Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And on the Twenty-Eighth Day... She Rested

Well, I managed to finish NaNo with three days to spare and all it cost me was a migraine, an upset stomach and a sense of complete and utter exhaustion. But I won, and I’m getting a GPSr (not that I wouldn’t have eventually, anyway), and that’s all that really matters, right?

Unfortunately, I’m nowhere near completing the rough draft. I’ve got about 1/3 of the story left to go, if my gut instinct is correct. I’m taking a break mid-chapter (right before a huge sex scene, to boot) to read some short stories, watch movies, play video games and re-establish a reasonable exercise routine before I get back into the swing of things. I’ve neglected a lot for this project, but it was all worth it.

Before I decided to participate in NaNo I was strictly a writer of short fiction, almost always under five thousand words and usually under two thousand or so. I like short fiction, what can I say? Also, the thought of writing a novel gave me the heebie-jeebies. I had ideas for longer works but they seemed so complicated, like I’d have to dedicate months of my life to writing character bios, charting interpersonal relationships, drawing maps and outlining overly complicated plots.

So, so untrue. I was way off the mark.

I can write novel-length fiction. It was rough at the beginning, but I’ve split and rewritten those awkwardly brief chapters into something more like real novel chapters. They’ll improve again (as will all the chapters) when I do my revision in the spring. It’s nowhere near as difficult as I’d made it out to be, and it wasn’t painful at all. I’ve really become quite fond of this. I think I’ll keep going, but maybe not at a breakneck pace. At the very least I’ll find the time for short fiction in with the noveling.

I think the best thing about this is that I’ve come away from November not only with the better part of a rough draft, but I’ve got a better sense of pacing now. I can write dialogue much better than before, as well. Throwing caution to the wind will sometimes net you some pretty impressive results, it seems.

Last, but certainly not least, is my improved writing on sex. I’ve managed to stop choking when writing sex scenes. I may still gloss over things and not spend a whole lot of time on exact detail, but I’m fairly satisfied with my ability to write intimate passages. I can only improve, right?

Practice makes perfect. Give me a day or two to recuperate and I’ll be practicing again.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm Not Dead Yet

No, I've just been too busy and/or tired to post. A short update for today will suffice, and longer posts will commence once this is over.

I can see the NaNo finish line where I am right now, just 4300 words away. I'm beginning to freak out a bit, because I'm nowhere near done and in the book No Plot, No Problem! author and NaNo founder Chris Baty strongly suggests participants actually finish their novels in 50k words. It's perfectly fine, he says, to gloss over some scenes to get to the end if you're intending on coming back and fleshing them out during your revision process. This is obviously not going to work for me.

I'm in the middle of stretching out and rewriting Chapter One, and I'll be doing this with Chapter Four as well. I've found that finding your noveling pace isn't as hard as it seems, and rewriting chapters that start off as short stories isn't that difficult, either. What's hard, apparently, is coming to a conclusion. I still have multiple ideas floating around that I might explore during the month of December, but there's no way in Hell I'm going to be able to settle on one and write it by Friday. Not only that but I don't want this ending rushed. I honestly will have an excess of ten to twenty-five thousand words before I get to the end. Plus, to be honest, I'm really looking forward to taking a short break. No doubt my per day word count might go down, but nothing short of an act of God is going to make me drop this and forget about it.

So, will I slow down without the deadline looming over me? Will our author have a finished rough draft? Will she edit it (repeatedly), shop it around to publishers, and possibly write the sequel she's been mulling over?

Tune in next time, I guess.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Back to Business

It’s been a nice three days off. I can’t say I planned on taking three days away from the project (I hadn’t even intended to take one, to be honest), but it feels nice to be able to collect my thoughts and return to work. I wonder if the revision process will feel this way as well. We’ll see, I suppose.

My next goal is somewhat lofty, but it wouldn’t have been had I kept my writing schedule. I’m not going to give myself any slack. Forty thousand by Wednesday. Wednesday is the day before Thanksgiving, and I won’t be working that night, so if I get behind I can catch up by neglecting my sleep. Then again, there will be people in the house who don’t like to see me being anything less than productive with chores and whatnot so I may have to set up camp at the library or the coffee shop until my word count is caught up.

