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Archive for April 16th, 2007

Progress Report, in which I strike coolness

Another 5100 words on Petra, bringing the total to 54K.

It occurs to me that I’m officially working on a novel.  Actually, according to Hugo rules, I passed the novel threshold of 40K at the end of last month.  I guess I was too busy to notice.  But that’s a milestone worth observing, I think.

Had a couple of cool writerly moments last week.  In the first moment, I was working on a scene written from my antagonist’s POV, in which much information is conveyed.  I suddenly recalled something Harlan Ellison had told us at Odyssey:  never miss an opportunity to give characterization.  I realized that the scene was lacking in any deepening of the antagonist.  So out of the blue, I threw in this line of dialogue:  “Listen, when this is over, maybe you should take a furlough.  Some time for yourself.”  With that seemingly innocuous line, hidden depths became apparent.  I busied myself with exploring them, and ended up with some treasure I hadn’t even suspected was there.

Cool writerly moment #2:  I was working on a scene featuring my protagonist and a secondary character, and I got to thinking a bit about the latter.  And suddenly I knew something very important about his past, something that explains much about the way he’s been behaving.  He’s no angel, this one, but what I learned about him evoked a sense of pathos I had heretofore not felt.

Those wonderful little surprises you run into along the way–that’s the kind of stuff that sustains you during those times when every word is drudgery.  Maybe I’m a writer after all. 

Maybe.

Only one update for Write Club:

Personalized rejection from Ben Coppin at Darker Matter.  He said “Light Chimes” was “a good story,” but “[t]o be honest it’s simply that I get such a large number of submissions . . . and I can only pick a few.  I rate each story out of 100, and I’ve given Light Chimes 80, which is a pretty good score.  I think you should have more success with it elsewhere.”  (Hmm . . . 80%–isn’t that a B-minus?  Oh, never mind.  It was a nice rejection; I’m not gonna whine about it.)  Response time, just over 5 weeks.

Off in search of more coolness . . .