Tags: writing

NaNoWriMo

So, In How Many Languages Do I Rule, Again?

That's right. Let's hear it. Roar of the crowd. Go ahead, lose control, you know you want to.

I am THAT awesome.




Oh yeah. I am BAD ASS.

Official NaNo counter word tally is 50,670. My Word document count is a little higher, but I won't quibble.

I finished at around 10:30 PM, after coming home and writing the last 3500 words I needed at, actually, a leisurely and unstressed pace. I even took a South Park/dinner break. I did it in a month where I hosted Thanksgiving AND turned in *three* articles more or less on time.

AND, I have a REAL ending. Not a chapter full of tumor talk.

(Sorry. I promise to find something else funny for future bardic circles.)

The story actually ends, and I didn't even have to rush the final events that much. I feel like I fired all the guns I put on the mantel in Act 1. I am PLEASED.

I am going to go buy a little bottle of champagne now. And then, I GET TO SLACK!!!

*victory dance*
Bad Hair Day

*Boggle*

So, I don't quite know how this happened, but someone somewhere found my old infamous Nice Guy rant from like a million years ago and it has sparked off another 50 or so comments with more trickling in. One of the commenters says they found their way there "via Warren Ellis" but I'm not sure what that means. =P

It's flattering that a whole new flock of people are enjoying that entry, though objectively speaking I think it has a lot more to do with happening to write on a subject that hit a nerve with people, than with my writing itself. (I *wish* it were my writing. Because if it was, I'd bottle whatever I did right in that rant and use it in other writing, so that people with money would pay me lots of money to be brilliant. *g*)

However, it has still prompted me to begin sorting out some of (what I feel are) my better entries here and archiving them in Memories, to sort them out from the "here's what I had for lunch today" type entries and give myself a place I can point to and tell people, "hey, if you like that rant, there's other stuff you might enjoy archived here."

I remain amused that I've gotten so much mileage out of what I thought was a fairly ordinary (for me) rant growing out of a particularly cantankerous mood I was in that day. It is possible that my tombstone will simply read: "The Nice Guy rant chick".

*************

In other news, Random's director, who is actually a nice guy if a crappy director and crazy to boot, is on my shitlist today. EVERYONE ELSE has the night off. Except Random. Who has to go to some friend of the director's house to work on his song, which sounds absolutely fine to me especially considering that the song is tacked into the script in this totally dorky and hokey way.

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO HAVE A NIGHT OFF, DICKHEAD.

*************

In other writing news, I have been deconstructing the novel that I now feel I've been working on for half my life. I just reached a point with it, mid-chapter, where I found that I simply could not write any further because the story had changed so drastically in some ways from my original plan that I was not going to be able to make it work without a lot of shuffling and rewriting.

Random and I discussed the story in a lot of detail last night. Being quite ruthless with myself, I realize that I might actually have to go back to the beginning of the book and start over. Granted, there's a lot that I've written already that I can still use and will be able to plug in, but if I don't go back and do major surgery on the whole thing, I'm just going to be too frustrated to finish. There's a few characters and some plot stuff that could be saved for a sequel, and some stuff I just have to scrap entirely, and some things that need to be fleshed out. I had some ideas to improve the narrative structure that I might play with as well.

On the one hand, it's kind of frustrating and a bit disheartening just because it's been so loooong I've been working on this. On the other hand, these changes make me actually *want* to work on the damn thing again, which is an improvement over my previous urge to just chuck the whole project and write something else instead.

I just don't feel like a very good writer right now...
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Writer

Writing Stuff

Thanks to the people who responded to my earlier post about my writing.

I realized, reading back over it, that I should not post when I am up way too late and obscenely tired, no matter how much my brain might still be in overdrive, as my clarity suffers for it.

What prompted that post is that I was thinking about my writing goals for the year and what I would like to attempt in the upcoming months; I've been thinking about doing more articles and short fiction, stuff intended for publication and/or non-LJ blogging.

