callawrites: (Default)
I have been MIA for nearly 2 weeks. But I have been busy. i have actually been doing a fair amount of writing, believe it or not. No editing, but writing so that's at least something. yay!

The fantasy big bang on LJ is due June 15th. That's when first drafts are due. The WIP for that is the B&B story. I really need to get cracking on that. I have scenes written here and there, but I'm missing a fair amount of in between. Still not sure exactly how this will end. I mean, it's based on a classic fairy tale, so yes, I know how it will ultimately end, but the end game... not sure. I'm real excited about the potential though, and pleased with how cool this story could potentially be.

WIP Penny has been kind of taking over all my day dreamy moments. Then again I've been listening to 30 seconds to Mars for 2 weeks. The concert is Saturday night. I have gone from having amused interest in this band to really liking them. Mercy me.

Before I can even finish the first book of WIP Penny I started writing some scenes from the second story. They came to me pretty vividly and I wanted to capture them while they were so clear.

Also, my parents were visiting yesterday, and while they were here I let my mom read some of the unedited first draft of WIP SM. (last year's Nanowrimo book). My mom reads a LOT, and is pretty transparent in her opinions. She read the first few scenes, but didn't want to get too into it because she couldn't keep the draft. She said she reads some stuff that's really trash and this isn't trash. That means she doesn't think it's particuarly awesome, but it's better than some things she's read. I will take that as a compliment. I know where the story needs work.

With this recent burst of creativity I'm thinking of taking a day off sometime soon where I can just sit and write. Send the kids to daycare, and slink off to the library or something. Find a quiet and distraction free place to focus. Then just spend that time slamming these stories. I can take them all with me so when I get tired of one I can move on to the other. I need a day off anyway.
callawrites: (Default)
I have a lot of projects going on at once right now. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing. I get tired of working on things easily and my mind scatters after long periods of focus. It's probably good that I have different projects to go to when I get my fill of one. On to the next!

My concern is that characterization will begin to overlap in my MCs. I have a hard enough time distinguishing my MC from myself. I don't want all their characteristics to meld together as I hop from story to story. Just another thing I have to be consious of and work hard to prevent.

I am thinking about this because I'm working on 3 things, one of which is very large. The rough draft for the Fantasy Big bang on LJ is due in about 2 months and I can barely figure out what direction I'm headed with that story. (that's B&B) I'm editing or trying to edit my 2010 Nanowrimo novel (SM), and then amongst all this my biggest idea comes crawling out of hibernation.

This Magnum Opus as I call it. It's an idea I had about a year and a half ago. I thought about it a little bit, then planned it last summer and started writing last August. Then I stopped. This is a big story that could potentially span something like 5 novel lenght works. The setting involves multiple galaxies/universes with a massive amount of potential for things to happen. I need to make sure I have things very well planned as far as the world building because I could end up with plot holes if I don't have everything figured out. oh how jealous I am of those authors who find themselves struck with a fully formed idea right from jump. I mean.. I have spent months and months just thinking, not writing a word, not really coming up with any good ideas, but finding all sorts of problems with previous ones. It's frustrating, but necessary to make sure this works out the way I want it to.

Fortunately, amid all the thinging and working on B&B, I have finally had some ideas about MO. Later this month I'm going to see 30 Seconds to Mars. At some point I realized that my MC for MO really likes that band. I find them a bit grandiose. I also find it amusing that a man, nearly 40 years old, is singing these anthems of youth and the kids eat it up. Like don't they realize that the generation of the person singing the songs is the same generation you think doesn't "get" you?

ANYWAY. I'm going to see them mostly because Penny (the MC in question) likes them. I've been listening to This is War lately to get myself excited for the show. Listening to this album gives me so many ideas for this story. It's really surprising to me. I am trying to work out how many books this story should span and then what is happening in each one of them before I go forward with filling in additional details. I'm great with figuring out the relationships between people but trying to figure out all the STUFF that's happening is harder for me to do.

Well that was a whole lot of lead up to end with me saying, I'm working on this other story because 30 seconds to mars gave me a ton of ideas... but it seems that's all I as getting at in the end.

