Sunday, April 27, 2008

What a difference a week makes

The latter half of the week was not productive. I've been working, reading and wrestling with my office. I abandoned that project until after May 1st. Our writing challenge ends on the 30th and I'm hopeful I can meet my goal. I'm house and dog-sitting for the next ten days. It's only down the street from my own home, and it has a big screen TV but it's a different environment. I've already made a mini-office in the rec room so wish me luck.

Several of us traveled to Buffalo on Friday night to see Jeff Dunham. I laughed ridiculously hard for two solid hours. At one point my head was pounding from all the laugher and I was completely convinced I was going to die from a stroke. What a way to die. If I wrote suspense or mystery, I might actually use that scenario.

In the midst of gasping for oxygen, I actually started to critique the one routine. The Christmas special is being taped in June so we were privy to a lot of new material;some of which was written on the spot. It was all funny, yet one of the characters was inconsistent in tone. He was meek, wicked, sad and maniacal all at the same time. It was like watching the rough draft of one of my scenes. All the gold is there. You just have to brush off the dirt. That was freakier than the fear of stroke.

It's one thing to hear voices in my head but to critique someone else's voices is another. Jeff Dunham doesn't exactly need my input. The laughter is immediate and accurate feedback.

How do you know you're writing contains more gold than mud?


  1. Hard question. There is a point for me when I tweak and change and polish and then I read through it and feel a glow inside because it just feels right. Whether there is gold in the mud? I'm too new a writer to be sure so I rely on reading the chapter aloud to my critique group. When they listen with hushed breath and sit in silence for a minute after I'm done and then blow out their breath, then I know I've accomplished what I set out to do when I wrote the scene. When they tell me the hair stood up on the back of their necks--ah, that is gold.

  2. Wishing you all the luck that's at the end of the rainbow but you don't need it. You're doing great.