Sketchbook #4

Recently, I started sharing updates and behind-the-scenes looks at the various creative projects I’m working on: writing, painting, photography, whatever works I happen to have in progress. It’s probably going to take a couple of tries before I figure out the format, but you can expect to see these Sketchbook posts on the last Monday of each month. Love it? Hate it? Have something else you’d like to see? Tell me what you think!

I got some new toys!

Specifically, I’ve needed to replace my circular polarizer for ages, and I finally got around to it. (I’ve had a couple of trips out over the last few weeks that would have gone so much better if I’d had a decent CP filter, so it suddenly became a priority.) And I got a new bag.

I do plan on going into detail on the bag, but it probably won’t be for a few weeks (or maybe a month or two). I want to take some time to get used to it, and fine-tune my setup a little bit before I give it a proper review. (It wouldn’t be fair right now. I’m still figuring out how to organize it so it holds everything I need it to—and telling myself that it will hold everything I need it to—and cursing the velcro bits that always seem to stick the dividers in exactly the wrong place.)

I’m hoping that the weather will cooperate over the next few weeks (it’s been such a rainy summer!), and I’ll be able to get out with my camera. I don’t have anything specific planned, but I need to use the bag in a real-world but low-pressure scenario, so I’m not scrambling to find things when I really need them.

Remember how I said that I have trouble writing dialogue-heavy scenes that don’t suck?

I don’t know that that’s entirely true.

Don’t get me wrong—the scene I was referring to is still terrible. But I don’t think it’s terrible because it’s dialogue-heavy. I think it’s terrible because it’s just a terrible scene. Or I started writing it before I was ready. Or (and this is the one I think is most likely), I don’t actually need that scene. It’s filler, and doesn’t add anything to the story. I’ve written other dialogue-heavy scenes since then that are perfectly good. (Or, as ‘perfectly good’ as a first draft could be, which is not at all good, but with potential.)

I really have to get to work on that outline I keep putting off.

Two reasons: first, I don’t want to waste time getting frustrated by scenes that don’t actually need to be written. And, second: some of the scenes I’ve been working on lately are good, but I keep falling into the trap of treating them like short stories. They’re too long, or there’s too much resolution at the end. And while I could write this whole thing as a series of interconnected short stories, I don’t really want to. It feels too unfocussed.

But I hit a logical pause late last week, and I’m not 100% certain what I want to work on next, so I think I’m going to dedicate my writing time over the next week or two to coming up with an outline.