Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Check-in on my writing, etc. etc.

Tonight has been a lot of fun b/c I'm not laboriously editing the content of the chapter -- ie... re-writing scenes where I'm pulling my hair out, dark thoughts creeping into my mind assuring me that I'm not a novelist, I never will be blah blah blah -- but rather working on tightening up the writing. I'm using this book called Naming the World to help me and it's a collection of exercises, many of which deal with revision and all of which are fun to do.

The exercise I did tonight is from the chapter called "Hiding the I in Fiction and Non-fiction." Apparently it's not a good thing to overuse the word I in first-person fiction but rather to describe a scene, keeping the I out of it. So you go through a page and circle each time you write the word I, then try to get rid of one fourth of those dastardly I's by combining sentences or showing rather than telling. This kind of thing is right up my alley b/c I'll do almost anything to not have to think, to not have to deal with characters who refuse to show up or dull settings that won't come to life. Just let me count the I's and I'll be happy.

It's after 2 am and I need to go to bed b/c I'm talking to Frederic in the morning, although it will be evening for him in France. It is so much easier for him to talk to me in English than it is for me to speak to him in French. He's two years ahead of me in studying the language, plus he has opportunities at his work to speak English every day and the last time I did a poll of the Richmond District I didn't find any French people hanging about.

It's a brain-drain. I can't really do much of anything when I get off of Skype because my mind is so tired from translating words that I can barely remember my name. I'm in a daze for a good hour.

I've got this crazy idea that if I can just learn how to roll my R's, then French people will be able to understand me. My hairdresser speaks French and she never knows what I'm saying. I have to spell it out for her.... But then she's Thai and I don't really understand her English all that well either.

Tomorrow night I'm going over to Peggy's to write together and that's always so helpful, having her listen to whatever I'm working on. It takes a village...

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