I have written -450 words since my last update on the subject. At this point a blank screen rewrite is incredibly dangerous, because if I'm not careful I'll wind up rewriting the same five hundred words until I'm too senile to remember where I was planning to go anyway, but I'm orders of magnitude happier with what I have now than with what I had then. I'm not sure even I would have kept reading. I have a better handle now on everything -- universe, characters, mechanics of what's happening in this scene -- and have figured out how to open with a scene in which, while what is going on is bizarre, the perspective character has done it a million times and finds it fairly boring, without instantly crashing and burning. (He'll start to find it more interesting when literal people with guns literally jump in through the window and shoot the place up. I'm concerned I'll create a delete-your-first-chapter problem, but this is only going to go on for another thousand words or so, and it contains a lot of information that would be impossible to deliver in an action scene and which the action scene would be uninterpretable without. And the delete-your-first-chapter problem is not one of my issues, in general. And I'm not defensive, so stop looking at me like that.)
The upshot is that the 502 words I have now -- squeezed out in fits and starts since last Saturday; I don't think the daily update thing is going to work for me anymore, given the state of my life -- are impossible to read. There's too much worldbuilding in too small a space, mostly delivered in the form of parenthetic phrases, such that by the time the end of the sentence arrives the reader has forgotten what the beginning was about. Also, the adjectives and adverbs are packed too closely together, and on my workaday prose, that doesn't feel lush, it feels purple. This bit will probably grow 50%-100% in revision. Terrifying. Still, much better.
Also, I have written possibly my most confusing-out-of-context sentence ever.
Scent of Water was approaching Wakefield, trailed by the other four members of its menage in ascending order of their ability to quickly disentangle themselves from its personality; Fiveness had hardly budged, but Nostalgia was practically on Water's heels.
Put that in your brain and smoke it.
The way the character dynamics are working out in this thing, it may very well fail the Bechdel Test, the Ledhceb Test and
what I just named the Bedlech test via a completely random and innocent scrambling of letters, success conditions for which are:
- It must contain at least two male and/or female characters
- Who talk to each other
- About something other than a nongendered or genderqueer entity
I'm cheating, of course. As someone points out in the thread I linked to, the Bechdel test ceases to function in the presence of such characters. Nishimura seems to be the only one with a romantic subplot coupon -- Wakefield appears pretty much asexual and may be a virgin -- and is probably going to redeem it with the Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter, which would mean passing the Bedchel Test at least, but at this point I don't think the Mad Scientist or Nishimura's friend the male-identified revolting monster have anything to say to either each other or Wakefield that isn't about one of aforesaid women or one of several sexless creatures.
In other news, I am not to be trifled with while I'm recovering from a Ren Faire drunk:
oneironaut says, "Hmm. Cladistically speaking, birds are reptiles. I've never eaten one of your conventional scaly reptiles as far as I can recall, but when people talk about reptile meat I always get the impression that it's somehow different from mammal meat. Yet your grouse, a reptile, tastes like venison."
oneironaut says, "Conclusion: deer are reptiles."
Vinci the Magnificent says, "You're distracting me from my horrible movie, and making the roommate choke on her ice cream."