Terry Crabtree 4-EVA.

As an excellent New Year’s gift, I learned that my post about cinematic writing mentors was one of Electric Literature’s top ten posts of the year! I wrote many words about Wonder Boys (one of my all-time favorite movies) and Finding Forrester (which I had somehow never seen before?) and the wonderful Kelly Luce edited it into publishability.

If you want to spend your first weekend of 2016 wallowing in literature, I recommend heading over to the list, which includes Lincoln Michel’s discussion of the ongoing battle between “genre” and “literary” writing, a round-up of literary podcasts, several looks at diversity in the literary world, and more!

The other thing Iron Man & I have in common

Prepping the manuscript to give to my workshop group in a few weeks. Some moments I’m exhilarated – I see all these pieces of stories that I’ve managed to pull together into one (mostly, kinda, more-or-less) cohesive novel, and I’m incredibly happy that I’ve stuck with this project. But then…there’s still so much left to do.

So many holes, so many redundancies that need to be edited, so many characters that aren’t really real yet.

What does it mean when you have to repeat, “Don’t worry, even Tony Stark has panic attacks” to yourself over and over, until your heart rate falls?

Maybe I should start doing yoga.

Priorities?

Will this be it? The year I get serious? I hate being serious. I don’t believe it’s healthy to be serious for extended periods of time. And yet. If this book is ever going to be finished (and please believe me when I say that I want nothing more) I need to get serious.

Tony Kushner says that writing a play is like creating a lasagna – you have to layer in a strong foundation of pasta, keep a precise sauce-to-cheese ratio, and choose carefully as you add vegetables and/or meat, so you end up with something that people will actually want to eat.

I’m trying to think about this as I finish my first draft. What is the author’s responsibility to the reader? Have I as an author created a balance between my characters? Is my structure sound? Have I used too much cheese? Could there ever, possibly, be too much cheese?