Like that one guy said: Good writers borrow, great writers steal. Welcome to the place where all things have been lifted, looted, and otherwise pilfered…Remember, possession is 9/10s of the law.
I almost forgot another Tuesday! Looks like I don’t want to be held too accountable….=)
Here’s what I managed to finish:
1. Another chapter of The Line! Woo-hoo. I busted this one out pretty fast and it’s the happy sorrow of having a draft finished…but knowing that I’m gonna hafta do the whole thing over again. It might even be in the wrong order. Partway through I caught myself thinking that “this chapter probably belongs two chapters ahead of where it is.” I could be totally wrong on that. I’m kinda rushing the next chapter too because I’m so freakin’ close to the end of Part I! (That’s about 50,000 words for anyone who is counting besides me.)
2. Fiddled with the short stories. Still not done. Just fiddling.
3. Realized that there really, really, really is no new thing under the sun. I’m currently reading Writing With Intent by Margaret Atwood. In this book of essays there’s a section on The Handmaid’s Tale. Handmaid, as I’m sure you know, is a dystopian novel, which is what I’m working on, so I was interested in seeing what Atwood had to say on the subject of writing a dystopian piece.
Turns out, she had a lot to say – and it’s all stuff I was already thinking. It was kind of freaky. I could have written the essay if I had anything near Atwood’s skill at expression. To give you a clue of how close our thought processes are on the subject, we were both similarly inspired by a quote from our Pilgrim predecessors: “We shall be as a city upon a hill; a light to all nations.” I discovered this quote via Sarah Vowell’s Wordy Shipmates. I’m sure that Atwood was familiar with President Reagan’s speeches regarding the “shining city on the hill” – a riff on the Pilgrim’s mission statement, since Handmaid was written in the 80s.
Dammit! I thought I was being at least kind of original. (Our approaches are vastly different, of course, but still – to have someone else articulate your thought process is an odd thing indeed.)
4. I’ve also started doing revisions to Part I in my head. I think that the structure is there, now I just want to go back and add in the polish-type structure touches. (Pretty, sentence level revisions can wait until later. You know, the get-rid-of-passive voice crap. Save it for the end.)
How’re you guys doing?