3500 4600 5200 words yesterday. I'm telling you, I go through such long dry spells and crippling bouts of deadline-induced block, only to turn around and binge now and then. I won't be keeping this pace up very long, so don't envy me too much--I have to make hay while the sun shines. I can feel myself running out of steam, too--coming to the end of this bout of output, and needing to get some more input.
Interestingly, I'm doing a combination of character development and plot outline, and I'm realizing that I actually feel a great deal of sympathy for several characters who were initially conceived as unlikable people. I think this happened in at least one case because--well, first of all, how do you deal with killing off a character? Literally, I am asking you guys to tell me, because I'm curious. The way I do it, as a big-picture person, is I start sketching out the plot skeleton while I still have the only core characters in mind, and I start thinking in terms of, "Okay, I need an antagonist now... okay, I need someone to die at this point," etc. Because I very, very rarely can bring myself to develop a character and suddenly just go, "You know what? I think I'm gonna kill this one." I kind of need to know that this is the purpose of the character all along. It's like--you watch Seven, for example, and you have to think that the entire purpose of the Gwyneth Paltrow character is for her head to end up in a box. Any character development she has probably came after the decision to put her head in the box, which I imagine was very, very early on. I could be completely talking out of my ass here, but--let's just say that if I had written that script, that's the order I would have planned it out in. "And then his wife totally ends up in a box. We're gonna have to give her some stuff to do before that so the viewer actually cares."
So then I have to go back through and make sure the character isn't just a red shirt--it's a dynamic, fleshed-out character, because otherwise the reader is totally going to see the death coming, and they're not going to care when it arrives. And because I'm cruel, basically. I want the reader to feel it when someone dies. And I have been known to spare characters because I just liked them so much after I'd worked with them for a while, so this is kind of dangerous--I get too attached. But the same principle works for villains, particularly if you're trying to plant misinformation about which character is the villain. I'm not feeling twinges of reprieve for any of these characters, in the sense that I think what happens to them is exactly what needs to happen, but I'm still surprised that I feel as much empathy as I do for a couple of them. I find myself thinking about other paths their lives could have taken, if that makes any sense. I'd elaborate, but... assuming you ever get to read this story someday, I don't want to have given anything away, because there's supposed to be two big surprises.
I still need to finish the writer's block thing, I know. Oddly, I think that's the piece I'm blocked on. Oh, the ironing.
There's something very depressing about looking up a music video on YouTube and glancing at the comments and seeing, at the very top, the statement "I wasn't even born when this hit big!" You weren't born in 1992? They let fetuses on the internet now? I AM SO OLD.
(Man. I was thirteen years old and obsessed with this thing at the time. Then again, I was thirteen, so I generally added one new obsession to the pile about every three months. Also, it resulted in me watching actual James Dean movies, so--thanks, Paula!)
Chick lit covers: a diagram. Em, this is for you and Kiki.
The first six minutes of The Illusionist, in which we are faced with the threat of Jessica Biel actually being a good actress. This may cause the universe to implode, I'm not sure.
Samuel L. Jackson will call/email YOU with an exhortation to see Snakes on a Plane. Kind of. I absolutely love the marketing they're doing on this movie. I honestly feel like Jackson would go door-to-door for this movie if there were enough hours in the day.
"Die Hard" breaks "Free" next June. After I stopped groaning, I realized that the title is... kind of awesome. Too bad Samuel L. Jackson was already in the third one.
And if anyone cared about Rob Schneider, this would be brave and/or hilarious.