August 20 — Weekend Notes

Currently reading Echopraxia by Peter Watts. It’s the second of what may or may not be a series, the first of which was Blindsight. Watts isn’t easy reading, even if you’re a hard-core SF fan. But, plowing my way through the first few pages of Echopraxia yesterday, he hooked me with his sheer mastery of language even when I had no idea what he was talking about. The problem with Watts, is that he clearly expects his readers to be capable of serious thought. If you aren’t, then hard science that includes a future version of vampires and zombies is going to be a bit difficult to swallow.

I had planned to reread Blindsight before starting Echopraxia, but alas, I discovered that it was apparently one of the books I left behind when I had to vacate my old apartment. The losses from that epic event continue to show up now and then.

I’m contemplating a new approach to publishing a book on my blog. As I’ve mentioned before, Hidden Boundaries and Crossing Boundaries were both serialized, as I wrote them, on my Live Journal blog. That was a successful experiment, but for many reasons, not one that I want to repeat.

What I would like to do instead, with A Well-Educated Boy, is use it as a demonstration. I’ve written a little bit about it here already, with reference to structuring the novel. In response, Alicia wrote a blog post about how she uses structure. A lot of that is documented on her blog, but she’s been working on her novel for several years, so I doubt she started blogging about it right at the beginning, which is what I would like to do.

I don’t know how many readers would be interested in following the process from beginning to end, but I consider it a worthwhile project for my own edification. I’ve looked back at several of my novels and wished that I had some record of how they came about, and developed.

For those who aren’t interested in going into depth in the creation of a novel, have no fear. There will still be plenty of my weird thinking about whatever strikes my fancy.

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4 thoughts on “August 20 — Weekend Notes

  1. I have notebooks from the very beginning (2000), but those are handwritten. It will be interesting to watch you blog – maybe some beginners will take the plunge. Though, as Flannery O’Connor said, “they(colleges)’re not discouraging enough” (beginning writers).

    If a new writer is determined, then you will provide an invaluable guide.

    The most important reason, though, is for yourself. IMNVHO.

    1. I should have known you’d documented it from the beginning. And your opinion is always welcome.

      Besides functioning as a kind of archive, I’ll be interested to see if the very recording of the process changes it in some way. I’d think it’s bound to, because it offers a different perspective from the actual writing.

  2. I use it mostly not to lose things – my external brain storage is those notebooks. Memory and retrieval are hard for us CFS folk. I took to saving the first two pages in each notebook for an index, and I date every entry I make, manually or digitally, so the index doesn’t have page numbers, it has dates.

    Dates also help ground what I write (which is interspersed with personal life details – I wrote them down wherever I was writing) in what life was handing me at the time. Someday I may pull those pieces out – I call it The Accidental Autobiography in my possible-projects file.

    1. The index really makes sense. I just started a Bullet Journal, but pared down to very bare bones and with my own take on how to do it. My memory has always been more sieve than container, and I’ve spent my whole life surrounded by notebooks and bits of paper, none of which ever helped keep my life in order. And I’ve been thinking along the lines of your Accidental Autobiography in regard to blogging the progress of the novel.

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