Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Tuesday, 13 July 2004

I stayed up late last night, and am staying up almost as late tonight. That was something I avoided at Clarion, as I know I don't function well if I don't get enough sleep--and I pretty much have to get my sleep by going to bed early, as I rarely sleep late no matter how late I've stayed up.

I'm having too much fun to go to bed early, though.

I got up early this morning, and was the only one of our little group to head over to the cafeteria in time for breakfast.

After breakfast, I went out for a run. First I ran down Elm to the grocery store (just to make sure I knew where it was) and then back through campus. That was about 2 miles, which I ran at a very easy pace as a warmup. I ended up over by the track (which is very close to Neufeld Hall where we're staying) and then did 1 mile on the track, running as fast as I could.

I did two timed runs on a track last year, so I've copied the table with those results here, and have added today's as well:


So, I'm well on my way to being able to run a 9-minute mile. In fact, the first and last lap were at a 9-minute pace. Those two middle laps were slow (although faster than a year ago).

After the run and a second shower, I got to work. Dave and I settled in back in the lobby and did some writing.

I'm still working on this robot story, and I think I've finally cracked the middle of it. The antagonist needed to convince the hero to take action. My outlines haven't really had any detail there, and getting from outline to a scene (or two or three) turned out to be a lot harder than I'd imagined.

What turned things around was realizing that the antagonist was a motivated character as well. Once I spent a few minutes thinking about exactly what the motivations and goals were, then that character's choices and stratagems became a lot more clear.

I've written the guts of those scenes now. There's still a subplot to resolve, but I think it will be easy since it is a pretty obvious reflection of the main plot.

In fact, the story is very nearly done. I haven't read it over yet, but I don't think I have any scenes left to write. I sketched in the subplot resolution in an earlier scene, so now that I think about it, maybe all I'll need to finish it is a sentence to validate the earlier mention. Aside from that, I just need to reorder the stuff I've got and make sure the transitions work.

I'll do that tomorrow.

On a completely unrelated note, there are a dozen bicycles outside the front entrance to Neufeld Hall, and only two of them are locked up. The students in the band camp leave whole piles of instruments outside the cafeteria building, on the grass by the sidewalk, when they go in to eat. I saw that sort of thing at Earlham, were (I suppose like here) there's little enough theft that people feel comfortable leaving things unattended. It's not like that at the University of Illinois.


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