Not feeling all that well today. This morning’s work on my (final?) revision of Everyone Loves Blue Dog was cut short by a need to return home early. It didn’t help that the homeless lady sitting right next to me was clipping her nails, swabbing beneath her bandages and wiping her toes clean. Uck. Starbucks, please don’t be gross.
Today’s work involved the first really major sequence in the book. It’s supposed to be a transition from one section to another–changing the setting, the relationship between the leads, and expanding the stakes. Unfortunately, the last round of notes pointed out a problem there.
Now, as a reader, I have certain kinds of text that I skim. Those long travelogues in Fellowship of the Ring with detailed descriptions of the landscape? Skim. Car chases? Skim. Super-tense slow-moving characters checking out that strange noise in the basement? Skim. Some fight scenes, too.
I skim right over them until I get to something that might actually change the story.
That can cause problems. I skipped over the dream sequence in Red Harvest because I didn’t realize that some of it wasn’t a dream, and later had to backtrack to review it. Still, it’s how I read and how I think a lot of people read.
And the latest round of notes indicated that this whole sequence was skimmable.
“Be interesting,” is the number one law when I’m writing, and I’m not seeing the skimmable parts here. I’ve trimmed some minor sentences and reordered paragraphs to string like information together (which also slows the pacing, but that’s okay right now) but I’m concerned that I’m just too close to the text.
Hell. I’ll power up the laptop and sit by the big window. It’s a beautiful sunny day today, and even if I’m not feeling well, I can listen to the birds and look at the blue sky while I fret.