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End of the First Week

10,000 words by 14 manuscripts at 10,000 feet. A few were shorter, but not all that many. I suspect it was 100,000 words read and critiqued. All in two minutes flat. Hit the high points. Ditto, ditto, ditto. It's hardest to go first. If you go later, you can select that one thing you want to focus on in your critique. But it's all at the whim of where folks sit in the circle and which direction the crits move around the circle. Lots of mini lectures on things I needed to know. Refreshers on plotting were welcome. From Nancy I learned more about structuring the words on the page, structuring the scenes themselves. Writing forward vs. plotting backward. And some grids to use to decide if a scene is doing what it should. And then a long and involved internal dialog to decide what I'm submitting for the second week. I would have liked to offset my science fiction with a fantasy. But the ones that are finished aren't in need of readers and the ones that aren't done are too far away from being completed, being in zero draft form still. No, the furthest along is the gen ship story. It's the story that I know the most about, the one where I can look at each scene to see what it's doing for plot and character. The one where I've already laid the scenes out on cards and moved them around. The one that already has about half its word count close to finalized. Not to mention the one that needs feedback because I've held an awful lot of the worldbuilding back and off the page.

Visitor outside our suite yesterday...


Yup, pretty much looks just like the scuzzy deer back in Virginia. Here it is against the avalanche fence. Pretty sure-footed. Later it went back up the slope somehow and lay down under a tree.

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birdhousefrog
Jun. 12th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
It's the gen ship story. Grids are very, very cool. Shall copy and send to you. Great for short stories, time consuming for a big novel. Walter is going to use the scene grid himself.

Walter finds the ending and plots backwards. Nancy says it's like driving a car at night with the high beams on. She can only see a few scenes ahead. He goes backward, she goes forward. So he can design each scene ahead of time. Nancy has to use the grid to ask herself after if the scene advanced the plot and the knowledge of the characters.

It is just as all-consuming this time. Every bit. What's different is that I'm relaxed, which is not the same as pressure or stress. That's all still there. But I'm not angsty over things that are a normal part of being in a group. Better than anyone, I know the drill here. I know the mountains. I know the schedule. Nancy is covering new things, but they're all things I'm ready to hear.

And I'm at a different place in my writing so different things are consuming me. It's like I'm a sentient sponge this time around. Last time, I wasn't sentient. I was just soaking up what was there. This time, the stuff I'm soaking up is making some sense as we go and I can try applying it more easily.

And Greg has said to stop screwing around and sit down and finish up what's in my inbox. Which means fixing the Mouse King and editing The Revenge of the Mouse King (Cumin's story) this summer. And I hope this remains true, but I feel more like I have the tools to do it. Still slower than molasses, but with even more knowledge of what shape I'm reaching for in a story.

Hot tub has staved off my leg aching while I was acclimating to the height. Finally did a decent yoga practice this afternoon. But I'll still be in the hot tub!
accordingto_ada
Jun. 14th, 2010 06:05 am (UTC)
So this is why I'm not seeing any deer, I'm on the wrong side of the building.
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