I can’t stop writing

Which may seem like a good problem to have, except I’m supposed to be editing.

Since I finished my novella, I’ve written five short stories, and just signed up to write another… and I’ve only edited, partially, one chapter of my novel.

I know I need to focus on editing, or the writing was for nothing, but it is terribly difficult to stop creating.

So I give in and will try to do both at once! Editing doesn’t take much, if any, creative powers, so I’ll try to write new things and edit old things alternately, and on the same day even… maybe at the same time? 😮

Good luck to me :s


The Looking Glass War, by John le Carre

The Looking Glass War , the second le Carre novel I’ve read, was much different from  The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. It was about a completely other department, in fact, called ‘the department.’ The department doesn’t usually send spies out into action, but they think, hey, why shouldn’t we do that too? And a huge mess follows.

That is pretty much the book in a nutshell: people who really shouldn’t be doing a thing, trying to do it and screwing up royally. But the way he writes it is so subtle and expert that it is just fascinating. The characters are so well drawn, that you just KNOW people like that in real life. The arrogance, the flippancy, the disregard for people with better knowledge and experience, the hubris. So many times I put my hand over my face and said ‘you idiot.’

But it is not a caricature, or overdone, or a straw-man. I went back and forth the whole book thinking ‘wait, maybe they know what they’re doing?’

This whole novel seems to be a foil for his other characters, to make them look even more competent. Well, it worked.

My only complaint is that reading about incompetence is much less intriguing than competence. But, this was a great read nonetheless!

Reaching milestones quicker

I have reached 20k words on my current novel and I’ve been writing it for about three months now. My first novel it took my nearly nine months to reach that point–which I know is a ridiculously slow pace that I should not be that proud of beating, bu–I have beat it! If I can keep this current (still slow) pace, I can hope to have a first draft within a year from starting it. A novel per year… it’s doable!

Of course, at some point I’ll have to spend time editing…


Rewriting someone else

In 1Q84, a writer is rewriting the novel of a dyslexic teen who dictated the entire thing to a friend. He finds passion in rewriting it, because the story is very appealing to him and he wants to improve the writing to bring out the nugget of goodness within it.

I wonder if I could ever find energy to rewrite someone else’s work. I’m not so sure I could. If the story is already written, and already exists, in whatever form, I find I have less energy to create or change it. I have no desire to write fan fiction, for example, or ‘extended universe’ stories. I have far less energy to work on a story of mine after I’ve reached the end. I don’t know that I could ever find the energy to write about the same characters more than once, even.

I wonder about authors with ten or twenty novels in the same world with the same characters. I wonder how they stand it. Probably the paycheck helps.

write six billion stories

If you were an immortal, how many stories could you write before you got bored of the whole idea of stories? I can’t imagine ever getting tired of making stuff up… but I suppose there must be a limit.

Every thing that has ever happened, never happened, can’t happen, or must happen–all are stories. How, with the endless universe of imagination, could someone ever get tired of it? The only thing I can think of, is if there was no one to read them, or no one who cared.

Would that be hell? Endless time and resources to write all the stories you could ever desire, but no one interested in reading them…

The Crimson Petal and the White, by Michel Faber

What can I say about this book? It was a journey, an adventure, an endeavor. I loved every page of it and was left aching, (I swear I felt a physical ache) for more at the end.

Every time I read one of Faber’s novels, I say his characters are what make it. And this is no exception. But this one also has the benefit of consistently beautiful prose that paints an amazingly vivid picture of not just the characters, but everything–down to the last buttered scone or piss-stained cobblestone.

This book could have gone on another 900 pages and I would have just kept reading and reading. It could have gone on forever.

Read it!


Painfully obvious metaphors

Borne is a child. The person who found Borne feels like a mother to ‘him’, and is raising him with the man she lives with. They argue about Borne a lot like parents in a broken home might. Borne doesn’t know about the world or himself and gets hurt because of his innocence, and then loses that innocence when he leaves home to try to be his own person, just like a child does eventually. It’s all painfully obvious and surface level.

The weird technology and crazy bear creatures feel like an attempted distraction from this simplistic theme.

So far this story seems thin somehow, compared to VanderMeer’s other books. Perhaps it is the character who is telling it. She seems to jerk back and forth between a simplistic, naive, cute view of things, and an elegant poetic prose description of the world. The narrator takes a lot of the punch out of these descriptions with the light tone she uses throughout. No fault of the author there, though.

I’m almost finished and am hoping the climax will make up for the so far mediocre story.