I’m getting company this afternoon (YAY) so I’m cleaning, which in this house means getting a backhoe. The thing about cleaning is, it’s pretty mindless except for the “Why is that in here?” moments and the “I should just get a box of garbage bags and put everything into them” moments. That means that I am now productive while staring into space, which is what I’ve been doing for much of June because Discovery Draft sometimes comes with a side order of “Why would that happens?” (Because the Girls want it to.) And “How could that happen?” And What does that mean? (Who care, write the damn book.)
I’m telling you, I don’t know what this country is coming to! We used to have standards, there were rules, people knew their places and it was peaceful. Everybody was polite and everybody was happy. And now look at us: Rudeness and violence and division, no respect for the things that made our country great. We’re just going to Hell, that’s all there is to it! Except here on my island, it’s the other way around: Hell is invading us! I’m sorry, but I am not going to accept demons on my island. You know you’ve crossed a line when people like me start to speak up! There are standards, and I’m going to defend them!
I blame Satan.
Of course, I blame Nick Giordano, too, but if he’d just known his place, I’d have kept him on once I became Devil. As they say in Hell, he made the trains run on time. (Do you know what other human made the trains run on time? Mussolini. That should give you an idea of Nicolas Giordano.) Continue reading
I’ve been thinking about food a lot. About how we think about it, talk about it, choose it, prepare it, enjoy it or feel guilty about it, but mostly how it works in story. I’ve always said that setting is time, place, and people. Now I’m thinking it’s time, place, people, and food. Continue reading
I know how Nick gets the sword. It’s freaking brilliant. The Girls are geniuses. I’m a genius. No, I won’t tell you, it’s a major plot point, but I love it so that one’s solved. And may even have solved the “Why does’t he talk like a Rennaissance Italian?” problem.
You know, when I’m good, I’m GOOD.
It really is great to have so much feedback on the content of a Discovery Draft. (And nobody rewrote, so you are now expert beta readers.) So here are some of the questions I’m working on now as I continue making up stuff that will have to be fixed later, along with some character notes that you can tear apart.
This will be up until about this time on Wednesday. You have been warned.
Let me know if the link doesn’t work.
So I’m back in Discovery Draft for the rest of the book, and it’s terrible. I look at it and think, “Explanation, chat, more chat, something happens!, explanation, more chat . . .” And here’s the really bad part: no antagonist action. It’s just Nita and Nick trying to sort out the aftermath.
But then, it’s Discovery Draft.
The good thing about having worked through the first act is that I know it’ll be fine. That’ll be four thousand drafts from now, but it will be fine. There’s some comfort in that. Nora said once (paraphrasing here) that she could fix a bad page but she couldn’t fix a blank page. The discovery draft is just the first part of the journey, putting the colors on the page, so I’m settling in to admire all the bright, fun scenery as I wander through my story (there’s a dog!). My mind is actually a fun place to be.
So I’ll get serious later and remember I have antagonists after I’ve written my next twenty pages of Rab explaining to Nita how Hell works.
Mammon and Max are fun characters for me because they’re amoral (not because they’re demons, but because they’re just made that way) and not particularly venal. Mammon hangs out with those who should be stepped on like bugs, but he really only needs slapped down every now and then, or at least have somebody pull him to one side and say, “If you do that, that would be stupid,” to be a fun if occasionally treacherous person to know.
Enter Max. Continue reading
Part of the discovery process for me is finding images that evoke character. They don’t have to look like the character although that’s always helpful, but the pictures I use as placeholders have to capture the attitude and personality of that character. When I thought about the Demon Island Historical Society, I thought of this Grant Wood painting: