2010-01-06 11:10 pm

06/01/2010

You knew it had to come, right?

I didn't write a single word today. I know what's supposed to happen in the scene that I'm supposed to be working on today, but the words have dried up.

I did, however, write 891 words yesterday, and I also have a new blog. And a new pseudonym.

Emily Cardinal
2010-01-05 11:06 pm

05/01/2010

1.

I think I'm writing erotica.

At least, that's how I feel after the one scene that anybody's read.

2.

I've 8399 words. I'm not sure how I managed to write this much, this fast. But I shall attempt not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

According to my deadline (I had to have one to use Word Tracking in WriteWay), end of March 2011, I have to write 216 words a day, and I've been making that goal or more every day. Which is nice.

3.

I have come upon a problem of immense size. And was laughed at by people on Twitter -- deservedly so.

The Laws of Love essentially spans 2 ten-year periods (that are separated by 30-50 years).

According to people who are better read than me, most books than compress such big timelines have come in at about 150k. (They recommended people like Michener, Clavell and Dunnett for my examples list.) In fact, they are all great big fat tomes of historical fiction.

My goal for this draft is 100k, and then to cut to 80k. Only, if the rest of the draft is anything like what I have at the moment, I'm going to be adding stuff more than cutting, I think.

WTF was I thinking?
2010-01-01 11:28 pm

01/01/2010

Quite a nice date.

I am re-learning how to write secondary characters. That is a problem I've been struggling with (and knew that I struggled with) for the past year. Somewhere along the way, though, I found a loose thread, and now I intend to keep tugging on it.

I am also re-learning how to write scenes with more than 2 characters. I used to write scenes with hundreds...well, at least a dozen characters. Sooper dooper long scenes, lots of words, lots of characters...not so much on the Happenings.

I think I will be happy to have this book come in under 200k, at this point. Then I'll cut cut cut cut cut Act I into 2-3 chapters, and Acts II and Acts III can have the bulk of the word count.*

Now I must go resurrect a zombie and write a Goodbye Letter.
__

*No, I'm not nuts. I just don't think Act I is very interesting, but I need to write it. It'll be good practice if nothing else, and then I can hope Act II and Act III will be better.
2009-12-30 09:52 pm

30/12/2009

Complexities arise with every single word I add.

I've decided that plots are best thought of in chains. A leads to B leads to C. Boom boom boom.

Of course, I have thought of many other methods before and none of them have worked out very well for me.

Which is why I'm calling myself a fool ten times over for making this book even more complicated.
2009-12-29 08:53 pm

29/12/2009

I have nearly 5k words.

It's not quite moving along. I randomly stop and start and decide I need to revise things.

Like today, I junked an entire scene, thought I rewrote it, but actually just wrote another scene that was in the wrong place (moved it, so it's fixed but still).
2009-12-28 12:54 am

28/12/2009

I have the skeleton of The Laws of Love.

The thing is, how do you motivate yourself to write once you've written the candy bar scenes?

That's what I'm working on right now. One thing at a time.

I have achieved chapterification, with some horrendous/grandiose titles in the mix. I'm rather pleased with this, more pleased than I am about having the skeleton.

After all, skeletons are things you keep in closets to scare the little people come Halloween.
2009-12-24 11:42 pm

24/12/2009

Fiddling with WriteWayPro at the moment.

I really like it. It's freeing me to write out of chronological order because I can start a scene, jump somewhere else, come back etc. Or just write a single sentence about the scene and move on.

I couldn't before. Doing it in Word always seemed rather messy and cluttery.

But I don't think the 59USD price tag for the pro version is worth it. I'll probably just spring for the 29USD Standard.

Having said that, as an economist, I applaud their pricing strategy. They've segmented the market such that people who really really want the ability to have up to 9 Acts and a few other extras will pay the 30USD more. People like me, on the other hand, consider 29USD to be a perfectly acceptable price to pay for the software. They are extracting a goodly amount of consumer surplus and turning it into producer surplus.
2009-12-19 09:59 pm

19/12/2009

Hopping on the plane in less than 12 hours. Thinking about allegories and such, and other things for my other blog. It's a good thing I plan to blog more next year.

Working and reworking the laws of love in my head.

Wonder when I'll actually finish it.
2009-12-17 10:33 pm

17/12/2009

Still working The Pathmaker, newly renamed The Laws of Love because I think I'm funny. 

