So, I didn’t write or update for three days. I worked all night on Friday, slept all day Saturday, was braindead/out and about Sunday and then had a hard drive crash Sunday night. Grabbed a discarded old laptop which stopped working ages ago, pressed the power button, and… it worked. Just needed an external keyboard. No problem, as they say.
Back to it today, then, and I spent about half an hour deepening Mari’s characterisation. It was telling that when I sat down to write after three days of nothing, I didn’t feel like I knew who I was writing about, so I used a walk with her boyfriend to go into more detail about her background (and his).
i like to walk a little behind him, like a good girlfriend should, or maybe sometimes with my arm tucked inside his if I’m feeling particularly close to him. the way he is now seems to preclude both. his shuffling gait is so slow as to suggest that he would sooner stand in one place all day than actually go anywhere, and his arms dangle limply at his sides. maybe it’s cool to act like a sullen teenager now.
I’m trying to write around those details rather than spell them out, which would be a lot easier if I was already very familiar with the character.
A friend has given me some useful feedback about visual description in the context of settings that the vast majority of my potential readers won’t know much about – i.e. I need to tell them more about what they can see. Absolutely true, and something I often forget as I keep my focus on the feeling. Still, I must remind him, anyone reading this and most of all myself that this is just a first draft. The point is to simply fill pages with the story. It can be utter rubbish; right now that doesn’t matter.
Finally, I have gotten hold of a whole lot of Utada Hikaru music and her wistful voice is a pretty good accompaniment to the story. Pity I’m not writing a film script. ONE DAY…