rambling thoughts about writing (evening edition)

Grammar Bird is looking at me suspiciously.  He has nothing to worry about, though, because he’s Grammar Bird, not Philosophy Bird.  On the other hand, he may simply think it’s weird that I have a small collection of antique iron keys — sitting right here on my desk, no less, next to Grammar Bird himself.  (This is actually no worse than me owning things decorated with images of hounds.  If I wrote fiction about someone who’d been aboard the Titanic, I’d have nautical-themed stuff here and there instead.)


[old photo of Grammar Bird]

Hmm.  Apparently I have the ability to be simultaneously ‘morbid and bitter’ (don’t say it!) and somewhat whimsical.

Also, I’m drinking pseudo-coffee today because I don’t trust myself with the real stuff, even decaf.  The protagonist from “that novel,” he’s probably a bit angry at me right now.  (Don’t you hate it when you’re a fictional person and your author goes telling people stuff about you after you’ve put a lot of effort into making sure no one ever finds out?)  If he doesn’t like it, though, he can always just walk away — he’s good at that.

Sorry; I think that last bit was Geoffrey’s fault.  My brain, it gets weird when there are fictional people having an argument in it.  At this time, I have not one or two or three but four active WIPs that Geoffrey Meeks is a character in, either major character or supporting cast, if you include The Madness Engine, which is mostly not mine.  For that one, I just contributed several characters and sometimes let the author bounce ideas off my half of the brain — which would happen anyway, since we’re, y’know, mindlinked.  (I bet the Kollin brothers never have that problem, ’cause they’re not twins.  Good writers, though.  I liked The Unincoroprated Man.  I should try to find print copies of the sequels.)  Anyway.  Multiple WIPs with the same character.  Multiple points in that character’s personal timeline.  Working on those stories more-or-less simultaneously, it gets complicated.  On the other hand, working on more than one story at a time means we can “choreograph” the various plots better and not have to resort to retconning to make everything work properly.  (Backstory Revision Syndrome, as I’ve said before, comes from retconning before publication, so it doesn’t count.)

It’s funny:  I remember when I first encountered the term retcon (short for retroactive continuity), because it was while looking for details concerning a work of screen fiction that happens to be  important to me as a source of inspiration for one of my characters… Anyway, there was a story which was set in 1984.  Then there was a sequel which was set in 1986, except the original got retconned to have happened in the early 70s so the sequel would be a decade and a half later.

There’s a mental image that keeps popping up when I work on the earlier parts of the story, like the stuff I just wrote this week:  marigolds in the window, to let a friend know that the people who live in that apartment are doing well.  (Klaus Gerhardt, he’s as much of a sci-fi geek as the rest of ’em, even if he is older.  Thriving marigolds are early-80s sci-fi movie symbolism for everything is okay with us.)  For all I know, those marigolds are already there, and I just didn’t notice ’em because it was raining when I got there.  (Sorry — little bit of pronoun slippage.  Which is weird, ’cause the scene wasn’t written from that character’s POV.  *shakes head*)

The sentence structure in my recent blog posts, it has been rather… nonstandard from time to time, has it not?  I have no idea where that came from.  Not any characters from stuff I’ve been writing lately, that’s certain.  I blog to practice talking (using words, anyway) like a normal human.  Trust me, there was a time when I couldn’t do slang or bad grammar to save my life, and my sentences in speech were every bit as long and convoluted as the most extreme I’ve ever written here.  LR once said something about “abbreviated (almost Rorschach-ian) speech patterns” from one character in the “pirates are in” scene.  I’m not sure exactly what he meant by that, but I took it as high praise.  At any rate, it meant I had managed to get across the character’s emotions through how he spoke.  This is good, ’cause I don’t think I could have faced explaining it through narration/description.

And yes, I really do tangent this much in person, too; it’s not just a written-word thing. (Not that anyone will ever know, because Weaver, he doesn’t do public appearances.)

My clone will be home soon, and then we and Grace will devour pretzel-crust pizza and watch anime (gotta take the sci-fi where we can find it, y’know?) and hang out with housecats, and I will put aside all thoughts of writing fiction until a later hour.  (Yeah, right — like that’s gonna happen.)

On the other hand, there was mention of pizza in one of those scenes I’ve been trying to write…


About Thomas Weaver

For several years, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom (editor). I'm physically disabled, and I currently live with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have eight cats. I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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2 Responses to rambling thoughts about writing (evening edition)

  1. Wyatt Matta says:

    Lost. Over my head. Sorry.


    • Since you are not a regular follower of my blog, it is perfectly understandable that you are not familiar with my (admittedly odd) sense of humor, or my tendency to throw random fiction references into whatever I’m discussing, or my fondness for seguing from one topic to another because that’s how my thought process works and here, at least, I’m under no obligation to be strictly linear so long as I stick with tangents rather than non sequiturs.

      Besides, a lot of people think that editors/proofreaders are stodgy, boring people with no sense of humor or creativity or fun, and I have decided to make it one of my missions in life to prove that stereotype incorrect. 🙂

      My posts about the technical aspects of writing would make more sense to you, I think, as would the occasional pseudo-reviews of stories I’ve read (or tried to read).


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