Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Semantic Rant

Every once in a while, someone really drives me crazy with their use -- or misuse, as the case may be -- of the English language.

This commercial is one of my pet peeves lately. It plays on the Science Channel pretty frequently and hits me like fingernails on a chalkboard every time: "Do you wish you had sonic hearing?"

Argh. I already have sonic hearing. And visual sight, and a tactile sense of touch ...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Past a Hurdle

Well, after three weeks of writing 50-100 words in a sitting which felt like pulling teeth, I've written 2,000 words in two days. I'm not sure if this is the downward slide everyone talks about once you pass the middle of your book, but it is certainly very pleasant. I just wanted to document it here so that if/when I hit another wall, I'll be able to look at it and remember that it wasn't just the first 10,000 words that flowed easily.

So what broke the logjam? Two things.

First, admitting that if I thought a scene was boring to write, a reader would probably find it boring to read, and then getting the point across another way.

Second, resurrecting a character I perfunctorily killed for no reason earlier in the book. Turns out she had a use after all. She saved the chapter, as a matter of fact. And solved a problem I had with my outline at the same time.

I love when one minor change fixes so many problems at once.

Now excuse me, I need to go milk this opportunity for all the words I can get.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Walking the Pattern

One of the series of books that I pull out and read on a somewhat regular basis is the Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. Today as I was chiseling for all I was worth at my current WIP, I realized that on purpose or by accident, Mr. Zelazny had written a very good analogy for writing a novel into Nine Princes in Amber. If you haven't read it, buy it (trust me, it's worth it) and pay close attention as you're devouring the beautifully written story for when someone "walks the Pattern." This is what writing a novel is like; each step is more difficult, more painful, and more doubt-inducing than the last. To give up is to guarantee failure, and at the end is ... well, read the story. :)

Anyway, thank goodness for the internet. At least when every word takes agonizingly long to put on the page, I can read gems of wisdom from authors I admire who have very kindly shared their experiences, and take heart in the fact that it's like this for everyone.

Now if only that downward slide would arrive ...