary wrap-up goes all the way through the whole dang book.

Juliana said...

Loved the conversation! lol
And I agree with ModWitch, about the multiple personalities.
I saw this on twitter a couple of weeks ago and saved it:
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” Isn't it true? lol

Anonymous said...

Isn't this normal? ;-) Rock The ROW! ~clink~

K.S. Lewis said...

Great post! Loved the conversation, and your blog is always so delightful to read.

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks! It's always good to hear that I'm not boring the audience.