I’m not sure what to bribe myself with. I’m not sure I should even bribe myself with anything, considering the fact that getting my work done is something I should be doing regardless. Plus, the final deadline is looming and I’ve already promised myself the eTrex as a final gift. Who knows when I’ll end up picking it up, though? Maybe after Christmas, since there’s going to be no geocaching done during the dead of winter.

This Write Fill
converter set seems nice and inexpensive, so I think I’ll use that as my motivation. I’m planning on picking it up anyway, so we’ll just make it sooner rather than later if I can meet my goal.

I love reading in the bathtub. I draw hot water, sprinkle enough bath salts to dye the water a nice shade and climb in, reading until I feel sleepy or I finish a story. Today I started reading 100 Vicious Little Vampire Stories again after setting it down for a month or two. Some of these stories are really interesting, especially the ones with unconventional vampires or bizarre twists. This is part of a series of anthologies Barnes and Noble released several years ago, and includes 100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories and 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, plus a few others. I have the ghost anthology as well.

I’m going to go ahead and keep any updates before the 40k goal is met short. I don’t want to spend too much time writing lengthy updates when I could be applying those extra words to my novel.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I Can Meet a Deadline, After All

I barely wrote anything Wednesday, sleeping instead after my meeting. I was just so damn exhausted. I think I managed to do just under a thousand words, which for me is somewhat pitiful. However, when you don’t have the drive, everything that comes out is pure crap, so I’d rather avoid writing when I don’t feel like it than force it out of me. I set my alarm, thinking I’d take a nap and write when I woke up, but when the alarm went off I curled right back up in bed.

Going into Thursday, I’d planned on heading to work early to get a jump on the word count. That didn’t work either, since a bunch of IMs I got while sleeping kept my alarm from going off (taxing system resources, apparently, though I don’t recall having many apps aside from iTunes running at the time). I woke up an hour and a half late and barely made it to work on time.

However, despite all the setbacks and the lack of inspiration and all that other bull, I made it. I typed to my heart’s content all night, all morning after my Thursday meeting and on the couch all afternoon. It turns out my boss had forgotten to let me in on my schedule change for Friday, so I got several more hours of writing time than I’d anticipated.

I think I found my word-count enhancing secret. I devote a lot more, word wise, to dialogue than I do narrative. I’m assuming this is fairly common. A conversation between two or perhaps three characters can eat up several hundred words easily. I’ve noticed my characters are talking a lot more in the later chapters, and I like it quite a bit. I think during the revision process I’ll try to make the other characters a bit more talkative as well.

I made the thirty thousand mark at around 8 last night, and today I celebrated by buying the US release of The Taste of Tea. I have the two-disc Korean LE set, but having the official US release is even better since I can now enjoy all the special features. This is one of the greatest movies where almost nothing happens. The whole film can be boiled down into one sentence: “Hey, check out my weird family members.” It’s two hours of pure amazement that cannot be boiled down into mere words, I really believe this.

I also got to watch another odd but interesting movie, Udon. I watched it while taking a break from writing, and it’s another movie I’d really like to share with people I know. Maybe at the next big get-together, who knows?

Tonight I’ll be going to the same awesome taqueria I went to last Friday, but this time I fully intend on making the write-in. It’s right next to a bookstore, in a place called Caribou Coffee. I believe the coffee shop is part of a chain, but I’ve never been to any before. We’ll see how that turns out. To be honest, I haven’t set my forty thousand word deadline yet (I’m thinking Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving) and I’m aching for a short break, or at least an excuse to slow down a bit. [Note: I did not make it to the write-in, being almost an hour behind schedule due to work and traffic and was also incredibly exhausted after dinner.]

