Sunday, February 15, 2015

Coasting

You know it's a cold day out when it's afternoon by the time you can finally stop using the minus symbol. And the entire time it's traversing the full range of negative temperatures, the sun is out, it's shining. With the windows closed and the furnace on full, it's deceptively cheerful-looking. The light has the same sort of glittering quality you remember from a day at the beach in July. And then you step outside, your nose hairs flash-freeze and the cold hits you in the face, like a towel snap at a high school gym locker room.

In other words, Michigan in February, film at eleven. Carry on, folks.

Wrapped up chapter six of twelve. Had one of those moments where I wrote and wrote, got to a point in the chapter where I saw there was another scene to go, but where I was was a good cliffhanger, so I decided to cut and move the new scene to the next chapter, where it will fit into the plot better. The current stopping point is more logical, I think, and the next chapter is just a tad bit too uneventful as it stood.

I have sort of mixed feelings about outline changes like this. On one hand, you have to play it loose while you're writing. When you lay out the bones of a novel, you just have no idea how it'll play, so you have to have some give in the structure. Otherwise, it'll come out forced or, worse yet, you'll get bored writing it. You need enough room for surprises. It gives the book a bit of organic feel to it.

But on the other hand, if you find yourself tweaking TOO much, then you begin to suspect the outline, that it might be flawed and need a rethink.

So far, I'm happy with my prep work on this novel. Things are going well. Any of the things that aren't going well are fixable in post-production, I think, things that I can patch out in extended monologues, or tweak later on. But you never know.

And now I have to go outside because I am out of food and need to mail in the last of my taxes. And besides, I deliberately did not go outside yesterday, when it was even worse out and there are some things you just can't put off. Like food supplies. One more day and I'd be subsisting entirely on rice, condiments, coffee and whatever molds, spores and fungi I'd managed to scrape off the backs of the cabinets.

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