(Week 26: June 23 – 29)
I continue to do battle with chapter three of the novel. Part of the reason for this is that half of my writer brain is now busy looking at the big picture, instead of focusing on the immediate words. I’ve been working with these characters (and the premise) for long enough now that I’ve got a fairly good idea of where they need to go and how to get them there. Consequently, I’m busy planning out the rest of the novel’s chapters in my head and dawdling over the actual writing.
This is an inevitable consequence of launching into an idea without a detailed plan (a clear case of pantsing, not plotting). In this instance, it was a very deliberate choice to strike while the iron was hot and get started on the writing, with a reasonable degree of confidence that I’d be able to flesh out and develop the larger story as I went. And, so far, it’s more or less working.
Meanwhile, in a nice development within the current chapter, some of the characters continue to have minds of their own. Or not, perhaps. The supporting characters in this chapter are, basically, idiots. And yet, somehow, most of them have chosen to behave in a way that’s even more mind-meltingly dense than I originally conceived. I take all this as a good sign that the story is generall working.
Friday’s horror choice this week was the remake of Pet Sematary, which was pretty interesting. It’s a mostly well made movie, albeit one that is consistently desperate to let you know that it’s a horror movie. There are various creepy moments that don’t really add up to anything, and then other creepy moments are there to force the story forward. They’re all very well done, but the story is eerie enough on its own that the film shouldn’t have to wear its horror heart beating and bleeding on its sleeve. There are a number of genuinely effective moments, but they’re somewhat undermined by the rest of the film screaming out: “Look at me! I’m a Horror Movie!!”
For Saturday I treated myself to a rewatch of John Wick 2, which remains excellent. I’ve noticed an interesting structure to the first two movies at least: the first act tends to be almost cripplingly slow (with the exception of the cold open for John Wick 2) but thge movies then build to a crescendo (and I do find these movies particularly operatic in their violence).
There’s enough difference between the first two movies that I can’t place one above the other, but I do enjoy the continued development of the ‘world of the Contintental’ in this sequel. Hopefully I can catch the third one before long.
The observant among you may have noticed that I’ve not been reading much of substance lately – my ‘reading’ has consisted of podcasts and audiobooks. Yes, I’m having one of my regular reading lulls.
However, I recently bought my Awesome Partner a copy of Wool by Hugh Howey, because it’s excellent, and I figured it would be a good choice to get me back into a reading habit. It’s interesting reading it for the second time, knowing some of the twists that are coming up, and seeing how skilfully Howey lays the groundwork without ever really signalling what’s about to happen. I’m also taking some time to study his prose style: he has what I would called a Stephen King style of writing, by which I mean he gets a world of detail into his words, but delivers a very comfortable read. I can only hope that some of this might eventually rub off on me.