Stephanie Burgis
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good writing vibes
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Yesterday’s plot conversation worked! Today I wrote 1200-ish words and finally, finally finished Chapter Four of Kat by Moonlight. Whew! It’s amazing what a difference it makes when you figure out where the plot is going wrong. I'd written 3 pages of the second scene of Chapter Four and run into a dead halt for about 2 weeks, completely unable to force myself through it. It took yesterday's conversation to figure out not only what I already kinda knew (that that was because it was the wrong next step for the plot to take, duh!) but also what ought to happen instead. And suddenly I'm zooming through the writing again, happy and bubbling with more ideas...and very, very grateful that I didn't give into sneaking temptation and just abandon the novel during the past couple of weeks when it felt like it had just Gone Wrong.

Yesterday morning I had one of those reading experiences where it feels like your mind is being blown wide open. Sitting in Borders and sipping a morning latte, I picked up Neil Gaiman's collection Fragile Things and finally read a story that both of my brothers had recommended to me a long time ago: "A Study in Emerald" (also available online in a free, beautifully illustrated PDF version). 'Sherlock Holmes meets Cthulhu' sounds fun and is - but something about the writing did way more than that, for me. I don't know if it's because I loved the Sherlock Holmes stories so much as a kid (I had a wonderful red-leather-bound version of the collected stories, with gold-edged paper and elegantly typeset double columns of text on every page, and I read it over and over again, lying on my stomach on my bedroom floor, lost in the fogs of Victorian London) or if I would have loved it just as much regardless...but wow, I loved that story, and it also made me want to write more short stories of my own. I love it when I read something that inspires and challenges me at the same time. Now I want to buy the collection, as soon as next month comes and I've got book-buying money again...

And then last night we watched The Prestige, which was an amazing movie, and bits of it have played through my head today as I've moved around doing other things, impressing me all over again. So I'm feeling rich with stimulating, smart material to inspire me as I write this week.

And tomorrow I get to start Chapter Five.

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