Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A manifesto I'm sure I'll break tomorrow.

There's a rule or guideline or suggestion I keep seeing: Kill your darlings.

I hate that suggestion. Sometimes my darlings are the only good thing in these wretched little stories.

It goes along with that other fear of mine: cutting these stories and editing them until they're little anorexic skin-and-bones things, with all the beauty excised. I won't do that.

Friday, March 01, 2013

In Process -- Feb 2013



First Draft
“Useful Things to Know”. Turned into a fun little steampunk Dr. George story, which wasn’t expected.
“The Last Flaw of Nandini Taylor.” Well, I had to start something, but I didn’t really know where I was going with it.
“Meet my Mother, Miss Cegenation.” So I had read a piece in Toronto Life about the rise of mixed race kids, and I was thinking about a person I know who doesn’t know who her father is and hence may, I don’t know, obsess a bit on this topic. And selkies. I know they’re for losers, but I wanted to write one anyway.

Editing

 “Don’t Choose Astronaut”. The second draft was little better than the first, because it went from (mostly) 3rd person past to 1st person present. Also, once there was text there, I could decide where the tension belonged. I got this wrong in the first draft, so wound up having to fake tension. Once the fake tension was gone and their resolution was a proper climax, the end worked better. I’m on the fourth draft of this thing now, and OMG I need to find a way to write better first drafts.

66885 – Needed a wee bit of research about Schrodinger’s cat, and then a final edit and got sent on its way. This story might be too “inside” to make sense to others. As in, I’m not sure if you need to know too much broadcast jargon, and how QA works. I was worried about formatting, because the story is written as a sequence of comments in fault-tracking software, so manuscript format would make it hard to read. Turns out it looks fine. 

So the shocking thing here actually was, I took the story out having left it for a week or two while I worked on something else, and I did that scrap of research and opened the file again, but realized OMG the last time I’d looked at it was like two months ago. I mentioned something like this in January’s recap as well. Why does it take me so long to finish anything? WTF? 
  

Knitting

“Biohazard”. (pullover) Second sleeve is my carry-around project. 

“Ceremonial Armour”. KF cardigan. ¼ finished upper body. 

“Tenney Park.” Body and sleeves finished, blocked, seamed, finished, and worn! People think I’m really good at this knitting thing, but I think I’ve just got more tenacity than others. When I started the body of this one, I’d worked for about two hours and realized that the gauge was way too tight and it would never fit. And so, I ripped it out and started again.

“Seaport Skirt” from Modern Top-down knitting. Uses some stash yarn, win! And again, I started and realized that I was reading the pattern wrong and had to rip out six rows. And they’re long rows. I have nine inches, so almost half done.