Monday, May 12, 2008

Getting Into a State

I'm back into serious work mode for this week, since I got revision notes on the Book That Would Not Die. It turns out that the beginning and end work, and I just need to fix the Dreaded Sagging Middle. That should be doable.

It seems like on each book I learn something new about writing, some fault I can fix and then carry forward into the next book, not making that mistake again. And then in the next book I discover a different thing that I need to improve. It's not as though those faults spring out of thin air. I think they just become more obvious with the previous flaw fixed, or else they're something that can't be fixed until the underlying fault is fixed. I hope that means I'm a better writer in each book than I was in the last.

This time around, the thing that I'm facing is dealing with emotions. I've hit some high points at time to time in doing that well for particular scenes in the past, but in general, I tend to be more cerebral and analytical in my writing rather than emotional, and dealing better with emotions is the thing I need to learn to take my writing up a notch. The challenge is that I'm not a wildly emotional person. I am more cerebral and analytical. I live in my head rather than in my heart. And, I'm generally pretty mellow. I don't really do highs or lows. To me, an emotional high is a peaceful state of zen-like bliss, and a low is that bliss being dampened a bit. But in order to honestly write about emotions, I need to explore them a bit more, myself, which means deliberately working myself into a state. It's probably a good thing that I live alone because I wouldn't want to inflict me in a state on anyone.

I may get a head start on that because we have a homeowners association meeting tonight, and dealing with these people is a good way to work myself up. Normally I just send in a proxy and skip it because I'm allergic to meetings, especially meetings with conflict. But this time around there are apparently some issues, and there's no one I really trust my proxy with for these issues because I don't know the new board, so I have to go in person and that means dealing with these people, some of whom have already worked themselves into a state over what they think will happen (however, those people also thought the meeting was last week and that they were trying to sneak things by us by not notifying anyone about the meeting, so I'm not sure how accurate they are about the things that are going to happen).

Sadly, my inclination is to take notes on these people getting all worked up and confrontational to observe how to convey these emotions, which brings me back to the cerebral and analytical thing.

Maybe I also need to get out the opera scores and do some singing. Cursing the heavens in Italian is a good way to get emotional. Music in general does work like that for me, so perhaps I need a soundtrack for this book.

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