Also, I like writing for an audience. And while I love my LJ audience here, and I love that people read stuff here, I am hesitant to say to someone I've just met "hey you should check out my LJ!" because so much of what I write here is still just my own personal ramblings...so "advertising" it seems incredibly narcissistic.

So I figured, if I'm going to try to do more writing that's intended for an audience-- in forum(s) that I am more comfortable publicizing-- it would help to know what other people already enjoy reading. Political rants? Microfic? Personal essays? The "tumor" posts? Erotica? Movie/book/etc reviews? Because, I *like* writing all of them. And I'm not necessarily going to stop writing that variety; this LJ at least will remain my beloved goulash pot for whatever I feel like expressing at any given time. But if I'm going to focus on doing some writing that is more...external, I guess, it seemed logical to find the point of convergence between what I want to write and what others like to read. If that makes sense.

Anyway, I didn't want to limit people's responses, but I realize I wasn't being terribly clear about what I was asking either. So thanks to those of you who gave me some feedback; it is definitely helpful, even if you didn't really know what the hell I was getting at. =)
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Writer

Who's Fucking Awesome? ME!






Who's the badass bitch that's a sex machine to all the chicks? SHUT YO-just talkin' about ME.

One month. 50,000 words. Over 30,000 since Sunday.

You may touch the monkey.

I pulled it out. With FIVE MINUTES on the clock. Oh yeah. 50,273 words, to be exact. And, ok, so the last two chapters were little more than complete jibberish, but what-fuckin-evah. I did it and I lived to tell the tale, muthafucka. It wasn't about the writing-- it was about the finishing.

Now I get to WATCH TV and SLEEP. Wheeeeeee!

*runs off doing the "Oh Mommy, Oh Daddy, I Am A Big Ole Baddie HUH!" dance*
Writer

The 25th mile feels so much longer...

I haven't felt like this since I was in high school writing my term papers the night before they were due (which I ALWAYS did...how I still got good grades is sometimes a mystery to me).

I might pull an all nighter tonight. We'll see how it goes. I'm still going to work, though, because it should be pretty quiet and because if I don't I'll end up sleeping all day.

Things are chugging along. But I feel like I'm trying to run in the sand. Can't seem to write fast enough to please myself.

Am blatantly ripping stuff off from my life now. Don't care. Going to get done with this damn thing.

I will not post again until midnight tomorrow or 50k words, whichever comes first.

Final stretch-- wish me luck!!!
Writer

Huh.

I had wine.

And I put the lunatic with the gun into the Corner Bistro.

It actually kinda worked. At least the characters started talking in their voices and not mine and they DID SOMETHING.

Who knew?

Time for this little lunatic to try for a few hours of sleep.
Writer

Bitching Break

I just needed to get away from noveling and piss and moan for a while.

I hate my novel right now.

I don't want to do any more tonight. But I haven't met my goal yet. But I don't wanna.

The story sucks and I don't know where the next chapter is going and my imagination has short circuited and I'm tired and I want to watch TV and I wish I was already done and I kind of just want to say fuck it and go to bed but if I do I'll either stress myself out massively for the next two days or I'll be depressed that I failed to accomplish yet another thing in my life.

I don't know how I'm supposed to end this thing and I don't really have the luxury of time to figure it out and I am on a new chapter and I don't know what needs to happen at this point. I have a suicidal angel and a girl who has spontaneously healed a whole mess of psychological wounds which of course she's all fucked up about and a mysterious skeleton who *I'm* not even entirely sure how the guy died and a former cult leader ceremonial magician witch and a missing and presumed dead mother and a secret wisdom hidden in plain sight that contains a key to the aeonal shift and all this really does tie together in a weird way and you'd think that would generate its own quirky developments when I get stuck but right now all anyone seems to want to do is go out for a burger and muse about things and that's so goddamn French of them that I swear I might just have the Corner Bistro taken hostage by a lunatic just to make things lively again.

