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You’re only young once but you can be immature forever

Update on the Daf and Rhys situation.

Things really started to go wrong around chapter 8.  This makes sense, as that’s when the plot really starts to get into its own.  There are things that came into being that I had not conceived of before starting–when I began, I hadn’t a clue as to the goblins’ justification–and I made a right mess of it.  Keeping details in order and bringing things to boil just went off the rails.

Too many figures of speech.  Plainly put, I screwed it up.  It needs re-writing.

I already have a bit of organisation as to how that shall be done.  I’ve noted the elements to be removed, and I’m going to write fresh with synopses based on what I wrote before.  Largely, quite different things will happen, and quite a lot will unhappen.  I could call it Project TARDIS if I were not currently in loathe with the Doctor Who fandom.  (it’s simply become impossible to just like something and have fun with it, more’s the pity)

So, to do:

  • Revise chapter 8
  • Synopsise chapters 9-11
  • Resume writing as it was
  • Compare, and grab out any snippets of writing worth incorporating into the new

I’m going to redux my daily updates and state my progress in chapters and pages rather than X words out of X goal.  This may not be until next week.  I’m sure I’ve become the dullest git in the world thanks to my constant mentioning of it, but this driving business has me so overwrought that I can’t place words on it without getting incredibly pissed at myself.

I’d like to say I’m going back to writing Daf and Rhys as soon as I have my learner’s permit, or once I’ve got the actual physical driving parts underway, but I’m no optimist and I am bloody terrified just riding in a car now.

Suffice to say, they’re not abandoned.  I think about them and I work on the story in the ways I can, in the time that I can.  I know that just about no one gives a rat’s hairy arse in the first place, and this long missive is basically aimed at myself and so I can tell Denise “tae piss oop a bloddy rope” as a certain someone puts it.  He wants to add, “You ruddy cow.”

I don’t feel any better.

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Little Yellow Ducks

Listening to: Lifehouse – Just Another Name
via FoxyTunes

We beat the anti-gay bill!  First news I got when I got home and I had to run up and tell mum right off.  Nicest thing I could have heard this morning.  I just sat and relaxed for the first time since Sunday morning.  Maybe that’s why I was so anxious?  Just not being quite sure.  I feel better, in any case.  They’ll try again, hate is a stubborn drive, but people won’t stand for it.  I love being about to say that about things that matter.

Some fun stuff happened at work too.  There was this evil chair that was quite broken though.  Scared the crap out of me trying to sit in it and get work done.  It lurched in both directions, forwards and back.  I was certain that if I didn’t balance myself perfectly, I would fall and humiliate/hurt meself.  And the mail volume got so low that they pushed off everyone who had an end tour up to ten o’clock.  At 6:26, of all times.  I was rather amazed.

But I got to a really good bit of A Game of Thrones.  I rather like the character of Samwell Tarly.  I don’t know why.  Maybe because he’s so open about admitting to his cowardice.  The other characters’ reactions to him reminded me oddly of Flashman.  Not the character, but the style of the books.  Not sure why.  Speaking of Flashy, I can actually read some of the paperbacks I have.  I’m still missing some, but I do have the audiobooks to fill gaps.

I put off writing my Philip homework for pretty much the entire week, bad me.  But last night at lunch I just sat down and booted up my netbook.  Took me fifteen minutes to write a chiefly dialogue-driven scene between him and Trey.  It was kind of funny.  I wrote it based on the prompt and a line I really wanted to include that was basically just a Lucy Porter is Short joke.  So dumb, but whatever works, right?  It was fun anyway.  I had time to sit and read it back for mild editing purposes too.

But I’ll post that tomorrow.

Today the first two chapters of Daf and Rhys are going to get picked on by the other WotW-ers.  I hope they give me some feedback that inadvertently helps with the part I’ve been trying to edit.  Even after editing it, I think I need to just scrap it and rewrite.  There’s too much dragging on, for one thing.  There are also mistakes that get me lost.

I think I’ll take some of my favourite bits instead of trying to save the whole thing, and just cobble those into new, streamlined bits.  It’s probably the best route.  However, that will take longer, and it’ll be harder to do on the netbook.  For some reason, that kind of revising is easier on a large screen.  It could just be an aesthetics thing.

All right, it’s half past three now.  I need to get going on arranging my stuff and washing my hair so that’s all out of the way as quickly as possible.

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A Daf(t) Life and Rhys-isting Hiatus

Listening to: Bowling for Soup – Ridiculous
via FoxyTunes

Puns!

It’s not been easy, but I have been using my lunch breaks at work to edit the remarkable, hiatus-causing rubbish that happened in Daf and Rhys.  I’m not sure of the amount of time that’s gone into it, between all of the little interruptions and moments of thought or waiting for the netbook to boot up cutting into that time, but it’s better than nothing.

