Politics as Research

I used to say, “Go to the mall and people-watch, but mostly people-listen.” Because character is action–we are what we do–but the way we present ourselves, the image we want to project, is often in our voices. Then the whole enclosed mall thing started to crash, so now I’m making up for it with politics. Because EVERYBODY has something to say in politics, and they’re all crafting the way they want to present themselves. Most of them are blowing that part because they’re blind to their own weaknesses, tone deaf, or such narcissists that they’re living in a different world, sometimes all of the above. And since I’m writing a book right now that has a political subplot (the Demon-Firsters are basically Green Pride), I’m watching the election with even more interest than usual. Continue reading

Book Done Yet: Sometimes You Have to Close Your Eyes . . .

Nita LogoYesterday, I looked at Nita’s first scene, and thought, Well, this sucks.

This is a thought I often have in the discovery draft, and it’s never depressing because it’s discovery draft so it’s all going to change anyway. But it was something that needed to be fixed now because it’s Nita’s first appearance on the page, and she is My Girl, and I want her to be the reader’s Girl, and that means I have to absolutely get her vivid and right on the first page, absolutely establish her as the One Who Owns This Story. The question was, how?

Continue reading

Michelle Obama for President of Everything

rtsjmfj

I cried during her speech. I cry when I watch clips of it now. I’m pretty much to the point where I tear up every time I see a picture of her in that blue dress.

I had no idea how much I needed somebody to stand up and say, “This is not the apocalypse, we can do anything,” somebody to embrace all the great things and move forward. “When they go low, we go high.” Really, Michelle for Queen of the World.

And Sarah Silverman for Vice-Queen.

I Went to Demon Island and All I Got Was . . .

As some of you may remember, there’s a bar in the book called Hell Bar. Because I am not creative. No, because the guy who owns the bar is not creative. He lives on Demon Island, Demon Island gets a lot of tourists, he designed a t-shirt thirty years ago and made sure the only place you could buy them was his bar. They were pretty awful, plus his bar is in the bad part of the bad part of town, so he doesn’t get many tourists. All of which means that anybody who has a Hell Bar t-shirt has been to Hell Bar. A CLUE. Especially because it keeps turning up on bodies, demons, etc.

So last night, I designed a Bad T-shirt:

Continue reading

Questionable: Starting A Story

Jinx asked:

“Recently I read a description of how one of my favorite writers began a book, and she described it as getting a scene in your head very strongly — any scene, from any point in an overall story, and then just sinking into that scene and imagining each character in it, what they were like, what they wanted, what had led them there to the scene, what had made them the way they were, and so on, until the rest of the story just sort of unfolded.”

“In a way it sounds like just letting your subconscious write your books, which sounded quite scary, and maybe wouldn’t get you to a thing in the end that was a book. Does that make any sense to you as a method of starting/first drafting?”

Continue reading