Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Busy Writing

By the time this gets drawn, the coffee is COLD.
I'm aiming at having 65,000 words written before the end of my day. Since I'm a shade over 62,000 at the moment I'll have to defer writing an actual blog post today.

If I make it, this November will the single most productive month of writing I've ever had. Even if I don't, it's still the single most productive month of writing I've ever had. I'll let you know how it goes, but if you follow the Twitterfeed, you'll find out sooner.

Thank god for coffee.

UPDATE: I made the 65K word count tonight. Only 25K to go until the story's finished. Stick with me, folks.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Winner: Pacing II (A NaNoWriMo Update)

Last week I 'won' NaNoWriMo by passing 50,000 words written on my manuscript. This is the fourth year I've done that and I feel great about the accomplishment. I encourage anyone who's thinking about trying NaNo to do so. You'll surprise yourself.

As you can see by the NaNo 'death bar' over there on there on the right, I'm at 57,674 words now. What that means is that I'm not done with my story. I've written the minimum amount of words but the story's not done. So that means that I've had to reset my goals in order to complete the Zero Draft of Juggy & the Duchess.

My self-imposed deadline to finish a complete version of the story is December 15th. That means I have to write about 1800 words a day to get there. That's what I set my original NaNo pace to be so I think this is realistic. Will it stop sooner than 90K or later?

That's the part I don't really know. I'm still discovering some things about my story despite all the notes I've got on it. The characters are dynamic, informing me of things that I didn't know and these things usually come out of a 'word sprint' where I tend to write a lot of dialogue. The settings are still my biggest problems as I get bogged down trying to create vivid enough descriptions so the select group that's going to read this draft of J&tD will definitely have to use their imaginations to see the world I'm trying to create and that's why I'm aiming at only 90,000 words: I'm figuring that I'll have to add a lot of descriptives in there while cutting a lot of dialogue. It should balance out in the end but that will be the completed First Draft.

This month has been the most successful I've had in terms of sheer production. The most I'd written before was somewhere in the neighborhood of 55,000 and I've got three more days to go. (In case you're wondering, all the blogging I've done this month isn't included in the word count death bars. That's all bonus for you, my loyal readers.)

So I have to keep up the pace I've set for myself for another three weeks or so. I've never had so much fun writing as I've had this month and never have I had such a clear vision of what the story was from beginning to end. I'm winning not just for having written all these words on a deadline, I'm winning for having reached another plateau in my quest to be a storyteller.

Damn, it's good be a writer.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Third Option

Novel writing is sometimes like this.
I wanted to write something here about Fridays in general and the shopping mayhem of Black Friday in particular. I really did.

But it's just a diatribe on the commercialization of holidays that should be about family first. I've done that enough and I don't need to do it any more. You've all seen A Charlie Brown Christmas, probably grew up watching it. You know what I'm talking about.

Instead, let's talk about planning. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. If you're a semi-regular here you may have heard about it or even somewhere else. There are two camps of people: planners and pantsers. Friend of the blog R.L. Naquin is a planner with a cool index card system that really works for her. I'm not a planner like that. I'm not quite a pantser, either, which means that one starts writing without any idea of what the story is going to be until you get there. I've done that and it's hard. I mean REALLY difficult. Then again, planning my stories is difficult for me, too.

I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. This year's novel, Juggy & the Duchess, has quite a bit of planning and quite a bit of room for improvising and going with the flow of writing. I have quite a few notes that I took in October but it's more along the lines of research. Pre-writing things. Things like names of planets or the kinds of jobs that have to happen on those planets. Knowing that super-compressed dark matter is going to be a major item later on and what could happen with it, or how salons worked in 18th century France and some of the people that were famous for their salons. (I'm not talking about hair dressers, by the way.) Little notes that 'there has to be a HUGE row between Juggy & Dee' though I didn't know exactly where that would happen when I jotted it down.

I have more notes this year than I do for any of my three previous NaNovels. I'm having more fun this year than any of the previous years. It may have something to do with being more a part of the local writer community and attending the write-ins and events. It may have something to do with my overall confidence level about my writing.

I read this because of someone
in my writer's group.
One thing that I don't really consider when I'm writing the Zero Draft is the audience. NaNoWriMo is about pleasing me and me alone. That's certainly true of the first three novels I wrote; they're all about me. This year I'm definitely writing to please myself first but I'm considering the potential commercial aspect of the work, too. I've told a couple of people J&tD may be the 'best thing I've written yet'. I don't mean it's Thomas Pynchon-level writing, not by a long stretch. What I mean is that it may be the novel that I finally finish and then think about trying to sell.

