Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Writing, revising, and new monitors

Only 300 new words tonight, but that's because I spent most of my time revising the work I did yesterday. It didn't have to be flushed out as much as I thought it might, though minor adjustments were required for tone and pacing throughout (plus the myriad of first-draft fixes that are always necessary, of course). I definitely had a case of adjectivitis, but those darn adjectival growths were easily lanced from otherwise healthy prose.

That puts me squarely into chapter 6 now, which my 300 new words are the beginning of, but I still need to do a lot more planning of the specifics of this chapter before I'll be ready to write the rest of it. I've got the general idea of what I want to have happen, and I know where I want to end up, but this chapter is one that could easily turn into bridge scenes that will just have to be cut later if I'm not careful. So in the meantime I need to figure out what these scenes change, what they reveal about the characters, and how they advance my sub-plots. Normally I'd also want to figure out how they would advance the main plot, but this chapter is intended to be a slight bit of a breather after several chapters of moderate tension and one of very high tension.

True to Anne Mini's advice, there will still need to be plenty of tension in these scenes, but it will need to be a different sort of tension other than what the main plot provides. This is one of those kinds of chapter that is tricky for me; I'll have to plan carefully, so that the reader is carried swiftly through and yet feels some release from the main tension without letting pacing suffer. I'm pretty confident that I know how to do that, but we'll see what I come up with. It may be a few days before I'm ready to start writing on this again, though, so there might not be any/many blog posts during that time. But I'm very excited, because chapter 6 basically marks the start of the next segment of my book, and this is where the rules and situations that I've so far set up in the book start to change (for the first time). It's an evolutionary sort of story, and I'm excited to finally be hitting the first change point.

On an unrelated note, my computer monitors have been driving me nuts recently. Because of my programming work, I use two monitors side-by-side--trust me, once you get used to that, you can't go back. Anyway, both monitors were old 17" Dell CRTs that were at least six years old, and both had a nasty case of the flickers. That'll wear your eyes out fast. Additionally, the right-hand monitor had been making this high pitched whine every so often for the last few months. It's gotten a lot worse recently, so that it's been just about constant. I spend a lot of hours on the computer every day, and this was making for some major headaches.

I've wanted to get an LCD monitor for years, even back to when the 15" models cost just under $600 and the viewing angle and brightness were complete crap. But the cost always deterred me, not the least of which because I'd need two. But with the recent problems with my existing monitors, I decided it was finally time. I looked around online, and discovered that Circuit City is actually running a pretty amazing deal. The price was right, and with such good contrast, brightness, viewing angle, and response rate this was the obvious pick for me. I've never used the ProView brand of monitors before, so hopefully it's as reliable as the myriad of other brands I've used.

I'll let you know if I have any problems, but so far I'm loving it. The high pitched sound is gone, the picture is much brighter and crisper than my old CRTs ever were, and the display area of a 17" LCD panel is much larger than that of a 17" CRT because of how they are measured. I could easily run these new monitors at 1280x1024, but I'm choosing to keep them to 1024x768 to make it easier on my eyes. Makes me feel a like an old man, but it's probably better for me in the long run. I've mostly been writing on my laptop, since the monitors on my desktop were bothering me so much, but tonight I actually wrote on my desktop for the first time in over a year. Woo-hoo!

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12,653 / 95,000 (13.3%)


Rachel V. Olivier said...

LOL! Gearhead! That must feel great. YOu forget how hard this is on your eyes until it's not so hard on your eyes!

Oh, I was reading about Larry McMurtry and thought about you. It is his goal to write (and complete, I believe) 5 double spaced manuscript pages a day. I think it's 4 for Robert Silverberg. Depending on the font that's 1000-1500 words a day. Sounds to me like you make that most of the time.

Christopher M. Park said...

Well, it's easy to convince yourself that you should just live with something when you don't want to spend the cash. Oh well, in retrospect I should have made that investment long ago. :)

The target of 1000-1500 words is definitely something that I hit during periods when I'm really in my stride. When it's REALLY going well, twice that is easy. When it's not going well, half that is bloody hard.


Rachel V. Olivier said...

"When it's not going well, half that is bloody hard."

You can say that again.

Cellophane Queen said...

Good idea. I'm running a 15.4" laptop, which makes it wide-screen, so I got a 20" wide-screen monitor to hook to it. At last I can see!

I did have one of those whiners before so I understand your agony. I have very acute hearing and other people couldn't hear it unless they really concentrated. Or, they were placating me.

Christopher M. Park said...

I know what you mean. A lot of other people couldn't hear the whine on mine, either. It wasn't until last week when my wife sat down and went "ugh, what's that sound?" that I really started to realize how bad it was. Glad you've got your monitor situation worked out, as well!