Week of 05 February to 11 February
Not every week brings colossal progress, and this week felt slow when it comes to writing. I would be hard-pressed to give you a specific reason for this, but in fairness I did accomplish some work. Ship in a Bottle took a lot of my writing-thought this week. I finished the first draft on Tuesday, waited a day, and then put it through a round of revisions in which I strove to cut three hundred words from the original draft. Those cuts were not primarily to make the writing tighter – they were to give me room for a prelude and a postlude. The story, you see, revolves around an alien artifact, and there is no opportunity in the main story to establish for the reader what the artifact actually is. Based on some helpful feedback, I attempted to solve that issue by providing bracketing micro-scenes…in which I try to world-build an entire alien species with intricate spatial manipulation technologies in less than three hundred words.
In other words, while the word count increases don’t look impressive, I was nevertheless putting energies into writing. Trying to get Ship in a Bottle right might be part of why progress on Impressions was slower; I’m only a third of the way into chapter six, where I’d hoped to be starting chapter seven by now. Then again, it is worth reminding myself that my original, notional goal was two chapters a month, so I shouldn’t feel too guilty. Plus, I am struggling to balance show and tell in this chapter, and I need to figure out how to realistically begin to advance the timeline drastically over the course of the next chapter or two. Only a couple of weeks have passed over the course of chapters two through five, and by the inciting incident slated for chapter seven, I need a few months to believably pass. Determining how to do that, narratively, is a big part of why progress on chapter six is a little slow.
Nothing to do but keep working at it, though, and keep reminding myself that the story doesn’t have to work perfectly in the first draft – that’s what revisions are for. While I’m working on that this forthcoming week, you’ll get to read a post on Tuesday with the very compelling title “Reflections on the Performative Nature of Language.” I think you’ll find it more interesting than that title might sound, though, since this is following up on some of my thoughts after reading Diné Bahaneʼ. Thursday’s book review will be for The Oresteia, as written by Aeschylus. That’s all for now, but I hope you give those a read this week, and check back here next week for another weekly writing update.