There Is Beauty in Words

Except, sometimes, when you get caught up in the doubts that follow during the project. Yes, all writers go through it. Some of us hit it early on and can’t get past the first word to put down on paper. Others get it mid-project. Once I even experienced it as soon as I finished the rough draft. [If you don’t know what happened that that project – it’s now The Art of Science.] 

I know that thinking about a project midway through definitely brings out the doubts more than the merits. At least when you’re finished you can pass it off to a trusted associate (or even your best friend) and say, hey, should I keep working on this? The problem with a midway project is sometimes they try to give advice about how it ought to go – whether that is the end in mind or not it can become a stumbling block. 

It’s not like i don’t have ten million other things I could be working on – believe me, I do. I’m the soon-to-be mother of two, naptime novelist, and I always think I can manage more than can be done in a day. So just one more thing never scares me, and the really important stuff does get done in time. Or it doesn’t – that happens often enough. 

Current mid-draft novel is sitting at 36k. It lacks direction and I’m not sure how my protagonist is going to get to the desired end. I’m still attacking it here and there. I mix it up with other projects so I don’t get too burnt on one thing – the holidays are near and there’s supposed to be a lot to do. Yesterday I wrapped gifts, which inspired my two year old to have fits. Today I’m hoping to mail the package, but we’ll see how the time runs with the little girl. 

I’m sure it doesn’t help that I keep thinking this novel might be better than the last one – which is currently sitting in the middle of a rewrite of the teen romance subplot. I don’t think I’m good at writing romance, but I know that’s what the protagonist needs right now. More tension! More drama! So I got to break him up with his girlfriend and let him focus on trying to ask out the new girl. 

The more I torture my characters, the more they know I love them, right? At least, that’s the fun of being the author. Then I can enjoy the drama-free parts of my days when the toddler isn’t being stubborn (like now when she’s not napping). Better luck tomorrow. 

Protagonists

Do you ever wonder why so many main characters we see on TV and read about in books seem to be writers or artists or something people-related?

If you’re waiting for that engineer to become the star of the show, you’d probably better stick to Dilbert. Though Big Bang Theory might make it seem dorky in a good way. Both of those are outside the norm, and both of them poke fun at the profession.

It’s hard to imagine pages of someone working by himself in an office with a computer all day, who prefers not to converse or interact with others most of the time. Isn’t it? Yet that’s the stereotype. As a writer, we dramatize it as much as possible and try to connect with the emotions. The reader has to related to the character or she’ll stop reading.

Maybe the problem is so many people don’t connect to math. Logic and emotion don’t mix well.  You can call our society math-phobic, so it’d likely be a bad idea to write random equations in a fiction book.

That might be an idea for a short story. The target audience would be fairly small, but it might work. Coming soon for engineers, scientists, and math geeks only!

Universe

Something about building a universe always get me excited. There are worlds to explore, creatures to flesh out, and new things to learn.

I happen to be fairly attached to the creatures. So many things out there use humans, giving them reasonable explanations of why they are so far from home or just letting them explore on their own.

Humans are easy. We understand them so well. Then we change them slightly for this or that – we add magic or abilities or knowledge. Sometimes we approach the beast inside, and sometimes we humanize the creatures.

The question I’m considering lately:
How do you make someone sympathize what’s inherently unhuman to make a worthy protagonist without making them human?

I’m just sure there has to be a way.