Monday, November 3, 2008

Chapter 3 progress report

I've finally made some progress on Chapter 3. In this chapter, I've been exploring the rather unconventional relationship between David and his mother Katharine. She is visiting him, ostensibly in town on business interviewing a professor of political science for a feature article, but really she wants to make sure he's getting settled into his house well and isn't missing the dorms too much. She's surprised by his adaptability, as he's usually averse to any sort of change in his daily routine.

I knew this chapter was going to be very dialog intensive, and I'm petrified to write no work was done on this chapter for the longest time. I got scared off by my perception of my own weaknesses. But once I got David and his mother in the same room and started them to talking (actually talking out my own frustrations) things started to come a lot more easily. It's a shame I'm so exhausted now and have to get to sleep so I'll be fit to work tomorrow, because I'd like to continue and build on the two pages I've output this evening. So now that I have a handle on how David and his mother interact, now I have to work through David's internal dilemmas doubting for the first time his ability to succeed in academia as he struggles to come up with a dissertation topic. He's at loose ends now. He excels in classes and as a research assistant because there is a set curriculum or procedure. When David is left to make his own choices, though, he drops into paralysis. Much like me faced with the prospect of writing large chunks of dialog!

So I'm hoping to keep up the pace and get two more pages written tomorrow. I think I was helped greatly by my pact partner who sent me three very short plays to read over for him. Plays are completely outside my area of expertise, but it was interesting reading them out and pinpointing their weaknesses and brilliant moments of clarity and comedy. I think it helped put me in a good headspace to write some serious dialog.

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