April 20th, 2004


Not seeing the future

I've spent five days trying to do what I should have done in only one. The proposal still isn't finished. We're only talking about three or four frelling pages. And there's this headache that refuses to fade, yes, but I can only blame a small part of the difficulty on the pain. The truth is, as you all must know by now, I suck at synopses, and I especially suck at writing synopses of books that have yet to be written. Because they have yet to be written, they have yet to happen, so far as I'm concerned. A book happens as I write it (that's part of my thing with present tense). It is emphatically not a story that I know that I'm telling you. It is a story that is unfolding before me, sentence to sentence. And I don't care if you think that sounds like pretentious artsy-fartsy bullshit. I do not know what happens until I make it happen. I may go in knowing some likelihoods. For instance, in Low Red Moon, I knew that Narcissa was coming for Deacon's child, but that's as far as it went until the day my writing brought Narcissa to that old apartment building on the corner of 23rd Street North and 2nd Avenue North, and, even then, exactly what was going down changed from moment to moment, as characters acted and reacted and the worldline trapped inside my head played itself out.

I didn't know what was going to happen when Deacon and Scarborough went to the "spider girl house" on Red Mountain (originally, I'd though Starling Jane was going with Deacon). That business at the truck stop in Pennsylvania? I never saw it coming. And I had no idea what would happen once Narcissa got Chance back to Massachusetts. And so on and on and on and on. This means that most of what I put into the proposal for Penguin, before I actually wrote Low Red Moon, was a lie, and I knew it was a lie. It was, at best, if we want to pretty up our language, a placeholder, to make someone happy until the events in question could actually occur. And the synopsis I'm struggling with now will be no more than a very rough approximation of whatever is about to occur in Daughter of Hounds. Because I am incapable of prognostication.

And, to everyone's surprise, it's really very difficult for me to just sit here and make stuff up. That's not writing. I don't know what that is.

Nonethelesss, I have to make an end of it today, one way or another.

There's more important work languishing.

I'm very pleased with how the Species of One LJ community is coming along, and, beginning yesterday, this blog is being mirrored at the Low Red Annex, for those more comfortable with LJ.

It seems as though I had other things to say, but whatever they might have been, I can't remember. Oh, yeah, last night Spooky and I worked on a pattern for a pulse pistol holster, which I'm making for Nar'eth. And then she (Spooky, not Nar'eth) kicked my eema at War of the Monsters. See? Important stuff.
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