Thursday, September 13, 2007

time to think

i think i know why i like blogging. it gives me something to do while i'm thinking. writing a blog entry forces me to think about only one thing at once... like trying to get to the end of a coherent sentence. thinking is good, focusing is good. focused thinking is even better.

if anyone is wondering how i am managing to stay coherent in the face of one overnight guest, one formal dinner, one birthday party for 13 with three overnight guests, one baby shower for FIFTY THREE, a demanding grandmother, incipient grandchild, and a various and assorted menagerie of other people and interests...

it's because i decided to think of them as plot lines.

i had to do this with my silver series. each of the different character groupings had a plot line, each of them intersected at various points. but before i could begin to braid them together, i had to lay them out sequentially and separately. this forced me to consider not only what had to happen to who when and in what order, it also showed me almost without my trying to find them where the natural intersections and overlaps occured and how one character in one plot line's actions could affect the beliefs, actions or motivations of a character in another.

it was all very layered and complex and convoluted, and to try to think of the whole thing together made my brain swell noticeably. i could actually feel it pressing up against the inside of my skull when i'd try to think about one of those books at once. it's one reason it took me so long to write... i could only think about so much at once.

i knew i was learning a lot while i was working on the silver books - mostly about how not to write a book. but i suppose i also learned how to manage several competing situations all at once, as well. life always teaches me about writing. i'm always tickled when i realize writing has taught me something about life.

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