Journal

The Sunday Circle: Actually Sunday! 09.24.17

And thus, life at Chez Slater returned to some semblance of normalcy… It’s been a crazy, non-stop month over here, which has–as you can imagine–not leant itself to being especially productive on nearly any front. But! We went camping, saw Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, visited with lots of friends and family, and overall had a massively awesome break. This past week was pseudo-vacation (Take Two), with a stint of dog and house-watching for my folks, which while a little easier to get work done, not especially so. Still, I started the novel read-through as I had intended, and am a little ahead of schedule on that. I’m hoping to have it completely wrapped by the first weekend of October, so we’ll see how that works.

But can I just say…I’m so freaking glad to be home and have some time to get back into the normal routine.

This week, I’m working on: The novel read-through. Taking copious notes on post-its, and making a detailed scene list and time map. Will hopefully tackle reading two chapters a weekday.

What’s inspiring me this week?: I started re-reading The Book of Three as one of several “nostalgic YA-ish fantasies” to help guide my edit, and have been having a blast taking notes on post-its analyzing descriptions, introduction of conflict, among other impressions. It’s been totally amazing, since I rarely read through books this way, but TBoT is one I’ve read any dozen of times, so I’m not really worried about it being “ruined” as I read. If anything, it’s made me deeply impressed by Lloyd Alexander’s economy on description and the swiftness with which he introduces characters. I mean, by the end of the FIRST PAGE, you know almost all of Taran’s primary qualities just from the incident with trying to make a sword, and it can’t be more than 300 words in. I’m in complete awe. There’s quite a bit of “As You Know, Bob,” explaining via dialogue in that first chapter, but I’ll give him credit: it gets you up and going in the world almost immediately, and even then, he doesn’t spend that much time (the whole first chapter from intro-of-Taran to Hen-Wen-escapes is barely ten pages in not tiny writing). It makes my novel look SO bloated by comparison! I think I’ll learn a lot rereading it this closely.

What action do I need to take? I really need to up my reading going into October, and I just picked up a bunch of books via Thriftbooks.com for general research to aide the novel’s world-building requirements. So I really need to sit down and make a reading list and even break it down into how much I’m going to try to read a day and how long it’ll take me to get through them, so I don’t just “hope” it happens.

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