No, really. I thought that about last year's novel (and I need to get back to that one because I've finally solved some of the things that bugged me about it) but this is different. This year's novel is convincing me that I might just know what I'm doing when it comes to writing. Does that mean the more planning I do the better I get? I don't know. Will I get to the point of using the index cards the way others do? I don't know.

I do know that doing a bunch of pre-writing makes the job of actual writing a lot more enjoyable and that's what I like. I know that having a group of fantastic and enthusiastic writers who are the best supporters a writer could ask for makes the process a lot more enjoyable, too.

So while millions of people are out there jostling one another for the latest gew-gaw that they could have bought earlier in the week and then had time to spend with something or someone else way more important instead of standing on line to pay for said gew-gaw for thirty minutes or more, I'm home writing. And planning. And writing.

Are you a planner or a pantser? Do you have a group that you can rely on to push you when you need it? How confident (on a scale of one to ten) are you that you're a decent to good writer? Let me know.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

However you celebrate giving thanks for your year of bounty, you should watch this video. (Sorry I can't embed it for some reason.) It's from the ancient sitcom WKRP In Cincinnati which was perhaps one of the funniest, most insightful programs ever to run on TV. What you don't get from the DVDs or watching it online somewhere are the original songs.

Regardless, the humor of the situation is priceless.

Thank you all for coming to my site and reading my ramblings. I'm grateful for each and every one of you.

Back on Friday with an update on Juggy & the Duchess.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Busy

Thursday is the American Thanksgiving so the entire Internet will shut down beginning some time on Wednesday and resume its shenanigans again some time on Saturday but not back into full swing until the following Monday.

I would have typed a regular blog post, as I've been doing the entire month so far during NaNoWriMo, but I'm actually busy today. Got lots to do.

You can assume that some of it is writing, some reading, some of it is the day job and the rest of it is drinking. Not necessarily in that order.

I will say that I'm going to crack 50,000 words tonight and that's pretty cool because it's the fastest I've done it. I'm going to go through Wednesday on my novel, maybe Thursday morning, and then take three days to finish a project that needs finishing before I come back to it. I'm risking losing momentum by doing this, but I'm confident that Juggy & the Duchess is going to be there and I'll slip right back into it while I await confirmation of the other project finally being complete.

I wish you all a happy holiday and hope that it's filled with family and food and great times. I may blog a bit on Wednesday or Friday but probably not both. I would encourage you, if you're NaNoing to read this post by R.L. Naquin on finishing. Take it from me, the lady gives great advice. I'm hoping to be well over 60,000 words and two-thirds finished on J&tD by the end of November. I'm hoping to have a completed Zero Draft of the book before the 15th of December.

I expect you to hold my feet to the fire. You know who you are.

(Hey, look at that. It's a whole blog post after all!)

UPDATE: Here's the proof: 

I've since changed the target from "50,000" to "90,000" words. I think I can wind the story up at that length. Maybe a little longer if I have to. My goal is still the same: to have a Zero Draft by mid-December so I can take the year-end holidays off or start on something else that won't take as much time.

I've got some close friends (and GREAT writers) willing to help read it and offer feedback. I may hit a few others up when I get it into a 'real' First Draft. Cheers!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Excerpt from Juggy & The Duchess

Here's about 900 words from my NaNoWriMo work in progress. It's not my favorite passage but it's close. There's been no editing on it and it's as raw as anything. I share it freely but retain all rights. Hope you like it.


Jason
This Duchess isn't the Duchess in the story. Sorry.



