Sunday, March 7, 2010

Writing Update

Last night, while trying to decide how to proceed with Episode 12 (still untitled) for Thieves' Honor, I realized I was telling the boring stuff, and needed to leap to other characters.

But how can a fight scene be boring, you ask? Very easily, as a matter of fact. "Yawn, sigh, been there, done that. Now tell us something new." At this point in the story, we should know Kristoff and crew are creative when backed into a corner. Showing how they get out of this particular sticky situation was hinted at in the very end of the previous episode, and could be implied by simply cutting to the action that occurs afterward. Meantime, there are other characters jumping up and down offstage, eager for their stories to be told:

1) Kristoff's antagonist-but-not-enemy, Captain Zoltana, is in the brig. That's a reversal, since she's a law officer.

2) Finney's been rescued by rebels, but they may not be as friendly as they appear.

3) And there needs to be the introduction of a real nasty, a villain that's worthy of the title.

So Episode 12 is still in the works. But have no fear, faithful readers! We shall see the further escapades of Lieutenant Mars and Ensign Gaines as they endeavor to leave the Orpheus and still maintain their invisibility. In fact, that's the only part of the episode that shall remain, as I toss everything else and start anew.

Also last night -- and in the wee hours of this morning -- I was caught up in re-reading and editing the second manuscript of the fantasy cycle. Since this portion of the work has been sitting fallow for a few months, I was able to read it with sufficient objectivity. There's a clunkiness to what I once thought elegant prose, and there's a lot of repetition that I jettisoned, quick as I could execute the "cut" command.

There's a certain twisted joy in watching my own words disappear. What I thought I needed, well, it was only so much dead weight, and now I move forward with a spring in my step -- or, perhaps, a razor in my pen.


Phy said...

I have it in my head that Joss Whedon hated writing fight scenes, preferring to write all the quirky, interesting things that happened up to and after actual fighting. I didn't understand that until I started writing some fight scenes of my own. It may be that I just don't know how to fight, and it may be that the clash of ideas is more interesting than he slashed this and the other guy defended that.

Keanan Brand said...

Yeah, there comes a point when -- during long fight scenes, either in words or on screen -- I say, "Enough already!" and sometimes want to laugh at the improbability of some of the moves. And I'm a fan of using found objects to assist the, ah, outcome.

As for the clash of ideas, that's an infinite source of tension and suspense.