Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 41 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Choice is often touted as a good thing, but I remember a study by a consumer group that showed too much choice is actually bad for people psychologically. If you have to choose every day between 45 types of bread, 6 types of butter and 23 different brands of milk just to have breakfast, you're going to be a nervous wreck by dinner.

That's because choice takes courage. It means closing a door that perhaps will never be open again. If you have Dargblet milk today, and they stop making Crishgy milk tomorrow, you'll never get to have it again.

Writing involves make hundreds of choices, constantly. What would my character do here? What direction does this take my plot? Is this the best word to describe what I'm trying to convey? If I do this here, am I closing the door on some interesting conflict down the line?

I was writing away today when I realised that my main character was trying to use feminine wiles to resolve a situation. Now, I have no trouble with that in general, but that's not who she is. And her journey is not so much one of discovery of the sexualised self as discovery of the power of choice. I went back to the last node and tried again. I had to do that four times and after turning down three trope streets and a dead-end I was finally happy with the direction we were going.

I'm also choosing a different technique aspect to work on each time I write. Today was excess words. I wouldn't stop for telling (not showing), under-written dialogue or trite descriptors, but I always went back and deleted excess words. My worst offenders are 'and', 'but', 'just', 'only'. It's funny how often they are completely unnecessary.

Word count - 2,930

(I'm not so fond of Crishgy as a word, come to think of it, but I do like Dargblet...Anyone want to try their hand at coming up with a definition for it?)

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