Back from a family holiday at a rented villa in Mexico and still recovering. E took advantage of some of the downtime there to play computer games, which taught one of our two year old twin boys the pleasure of running around yelling “Boom boom boom!” while pretending to shoot people. After I pulled rank and persuaded the tot to find another way of amusing himself, E said to me, “Why did you get him to stop?”
“Because,” I replied, “it’s annoying.”
I have been worldbuilding, further fleshing out the culture of my Sajae race (descendants of humans and fallen angels) and the great labyrinth city that still haunts my character Kai and his magic-using, long-living peers. Fun, neat stuff. It’s all made-up, of course, but it also feels a great deal like research, and it reminds me of that question, How much research is too much? The answer, I suppose, is when the research replaces the actual act of writing and storytelling, when it becomes another way of putting off the real work, the messy, difficult stuff of first-drafting. So one solution is to write the draft with just the bare bones of research in place, figuring out as you go along just what it is you need to know, and letting it all braise and simmer on those mysterious backburners in your undermind. Then you can fold more and deeper world-building into the revision process.
Haven’t yet begun to officially revise the Bloodangel sequel — which I’m thinking more and more will be called The Dream Children, unless my editor and I decide to call it something else — but have been mapping out the third book, which I actually already have a title for: Lord of Bones. Or maybe Lord of Misrule. (But I’m leaning towards Bones, which I think goes well with the ‘dream’ and the ‘blood’ of the previous two titles.) So when I do revise book 2, I’ll be bringing a lot more knowledge into the story — knowledge of the characters, the world of their past, and also what’s going to happen to them in the future — which should help me streamline some parts while enriching and deepening others.
Tomorrow night, E is taking me for my belated birthday dinner at Urosawa, which used to be the Beverly Hills restaurant of the great Chef Masa (Masayoshi Takayama) before the equally revered Thomas Kellor convinced him to pack up his knives and open up a new place alongside Kellor’s new place in the Time Warner building in New York. Masa turned over the BH restaurant to his sous chef, who has come into his own and is also supposed to be pretty excellent, at least according to E, who has dined there twice and raved about it both times. So I’m psyched. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like an outrageously expensive and finely crafted meal*. And joining us will be someone I’ve never met before, only read about, a born-into-obscene-wealth philanthropist producer playboy famous actress’s babydaddy, who shares E’s commitment to alternative energy. I foresee a very Los Angeles kind of evening.
*Okay, this isn’t true at all, but it was a fun sentence to write and I went with it.