Monday, September 14, 2009

Writing Log: 9-14-09

Well, today counts as an epic fail of sorts.

I spent most of the morning, roughly 9:30 to noon, working on a setting document establishing out and clarifying my most recent thoughts on the matter. It amounts to more than 2700 words so far, but it does not count toward my stated goal of writing narrative.

Then I switched over and spent two hours writing bits in chapters 1, 7, and 8, for a whopping total of 850 new words. Yes, even when I started writing the story I moved at the pace of molasses.

I really should have gotten the setting work done over the weekend, but once again the weekend was a forced march with little time or energy for creative pursuits. I've got to say it's an odd sensation to be looking forward to Monday. The fact that I continue to be fighting either a really bad case of allergies or a lingering cold doesn't help matters; my thinking feels fuzzy at the worst times.

I fell into an old trap today by getting caught up in thinking about the setting. The truth is that it is very hard for me to shift mental gears from setting mode to story mode, particularly when the setting ideas are fresh. The two modes play off of each other but often it takes a while for ideas to percolate and take coherent form.

The other big problem that surfaced today is that I think my current outline is simply trying to do TOO MUCH in the opening chapters. I have too many different cultures and elements appearing and having to be reconciled.

So I'm going to simplify and streamline. I'm getting rid of one of the three big cities that appears in the first part of the book, because while I think it is awesome, it adds too much ground to cover. I will think of a way to bring it into play, perhaps in the next novel. In getting rid the city, I'm also getting rid of the culture that spawned it, with the same caveat about hoping to reintroduce it later.

Unfortunately this decision means completely canning one chapter that's already been written and revising a big portion of a second and a little bit of a third. On the other hand, I won't be writing one or two other chapters. Got some outlining to do tonight.

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