If you work on the same project long enough, it’s easy to accidentally half-memorize it — when I try to reread book 3 to edit, I tune it out. So as hard as it is to not move forward, I’ve been working on another project to keep momentum going while my brain empties out that particular buffer. The plan is to keep that up for a couple of weeks and then see if editing works.
It’s actually going pretty well. I don’t know if it’s A Good Idea to finish this one next, vs. picking up the dangling plot threads in book 3 to continue with A&K & co. next. But it’s a nice palate cleanser for now.
Finished Bugsnax in about 20 hours, including the Isle of Bigsnax expansion, which was included in the Switch version. Did not finish all of the small sidequests, but I finished all the story-related sidequests and got the “good ending”.
I did not know this goofy-looking puzzle game had such fun characterization?? and a plot driven by personal challenges and complicated relationships??? what? I love it. Also: one of the townsfolk is a nonbinary mad scientist, excuse me, what a delightful surprise. I got out of the custom plushie biz several years ago, but I am sorely tempted. I still have an annoying amount of plush and fleece boxed up in the craft room. … … We’ll see.
Next up gamewise: Actually, Earthbound, via the Switch’s SNES emulator. I don’t want to replay Night in the Woods until closer to fall, didn’t feel like starting Breath of the Wild, and didn’t have enough cash in the account to buy anything else on my wishlist. So let’s see if I make it all the way through Earthbound this time.
Alternating edits/rewrites on book 3 with some loosely planned writing on book ?4? (actually takes place before book 1, so we’re going to have to come up with some better numbering).
Couple of thoughts. It starts with cringe comedy.
I don’t like all cringe comedy, but I like a bit of it. I’ve gotten some disdain from friends about it, because how could anyone possibly witness those horrible people doing and saying the Wrong Things? Doesn’t it hurt to see someone so imperfect?
Thing is… I’m a full garbage human who has never said a Right Thing in my life, and almost-impossibly-flawed characters are some of the types that I find most relatable. I think one of the reasons I’ve found book 3 so hard to write is that the narrators have worked on themselves to the point where they are not horrible people anymore. They have flaws and shortsighted spots, but their bond continues, they are not actively self-sabotaging, and they’ve Learned some Stuff.
At the start of the new story, one of the narrators is an inept people-pleaser who is neck deep in well-deserved self-loathing; the other is a likeable extrovert who is a) silently cataloguing everything wrong with everyone around her, in order to use it against them if they ever cross her; and b) perpetuating a very long lie about what she did at the Academy. This is finger-steepling cartoon villain level fun to write. They are awful at this point, and as with book 1, I know where I want them to go; it’s just a matter of figuring out how to get them there and make it feel deserved. It’s a breath of fresh air.
That said, I’m realizing that there is even less magic in this story than the Healers trilogy. It follows two more Academy graduates, but they’re a priest (skills: talking) and a swordmaster (skills: hitting things with swords). I really, truly do not know what genre we’re doing anymore. I should care about that? It’s hard to care. As long as I’m writing something, that feels better than writing nothing. Maybe I’ll figure out a way to shoehorn some magic into the plot. I don’t know, man. They’re words. Read them if you want to.
In conclusion: January is nearly over, February is short, and then our hemisphere will be nearly done with winter. Can’t wait.