rainy sunday morning

There've been some (more!) interesting writing-related posts over the last couple of days:

  • John Schoffstall talks about the rules of engagement, as put forth by Cheryl Klein
  • Max Barry talks about the block, and finishing a novel:

    Getting [the editor and writer] roles mixed up is a disaster. You don’t want a dose of cold, hard reality while you’re writing. No, no: delusion is your friend. Embrace the delusion. Save the critical analysis for later.

  • Jo Walton on chapters:

    Chapters are part of making flow actually flow. They have to end at points that feel like the end of a chapter. One of the things they do is provide a breath, sometimes a good long breath, and sometimes a pant, hardly a breath at all, but a breath still. Every chapter is a new beginning, pacing wise, even if it's starting with an answer to the question asked at the end of the last chapter in the same dialogue.

    Chapters are something I struggle with, although "struggle" seems far too active a verb for a process that is essentially me shrugging and thinking, meh, that'll do. This is part of the "that feels right" approach, of course. At the moment I think in scenes rather than chapters, because scenes feel more complete and chapters feel a little more arbitrary. (This is probably because I have taken the time to stop and think about structuring a scene. I have not been so diligent with my chapters. Yet. Another item for the Contemplating List.) I do remember a post on the mailing list, lo these many years ago, about structuring both scenes and chapters as fractals of the novel's larger structure… h'm. I'm going to have to search the hard-drive for that one.