Some <a target="_blank" href="http://www.fireworks.com/interactive/fireworks_show/default.asp">virtual fireworks</a> to light up your desktop. They're lighting up mine, in between writing sessions. Hit "the end" on one project before lunch, now pushing for the next. July is a busy month this year, but I have a lot of freedom and I do celebrate that.
There are books I love for the language, the sheer power of the words. One book that bowled me over with prose is <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553562614/104-7057161-4378312?v=glance&n=283155">Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash</a>. (Contact patches like a fat lady's thighs...) The description of the baddest guy on the planet with the tattoo "Poor impulse control" on his forehead just killed me.
Here's a snippet from <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009N5AOO/qid=1151958160/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-7057161-4378312?s=books&v=glance&n=551440">Dangerous Games</a> that I love. (Okay, I love the whole book but I really love this scene.)
Her breath caught. She could feel his pheromones infecting her central nervous system, hot-wiring her cerebral cortex and there was no telling what they might drive her to do. It didn’t disturb her. If he didn’t like whatever rash act biology drove her to, he was certainly able to defend himself. But she hoped he wouldn’t want to.
It's the hot-wiring that does it for me, I think. Yes, this is lazy blogging. I'm up to my eyeballs in pages. But sometimes it's nice to step back from BOOK and look at words. Sentences. Language.
The hero of novella #2 looks like this...love the smile. Doesn't he look like he's Ready To Play?<a title="chet" class="imagelink" href="http://charleneteglia.com/charliwp/wp-content/uploads/2006/07/imageFolio2.cgi1.jpeg"><img width="115" height="96" align="left" alt="chet" id="image694" src="http://charleneteglia.com/charliwp/wp-content/uploads/2006/07/imageFolio2.cgi1.jpeg" /></a>
One of the fun and funny unplanned thing about my 3-novella anthology is that each one has a symbol. In the first, it's the boots I've already shown here. In the second, it's a butterfly tattoo. It's kind of neat to have a visual representation of an important point in the story.
I use my theme songs to get in the groove for the writing day (theme song for novella #2 is Sin Wagon by the Dixie Chicks), but I find the symbol gives me another "hook" for the story. Hey, whatever works to fix the story in your head and get it on the page, that's what I say! Bring on the music, the boots and the butterflies. It works.
This 3 novella anthology has been a very interesting experience. I'm really trying not to say much about Wild Wild West for a couple of reasons. A., no telling how much will change by the time all edits are done and B. it's so far ahead of release that it's not really a good time to post excerpts and so on.
But I really like the people in this book. Each couple sets the tone for their novella and they all have a different mood. Romantic, playful, and the deeper emotions. I'm having a lot of fun with them and I like the way they surprise me. I like the overall arc of the thing, how each mood flows into the next. Wish July 07 wasn't so far away!
There are too many people in my head right now and the only effective form of excorcism is to Finish The Book. I'll be delivering a bunch of projects in a row, thank God, so that should ease the pressure up there.
Had an awful moment yesterday when I remembered a line I'd written recently and COULD NOT REMEMBER which bloody book it was in. (Miss Lonely Hearts, it turns out) Head is too full when I can't keep things straight. Of course, this is why I have files of notes and scenes and potential scenes alongside the story, synopsis and blurb. Because I don't trust my brain to hold it all.
If I start sounding a little incoherent as I approach the finish point (and then again and again), you'll all know why. All these people need to go live someplace else!
So I thought I'd do a blog entry on why I like to write short stories, even though there is virtually no market for them. First of all, there is something really satisfying about a project you can complete in a single sitting. Novel writing is like running a marathon, it's all about endurance. Even a novella is not going to get finished in a single session. But a short-short, I can sit down and write one and be finished! There's a lot of satisfaction in that.
Also, it's good for my creative self. It allows me to experiment, stretch, try different things or simply explore ideas that aren't big enough to sustain a longer work. It's a very refreshing change of pace for me, like writing a poem. It flexes my creative muscles in a different direction and lets me come back to novels and novellas refreshed. It does something to sort of "reset" my brain in between longer works, too.
And I like the idea of being able to provide short reads on a semi-regular basis to offer something of value to readers, and I'm a person who likes to write stories about what happens to characters before or after the "main" story. Before I started in on the book that's currently being shopping around, I wrote a short story about the main characters. The novel then developed in a totally different direction from what I'd initially imagined, but it let me put them together and see how they interacted and that helped me flesh out the novel. I went into it with a new depth because I went back in time to before the novel started with them, without cluttering up my book with backstory.
Finally, the exercise of writing a short story affirms something very important: my process works. It may not be like anybody else's process, but it's my process and I can trust it. It works, every time.
Off to write some more pages! The plot is thickening and the characters are starting to feel the burn as I hold their feet to the fire, heh heh.