clhollandwriter: (Default)
It's the last day of NaNo, and there's no way I'm going to manage the just-under-15k I need to finish by midnight. There's no way I'm going to get the novel finished, either. But since I've got another 35k into it, kick-started a stalled section, solved some problems, and rediscovered why I liked writing the thing in the first place, I don't think it counts as losing except in a purely technical sense.

In December, I'm going to plod to the end at the more stately pace of 500 words a day. Anything more is a bonus.

In the meantime, I have to research the likely effects of being beating someone unconscious and throwing them in a river. Without looking like a serial killer.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Am about 3 days behind with NaNo now, at about 30k and change, and unlikely to make it up in the time I have left. I don't mind as much as I thought I would, though. It's still a hefty chunk of words done on a project that really needs to be finished. Not only that, but I'm not likely to get the story finished in the tme anyway - the Zokutou clause states you have to have a finished draft, or something, and so far hardly anyone's even in the right country, let alone in the city they need to hit for the climax.

I have had a few Eureka! moments though. I know how some things are going to resolve themselves that I didn't have a clue about before, including how to defeat both main villains. Although villain is possibly not the best word for them - one hasn't appeared in the narrative thus far, because I haven't known where they've been hiding until now, and the other's a city-within-a-city. Like the Vatican, but with magic and less cool paintings.

When finished, this MS is going to need a raft of rewrites.

It's still fun, though.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Not quite halfway to 50k yet, which means I'm about a day and a half behind. I don't care though - yesterday was a much-needed night off from wordcount, as I was dancing pretty close to burnout.

I'd noticed the day before that a nearly-ceiling-height wardrobe door is a pretty good place to organise 3x5 notecards. So that's what I did instead, which might account for the very strange dreams I had last night. Or maybe not: the wine probably didn't help.

The exercise did show me some interesting things about Reunion though. How one particular character's narrative is the constant thread through everything, just how late another character arrives at the party, areas of the timeline where there are gaps, and that fact that I need to rewrite a major chunk of the first few chapters to fit in a new character who's making herself known in the second half.

Also, I had an epiphany about how things will work themselves out. Life s good.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
14,010 words into NaNo, and someone is currently finding out what it's like to fall down a waterfall. Someone else is about to find out that he gets very, very seasick. Should be good for a couple of thousand words.

Only just over a week of NaNo meals in and I'm already craving fresh vegetables. There may have to be veg curry tonight, and the wordcount be damned.

And I'm starting to want to write for projects other than NaNo, which is a good if unfortunately-timed side effect. The trick will be keeping the momentum going in December.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
So, 12318 words on NaNo so far. I've found that the best way to keep the words flowing is to have more than one scene on the go at once so I can switch between them. Also, adding [add something here!] tags when I get stuck stops me getting to bogged down on silly details (culturally specific phrases that mean the equivalent of "trouble in the state of Denmark", for example).

It's still flippin' hard work though.

Incidentally, if any of my writer buddies are reading this (as opposed to trying to make their daily goals), does anyone know of any writing software that does the equivalent of a packet of 3x5 notecards? Namely so I can write the different plot threads down and shuffle them around alongside each other, since I'm going to have to abandon the structure of the entire first half of the book.

ETA - I don't have a Mac, so Scrivener's out. :(
clhollandwriter: (Default)
I am still, at incredibly short notice, trying to decide whether or not to do NaNoWriMo this year.


Who am I kidding, I'm raring to go! All I have to do is figure out how to fit it in around a house guest, and real life, and Dragon Age turning up very soon....

My NaNo history )
Which brings us to 2010. And what more fitting than to invoke the Zokutou Clause to finish something already begun? So this year, my project is to Finish. Reunion.

If anyone else is taking part and wants to buddy, I'm on the site as strange behaviour.
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I bought a digital radio the other weekend. If I'd know there was an all-80s station I'd have bought one sooner! I'm thinking about getting a second radio-only one for the kitchen.

My books arrived, and I'm currently reading The Story of Maths. It's a good general introduction to the subject, although it's not getting much of a look-in since I'm also reading Inkspell - which is good if mildly disappointing. One major character had an attack of the stupid-for-the-sake-of-the-plots, and while I still like Dustfinger he's far less interesting without the weight of being a tragic figure behind him. Not only that but, as the background of the Inkworld is revealed, I can't help wondering what on Earth would possess a bookworm of a girl to actually want to go to a world where being able to read gets women sold into slavery?

Reunion is still moving along. A couple of major revelations this week, which see me having to completely rewrite a previous chapter, and another character is dead. Meep.
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This part's just me moping. )

Even after the kick-in-the-pants that was WotF, keeping the momentum going is hard.

So, in the spirit of promoting the shiny, here's the book trailer for Writers of the Future Vol. 25.

Someone's posted a review of the book on the forum at Asimov's. (Beware spoilers if you read this thread.) I can live with my story being described as "read[ing] a bit like Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott as rewritten by Patricia McKillip, with the tiniest of nods to China Mieville." :-D

*This isn't me seeking validation for Reunion, by the way, just noting that it does have some major flaws (one of the central characters being largely unlikeable, and a distinct lack of female characters until about halfway through, for a start), and wondering if I can fix them.
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I am not loving Windows Vista. No, not at all. It keeps trying to install things, and be helpful in theway that over-zealous shop assistants are when they try to help when you're browsing but really they're just annoying.

