Saturday, December 30, 2006

Work, work, work

I'm getting a lot done this week.

Dan Boyle asked me to do a blurb for his new novel. Flattered doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. I finished reading it last night. Now all I have to do is write a line or two that will make someone want to pick it up. For the record, I enjoyed it. I only meant to read a few chapters to get a feel for it, but ended up devouring the entire thing in two days. Before I write my blurb though, I think I need to sit back and let the themes percolate in my brain for a while.

I've also been slaving away over the rewrite of my novel. Slaving isn't quite the right word. I'm not to that point where I hate the characters or the story, so it isn't a chore to spend time tinkering with it. I do have concerns, though. One is the length. According to the Mad Hatter, the way to tell a story is to begin at the beginning, and when you get to the end, stop. Sound advice there, even if it comes from a madman. The problem is that I doubt it'll reach 45,000 words. When I wrote Chaos Magic, the first draft was 116,000 words. I cut it back to 88,000. That seems to be the average length of a novel nowadays. My YA novel feels complete, and yet, I look at that word count and cringe. But what can I add? Just filler. I don't believe in that. I'm hoping for a very understanding publisher....

Another thing I've learned is how hard it is to convey emotional abuse. Physical abuse is so much easier to to write because it comes in bursts of action. Emotional abuse isn't that flashy. It's more like Water Torture, little events and words spread over a long period of time - each incident nothing much, but the sum of the parts is huge. This is where I doubt my writing skills. Am I showing a small event but putting it in context of a larger problem, or is the reader going to think, "So someone said something thoughtless and hurtful. Big deal. Happens all the time. Shake it off, you whining Emo."

My last concern is an epiphanous moment. How do you convey how huge an insight is to a character without going on and on and on that this is A HUGE INSIGHT. I don't want to flog a dead horse, but I don't want to gloss over a big moment either.

Argh! But at least I'm sitting down to my computer and facing it. It's tempting to do something else, anything else, other than deal with my doubts. But since I've been naggingtwo other writers for procrastinating, I can't possibly get away with it.

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