The funny thing is, last night I felt pretty content with just being able to do it at all, and I made the mistake of listening to more of How to Train Your Dragon.  That book is so badly written on a technical and story-telling level that it reminds me of Among the Ghosts.  I’m embarrassed to say that I finished it.  It harked back to the days of sitting on Appa’s ice chest in the kitchen, at three in the morning, reading Stranger in a Strange Land by the illumination of a nightlight.  Reading just to finish the book even though I wanted to throw it at the wall and just abandon the enterprise with violent motion.

It made me think, hmm.  Here I am, putting my brain on the task of reworking this and editing so that I can continue with all of the correct elements properly there or not there, and nothing missing or going the wrong way.  But other people get published when their writing looks like stream of consciousness NaNoWriMo seat-of-pants-ing that was never edited in any way, shape, or form.

Even my blog topics that I lift from my daily 750 Words writing get more than that.  That’s just pathetic.  Of course, I’m still going to edit, and all that lovely stuff.  But it’s a funny thought to me, all the same.

It has to stay relegated to that small window of time as well.  I’ve got less time than ever to do all of the myriad things I must, and there’s this crunch all round me.  Things have changed at the house.  Everyone’s nerves are still settling, and I’ve taken a backseat out of necessity.  I can take care of myself and now I have to.

We’re painting the barn, the wall, the something at Gundi and Lamar’s on Saturday.  It’s apparently more ambiguous and a bigger job than I was made aware.  Like that’s ever surprising.  It could take the entire day, but it should be allowed to take a break for other things that need to be done that day.  Steph and Jeromy are celebrating their first anniversary that day too, since their anniversary itself is on Sunday.

I’m about 40 per cent of the way through drivers’ ed, and aiming to be ready for getting my hours in starting Tuesday or so.  That’s the plan, anyway.  Still nervous as a rabbit with PTSD, and it’s not going to get any better.

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Writing styles Life styles

Listening to: Two Door Cinema Club – Eat That Up, It’s Good For You
via FoxyTunes

Last night I was finally able and willing to edit some of the twelve pages of crap writing that bogged me down and pulled Daf and Rhys down to hiatus.  They had help, of course, but no illusions, the three days that brought in nothing but bad writing getting worse were the chief contributing factors.

Mostly, I don’t rewrite.  Small edits are usually all I require while still in the middle of writing.  If I go into full-on editing mode, then I would tear everything apart and only my packrat mentality would save anything.  I can’t afford that any more than I can this hiatus, so maybe it’s a moot point.  Haha.

Regardless, I still feel close enough to the story that however long it takes, I won’t lose the thread.  It may have to wait until September.  It’s no small thing to plan a wedding and there is still a lot that we haven’t got done.  I’m keeping up with WotW, so at least I’m still writing Philip vignettes and flash fiction prompts at meetings.  And when I have a story idea, I plan for it and play with it when I have a few minutes at work and while I’m typing (via daydreaming, even though it’s not during the day).

There are a couple of idea I’ve had that I’ve been doing that with, one in particular that embodies something I’ve always wanted to do–a story about the ordinary person who gets bumped into in an action movie.  I like when they get pulled along by accident.

I like the idea of using the 500 themes to get to know the characters.  It’d be pretty cool to get that going again.  I could write short pieces and really get myself to try out the concept of shorter fiction.  Right now, I find it vaguely repellent.

I tend to write a high count.  It’s worth reading, there’s just a lot of words.  I go off on tangents, just like when I’m talking, and like when I’m talking, my beta readers and editors usually don’t want the tangent gone.  In fact, they usually don’t even notice that it’s not important.

In a roundabout way, I think I’ve been talking about my economy of words.  I understand the concept just fine, but I think I execute it in an oldfashioned way.  By that, I mean…  Well, I think I mean what I mean.  Eheh.

My influences in writing are all over the map.  But there are some who actually share some writing habits with me.  They tended to rabbit on, which is fine, but it does mean you end up with a lot of pages.

I’ve been re-reading a Game of Thrones at work lately, and every time I glance down at the page count (my ebook reader has it around 800 pages), I think of just how much he has going on in that book.  His cast is enormous.  But things get done.  It starts to feel crowded and immense, and I love it.  It makes me want to write an epic with thirty-plus important characters, but viewpoint gets in the way.  I would have to switch about like people like him did back in the day, and I don’t know how I feel about that.

A lot of writers from his era and before got away with a lot of things that do not wash these days.  Like using “you” in the narrative, and mights and mays without have beens.  For some reason, I give certain authors a total pass on this.  Maybe it’s because it’s authors I’m already used to, that I read growing up.

Terry Pratchett and even Piers Anthony are hard for me to nitpick on things like that as well.  But Ira Levine cannot get away with anything from me.  I’m merciless on him, and I do not know why.

Tia Irene and Grandma have moved in, and here I am, talking about writing and books instead of what’s going on here.  There’s so much life in this house.  We have a proper nest of family now, with Cody coming to visit his mum a lot.  He’s so much happier lately.  It’s like he never had a rough patch in his life.

It’ll be hectic settling in, but we can do it.  Jared’s gone back to Phoenix and I miss him.

