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Archive for October 10th, 2011

Progress Report, in which I share the fruits of trust

Another 5100 words on Apocalypse Pictures Presents, which makes Magic Meter very happy.  See?

Well, it can be a little hard to make out, but trust me, it's just radiating joy. 

Me?  I'm comfortably in harness, even guardedly optimistic about my ability to handle the mysteries ahead.  I know that a lot of folks are baffled by seat-of-the-pants writing, but it's really just a matter of knowing who my characters are and what their world is like.  Whenever I get stuck, I simply say to my characters, "OK, dudes, here's the situation.  So what are you gonna do about it?"

That might seem too simple, but that's all I'm doing at this point.  Harlan Ellison told us at Odyssey that he had learned to "trust the mechanism."  With every new novel I attempt, I get a little better at that.

Here's a snippet of what trust got me last week:

Susan's steps faltered.  She stopped, gaze riveted on the ground.  Barely audible, she said, "There are things you don't know about me."

Gil grasped her meaning, or thought he did.  He took a breath.  "You're saying some part of your past caught up to us back there?"

"Maybe."

"And is that supposed to shock me?"

She looked up.  "You mean it doesn't?"

Gil opened a hand toward the tents.  "Every one of us in this camp could be part of some gang or another.  We're all in reasonably good health, not afraid to bend our backs and get our hands dirty.  We all have skills that make us valuable in just about any community we come across."  Except me, he thought but didn't say.  "All of us would be a hell of a lot safer living in places like Delano instead of fending for ourselves.  And yet here we all are, living like gypsies, even risking our lives.  For what?  Just to make a movie?  I don't think so."  He stepped closer to her, put a hand to her chin, lifted her face so he could look into her eyes.  They shone in the moonlight.  "We're all outcasts for one reason or another, Susan.  All of us."

I got some line edits back on a story, so tonight I'll go through those. 

No updates for Write Club.

Off to proof a draft . . .