As a part of an exercise with my writing group, I am co-writing a novella. My partner is amazing, by the way. A published author (Find her book here!), and a fantastic organizer for (thus far) two anthologies for the group. It turns out she’s also a really great partner to write with. Continue reading
I’m writing a sequel to a book I wrote a while back, and for this one the plot circles around revolution and how the various characters respond to it. For it to work, I need a bunch of fairly well established characters reacting in various opposing ways that still meld with their personalities. Unfortunately, except for the two mains I’m having trouble picking out details for a sequel (which tells me something about how well written those side characters were in the first place).
First problem is my notes are shoddy. I have a vague sense that certain details exist, but I don’t know them so I’ll have to read through the book to find them. Probably multiple times, when I could have saved time by just making note as I wrote it in the first place. So oops. It’s been kind of a long time since I wrote the book, so it’s not exactly fresh in my mind.
Of course, there’s not a ton of the information I need to be gleaned, anyway. These characters tend to lurk in the background, and don’t really have any plots of their own in that book. Which is fine, because too many plots spoil the book and all that. But in my experience and from what I’ve read, well-written side characters might not have much happen on the page itself, but there’s at least a sense they have lives, and rationale for being involved in the plot, and they need to be involved in the story arc in an essential way. As in, you can’t just swap out one person for another and have the story develop exactly the same way.
Not every person needs an essential role, of course, but right now almost none of them do. Which makes them all pretty flat. So now I need to go through and figure out who they are, and maybe if I’m lucky a few subplots will pop up along the way.
This month has, overall, been pretty productive in the writing department thus far. Unfortunately, that productivity has not come with any kind of inspiration for writing blog posts. This just isn’t my thing. I keep reading about how you’re supposed to write nice long posts, and I can never quite manage it. Mostly because I can’t find good topics. Continue reading
Which project to tackle next? It’s bugging me. Not that I can actually start for a while, but I really need something to shoot for so I can finally get motivated and get writing seriously again. Help me pick! Please? Continue reading
Short story writing is hard. So far it’s taking about twice as long to write as the equivalent amount of words for a novel. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m that unfamiliar with short story writing (and thus subconsciously moving slower, more carefully), or if it’s just because writing a short story takes longer. Have to give it a few more goes before deciding.
Here’s all the opening lines I’ve gone through over the course of writing the rough draft:
- Shelley Marchant often wondered what life was like for people who didn’t have an archnemesis.
Yes, I know it’s just the one. I don’t know if it’s any good, but it’s the only one that’s occurred to me so far so it’ll have to wait until edits. It was kind of weird, actually, that the story was able to start from this one line and progressed from there without being deleted or having more words added in front of it.
Of course, it’s more than been made up for by the number of closing lines I’ve tried.
- And as Maya screamed her outrage, Shelley went out into the night.
- She became a superhero.
- Shelley let go of everything she was thinking and stood tall.
- Murder on the knees with the landing, but such a cool exit.
- And then she got on with her life.
And those last two were just from yesterday.
Sometimes beginnings snap while the endings flounder, and other times beginnings are vague while the endings are inevitable and poetic. And any number of combinations in between. There are worse problems to have.
Anyone else having trouble with beginnings or endings?
I have been having a bear of a time writing over the past few weeks. Part of it was exhaustion from lack of sleep, part was exhaustion from November writing, and part of it was that I do not want to write this scene. And there I was, struggling away with this scene that I couldn’t figure out how to flesh out, and then I realized what I was doing wrong. Namely, I was writing it at all. Continue reading
Well, the fourth week of NaNoWriMo has started.
But I’m actually doing okay, as can be seen in the above infographic. I’m on target for finishing four days ahead of schedule, which gives me a little room to do what I really wanted to do, which is make it to 60,000 words. Which is still not quite a complete novel, but it’s more words than I’ve ever done in a November before.
Anyhow, to celebrate both this and Thanksgiving tomorrow (and give me a way to get back to writing faster) here’s a little clip from Act One. Unpolished, of course, but it’s something I enjoyed writing.
“We should have brought Ris with us.”
“We’ve got it handled, Tolin.”
Despite his words, Blane knew that they did not, in fact, have it handled, seeing as how they were dangling from a ledge and had a one-in-five chance of making it successfully to the other side of the ravine they were attempting to traverse. Tolin knew he knew this, but he let it slide because in spite of his words he didn’t really want to bring their baby sister into this maze of a deathtrap.
They’d been doing pretty well, actually, up until that point. They found the door, Tolin picked the lock at the gate, Blane worked out the riddle that led them down the correct passageway, and they’d been halfway across the bridge when some twisted architect let loose his mad genius. At some point in the distant past, someone decided it would be a good idea to booby trap the only bridge with swinging axes. Hence why the two brothers were creeping their way along the edge rather than walk calmly across the top. Also, at some point in the mad rush to avoid the swinging sharpened pendulums, the map had been dropped, and now Blane had to watch as the piece of paper fluttered gently in the breeze before dropping into the dark depths below them.
“At least whoever built this place was a fan of natural lighting,” Tolin said breezily, adjusting his grip on the ledge. “Remember that one ruin in Zorab when we kept running out of light?”
“The one where I got bit by a snake because you weren’t smart enough to bring along a few extra elixirs of light? Yeah, I remember that one.”
If they’d been on solid ground and not in immediate danger of their lives, things probably would have devolved into a tussle. As it was, Tolin gave an icy glare. “Like I said, at least we can see what we’re doing.”
They hung there a while longer, and Blane cursed his brother under his breath when they stopped even the tiny forward momentum they had.
“There’s no more bridge.”
All First Sorceress Glenna Stormraven wants is to be left alone, with no whiny princesses to deal with. Just when she thinks she’s found a home that’s out of the way, an enterprising gnomish realtor starts selling the neighboring property. It’s up to her to handle the situation, deal with more fussy clients, and with her less-than-desirable neighbors. Meanwhile, Poggy Strankfelder finds out that selling land owned by demons has consequences that come in the form of pickle-salesman-turned-assassin Jiurt. Continue reading
I’m about to start work on a new book (a synopsis to come next week), and it’s going to be… interesting. There are no rules to starting a new book, because it varies from person to person and project to project. This book, however, is following its own set of rules, and some of them are helpful. Continue reading
Respawned, the story I’ve been working on since November, is finished. More accurately, the first draft is finished, which means that in a few months there will be notes to make and editing to do and all kinds of new things to worry about, but for now my story is done, and I will rejoice. Continue reading