I’ve got to wrap up and go back upstairs so Tia Irene’s not by herself.  I also need to get some water and feed myself.  Food, water, life.

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Day Seventeen D&R

Listening to: Two Door Cinema Club – Eat That Up, It’s Good For You
via FoxyTunes

Well, today was a total cock-up.

Because the last three days have been getting steadily worse, I decided that I needed to change tactics and edit those to see what I can salvage, what needs to be thrown away, and then start writing again from the repairs.  Fortunately, my goal since beginning has not been to write a novel NaNoWriMo style, merely to write a minimum of a thousand words every day.

Today I wrote my homework for next weeks WotW meeting, more Philip.  He’s our mascot, so that’ll be consistent, though he is now run on prompts instead of merely being one himself.  Eilonwy has the coolest long-running setup for him, and I’d love to end up on a track like that–I’m inthpired :B–but we shall see what we see.

So that’s the plan.  Keep on writing every day, while repairing Daf and Rhys’s last chapter and a half.  Which brings us to the cock-up.  Apparently there are things to do this evening, so I have not only had no chance to edit a single line, but I won’t.

So yeah.  Hurrah.  Let’s hope tomorrow isn’t such a massive punch in the bollocks.

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Day Sixteen D&R

Listening to: Hypnogaja – They Don’t Care
via FoxyTunes

If the writing gets any worse, I’m going to cry.  I’m just Kermit-flailing now.

The fighting grew more and more confused, while factors warred for importance.  Rhys traded off his attacker to Daf and took out the hobeys’ aggressor.  Then the black creatures emerged, and the two sides were forced to coalesce into a desperate, hopeless defence.  Although Grizzly had moved on to his focusing tactics, Wayne revealed that he was not even conscious, and so the focus had no significant effect.

Excerpt:

“We’re not gonna die,” I said, more to myself than to Daf.  The hobey’s reinforcements stood ready for orders, but Yangel gave none.  He seemed to be looking to me.  They were all avoiding the big hole in the ground.

A cloud began to form over it.  Billowing and dark grey, quickly burning itself to black, like toast left in too long.

“Send them back.”  Daf stepped ahead of me, nearly leaving me behind.

I almost yelled at him for trying to be a leader.  I’d seen those things as well as he had.  “I don’t think they can go back right now.  The link–”

“What the bloody hell is going off?!”  Callum’s panicked voice rose up from the ground.  Hulk was pulling him up, but too much of him was surprised dead weight.  “That ain’t a sound made by goblins.”

“They aren’t making it,” I snapped.  The cloud could have outdone pitch and construction paper.  White lines of energy wove in and out of its contours like maggots exploring a bloated corpse.  “That’s what we came here to stop.  And now, thanks to you, we don’t get the prevention option.”


Progress:

36589 / 50000 words. 73% done!

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Day Fifteen D&R

Listening to: Two Door Cinema Club – “I Can Talk”
via FoxyTunes

UGH.  This was even worse.  The balance is completely off, and I feel like I was just floundering the entire time.  I’m going to have to edit the crap out of this.  It’s very, very near the endgame, and it’s actually changing a good deal from what I had planned for the end.  Some things are definitely going to happen, regardless.

Sigh.  A little discouraged and overwhelmed.  Maybe it’s just that I have WotW today.  I’m also annoyed that I have blog topics that I’ve been wanting to cover for over a week, and I know I don’t have time to do any of them.

Worst of all, the problems with today’s writing may well mean actually scrapping it completely.  Rhys has gotten way too isolated and I need to get the hobeys more involved at this point.  The fight has the same issue as the last one, in that they aren’t working together.  Massive rewriting needed there.  Nothing seems to have changed, although Grizzly made an attempt at character, and Wayne definitely has.

I’m going to stop talking before I start to really whinge.

Rhys explained his theory on Kolbash to Daf while continuing to survey the damage, but was interrupted by the hobeys sticking their heads in.  He tried to get more information from them, but Grizzly and his yobs appeared.  Having passed judgement on Daf and Rhys as traitors to humankind, their reasons for attacking have become more personal, their tactics more ruthless.  Rhys tried to talk about the black creatures and ley lines, but fighting broke out before he could say much.  Wayne stayed on the sidelines while the hulk twins double-teamed Daf.  Rhys took down Callum, only to be set upon by a knife-wielding Grizzly.  Then they heard a roar.

Excerpt:

I drew my pistol and checked the clip, finding a bit of comfort in the familiar action.  “This is bigger than us, Daf,” I said, keeping my voice low.  “We’ve gotta take this back to the guild.”

“But what about the hobeys?”

“They aren’t dangerous.”

“They aren’t human.”

He started chewing his lip again.  I turned away and focused on the hobeys.  They were discussing things, pointing to the other holes, mostly in relation to the big one.  Trying to form their own hypotheses.  I wondered if they’d been able to take the time for this approach before, or if they’d just gone straight to the abortive approach of just making the Cefn Rhigos people clear out.


Progress:

34548 / 50000 words. 69% done!