Last night I had my first DEMON NIGHT dream, which is great — it means my head is completely into the story. I’m always thinking about it when I’m awake (and often I run through a bunch of scenarios in daydreams … some really terrible ones, too. One of the fun things that I do during the writing process is make my characters go through the worst possible thing — which is, usually, death or something horrible to the partner. If I make myself bawl, it’s a good day. Anyway, it’s a great way to get myself emotional about the characters, even if it does make me feel like something out of The Three Sillies.)
Another thing I’ve been doing during my downtime is listening to movie commentary — if one of my weak areas is pacing and tightening everything up, it occurred to me while listening to Joss Whedon’s commentary on the deleted scenes for SERENITY that the industry most dependent on constant forward movement and great pacing is the movie industry. So I’ve grabbed a couple of movies the last few nights and listened to the director’s commentary as I go along: why do some scenes make it and not others, how some scenes evolve as the movie is shot/edited, things like that. So far I’ve done this with SERENITY, TOMB RAIDER 2, RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE, and 28 DAYS LATER (I’ve been in a zombie mood). And I don’t really feel guilty about it, because it would have been wasted time anyway (I have a little hand-held DVD player that I’ve been using while my daughter winds down at night … and when she won’t let me work, but she’ll let me sit on the sofa.) Up tonight is either NEVER BEEN KISSED or EVER AFTER, because they both are kind of romance-y, but I haven’t decided which one yet.
I think that if I go to any conferences next year (I’ve decided not to this year — I’ll be on deadline, and this time I think the $$$ would probably be better spent on DEMON MOON promo. If DEMON MOON came out after RWA National, I’d probably re-think that, because then I could talk to booksellers and readers in person … but since it comes out before, I’d miss that pre-release window) I’ll be looking for a screenwriting-type of panel to attend, and I’ll be looking for any screenwriting books over the next couple of days. I’ll report back if I find any gems.