megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
[ profile] matociquala did the first line meme. So I decided to do the first line meme, except with modifications. Hers is cooler though.

First paragraphs from all my currently open WIP's. )
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
I finally finished the outline to the Queenmaker story, or at least the first installment. The thing about this is, I already know that there's no freaking way to tell this story in one novel. I can tell it reasonably in three, and since the publishing industry seems to like that kind of thing, so be it. And I do think that this has potential to at least make it to an agent's desk and probably not make them scream or tear their hair out or anything like that.

In this tale or 'verse or what the frak ever we're calling it, everybody has a really interesting tale to tell so I sort of have to direct traffic and make sure nobody's stories get into head on collisions. Because right now it's a challenge to keep things balanced. Especially since the next story is desperate to get told and outlined as well.

Though that's understandable, because frankly, who wouldn't want to skip ahead to the part with bickering Emperors and the monkey with his four monkey daughters, and the old lady pirate admiral who thinks everyone just needs either a slap or a good shag and the duel to the death over party decorations and and excuses to slip famous lolcat sayings in under the guise of legitimate literature. Because, well, jesus christ, it's a LION!.

But at least the outline for the first part is finished. I took longer on this outline than I usually do because I think one of the problems with the Tower!Guy story was that when I did the outline for it, there were parts of the story/background that I didn't know, so all the info I didn't have got pastede_on_unyay with whatever I could come up with.

This lead to fundamental problems when it came time to explain certain logistical elements of the story.

Thus, I decided that it would be worth my while to take the time to really think out and structure the parts that I didn't immediately already have invented in my head.

As you can probably tell, I'm having a lot of fun with this story.

It'd be nice if I could have as much fun editing the Tower!Guy story, but so far it's just an exercise in, "What the frak was I thinking? I SUCK."

But no matter how much it sucks, no matter how much I'd love to give in and abandon the damn thing, I made myself a promise. It will be put in an envelope and mailed to either an agent or editor somewhere. Of course, said agent and/or editor may laugh themselves into a vegetative state over how bad it is, but still. It will at least get mailed somewhere to someone.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
Right now, if I had to give a progress report/state of the union address (don't worry, you're not gonna miss Flipper*) regarding my writing, I'd have to say that I'm in the Spring Slump.

The Spring Slump is a time honored tradition. It's where, for some reason, usually in March/April my brain gets so full of pollen and brand new sunshine and extended daylight hours that it sort of futzes out. It's seasonally induced apathy towards just about everything. It started in school because this is around the time when you're ready for the semester to end and you feel like nothing counts until finals. I thought it would end with graduation, but it hasn't.

During the Spring Slump, I just cannot be arsed to get interested in anything and for about two or three weeks.

So while I'm waiting to reboot, I might as well take stock.

The UF!2Girls story is finished, and I'm starting to gather my editing notes together, but it still needs to sit fallow for a few more weeks. Judging when I'm ready to work on a story for the next draft is about like judging when wine has fermented enough. Except, you know, winemakers have training and years of passed down knowledge. I might as well be using a magic 8-Ball. I'm still in a love/hate holding pattern.

The Tower!Guy story is screaming for better editing, and I think I've finally figured out what it is that's fundamentally wrong with the story. At the time I wrote it, I think my reach far exceeded my grasp. The themes and principles and ideas are good, but I wasn't ready for it yet. Also? I realize that having a fundamental plot point be "Character A teaches Character B compassion" is a ticket to ride the failboat. That's an arc, a theme, a character development. It is not a plot point. Plot points have to have things happening.

Not to mention that I'm finally learning to be comfortable with my characters maybe being less than compassionate, less than understanding. You can be a coldhearted bastard and still the good guy. Not to mention that it's all right to let a character leave the story with the same flaws they've always had. Not everyone has to be perfect by story's end. Sometimes, it's better if they're even worse.

The other hold up is that I'm still learning how to edit. I can write to schedule, I can set down a number and say "by hook or by crook, two thousand words get put down today" and achieve that. I'm not entirely sure how to parcel out editing tasks to myself, or how to measure progress. Right now, it helps to go in layers rather than by chapters. So I make one pass for spelling, grammar, and mechanical errors. Then another for continuity. Then another for plot. Then another for characterization and dialog. Then another for over all arc.

The Queenmaker story is out of order, still spread across two paper journals and four different versions of my outlines with random exerpts written as they come for me. I don't know if I've committed myself to it or not as a real project. There are monkeys, a wonderfully queer monkey who hits on priests, and the wise daughters of said monkey. There's also literal use of the phrase, "Jesus Christ, it's a lion!", because, well, there's a lion. There's also a heated debate about whether the queer monkey tried to sell the heroine of the story for a banana or a plantain, because those are two entirely separate crimes. There are dragons and old lady pirates. So, I like it, but I just don't know. I thought the same dazzling things of other stories and now realize that they're complete crap.

I feel like that scene in I, Robot where Will Smith tells the cat, "You're a cat, I'm black and I'm not going to be hurt again."

Except then the bulldozer tries to kill them and Will Smith has to save the cat and ends up with a wet, angry cat clinging to him after nearly getting bulldozed.

Maybe that wasn't the metaphor I was looking for after all.

As for Revenant Blues - that isn't even the title anymore. But it's the working description and the filename. It's now gone completely off the rails and characters are coming and going like it's Grand Central up in here. I'd love to put it to bed and say it's a failed but noble experiment in learning how to write. But this is the story that refuses to be shaken. I think I know how the bulls feel when the cowboy just won't fall off.

(*)Several internets to anyone who gets the reference.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
I've sort of decided what I want out of life. Well, one of the things.

I don't just want to be a published author. I want to be a published author who is a part of a vibrant, diverse but tight knit literary circle who's works define an era of literature for ages to come.

I don't ask for much, do I?

In further news, I now have a new project in my head that involves monkeys, rabbits, dragons, and an excuse for someone to say "Jesus Christ it's a lion!". Details as they become available. But I have a really cool working title for it. Or at least the loose amalgam of stuff that this idea consists of. It's sort of a big floating amoeba of a thing which could, one day, evolve into a novel or perhaps even more than one.

Also, I'm ambivalent about whether I should continue to use the "writing" tag. Because that's sort of the point of this entire journal/blog/LJ/thing. Maybe it's redundant, Y/N?

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