And speaking of over-zealous shop assistants, it occured to me the other day what they remind me of. You know how in those roleplaying computer games (I'm thinking the likes of Diablo 2, Oblivion, and Baldur's Gate), when you get close enough to the NPCs on the screen they activate and spout a stock phrase? It's like that - get too close and they automatically home in asking "Can I help you?"

I've started Part 2 of Reunion, after a brief bout of (shock, horror!) outlining. Not much, just enough to determine the order of a couple of events, as that determines the order of the pov characters. No doubt I'll regret my choice later, but I'm sure I can work around it if I do.

Yesterday I found out I've sold "When the Harlequin Dances" to Bards and Sages Quarterly. They've requested an edit, so that's my current project, that and editing a flash piece so it's ready to go out the door. At some point soon I need to start working on short stories again, as I've sold less of them than flashes. Subbed less too, I think because I find them more difficult. Most stories either don't have enough meat on them to sustain more than 1000 words, or they keep adding to themselves so in the end I'm looking at writing a novella. Which I wouldn't mind, if there were more places to sell the longer pieces.

And now I want to write, but it's late and I'm tired, and I've got nothing done because I kept trying to explain to Vista that I wanted to run Word '97, not the crappy trial version of '07. *sulks*
clhollandwriter: (Default)
The formatting options have gone again. Oh well.

Sat down and wrote about 700 words on a new story yesterday, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll do the same again later, but we're waiting for the plumber to come and install the shower, change a radiator, and change some washers, so there doesn't seem much point in getting into it now. I also plan to get Dastenin's chapter finished this weekend, as all that's left to do is sew a couple of scenes together.

Gabriel has gone from having a fear of water, to sitting in the basin attacking the water as it comes out of the tap. It's very cute, but it also makes doing your teeth a pain.
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Back when I was at school I got into Duran Duran, just before they resurfaced from obscurity with "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone". That's about sixteen years ago, during which time I listened to them obssessively (like you do at that age), went off them, rediscovered them, and generally played their music a lot. One of my favourite of their songs is the ever-popular "Save a Prayer", and yesterday I was playing the live version from Arena when the bf commented that he didn't like the guitar part on it. I said that I'd only ever heard that part on live versions, so we put the original version on to compare them. Then the boyfriend pointed out the same part, played very very quietly.

Sixteen years and I never noticed it. And now of course I can't not hear it, and wonder how I ever missed it.

Writing-wise I'm back on Reunion after a couple of months' hiatus. The break has done me good, as now I'm enjoying Dastenin's next chapter instead of fighting him every step of the way. The novel also seems to have come to a natural point to transition to Part Two (I always wondered how that happened!). It's a long way off finished, but I'm looking forward to getting there. My inner editor is being impatient. At the moment structure is a very simple one viewpoint character per chapter affair, but I'm wondering if I should change it in the edit. The two different plotlines might work better if they're woven in together instead.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Nothing exciting to report on the writing front at present, except that I finished part of the Desiderata challenge last night. I think it works as a standalone flash too, so maybe I've even got something saleable out of it. Fingers crossed.

My attempt to keep the subbing momentum going by writing new stories has floundered somewhat, mainly because of writer's meh and an inability to settle on what I'm doing. To remedy this, I've decided to schedule a short story project each month - that is, get the draft done that month. Obviously critting and polishing will take longer. Next month's project is the challenge at Codex , the month after that something for an anthology. So many deadlines pass me by because I'm too busy being indecisive.

Plus I have to keep up with the novel, of course. I'm sort of looking forward to finishing it, now that I know how it ends. I'm a way off it yet, but at least I can see where I'm going.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Chapter 15 of Reunion is done, and ended earlier than I thought it would and missing a scene I always expected to have. But I couldn't work out how to make it fit, and after a while realised that the people in question would never be that stupid or clumsy and so out it went. Dastenin's back up for chapter 16, once I figure out what I'm doing with him.

Short story wise, I have stalled. Too many ideas have caused a block, because I just don't know what to work on. Something that requires a minimum of research would make sense, and as it's the LH Year End Challenge soon a flash might be a sensible idea so I'm not in the flow of something else when it opens. And I may have just answered my own question.....

I need to make one more submission this year to get up to 60. An effort worth making, I think.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Another belated Happy Birthday to [ profile] sacredmime ! In all the chaos of broken TVs, broken heating (which became miraculously fixed), trying to find things that aren't tinsel to put on the tree, and trying to cat-proof the Christmas decorations, I forgot to say it yesterday.