I’m still considering a visit to the porn store to check out the more sordid books and magazines they have, but thinking back on previous visits most of that stuff tends to lean towards the “incest fantasy” type of story, and I’m absolutely not interested in that kind of thing. I’m thinking a quick glance over this other bookstore’s erotica section will be in order tonight. I’m still interested to see how other people tackle “intimate” scenes in their fiction.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Confessions of an Admitted Pervert

Today is the day I will cross the fifty percent line. My story isn’t even close to being finished, I don’t think, but I suppose it’s better to meet my goal and keep on going than it is to end a story prematurely and have an unmarketable piece of crap novella sitting around gathering dust.

I went ahead and bought the pink Pelican pen I’d been eyeballing from Pear Tree Pens, and a four pack of ink samples in some colors I’d been ogling for a while, including the Caran d’Ache Mediterranean I was gushing about yesterday. I’ve been selling some of my stuff on Amazon, mostly video games and DVDs that I haven’t touched in years, so I figured I might as well go ahead and buy it. It’s a cute, practical pen, too, unlike the antique dip pen craze that gripped me earlier this year. Once a pen catches my eye, it’s like a curse that doesn’t get lifted until I hand over my Visa.

When I sell my first novel, the Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point in raden finish will be mine.

When I first started writing again, I made a lot of notes in Scrivener (the Mac app I use for fiction projects) while working on an unnamed story that has yet to be completed. Some of them are pretty humorous. I remember one entry being about growing up, having my mom find my fiction, being criticized by her and still not being able to write sex scenes as an adult. I wrote it in July, and it’s titled “I Can’t Get Them Laid or Killed, or My Mother the Critic.”

An excerpt:

To be brutally honest, the reason my novel extension of “The Woman Without” never took off is because I had too many difficulties writing the teen/college portion of the story. I couldn’t find a way to keep the sexuality and awkwardness of that age from becoming trashy and/or ridiculous. I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it at least a dozen more times, I’ve got issues killing my characters and/or getting them laid. I will beat around the bush for paragraphs, sometimes pages, letting the story completely fall apart rather than detail all their dirty goings-on. The few “erotic” horror stories I’ve written and/or sold were a blast to put together but now, years later, I shy away from rereading them. I shy away from rereading the sex in my own fiction. Thank my Catholic upbringing for that, I guess.

Sometimes I think I know where this hesitancy comes from. I’m afraid of letting down, embarrassing or disgusting my family. I remember when I first showed signs of interest in writing “erotic” horror. It was mid to late high school, imagine that. Around the same time I actually started actively working towards getting some action in real life (I got it too, just to clarify that). I’d written a bunch of short vampire fiction, a thousand words or less, and some of it was a little risqué. It wasn’t anything gratuitous but it was a bit bold for a teenage writer, and I enjoyed it. Well, enter Mom at stage left. I think a lot of my hang-ups come from worrying about her finding things out that I’m hiding or her reacting poorly to my decisions. She found my stories, some of which had already come back to me from various publishers with rejection slips attached. She read passages of them out loud to me while I was standing, helpless, in my bedroom. I hate it when people read anything I’ve written, even an email, back out loud to me. So now, over ten years later, I think there’s a part of me that’s nervous she’s going to find my writing somewhere, published or not, and get pissed at me for talking about some fictional guy’s dick. I hope she never sees these notes and yells at me for typing out the word “dick.” Twice.

I am still having this issue. Of course, I would pick a story that’s based on a sexual concept and then whine about having difficulty writing it. I don’t have any difficulty making off-color jokes in real life, or visiting the “adult bookstore” or viewing pornography, but as soon as I need to commit this kind of thing to paper I balk. It’s something I’ve had a problem articulating for quite a long time, obviously.

It is, however, something I need to get over.

I have a scene coming up where my main character is just flat-out assaulted. I’m actually at the beginning of it now. Now, our character (and the reader) knows that, because she’s a succubus, she’s going to come out of this the victor. The perpetrator has no idea what kind of person he’s decided to victimize and as such is going to be in for a very rude and fatal treat when he’s done. Despite this, I still feel a bit squeamish, and I’m not sure why. It could be because it’s a sex scene, period, but I doubt it. It’s probably because it’s a rather violent scene that’s not really in the plot to be arousing in and of itself. I put it there to show once more that our hero isn’t exactly pristine or always kind, because I’ve been writing her as a very casual participant most of the time and I’m worried she’s becoming a bit “soft.” I don’t know how to feel about writing these kinds of scenes. I’d certainly feel embarrassed to show my mother, but at this point in my life I’ve become quite sick of worrying about her or any other family member’s opinion. I think my worry actually far outweighs any reaction they might have, to be honest.