ARRRGH.

I hate writing badly. I hate first drafts. It feels like such a waste of time to put down crap that I am 99% sure I'm just going to take out later in the hopes of finding some unexpected little thing that turns out to be perfect, or at the very least in the hopes of just getting the damn thing done.

This is why I can never finish anything. Because I get so bogged down in meticulous detail, trying to make everything perfect, that I end up getting overwhelmed and feeling like I can never live up to my own expectations. DAMMIT. I hate being such a fucking perfectionist. It's supposed to be about enjoying the journey. DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT.

Every time I sit down I wish I was writing any of a hundred other stories that, in my mind, would be infinitely better and more interesting than this one. And every time I sit down I wish I had a writing style like any of a dozen authors I like to read, anything but my own banal voice. I wish I was writing humor. Or horror. Or pulp. I use all these fifty cent words and I feel like I must just sound completely pretentious and cold.

I wish I was playing Pharaoh.

I'm not sure if I'm more afraid that I'll find out that I'm not really a very good writer, or that if I take away all my excuses I won't have any reason not to do this again.

I feel like I did when I was a kid trying to make myself dive off the diving board, when it seemed a million feet high and I knew if I dived I was probably going to belly flop and it would hurt a lot and knock the wind out of me and make me feel like I was drowning, but if I didn't then climbing back down the ladder was going to be a long walk of shame.

There's got to be some way to use this state of mind in the writing. That hostage crisis is looking like a very real possibility.

I think I need a drink.
Writer

More...pages...

I was afraid of this-- between a generally busy schedule, and a game, and a holiday, and being sick, I got waaaaaay behind on my writing for NaNoWriMo this month.

So now I am churning out the verbiage to try to make the deadline.

It's certainly a legitimate point that if this exercise gets you sitting down and writing at all, that's better than a month that goes by without having even attempted anything creative. But as I explained to someone recently, for me there's no point of pride in "well I wrote X pages this month" in and of itself. I've written thousands of pages in a wide array of genres and styles in my lifetime (not counting things like email or LJ). I know I can write a lot. The whole point of doing this was to finish it. To meet the goal. To have something I can hold in my hands (besides the crappy novel I wrote when I was 20) and say "I did this and it's done and it might need a lot of work in rewrites but it's a whole story."

I really need the pride of *finishing* right now.

Today so far I have turned out about 13 pages (single spaced). I want to get in at least another 5 before bed tonight. I have 2,000 words to meet my goal for the day but I think I can push and get another 2,000-2,500 before I go completely crosseyed.

I have to keep reminding myself that it's ok if it sucks and that I can take out anything that doesn't fit or make sense-- AFTER the wordcount gets registered on Wednesday.

Right now, taking a much-needed break.

Probably moving from laptop to desktop is not a real break. Ah well.

time to get some dinner...
Writer

Word Count Update

I am currently at 16,565 words. Whee!

Since I'm still 5,000 or so behind (yeah, I let a few days slip), this isn't as parade-worthy an accomplishment as I'd like, but I'm getting there. Breaking 15k tonight is exciting! The average word count per day is 1,667. Given some dedicated time, a reasonable amount of focus, and my fuzzy orange thinking cap (which sports a NaNoWriMo button that says "I Write Books" and definitely needs more buttons), I can do 2500 words in a session with no problem...and more if I'm really feeling inspired.

I will have to push to at least catch up and maybe even get ahead this week because with a game this weekend, I anticipate losing Friday and Saturday at least.

However, the fact that I managed somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000 words this weekend alone is definitely nothing to sneeze at! Last night I was up till 4AM because I plunged into a scene that really just caught fire, and the only reason I stopped was because my computer battery ran out and the laptop hibernated, saying, "GO TO BED DUMBASS".

