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Say the Thing

Writing can be really weird, right?

In my current WIP, I’m alternating points of view for my chapters, which means that at some points of the plot, I’m not in what I think must be the ideal POV for the moment — and as I keep writing, I continue to discover that I’m entirely wrong, and that the POVs I’m using are layery and flexible so as to accommodate what I’m doing, because what I’m doing impacts everyone there, so…

This moment is Eleanor’s, so why am I in Virgil’s POV?! But then I noodle around with Virgil and Something Reveals Itself, and everything is really layered and Doing Things and well, okay.

Sometimes, we need to chill out and let the brain do the thing. At some point, you trust the process.

This past weekend was the first official meeting of Writing Group, which doesn’t have a name and I’m not sure if it will get a name, but we shall see. This is my first in-person group in about forever, so I hope I don’t fuck it up.

I like the idea that there are people who will hold me accountable when it comes to getting shit done. Surely I am good at this on my own, but let’s not be silly: there are many areas in which a girl could stand to improve.

Mostly — and perhaps this is ridiculous — I am going to need someone to hold my hand as I write the book after the last Anubis book. Right now, it looks like a yawning abyss, an abyss that isn’t even really interested in gazing back at me, so yeah.

Having time (making time) to focus on craft and intent should be good. Also, SNACKS.

Yesterday’s novel writing involved throwing everyone into significant jeopardy, hooray? And because I didn’t think I was in the right POV, I kept wanting to delay one chapter, because then we’d be with Eleanor, and not Virgil, because WHAT was his investment in this scene, really.

But I leapt into the jeopardy and trusted Virgil to tell me his shit, which he did, and I’m pleased and astonished with how it turned out. This is a reminder that usually, there’s no point in dragging a thing out or hiding information from your reader.

I am also reminded of the one editorial note I got from Marion Zimmer Bradley on a submission I made to her Fantasy magazine. I cleverly tried to obscure a thing my heroine was grasping in a sand dune, because I wanted suspense and intrigue and mystery machines. MZB wrote on the page “doorknob!” and I have never forgotten this (nor have I thrown that page away). It is infinitely more interesting to say my heroine found a doorknob/door beneath a sand dune than show her touching something vague and round and unnamed.

SAY the interesting THING always.

Let your character DO the THING.

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