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great new idea for this material September 4, 2012

Posted by jeanne in Author's Note, Characters.
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while at dragoncon this weekend, i had an epiphany.  i can do the story of construction news as a graphic novel.  that hadn’t occurred to me before, and thinking about it, most of the scenes are very visual, with dialog.

but what really excited me was the idea of a new character who watches it all unfold and tells all the secrets along the way.

i’m going to write in a narrator – a bag lady.  a homeless lady, half crazy, who hangs out in the neighborhood and watches everything.

and i want to do this as a graphic novel.

there are several other projects in front of this, however, so it’ll take a couple of years.  but i might really enjoy doing sequential art and telling my stories this way.  so stay tuned.



author’s note, happy new year January 1, 2007

Posted by jeanne in Author's Note, Characters, construction news, Creative Writing, original fiction.
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well, it’s been months since i’ve done a lick of work writing fiction.

however, i’ve been faithfully cataloging the construction process on this multimillion, multistoreyed commercial / condo building that looms above our neighborhood.

you can see it for blocks, as we walk the dog. it’s visible from the cotton mill, it’s visible from boulevard and memorial, a major currently rundown intersection with loads of potential.

every day, we give thanks that we live in such a quickly changing part of atlanta, because we never get bored, and it’s always fascinating to see new stuff going up. i love a mix. it’s so cool towatch this thoroughly modern construction of steel and cinderbock towering above the one and two storey houses built at the turn of the last century at the edge of grant park. if it weren’t for trees in peoples’ back yards, it would loom.

as it is, with no leaves on the trees, and with them beginning to build back toward us (now that the crane has been moved and they can complete the things they couldn’t before because of the crane’s swing radius), it’s going to take the full summer extent of leafiness to begin to shield us from the huge enormous 7 floors of wall two houses wide in our back yard.

on th other hand, i haven’t had much to do with the fiction writing part of this online novel. i had one after another friend and houseguest in town all during october and november, and then it was the runup to xmas and all those presents i spent two months making down in the studio, and now i’ve got next year’s garden to ready as fast as i can (the wildflower seed is in the fridge while i finish pulling existing plants out of the new field (formerly gravel driveway).

i keep coming back to my story with ideas and revisions. the story with star is gong to be so much more fascinating becauwe of twists and turns in the characters on whom these characters are based. i’m keeping notes on everything, and a closely watched teenagerhood rewards you with many anecdotes and a divine sense of seriousness and crisis, a doom hovering about waiting to crash down.

but like many other things in life, i find i’m stalling about getting back to work. i just can’t seem to finish chapter 4. there are so many things still to be woven in, and i’m getting bored with it, which means it needs to be chopped all to pieces and half of it thrown out. so maybe i’ll tackle that in a little while.

i haven’t forgotten about it, even tho i haven’t looked at the chapter for a month or two. it’s been simmering in my mind, and i’ve been letting it take the back burner.

revised plot alert August 20, 2006

Posted by jeanne in Author's Note, Blog project, Characters, construction news, Creative Writing, original fiction, Plotting, synopsis.
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it took about a week of worrying. i printed out my chapter structure, and stared at it for awhile. every time i looked at it, my stomach turned. it was too long. it was boring. i wasn’t sure if i wanted to write about these people. i couldn’t see a way of cutting it down, and i knew i had way too much complexity for my talents. what to do?

turns out i got my mom in town for a week, and couldn’t get near the computer without risking exposure to o’reilly and fox news. so the plot sat there in the back of my mind, and i was too busy being with my mom to think about my story.

so when she left i sat down, took one look at the chapter structure i’d printed out, turned the paper over, and started over with pencil on a blank sheet

first i spread out the construction timeline. it’s a big regularizing factor in otherwise semi-randomly spaced developments.

then i put down the main characters’ events beneath them, ignoring the construction timeline. i went from beginning to end of the events instead.

i had thougt i would try to resolve the two scales later. but now i’m not so sure i have to do that. the construction takes a year. the events unfold in some unknown timespan, and if i juggle it right, i can make them roughly correspond all the way along.

problem is, most of these chapters cover a day, or part of a day, at most a week. i’ve got a year to kill. and twelve chapters to do it in. well, maybe thirteen.

my dillema is that i have a constant ticking background rhythm, and a very synchopated 3-part tune weaving in and out.

to balance the two, i think it is necessary to put the construction process, and representing this, the saga of forman, in its own section of the orchestra. the things that go wrong on a construction site will have a steady, monotonous ring to it, a tenor line, if you will. and round this will shriek and howl and bellow the sopranos, altos and basses.
anyway, i started out with 28 chapters, and now i have 12. yay. cut in half. of course, there’s a lot of stuff to cram into each chapter, so we’ll see if it’s any shorter.

maybe i don’t know how to make it shorter. a bunch of things to tell take their time getting told, and a chapter is that long because it takes that long to tell it.