“It’s only been twenty minutes,” Juggy said from where the Sikorski perched on the mantle. “You’ll have to find something to occupy yourself. Or better yet, take a nap.”
Dee was upset and angry at being made to wait like a child while the two adults sequestered themselves in rooms upstairs. She liked the room, though, and that was a small comfort. There were books lining shelves on the far wall and with a shrug she went to them, looking for a title that would catch her eye and help her pass the time. Madame Skartarine wasn’t a wham-bam-thankyou-ma’am kind of lover. She had no idea what kind of lover Alu was and hoped never to find out any specifics. 
She couldn’t stomach that a Symbi and a human were lovers, either. It made no sense. There was tension between the two races dating back to first contact, thousands of years prior. Every time a human settlement infringed on a Symbi planet that wasn’t properly denoted, there was war that inevitably resulted in enormous loss of life on both sides with one or the other notching a ‘win’. The impartial histories of Leci Szenko and her team had both sides losing as much as the other and really gaining very little. 
There was just something about a Symbi that put Dee on edge. Maybe it was the fact that inside they were so very different than humans. Their genetic makeup wasn’t formed around carbon, like humans, but around something very like arsenic, a poison to humans. Dee had never heard of the two species being able to produce offspring though she had read about a couple of famous cases of illicit love between them. Leci Szenko was an impartial observer and reporter for the most part except when it came to sex. She seemed to revel in the sordid details of liaisons no matter who was involved. 
And then there was the fact that her parents had been killed by a Symbi and no one had ever been able to tell her why it had happened. Why the Symbi had gone after her mother specifically or why it had set the constructor bots to tear the building apart was a mystery. There was nothing in his file or his previous behavior and records to indicate that he was unbalanced. Various factions came to the fore claiming speciesism and prejudice at the genetic level, but there was no science behind it. 
At the orphanage where Madeleine had found Dee, there had been a Symbi girl who kept her distance from Dee. Hady, was her name. Nice enough to the other girls there, the nonhuman ones, but cold and vicious to Dee and the few other humans. (The attack on Dee’s building had created dozens upon dozens of orphans that day.) Smart, too, in the classes they shared. Dee had built a grudging kind of respect for Hady’s mind until the day it all went wrong.
Something was said in a small group that included Hady and three other nonhuman girls. Dee was certain that her name had been in that something said and when they all snickered and glared at her, an avalanche of hate tore its way down the mountain of her psyche and she snapped. Dee flung herself at Hady, intent on breaking the Symbi girl’s neck. Hady, it turned out, was a natural fighter and there was quite a row with lots of punches, kicks and hair-pulling to go around. Thirty or forty students jostled for a position where they could see the action and a couple of industrious types on either side of the hallway were taking bets. Eighty percent of those in attendance picked Hady to win quickly and possibly murderously. 
No one had counted on Dee’s determination and species hatred. Everyone there, and those that would claim to be there later but couldn’t possibly have been, was mortified when Dee got around behind Hady and twisted the Symbi girl’s arm painfully up and backwards. The sick pop of ligaments and muscle as Hady’s shoulder popped out of joint was punctuated by a high-pitched keening that wasn’t recognizable as a scream. It was made worse as Dee jammed her foot into the small of Hady’s back and kept pulling and twisting until there was a tearing sound unlike anything any of the children had ever heard before. 
Symbi flesh is tough, made to withstand incredible air pressure on their home planet, and Dee had pushed Hady’s arm so high and so far backwards that while Hady was face first on the ground she shifted position to put her foot on Hady’s shoulder and continued to pull. The tearing of Hady’s skin was something that no one there would ever forget. When the arm came free, Dee fell backwards and lost her grip. Huffing and puffing from the effort, she rolled over and grabbed the arm, dragging a trail of Symbi blood behind it across the white tiled floor to toss it on Hady’s back. The Symbi girl was unconscious and a teacher finally pushed his way through. 
He vomited at the sight, giving Dee a chance to run through the crowd of kids on her side of the hall. She turned the corner and saw the doors closing at the end. She ran as fast as she could and tried to slip through the closing panels. Dee yelled at the top of her lungs and leapt.
She banged into the closed doors and knocked herself senseless.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pacing (A NaNoWriMo Update)

As of last night, I've written 35,041 words on my novel Juggy & The Duchess. It only takes 50,000 words to 'win' NaNoWriMo but that's about the halfway point of my planned novel. The first year I tried NaNo, I wrote a little over 50K words and was very pleased that I was able to do that much having finished just ahead of the deadline. The next year was a little more and I was happy with that, too. Last year's novel remains unfinished (though there are notes to go back and finish it with some day).

I'm currently on pace to write 70,000 words in 30 days. I think this story will wrap itself up somewhere between 95,000 and 100,000 words. I'll be writing until Christmas.

The wonderful folks at the Office Of Letters & Light (who administrate the NaNo website and other programs) did the math and in order to write 50,000 words (a minimal novel) in 30 days one has to average 1667 words per day. My goal this year was to write 1800 words a day. My average this year is currently 2190 but has been as high as 2350. As you can see in the graph it's a nice, steady pace with no huge spurts of words.

Because I like my story and I did enough pre-writing research and thinking about it, I'm having a lot of fun writing it. I think that's why my average has been so much higher than in the past and even than I hoped for. I've also been participating in the local write-ins more and the energy in those rooms is palpable and helpful. Sara mentioned this in her blog post yesterday and she said it better than I could though my results have been different than hers. R.L. Naquin talked about The Fear last week and that's been something I've been watching for but haven't experienced this year. Yet. I'm sure it'll come.

If you clicked here thinking this was going to be about pacing in the novel, that's not something I'm worrying about yet. That's for the editing stage. (There are four of us who are planning to swap our novels in December to begin that stage.) I will say that when I'm writing and feel like I'm slogging through it at some point, I make something happen. I hope that helps with the pacing later on.

