Saturday, 27 September 2008

Small writing update

1. Derrida and Antiquity chapter redrafts finished (I hope) and mailed to the editor and my above-and-beyond beta-readers, Una and Aren. I am secretly rather proud of it.

2. Yesterday I tried to work on Chapter Three of Now and Rome but the map/territory relationship just fell apart around me and I ended up having to go for a long walk, cook smoked tofu with peanut and coconut rice plus hot walnut-pomegranate-rocket salad, and watch An Affair to Remember with knitting and ice cream instead.

Today I took Chapter Three to the coffee shop and had a medium-sized structural insight and wrote 500 words, fairly angstlessly. Which is fine, and reminds me that bad days often precede good ones. (The only trouble is that as of next week I will only have one day a week to work on the book: my plan is to take it to the coffee shop and keep telling myself firmly that I am only working on one paragraph at a time, in order to avoid the abyss of map/territory disintegration).

3. Surprisingly, working on fanfiction this summer has been potentially really helpful for my theory practice, in a couple of ways: one of them is precisely the map/territory relationship. I am getting into a working/workable flow in relation to plot/writing in the fanfic: I can usually tell when I need to stop writing and let the next section of plot clarify a bit further, and I seem to have found my comfort level in terms of how far ahead I need to plot, so that I'm not writing into a void and constantly anxious that I'll end up finding out that the last umpty- thousand words were a tangent, as has happened a couple of times with this story already, but I'm also not constrained away from random insight and creative flow by too-tight plotting. And I can start to see how I can import that into my theory writing, getting a feel for the overall argument and shape but letting my embodied, sentence-by-sentence, walk through the territory inform the map as well as the other way round.

The other thing is delight. When I think about how many rules my fan story is breaking - how many things it contains that I know full well that lots of fans mock and denigrate (mary-sue! mpreg! weddings!) - I just feel delighted. And I want to learn how to import that into my theory, that sense that my certainty in, my ownership of, my delight in my writing actually increases when I think about its oddness, its me-ness, its newness. Not feeling that I am potentially under attack and I have to write from a position that's either unassailable (ie already-known) or belligerently 'new'; just feeling, as with the fanfic, that this is something which delights me and which I want to show to other people, in case it delights them too.


Una said...

When I think about how many rules my fan story is breaking [...] I just feel delighted.

*rubs hands in glee*

Ika said...

Hahaha it is so much fun.