Sunday, February 28, 2010

So, I haven't really added to my word count since my last post.  Instead, I've been pondering the question 'where do I go from here?'

While those who have known me for any length of time are very familiar with the act of me writing, I've never gotten farther on a book than I have thus far.  It's fair to say that this is the farthest I've ever come on a manuscript.  This is good, excellent progress.  I've also been doing a lot of research into the publishing industry, and figuring out just what I need to do to get a finished manuscript published.

But...that still doesn't help me get from the introduction to the wrap up section of the book.  I'm fairly solidly into the 'building up' area of the book, reaching for the climax.  But I still only had vague ideas of how the next 60-70 thousand words were going to work themselves out.  Not good.  So I sat down and started thinking.  What happened before the book opened?  Where do I want to end up?

Now I need to figure out how I'm getting from here to the end.  Who knows, maybe I'll write the end first, and then connect the two.  I've never outlined a creative writing project before, mostly because this is just something I've done on my own and not something anyone's taught me to do.  I outline my non-fiction writing all the time, but those are a) shorter and b) follow a very standard, solid format.  Intro, thesis, arguments, conclusion.  Somewhere in there, there may be explanations and background information, but other than that it's very straight forward and driven.  Fiction is rarely like this, and I'm still learning what questions I need to ask myself that my brain will go 'oh!  I know that answer!' instead of 'umm....?'

And on top of all of this, I have to keep editing and re-editing.

Monday, February 22, 2010

26714 / 100000 words. 27% done!

So, in spite of being busy, doing lots of thinking and plotting, and then getting sick, progress is still being made.  Huzzah!

So, for the past week it's been blessedly slow at the library, which I think everyone but the info desk people were grateful for (the info desk people sit and wait for patrons to help...if there are no patrons it's a lot of waiting.)  It allowed those of us who slave away in the dungeon time to catch up, and if it stays slow another week or so we might get the shelves upstairs into a neater order.  The bowling tournament has been going well, with two weeks to go.  I've been asked to leave my contact info for future opportunities like this one, which I like.  I get paid to sit, watch people bowl, write down their scores, trouble shoot, and otherwise think deep thoughts and write in my handy dandy old school notebook.  Huzzah!

While I find writing in notebook filled with lined paper to be a) reminisent of old times, when I carried around a three ring binder filled with Story and b) relaxing, since I don't have Facebook or Google Reader to distract me, it has caused some interesting skips in my narrative.  For example, I may not want to jump right in where I know I left off on my laptop because then I have issues with connecting the two sections together.  I have to verbally sew them up, and that's sometimes awkward.  More often, I move on to something else I have floating in my head, which has now left me with a sketched prologued (I may make it chapter 1 just to avoid the evils of a prologue), chapters one through four solidly drafted, chapters six through nine solidly drafted, and chapter eleven nearly done.

If you're any good at counting you'll realize that I've left out chapters five and ten.  I seem to be jumping forward and back in my writing, which I haven't done before.  I'm not adverse to this new development, I'm just slightly bemused by it.  However, since I am at this point convinced that this is a) the farthest into a work I've yet gotten and b) the best effort I've put forth thus far and c) the best work I've done thus far, I'm not going to complain.  However, at this point the demon child that is chapter 5 has been ongoing for months and I'm wondering when it will make itself clear and coherent.

I think part of my problem with it is that I HATE writing villains.  I don't understand them.  I don't find them provocative as such.  I intellectually know and acknowledge that villans are integral to any good story, and that they need to be fleshed out just as fully as the main characters.  I just unconsciously avoid them.  Chapter Five is my first real chance for my protagonist to meet a villain, and I need to take advantage of that and do it. Of course, the question is how, and which one?

I also need to start figuring out what the next ten chapters might/should be, because at this point I need to really start building to the climax.

In other news, the Gecko stopped by yesterday with the best 'feel-better-soon' present: my City map is almost done.  **bouts of authorial glee in between blowing the nose**

Saturday, February 13, 2010


So, spent some 'weekend' time yesterday, as through March I don't have official weekends.  Stayed up way too late, am likely to regret this today and sleep lots tonight.  But, LCC's Star Search was fun: the Deaf Interpreter Program does a program twice a year where hearing people do skits and sign to songs.  Some of them were incredibly well done, and I had a lot of fun even though I can fingerspell, but not read it and know minimal signs after that.  So I missed a lot of jokes.  Thankfully, Mystique was sitting next to me and translated some of what was going on.

Anyway, the real reason for this post was: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, a new book by the same author as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  Granted, PPZ has gotten a lot of good press, and sold like hotcakes.  I will still likely never read it...and now Old Ab hunts vampires????  REALLLYYY???

Thursday, February 11, 2010


So the past few days have been somewhat stressful, with the trip to the ER on Tuesday and my ABS breaks failing yesterday morning.  Thankfully, I live in my hometown (well, in the city next door to my hometown) and the auto repair facility my dad works at is a half block detour on my way to work.  Don't worry, neither myself, my car, or anything else took damage.  But the stress of that twenty minute drive meant that I really didn't relax at all yesterday, but I managed to relax today.  Which means I didn't get any writing done.