It's not progressing because I've suddenly been struck by the fear of 'what if I won't want to write it any more once I've plotted it out?' 
2009-12-13 01:15 am

13/12/2009

1. 

I've decided to temporarily except that the writer-me has a romantic streak a mile-wide. I'll work on integrating rational economist-me with sighs-over-love-stories writer-me later when I have time. 

Which probably means never, but this at least means now I know what I'm writing. 

2. 

Given above, I have decided to change The Pathmaker to The Laws of Love. And no, that's really not the title. I just think it's fucking hilarious given what I currently think is the Key of the Book.

I've just sent Nadia a description that's in chronological order. I think this could work. I think this could be The One.

But, that's what I always think, isn't it? 

3. 

This SO isn't what I need to be working on right now, what with a test on Monday and exams next month. 

Typical, isn't it? 
2009-12-08 10:39 pm

08/12/2009

I have decided that on January 1st, I'll set some kind of writing goal for myself.

A doable type goal. Maybe a scene a week. I was originally going for a scene a day, but then I thought about it some more and decided it might make me want to kill myself. I've done that enough times that you'd think I would have learnt a long time ago, but apparently on top of being stoopid, I am also extremely stubborn.

The point is, though, that if there's one thing I've learnt this year, it's that writing isn't like economics for me.

I can't just sit and work and work and work. I am perfectly working for 12 hour stretches at my studies with just short breaks for food and drink, and I can do this for days on end. Negative marginal returns don't set in until, maybe, the tenth hour.

With writing, it sets in much earlier. I don’t even want to estimate how early because it would just be depressing.

Shock treatments a la NaNoWriMo haven’t worked for me. Talk about burnout. Screaming and crying burnout.

So no. Never again.
2009-12-07 11:52 pm

07/12/2009

Still thinking. 

Story 1 and Story 2 are very different stories. 

Maybe my approach to Story 2  is wrong. 
2009-12-05 10:00 pm

05/12/2009

I think I'm not telling the right story. 

Or at least, I've chosen the wrong section of the narrative to write about. 

Fuck. 
2009-12-04 10:33 pm

04/12/2009

There is something about working on mathematical problems that causes part of brain to drift off and work on other things. Like WIPs. 

So I've raided an old epic fantasy WIP for an idea for the pathmaker. As things go, it's a very minor piece of the whole. Indeed, I could work it in without causing any ripples. 

Or I can embrace it, and rework everything that I already have.

I'm not sure what it says about me that I much prefer the latter. 
2009-11-30 08:59 pm

30/11/2009

Every word is stilted and wrong. 

I should know better than to press on now. It's not 'the right time'.* 
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*As much as this smacks of 'waiting for inspiration,' this is how I intend to write for the foreseeable future. 
2009-11-29 09:24 pm

29/11/2009

I'm done for the next little while, I think. 

Impatience, however, will most likely drive me nuts whilst waiting for the next bits to fall in place. 

Contemplating a look at my magnum opus. The changes in the pathmaker also mean changes in my magnum opus as they are set in the same world. 
2009-11-28 10:31 pm

28/11/2009

Nadia has given me a possible partial solution to the problem of Form.

It's actually something I've experimented with, for the current novel, actually. I would say it was a failure in terms of content generated, but perhaps not so much in terms of structure. 

Writing at this pace has been good for me. I have less of the bipolar ups and downs. Or rather, it's in a much less compressed time-scale. That's worth something, at least. 

2009-11-24 05:46 pm

24/11/2009

I've been thinking.

And this is not always a good thing.

But I've been thinking, and thinking, and thinking, and I've landed myself in some kind of hell pit.

This hell pit is called "If your novel is no longer a novel, whatever the hell is it?"
2009-11-18 08:59 pm

18/11/2009

Moving on from the block. 

I don't think I've gotten this far (in terms of word count or story) before, though it still is disheartening that I've twice as much in cut wordage as I do in actual wordage. 
2009-11-12 11:38 pm

12/11/2009

The addition of just one shelf does wonders for the tidiness of my room. 

I wonder if I could do the same with one extra book for my current WIP*. 

I've been thinking and thinking and thinking about what my book is about. 

It's not about a revolution this time...

Oh. OOH. *has heart palpitations* OOOOOOOOOOOH! 

*A duology...better than a trilogy, right?