Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Wednesday Writer's Report
Good morning (or good afternoon, for those in Europe).
In case it wasn't obvious, for the record, that "excerpt" was not real. It was an April Fool's thing. Ha ha?
A semi-productive week. Finished the revisionary/pacing on the E tribe's current chapter, knocked out a scene in the latest D tribe chapter, and am about 1/3 to 1/2 way through the first short story chapter.
This week's goal is to finish the D chapter (3k words should do it) and finish the first short (4-5k estimate). This weekend I am receiving the first 'heavy edit' return from one of my readers, regarding the first 8 chapters.
It's too early for serious revising, but there is backstory and exposition to cover along the way - so it's important to know when/where this stuff should go.
Catalyst starts out pretty active, then pauses for a few chapters (where I'm at now), then picks up the pace again to reach climax and slip towards resolution. I will have to reindulge myself in some research again in the near future, to refresh my memory.
Of note, this week, I've shifted my "schedule" in order to better deal with external factors. It seems to be working, though my daily average is just over 1k a day - I'd rather see that closer to 2k for this particular story.
I'd like to blame the world on my lack of productivity, but it's me. My self discipline has taken a dive. I'm easily distracted by shiny whatz-its and interesting noises.
I'm reading Terry Goodkind in prep for my first review. I figure he's such a staple of the genre that you can measure my response to him versus your own tastes. He's the litmus test, if you will.
I'm reading the first novel in his epic series, and coincidentally, I'm 40pct through it.
I'll leave the review for the review, but I want to ask you something...
How much do you need explained to you, when you're reading fantasy fiction?
In other words, would you rather be told exactly how the characters are feeling, sitting or standing, or would you rather figure it out based on available information?
For myself, I tend to write only the stronger sentiments, but otherwise, I let you try to figure it out with subtle gestures, body language and vocal tonality.
1) Bill wanted to write a nice blog, but he was hungry and to make matters worse, he was hungover. But, he was almost done, so he pushed himself, typing fast at the keyboard. Finally, he leaned back and felt a sense of accomplishment.
2) Hunched over his desk, Bill clacked away at the keyboard. An empty wine glass from the night before kept vigil over his work. He stared at the screen with a vacant expression on his face and grunted in annoyance when his stomach growled. After a few more keystrokes he said aloud, "Aha. Done!" and leaned back with a smug smile on his face.
The two paragraphs say the same thing, but the latter is closer to how I would write it. The latter forces you to draw conclusions based on evidence - I only provide observations that you would note if you were standing there.
Occasionally, I will let you inside a character's head, but usually when they are uncertain - because that's a subtlety in expression that would not necessarily be obvious to a bystander watching the world go by. But, I'm a keen observer of people, and by default, so is the reader.
Otherwise, I prefer to let the smirk or quip or comment carry the scene, and you can figure out if it's a legitimate response or a defense mechanism, etc.
I will do inner monologue if it's not obvious where the POV's head is at, particularly with those stoic types who are conflicted.
Anyway, if you've any thoughts on how much information you need to be told, I'd appreciate it.