Monday, August 28, 2006

The Evil Chapter Five

Today's t-shirt: The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth. It was a gift from a friend many years ago, and I wear it with pride.

It's rainy today, and yesterday was the first day since my birthday when the temperature didn't reach 100. I kind of need to go grocery shopping, but I don't want to go out in the rain. I'm not by any means complaining about the rain. I just have an urge to stay in and drink tea and write on a rainy day, so I may as well go with it, even if I do have to scrounge to throw a meal together with the food I have on hand. I'll think of it as an exercise in creativity.

I've revised up through chapter seven, which used to be chapter six. The chapters are getting shorter, so this book should read even faster than previous ones.

I'm learning that in almost every book, chapters two and three from my initial draft almost always end up being cut or rewritten significantly. Chapter five usually ends up being totally altered, too. In fact, chapter five is always the chapter from hell. In book 3, I know I rewrote it at least five times, usually about twice per draft. In book 4, I just wrote an entirely different chapter five that comes between chapter four and what was chapter five, but which is now chapter six. I don't think I'll have to do much more major surgery for a few more chapters, but I've added enough so far that I have plenty of room to cut, and I imagine I'll be adding even more, which means still more room to cut.

I don't think I'll ever get to the point where I can avoid cutting a lot in the early chapters because that meandering seems to be part of the creative process. I need to get a feel for the story and where the characters are at this time, and that's where I do it. I guess I could start out by writing a piece of fanfic for my own book that gets into all that stuff, but it seems to work for me to play within the book. I just need to learn to recognize what needs to be cut sooner.

Let's hear a big woo hoo for The Office winning the best comedy Emmy. Oh, I love that show. But why do they always present the drama award last, like it's the big award we've all been waiting for, and therefore more important than the comedy award? Comedy may be even harder to do well than drama is, but drama usually seems to be treated as more valuable and more important. I think they should alternate years, with the comedy award going last every other year, as a way of showing that they're equally important. Comedy gets no respect. Hey, just because it makes you laugh, it doesn't mean it's less worthy than something that makes you cry.

Finally, a big happy birthday to my brother.

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