Balance, Bulk, and Visible

Nothing much to report. I’ve got a nobleman on the floor with an assassin and a knife, both of them outside a Queen’s door, and I’ve got to figure out what the assassin wants out of this. So that’s going to take some digging through my music library and finding his story. Of course the assassin’s got a story, and I’ve got to find it before I know what he really wants out of all this. Possibly it’s just expediency, but still, I need to know.

This is something I don’t talk about often. What a reader sees is only the tip of the iceberg. There is a massive bulk underneath that lifts it up into the visible. That bulk is what I know of the characters, their motivations, their world, their needs. The bulk is necessary, the labyrinth must be plumbed. It that huge mountain of ice and rock underneath that gives the visible its shape and depth, its internal consistency. Writing is often striking the balance between looking at that bulk and shaping the contours of the visible. Shaving little bits off here, tweaking what lies underneath so that the visible takes the shape one needs.

There’s so much more going into a book than what you see on the page. Sometimes I with the technology was available to invite the reader even further in, to give the full sensory experience I get, the sheer visceral pleasure of living in that alternate universe. Words carry the experience to you, but sometimes the limitations of the medium are so bloody frustrating. That’s why there’s a craft and an art to it, I guess.

Anyway, that’s where I am. Stuck in the heart of an iceberg, chipping away. Shivering and wiping my nose, numb fingers on the chisel…and a huge, stupid grin on my face.

See you in a bit.

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