Friday, June 24, 2016

They're the Same Thing

Wrote a new scene from scratch yesterday. It's easier now that the first draft is done and I know the characters and story better. It still required thought, but the skeleton came quickly and then it was just a matter of filling in details. I didn't use actual character “interviews” I've conducted, though they did inform thoughts and actions.

Living with these characters in my head for more than nine months makes a difference. So does writing 100,000 words about them. The types of questions I find myself asking now are more focused and less nebulous. They no longer steer me along paths that lead to dead ends. It's a good feeling, although there's still a long way to go.

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Today is brew day. Second batch of beer, this time an American amber ale. Did some prep last night. Big challenge is keeping temperatures down so the yeast doesn't go crazy. The porter we made last time is drinkable but drinks more like a dunkelweizen with all its fruitiness. It's not bad, it's just not representative of the style we'd intended to brew.

We'll get the process started a little earlier and take steps to cool the fermenter (setting the bucket in ice water seems to be the method of choice, although there are other strategies). We carefully documented where we went wrong last time and hopefully will learn from our mistakes. And we'll probably make more mistakes this time, document those, and hopefully learn from them next time.

* * *

The more I write and the more I brew, the more convinced I become that they're the same thing, with one using words and the other hops, malt, yeast, and water. Both take time and attention, and both yield rewards commensurate with the effort given.

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