Workshop update – today’s session went great. (So did yesterday’s, which I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post, since that was mostly written in the morning.) I got lots of great feedback and suggestions for ‘The Storm Mirror,’ including that old favorite that I seem to still be having trouble with – torture your characters more. I’m excited about the revision.
We’ve been talking quite a bit so far about ‘killing your babies’, which wasn’t advice that I got that I noticed – if a favorite element isn’t working for the story, you have to take it out; and maybe try to use it later. That reminds me of this favorite exchange on Stringing Words between myself and Elizabeth Twist:
Elizabeth: …Ultimately, this is helping me to let go of my older projects by allowing the new project to digest the juiciest bits.
Me: [That] prompted a very weird mental image in my head – something like you as a mother in a graveyard, saying goodbye to your ‘babies’ but smiling because a bizarre, chimera-like creature (your new book) is picking at the dead bodies. Fun.
Elizabeth: Thanks, Chris–that’s an accurate image of my mental state right now. Except I’m wearing a tiara and cheering on my chimera. Whee!
So, that’s my little piece of writing advice to everybody who reads me today – feed your chimera!