Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A few ideas to ponder

For some reason, I find it easier to continue editing one story if i'm working on another. wel, I say 'for some reason,' but this makes sense to me. In editing, I can get bogged down in the smaller details. If I'm working on new pages then I feel as if I'm still utilizing my creative talents (oh, I don't like that word, sounds sort of arrogant, but you know what I mean). I think, without doing any new writing, I'd end up really not enjoying the times I edit, and I wouldn't want to do it. The result being that it either takes forever to finish editing a piece, or I do a less careful job of it because I just want to finish.

Also, this new story I'm working on, I feel this urge to share the idea with people. Usually I don't. I might give the basics to a writerly friend, if it happens to come up in conversation, but this one I keep wanting to tell people. "Hey I have this new story, what do you think of the premise, or this characters, or these other guys?" Often enough I don't even like to describe my stories evenwhen they're well on their to being complete. Go figure.

Ah well. Job calls, so I'm off.

Happy writing.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Totally about writing process, can you believe it?

So after a week, I am halfway through my first round of converting hard copy edits to computer file. I'm struggling through a brambly bit at the moment, which has had me stuck for a few days.

I'm trying to insert more hints about a character's suspicious behavior early one without overdoing it. It was one of those issues where, I knew he'd pop up from time, not too terribly often, and my protagonist doesn't like him, just as a clash of personalities. But the further I got into fixing the story in my mind and discovering just where it was all going, his motives became murkier, tied up in centuries of tradition mingling with politics and clouding emotion. And because he doesn't like the protagonist. So two-thirds of the way through the book and I realize his behavior is more suspicious than just being a jerk. And now I'm editing the early chapters to reflect that, bit by bit.

Once again, it's that matter of balance. She thinks he's just being an ass at first, but the next tme she sees him, something strikes her as a little wonky. The next time, suspicious.

Chapter 7, where I am right now, is where this character first comes in. I think the reason I've been stuck is just because this scene will set up the future scenes with this character, particular those where he's interacting with the protagonist, and I want to get it right. That means allowing myself to take my time with it. I feel like I know where I'm going, though, so maybe the rest of this will move more smoothly.

We'll just have to write and see.

(And I don't even like puns. Oi.)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Stepping Away from the Writer's Group

Okay, still gonna go to the group each week, but I probably won't be bringing more than a page or two of one-shots or poetry, if I bring anything at all. As of the Wednesday before last, I have brought the last chapter of my urban fantasy to the group and received their critiques and feedback. Last night I finished taking all of their handwritten notes and compiled those onto my hard copies of the chapters.

I now have two copies of the manuscript, one with my own edits, the other this compilation of edits. My next step (which I began a bit earlier today) is to take those handwritten notes and transcribe them onto the computer file copy. I'm doing this with my personal copy first, because I think its first few chapters are older (I had printed it out but then made changes to the computer file version before even editing the printed hard copy), then I'll do the writing group edits.

It's time-consuming and I am tempted to do what my friend is doing, rewriting the whole thing while incorporating the edits in order to get a cleaner flow of narrative between the old and the new. But right now, considering the amount of editing needed, I'll think I'll just input them and reread it afterwards, doing my best to read it for flow and pace (better than I did in the first editing round trying to see how it flowed and whether the pace worked).

Still reading the Neil Gaiman anthology, Smoke and Mirrors, which I am greatly enjoying, and trying to go to sleep Friday night, I ended up forming this neat description of a bar in the midst of a dump (not quite literaly speaking, quite), which I actually remembered Saturday. I wrote it down while driving from Mililani to Kapolei (I wasn't driving, I was in the passenger seat, shotgun). I was pleasantly surprised that I remembered as much as I did in terms of word to word recollection. I don't know if it would be better served in poem form, or just adjust it for prose, though I do know I couldn't use it as the beginning of a story. But I do like it and I like the inkling of a story forming out of it. We'll see where that leads.

The rest of this Saturday was less than pleasant, but it has been good for my writing, if not my sleep habits. (Two nights of taking forever to fall asleep, only to wake in the middle of the night, but dozing in come morning--not quite sleeping in, as I was partially conscious).

My typing on this laptop is still atrocious--you are all lucky I find as many of my typos as I do. I blame it on a combination of never getting the hang of the home keys, long fingernails, and being unaccustomed to the flatter keys of a laptop/notebook. (Actually, I rather need to cut my nails, I am far too concerned about them breaking under the skin--screwing chipping them, that's pansy talk--while I'm packing and moving large, heavy boxes at work.) Right-o, off to edit some more.

Friday, June 1, 2007

A belated, 'we'll miss you'

As is often the case, I am behind the times. (I still haven't switched over my Favorites list from the old computer to the new and have fallen abysmally behind on all my favorite blogs.)

Alas, today I learned that Miss Snark is retiring. I was a novice Snarkling, reading and enjoying her blog, but rarely commenting, but she will be missed. By me, and countless other bloggers and writers.

The Snarkives are still up, for those who are curious and in need of her snarky guidance (who isn't?).

I, for one, wish her all the best. May those who query you be writers who've read the snarkives and don't make your trigger finger itch for the clue gun.