This week's writing issues:
1. So much abstraction and navel-gazing. So many paragraphs blathering on and on about sin and goodness and guilt and temptation. 1793* called and they want their moralizing novels back.
Also why so much pluperfect tense? And the modal verbs. I sound like Ric Flair when I moan "Oh God" during edits. I am a better writer than "should", "could", and "would". My use of "ought" however is a sign of genius.
2. The prose lacks umami. Don't know what the literary equivalent is so I'm calling it umami. The basic taste sensation that's sorta meaty, sorta savory and all about complexity. To abuse the food metaphor further, think about a really good spaghetti sauce. Garlic, basil and oregano are perceptable, but what really, really makes the sauce great is how all the flavors blend; the whole is rich, heady, savory. Right now, my prose is four hundred tiny hot fudge sundaes. Yummy, sure. On the sentence level, some of the lines are my best writing ever. Gobble, gobble. However, after the fourth or fifth bite, even though they're super yummy, they also come off as one-note-ish, uncomplex and uninvolving.
3. Part of the above comes from, I hope, my self-challenge to write longer sentences. Oh, the sprawling, wandering messes I've written. Some are terrific, believe it or not. Balls awesome. Musical, clear, clever. I can't believe I pulled them off. The thing, though, is that well-done long sentences are such complete thoughts. What needed to be said, was. Every speck of it. And, I find it difficult to build the next sentence because nothing is wanting from the last.
4. Expansion. Geez brain. Every sentence I write seems to open an entire scene that wants to be written-- the more sidetrack-y the better. Seriously, a character reflects on a roadtrip and the WHOLE DAMN TRIP wanted to be written about-- the driver's obsession with his CB radio, the assface riding shotgun, the sleeping dude, the passing scenery. I wanted a two or three sentence fond memory, my brain was like how about some total recall. Doubly annoying is the story itself is already flashback, fond memory, navel-gazing heavy. Quit writing more. Just make what's there more meaningful and active.
5. I'm writing for myself. Not in the selfish sense (or rather, the most obviously selfish sense like here's the unedited, ungrammar checked guide to my fetishes and story buttons), but in the
a)I'm making shit up when it suits me. I'm trying to be diligent about dates and PPVs and other verifiable crap. But with other stuff, I'm doing what I want. I doubt the character was brought up as religious as I'm making his past. The wrestling business does not operate like I'm protraying it. Let's hope some people aren't the dicks I'm writing them as.
b)I won't call this autobiographical, but there is A LOT of me in this. I'm counting on the whole What Seems Baldly Obvious To Me Is Nothing No One Else Will Catch Onto, but meh, I still feel stupidly exposed.
c) is tediously Operafic even without the point above. My current MO seems to be Let's See If I Can Turn Even The Most UnOpera Story Into a Totally By Opera story. Sometimes I worry that all my little writing projects within a story (write long sentences, write ugly characters, write characters no one would expect me to write) isn't just a self-deluding cover-up to avoid acknowledging that all I write is the same, snarky-smarky, dismal stories over and over.
*Take that, 1999 fic.