Thursday, May 19, 2016

A rest-room wall

I had two weeks off from work at the end of Spring semester, and I had it in mind to up the pace on the new project. It started off slowly, but eventually I made good on my goal, and churned out six chapters over the two-week period. It could've been more had I really applied myself, but it turns out chapter 10 was a good place to stop and reassess.

This is going much differently than the last fantasy novel, the last novel even. The unreliable narrator has been really interesting to work with. It was unwieldy at first, but then I recognized the possibilities of a story teller that has personality. The only thing about the technique so far that I do not like is how confining it is. Normally, I work with third person, and I like it because it helps to tell a more comprehensive story. Lots of angles from lots of characters, and it afforded me the opportunity to choose the best perches to tell the story from. With this first person idea, I only get the one angle, so the success or failure of the story, in terms of interest, has to come from that source, so I have to make sure that source is thoroughly good.

I'm also looking into map making at this very late stage. Normally, it's taboo for me to start talking about places and directions and landmarks without having a fuller understanding of where those sorts of things are. That's why chapter 10 was a good place to stop. There was a critical mass of places and directions and movement that to go much farther, it would be a detriment to the story. This, too, has been different because usually, I have a map, and I introduce characters to placing knowing how they relate to other locales. This time, I've had people moving about already, so now I can design a map that has a skeleton of needs that the story is providing. I can already tell you that I like the previous way best, but something I did learn from this method is that maps can have rough drafts, too, and that once I anchor the things I've canonized, I can rearrange the other details to my liking. Not sure how far that rabbit hole goes. 

In other news, the networking is going poorly. Logistics can be hard, before all the smiling and hand shaking there is also the arrangements and scheduling. I've succeeded in saying yes several times, but have failed on following through, circling back around, asking again. It is so much easier to do nothing. I have a friend that is touring conventions now, with a goal to meet people and make contacts. I think about myself; I try to place myself in that situation and my body freezes at the prospect of touring booths and asking those leading questions. I watch a lot of interviews because I find people's histories and anecdotes very entertaining. In almost every case, successful types have horrible beginnings that help propel them into leaps of faith. I can admit to being awful afraid of jumping. But it does help to admit to such fears in a place where they might be read. As if having a fear no one is aware of and having a fear others might exploit changes the fear itself. 

Regardless, break time is over, and I am back at work.