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Another mock cover for Dismal Wild And Here

When this post goes up, I’ll be heading home from my holiday. I don’t think I have enough scheduled posts to cover the time I’ll be recovering my momentum, but I should only miss one, maybe two days. (though I really doubt it) I haven’t been able to write a lot lately, since my hands are very, very swollen, but I’m considering getting some dictation software and just moving along with it.

I’ve also had to talk myself out of restarting DWAH a couple of times. I’m hard on my beginnings. But it’s still going okay.

Photo manips are a lot of fun. I should do them more often. I also started trying to do some text effects, not too sure how that went. It feels kind of weird to look at this outside of Photoshop. Hmm.

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Starting Chapter Two today

It’s going well enough. I’ve got about 10 minutes before I have to get going, but I thought that I should get a blog entry in while I’m still feeling pretty good. It hurts a bit to type, but I don’t notice it overmuch. I woke up about half an hour early today (thanks in part to a nap yesterday afternoon) and used that time to write.

I may be indulging a (possibly) bad habit of following events in too much detail. Hopefully I’ll find a place to gloss over events that I don’t need to follow directly and get on the part where they arrive in their new town.

It’d be nice if I could log my progress with a little less vaguery than has been my habit.

Dismal Wild and Here is about Saoirse Calloghan, a seventeen-year-old girl whose parents are moving in an attempt to strengthen their marriage and not resort to divorce. The strain on their relationship has worsened her own relationship with her mother. However, Saoirse supports the move and may have a reason not to want to stay in their hometown. When they arrive in the new town, she will discover a magical glade and those kinds of things will happen.

In the first chapter, her family finished packing up the moving truck and she took the car, hoping that her parents would spend time together and work on mending their relationship. However, her mother was not cool with the idea of her teenage daughter making an eight-hour drive by herself. They argued, and it’s confirmed right away in Chapter Two that Saoirse had to relinquish the car and join her dad in the truck.

The rest of Chapter Two will hopefully be their arrival and Saoirse making her first friend.

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Your Beautiful Reassignment

I don’t think anyone remembers, but a while back when I was writing a story called Your Beautiful Predator, I scrapped it due to several issues, one of which being that it was not the story that went with that particular title. This happens sometimes. Usually it’s not a good enough reason to shelve a project, but I tend to come up with titles independently of the story. So sometimes I match the title to the wrong story.

Turns out, this is the title to a series. Every planned story in the series has a title and a brief synopsis, so it’s not like it’s something I’ve just pulled out of my ear. I’ve actually been working on it for a very long time, although I can’t remember now if I have ever mentioned it on my blog.

The first story is called “Dismal Wild and Here”. Right now, I have two beginnings, but I have pretty much decided which one I’m actually going to use and continue from–in fact, I’ve already gotten started fleshing it out to a full first chapter. This morning I wrote about 1000 words, which puts it at about half-finished at time of writing.

made using Gartner Cover Creator

The silliest of mock covers. I actually kind of want to use it when I’m done, though. It certainly strikes the right tone. I wonder if I shouldn’t add a blue cat to it, though. (The main character has a Russian Blue named Monday.)

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Empty hands and missteps with titles

Listening to: “Wanda Wanda” – Yu Miyake

First of all, I’m officially back in the writing swing, but it is bloody slow going. I took my notebook to work, but it’s as demanding as ever. I actually spent the entire day trying to get Thing 2 to give me some time to myself. I got less than a page in my notebook. The other problem is the same one that really, really made me want to start the whole thing over.

The title.

It belonged to something else initially. Something darker, more violent, and far less structured. The guy in this is dangerous, but he spends the first quarter of the book as mostly to entirely pleasant.  Not (just) because I suck, but because that’s his character. It behooves him to act nicey-nice, and he does feel an interest in this girl. Besides that, he has not turned out to be much of a predator. Predator is a pretty specific word, and implies a certain relationship with the prey. A direct bond without much room for interpretation.

He’s using her, but he’s not really preying on her. Ugh, I feel like I’ve said all of this before. When I wanted to start over before. This chapter feels ridiculous. I am not in the best mindset, obviously. The writing is not bad, but it might not be what I want either–and that’s worse than bad. I can fix bad. But if a story is called Falling In Love on a Budget, and the story is about a house that kills people… There’s a bit of unacceptable dissonance.

But what to call it instead? I had a perfectly good title. It’ll work for an idea more like the one I had before. What’s a good title for this story? Bespoke? Maybe something like Clothes Make the Fantasy/World.

I’m too tired to think of anything decent. Why can’t I just focus?

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Does it suck?

Listening to: “Gathering Stories” – Jónsi

It’s not been getting much better since I blogged last. It isn’t that the happy is easy to get out of, or that I’ve been letting myself fall into a really bad kind of rut. I just feel like whenever I write something, it should be something worth reading.

