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Friday, December 24, 2010


I'm up after my first nap of the day (5:30-9 AM. I fed the cats @5). I'm showered, dressed, and hair-dressed. The fish are fed, the farm is managed (easy since I planted 2-day crops), and cubes are dropped while I watched Hellboy!

I love that movie. Forget for a moment Ron Perlman's fantastic performance as the blue-collar, red-skinned Everyman Demon. You have memorable characters all over the place. I especially like the scene between Jeffrey Tambour and Ron Perlman when they're lighting cigars. Nicely done, boys. Very masculine. Even the cameo folks from the beginning scene when Hellboy is found could have their own movie if they'd just let director Guillermo del Toro have his head.

TT: They did, by the way, in Hellboy II. There is a distinct difference in those two movies, and I'll probably talk about it some other time. I hope someday to watch Hellboy III. After they make it, that is.

Anyway, I didn't want to post about Hellboy.

Newburydave over at the Sandbox said something yesterday that got me thinking. I'll paraphrase.
According to Baen (whatever that is), it's okay to imagine mechanical doohickys and write about them as long as they work consistently within the story. His example was wormholes. We don't have wormhole technology, but we could someday and until we do, it's okay to pretend. It's called imagineering.

TT: Spellcheck hates that word. Oh, well.

Writers do this all the time, even Star Trek writers. It's possible this imagineering is a real branch of engineering. Frankly, I don't care. I didn't bother to look it up because it gave me what I needed.

I now have permission to write whatever kind of tech I want in Past Ties as long as it is consistent within my world frame. I'm kind of already doing it with psyonics, except that's not a real science, so I feel justified in playing with it.

Yes, Andra, you technically gave me permission to do this a while ago with your comments about "soft sci-fi." But a man is convicted by two witnesses, and a turtle is convinced by two unrelated examples.

We'll see if this new found freedom allows me to get these folks moving.

Another possible assist came in The Lioness' most recent NAF post about The Snowflake Method. I'd heard of it. I'd heard of its developer Randy Ingermansen (oddly enough at the Roaring Lambs' writer's conference), but I didn't know who he was.

The Snowflake Method is about plotting your story ahead of time and getting to know your characters before you write them so you don't have to stop all the time to figure out what happens next. A little homework at the beginning speeds up the end process. I have no reason to argue with the thinking.

I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer. We've established that, but I do think part of my problem with Past Ties is I'm not sure where I'm going. I have no definable moment I'm writing toward. I am not "writing with the end in mind."

With Star of Justice, everything I had was focused on getting to the former chapter 13 - Caissa's confrontation with Gamaliel. I must say, the former chapter 12 was one of the hardest I've ever written. I wanted so badly to just skip it and go on.

In Elementals, I aimed at that last chapter. I wanted everything lined up to make that chapter exactly right. Don't know if I hit it, but that was my goal.

I haven't found that Ultimate Scene for Past Ties. It used to be the revelation of LUCK-I as a robot. Not any more. That's established almost from the beginning. So where do I aim?

I have decided (for the moment), LUCK-I is the driving force of the book. Everything that happens should happen either to or because of it. All the rest is incidental.

But, with permission to give my imagineering free rein and a new-found goal of getting to know my characters and their needs, I hope to find my Ultimate Scene and my writing stride.

Wish me luck.

And Merry Christmas Eve to all!

Hmm. I'm a little tired. I may have to work that second nap of the day in before Christmas Eve services.


  1. Did you know the engineers at Disney are officially called "Imagineers"? Seriously, that alone should make spell-check take the word.

    I could so not imagine writing a novel and not knowing the end. I'm too much of a planner. In writing, and in life in general.

    Merry Christmas, Robynn!

  2. Apparently, I can't imagine writing one without knowing the ending, either. hehe!


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