April 21st, 2004



Yesterday, thanks in no small part to the intervention of the Green Fairy, I finished the 668-word proposal for Daughter of Hounds. And apparently I did it right, because the first thing my NYC agent said to me after reading it was "Wow." It has gone to my editor at Penguin, and now I will sit on pins and needles awaiting his response.

Waiting is one of the few things I hate more about writing than doing synopses.

Continuing yesterday's thoughts on synopses, and why they don't come easy for me, and why I fear them and tend to think that they're a bad idea in general. It occurred to me yesterday that my strongest objection to writing synopses for unwritten books, something I consider an even greater problem than the inherent reductionism, is that I don't want to know how a book ends before I write it. If I know the whole story at the outset, then what's the point of writing it? That would be like going to see a movie you've never seen before and having someone explain every frame of film to you beforehand. There would be no surprises, no suspense, no marveling at how the story unfolds before you. There would be nothing much but foreknowledge. In the case of writing, I think, for me, a detailed outline written before the writing of the novel would reduce the novel to little more than an exercise in "filling in the blanks." Chapter Three? Wait, let me check my outline. That's not how I write. I can't imagine writing that way. It seems to subvert the interplay of the conscious, subconscious and unconscious that I see as integral to the process of fiction.

I've been sleeping to Blade Runner. I awoke sometime in the night and Dekard had just shot Pris, and it hit me how much her death throes are echoed in the desperate, angry thrashings of Elle Driver after The Bride plucks out her left eye. Surely Tarantino did that on purpose.

Nothing much else to report about yesterday. Having finished the proposal and feeling as though I deserved a respite from this office, Spooky and I drove over to Candler Park and had sweet stuff at Cold Cream. She had a scoop of key lime in a cone, and I had a scoop of black walnut in a cup. Oh, and we worked on the pattern for the pulse pistol holster.
  • Current Music
    Midnight Oil, "Antarctica"