Time to Shape Up

Writing problems that it’s time to deal with.

Plots

I’ve fallen into a pattern that I need to break: Man given power over others for one reason or another, is all angsty and conflicted over the situation. This is becoming tiresome for me. It will be worse for readers. Natural consequence (for the time being): abandon The Warden until such time as I can find a different direction for it or make use of one (or some) of its themes in shorter works.

Style and structure.

Structure is moderately easy to deal with, and The New Serfdom is my first deliberate experiment with structure. Nothing revolutionary. Just trying to break out of the jail of strict chronology.

Style is a morass that can defeat any writer. Mine is plodding and straightforward. It gets the job done, but isn’t particularly interesting. Trying to imitate another writer’s style may be a good learning exercise for beginners, but it isn’t the way to find your own. Are style and voice two different things? I think not, but the niceties of technical details and definitions go in one ear and out the other, so I’m doing the search for style in my own idiosyncratic way. I don’t want to create a voice; I want to listen to mine more closely and see if it’s saying things the way I want them to be said. Do I even know what that means? Not really. But if I did, I probably wouldn’t have to do it.

So, what’s next, now that I have the time and energy that NaNo would have devoured for the next two weeks? The Warden is on the shelf, maybe permanently. Gift of the Ancien needs a complete rewrite that I’m not ready to tackle. Those two novels were intended to be the next ones published.

For an interim project, before I decide on the next big thing, I’m going back to the hand slaves universe. I have a novella 3/4 written, just waiting to see the light of day, so that’s what I’m working on now. Like practically everything I’ve ever written, I didn’t know how I wanted it to end. Now I do.

After that, maybe back to The New Serfdom. I may post some excerpts from that on my other blog, but it’s not a certainty yet.

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3 thoughts on “Time to Shape Up

  1. Catana, as a gesture of respect for your fine blogging efforts, I have nominated you for the Blogger Idol Award. (Yes, I know I can be a nuisance!) There isn’t much fuss associated with this one: just put up an announcement post and pay your respects to four bloggers you admire. The award’s logo and my own write-up are now posted on my blog. If you are too busy for such things, or don’t believe in them, I will not be offended. Either way, congratulations and keep up the great work!

  2. Catana, if you take on Thomas’s idea (and why not, you deserve it), please send me a PM about how I go supporting the venture – you know I’m hopeless around anything digital that isn’t on my beaten track – but I’m happy to learn.
    Re all your rethinking: I think you’re going in the right direction. Re Style and Voice, in my view, Style is the vehicle that carries the narrator’s particular Voice.

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