Noveling – I’m on track to finish the first draft of The Seer, my sequel to The Muse, by month’s end, which feels pretty good. I’ve wrestled this thing all year, and I’ve learned a lot about the peculiar challenges of writing the second book in a trilogy. The biggest learning point was that starting with an established back-story and cast of characters does not make things easier, not at all. It places the writer squarely between the Scylla of tiresome historical rehash and the Charybdis of inconsistency with what has happened before. There are also expectations to be met now, modest as they are. Yes, there will be a third book, and the good news is that it’s partly written already…sigh…because it used to be the second book. I was very distressed to get a third of the way into it, only to realize that something very important had to happen first, and that something merited a novel of its own. Anyhow, I’m still a long way from the finish line, since after the initial draft comes editing, and re-writing, and critique, and re-editing, and re-re-writing…
Missing Pieces – Regular readers of this blog (I know–who am I kidding?) may have noticed I posted neither a Scribbler’s Scoreboard nor a Banner Image update at the beginning of this month. I have good
excuses reasons for both. I had only one story submission in November (“The Island,” a short story inspired by a passage from Homer’s Odyssey, twisted a bit), and no other news to report. I do my year-end recap at the end of December anyhow, so there wasn’t much point in a separate post. As for the banner image, this was, I think, the first one I’ve used that didn’t have a story behind it. I found a colorful lawn ornament that fit the theme and the available space, and I plugged it in. It has a sort of Lite-Brite vibe to it that makes me feel a bit nostalgic for my misspent youth.
Accountability Counts – Although I set writing goals for myself each year, I’m usually on the honor system for living up to them, unless one of my readers (I know–who am I kidding?) calls me on it. This year, I will have the assistance of a colleague in my local ACFW writers group, Stephanie Morrill, to help me hold the line. I will in turn do my best to help her stay on pace with her goals. Stephanie writes teen fiction and is the author of a popular series published by Revell Books: Me, Just Different; Out With the In Crowd; and So Over It; known collectively as The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt. She also has two additional projects currently under consideration by Revell. I’ll post an interview here with Stephanie sometime in the next month or two.
Pop, Pop, Pop Culture – I’ve had neither the time nor shekels for much movie-going of late, but I did manage to take in the first installment of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. I won’t offer a full review, but will say that while it had some engaging moments, and the three leads are at the top of their game (I particularly enjoyed Rupert Grint’s performance this time), it didn’t grab me quite so much as previous episodes. The special effects were cool, but they evidenced a trend toward overstuffing films with CGI to the point of sensory overload–the final impression is a blur of light and motion and a feeling that you just missed several very important pieces of information. I prefer to see my favorite movies multiple times because they’re fun, not because I couldn’t absorb everything on the first viewing.