Saturday, May 05, 2007

Editing My Dreams?

I must be a "real" writer if I'm editing my word choice in my dreams. Last night I dreamt that I interviewed Jack Nicholson. I notice how blue his eyes are and scribble that in my notes and try to come up with a word less cliché than piercing or penetrating. I mean Jack deserves better than a tired ciché, doesn't he?

I read two books from the library and they are due back today but I had to note this weird similarity between them. They both have characters with the same name. "Skylight Confessions" has a female protagonist named Arlyn. "The Ghost at the Table has a minor male character named Arlen. Do character names go through popularity cycles like baby names?

I'm thrilled to say that I am back in some sort of writing groove. I worked steadily on a story everyday this week, even last night at the ice cream social at school. I am trying to cut it down to 7500 words from 8100 since that seems to be a pretty basic maximum for many journals and I am already trying to place a 10,000-word story.

Not only did I write on my story for several hours each day but I also did morning pages everyday and three pages of writing practice several times throughout the week. When I took a fiction class at OU one of the requirements was at least three 20-minute writing sessions each week in addition to having a new story or revision ready. I even did one now and it's Saturday.

Finished "Reading Like a Writer" by Francine Prose and I don't think I am exaggerating when I say that she has changed the way I read. As I revise my story "Japanese for Butterfly" I am reading the entire piece out loud for the third time and each time I find a word that isn't right or words I can cut. It's fun. Reading out loud illuminates where the prose is clunky but it also slows me down which is one of the main lessons I learned from F.P.

Still reading the "Dead Fish Museum" by Charles D'Ambrosio and just read the line that explains where the title comes from... perfect.

"Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.
- Kurt Vonnegut

No comments: