two months down? already?

Posted on Posted in the wages of honey, writing life

I'm behind in my blogging (as usual), and partly that's because I'm this close to wrapping up the thorn girls short story. I am tempted to indulge in the cliche so close I can taste it, but really that would only be attractive if finishing were, say, a peanut butter sandwich. With fresh white bread. Yum.

Last night I got the structure all but nailed down (albeit with an awful lot of white space in the manuscript which is nothing more than the note GET HIM OUTSIDE NOW, or some other such crossing-the-room instruction); tonight I get to trawl through and put in all those room-crossings and transitions.

Normally when I write my first draft, I put the transitions in — but in a tricky first draft, such as this one, which I got half-written and then threw at Tess in desperation, and sulked until she came back with the suggestion to rip it to pieces (which was more helpful than it sounds, given she told me which pieces I needed to keep) and thus required significant structural edits at the same time as trying to write the rest of the story … well. In those cases I tend to skip the transitions. Mostly because I find I'll spend hours agonising over the one sentence that will impel the character across the room, only to find that character now needs to not be in the scene at all. Structural edits never progress linearly, for me. Heck, nothing about my story-writing process is linear. Let's be honest.

So, because listening to me opine about editing is bound to be a little dry, I'll point you instead to Gillian's blog, where there is a piece up by me in honour of Women's History Month, where I talk about my dayjob:

…my favourite subjects were mathematics and chemistry. …I could go on at length about the appeal of science and engineering — the way it takes hard physical evidence and observable, reproducible phenomena, and strings theorems and hypotheses between them to create stories of why the leaves are green and the sky is blue. That, just like writing, it's about past experiences, a shared history, imagination, and daring to dream. The fact that the entire discipline is built on a premise of being collaborative and rigorously open, encouraging invention and innovation, like a global remix project centred around numbers and factoids. I like that language is immaterial, that the stars speak to us through chemicals and fractals and ratios.

In the end, it comes down to the fact that I crave answers, yes, but more than anything, I want space and the chance to both be curious and to indulge that curiosity.

ETA: Oops! Link was borked. Fixt.