Monday, February 28, 2011

Just a brief note

Just a brief note because I ought to be editing... long ago, far away, I heard the term "cat vacuuming" used to encapsulate all those things one does to avoid writing. I still use it.

More I think about it, the longer ago and farther away that seems.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Late to post this week.

Late to post this week. Expensive morning, but also got some freelance work done. Writing has been slowing down as I get to the big, important scenes at the end and I start to see what needs to be added to the first half or so. Finally getting a clear idea of what the major character arc needs.

Yeah, wrote 60K on just a secondary character arc and the underlying structure that's provided by "the job" that the characters have signed on for. At least this story won't have the "too-short" problem that Hacker's Reboot has.

Speaking of which, I need to start revising that. I'd like to submit it to the Suvudu contest and maybe to Angry Robot during their open house month. Both in March. Note to self, check on multiple subs policy for both...

Anyhow, the WIP. I have a short list of possible titles... I'm not so good at titles, honestly. Course Corrections may fit. It's got several of those.

Posted my SF/H short story "The Rookery" in the AW share-your-work forum and got some lovely compliments. Maybe that deserves an attempt at a magazine.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Things are a little out of whack, this week -- working as a temp part time, some freelance work rolled in the door, was trying to finish up the short story for posting. So I ran out of outline/notes on the novel. Word count dropping as I wrap up my nightly writing early and try to jot down some notes for the next part.

Maybe not the best way to write a big action sequence. Climax of the whole thing. Figures I'd get clogged up now.

Anyhow. I mentioned before about writing a bit off-the-cuff, on my toes, and it's probably a good thing. I know my characters well, I know my universe well, so I feel like I can trust it a bit. A payoff for all the time invested hanging out with the characters and hashing out the details.

I don't know how other people get to know their characters -- I've seen all the suggested lists of details to make up, but that's not my style. All my characters are fragments of me, filled out as needed for the story or just for completeness. Or as they fill themselves out. I don't tell them all of their details, they tell me. The conversation, the relationship I have with them is what makes them real in my mind. I hope that carries over onto the page.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The short story that I mentioned a few posts back was something that got nudged off the back burner by a writing prompt at Absolute Write (AW). A science fiction/horror crossover. Not my usual thing, to deliberately try to be scary.

I let it sit for one week and now I'm revising it in preparation for posting.

I want feedback, but there's always a few butterflies on the loose, you know? Always wanting to get a little ego-stroke, always afraid that my writing is just self-serving psychobabble.

There's something about me and my blunt-force emotions. No finesse. A feeling as complicated as this just gets shunted into plain old despair. Stupid depression. I will fight you on principle alone. You limit me. You have no right.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book report: Quest for Cthulhu by August Derleth

Linky: The Quest for Cthulhu (Carroll & Graf Science Fiction)

This was a homework assignment, for me, for the short story I recently finished. The volume contains both Mask of Cthulhu and Trail of Cthulhu. I had been reading Robert Bloch's Mysteries of the Worm when this book arrived, and the first few stories were more of the "my friend/relative got himself into trouble and by trying to help I got sucked in" variety (very prevalent in Bloch's stories too) so I cut straight to the second half where the info I was looking for (on byakhee) was.

Some people don't like the direction that Derleth took the Mythos in. I don't know what their exact objections are, but I think I can guess a few. He puts the struggle of the Great Old Ones and the Elder gods on a direct parallel to Satan and God, which is... simple. Kinda obvious. The idea of infighting among the Great Old Ones and their followers works, though I'm not clear on why Hastur would be preferable over Cthulhu.

And then there's all the work his characters put into destroying various portals and otherwise thwarting plans. I'm generally in favor of fighting back rather than lying around in the grips of despair, but is any of this supposed to seriously impede a being like Cthulhu?

Although it's grouped into two "books" this is really a single anthology of short stories. And because they were written and published as shorts, there is a lot of reiteration of exposition in each story. A lot. The stories also are generally short on characterization and coming up with new things to do.

That being said, I think "The Keeper of the Key" was the best of the lot, insofar as going to new places and doing new things. It's a book to eat in small bites, with a long break between stories.

Monday, February 14, 2011

So I had a plan, which is to say that my characters had a plan. If you're going to pull off a jailbreak on a distant asteroid, you need a plan.

And I built in a few "accidents" to add "complications" to the plot. Tried to make sure the characters looked surprised when they happened.

And then to justify a certain plot twist I added another "accident" which sounded like a good idea at the time.

But that "accident" has ramifications which are now bouncing all over the storyline... silly me, I was worried about things sounding too pat and well planned out. I suppose I ought to be panicking, but it's feeling like this is the way it ought to be. I shouldn't be too well prepared when we get down to the wire.

That might not sound strange to other writers, but I'm normally a well prepared writer. Now that I'm using Scrivener I can actually see how much I write in the way of notes. Out of curiosity, I added up all the outlines, scene notes and world-building I've done so far -- first draft isn't done yet -- and the notes are running a little more than half the current word count.

Something to be said here about balancing plans with spontaneity, about giving your characters some rein and trusting them... stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Last night I wrote a dark scene. The last in a series of dark scenes.

I write to self-medicate. Maybe self-therapy would be more accurate. Some people say they write because they can't find stories they like on the bookstore shelves; I am not one of these people. I write to vent. Though I suppose it's an obscure and complicated way to vent.

I inflict my suffering on others. It's okay, though -- they don't exist. Can't file charges.

What's different about this time is that I tied the story to an established set of anxieties rather than letting the anxieties force out the story. Important shift, mentally.

Either way, I'm glad the story is done. It's my first attempt at horror, and it wasn't fun to spend so much time in a dark place.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

On Tuesday

Starting on a Tuesday. A nice, innocuous day to start things.

This blog is bound to get eclectic, so let's start that way. There's a song out there called "On Tuesday" which I have been in search of for a long time. It was on an album by a group called Men Without Hats, who had a single hit called "Pop Goes the World". I bought that album on cassette, to give you an idea of how long ago it was, and this other song, "On Tuesday", has been haunting the back of my mind ever since.

I'm the kind of person who always has music running in their head, you see.

I'm not sure if the album ever did come out on CD. You can still find "Pop Goes the World" on compilation albums, and you can certainly find their other big hit "Safety Dance". But no luck with "On Tuesday".

I suppose another tour around iTunes is called for. Just in case it's turned up.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...