Looming deadlines

As usual, something came up when I have three deadlines too close together. a) NaNo 2018 starts in less than 48 hours.  I’m combining the NaNo challenge of a 50k novel draft in one month with part of b) Holly Lisle’s HTWAN class. (only part as the class in only about five weeks in, out of like thirty weeks of class) I also planned to get c) one last chapter of a fanfic done before my December crash. Then there’s RL issues like a missing aide to help my mother and someone scamming over a hundred dollars of Lyfts from a card of someone still in recovery from surgery.

I should surface again in December.

I really don’t want my sniffle to be a cold.

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That Perfect Point in Time

I write some stuff that could be classed as urban fantasy. (It’s not ready for prime time) But I made the trigger event be in 2016 and to my total dismay I discovered a perfect theme song for my lead… that came out about two years later. I cannot move the trigger event, and the world has changed so they can’t get it later when it really came out.

old metal gears

Crane Gears by Kevin Utting, attributed under Creative Commons 2.0

I would love having my lead use a lyric’s text to gird themselves as bad things go down. Everything is dark in my current chapter, and even taking heart is a good thing.

I will probably find a weaker song, or just have it on my playlist when I write for battle.

But it is a missed opportunity, because of a missed point in time…

Awful Words

… No, this is not comments on the latest Potter fabfic, this is just on words. You, know, those little marks in pixels or ink we absorb every day.

Today I was reading a fiction piece that the author had must put out a revised chapter. I’m near the beginning. It opened with a little action, a murder, but this is a villain centered piece, so feeling for the victim is pointless. But that was not what yanked me out of the story,

It was the word ‘various.’  The story said ‘various sofas and seats’ like various said anything useful to establish the description of the room. Were they matching silk and quilted satin? were they Goodwill cast-offs?  Were they brand-new and tacky like a gaudy and cheap bordello?

Various is not a descriptive word.

It wastes space and ink better used for other words, words that set a mood, describe objects, or give some kind of counts.

Don’t use it.

 

I’ve got a bad feeling about this…

I’ve got a sibling who’s been sampling the joys of online dating. (but, no, not using known and more reputable ones) These sites are so effective at something, the prospective dates all ask for money before a date. The latest has chatted for 2-3 weeks. But a first meeting has been postponed twice and they are demanding that sibling say the “ILoveYou” before they meet face to face.

Being romantic, I believe you can fall in love without a F2F connection, but demanding that is just way too soon. Are they that messed up? (Misery– Get away!) or are they greedy, using that as a feeder to start extorting money from a lovesick target?

I really can’t think of anther reason to demand a declaration of love before you meet. Bueller?

Insights

I was reading a wikipedia entry on a book I virtually wore out as a teen (Gordon R Dickson’s Dorsai book Tactics of Mistake) and wishing I hadn’t misplaced my copy. (yeah, the electronic replacement copy is priced at least four times what I paid for the paperback that is missing)

As I read the entry I realized that I used the novel’s core concept in a fanfic I started writing three years ago. Are the Dorsai that different than the Fett clones? How long do concepts ferment in your mind before they come out to play?

Your Focus is Your Reality

I’ve been writing since ’07. I probably could have started writing before that, especially if you considered the thousands of books in my household and the writers’ track panels I thought a hoot at SF conventions.  But I hadn’t.

I didn’t like writing even short fiction in high school. Family lore says there was an elementary mocking incident, but I don’t remember it. I do remember hating any kind of writing, and perpetually tardy at best for any assignment. I got reconciled a little by high school when I wrote a 30+ page paper on mass drivers as a potential replacement for rockets to orbit. They now are used as rail gun ans amusement rides. I wrote a couple short stories for a friend desperate for material for a college SF magazine… I really do not want to dig those copies out, even if  one was my first fanfic snippet. I enjoyed the griping and successes of writers, cover artists, and editors at SF cons. I highly recommend the ’98 Buccaneer Liar’s Panel audio if you can find it, I didn’t get at the time that a missed meal would have been better than missing the recording.

That snippet was the last non-academic, non business writing for over twenty years. I still had creative outlets in crafts and RPGs, along with a serious reading addiction. I’d sit at the breakfast and read the box. Sometimes I’d even read the fine print for OTC meds. I’d read during commercial breaks and while waiting in lines. Then came a weird skin infection or two, and new books dried up and gas to visit the library was tight too.

I missed new books by favorite authors and decided to boot a game that had been sitting on a shelf for a couple months. I reached the end, outraged that the writers cheated, for blatant meta reasons. Clearly they wanted to clear the deck to have a tabula rasa for a sequel.  There were no convincing reasons in-world for that obnoxious ending.

I could do better.

grains falling through hourglass

In Search of Lost Time by Alexander Boden on flickr, without changes, per Creative Commons.

So went my first fanfic plot, first chaptered story, first novel-length story, first NaNo attempt, and first time my characters grabbed control. (they rarely do anymore, and I’m not sure that’s good or bad)

But after a time creating new adventures with existing universes, I started wanting to do my own and maybe get a half cheese sandwich on occasion. So I’m coming at learning the craft very late and in a hit or miss manner. Some techniques for writing do not help, they strangle my muse. But I keep looking, as I have the most trouble with finishing the story, revisions to pull it all  together.

I backtracked into fanfic, due to RL reasons, but I’m not sure why I almost seem to have a block about writing original stuff again. I should work on two stuck novels, but I spent so much fiddling with them to the point of pain, that going back makes me nauseous. I still believe in the concepts, but… Flash stories dried up too. I do file new story ideas, but have no urge to type.

So I want to finish one of two active fanfics, and use that time for original works. Post more here too, to remind me of that goal. Fanfic is seductive, as you get rapid and sometimes spirited feedback, and this new writer gets very few cheese sandwiches and no feedback. It does affect your motivations. I really need to focus on original stories more.

Coming up with new topics for this blog is another challenge. Today I found an essay collection by R L Stevenson on writing. Whether inspirational or neolithic, it may be useful… Coming Soon.