the spaces in between, on the first day of school

so, today was the first day of the semester, and, as usual, i was all nerves leading up to it. i’d done the work, prepared the material, worked out the syllabi, all that stuff, but there’s always that little bit of stage fright just before walking into class. i think they went pretty well, though it’s always hard to judge responses the first day.

anyway, i was able to get more revision done on the book before and between classes, so i’m now on page 107. i know, slower going than desired, but today saw solid progress in shorter times. despite the other classes and anxiety, felt like i was back in the swing of things.

oh, and for reference, when i said i cracked that character’s voice, i was wrong. that said, i was wrong for the right reasons. i wasn’t listening, i was still pushing, trying to fit an idea i thought was good onto a character that had his own personality. so, i think i’ve finally got that straightened out. or, rather, he’s finally got me straightened out.

have to keep moving.

  1. Amazing to read someone else running into this. I once created a character, with the intent that it would only advance the story, and a particular point I was trying to make for the main character. Instead, this foil started doing and saying things that went way beyond my intent, and I could not rein him back in.
    It’s a good sign, though, that you aren’t controlling that character; it is the surest indicator that it will read as real.

    • thank you for the vote of confidence. it can be very disheartening to think i’ve got it figured out, only to discover that i’m only making this worse, because, instead of ‘figuring it out’, i should be listening and observing. this particular character has given me some of the biggest problem, voice-wise. his actions, his purpose, his motivations, these are all clear and have never shifted. he’s been who he is, but i’ve been stuck trying to make him sound like someone he’s not, muffling his real voice with my own too-intentional filter.

      the upside, of course, is realizing this truth, and finally hearing how he’s supposed to sound. in some ways, this whole ‘finding the right voice’ process feels like making a mountain out of a molehill, but i console myself with the belief that it’s closer to mark twain’s comment about the difference between ‘the lightning’ and ‘the lightning bug’.

      now…who is this character you speak of?

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