At what point should I stop writing sex scenes? Most of these scenes are lackluster at best and bad at worst, not in terms of writing quality but of plot. She doesn’t victimize the nicest or most exciting of people. To be honest, most of these will be rewritten during the editing phase. I might go ahead and redo the first one today or tomorrow as I’m itching to overhaul chapters One and Three and I don’t think I did the scene any justice at all. I think my previous question should be reworded to “At what point should I stop writing unsavory sex scenes?”

I think maybe I feel a bit cheated so far, since the only sex in the book so far has been for “feeding” purposes only and hasn’t even been remotely hot. I’m almost tempted to go buy some smut novels at the porn store this weekend or some erotica collections off Amazon just to see how other people do it. I think my entire writing style could be considered a bit too clinical, to be honest. This is something I really want to work on both with this and future works.

Can I consider watching porn “research” for this novel? I’ve got a couple hours to burn after lunchtime…

I’m really enjoying how this whole month-long exercise has brought up new issues for me to tackle. I should start making a list of my weak points, including dialogue, pacing, sex scenes, etc. I think most of it can be boiled down to dialogue and pacing. I’ve tried to keep nervous chatter and uninteresting detail to a minimum, but I know I’m still including some of this without realizing it. I’m really looking forward to setting this aside for a short while and coming back to it with a fresher perspective. Another NaNo participant sent me an Instant Message earlier while I was at work to ask me if I’d be interested in participating in a critique group made up of Horror & Thriller forums posters. That might be a big help to the story, once I have it ready for other peoples’ eyes.

Whenever that may be.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Almost, But Not Quite

I met my goal Sunday morning at around 6 AM. I’m going to consider this a failure because it was several hours late. I went to bed at 7 with my alarm set for 10, but when the alarm went off I shut it off completely and went back to sleep. I was just too exhausted. I got up around 2 and started immediately on the task of reaching 20k. I did make it, but not under my original terms, so I’m now 0 for 2 in the “Challenge Yourself” contest I’ve been playing.

As of this update I am at 22,060. The new challenge is to hit 30k by the end of the night on Thursday the 15th. That gives me almost four days to get just under 8k done. It shouldn’t be a problem, but I said the same thing about the goals I made the last two times. I’m upping the stakes here, so instead of a paperback I’ll be buying something else I’ve been wanting for a year or more: a bottle of Caran d’Ache Caribbean Sea Ink. I haven’t picked it up yet because it seemed too close a color match for one of the inks I’ve been using, J. Herbin’s Diablo Menthe, but I’m still dying to own a bottle.

Speaking of inks and pens, I haven’t picked up either of my Moleskines in a long time. I really ought to get back into personal journaling, especially considering this blog only covers one facet of my life. It’s an important part of what I do and how I spend my days, but there’s a lot more I could be writing down. I’ve invested a lot in writing instruments and here I am using a keyboard for everything. It’s somewhat depressing, to be honest.

Today, when I get home, I will write at least two pages in my Moleskine. I will fill this book and buy a new one soon, maybe one of the nice 2008 red editions. That’s my goal for today.

I sent my short story Wings in for consideration at The Abacot Journal once it was rejected from Tabard Inn. The Abacot Journal is apparently a brand new online literary magazine run by another NaNo participant. I know a lot of writers (especially those with more credits to their names than I) frown upon giving their work to both new magazines and online magazines, but nothing makes me happier than doing something that could quite possibly be mutually beneficial. If a quality piece I write (and I’m quite fond of Wings) finds a home somewhere new that ends up lasting, we both win. And if it doesn’t work out, I’m not at the stage in my writing “career” where submitting to somewhere small could hinder me.

