Thursday, March 16, 2006

The year has come to a halt, thanks to the Commonwealth Games. I am staying with my sister and out of Melbourne; classes are on two weeks holidays; the sun is shining and my laptop is humming.
The internet is everywhere. I'm able to keep up with my online class while I am away and also do my emails and read Miss Snark. But not having my research books and notes and the library handy does feel a bit weird. I brought the historical novel with me and finally, yesterday, I finished analysing the scenes and plot/character arcs. Now I know what Hemingway meant when he said he rewrote the ending of one of his books 49 times. After a lot of thinking and planning yesterday, I have changed the last quarter of the book yet again. It's all about motivation and action. Many times I can see the tension is too low, action too minimal, characters not involving enough, motivations too flimsy. I do hope all this work is helpful when it comes to rewriting. When I get away from the notes and tackle the words on the page, often I get bogged down in the sentences. I wish there was a way to have two "eyes" on the work at once - one for standing back and being clear and concise about what is going on and the other to focus on the actual writing.
Doing lots of reading - the great thing about time off - and just finished Mark Billingham's latest (UK crime). Am now reading a Jefferson Parker (US crime). The feel of each book is so different. Sometimes I think a lot of US crime writers don't get very close to their main characters. I feel distant from them. In the Parker book, his mc is a woman who has a two year old son, and it feels at times as if the writer just uses the son to show her other, more vulnerable side, but it seems a bit contrived. On the other hand, Michael Connelly and Robert Crais do intense mc stuff really well.
I hate it when I go to a bookshop and there are twenty shelves of books and I can't find a single one I want to read. Visited two bookshops yesterday (both secondhand, which explains a lot as I always think that the really good books are the ones people tend to keep rather than sell) but couldn't find a thing I wanted, apart from a very interesting short story collection - stories about childhood, edited by Lorrie Moore.
Today I will divide my time between rewriting, making a cake and going to the gym (the gym is to work out the kinks and knots from hunching over the laptop).
And to think I could have been fishing ... no wind today.

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