Friday, January 15, 2010

the eyes have lasers in them!

My husband made a wooden mallet today. He also disassembled a remote control dinosaur. But not with the mallet.

In other places we have discussed the bullshit of “process,” but as I’m coming off a successful revision—if our mallet wielding dino dissector is credible— the how of it is very fresh in my mind, and I kinda want to nail it down.

The problem was intention. The original idea came from a scene in my WV novel where the main character is in her remote cabin, and she’s freaked out by a late night trespasser. From there I was shaping something fairly conventional—a story of transformation that to fit into my spooky vsf project. The draft, having outgrown flash, teetered into Poe-like Gothicism. On those terms it needed more rational development.

Like a mercenary I started writing the linkage, which was easy-peasy. When I write fast without breaking an emotional sweat, I always think I’m phoning it in. But very often that writing turns out to be my best. And sure enough, one day later I reread the work to discover that the craven linkage was more clear-eyed and dramatic than any of the original work.

So I threw out most of the old draft and re-built from the linkages (now free from plot servitude). I think I ended up with something much cooler than I planed for. Editors? Start your bidding now. (I always make that joke).

1 comment:

Erin said...

Not-cheating that feels like cheating is the best not-cheating of all.

Also: Next time, he should put the mallet in the dinosaur's hand (paw? tiny fist?) and have it destroy itself.