Bren’s writing and movies blog

Because I have an opinion about creativity and know how to use it

Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Getting back in the groove

Posted by brenatevi on July 13, 2008

Ugh, I hate it when I lose my writing groove.  It’s like “Wow, I’m doing well” to “Ugh, I couldn’t write if you gave me a million monkeys.”  But I have been reading.  I got most of the way through the novel that started me down the road of hard science fiction, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. For those of you uninitiated in Robert Heinlein, this is one of his most confusing works, for many reasons, least of which is that it references most of his other works, but also deals with time, time-line, and alternate universe travel, three completely different vectors (see? I wouldn’t suggest you read Cat unless you are willing to immerse yourself in the rest of Heinlein’s work.) Read Cat reminded me that I hadn’t read The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress lately, so I read it again. Before that I had chugged most of the way through Cryptonomicron again (a very thick tome by the way; third or fourth reading, I think.) I know that I’ve read at least one more besides these.

Oh, and the most important one: Secret History of Star Wars. The reason that this is the most important one is because its what kick started me into writing again (before this little bout of writers’ block.) While the author seems to be angry over Lucas’s inability to come to terms with how the Saga got started, I personally find the process enlightening, and have even started to use a tool Lucas himself had used when making the films: treatments.

You have to understand that most of my writing has come in the form of short stories. The longest complete story I’ve written is 18,000 words. But novels are a completely different beast. I had written over 75,000 words for my novel when I realized that I had written myself into a corner, and then gave up, quit, surrendered. I hadn’t touched the novel in over 5 years, until I started reading the Secret History, and I started out a new draft, but once again ran into a wall (not sure what caused the road block this time.) It’s been two weeks since I wrote anything for the novel, and about that long since I touched Secret History (I got a bit tired of the author ranting about how George really didn’t have a plan in the beginning, is denying he never had a plan, yada, yada, yada… I get it. You wrote 532 pages to say that?)

Having read several books since I stopped, I realized that I was reading the Secret History wrong; if I got bored with what he was saying, skip until I got interested again: ie anything having to deal with how Lucas would pull pieces of old scripts together to form the whole, and things like that. I was looking for inspiration, not rants. I know how Lucas “screwed up” Star Wars. I’m a Star Wars geek and connected to the Internet (in fact, got my first taste of message boards 8 years ago on the Star Wars Galaxies official site… ah, those were the days.) One thing I did discover: George’s divorce was what really buggered the script for the Prequels. If his wife had stayed, the script and editing would have been much better. As it is, I still enjoy the Prequels, especially since they gave us the Duel of the Fates, Ewan McGregor’s Obi Wan Kenobi, and Darth Sidious/Palpatine; Ian McDiarmid was deliciously evil in my opinion. Interesting note: Ian is never credited as Darth Sidious in IMDB (might have to watch the end credits to see if that name is mentioned; makes sense if he wasn’t.)

Any ways, the uptick is that I’m working on a treatment/outline right now, and will be posting old stuff again, including old trashy stuff that I want to get out just so people will know how NOT to write.

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