Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday Thinking

Funny, I got a 40 percent off any book coupon from Borders in my e-mail today (though I doubt it's a direct response to my ranting). The sad thing is, after last Friday's unpleasant experience, I found a couple of the books on my list at the library and read a review by someone whose tastes I trust that gave criticisms of the another book I was thinking of getting that would probably have annoyed me. So I'm not sure what I would buy, even at 40 percent off. There's probably some fine print in there to restrict choices. The book I really wanted is apparently not in stock at any Borders nearby. The B&N nearest the Borders has it, but it may just be easier to throw it into the next Amazon order I make because it really is out of my way to go up there.

I did like what one person said in comments to that rant about "communing with the books." That's exactly what it is. Choosing a book isn't really a scientific process. Sometimes you just have to stand there and see which one speaks to you, no matter how much research you've done. I also use bookstore visits to get a sense of the market -- what seems to be the trend, what doesn't exist, etc. We're still overrun by tough chicks with tramp stamps, I'm afraid. I'm ready for something different. There has to be something else to do with an intersection of magic and the real world that doesn't involve acting like a PI.

I've come to the conclusion that what I want is pretty much the USA Network of books -- character-driven, a mix of drama and humor, some quirkiness, serious things happening but without true "darkness" and with a sense of hope, where the characters have some goal to shoot for. Plus, great character interaction. They apparently do have an actual checklist of these items for their original series, and they tend to pick shows for syndication that also fit the model. That's what I want in books, and it seems to be working for USA, so why isn't it showing up in books?

Meanwhile, I'm remembering why revisions are sometimes harder and take more time than writing the book in the first place, as I go into the third day of rewriting one chapter. In the first draft, you just write it. To revise it, sometimes you have to take the time to unthink what's already there so you're freed up to write what needs to be there. Day one was trying to fix what was already there. Day two was realizing that I needed to go further back and make some adjustments before I could move forward while also realizing that most of what I'd written can't be fixed and that things should happen an entirely different way. Day three will be scrapping the middle and rewriting entirely. I might finish this chapter today. I'll have to see if my plan works, since it involves cutting some action and instead building tension, since I realized that the action didn't make that much sense. I can usually write a chapter in a day. There may be dents on my desk and on the wall by the time I'm done with this.

A big storm front just came through, so it's almost at nighttime levels of darkness, even in a room with a wall of windows and a skylight. I also don't have to go anywhere at all, so it should be a good writing day. I might even be able to move on to the next chapter. We'll see if I hit the Thursday 4 p.m. blahs this week or if I can power through. I also need to do some baking, as the food I'm bringing to the Halloween party is also part of my costume.

No comments: