Sunday, May 24, 2009

My writing week 2(21)

Hi all,

The editing of Stalking Tigers is going very slowly, even with more time spent editing last week than in previous weeks. I estimate that I cut over 2,000 words from chapter 4, and then added about 2,400 words. I got to the end and decided I had better go back and re-edit a substantially changed chapter. It still heads in the same direction and gets there much the same way, just with different words. One thing I have been trying to do is tweak the main character's attitude, make him a bit more pro-active, a bit more determined. At the moment I am, again, halfway through chapter four. I hope I need to change less in the coming chapters, but then again, most changes should improve it. At least I hope they do.

I critiqued a time travel story that had a lot of plot faults and a huge tension destroying information dump at the start. I recommended the author read K A Beford's Time Machines Repaired While U Wait.

I had a look at the authonomy site run by Harper Collins where authors put up their completed manuscripts for comments and votes. It seemed more of a site for people to try and get their novels noticed by the editors at Harper Collins than a site for serious critiquing. It also had a major drawback of preventing printing of manuscripts. I find it much easier to read and critique off paper.

I had a look at the blurbs for the science-fiction manuscripts that had been voted most popular and the first one was religion versus science - a theme that is totally overdone. It was done in well in Contact by Carl Sagan and Good News From Outer Space by John Kessel, and I enjoyed the religious themes in Damien Broderick's short story collection, The Dark Between the Stars, I also enjoyed it being sent up in Billy Soolee's The Sexuality Theory of Value, but it bored me silly in the Television series Deep Space Nine. I have so far excluded religion from my writing because in the future I think that as science explains more and more there will less of the unexplained for people to say God must have done it. I also think that as human lives get longer and longer, less people will turn to religion out of fear of death. It will still be around though, just not as a theme in anything I write.

I finished reading an Asimov magazine that I hope to review later in the week.

I have booked and paid for my trip the Emerging Writer's Festival this weekend. I hope that it will give me a few insights into writing and increase my motivation. Just deciding to attend seems to have increased my hours spent editing/writing over the past week.

It seems I may have wasted my time buying a membership to Aussiecon 4, in September next year, because according to scientist Kenneth Thomas, civilisation might start to dramatically collapse on the 15th of January 2010 when the alignment of tectonic plates could trigger the Clathrates Gun Hypothesis. Clathrates are huge frozen deposits of methane trapped in pockets under the ocean. Methane is 70 times worse than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and evidently there is 3,000 trillion tonnes of these clathrates, enough to raise the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from the current 380ppm to 70,000 ppm, a bit past the 450ppm the IPCC recommends we keep it below. If you want to learn more about the end of the world you can hear about it on an Ockham's Razor's broadcast.

I hope I haven't ruined your day.


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