However, some progress has been made in that I sat down with one of my betas and grilled them on what they thought of what I've got so far.  I don't plan to do this for every book I write, but right now I'm more or less teaching myself the art of novel writing.  I view any feedback as a good thing, especially when I can get critiques.  Yes, I love to hear that everyone likes my work, but that doesn't help me become better.  I've also started some research that will hopefully flesh out my worldbuilding a bit.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

No writing to be reported today, sadly.  I woke up this morning and felt horrible, and so stayed in bed for the most part untill about 3:30, when I finally started to feel like I had some energy and felt like moving.  Unfortunately, about an hour later one of my roommate's called from her work as she needed a ride to the ER.  We live right behind where she works, so she tends to walk instead of drive or get a ride.  Today she slipped in the back parking lot of her work and twisted her knee.  She didn't fall, just twisted, but sometimes that's just as bad.  My boyfriend/other roommate was busy working from home (oh the grrness!), and our fourth was at class, so it fell to me to brave the blizzard to the ER and back.

Let me tell you, it is NASTY out there.  I am not looking forward to tomorrow morning when I have to drive in to open the library.  It'll likely take me fourty-five minutes instead of the usual fifteen.  At least, that's what I'm going to plan on.

As for my roommate, we are back home, and she is laid out on the couch with a book, her knee on ice and in a brace.  She's got to go back in and see her specialist, as the doctor at the ER wasn't able to say anything definitive and the X-rays of course showed nothing.  Happily, the boy is now cooking us dinner.  :)

As a side note: one of the other patients in the ER was another young woman who had slipped and fell.  However, she was being an idiot and wearing open backed heels that were a good three or four inches tall plus platforms.  Hello?  It's snowing out!  This is likely going to be the worst storm of the winter, and it's winter in MI in the first place, and you're wearing heels outside?  Um...I don't think we needed to actually see your hair to tell you're blond. She then complained that her socks were wet.  Again, use the brain you were given.  I know you have one, because it's what tells you to breath and lets you talk.

Monday, February 8, 2010

21298 / 100000 words. 21% done!

That's a little short of my goal today, but I'm at a point where I'm starting to bog down, so best to call it quits.  It's somewhat annoying, as I'm currently trying to hint at and explain in pieces a big part of my world.  I'd finally gotten a good succinct description down pat, my writing group came up with the idea of breaking it up and keeping everyone guessing.  I can understand, it's just making me have to plan more.

Hopefully some of my betas will get back to me on some revisions I did and the four new chapters I've posted lately soonish.  After all, most of them have a huge snow storm to find things to do during.  **hint hint**

Saturday, February 6, 2010

That and I think I'm getting sick. Still, this morning was productive, and this afternoon Rachel and I talked about the writing group we're in, and what we'd like to do with it eventually.  Progress is progress, even though I wanted at least another 500 words today, as well as a finished chapter.  Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

19409 / 100000 words. 19% done!

Review: Soulless

Souless by Gail Carriger
Parasol Protectorate Series

I initially heard about this book from one of the librarians where I work.  On Staff In-Service Day back in November, she expounded on the wonderfulness of this book during a live session of 'We Recommend' that is normally in our staff newsletter.  I promptly decided I needed to read this book, and placed a hold on the book the very next day.  Needless to say, it took me till the first week of February for my turn to come around, as there are only three copies of the book in circulation.  However, I found it more than worth the wait.

This book is part of the growing steampunk movement in fantasy, and makes a big nod to the urban fantasy movement.  Essentially, its an urban fantasy set in Victorian London with steampunk elements such as dirigibles.  Werewolves and vampires abound, as well as mad scientists.  There's also a large dash of romance in the plot.  The whole mix works because this is also a consciously humorous book that doesn't take itself or anything else seriously.

The premise of the book is that Miss Alexia Tarrabotti, the protagonist, has no soul and can therefore cancel out the powers of werewolves and vampires while touching them.  Just like in urban fantasy set in the modern age, werewolves and vampires are known to the everyday populace and are regulated by a government agency to make sure nothing gets out of hand.  Miss Tarrabotti, partly through accident and partly through her own stubborn curiosity, becomes involved in a government investigation to find missing vampires and werewolves, as well as to figure out why vampires no one admits to making and no one has trained are being found in odd places, such as a ducal ball.  The investigation is headed up by the local werewolf Alpha and sparks fly between him and Miss Tarrabotti.

Perhaps the one downside to this book (although I enjoyed it) is the incredible amount of vocabulary the author uses.  She has a convincing grasp on British Victorian speech mannerisms, and has made Miss Tarrabotti a bluestocking, thereby allowing her protagonist a large vocabulary as well.  Again, I enjoyed this immensely, but those who don't have as large of a vocabulary as I do may want a thesaurus or a dictionary while reading.

On a side note, Orbit Books has a nice dress up doll featuring Miss Tarrabotti and her actual wardrobe here.