Friday, July 14, 2006


Wrote 600 words on Wetsilver last night, wrapping up chapter 10. I just discovered two new characters that I hadn't anticipated, who will be interesting supporting players the rest of the way. One, interestingly enough, is a composer in the mold of the great Viennese composers of the 17th-18th centuries. I certainly didn't see that coming.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
32,750 / 90,000

I had a section picked out to post here--in fact, I'm looking at it now--but I've decided not to. I'm not happy with it. I'm not happy with a lot of what I've written on the novel the last two weeks. The feeling's been growing steadily that this train jumped the tracks a ways back, and the increasing difficulty in writing anything that works has convinced me. When I'm in trouble with a story, my tendancy is to flail around, narratively speaking, writing and writing in the vaguely-realized hope of somehow finding the right path again and moving on.

That's not happening. Rediscovering the right path, I mean.

I've written some good stuff, don't get me wrong, but the whole is disjointed and inconsistent. Something's got to give. I just don't know what. It may be that I visualized the opening quarter of the book strongly, but my imagination and planning got fuzzy beyond that, and outlining would help. I'm not convinced on that count, though, since I already know what's coming next. It could be that I'm creatively drained on Wetsilver. I've been working on it steadily for two months without coming up for a breath (Apollocon excepted). I've never pushed myself that long and hard on any single project before, and coupled with the decline in sleep time, well, it's wearing and wearying. And that's certainly possible, although I have no valid personal comparisons for reference. It may simply be a case of all those minor errors and imperfections I noted in earlier chapters accumulating and developing enough gravitational mass to throw the plot off. Which is possible, as leaving trouble spots alone and pressing on isn't my normal mode of operation. I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to deal with the problem.

I don't want to step away from Wetsilver, because I'm more than a week behind my self-imposed schedule already. But I don't want to keep throwing good effort after bad, especially if it adds to my growing frustration. I may put it aside for a week or two, let it lay fallow so I can develop a clearer perspective on what's going wrong. I do, after all, have plenty of other projects that could fill the time--that Peter Beagle interview, a radio script I'm supposed to be writing with Mark Finn, a near-future short I've been discussing with Chris Nakashima-Brown, and two other short stories that would be offshoots of "Being an Account of the Final Voyage of La Riaza: A Circumstance in Eight Parts," which I recently sold to Interzone. And then there's that other rewrite I owe Helix. So, lots of stuff I need to do, and a Turkey City workshop coming up on the horizon.

I expect I'll at least tackle the Beagle interview, since although it's time-consuming, it is relatively stress-free. And there's a paycheck waiting for me on the other end of it. After that, I've no idea. But happily, I've fallen into a good rhythm of nightly work, so I will be productive. Just maybe not on Wetsilver.

Now Playing: Buffalo Springfield Retrospective

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