clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Sunday, February 26, 2017


At left, page image from Mary Shelly's draft of Frankenstein.

In my hands today, a draft.

Sure, there are enhancements to add, a punchlist of major corrections to detail, and then the inevitable line edits that result from just reading through the thing. But, it is in my hands: a draft.

Composition is complete and the revision and alteration phase begins.

It's non-fiction so the process is a little different from the tonal aspects of corrections in fiction where something "isn't quite right" or there is a tense lapse or dialogue needs condensing or ...

Nevertheless, there is the same thrill of having something that has moved forward after two-and-a-half months in the full composition bin which comes after three distinctive half-starts over the past two years.

Sound familiar?

Same thing with the novel.

Keep running at the wall. You will find a way through. You will find a way to say the things you wanted to say. You too will feel elated on the other side even though the remaining work is nearly as daunting as the piece just completed.

Draft. Say it proud. Say it loud.

Just don't say it to your friends: they only want to know when they can buy it.

You can say it here, however. I'll give you the slow clap of joy any day.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

In The Secret Lair

At left, British troops dismantling the German nuclear test reactor at war's end. Image hosted on wikicommons. Copyright free.

It's a stretch to call this thing a "reactor" as self sustaining capture and control of delayed neutrons was not yet possible given their design. Prompt neutrons were possible and they had a little trouble with the radiation from this beast's older brother.

I'm working on two non-fiction projects at the moment. One is wrapping up and the other is ready for its annotated outline this weekend transcribed from the volume of hand notes.

I'm writing non-fiction thinking of fiction.

I've figured out a couple problems with plots I've come back to as well as changing a couple of point-of-view characters in some fiction from the past couple of years.

Ever have a story whose character roles changed significantly when you revisited the tale? Happened to me.

I hope you keep your stories straight. Watch where you store the drafts. Those things can approach criticality if you're careless with how you stack them.

Stories blow up. So do reactors.

I've got prose to radiate. So do you.