Chapter Twelve went long on me. I figured I'd have it done by midweek, but then this scene I thought would only take six pages ballooned to thirteen as the characters did stuff I hadn't expected and as I realized certain things had to happen.
Not to sound too mystical, but I really am feeling that my characters have input into the process. I had a scene last chapter I just could not write, until I figured out it was because one of the characters simply would not behave the way I intended to have him behave. I fixed that, and the scene poured out. It's like they're in my brain and they have the power to lock up my fingers. Also I'll be going along, writing, kind of stream-of-consciousness (except with, you know, punctuation ;) ) and a character will say or do something because it flows out of me, because it just feels right, you know? But I hadn't planned on it beforehand, and whatever they say or do ends up having ramifications.
Plotters aren't any less creative or mystical than pantsers. They just have a lot of those moments before actually writing all the nitty-gritty stuff down.
After one negative and one lukewarm critique of "War Crimes," I finally got one reader who totally got it and dug it! Now, I know, these are supposed to be critiques, not reviews. So I shouldn't be valuing the positive ones above the critical ones. I don't learn anything if I only listen to the people who praise me. But this guy was the only guy who seemed to get what I was trying to do! Who seemed to get that there was a lot of deliberate ambiguity, and seemed to understand that the real story wasn't about the war or the aliens or whatever, but about Jorge Vega's moral cowardice, and so the things that didn't seem to relate to the war or to the aliens were in fact not irrelevant, they were about the real story. Again I'll remind myself that it's foolish to only listen to the people who praise me, but damnit, it was nice to have someone read something I thought was special and seem to agree. Anyway, I haven't replied to any of the critiques yet. I should get on that.
But right now I need a break.
Revision Prep: Create a Revision Plan
10 hours ago