I had a good crit group last night. Not just because they unilaterally thought the seventh version of the first chapter for THE SILVER SCAR is finally there, but because we introduced new blood into the group and it was great. They were great. Yay for new critters who really know their stuff!
We met at a new venue, a bookstore. We sat in comfy chairs, the five of us who could attend, and then we gained another--an old crow of a woman who didn't move her chair and sat uncomfortably close even for European standards. Plus, she kept falling asleep and dropping her book. And here's where I get a bit mean, but it was seriously like having a ghoul or poltergeist sitting in the group with us. She'd nod off, pasty skin contrasting with her stringy black hair, and we'd sort of forget about her, and then SLAM! the book would fall.
No, I mean like six or seven times.
THE SILVER SCAR is getting more complicated by the moment. In fifteen mss pages I introduce six potential conflicts, from interpersonal squabbles to rock-your-world. But I realized that's the way the book wants to be written. It wants controversy and clashing motivation on every front. It wants hungry, desperate characters that reflect a hungry, desperate world. It cries out for ugliness.
So far, Trinidad isn't desperate enough. But I learned something about him: he's a doer, not a thinker. He's simply not going to wax poetic about why something or other happened; he's going to be moving toward fixing it at all times.
It's partly from denial--you dig too deep and you might hit a polluted river in China. It's partly from his training: Assess, Defend, Repeat. But mostly, it's who he is. And he's not apologetic. Anyway, I have some more plot tweaking to do because of the new conflicts, but his character lets me off the hook of doing a lot of internal narrative, which I kind of loathe anyway.
Longtime readers know Ash Wednesday is one of my holy days. I did some thinking about Lent, felt guilty because I couldn't think of anything to give up. And then I realized God really could care less; giving up stuff is more about reminding me what Lent means and the coming sacrifice. God already has that bit figured out. And I'm remembering Ash Wednesday and Lent just fine. So I guess nix on giving something up.