My characters are starting to do interesting things and I'm having an easier time letting go and following intuitive flashes about where the story wants to go. Also, I worked out a rough number of chapters that I thought I might have in the book, and did a tarot reading where I assigned a card to each chapter. I wrote it down and noted the keywords that caught my interest most beside each card, and while I promised myself I'd only use it as an inspiration and not a limitation, so far it has proven intriguingly prescient about where things are going (not to mention that when I am having trouble getting started on a chapter, looking that chapter's card up online and reading a variety of interpretations nearly always gives me cool ideas and direction). The other benefit of this approach is that it's helping me structure the story arc in my mind and keep in mind how long I have to bring everything to a close. It's also a bit of a checklist, and we all know how much I heart checklists. =)

Oh, and HUGE thanks and squishy hugs and stuff to all those who chimed in to help me think of ideas about the Central Park gates theme! All your input got my creative cylinders firing and I ended up with something so detailed, and ideas coming so hard and fast, that I had to write about three pages of notes just to get it all sorted out and saved before I could get back to the narrative. You all rock! And prehensile_wit, the core concept in the email you sent was like fire to the tinder. I will have to tell you all about it soon.

I said to someone this weekend, "I love that I have a life where I can say, 'This month, I think I will write a novel'." =)

That there is light at the end of this particular tunnel, and that I think there is a very good chance I will complete the wordcount and finish the book by the end of the month, is *incredibly* exciting and energizing. The book might suck, but at least it'll be done!

All righty, time for bed...it's been a long but very good day. I found a ton of great bargains at the bead show and now I *have* to make sure I get to bead night so I can start working on my projects for Brassy's, the holidays, and craft fairs. yay beady goodness...
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Writer

Inspiration?

I need ideas.

One of the elements in my NaNoWriMo book (magical realism) concerns the gates leading in to Central Park. There are 20 gates, each named rather whimsically by architects Vaux and Olmsted with names like "Warriors Gate" and "Gate of All Saints" and "Artists Gate". In fact, the working title of my novel is "Strangers Gate", which is the entrance right down the street from where Random and I lived for 8 years.

Here's the thing. I want them to mean something kind of cool and subtly supernatural...but I don't know what, yet.

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I've been reading up on Vaux & Olmsted's philosophies, plumbing some Victorian-era spiritualism for thoughts. Anyone know any weird dirt on either of them? Were they Masons? ('cause I couldn't find a bio for either of them that said so)

Likewise, the gates taken as a whole are not suggesting anything to me yet...20 is not really all that esoteric a number.

Here are my thoughts so far:

1) The gates as a whole could be fairly normal, with perhaps one or two having some weird history or deeper meaning (like, oh, I dunno, Strangers Gate?)
2) The park as a whole was built to protect or preserve something, and the gates are clues to what that something is
3) You enter a slightly different park depending on which gate you go through
4) Certain gates have a particular power or significance at particular times
5) Greensward = Green's Ward? Green Sword? Green Skin (sward means skin)? What could those mean?

?

Strangers Gate is actually pretty interesting overall...it's at 106th St. and CPW, which is much higher uptown than most tourists ever go, so it's pretty quiet. It's just below The Ramble, which is basically a forest at the northern end of the park. The "gate" itself is a steep, high flight of very wide dark slate steps curving up through a rocky face a couple of stories high. When you get to the top, you're at "Big Hill" or "Great Hill", which is a wide roundish field on the hilltop surrounded by trees. If you go across it and into the woods, you follow a curving downward path that leads to a big pond where there are all kinds of unusual birds, and to a giant, heavy, dark stone arch that leads into the Ramble and that Random and I always called the troll bridge 'cause it straddles a stream and is deep enough inside for trolls to hide in. Across CPW from Strangers Gate is the building that used to be the local haunted house, NYC's first cancer hospital built in the late 1800's, which you can see here. (The reason it has those lovely turrets is apparently that some genius back in the day decided that cancer-causing microbes lived in corners and therefore round rooms were more sterile.)

Any thoughts? I may very possibly just hit upon an answer myself as I'm writing, but I'm not having any luck at the moment...