I’m learning quite a bit about my own writing abilities through this extended exercise. I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that I am not very strong in the dialogue department. I have a tendency to let one character talk while another gives one-word answers, or let everyone argue about nothing. It seems stunted, weak and one-dimensional in places, but I’ve been known to be unusually hard on myself. I’ll have to go over my book on dialogue when I go home. I could probably use a bit of help when I rewrite chapters One and Three, and I’d like to get that out of the way as soon as possible. I’m having too much fun advancing the story right now, though. Maybe once I have met my next goal I can take a day or two to rewrite the places I feel are weakest.

You know what I haven’t gotten much of since October? Exercise. Between being busy typing and the dismal turn the weather has taken, I haven’t gotten any exercise in. It hasn’t had any adverse effects yet, but we’re going to nip this new habit in the bud starting today. If the weather is too cold for a walk, I’ll be in front of the elliptical watching one of the many DVD sets I’ve paid for but have yet to finish (or even start, in some cases). Considering how far ahead of plan I am at the moment it shouldn’t be that difficult to manage.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thirty-Three Point Three Three Three Three Three

One-third of the way in and I’m a few days ahead of schedule. I plan on being 20k by the end of the night tonight, which will put me at a solid 40% completion. Not too shabby.

The story is starting to change a bit. What started out as a violent tale of supernatural sexuality and horror with one main character, one love interest and one villain has become a mishmash of sex, horror, urban decay, romance, and western and eastern mythos. Oh, with a setting reminiscent of cyberpunk, but with less gadgetry, and the cast has expanded somewhat.

I like it.

I’ll come out and admit it right here months before anyone unfamiliar with my hobbies gets to read even the first chapter of this story. I like Asian movies. I like horror movies. Hell, despite some very jarring differences in culture I like Asia in general. I can overlook at lot of the general “What the FUCK, Japan” weirdness so that I can enjoy the tales of vengeful ghosts and animal trickery and mythical figures that populate Japanese folklore. The food and entertainment are pretty badass as well, as long as it doesn’t involve drawings of underage girls getting violated by comic book characters or foreign objects.

It seems there’s a lot of the latter kind of stuff floating around the Internet, and I just want to get something out of the way ahead of time to clear up any confusion. I put a couple Japanese characters in the novel, based off old folklore monsters, because they truly scare the shit out of me. It has little to do with them being Japanese, and nothing to do with putting Japanese characters in solely for their nationality or for some sort of anime reference.

All right, moving on. I’m trying to keep this update short as I have about 2500 word words to go today to meet my personal goal. I still haven’t bought those Forbidden Game books because I keep falling short. I’m planning on getting some writing done this afternoon as well and then setting up camp downstairs like I did the night of the NaNo kickoff. An iPod, my laptop, a bowl of stale movie popcorn and a dog by my side seems to do a world of good for my word count.

Speaking of the dog, I should probably take a moment to thank all the individuals who are making this way less of a labor of love and more of a seat-of-the-pants speed run of epic proportions.

First of all, Ranger is the coolest dog I think I could ever have. I’m going to miss him when I move in a few months. He’s been really great, sharing his couch with me, snacking with me and playing ball in the driveway with me when I need to divert my attention elsewhere for a while. He could come back when I tell him to get in the house instead of ignoring me and wandering around but other than that I just love him to death.

Eric I’ve already mentioned before, but there’s never a shortage of reasons to thank him, NaNo project or not. He’s way more patient than I think I could ever be. Case in point, tonight I was a massive asshole driving around Pittsburgh trying to find the restaurant we were meeting our friend Brian at. We got there late, ate, went shopping for a while and came home. While he and Brian played 360 I laid down for a nap. That was around 10 or so. I woke up at 4. Unless he tried to wake me up and I cussed him out he’s more than likely going to be completely cool with it, even though I’m not. I really don’t like my topsy-turvy sleep schedule, but he tolerates it. This is just one of the hundreds of small but very significant reasons I love him as much as I do. He’s a great help with story ideas and editing, as well. He helps with my fiction, I help with his papers. We make a pretty badass team.

