Archive for June 13th, 2006

6/12/06: Making stuff up

Word count: 4223 | Since last entry: 251

In just a few weeks we will be going to Anaheim for the annual gay square dance convention. Naturally this includes a visit to Disneyland, and because we are obsessive control freaks we have been doing considerable research in order to beat the crowds. This has extended to the purchase of a software program called RideMax, which uses the latest available information on schedules and line movement rates to calculate an optimal touring plan for the attractions you want to see. It’s like the touring plan in The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, which we swear by, but customized. Unfortunately, it’s Windows-only, which means we will be unable to make modifications to the plan after we leave home.

Yes, we are geeks. But we will spend less time standing in line than you, nyaah nyaah.

Tonight’s writing was remarkably hard. I had to write several paragraphs of description of the devastation of Pass Christian, Mississippi, without either having been there or plagiarizing the very-well-written description of that exact thing I found on the web. I hope that the telling details I have made up out of whole cloth sound as plausible to other people as they do to me. The hard part will continue until I reach the end of this day of the story, when my co-author’s diary picks up again.

I’ve been thinking a lot about whether the subplot I’ve invented to make life harder for my main character is extraneous or not. The problem is that if I don’t have this subplot he has nowhere to grow. He needs to start off at a place that is worth growing away from, and I can’t use even a variant of the typical “selfish/angry/repressed man learns to be generous/calm/uninhibited” plot because the character himself has to be quite generous, calm, and uninhibited or he wouldn’t be doing the job he is. I will hang onto this subplot for now, but at some point I may try removing it completely and see if the story stands up without it.

(I hope that stuff like the previous paragraph is interesting and useful to you, the readers of my blog. I haven’t thought as much, or as coherently, about writing as Jay Lake and Elizabeth Bear; all I can do is to write about what I’m doing and hope that some people will find it worthwhile. Which is just what I do with the writing itself, too, so what the hell.)