Friday, February 19, 2010

Cheerleader Feedback


I edited that first chapter. Finally. Do I hear choirs singing? No? I don’t think I deserve them anyway. I have been a bad writer. A slacker, but the good part is that I know what I want. That speeds things in a nice fashion, but I still have a lot to work forward to. I passed the chapter through the mandatory first read over at my Cheerleader and I heard the good, which is that I have good writing moments [in prose, in movement of scenes, in action], and the bad, which is somehow not so scary and terrifying at the same time.

I have used the Lost model to tell this chapter: alternation between present and past, between what my character is saying happened and what really did. I apparently did not make that go too well. I am sure to fix that. I even have a few ideas on how to hint to that in the beginning. This is the relatively easiest problem to fix.
I also went back to my old keep-it-to-myself mode, where I do not seem to tell much information to the reader. My cheerleader is confused. I will not have that. Since yesterday, I have been envisioning ways to add fleshy bits here and there, so not so much as a problem in on itself really. This is my usual stingy-on-information self [or scared-to-info-dump self?] and I needed my cheerleader to help with maintaining that part of me in check. So will add these changes, before I send these to my Mega Beta [or the Axe], his trained reader-ly eye will help me with plot, pacing and other elements.

The biggest fear is establishing a connection between the reader and the characters. So far the only one to dominate the pages is the protag and she is rather the rogue solo, quite unlikeable and cold. I need to woo my Cheerleader with some characterization. She gave me the benefit of the doubt [aka the second chapter] and I must not fail her. I think this one stems from the issue I have with other novels aka dump the life tragedy of the hero immediately, but I guess that serves its purpose with readers in general and that I am a snowflake in that regard.
I am ready to tackle.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Slow is the Pace, Epic

I am still on that blasted chapter, but getting close to editing it into something readable. However, whenever I carve out my editing time, real life comes bugging me... Not productive. But I am getting there. Thursday I hope to have that chapter done with all the minuscule bits done.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Eureka [Progress in a Mishappen Shape]


Project: “Forged in Blood”
Present Total Word Count: 10,000
Goal: 100,000 by Mid-April

Percent Reached: 10% [yey, a two digit number]

Things Accomplished in Fiction:

Word count is still miserable as ever. I should’ve been at 20,000 words by now and steaming ahead without a single care in the world. Yeah, no such luck there… But I finally know, I do, honest, what I want and I am getting it. Last night I had a tossing in the bed sheets session, where I tried to fall asleep, but instead I outline the whole novel in my head. In the span of ten minutes I decided where to cut the story, stretched the first half and let the small details I planted grow to a satisfactory plot. I love instant breakthroughs. I am positive about finally getting somewhere. So far my greatest concern is to make my Syringe an interesting character so that she gauges attention, despite being a mass murdering psycho.

Things Accomplished in Real Life:

I have managed not to find a job. I have two spots pending, but because the universe has this thing for sadism, I may wait till time immemorial to hear back. The reasons are beyond, what I can control, so that sucks. I have to start working on this project and I am not in the mood, because real life is not being very kind to my family lately and there is some stress, I cannot shelf away. Otherwise, I am still home, still reading, still writing.

What I am Obsessing About: I know, I know. But it is so good for my abused brain right now. Plus, I never understood, why people slandered it so much. The show is pretty darn good.

Art Spot: This one is called ‘The Hollow Earth’ by Julia Trotti. It leaves me speechless.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Changes: A Wicked Carousel


Project: “Forged in Blood”
New Words Written: 400
Present Total Word Count: 1,590
Goal: 100,000 by Mid-April

Percent Reached: 1% [yup, still there]

Things Accomplished in Fiction:

I feel bad about falling further behind and frustration accumulates. I have dedicated two hours for these 400 words, until I realized that the issue was the computer itself. For reasons beyond my comprehension, I can’t complete anything [in the creative fiction category] on the blasted keyboard, while with everything else I am the fastest typist in the world. I even edit like a fury with the keyboard, but when I need to write fiction, the chemistry dissipates as well as my focus and I blame the temptations that come with the Internet aka Twitter and the e-mail and researching, when I should be creating. So I am doing something that is frowned upon:

Writing by hand is outdated and inefficient as far as time management is concerned, but I’ve got the special connection with the pen, the paper and the hand. Call it alchemy. I get to spend time away from the screen, which strains my eye and away from a machine that makes Prozac and wine a heavenly combo. Typing the story up, while reading it aloud will even help me during the editing process and I am serious about giving this story a better body. In the longer run this will restore my focus and help me build a stronger novel.

Things Accomplished in Real Life:

I’ve stayed at home, because the temperatures outside made me chicken about even thinking to go outside, which I did despite of it. I simply had to visit a friend, who just returned from Holland. We haven’t seen each other in a month and there was much catching up to do. She even brought me this sweet guy:

‘Who wants to reach the top, must first hit the bottom’

Art Spot: I spotted these on a website sworn to illuminate the treacherous self-decapitating fashion decisions. While I do think that going to a café in these would be a social suicide, I do imagine that they would be kick-ass for Halloween or conventions.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Back on Track, Baby


Project: “Forged in Blood”
New Words Written: 1,190
Present Total Word Count: 1,190
Goal: 100,000 by Mid-April

Percent Reached: 1%

Things Accomplished in Fiction: I had this idea… illusion… delusion [there we go] that this rewrite would go slightly better than actually having to finish the first draft. Reality proves me wrong and I am struggling. After January’s meltdown [HERE] I did not dare touch this first chapter, but I now I at least have the time and started editing. I added a few new things and I even like how my protagonist sounds, when she narrates. I wanted to get down to 2,000 words and be a proud achiever, but even with what I have now, it is a start and I will tinker the plan for the day and perform better. After all, I have February to myself.

Things Accomplished in Real Life: I met with a friend I have not seen for a whole month. We talked, gossiped and made nasty, snarky comments. I also bought a dear friend, this for her upcoming birthday:

I also, most possibly, have gotten myself sick again. The walk home in the blizzard/downpour chilled my head and my boots decided to act as sponges, yet again.

What I am Obsessing About: Right about now I have this awesome comic book series that has me in its hands, the same way a crackhead needs his trip starter.

This is Le Guin’s Heinish Cycle meets Disney’s Treasure Planet meets Hunger Games [or Gamer or The Running Man] and it’s imported from France…

Art Spot: I am giddy after finishing my January in Reading over at my review blog TLR and with the chipper condensed sunshine mood, I wanted something playful and what better than this style and topic. I am not sure what it is called as a style, but Takumy is a great artist.