6/13/06: Writing is dangerous

Word count: 4900 | Since last entry: 677

I got absorbed in my work and missed my stop on the train. Fortunately, when I noticed the problem (two stops later) I got off and was able to catch a train going the other way just a few minutes later. The same thing happened last week, though on the inbound instead of the outbound commute.

Another way that writing is dangerous is that it can break your heart. Man, if you ever want to find out just how much one of your stories sucks, just get it nominated for a major award. I should learn to stop reading my reviews but I can’t help myself. I am a hack and my “aliens” are just stereotypical Orientals in rubber suits.

Having written nearly all of day 2 of the story, I see a couple of problems: 1) the supernatural event on day 2 happens during the day, which has atmospheric problems as well as violating the rules I’ve set for myself, and 2) having written day 2, I’m not sure that day 3 is different enough (i.e. moves the plot forward enough) to justify its existence.

After thinking about it a while, I think I may be able to solve both problems by rejiggering the outline as follows: eliminate the morning of day 3, rewrite the afternoon of day 2 to be the evening of day 3, and eliminate all of day 4 except the night (which is the climax of the story). A more drastic rewrite would lose the morning of day 2 (which I just wrote today, sob) in favor of the morning of day 3, but I think I may have the content of that scene already covered elsewhere.

This new outline, covering only 2 very long days, means dropping the date headers on each day. No biggie. Could be a good thing, in fact, because it solves the phase-of-the-moon problem. Just need to establish the approximate date in text (nail it hard on the first page!).

Even after eliminating 2 full days of the original outline there’s still a lot to write. However, this outline goes into more detail than the old one; I might be able to squeeze it into 8000 words all told, and then edit it down to below 7500. We’ll see.

I’m babbling; I have no idea if this will make sense to anyone else. Another way that writing is dangerous is that it keeps me up much too late. Good night.

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