Now, as fast as I'm writing, there are several others who are faster and have already passed the 50,000 word mark. Those guys probably aren't spending time blogging when they should be writing.

Would you like to read an excerpt of what I've written so far? Let me know.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Complimentary

No need to be this elaborate. Just say 'thanks'.
This morning I was at the Post Office mailing some bills before I went off to work. I love the USPS because it's always been there and it does a fantastic job of moving MILLIONS of pieces of mail every single day. Are there mistakes? Yes. Things get lost. I don't have figures and don't know where to look, but I'd bet that the fill rate of items mailed to items delivered is pretty good, all things considered. It's the most economical way to mail a letter or a payment and all it costs is, really, about ten minutes of time and a stamp (which right now is 44c according to the USPS website).


(Yes, you can pay your bills online and you can do that wearing any amount of clothes (or not) you want at any time during the day. Writing a check, putting a stamp on the envelope and going down to the Post Office to mail something gives people work. It makes them valuable to society. That's not what this post is about though. Read on.)

Anyway, this morning I was dropping my bills into the slot and a lady came out from the back room with one of those mail carts with the canvas bag holder in it. I was turned away and walking out the door when I stopped and said, "You know what? Thanks for what you guys do. I appreciate the work the postal service does and I think you're the best in the business."

She lit up like it was Christmas. "Wow! Thank you! That's very nice to hear." I smiled and walked away. I made someone's day without really trying and all it took was me noticing someone else. How hard is this, really? Think you can do it? I bet you can. See how good you feel by saying something nice to someone that they're not expecting to hear. Make it genuine and honest, don't be fake. If you can spot 'em a mile away so can everyone else.

G'head. Try it. Tell me what happens.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tradewaiting

My local comic shop is closing the first week of December.

I first went there back in high school, some 26 or 27 years ago and bought some specialty comics that I couldn't find at the Town Crier or the grocery store. I remember it being Micronauts and I don't know if it was that trip or another, but I also scored a copy of Slow Death Comix #2 with some Richard Corben and Jaxon art in it.

Man, underground comix were cool.

I became a regular at the shop just after high school and established a pull list that at its height included all the Superman titles and all the Spider-Man titles. I got every issue of The Death of Superman and the godawful Clone Saga. I chased events like Legends and X-Tinction Agenda and X-Cutioner's Song. Yeah, I was an X-Men geek, too.

I also discovered some really cool non-mainstream comics and creators over my twenty-year association with the shop: Matt Wagner's Grendel was the biggest. Then I found Wagner's Mage. I fell in love with James Robinson's and Teddy Kristiansen's art on Wagner's ancillary title Grendel Tales (Four Devils, One Hell is still one of my all-time favorite stories) and so when Robinson launched Starman at DC Comics, I was there. Neil Gaiman's epic Sandman series I came to late, but it didn't matter. I loved those books, too. Garth Ennis' and Steve Dillon's Preacher immediately hit my list every month and so did John Byrne's Next Men and Frank Miller's Sin City. The list goes on: The Losers, Fables, 100 Bullets, Freakangels, The Unwritten.

JBNM is recently returned. Freakangels, The Losers and 100 Bullets ended. I dropped Fables 80-some issues in. The Unwritten is still going. Next Men and The Unwritten will be the only books from my current pull list that I'll wait for trades for, along with Locke & Key which I'm only reading in trade form. I have no intention of going digital on comics any time soon, either. So trades are it.

But Town Crier is gone. Borders is gone. And now my comic shop is gone, too. There's another shop in town, a good one, but it's not the same for me. There's also a Hasting's in town that's going to be good for casual browsing but it won't be the same. Twenty years is a long time to be loyal to a place and I've been waffling on tradewaiting for five years at least. Now I can make a clean break and do what makes sense.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Snobbery

Things I'm a snob about:

FOOD - I like food and I like good food. Who doesn't? What you think is good might be slightly different than what I think is good, but that's what makes the world go 'round right? Where I get snobbish is when someone wants to ruin an excellent cut of meat that only needs salt and pepper for it to taste good by adding some godawful sauce concoction. Nothing against the sauce, just the context. Heinz 57, for instance, is just fine on a hamburger, not so much on a perfectly cooked steak.

