Posted in Uncategorized

RoW 80 Check In & “E is for…”

RoW 80 Check In:

Went through my notes on Divine Fire and decided on a specific breakdown of my goal. The manuscript is about 410 pages. I like bite-sized goals. That breaks down to 100 pages a week / 20 pages a day. Or about three scenes a day. I also discovered that I had already done the 10% cut on the first three scenes. So, that was a little jump start. I did two scenes Monday, and three yesterday and three today. 80 pages done!

Chris is here on leave this week, so it’s nice to have some padding. Plus, this is the already polished beginning of the novel. I expect this to be the easiest bit. There’s been one thing that needed revising (rather than cutting) that will cause more work for me in the future. I think I’m going to try and hit four scenes Thursday and Friday.

E is for…Engineers!

Engineers are some of my favorite people.

First of all, I’m married to one. Despite our collaboration as writers, Eric is still pretty firmly an engineer. He worked in the semiconductor industry for eight years before going back to school to study the intersection between biology and computer engineering. Secondly, since I’m not a terribly social person, so most of the people I know personally fall into two groups: the people Eric used to work with and the people we play frisbee with. One of my favorite weekly frisbee games occurs…where Eric used to work.

Despite, my lack of mathematical and abstract thinking skills, I really do enjoy being around engineers. But what does this have to do with writing?

Writers need diversity. Too often, when too many writers get together the following conversation happens:

Writer #1: (Makes some generalization about writing process or technique.)
Writer #2: Yep.
Writer #3: Uh-huh.
Writer #2: (Makes similar observation about writing process or technique.)
Writer #1: Definitely.
Writer #3: Uh-huh.

And so forth. In a group of non-writers, the discussions get a little more interesting. Engineers can’t help but systematize and try to discover precisely how things work. Some of the best observations I’ve made about process have come in response to an engineer saying, "Wait. What?" Plus, it’s good to get around people who think differently. As writers, we can’t underestimate the hows and whys of behavior. Hard to do that when everyone around you is homogenous.

(Plus: Engineer language! Eric pointed out that "revision control" isn’t exactly what I’d find in a writer’s glossary. I’ve also been called out for bringing language "to compliance." These are great precise terms.)