Thursday, November 26, 2009

Rut Be Gone!

I had a lovely birthday (thanks for the phone message, Mekon!) and am now feeling pretty chipper. I guess I was just depressed two days ago when I wrote that post, but a day off yesterday + sushi means that I'm feeling better today. Saw Men Who Stare At Goats last night, which was actually good (I thought I mightn't like it, after hearing it was a "military satire"). The cast were really strong, and the story simple and strangely optimistic, and it was amusing (not 'wet your pants' funny, but good).
I have just under 6,000 words to write before I reach 50,000 for NaNoWriMo, and my novel is almost finished. The banshees have bansheed, and my cast is one character lighter, but it feel good. I still don't think the middle is that exciting - I think if I were to write a second draft, I'd have to add an interesting and adrenaline-fuelled sub-plot to raise the stakes slightly.

So once again the cup is half full.

As soon as this is over, I'm going straight back to Inter Vivos. I have started reading it through, and am half-way through chapter two at the moment. It's really difficult to read it without wanting to take notes and mark it up, but I promised myself I'd read until the end without getting my pen out once before going back and dissecting it to pieces.
I have to admit, the beginning so far isn't very good. There are some good bits, but like the flowers in my really messy garden, they are being smothered by crap.
I got a rejection from Weird Tales about one of the stories I had sent off, so have sent it back out to another magazine, and hoping I'll be second time lucky for a sale.
I'm really hoping that this new year will be when it all takes off for me, so for now I have to keep slogging away.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stuck in a Rut

I'm going to be 29 tomorrow. I'm just hoping I'm going to have a better day than I've had today. I'm just bored, and have been for a couple of weeks now. I do my NaNoWriMo writing, which is still going well, I have about 8,000 words to go to finishing it. I go to work every day. And that's it. I can't find a book that will hold my interest, and TV is mostly rubbish. I'm pretty broke, so can't really afford to go anywhere. I think I'm in a bit of a rut, which is why I haven't been very good at updating this blog regularly. Who wants to read about rut-girl and her twinkle-less existence?
Anybody have any good ideas for ways to add excitement into my life? Or at least a good book to read that I can escape into?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day Nineteen

I'm just over 32,000 words, and I'm not finding it too hard right now. I have actually managed to catch up to my word target after a weekend away on a Hen Do. Not too bad, I think.

My story is a little boring, lacking in explosions and the like, but at least I have stuff planned now which should see me through to 50k.

After writing Inter Vivos though, 50,000 words seems like nothing. I don't mean in terms of effort, because it is still a big achievement to write that much, especially in such a limited time. What I mean is in terms of story developement. I've less than 20,000 words to go, and I'm starting to realise that the big things in my novel are going to have to happen soon. I had planned to kill off a minor character at 32K exactly, but I'm nowhere near that yet (about a day away in story terms). And then a major character has to die, and I've realised I'm going to be writing that in about two days time at this rate. So the whole writing process has gone so fast that it doesn't feel like it's even sunk in what has happened yet. It's like I've sleep-typed my entire story. I can type approx 2000 words an hour now so that helps and it doesn't - the story is just thoughts on a page, rather than laboured over prose. Oh well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day 11

Things are still going well for me, NaNoWriMo-wise. I'm one whole day ahead of my target word count, which I'm hoping to add to tomorrow and Friday as I have a hen weekend to go to this Saturday, and chances are I won't get any writing done.

In terms of word count I'm doing well. In terms of story all feels a bit rushed. I haven't read back over anything I've written yet, so I don't have anything to really reflect on, but I feel like at the minute I'm merely capturing scenes, rather than feeling and living them. I've moved away from 3rd person singular to 3rd person multiple viewpoint, so that now I can jump into anyone's head that I feel like it, depending on whose is the most appropriate mind to view a particular scene from. It's working so far. Plus, it's nice to get out of Tom's head. He's a bit dull. I might have to inflict him with a lisp or something to make him a tad more interesting. If he was a Sim, I probably would have drowned him by now.

I've had quite a productive year this year. I've written Inter Vivos draft 2 from scratch starting in January, which amounts to just over 120,000 words in its unedited state. I've completed three short stories, two of which are making the rounds at the moment looking for publication. And now I'm almost 19,000 words into my new Banshee novel.

I'm not sure what I'll do when I can finally say "Inter Vivos is finished" and start sending it off to publishers and agents. I will start working on another novel, naturally, but the decision will be between Dorcas Grubb and Banshee, and possibly something else, depending on how long it takes me to finish IV. I also want to work on a collection of interlinked short stories, ordered a bit like Pulp Fiction out of chronological order with occasional recurring characters.

It's good to have options.

So that's it really. Still reading Juliet Barker's Brontes biography, which weighs a tonne. I've drawn the conclusion that Charlotte wasn't particularly likeable, rather selfish actually and quite condescending. My favourite is Anne, the more practical, realistic one. Going to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall next.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Day 3 NaNoWriMo

It's Day Three of NaNoWriMo and after a productive session on Sunday (Day One) I am now just over a day ahead of my quota. This will come in very handy when I have to go to Hen Weekends and Birthday thingies later in the month.
So my word count is healthy. However, it is definitely a case of "Quantity" over "Quality". This is some of the worst prose ever, not just from what I've written, but from what anyone has ever written. Ever.
How bad is it? you might ask.
This bad:

"Tom finally got to his new halls of residence. It was situated in zone three, a thirty minute tube ride to class. As he walked up to the building, he nodded to himself satisfactorily. The building was modern and white, four stories high with dark blue window frames and blue panel and glass front door that was propped open on this day as dozens of people, parents and new students like Tom moved back and forth from cars and moving vans, carrying suitcases, bedding, small bedside cabinets. "

And I don't know if it's just because I'm writing a male protagonist, but I'm finding it really difficult to get inside Tom's head. I don't believe that you should only write protagonists that are the same sex as yourself - look how well Adrian Mole turned out. Anyway, so I'm writing terrible prose and missing Inter Vivos terribly.

Still you can't make a diamond without a chunk of coal, so I'll try not to let my inability to write coherent sentences put me off right now. At least not until 30th November anyway.