Please forgive me if this seems kind of scattered. I worked on it in bits and pieces throughout the day.
callawrites: (Default)
I should probably remove those question marks in the subject of this entry. A Period would be more definitive. I'm hoping it's a good week, but if I get rid of those question marks and make it a period I will have decisively made it a good week.
On the other hand if I remove them and then you read this paragraph you will be sitting there saying "What question marks?" I suppose I'll leave them there. :)

After my somewhat rambly post from Friday night I went to sleep and got up early because I had to go to work. (doing some overtime) After work I went to Staples and had my first draft printed out. I could have done it at home but my printer has not been the greatest lately. I didn't want anything to be illegible. I also got a nice big binder for it, some post it red flags and some red pencils. I've since ordered some red lead for mechanical pencils, because I simply can't stand writing with a normal pencil. As soon as the tip gets the slightest bit dull I can't stand it. I'm obsessively sharpening it. That should come tomorrow from Amazon. I suppose the demand for such things is not that high and the product isn't sold in stores.

I didn't do the other things on my list yet, but I'm feeling good about what I've done so far. To my surprise printing the book out has really motivated me to start editing. I've started going through crossing out and adding and fixing and blah blah blah. I'm 12 pages into the 211 page draft. It feels good.

I also love carrying the thing around. There's something about picking up this binder containing my story that I love. The weight of it feels satisfying in my arms, like cradling a child and knowing that you have so much wonderful work to do. It will be hard and you will have to take care, but done well the end result should be something you can be proud of.

So for now, until I feel stuck, I will just work on doing these edits. When I feel frustrated I will move on to one of the other tasks I can do to at least keep things moving along. I am for once feeling excited about editing.
callawrites: (Default)
It's midnight and I really should be in bed. In fact I was getting ready for bed when I decided I needed to come down and write an entry here.

I've been frustrated with the whole editing business. I loathe sitting down to fix my work. and surely it does need fixing. I am never really sure how to go about it. People try to give you advice on what to do and I don't know if I should listen. I'm not even really certain I WANT anyone's help on figuring out what is best for me. I am a control freak. I need to be the one who makes the decisions. Unsolicited help is unwelcome help in my mind, no matter how well intended. If I ask for help, ok. I'm still in control of who I ask, and whether or not I will use that info. Otherwise, I need to figure it out for myself.

So with editing. I look online for advice, and things aren't easily found. I don't know many writers personally that I would be willing to speak to on the matter. Looking at books about it is tedious; the effort of pouring over the contents just to glean the information that I would find useful is almost as overwhelming as pouring over my manuscript to find the bits that need fixing.

I know by now that I need to listen to the "voice" in my head. The problem is finding the right one to listen to. There's the "Voice of Doubt" in the back of my mind telling me to just put off the task until I'm sure of myself. It makes me loathe my work when I sit down to do what I intend to do. It makes me second guess. There's also the "Voice of Reason". It is often hard to hear over the Doubt. And it isn't as easy to recognize because it tells me things I wouldn't expect to find reasonable.

This voice will tell me occasionally when I truly need to put a task aside in favor of something else because it's really something I can't deal with at the moment. How do I know it's not the Doubting voice? A person who is driven wouldn't just give up on something because they are frustrated, would they?

The truth is I'm not like every other person. I can't say that I'm particularly driven. I'm not one of the people who pushes to succeed past obstacles. Why? Because I need to be happy. I need to feel happy about my life and what I do. If I cannot succeed under the weight of doubt and frustration. I would walk away from something and never touch it again if I found it was too burdensome to my mood, even if it was something that I believed could be worthwhile should I just push past the troublesome bit.

As I was thinking about what I needed to do to get myself motivated to edit I tried to think of what my next step would be. There are a couple things I would like to do. I want to get my story broken out into it's scenes and chapters in Scrivener. It's an easy task but I haven't done it yet because it seems like a waste of time. I can do that as I go along with the edit. BUT... I'm not editing because it's frustrating. And if I'm not editing out of frustration I'm not getting my book into scrivener and nothing is getting done at all instead of SOMETHING getting done. Now I realize, Reason said do it; Doubt said it would be a waste.

I've also waffled about whether I want to print a copy of the first draft. I've told myself I don't need it. At the same time I think it would be good to have something to flip through. I love my kindle, but when it comes to reference materials I prefer "analog" books. In a sense my manuscript is a reference material. Therefore I should print it.

