Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Revising Utopia Project, part XIV

I last wrote about the Utopia Project in early April.  Some thoughts:


Psychology to the rescue:

The scene with which I was having trouble, which I talked about last time, resolved itself quite neatly when I realized that, in terms of Jungian psychology, the POV character was approximately my shadow.

Thus, it seems fitting that the scene I just finished, with which I also had difficulties, was resolved when I realized that the POV character was approximately my animus.

Also of note: I disliked both these characters a lot. Not so much when I wrote them the first time around, but during these recent revisions I was repulsed, feeling a disgust for them visceral enough to make me consider kicking them out of the story entirely. I'm glad I didn't: perhaps the characters we dislike reflect our unsavory traits, and writing through them is one way of coming to terms with those defects.


Looking around the corner:

I took a week to read ahead a few scenes and make notes for revisions. Since this is my first time revising anything this long, I don't know if this method is ideal, and I certainly know that all writers work differently. But here are some examples of the notes I make to myself:
Scene 91:

-language barrier - just starting to overcome - J makes effort to talk Neutsch, A to talk Krev
-less about school, more about gen. life
-every winter must relearn how to deal w/ the cold
-watch the dialogue

Sometimes, while reading ahead, I'm disappointed because the scenes I loved while I was writing them no longer seem good. But I am also heartened, because there are some parts I can use as-is, and it's good to see improvement.



For once, English class was useful. We had to do some exercises with short stories identifying how style affects meaning, since next year AP Language & Composition is all about rhetorical analysis. It was eye-opening: paying attention to how something is written allows us, as writers, another set of dimensions with which to work.


Giving you a name and taking away the number:

Go melodramatic. In my first scene back from reading ahead, my writing was stumbling. (A week off writing is just like a week off practicing anything else: "where did all my progress go?!") To get my words back, I thought about the scene, wrote about writing it, and then decided that the best way to summarize the theme of the individual scene was thus:

"Birth of a monster."


I numeri:

Scenes: 4

Words: 13,000 +

Landmarks: 2/3 point; ~100 pages left


Good writing, friends.

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