Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hello, Dear Friends.

It has been a long while. I know. Summer is not the most productive time for me. For some reason, being given all the time in the world to do whatever I want, I invariably choose to sit on the couch watching Bones or Law and Order, while occasionally picking myself up to go sit on my bed to read a book.

However, now that summer is over, I am in college. Yep -- college. Where the cost of textbooks and the amount of homework both pile up as time goes on.

But this is not really what my blog is about. As I mentioned in my last post, this is a reading/writing blog. So I shall endeavor to explain my reading and writing schedule for the next month.

As my laptop has no Microsoft Word, and I am not entirely fond of Open Office, my writing has been moved to pen and paper. This goes slowly, as I am not used to writing out whole drafts. I hardly manage to write out outlines on paper, and I love outlining. As again, my plot is not anywhere near workable -- I know it is this element that is off, somehow, ringing false in my own head. The pivotal element of my previous plots hinge on actions my character has no inclination to do, for it is outside of her personality to choose such options.

But this time I think I may have it right. I always think this, of course: if I didn't think the plot idea was right, then I wouldn't write out a full draft exploring it. But I am learning more about my work as I progress. Each failed plot, each wrong draft brings me closer to a workable one, because it presents to me new angles through which to see my character and setting, and what themes I want it to reflect.

I had thought I knew everything about Spike. I thought I knew her likes and dislikes, her intelligence and grace, her flaws and arrogance and entitlements. But now I realize I have not been able to discern her next move. When confronted with Enemy A, does she back away? Does she engage in conversation? I am sure she doesn't try to fight it out. That is the one move I know she would never pull. Which is why it is very hard to articulate a plot which moves forward smoothly, and which forces her to take that action she would never do.

The move to pencil and paper is a drastic one. It is different, scrawling it out: it takes more time, and it LOOKS different in my handwriting. But working in a computer lab on campus means leaving my dorm room, and anyways, I do not entirely remember where they are. So I am hoping the change in writing equipment is for the better.

Right now, I need to practice Greek, and read up on Early and Medieval Britain, and yes, to keep writing. But I will try to post once a week regarding books I've read, works I'm writing, and perhaps to recommend certain tips to you about research (as that is what college is good for: taking whole classes so you may learn one crucial detail on how your novel plays out).

Have a blessed day.