Monthly Archives: February 2010

Keeping the Critical

>I took the last week and a half off from writing – for a number of reasons (including a gosh-durned cold!), but for the G.O.T.S. project there was only one reason.  I needed to sort out the critical from the non-critical.  It really screwed up my estimated word count and February’s goals, but I’m starting to recognize that no matter how much I agonize over my “unproductive” phases, it doesn’t do to rush them because it’s a sign that my subconscious (Muse) mind is chewing on something important.

So, I need to get over Other People’s Deadlines (which don’t really exist, but which I generate holographically to hang over my head and torment myself with) and just keep on keeping on or keep on mulling if the writing is ready.  Above all, I’m aiming for Enjoyment All Around (for the writer and the reader), not a churn-it-out factory production.

What happened was that I wrote the opening scene and then got stuck with the thought that there were a whole bunch of  details that could be included… (my MC and her uncle were in a car accident)… but I didn’t want to turn this into an ER drama.  Really all the overwhelming details were only peripherally important.  It doesn’t matter what the doctor looks like at this point, or what Jeremy’s GCS was, or how many miles they were from the hospital, or how many forms Kimmie’s mom had to fill out, or what the ambulence drivers were talking about.  But I didn’t know that at first.  I had to let the dust settle so I could find the important pieces again.  Thankfully I trusted the unease that all those details were causing and didn’t write a word about them.  Later if they’re necessary I’ll be more than happy to bring them on stage.

I have to acknowledge and accept that I’m a bit slow – that it took me a week and a half to figure out that I didn’t need to write all those things I didn’t want to write.  But at least I figured it out and I started back to writing today.

I’m still in the process of figuring out if I’m any good at this fiction thing.  When I hit big vacuous spaces like that, when nothing’s coming of all the spinning-in-place, I do worry.  So far, though, I think I’m still a contender…. Just gotta keep on plugging along, though.




Pale sunlight illuminated the guest room, shining weakly onto the faded quilt. The patchwork was still rumpled, but the bed was made and the pillow propped up against the wall. Slowly the indentations in the covers lifted and the heat held in the just-leaned-on flowered pillowcase dissipated. The gradual filling out of the bedding tipped the thick paperback that was still open and with a faint breathy sound the pages flipped shut.
The room was still for a moment and then the frogs in the small aquarium on the dresser blinked, their eyes like bubbles at the shallow water’s surface. They all swam to the side where clay soil piled, climbing out onto the planted moss.
A trill. Then another. Then the chirruping chorus of small frogs filled the room as they came up out of the water, lined up at the glass, climbing each other so they all could see the bed from which Kimmie had just disappeared.

complexity is tasty

>There’s something to be said for letting an idea mature.  If I’d taken the G.O.T.S. idea as a short story, as I’d first wanted, it might have worked, though now that it’s developing and deepening, I don’t know how it would have turned out.  I made things difficult for myself last night, but it’s such a yummy difficult-ness, that I don’t mind.  Now I have daydream fodder, and twistyturns to mull on and plot possibilities to figure out.  Maybe that’s the secret ingredient to what makes writing so much fun.

I doubt that it’ll turn into anything resembling this, but my MC will be discovering something astounding about the book her uncle gave her.  Maybe I’d better start improving my drawing skills.