I also need to thank my writing partner, or writing rival, Huitz. He goes by TristanPEJ on the NaNo boards and he’s been comparing word counts with me pretty much daily. Because we write at opposite times of the day it’s been neck and neck within a thousand words or so the whole time, with the one in second place catching up while the other sleeps. I’m about to blow past him, actually. I wonder which one of us will meet 20k first.

I just wrote seven hundred and forty-five words I could have applied to Chapter Five. This post is done.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Well, this has been, and will continue to be, quite the learning experience. I’m having a great time, but there are a few certain doubts that are beginning to creep into my head. I’m going to plow through this and make the 50k, simply because I refuse to post pictures of myself online, but I’m starting to wonder about the quality of the story.

I’m almost 12k into the story and characters and ideas are popping up out of nowhere. What was supposed to be a horror novel is turning into some sort of multicultural, pansexual, somewhat murderous tale of erotic nighttime adventures. It’s been a blast to write, and to sit around brainstorming for, but it’s turning out to be so weird. It feels nice to cut loose and not worry about what anyone I know will think when they read it. I’m certain I’d never show this to my mother short of letting her buy a copy off a Borders shelf (I’m a bit premature on this but please, let me have my dreams, all right?), but other than that I haven’t really felt odd about it. That’s odd in and of itself, considering how self-conscious I used to be with my writing.

I sent Eric the first chapter to let him read and critique. He’s not much for fiction writing himself, but he’s as objective and helpful as any significant other could possibly be. I owe him a lot, not just for his patience but his help as well. He’s given me some good advice over the years, and he doesn’t do any of that “Oh, this is so wonderful, you’re the greatest author ever!” ass-kissing nonsense.

I took my usual bath today, extra hot and discolored from scented salts. This week I’ve been using a sakura-scented salt from the Tokyo Store. Actually, all my salts come from there, but I hadn’t ever tried this one until Sunday. It’s nice, and it tints the water a very lovely rose color. It smells wonderful, as well. I get a lot done in the bath, from reading novels to short stories to fiction manuals. I usually manage to bathe, as well.

Today during my soak I started reading Haruki Murakami’s After Dark. It opens in a Denny’s and goes on for several pages before actually introducing the main characters. I read on for a bit, and eventually I came to realize something. I’m writing my novel as if it were a short story, or a series of short stories chained together by plot. My sense of rhythm and pacing are completely off. It’s understandable, as this is my first attempt at longer fiction, but it’s still a bit confusing and more than slightly disappointing. I like my story, I’m starting to really like my cast of characters, and I don’t want to do wrong by them. I’m grateful for all the learning experience this has given me in such a short amount of time, though. For all the people who hate NaNoWriMo (and there are several, starting with this guy) and say it does no good but delude shitty writers into producing shitty crap, I have to disagree. Even if I didn’t take anything away from this, I’d still disagree with them just for being massive assholes about it, because honestly, unreasonable people aren’t even worth listening to.

I’m not a shitty writer. I just want to make this clear, despite the fact that most of these people (if not all of them) are meaningless shadows somewhere on the Internet that I will never have to personally face. I may not be at the top of the NYT bestsellers’ list, but I’m not a shitty writer. I never have been and I never will be. I learn something new every day and I’m enjoying this process. I don’t know why, but every time I see this argument I get incensed. I’m not sure if it’s some hidden self-doubt or the fact that they’re making very vitriolic blanket statements that seemingly include me but manage to elevate themselves above them. Aside from Cliff Burns, who creates beautiful prose when he’s not ranting about “posers and wannabes,” I’m not impressed by any of them.

One more thing before I return to the original subject. These “legitimate authors” all seem to find NaNo offensive because participants are thumbing their noses at them and laughing because they’ve written a novel without time spent studying the craft. Yes, this is what NaNo says, but are these “artistes” all unable to detect when a tongue is planted firmly in cheek?

