My novel is moving along. I am always impressed with people who can actually complete the National Novel Writing Month (or whatever it is called). 50,000 words in 30 days is no small feat. I don’t think I could do it – and not have it turn out into anything worth reading (or editing). That being said, I am glad it is there – to get people writing, to explore their creativity, even if it lasts a month (or less). For me, I have about 20,000 more words to go (maybe less) and if I can get that done before December, I will be thrilled. (more…)
In writing (or reading), imagine how boring a character would be if they were just angry or only sad. A purely evil or good character is not only unrealistic, but also quite dull. Yet, think of how interesting a murderer would be if he/she also always visited his grandmother with flowers. (more…)
The novel I am working on, fitfully for far too long, keeps changing underneath my very well laid out plans. This is a good thing, as it seems that the characters are more fleshed out, more real, have stronger personalities that can move about on their own, while I am desperately try to keep up with their shenanigans.
As mentioned in an earlier entry, this is a novel about differing perspectives, of how one person can see something completely differently (or not at all) than another. It is interesting to write, but I also need to take care that it ends up as something interesting to read. There is a real danger of the reader losing focus, of it becoming just a confusing mash. I think the solution is to be sure that I, as the writer, have a strong viewpoint on the heroes and villains of the piece. To paraphrase Christopher Nolan when he discussed the ending to his film Inception, even if something is ambiguous to the audience, it should not be ambiguous to the writer. I think this is true and will likely be resolved in the dreadful editing stage. That being said, the first draft is coming tighter really well. I am finding ways to incorporate previously random elements from early chapters (and to paraphrase a rule of theater, if there is a gun in the first act, it must fire in the third), binding the seams of this universe together.
As for my collection of 100 short stories, I am more than 75% of the way there. I have about 3 more themes/series to wrap up but I have a pretty good idea of where they should be going. I originally hoped to have it all done by the end of the month (aka, tomorrow), but I don’t think that is going to happen. Nevertheless, I am very happy with the overall progress.
In addition, the short story exercise has really helped develop my voice both in short and long fiction. A very worth-while exercise.
As a freelancer, things have been slow lately, which is always worrisome, but if I want to be a writer, to have this be my profession, then I must make the most of the time I do have. Often in my field, it is a feast-or-famine cycle so while I am in “famine” I might as well indulge my creative instincts and hopefully make something worth sharing.
I have been making strong, steady progress on my longer piece of fiction. It has taken me quite some time to get to this point, a lot of frustration and self-doubt, but the story is finally coming together. (more…)
In the past, I have read that one should always “stay hungry.” I have generally taken that to mean that one should always be ambitious, never to rest on one’s laurels, etc. But it seems that there is a more literal truth to this – being hungry is not only good for me to lose weight, but also pushes me to seek out my ambition. (more…)
For me, the activity itself is not enough. When I go for a walk, I want to have a purpose for the walk beyond itself (e.g., seeing a sight, finding a clue on a treasure hunt, etc.). If I exercise, it is not just to lose weight and get healthier, but rather to develop a skill of some sort beyond that (where health is a pleasant inevitability). (more…)
Watching bad B-movies makes me wonder if my own writing is as stilled and one dimensional. I suppose many authors (aspiring or otherwise) feel this way. But the goal for me is to create something enveloping, but how does one know if it is so? If a story is not enveloping, not immersive, if it does not make the reader forget that he/she is reading, then its appears to me to be a systemic issue with the writing. After all, what is that thing (or lack thereof) that makes one forget that they are reading? Readers can say that something is well written but it may never be immersive. (more…)
I am making strong progress on my longer piece, will probably be about as long as Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. I have to be careful about the tone of the story. I find that when I force it, it comes off as distracting to the moment described. Yet, I want the story to be fun – I am quite tired of very sad or traumatizing stories masquerading as “serious” – have something that is fun to read and the lessons (if any) will come through. (more…)
Currently reading the book Greek File, Poison Arrows and Scorpion Bombs by Adrienne Mayor, detailing the use of unconventional (i.e., chemical and biological) weapons in the ancient world.
Flaws make beauty. Anyone can draw a perfect tree. It happens to look like a lollipop. However, with a crack in the bark, a wilted leaf, a hole from a worm, a knot in the wood, the tree takes on character and depth. (more…)