Last night I finished rewriting four pages of The Phoenix Project dealing with the origin of Rebecca, one of the main characters of the first act. She was outlined already, but the original draft flowed too quick. The text was dry and amateurish. These new four pages are denser and definitely more to my liking, but I still have to link the last paragraph to the end of that section, in which I recount how she became a worthy member of ODIN.
I like the Rebecca character a lot. She’s smart, funny, and pretty much the force that drives the book into the second act, but building her profile had been a nightmare. With the rewriting I cleaned much of her shortcomings, but I’m still worried about some flaws in the logic of her existence. For example, one of my test readers mentioned that she found it difficult to believe that Rebecca learned to speak German, without accent, in little more than a year. She was right. It doesn’t make sense. To correct that problem I turned Rebecca from Italian to German (German-Venezuelan, that is) in order to avoid teaching her a new language.
This change alone straightened Rebecca’s character a lot, and helped me eliminate a whole boring page in which I described her learning process. This didn’t help with the length of the book, though, since I spent the four pages describing her Venezuelan upbringing and the reason she ended up in the USA. Those pages also deepen Isaac’s personality and his relationship with Rebecca, and now I just have to tie her past to her future through the surprising skills she displays after moving in with Jeremy.
That’s gonna be hard, I think, but not as hard as Isaac’s story, whose messy background almost makes me blind.
Leaving the book aside, last night I slept badly. I went to bed at about 2 AM and for some reason I kept waking up. It wasn’t until 3 or 4 that I finally got some continuous sleep. Not for long, though. As in the last few weeks, it doesn’t matter how late I go to bed, I open my eyes like a doll at 8:30. That makes for 4 or 5 hours of sleep, tops, and it’s very hard to sit at the computer and create without a full night of unmolested unconsciousness.
Also, waking up so early simply disturbs my most productive time (3-6 AM), because by that time I’m too tired to think. In fact, I don’t even make it to the 3 AM mark, rolling down to bed little after 2, exhausted and pissed off because I know I’ll be up before I need to. I definitely have to go back to my former schedule of going to bed at 6 and waking up after noon, which I interrupted in late November when M came to visit me in Vegas. Well, not me, exclusively, but we went out a lot and it required to be awake during day time.
Almost forgot, during dinner I watched a horrible Will Ferrel movie called Stepbrothers. Laughed a couple of times. Bad acting, cliches, old jokes and a ridiculous premise I cannot even imagine getting greenlighted twenty years ago. I wish I had slept during those two hours, it would have been more productive.