The ideas are still coming, and I’ve written a couple of them down, but for the most part, I have been good and loyal to the whole idea of focusing. Even though I haven’t really written since things went nasty on me.

Mostly because they are still quite nasty. Today was an unexpected break in the clouds, mostly because I was able to make it to the guild meeting last night. Because of that, my eomeonim helped me get started on an 11/14 cross-stitch that I am quite jazzed about. I worked on it this morning, while watching Aria the Animation.

There’s something about that show that is very dependent on my moods. When I first watched it, I think I was feeling pretty good. Not angry at anything, not at all expectant. Just curious and hoping for something… quality.

And I loved it. The atmosphere of this anime is so mellow, I can see why it has three series, specials, and an OVA. Just watching it is severely relaxing. Music, watercolour visuals, and the story is completely stress-free.

But I think today I couldn’t decide what I wanted, and so nothing could deliver. I started to think that Aria really doesn’t deliver anything. You get out exactly what you’re putting in.

Sort of makes me think of another anime I started watching recently, but I already ranted out loud about Natsume Yujin-cho, so I probably won’t ramble and repeat myself.

I did start writing again, but I only got a little. The chapter was giving me a lot of trouble, to the point that I started to think I had to start over completely. The pacing seemed to be way too slow, and I was accusing every character of being boring, the title not getting its justice, no action…

But the outlining and some of the actual writing has helped me get over my spaz attack.

Veeery slightly modified (seriously, one word) text to share. This conversation is step one in making Cedric work. It’s kind of crucial.

“I’ve always thought it was hard enough just wearing clothes.”

Weak knees while laughing was a particularly bad hazard for the taller set. Natalie had to lean against the shelves to keep her balance.

She stopped laughing when she realized that Cedric was not joining her. His expression was darker, deep lines cutting into his face. “Did I miss something?”

An unpleasant shiver rippled through Natalie’s torso. She pressed her lips together and widened her eyes, turning away. “Apparently I did. Were you serious?”

“I’m always serious.”

“You are not. I’ve seen you smile.”

“Serious doesn’t mean unhappy.”

I don’t want to stop where I have, but I can feel my patience running out. I’m antsy today. Dunno why. Maybe if I go back to working with my hands in a not-typing way, I can work off some of my excess but not energetic energy.

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My Beautiful Streak Continues

9056/50,000

And nobody is more surprised than me.

I started back at work this morning, and managed to get about… I wanna say 500 words, before the kids started waking up and wanting to play. I didn’t think I’d have time to write until after lunch, but then I ended up having an early day, and came straight home to write.

I started to get frustrated, and thinking about the other stuff I would like to do today (like nap), so I did the same thing I usually do when I don’t think I can write. Opened up WriteMonkey, turned on the timer asking only 800 words of myself. I got 1400 words exactly.

So now I have to start thinking that WriteMonkey is a reliable way to get all of the words I need. I get to good chapter endings–or at least decent ones, and I don’t have to worry about my formatting going to chunks because I turned of Auto-Replace and now it basically functions like plaintext.

Highly recommended. Now I’m going to fall asleep or fall asleep with an Xbox controller in my hand and pretend I’m actually awake enough to play Deus Ex Human Revolution.

Oh yes, and what happened in this bit of writing is that I actually remembered Dakota, and Cedric got some more character development. VAGARIES YAY.

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Your Beautiful Third Chapter

6576/50,000

Today has been insanely productive on the writing front. I got up about a quarter to 8 and wrote 500 words, then showered, got right back to it, planning to get another 500 and work in increments.

But as part of my monitoring those 500 words, I’ve been writing in WriteMonkey, which is often a very good idea. I don’t know if it’s the distraction-free environment or just moving my location, but I ended up getting over 1300 words in an hour.

I was gonna get up and play a game for a while, but I kept going back and thinking about just adding this, and then just finishing the chapter so that I’ll end on a finished chapter.

Tomorrow I have work, but now that the plot has entered its first swing, it shouldn’t be hard to use two or three hours effectively. Besides, if I fall behind at all, I’ll find a chance to catch up next week. I’m not going to worry about something that hasn’t happened yet.

I probably shouldn’t get in the habit of synopsising each chapter that I finish. It sounds ridiculously vague and doesn’t serve a lot of purpose. Although I can say, since I’m in a babbling mood, that the next chapter, I’ll have Natalie going to fabric stores, looking over designs, and working her fingers to the bone.

She might take drastic action.

Her friends have been a funny group, but I think I need to curtail them to a limited number. We already have Terrence, Maggie, now Mila, and the possible Dakota. Four is a good round number, even though it’s certain (and implied) that Natalie has plenty of other friends.

Funny how narrow the scope can be when writing fiction. Try to make things too realistic, and you just end up trying to do too much, and in the end, it doesn’t look realistic at all.