Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

My, I was talkative in September, wasn't I?

Had a better week and (no coincidence) a more productive one.

I know my main concern in editing Scylla and Charybdis will be amping the tension through the sections where the primary thing my narrator is doing is exploring. There are currently long descriptive / narrative passages - all with purpose, but I don't think they make the reader worry about what happens next, though I hope they're interesting enough to draw along with curiosity. I'm currently working on a scene where she's ambushed in the street - hurrah, action! - and realized I have to explain why her young escort would leave her in a neighborhood like this. So that will have to go in the next scene.

I am inching closer to the climactic scenes in Journal. I've done a fair amount of cutting in recent pages - not large sections, but unnecessary sentences. Some of them weren't even lined out when I made my markings, but in reading back I decided they were fluff. I'm very curious to get to the end and do a word count comparison. I may come out slightly shorter than the first draft despite several additions throughout, which to my mind is a good thing.

I'm about two and a half thousand words into my new short story. I've decided to relax and let it be whatever length it wants to be, which is probably going to be novella. There's a lot of world exploration here, but I really wanted to immerse the reader in the setting and the characters. I'm particularly proud of how I managed to imply the glove-wearing custom of the Seventeen Seas - it's pretty universal among all "civilized" cultures, just like you'd wear a shirt in public - without saying much direct about it. Getting the "loud piety" into the dialogue is tricky because my brain doesn't work that way.

Here's a quick flash of description from the story that I'm proud of. It hopefully tells a bit about the city, the character and his homeland:

The press of people on the cobbled streets was light, but the buildings - sandstone and pale green limestone, an earthy dappling of color - made him feel claustrophobic, even though few were over two stories high. He missed the clear line of sight afforded by Calathinyan roofways. The streets were well-maintained, the walls splashed with vibrant murals of gods, country scenes and optical illusions, but he always felt as if he were pacing a rabbit's warren until the avenues broadened into a courtyard or agora.

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