megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
For no good reason (mostly because I didn't have my Tower!Guy story notes with me) I started working on the other story I'm thinking about.

I ended up writing three chapters and will probably get a couple more done tonight. I don't know why, but the Force is strong with this one.

*sigh*. Don't look at me, I just work here.

Hence the subject line. My creative process is actually controlled by a troll. A slightly attention deficit troll, I think, and not the kind with the jewel in it's belly button. The kind that traditionally hides under bridges and in caves and likes to fuck people's shit up just for setting foot in the forest. Good news is that it only likes to eat nachos, diet coke, and LOLcats.

I'll try to get some progress notes going on this one. It's on the To Do list right after typing my written notes into Google Docs and getting a new paper notebook because this one is getting near the end (geez, I only had it a month and a half and it's nearly finished!)

I also noticed, as I was looking around, that several people have friended me and I haven't friended them back. This is not because I'm rude, it's just because my head!troll is all over the place.

So, if you're new, please do introduce yourself. It'd be nice to know how in the heck you came across me, just for curiosity's sake.

If you're not new, tell me something about yourself that I don't know or heck, just anything in general I don't know. Feel free to be random. Pic spams of attractive people, cat/dog/critter macros, favorite recipes, book recs, and any other randomness is more than welcome.

Tomorrow: THE BOOK BARN. Or as I like to call it: "The closest to heaven you can actually get without actually going into cardiac arrest and making your loved ones sad". I feel I deserve it, if only because I ruthlessly went through my shelves in NYC before we left and weeded out as many books as possible.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
I'm back from Florida and safely in New York City. Of course, it's only for a few hours. I'm headed to Hartford in the morning for a week long dog/cat/fish/lizard-sitting extravaganza. It's going to be awesome, and I anticipate that I might get to do a little more work on the Tower!Guy story, as well as my other idea.

Re: my complete indecision about whether to change horses in midstream with the whole Tower!Guy Story project, I've decided that I don't have to decide. There's no reason why I can't work on both, especially since the other idea I have is still in it's beginning stages and Tower!Guy (I promise, I have a better title) is on it's end run. Seriously. This is the last damn draft I'm doing. If this draft doesn't work out, to hell with it.

Bookwise, I hit a jackpot in Florida and got a real bargain on these books:

The Queen's Bastard by C.E. Murphy
Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy (which is good, because I accidentally picked up book two first)
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner

I finished Swordspoint on the plane and started Urban Shaman. I'd type out a real review of Swordspoint but it would basically amount to: Oh hell yes. Alec/Richard for the win. Duchess Tremontaine for the win. Crazy swordfighting and bitchy nobles for the win.

I will say, despite all the awesome, I liked Privilege of the Sword slightly better, for various reasons. But it's like saying which of my favorite flavors of ice cream I like better. I may prefer pralines and pecan to cookies 'n cream, but they're both delicious.

So far, Urban Shaman is a snarky, smooth kind of read like one of those really fancy vodkas with the fruit flavoring. It goes down burning, and makes you like it.

Oh, and I get to indulge in more book buying goodness because guess what else is in Connecticut? THE BOOK BARN! Can this week get any better? I think not.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
Since I'm in Florida right now visiting family, friends, and my dog, I'm sort of on a break from the rewrites. And this time around, I didn't do any work in the airport/airplane, either.


Because I'm wondering if my instincts to stop work and make progress on another story aren't just the usual mid-novel distractions. I'm wondering if it's more than that.

There's a part of me that still doesn't think I have a real, true grasp on what the core of the Tower!Guy story is. I think it's what [ profile] lagringa meant when she said that the story needed shaping. I'm not sure how to define "core", except that it's the thing you can point to and say, "This is the story's soul, this is why it has to be told, this is the thing I needed all those words to express to you."

I have plot, setting, characters, conflict. All the fixings. I just can't help but looking at it and going, "Where's the beef?"

Meanwhile, I have other stories who's core, who's intangable essence I have a much clearer sense of. Sure, they need just as much work, and I'm likely to get just as distracted if I went to work on them, but I feel like I know their shape, their soul. Why yes, I am referring to the never-say-die RBverse!story that refuses to go away when I say, "Not now!"

There's a part of me wondering if there is a point at which you abandon ship (or at least shelve ship) and know that the story just isn't fully cooked yet, that the dough hasn't risen, the crust is not golden brown, (insert cooking metaphor here).

At the same time, I swore up and down to myself that I would not stop, that I would not change horses mid stream. I told myself that I was riding this one all the way to finish line, come hell or high water.

What if me being stubborn is actually keeping me from telling a better story? What if I'm wasting time trying to keep promises to myself, meanwhile the story I should be telling (the story that might just get somewhere) isn't getting told?

Of course, what if this is the story? Writing is like this. It's full of doubts and anxieties and pebbles in your shoes. Maybe this is just the annoying grain of sand that becomes a pearl, but right now the oyster is indecisive.

Being an indecisive oyster sucks. Much better to be decisive if you're a bivalve mollusk. Or a writer. Essentially, we sort of do the same thing. We get irritated by some little particle of something, we add a whole bunch of layers to it for a long time, spit it out, and then people decide whether it's pretty or not.

I suspect oysters may have a higher success rate, though.
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)
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.

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