But of all the things right now, One item stood out as being the thing that is really holding me back from editing SM right now. I don't know what time of year it is in my story. This plays a huge part in the story. It starts here in Philadelphia, then goes to Montana, then Alaska. These areas have vastly different climates. The story either needs to be set in the fall or the spring. Too far either way and it will be too cold in AK for things to happen. Too warm and hikers are getting into the region of AK I'm writing about and I don't want them there. I also need to find a feasible time that has a 3 day weekend for a college student.

This isn't the first time I thought about the When of my story. At the same time the Doubt was saying "why take all that time tonight to figure out what time of year the story is? Just go edit one scene... heck just write the one with the MC and her boyfriend that you need to write." Then I'd stare at the blank screen writing three words and deleting 2 of them because I thought trying to figure out when the story was at that second was a waste of time. It's not. because I can't seem to concentrate on any other aspect of the thing until I get that figured out.

I know these are the things I need to do because when I think of doing them there is a certain excitement that I didn't feel before. When I would think "just sit down and just edit 1 scene" I felt like I was walking into a wall. These are things I can do without feeling that wall. If I can listen to the Voice of Reason in stead of the Voice of Doubt I will at least be making some progress instead of none. Then those walls will turn into doors.

TO DO Weekend of 3/18-3/20
figure out at what time of year the story is set
print a copy of the story
break the scenes/chapters out in scrivener
callawrites: (Default)
Little by little I'm chipping away at my B&B WIP. Editing the SM WIP is not going so well, but I'm not going to worry about that. I feel more inspired for B&B. I've learned that I need to focus on what my mind says I need to focus on. Soon I will be inspired for SM and I can get back to that.

One of the things that is daunting about SM is that I want to get the editing right the first time. I'm sure this is relatively impossible. It's just that the thought of going over it 3 or 4 times feels worse to me than just going through it with a fine tooth comb once. Only I'm not a fine tooth comb kind of person. I should know better than to try to work against myself like that. I should realize that one piece at a time, reading it over and over, no matter how daunting it seems will get the job done faster than if I sit here dreading opening the file. I think I'm my own worst enemy sometimes.

I also need to take more time to relax and chill with my husband instead of diving into seclusion to write or do whatever.

I think this is all I have the brains to talk about right now. I've been stressed the past couple days over some other issues. I need to take some time to recenter.

On a very happy note, I tore my alphasmart completely apart, let it dry, put the keyboard back together and now it works! I was truly surprised. I thought it was surely dead and I would need to buy another. I'm so glad it's well! :D
callawrites: (Default)
Oh god. Editing. It's like rubbing salt on a wound. While I'm writing I've got no problem getting stuff down for the most part. But the process of going back over it is killer. At least it makes me want to kill something.... probably my computer.

I've been trying to focus on it, but it's hard. I even have scrivener beta on the computer and I've got things broken into pieces. I think, "let's just focus on this scene." and I get caught up in something else.

Tonight I sat down to work on last year's nano novel. I'll call it SM. then got caught up trying to figure out something about the setting of one of the later scenes. I was thinking about what time of year it was in the story, and the time of year has a big effect because they go to a couple different areas with very different climates. So I was looking all over southeastern Montana at towns and scenery and stuff to try and figure out if my Ranch is really where I had initially put it. It doesn't really look the way I thought it would. bah. I may have to find a different place.

So I spent an hour doing that... I'm not going to say it was time wasted, because when I have a better idea what I'm seeing the story will be better.

Monday I spoke to the ornithologist that I emailed last week for another WIP, the B&B story. The conversation was so insightful. At first I was so crazy nervous about contacting him. I felt like I was a high school kid writing a civics paper and I was calling the Vice President to ask how government works. But he was very nice and easy to talk to. He gave me some great info for the story. I learned that the main scenario that propels our MC into the big plot is not at all out of the realm of possibility (going on an expedition into the amazon in search of an almost mythological bird). In fact he goes when he can to Mexico in search of a bird he can't find. It was a relief to learn that. He also gave me some great info that will help me shape her career and the expedition, and even.. THE EVIL BAD GUY OMG. The big picture on that story is really coming into place after our conversation.

That is all for now. I've not been getting much sleep. I've been staying up super late for no good reason at all other than I start farting around online or watching tv. I should really get ready for bed NOW.

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Calla writes...

July 2011

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