Friday, April 15, 2011

It's okay to trash words

And by trash words, I mean put them into the Boneyard at the bottom of your manuscript. They may become useful again. What I mean by this is, it's okay to write a scene with your characters that you have absolutely no intention of putting into your book.

Since I cut out the second plot arc of MERPEEPS, my writing has essentially halted. Why? Because I was writing everything in that second setting, which was the easier one that looks more like our world, even though the story I am trying to tell takes place in the Merpeople kingdom. For the record, it's really hard to write an underwater setting. Even simple things like "she exhaled" have a whole new meaning, and more complicated things like describing a market are just ridiculous to have to do on the fly.

I hate worldbuilding setting. Once I have the general ideas of the place, I want to just write and let pieces of the scenery fall into place. But this is so different I freeze up when it comes time to add in a description. There are just so many questions: How they move in a crowd of people? What do the stalls sell? Do they even HAVE stalls? Does the market go up as well? How do they suspend these "upwards" stalls? How do people SEE however many leagues under the sea? (A question that I am resolutely ignoring--they just can. Move on.) How can I make these people still seem like people when they have the bodies and mannerism of octopuses and fish and seahorses? I still want them to be human-like... but finding the balance is hard.

I was laughing at work earlier today because Lesa next to me was describing the book she's reading, and it sounded really weird, but she's like "No. Trust me. It's awesome." and then we were laughing at how any science fiction or fantasy book you describe sounds SO WEIRD. It's all in the execution.

That's my defense for writing sea-people. China Mieville style.

No, I am not comparing myself to China Mieville. He wrote them so much better than I will ever achieve (within this first book at least, give my potential awesomeness some credit). To be honest I probably bit off more than I can with this as my first book, but I'm TRYING to challenge myself. I just need lots of sushi and french fries to get me through it. And jalapeno-stuffed olives.

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