1/23/06: Infodumps, endings, and babies’ bottoms

Word count: 1979 | Since last entry: 234

In addition to the 234 words of mostly infodump I wrote tonight in the actual draft, I also wrote over 350 words of additional infodump in a separate file of notes, working out the characters, their physical descriptions, and their relationships to each other. And as I was doing that, it became clear to me whodunit, and why, and what event would precipitate the crisis, and what they would all do after that point. The end.

No idea how many words there are between here and there. But my brain tends to leap to conclusions, and no amount of “let’s just write it and see where it takes us” has ever derailed it before, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised it’s done it again.

(My brain is a guy. Focused on the orgasm destination rather than the journey. Stupid brain! Down, brain!)

On the other hand, I know that I am capable of changing the ending if the story seems to lead in another direction. So I’m going to keep going, and hope for the best.

A snippet: “Kyra got on the intercom and called everyone together in the Gamma work bay. Alpha should have been the command and control module, but it hadn’t made the rendezvous — lost somewhere in the vacant light-years between here and there. Also lost was Delta, which had made it all the way to Tau Ceti only to burn up in the first aerobraking maneuver. So instead of the planned pentagonal ring, Cassie was a shallow V, with Gamma module in the middle and Beta and Epsilon on the ends. Fortunately, three modules provided sufficient resources and space for our purposes; the mission had been designed to succeed with as little as one module, but it would have been tight quarters.”

(I told you it was an infodump…)

One thing that stopped me from making forward progress for half an hour was when I needed to describe a character’s… knees. See, he’s curled in a fetal position, and he notices that his skin is as clear and unmarked as a newborn’s, which is his first hint that he is actually a clone of the person he remembers himself as being. And I’m having a devil of a time describing it. I need a word, or short phrase, that describes skin that’s smooth and clear and unmarked and translucent and beautiful… and brown. Food, wood, and leather metaphors all seem inappropriate. Right now I’ve got “smooth and unmarked as a baby’s brown bottom” but I’m not 100% happy with it.

The hardest part to capture is the translucence, which is going to be immediately noticeable because this skin has never been exposed to light. Very few things in life are translucent in the way that human skin is. Porcelain is the traditional metaphor, but that only works with pale skin.

Ponder ponder ponder. But now, sleep!

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