Friday, December 7, 2007


"Grandage is alive to the fact that uncontrolled rage is profoundly uninteresting to watch: If emotions boil over, tension evaporates. " David Benedict of Variety reviewing Grandage's production of Othello with Ewan McGregor as Iago.

There were two revelations in that statement for me. The first is that it may be why I don't particularly care for most reality shows. Especially the "I'm Better Than Everyone Else So I Can Treat Them Like Shit" shows. The people seem to be cast because they have no emotional control. And it's boring. Put one person in the mix who is polite and helpful, but plotting something for later and it gets a little more interesting.

The other is with regard to writing, of course. The long slow simmer is what builds tension. And it can be incredibly hard to do. But it has me thinking about both Vesta and MMG. I will be more aware of this in the rewrite process (and it'll be there in the back of my mind for the first draft of every book from here on out).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Warming Up The Pipes

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was the next book on the stack. It's interesting, but I feel overwhelmed by the sheer size of it. I know everyone has said it's a quick read, but it doesn't look like a quick read. It sits there mocking me. "You're tired and busy and I'll break you," it whispers. And it may be right.

So, I've decided to skip the stack for, I hope, some enjoyable short stories. I picked up Margaret Atwood's The Tent the other night instead of JS&MN. I can knock off three or four of her short stories in fifteen minutes--and they're good. I have the latest copies of Glimmer Train and Fantasy & Science Fiction. I may pick up a couple different magazines at B&N today at lunch (buying books for Miss Elizabeth for Christmas--fun!). Maybe Realms of Fantasy and one of the "reviews".

This serves two purposes. I have quick reads for when I do find some time to indulge. AND I am doing research on what they're buying. "Hmmmm," you say. "But, Deb, your key is the novel. What do you care about what short story markets are buying? You struggle with short stories." Exactly! Got it in one. The plan is to have a first draft of Vesta done rather soon. And MMG is starting to nag, but it's not yelling at me so I may have some free time during which I don't want to start a third novel. So, short stories. I have some that need varying degrees of revision, including a fantasy involving a mermaid, hence the fantasy mags. And I have some potential ideas for a few more. Ergo, market research. And seeing how the big boys and girls are doing it.

Before you say anything, Jenny and Ali, I already have the Tim O'Brien and Sherman Alexie books you recommended. And a couple Neil Gaiman collections--one of which I'm almost done with.

So: la, la, la, LA, la, la, la.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

December Goals

I can't believe November and NaNoWriMo are over. It was a good ride, even if I didn't get close to 50k words. Major congrats to everyone who participated in any way.

My goals for December are to keep up the momentum from November. Just keep plugging away at Vesta. 10 or more pages a week sounds good to me. I thought I might be ready to start on MMG, but I'm not feeling it yet. Maybe it will hit next week or the week after. Whenever it does, I'll jump in. But until then, I have Vesta to keep me going.

So what are your goals for December?