Friday, February 26, 2010

Week 2--Can dreaming dangeriously be scheduled?

Day Zero--
Wade has always been pretty kick-ass, both in actual game play and in my attempts at novelization.  As I focused on reworking her story, I found myself longing for the urban fantasy that was less kick-ass and more mythic.  Sleeping in the 'tween time between weeks, my subconscious said, "Why not have both?"  And it played "Landslide" on a mental loop--Billy Corgan singing.  Maybe that last bit is neither here nor there, but I woke up with a new challenge and theme song for Wade's softer side.

Day One--
I worked on the "what if", or in this case the, "wait! why?"  Basic to the background of this character is her being one of three, separated at birth and hidden away.  This should be more than background!  Babies are adopted everyday, but there was a great mystery aound these triplets that has never been solved.  I got a few basic ideas on that, and jotted down a few thoughts about themes.

Days Two-Six--
Classwork, motherhood, and a wee bit of writing group moderation.  Two weeks in and the picture is already forming.  I've got to find a way to organize my life so I can be a good wife/mother/student without disengaging from writing for days at a time.  Other people manage it, so I know it's not some unreachable goal.  BUT, my life has been categorized by disorganization for so long, I have no idea where to begin.

For now, I'm going to shower and get back to working on characters.  Another failure in my past has been devotion to primary characters and near ignoring everyone else.  So...shower, characters, more on setting, plot, fold laundry, clean daughter's room, and give some attention to the texts that I'm more than a hundred pages behind on.  (Food and sex will happen without any lists.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week 1

Free of "The Hidden" by way of a kindly beta reader, I began posting "Becoming" for critique.  Written as a NaNo novel one November, "Becoming" has a lot of promise, and I know just where it went wrong--written in haste, I left out a lot of the background that made the world as interesting to me as the characters.  Unfortunately, I discovered that this was not the only way I screwed up.  Aware of how many times computer crashes have wiped out my work, I saved it on both a hard and a flash drive...I thought.  You know how when you "save as", a file will continue to save that way until you do it again?  I forgot. 

Yeah, that sucked. 

With most of the story lost, I didn't have the heart to pick right up.  I decided to work on another old story that has (for me a least) enjoyable characters amid a mess of plot.  A zillion years ago, I played in an online story (shout out to Phoenix by Night!) with great potential for novel translation.  I've explored it a little bit, recreating the characters since I technically only had the right to my own, fleshing out her story...and setting it down because her story was too interwoven with the other characters and the game's storyteller had pretty much just ripped off Clive Barker.

Still, Wade persists as one of my favorite characters.  So...

DAY ONE-- I decided that I would, indeed, write Wade's story.
DAY TWO-- I got a notebook and started writing down everything I know about Wade.  Decided to do the same for the other characters and the setting...and didn't.
"I didn't" pretty much covers the rest of the week.  I revised an English paper, completed by Pre-1877 assignments, and still failed to catch up to my 1960s reading, but I didn't do any work on the story.

I did decide to blog about it.  I need to get a clear view of what works for me and what doesn't.  And you, dear few gentle readers, might be able to say, "Wow, look how An crashed and burned.  I can think of a better way to get my novel written."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

a little encouragement

No, I didn't throw away my keyboard--or forget about the blog--after my last post.  I have been too wrapped up in Columbus, not focused enough on the '60s (if I want to stay on the Dean's List), and just caught up enough in maps and changing perspectives.  My inner writer needs feeding.  I went through my old notes and found a wonderful Ray Bradbury quote:

To sum it all up, if you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling.

You must write every single day of your life.

You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next.

You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.

I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime.

I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you.

May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories - science fiction or otherwise.

Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.
I love that!  Before my wrestling match commences, my inner reader wants to encourage you to try Seanan McGuire's Rosemary and Rue.  Rather than trying to sum it up, I'll give you one of the author blurbs on the back: "...everything you'd ever need in an urban fantasy.  It's a smart story, cleanly told, that allows both humor and heartbreak to take their turn on stage, but more importantly, the 'urban' and the 'fantasy' are of equal importance."

It struck me as a fantastic blend of the "old" urban fantasy with its emphasis on the mythic and the "new" hard-boiled/kick-ass urban fantasy.