my characters are not great communicators

Posted on Posted in journal, pre-crash

Yesterday, sometime between waking up and about 11:00 am, a young daddy-longs-leg spun a web across my couch. The arrogance and ambition of youth: he was probably rubbing his eight spindly legs with glee, thinking of the enormous haul this would no doubt bring. Now, I've been known to leave the knotty little fellows living inside, mainly because they have a reputation for killing venomous spiders like the redback. (Not that a redback ventures inside all that often.) And they're kinda cute, in their way. I can afford to be generous when the spider in question can't hurt me, you see. But a spider daring enough to booby-trap my couch? Has to go.

Today, after October — the month that was going to be so very productive, and was, just not for writing — I got back into the novel. Only a measly word count, but words is words, and it's more than I've had for the last week. I have to admit, I could have got back into the novel a couple of days ago, but I've been avoiding it a little. Catching up with other projects. Because, lurking in the back of my mind, was a vague dissatisfaction. (It appears to be going around.)

I was stuck in a funk because I'm currently working on stuff that's too familiar, early chapters that offer nothing new, no surprises. Or so I thought. Today, Kam used what was going to be a one-sentence transition to sneak off to the local library to do a little research. Well, she's a spy, she likes to learn things on the sly, but still she took me by surprise. And now I have an entirely new scene to slide into the novel, and I'm not sure what she's about to learn, or how it's going to affect the rest of the story.

I told you I'm no good at transitions.

New links memorised: Ben Rosenbaum on finding time, Wen Spencer on choosing POV.
ProcrastinationOther Work: Created a playlist for Salamander today. 68 songs, 4.3 hours. I was a bit slap-happy, so some of the songs may be removed, but still. Four hours of songs means four hours before it starts repeating on me, and that is good.

6 thoughts on “my characters are not great communicators

  1. Geez, Deb! Transitions are super easy. Just beat your main character over the head with a bag of *something* and knock them unconscious. Pop in a hash symbol (or some delightful asterisks), then voila! have the character wake up in a wondrous new scene!

    For variety, change the contents of the bag (marbles, rocks, sand, or gold ingots if you're feeling especially decadent). Oh yeah, for that extra grittiness and authenticity, call the bag of *something* a 'sap' (or if it's a mediaeval feel you want, call it a 'bludgeon')

    As for the human-trapping daddy-long-legs, that is just so damn cool. I discovered the other day, much to my detriment, a very large orb-weaver had constructed a web at face height in the passenger seat of my car. I also discovered, sometime after screaming like a soprano for what felt like an eternity, that my delightful family had, in turns and as a group, paused by the car earlier that day to admire the spider and its handiwork – without informing me of its existence.

    And people wonder wht I'm fixated on writing about spiders and bugs.

  2. Just beat your main character over the head with a bag of *something* and knock them unconscious

    er… read my story for redback yet? You'll find I pre-empted taking that advice πŸ˜‰

    The image of you screaming and vainly attempting to brush away spiderwebs is going to cheer me immensely today, thankyou!

  3. Ha! I haven't read the Redback story yet, but I promise I will, but only when I'm reading it over Ange's shoulder. That way, I'll laugh and chuckle when I get to your transition, and she'll think I either hate your story or I've gone insane.

    In fact, now I think of my own transitions – I just revised my Clarion week 1 story (Singing in Prague) and the story has two transitions – yep, both times the protag falls unconscious.

    If it's any consolation, the story I had in Aurealis (Sobek's Tears) had about a million transitions (from 1st to 3rd person no less!) and now that I've revised it, the protag ends every scene by staring at the sunset or at the Nile.

    Yep, my transitions rock!

    Oh yeah, my pleasure with the dodgy mental image. Glad to cheer your day!

    Shane

  4. Do you currently have stuff posted to the Online Writing Forum, over on the daw site? If so, I'll have to go check it out! I've been a bit distracted by my comic, lately. . .

  5. Hey Leigh,

    I did have a story up, but I didn't have long for revisions, because I had an October 31 deadline. I've taken it down now, since it's been subbed to a market. Don't worry about being too busy to catch it, I think it was right in the middle of moving your comic.

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