So, this story for the anthology is kicking me in the nuts. Mainly because I care a lot about it and want it to be really really good. Gillian liked it but she asked me to make it better and I’m glad she pushed me, because I think it is a bit better now, but every time I go over it I see something else to fix, or take out, or put back in again, which means, time to finish the fucker. (“Fucker” being a term of endearment, of course, Gillian, if you’re reading this! <3 <3)
It’s now nearly 7 am. I want to get this redraft finished today. 12 pages, 7000 words, slight hangover, but nothing else to do today, so definitely doable if I don’t let myself get distracted by porn, hot aliens, hot alien porn, or Hungarian folk metal on Youtube.
I’m writing this to give myself the incentive of public shame if I don’t get the work done.
7:01 – page 1. Go!
7:58 – halfway thru page 1. Still two sentences I dont like in the first half. Shower!
8:20 – fixed one of those sentences (and cut some words in the process, yay, because I need to do that too). Highlighted a few other words for incessant dithering over later on.
8:30 – fixed two of those words. Dress in black jeans, t-shirt decorated with Ace Frehley’s silver, severed, gore-dripping head, and RM Williams boots, because that is the closest thing I have to a badass outfit in Bangkok and feeling badass never hurts when there be work to be done, right? Cuban heels keep feet on floor under desk and reduce chances of going walkabout. Option of gluing arse of jeans to chair held in reserve.
9:38 – page 2! (Ok, 4 sentences and a couple of words in page 1 not settled, but I’m sure my subconscious is working on them.) Hungry! Wasfer breakfast?
10:08 – leftover tabouleh, toast and hot ginger drink, apparently. That took half an hour?! IKU ZO!!!
10:56 – 2/3 through page 2. Put back something I took out (from the version Gillian said she liked) ages ago. Just a little paragraph describing a street. Which Australian readers might not need but foreign readers might. And what’s wrong with a little description of a street anyway? Just tidied it a bit. The description, not the street. The street was already tidy.
11:17 – feel as though I’ve written quite a bit, but I’m still 2/3 through page 2. Have I just been cutting stuff out? There was a new section I put in that I liked, but I don’t have the chops to write it 100% and written 80% it’s no good. (It’s one of those kinda guitar-solo sections where you really want to hit at least 95% of the notes or, you know, play something easier.) And it might be redundant anyway, given that there’s a section of similar tone that’s in there already and absolutely has to stay. So, out. Right. Smoko.
12:35 – page 3! Left a couple of chunks behind on p2. Their fate probably depends on word count. Now at the mental statge where the whole thing looks like a ball of dung that I’m pushing up a hill that I can’t see because I have a giant ball of dung in front of me.
1:24 – after spending some time walking (not pacing, I swear!) around the public balcony on the floor below, am 1/2 through p3. Am now up to an important bit, so lunch, though perhaps undeserved, seems justified…
2:22 – ohnoes. I’ve just looked back at the changes I made on p1 and I think what I had before was better.
3:08 – Mm, some was better, some wasn’t. Reading aloud really does help. Thankful thoughts to Gillian for asking me to do that. I really must do it more often. It helps to keep me focused, too — maybe because it engages more of me than silent writing does, so there’s less of me to get distracted? Not that I’ve been distracted today, I’ve just been slooooow.
3:45 – so page, er 1, is nearly done. A couple of little grotty spots, but I think it’s basically ok. I’m getting a headache, so I’m going to watch TV for a bit. She died with her boots on, they’ll say. In front of the telly.
5:50 – back to work! Page…..2…..
6:22 – midway through p2. I broke that description up. It was too much like, ok, now I’m going to describe the town…which would have been fine, but the POV character is so not thinking about the town in the scene, and I think a paragraph’s pause for a description is going to muddy the waters a bit. I had this, which I like a lot:
A sauntering essence (presence?) of the afternoon, as though released by the absence of living persons in the street, seemed to wend its way from verandah to verandah, leaning a creased and flannelly shoulder against windows with lace curtains that gave a little in the middle.
But I don’t think there’s room for a sauntering essence or presence of the afternoon in this story. I’ll have to keep it aside to use elsewhere.
6:44 – Magic moment. Open thesaurus at random page. Receive freebie. Not just word, idea. This is when I love writing. When the fairies hang about.
7:13 – a bit of architectural research done, page 2 nearly done. I’m obviously not going to finish this today! I can feel my brain getting sludgy. I might do a bit more later on but I’m officially clocking off. But I think I’ve done good work and tomorrow’s another day. Next week there’s a religious holiday, so no work and no Thai classes until Thursday. I intend to do tomorrow the same thing as today, i.e. try to get this finished, in the same t-shirt. If I rinse it out tonight and hang it up on the balcony it’ll be dry in the morning.