Friday, 20 April 2001
I'm trying to do something delicate in my story. I'm trying to make a society which is not much like any other (that I know of), but has certain aspects of several. I'm worrying that I'm going to provide some miscue that will make people think "Ah, it's like X," and then either miss the differences (and the point) or catch the differences and just be confused--"X isn't like that!" The only way I can think of to prevent this is to get a couple of societal details out there really early that (together) rule out any actual society. Then the reader has the clue to wait about forming a conclusion. I hope. Then the problem is just the same old "You can't put everything first."
I need to write faster. Not just because it would be nice to finish more stories, but because the longer the writing drags on, the greater the chance that I let some side issue like this convince me to give up on the story. I need to put in some concentrated blocks of time to get each first draft done faster. This one is far enough along that I may be able to finish a draft this weekend.
There was an art show in downtown Champaign this evening. A dozen or so shops, restaurants, and galleries each provided some space for an artist or two or three to show some art. Some other sponsors came up with some money to publicize the event. The idea is mostly to draw more people into downtown, to make it seem more like downtowns used to be--full of people. You, know--like the parking lot of a strip mall, only without the cars. Sigh. Champaign had done this or a similar event a year or two ago, only it was on a Saturday rather than a Friday night. It really worked--being on the sidewalk that day was like being in a bustling, vibrant downtown. It wasn't quite so successful this evening. And the art was, let's just say, largely not to my taste.
Things are getting lively on the Clarion mailing list. It's shaping up to a bunch of thoughtful, caring, funny people.