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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Letting Go

You would think I learned this with Elementals, but I guess turtles need more reminders than your average elephant.

TT: I'm considering Cleft as a final title for Elementals. I got it from Obadiah 2 - 4: "The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, 'Who can bring me down to the ground?' Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down..." The verses refer to the destruction of Edom, but they remind me strongly of the Avese. Thoughts?

I tried something new with Price of Justice. Instead of putting things into a separate note file, I wrote them into the mss with the understanding I would take them out later if they didn't fit there. I hoped it would be a time saver.

Big mistake.

I have conclusively proved my writing style is lean with tendency to plumping, like a Ballpark Frank. Or the body reconstruction scene from The Fifth Element where they build Lelu out of a couple of cells. I write the skeleton first and I go back and add ligaments, then muscle and finally skin to hold everything together. If you're lucky, I'll throw some clothes on it, but not always. Cue Merritt's curtsy.

I tried to reverse the process by including everything I could think of in the first draft believing I would cut it later. Well, the cutting is what's getting in the way. What do I cut? Which part is too much? Is any of it necessary? Arrgh!

When I let go and slice down to the bare bones, I move forward. I also lose all the info I jammed in there in the first place, and I'm sure some of that will go back later. So I've wasted more time than I saved.

So be it. Lesson learned. Again.

I'll reopen my notes file and move those chunks of flesh over there while I figure out what kind of bones this baby has.

It's half-written but it's only just begun. Sigh.


  1. Well, your writing process soubds better than mine, as I tend to think up all the flabby bits first and then have to figure out what the bones should be.

    Not fond of "Cleft" as a title. I see where the verse is reminiscient of the Avese, but the single word cleft doesn't capture the dicotomy of the story. "Clefts and Heights," maybe.

  2. Yeah, I'm doing Nanowrimo right now, and I'm trying to pad the story, too. I'm winding up with a lot of dreck. If you have a critique group, they'll point out what to cut. It'll give you hints, anyway.

    I'm with Kristen on the Cleft title. It sounds too much like the first stage of Myst: Uru, which involves, you guessed it, a cleft. Unless your people really do live in a cliff city a la Petra. Then you might combine it, like Proud Cleft or Eagle Heights or something.

  3. I third the nay on "Cleft." Makes me think chins and palates. What's wrong with Elementals? I like that :).

    Oh, and apparently my writing style is to start with bones, add a little meat, have my editors tell me the meat is wrong, change the meat, and add the fat :P.

  4. OK, so "no" to Cleft. That's fine. I'm about ready to grab 20 Scrabble tiles and arrange them until something lyrical emerges and go with that.

    There's no reason to change the title, except...
    1) No one gets it, and
    2) I don't want anyone confusing it with the "elementals" from Star of Justice.

    I suppose if a future publisher is OK with that, so am I.


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