author’s note: between chapters 5 and 6
Posted by jeanne
i’ve had a bit of a break between the end of chapter 5, coinciding with the end of nanowrimo on december 1 to now, 2/3 of the way thru january, say 6 or 7 weeks. in this time i’ve prepared for a big art opening, and a once-every-decade family reunion including presents for all, far far away from where i am now. all of it got done with just the right amount of time and effort, and everything went smoothly. in fact, family members that weren’t talking to each other last time now had kids and thus something to talk about. so it was all very exhausting, very consuming, very intensive, lots of fun. we’ll laugh about it for years. and in fact my year already looks like several trips to the old manse in order to help our aging but hearty mom arrange herself a more comfortable lifestyle.
i read a few books during this hiatus from writing fiction. books by people whose names i can’t remember now, nor the plots or names of the books, but only how good their characterization was, and how succinctly they got to the point, and low long their chapters were. whenever i watch a movie, for the last year now, i only notice when the plot turns (23 minutes), and when the acts begin (when everything is different), etc. i relish a well told story now, and wince at the bad ones as if i wrote them myself.
i’ve had a chance to get back into my painting, as well, doing a picture of my brother’s kids and an mc escher print to say thanks for putting me up in such a madhouse. it’s watercolor on paper mounted to board (so no glass).
and a portrait of my mom’s late brother, uncle harry, patriarch. this one’s in oil on panel, and i worked on it with jim, doing the usual collaboration (intervening in every stage of his painting until i end up finishing it.)
and then i found a bunch of ikea framed mirrors that someone didn’t want, and painted encaustic (wax) paint all over them. there were 9 of them, and with a half-dozen fake pashmina scarves from the indian store, and two homemade sourdough loaves of bread, i was laden with all these gifts when i arrived materfamilias.
sorry for the focus. i’ve got a headache just looking at this. it’s only about 10″ square, so it’s not as bad in person. and it smells of orange oil, which i use as an encaustic cold wax solvent.
anyway, i worked like a dog for almost 2 months, after working like a dog for nanowrimo‘s 50,000 words, which i made thank you, after working for a year on getting the story read and beginning to write.
and i’ve been looking forward to getting back into my chapters. i’ve been paying attention to characterization and character development in the novels i’ve been reading, and i’m thinking i need to do a bit more development, and slow down on the patter for awhile. but who knows.
the last chapter, about kurt making the quantum kernel, was very different from the chapter about designing the game. in fact, all seven of the first section’s chapters are very different from each other, and deal with many different aspects of reality and technology that i felt i had to get out of the way before even thinking about starting on the game itself.
i was trying to explain this to my cousin, who god help him can’t get past the science (and nor can anybody else, i might add, evidence this blog’s low readership (mostly accidental hits)), and i wondered why i would put all the hard bits right at the front of the novel, and save the fantasy game itself until the book’s half over?
but there it is. maybe in the second draft i’ll just skip over all this realworld drama and go straight to the game. maybe i can further weave the game in with the rest of the story (which in fact is already woven in once).
anyway, i’ve looked thru the outline for chapter 6 twice in a couple of days, and i’m starting to stare off into the distance in the middle of conversations, so i’m almost ready to post the outline and begin.
wee hah, i love to write.