clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Monday, July 29, 2013

Commentaries on ...

All the novel is divided into three parts: Beginning, middle and end.

I'm working on beginnings and have three to write. I need to find a voice for my particular antagonist and by the time these three trials are done, I'll have one. I have to live with the bastard. I want to like him.

At left, without permission, Old No. 7. I had a Methodist aunt who called it "devil in a bottle." I like old Nick and his friends as characters. I liked him in Milton and what else can I say?

I'm working (again) through Nancy Kress' Elements of Fiction Writing: Beginnings, Middles, and Ends. The book works for me but the sticking points are difficult. Conflict early. Character without cliche. Specificity. Economy of language (tough one there).  Then we have our old favorite - show not tell.

The key part of the long effort is done: I have a soundtrack.

I listen to the same thing over and over when working long form. The songs I choose become devices to return my mind to the state it was in at the prior session to help me retain the consistency I desire.

It's a trick. It's worked on several efforts and the soundtrack for the current W.I.P. is in place. I hate the songs when I'm done. Often, I can't listen to them for years after because they become all wrapped up in the turmoil and tumult of telling the story. Nevertheless, they are critical elements for me.

Some writers use the same pads or pens or even the same physical locations for the first draft. Those things help - but for the prospect of isolation, the headphones and music do it for me. I learned long form in a very noise and disruptive environment. Return to the early tricks will help me re-learn now what was fairly natural once upon a time. I was a better mimic when young.

Thank you Jack Daniels' Old No.7.  I need some evil an you are just the right inspiration. You'll understand if I keep the genie in the bottle myself.

I hope your genie is out and about helping you write. If she wears the Barbara Eden costume, I'm not sure that helps. Keep that in mind. It's drafty in here.

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