Keeping the distance

Scott Nicholson says in Write Good or Die:

Newer writers tend to rely on “He saw,” “He felt,” “He smelled,” “He tasted,” or “He heard” instead of just letting the actions or sensations occur. It shows a lack of confidence. If you have done a good job of securing your character viewpoint, then when that stack of dishes clatters to the ground, the reader knows who hears the smash.

So of course I looked through my novel’s current draft and it didn’t take long to see how I had violated this advice.

Before

Quinn and Esh walked along the beach for several minutes, following the bend and curve of the beach. In the distance, Quinn could see various buildings, most of them dark red and orange, sprinkled with dots of light as the evening approached. Quinn stopped in his tracks. He could see movement around the dwellings.

“Aliens.”

After

Quinn and Esh walked along the beach for several minutes, following the bend and curve of the beach. In the distance, buildings, most of them dark red and orange, sat in a cove and formed a town. Dots of lights sprinkled them as evening approached. Quinn stopped in his tracks. Dark figures moved around the dwellings like ants on their hill.

“Aliens.”

Rationalizing, episode two million and one

No, I did not write today. I spent all morning reading on my Kindle. Then I met Phyllis at church and then we went to Skyline and discussed how each of us is surely the only normal person in each of our respective families (not true).

No, I did not write today, but reading and conversation are fodder for prose.

Slightly repulsive

I now live in the post-Oprah show era. I bring up Oprah because I remember one time she said it’s a good idea to write down everything you eat so you can see what a gluttonous pig you are. I have heard that the same principle can be applied to keep track of one’s discipline in writing. That is why I created this blog. I want to keep track of the experience of writing my novel.

What is the current state of my novel? Well, I wrote the first draft during the 2010 NaNoWriMo. Of course that draft was dreck, but I’m currently rewriting it and my novel has graduated to slightly repulsive. But it’s okay. I’m having fun. I took my first draft and made a list of the scenes. I ended up with exactly one hundred scenes.

Having one hundred scenes makes it easy to figure out what percentage I have done. Let’s just say I am twenty-one percent done with the current draft. I was hoping to be further along by now, so I created this blog so I can capture my thoughts on the writing experience. I also hope it will keep me more consistent.

I have posted my novel in another blog. As soon as I am brave enough, I will provide a link to it. At the moment, it is just too offensive to let anyone see right now. Maybe later.

Can you guess for what “sly twin tiger” is an anagram?