After I got out of the bath, fixed some fish tank problems that had been bothering me, worked on Chapter Four of my NaNo project and finished cleaning up, I read my return email from Eric. As it turns out, we’re on the same wavelength despite not even being in the same counties. He thinks it’s moving way too fast, and that Chapter One could actually be divided up and expanded into three chapters. He also thinks I introduced the antagonist way too early. But he likes it, and that means a lot to me. It’s odd hearing my own opinions echoed back to me several hours later, especially since I hadn’t voiced these opinions yet. I suppose this is why we are as strong a couple as we are.

So, now I’m left wondering where to go with this. Should I break the novel apart and write a new intro chapter (or chapters, as Eric suggested) now? Should I keep on truckin’ and wait to add during the revision process this spring? I don’t have all of Chapter Four with me right now, mostly due to being inept at updating my flash drive, though I watched as I transferred the entire folder from my desktop. I’ll have to double-check when I get home. If I lost 1000+ words, I’m going to be irritated. I was going to continue with Chapter Four, and I might still be able to since I know where I left off. Celia just met with Kitty in the back of a club called Night in a flashback sequence.

I have five hours before I go home, and I’d like to make 8k+ in progress by Saturday night. I think I might look over what I have and make some decisions as to what I want to do with this and how I need to go about it. I’ve stayed ahead this whole time and I’ll be damned if I fall back now.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Annnnnd We’re Off!

Wednesday night ended up being wildly different than I’d anticipated. I slept more, wrote more and had fewer distractions than what I figured I’d have. Despite the wonky schedule and the need for frequent naps, by daybreak I’d written the better part of Chapter 1 and was at about 2,500 words. Not too shabby.

The most amazing thing happened a few hours in. I was absolutely not expecting the male lead to show up as quickly or as confidently as he did. I’m typing along at a merry pace, our heroine (actually more of an antiheroine, but I still love her) searching for the quarry that’s just eluded her and bam, there he is. Not the quarry, mind you, but the guy who ends up causing her to become something greater than she is.

Thank you, Alex, for being so amicable.

I managed to get Chapter One finished by lunchtime, and I even wrote the first few paragraphs of Chapter Two. It’s going well, better than I’d expected, but I know I’m going to run into a block after this chapter is done. I’m hoping to make Two longer than 3k, because it’s all back-story. It’s not the only back-story but it’s a very important chunk.

And now for the first word count-related bribe.

I’ve been getting back into books I read 10+ years ago. I’d really like to revisit the YA books of LJ Smith and Christopher Pike, as they’re what fueled my imagination for years upon years and convinced me to put pen to paper in the first place. Smith’s Vampire Diaries series has been reissued and I picked up the first volume (books One and Two). The second volume will be out shortly, as well. That might work well as a future bribe.

As much as I like the Vampire Diaries, Smith’s other series The Forbidden Game was a favorite of mine back in high school. Think Labyrinth’s Goblin King in a huge house of nightmares, mixed with a bit of teen angst, demented carnival funhouses and a storyline reminiscent of Hades and Persephone. It was probably the first multiple-volume saga I fell in love with.

Well, there’s an “omnibus edition” collecting all three volumes here. It’s a bit pricey, so I may hold off on it, but if I can manage to pull off 10k by Saturday night I’ll think about it. I’ll at least repurchase the original paperbacks in the best conditions I can find. I loved their covers and the omnibus cover sucks, so I may have to do it that way.

I’m starting to get a little anxious. Aside from bits and piece of the plot, and a vague idea of the ending, I have little to go on once I reach the end of Chapter Two. I’m not sure why the antagonist is fucking with my protagonist, and I’m not sure how to tackle the climax of the story. I’m not even sure how to GET to the climax of the story. But the rules are the rules, and I’m just going to throw caution to the wind here and get this word count taken care of. The revision later on this year or next spring will be where I get to clean up the story, despite the fact that it really pains me to have to do it this way.

So, for today, I hope to be 6-7k in by the time I get up, drive to Pittsburgh and take my laptop to Finnegan’s Wake for the kickoff party. Hopefully I’ll have some interesting updates to make later on tonight or tomorrow morning.