Stephanie Burgis
My Journal

Get Email Updates
Steph's LiveJournal mirror
Steph's Homepage
Published Short Stories
Upcoming Novels
Steph's Twitter account
Patrick Samphire's journal
Mr Darcy's blog
Steph's Flickr Account
Patrick's Flickr Account
2010: A Book Odyssey
SF Novelists
Web Rats
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

1257340 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Good Books and Writing Games
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (0)

Have I mentioned what a GREAT book week this has been? On Friday, I finished Jo Graham's Hand of Isis (which rocked, not surprisingly - she's rapidly becoming one of my favorite historical authors, whether inside or outside the fantasy genre) (and honestly, she could fit into either section of the bookstore with HoI). Before I could even wonder what to read next, Dave Schwartz's Superpowers (one of this year's Nebula Award nominees) promptly arrived in the mail. It's smart, funny, dark, and set in Madison, Wisconsin, where four VERY believable college students have just had something very strange happen to them...God, it makes me miss WisCon so much! I'm about 50 pages in and enjoying it a lot. Thanks so much for sending it, Haddayr!

Then yesterday, I got every mom-writer's dream: Patrick took MrD out to the cafe to give me time alone to write! Of course, he's done this regularly for a while, but every time he did it last week, I was so sick from the stomach flu or so tired from its after-effects that all I wanted to do was sleep with my free time. Yesterday, though, I sat down where I could see a fresh bouquet of white tulips on a side table, I took out my brand-new disposable fountain pen, and I turned on my Kat soundtrack on iTunes. I knew I wanted to finally start the new rewrite of Kat by Starlight, but I was feeling so rusty after all my time off, I didn't know how to get started, and as I thought about what I would need to do in the rewrite, my shoulders and neck got tighter and tighter with tension and intimidation - the worst possible feelings for a good writing session.

Then I had a great idea.

One of the biggest things I wanted to do in this draft (based on some very smart crits) was to expand one of the main characters, fill out his role to make Kat's reactions around him even more grounded. He's a character I'd always thought I knew pretty well, but when I first started thinking about how to fill him out in this novel, I realized there were still a lot of blank spaces in my understanding of him. (He didn't physically appear in the first novel, so I'd never had to sit down like this before.) As I thought about that yesterday, I got more and more nervous, more and more frozen with the knowledge of all the HARD WORK that would have to be done, all the SERIOUS WORK I would have to do in thinking about that character, which would be VERY VERY DIFFICULT and NO FUN AT ALL, and no matter how hard I tried to figure him out as I sat there, I just COULD NOT do it or see into him AT ALL...

...until the idea occurred to me.

I uncapped my fountain pen. I opened up my moleskine notebook. And I decided to do a facebook meme for him.

Five-and-twenty Things About Me (Charles), I wrote.

Number One. I was seven years of age when...

And I was in. Suddenly writing was a game again. It was play. And if I was just playing, well, then, that was easy. Anyone could do that. By the time I was five things into Charles's meme, I was discovering things about him that I would never have guessed - but that felt absolutely true and made all of his back story make sense to me in an all-new way.

And it was so much fun.

Sometimes I feel like I should be embarrassed that writing, when it works best for me, is such a playful thing. Surely a real career should be more Serious and Respectably Hard Work, right? Well, for better or worse, whether I'm writing rough drafts or doing endless rounds of revision, if I let myself think about it as Hard Work, I am doomed.

So I'm going to keep playing a while longer. :)

Read/Post Comments (0)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.