“There are a handful of unfinished stories. And in my head none of them are really dead. Only sleeping.”
Neil Gaiman

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Day 23: It's Crap, But With a Beat You Can Dance To
Tue 2010-11-23 23:38:40 (in context)
  • 41,688 words (if poetry, lines) long

OK, so much for skipping ahead. Somewhere between then and today, I sort of got an idea of the shape of the in-between bits. How X and Y and Z happen, and how they're all related and internecessitated, I mean interdependent, and how I might get there from here. So I rearranged the order of some scenes, dropping some of them into different chapters, and babbled to myself in yWriter's scene description blocks, and moved other chapters firmly toward the end in a group of unused and unusable chapters... and finally placed the editor's cursor right where I'd left off Sunday morning.

I'm still not sure I like it. The whole thing feels very contrived: while Jet's supposed Monitor, Chender, is slipping secretively onto Earth to mess with an emotionally vulnerable Lia, Jet just happens to run into Lia's asshole brother Jack and get involved with him because she, too, is emotionally vulnerable in her own doggedly determined way. Again, there is only so far I can push Jet's dream's synchronicity. It begins to feel like a get-out-of-disbelief-free card for me, and that card's getting decidedly shabby around the edges.

But the plot had begun to feel claustrophobic in this section, containing as it did nothing but Jet and Lia and Jet's angst and Lia's scared boredom. They're getting out of the house for a bit--er, motel of the week, whatever, they're getting out of the motel for a bit, and they're meeting people and doing things. Which gives me an opportunity to tie things together, if I'm observant enough to take advantage of the opportunity.

And even if I'm not--sing it with me, now--this is only a first draft. It's amazing the connections that arise after the draft has been set aside for a few months and the author comes back with fresh eyes to evaluate it.

So. Trusting the process, trusting that I am unconsciously providing myself with opportunities to make really stunning things happen to this book in January, I continue writing a whole buncha crap. At least it's crap with a direction again.

She couldn't blame Jet for not knowing. She hadn't told her. She had never told her about her so-called family, about her mother's near-psychotic insistence on control and "civility" (because no matter what terrible things are going on in the dark, we must never be uncivil about it), about her father's stern, warped oblivion (because Lia was only a girl, not worth his time or concern), about her brother's--shit. Of course she'd never told Jet. She'd have to think about it then. Not just because she'd said, but because Jet would ask for more details. Whatever Lia chose to say, Jet would her interrogate her for more. Jet would probably think it had something to do with her infernal "assignment."

Lia sighed and turned toward the TV. She wasn't really watching it. She'd left it on so that its play of light and shadow would make the room seem active, less empty, its puppet show holding back the night. The volume was off. Lia's own thoughts, where they might go, that was bad enough, but the TV's chatter was worse. The TV was her mother's constant companion and a foil against which civility might be enforced. Civility meant keeping voices down so that the TV could be heard. And if Lia shouted, or screamed, or cried, Lia's mother would slap her. And Lia's father would say nothing. And Lia's brother would do whatever he liked, which was usually why Lia had been screaming, which was something Lia did not want to think about right now. TV. The TV was mute. It was better that way. And it was better for Lia to think instead about Jet and her putative assignment.

It wasn't that Lia didn't believe Jet now. She had no skepticism left, at least not about the supernatural stuff. She had accepted Jet's claims into her own understanding of existence. She accepted that Jet was not of this world, that Jet could die and return to her on the third day--or even on the next day, one-upping everyone's usual go-to example for resurrrection. She didn't accept that Jet's world was the real one and hers was not, but she accepted that there were more worlds than one. And she accepted that Jet arrived with assignments to piece together and perform, and that she received her instructions while she slept

But what Lia wasn't sure about was Jet's insistence that every random thing was a message from beyond. Jet could be a being from another world and still be a bog-standard paranoid conspiracy theorist. Lia though it highly likely, and it was pissing her off.

There now. And speaking of crap, I'm done with crap daily word counts. Tomorrow will be a 2K+ day. Just watch.