Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back from the Beach

Still no sketches.

I'm noticing I tend to produce more sketches when I'm busy than when I'm not. I think that's because drawing (for me, anyway) is a fairly thought-free process. Beyond figuring out what I'm going to draw, light sources, and so forth. If I'm working in bursts with little breaks between the action, I can spend 10 minutes drawing, then drop it, then come back later. I have to be in the mood, of course, but I always seem to want to draw when I'm not supposed to be doing it. It's a weird tick I've always had.

Writing, on the other hand, I have to really be in the mood for. Fortunately for me (and not so fortunately for my so-called sketchblog) is that I'm really in the mood lately. I've been making real progress on the story and may, hopefully, be moving on to part four by the weekend.

Suze and I just got back from a great Fourth of July weekend spent with her parents on Harker's Island. Suzanne's sister and her family had the cottage so we just stayed in her parent's spare bedroom. That suited me fine. It's a six hour drive down and then six hours back so scrubbing down the cottage on Monday would have just eaten into our time with them. It was tough because we're only two weeks into our diets but we hung in there and stuck with the grilled stuff and boiled shrimp. I did indulge in my father-in-law's martinis (a drink I usually find disgusting but his are somehow just amazing) but still ended up losing weight so that was good.

On the drive down, I was going over the next few scenes in my story in my head and I realized I'd painted myself into a corner. I know the ending of my story. It's already planned out and everything I'm writing is leading up to it. But I'd added little details here and there in the first three chapters that accidentally made an important aspect of the ending, well, impossible. Or, at least, implausible. Not the end of the world but troublesome. I had worked myself into a fair lather by the time we arrived but I scheduled a walk for the next morning, by myself, for some thinking time. I left my iPhone behind so I wouldn't distract myself with music and, sure enough, before I'd gone 200 yards, I had my solution. I actually laughed and raised my arms over my head in the "touchdown!" sign. This is the part of writing I enjoy the most. The problem solving. Watching things click into place. Like a puzzle, the more pieces you solve, the easier the rest of them are. Being so close to the story though, you can only hope that the fact that things are clicking so well doesn't mean that your story is predictable. I'll just have to wait and see, I guess.

Christian sent me down with the six trades of SCALPED by Jason Aaron to read. I'd read the first one a year or two ago and really liked it, including the amazing, moody art by R. M. Guerra. It's a terrific series and I blazed through the first four trades while we were there. Couldn't put it down. It was very inspiring. I loved the multi-layered story and epic feel of Aaron's storytelling. But it was very intimidating. Aaron has a very deft hand when it comes to dialogue, characterization and plot, knowing just what to reveal and when. I feel like I'm poking around in the dark, knocking things over and hoping they don't break. His story shifts back and forth through time but you never get lost. My story is set mostly in the present with occasional forays into the 1980's and way back to the 15th and 16th centuries. I'm juggling as best I can and just hoping I don't drop a ball on my head.

Anyway, I want to get back to the writing and time is running out before I have to hit the sack. So if anyone's reading this, goodnight and I hope you had a great Fourth of July. And, if you're anywhere near Richmond, stay cool! It was so hot today Suzanne forbade me from taking my lunchtime walk. I had to go to the gym where the dreaded Sweathog (Have I mentioned him?) had left his foul oozings on every machine in the damned place. Heatstroke would almost be preferable.



Warren said...

Glad you got over the hurdle. :)

todd said...

sounds like you had fun working things out--actually, it's ALWAYS fun when you eventually come to a conclusion, right? i have a short story that i did that with that i think i'll have to tear apart and rebuild just to make it come out right. glad you found your way through--

and glad you got to relax and 'vacate'--! you deserve it, man--with your insane hours and ridiculous deadlines--i dunno how you do it!

can't wait to see more of HMDH~!
talk to ya later!

PJ said...

What is with your blog and these spambots?

Matt Wieringo said...

Love takes many forms, PJ.

Heywood Jablomie said...

great to hear you solved that issue. like todd said, it's fun to puzzle things out in your head, well so long as you get it to work out that is!

and what no 'tale of two kitties' from this trip? (bad pun i know....)