Week 725

What’s this? I’m blogging about my work on a weekly basis – a simple way to track and archive whatever it is I spend my time on.

Last week was all about rewriting my upcoming novel De verdwijners. It’s still going at a snail’s pace, but the process is lovely.

First, I paste all my notes (including editorial feedback and the ‘battle plan’ for this draft) into a chapter and start transforming it. As soon as it’s a nearly-finished text, I make a paper copy, which my wife reads at night. She jots down some notes, but the most important thing is that we talk it through: Is everything clear? What are the strengths and weaknesses? Why do the characters do what they do? I imagine this what it feels like to work in the writers’ room of a big TV show.

I then give the chapter a close reading myself, filling up the pages with copious notes. The next morning, I start out by applying these notes, after which the chapter is finished, for now.

Last week I finally got through the first third of the book, which took longer than expected. However, because the setup of all characters and other threads has now been ‘fixed’, the second third should be a lot less trouble. The final third is another thing entirely, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Despite the rewriting, I did some other stuff, too.

On Monday I attended a press screening of Disney’s video game tribute Wreck-It Ralph, which I wrote an essay about. This should appear in the film appendix of NRC Handelsblad this Wednesday (and possibly in nrc.next this Thursday or Friday).

On Wednesday morning, I got acquainted with Ernst-Jan Pfauth, which was long overdue, as our nrc.next columns have been next to each other for ages now.

That afternoon, I made my weekly Two Tribes visit. I actually didn’t see Toki Tori 2 at all, testing video equipment instead, as I’ll be helping them to start a video blog.

On Thursday night, I got acquainted with Paul Brinkkemper, who is developing a very interesting ideological game about the history of banking.

Then, on Friday morning, I had coffee with Peter Heil and Thomas Duindam, two programmers I met and made an 48 hour game with during my first Global Game Jam, in 2010. Joining forces with our artist on that game, Thomas Schmall, they have since been working on Caromble, which we played and talked about.

Finally: Alt-J and snow.