Monday, December 3, 2012

Fond But Not in Love

Spent a little under four hours on the opera story on Sunday. Reread it again this morning, and while I think I might have dumped an awful lot of stuff in the first two pages (not info dump so much as Our Story So Far dump), I think it'll come to be a working piece. It added up to just over 6,000 words, which is a comfortable length, and although these feel like famous last words, I don't think that'll change dramatically. The thing that's funny about this story is I think it's generally a good story, but it's not one I'm passionate and thrilled about. It's a new experience not to have just written my favorite story; so far they've all been my favorite as I'm writing them. I'm proud of it, but I'm not in luuuuurve with it.

It's also very much a sci-fi story. Now that I've done the two back to back, I can confirm that it's a distinctly different experience writing SF than it is writing lit fic. If pressed I would say that with SF I feel more relaxed on a word-by-word basis, just putting down the words that make the scene occur rather than worrying inordinately about whether they're the most beautiful words evar. And when writing I feel more concerned that the audience is exasperated and impatient and wants me to get on with it, so I try to make shit happen more compellingly.

I've also noticed that the wide majority of the lit stories I've written concern female characters, and most of the SF tips toward male characters, which is not deliberate but just the way it comes out. Weird.

So, now to give it two weeks to rest and soak up its juices before revision. And since that's settled and no more new stories are clamoring very hard to get out, I need to plan what to do next. The more I think about it, the more I think that the KUFC book needs to get written. I have this block of time before the spring when it seems wise to work on a nonliterary project, and all signs are pointing to KUFC as a book that I can and should write before then, so I can revise it and send it out before summer.

But I'm balking. The old perfectionist instinct doesn't want me to start working because I am deathly afraid I'll just have to rewrite it when I'm finished, as I have to rewrite the Greenland book and the time book. Not a very mature reason to balk at doing anything - because finishing it will be toooo haaaard - but there we are. I don't want to give up the creative roll I'm on, though, so I think I'll just have to stop whining and do it.

Over the weekend I read another 150 pages of 2666, and BOY, it is something. Every Latin American novel I read is like nothing I've ever read before: García Márquez, Shadow of the Wind, this one. It's weird. Very foreboding and moody while not really explaining what the threat is so far. Totally absorbing even while it's totally baffling.

I also read another 50 pages of Olive Kitteridge. Meh. It's become one of those decisions that's too trivial for me to even concentrate on, whether I should finish this book or not, because it's not very long and it seems like it'll have been worth reading but I don't really care about the people or events in it so I could just as easily stop. Anybody read it and want to tell me if the best stories are after page 100?

That's all for today. Hope you're enjoying these last couple of weeks before the Mayan apocalypse Christmas.

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