Oh, Christmas Tree..... )

Writing-wise I'm not quite sure what I'm doing. A couple of short stories raised their heads today, both of them pointing out that thair viewpoint character isn't who I thought it was. In one it's a her instead of a him, and in the other it's a different character entirely to who I thought it was. Since neither of them were on my list the other day, I don't know what to write. So many things, so little time! I did plan to get a lot of writing done over the holiday, but I've just taken stock of my current "to read" pile and I may end up doing that instead:

Patricia McKillip - Fool's Run
Patricia McKillip - Song for the Basilisk
(plus a couple of her children's books I can't remember)
Diana Wynne Jones - Eight Days of Luke
Diana Wynne Jones - The Homeward Bounders
Diana Wynne Jones - The Time of the Ghost
Tim Powers - Last Call
Tim Powers - Expiration Date
Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear - A Companion to Wolves
Stephen Fry - Moab is My Washpot
Terry Pratchett - Making Money the very least. I'm pretty sure there's another pile somewhere, if only I could remember where I put it. I swear the sheer mass of books is doing something strange to the layout and contents of my flat.

And Reunion is stalled again. I know what happens in this chapter, I'm just not sure how it happens.
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Chapter 14 is finished and sent to my crit group - and then sent again as I'd sent the non-edited version. Now I'm trying to remember what my next project was going to be (chapter 15 perhaps?) once I've got the crits out of the way.

I'm starting to think about my New Year's resolutions already. This year is the only year I've actually kept any of them, perhaps because they're all writing-related. When the choices are "do more writing" and "eat less chocolate" I think it's obvious where success lies. So more writing-related resolutions for next year. Maybe "keep up with my crits" should be one of them.
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Today is supposed to be writing update thingy day, so....

Last week I got my turn with the collaboration project done and sent back for the other party to look at, sent three or four submissions out, and I also wrote a poem(!). On the down side I now owe three or four crits (due in part to my own stupidity), so I have to get caught back up with those. Chapter 14 of Reunion was also supposed to be finished for today but, as those who were expecting it might have noticed, that hasn't happened. Hopefully it will be done for tomorrow or Wednesday morning.

The bf and I have a tradition that I cook the festive dinner these days. He used to do it when we had company, and did a full roast dinner, but now it's just us I tend to to a three course dinner. It's the one time of the year I have an excuse to go to all that effort. Unfortunately, this year he's decided he doesn't like cheese - and since he's vegetarian it's very difficult to find recipes that don't involve cheese in some form.

The cats are off to the vets tomorrow to have their stitches out. I fully expect Ludifer to try and gouge my wrists out again, because when she's upset she's a violent little psycho. She's gone petting mad lately though, so maybe I can distract her.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Our cat is an artist. )
I got chapter 13 of Reunion finished on Monday evening, so now the aim is to get that final sub out the door before Nov 1st. I've decided not to submit to the Footprints anthology, because I just can't get into the headspace for it. I find sci fi hard enough; no-humans-allowed sci fi is too far out of my comfort zone. It's a shame, because I really enjoyed my experience of being published by Hadley Rille Books in Ruins Metropolis, but I'm sure there'll be more opportunities.
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Got the draft-cobbling of Reunion chapter 12 done last night. It's quite short, so I might see if I can finish chapter 13 too and keep my critters from having to wait another month - last time I got told off for a cliffhanger. :D

I also need to get back to "Sleepers and Breeders". I'm struggling a bit at the moment because I'm more interested in writing the worldbuilding than the story. Oh well, that's what editing's for.

This is all if I don't get sidetracked by an afternoon in front of Final Fantasy 12, of course.....
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Cranked out a few hundred more words on Reunion yesterday. Unfortunately one of my "sleeper projects" - the ones that sit in the back of my mind and bubble until they reach the front of the queue - raised its head this morning and demanded to know what was taking so long. It's entirely my own fault: I tend to have songs attach themselves to stories, and this morning I listened to one that's attached itself to this particular project. It's great for keeping me in the mood if I'm focusing on a single piece of work (for example Reunion is mostly fuelled by Rammestein and Depeche Mode - don't ask me why, because it's not as dark as either of them!) but it's not so good if I want to listen to things that are attached to other projects.

Other news I forgot to post up is that in the last couple of weeks I managed to make my 30th submission of the year (my original goal was 12), and got myself up to 10 submissions out at once. And now I have nothing left in my inventory so I really should get writing!
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Yesterday lunchtime and evening I started making up for a weekend of not writing. I mostly caught up on my crits, plus made a start on chapter 12 of Reunion - another Dastenin chapter, but he's become a lot easier to write since his brother was introduced to the narrative. I also added a couple of sentences to the working-titled "Sleepers and Breeders," which I will spend more time on once the novel chapter is out of the way.

That was pretty much it for my spare time, although I took 15 minutes out to make a cat toy from half a fleecy sock and the stuffing from an old pillow. So far it's been so popular it might not make it to the weekend, which makes me wonder why it's so difficult to find cat toys that are just soft and fluffy things they can menace. It seems to be the texture our two like more than anything (it feels alive!) but all the cat toys we come across are balls (good for chasing, not so much for carrying around and growling at) or made of stupid things like feathers and that thin metallic-plastic-wrapping-paper stuff, neither of which will last two minutes against a determined kitten.

Still, I suppose it's low budget. Most popular cat toys so far: homemade sock-pillow combos; balls of wool; toilet rolls (but only when we're not looking); cardboard boxes. And, of course, the bath.

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