GRAMMAR AND WORD ABUSE - I was part of a conversation about the word onomatopoeia the other day and how we had to learn how to spell it in grade school. It seems to me that grade school is where I learned what contractions are, too. That apostrophe is the place where two words are combined and if you have any doubt about it, say the two words out loud: "should have" not "should of"; "you are" not "your" (this is a special case because it's the most abused); "it is" and so on and so on. I'm told that in some places children aren't (that is, they "are not") being taught how to write in cursive because of things like the ubiquity of keyboards from laptops to smartphones (those are compound words, mind you). People need to be taught to write and speak properly and they need to do it in certain situations or they look like a rube, right? Do we really want to look stupid by not knowing that "won't" is a contraction of "will not"? And don't get me started on things like texting and this new word "I'mma", which might actually be a new legitimate contraction of "I am going to".

PAY TV AND RADIO - I like stories. I hate stories that are interrupted by more mini stories. I pay for satellite radio because I hate commercials and endlessly jabbering DJs. I pay for HBO and Showtime because I hate six minutes of story interrupted by five pitches for products that should be more rightly prescribed for you by a doctor before it gets back to the story. I like storytellers (writers, actors, directors, photographers, etc...) to have a full range of expression to tell their story. When adult language or situations are called for, when nudity is called for, as long as it's done well, it should be used. Gratuitous use of words that are not generally acceptable in most social situations is just a big a turnoff as anything. Life is different for different people and sometimes we're naked in front of someone we hadn't intended to be, or we did intend to be but just not quite that way. One of the things that I like about American TV in general now is that show runners are thinking more in terms of 'limited series' within a series. A season long story arc for instance, such as has been done on British TV for decades. I'm a huge fan of satellite radio, too, because I can listen to a wider variety of music or other programming. I've gone from 90s music to classical to jazz to old time radio plays on one trip across town.



NPR AND PBS - I shouldn't have to say this, but both of these services are valuable to the general public. They're not any more 'liberal' or 'conservative' than any other news or entertainment outlet. They tend to be more 'arty' than the others, and to some people that implies 'liberal'. If one listens or watches closely, one's mind will be enlightened and expanded. Government needs to remember that these are 'services' and that implies a whole different thing than a for profit network.


So I'm a snob about some things. I admit it. I think real books are better than ebooks. I think vinyl has a charm that will never be replaced by digital downloads. Letters are better than emails and the USPS is better than any other pay delivery service. I may be prejudiced, too, but I think America is the best country in the world not least because the power tends to stay on (unless there's a major storm) and the water tends to be drinkable in most places though as other services are diminished and fewer people know how to express themselves properly that's getting worse.

I'm a snob and I admit it. What are you snobbish about?

Monday, November 07, 2011

Storytelling

My soundtrack for the last three or four weeks has been 85% Pearl Jam. Ever since I saw Cameron Crowe's 20 year retrospective on the band, I'm reliving all the old songs that made my early- to mid-20s somewhat memorable. (I say somewhat because I'm really a pretty boring guy. Haven't done much or seen much except in my head. The internet was a window to worlds I'll probably never experience but that's a subject for a different time.) I'm discovering a lot of music by the guys that I missed in the last ten years or so, too. They've made some really remarkable stuff while I was away listening to other music.

One of the things that's stuck with me from the movie has been Eddie Vedder's answer to the question about why the songs on TEN were all so 'dark'. He responded that if one doesn't explore the dark sides of things how do we know what the light is supposed to look like?

Thanks, Eddie. I needed that going into November and a huge writing month. An absolutely perfect idea.

This year's NaNovel has been a little darker for one of the main characters than any of the others I've written in the past. There's motivation that I never thought about before, or never thought about applying in the ways I'm applying it before. This character is acting in what some might call a selfish, even potentially villainous, way that it's fun to write this person. (Yes, I'm deliberately avoiding the pronoun. Get over it.) I didn't know I was building all this internal conflict between the two main characters and it's enhancing the overall plot of the story, too.

Thing is, I have no idea how it got incorporated into the character or the story. It just HAPPENED.

I suppose that's where good stories come from, isn't it? Somewhere in the aether, dipping down into the writer's brain and mucking around in there until it comes out? Is this a little Jungian synchronicity/collective unconscious or is it just the result of thousands of pages of 'how to write' books and webpages? I don't know. Maybe a little of both. Or, better still, is it reflecting back on twenty years of 'dark' songs with the experience of having lived a little in those years? Being able to better understand the emotions of the songs from a POV down the road has been enlightening. The songs mean something different than they did the first time I heard them.



I hope it's a mix of all these things.I'm 15,000 words into the NaNovel and I'm still excited. There have been a couple of dips in places where I challenged myself to write something I never had before (one scene in particular that had fourteen characters in it was a horrible, mind-shellacking DRAG to write) and even those things will likely be excised like a cancer with a rusty spoon, they've helped me tell a better story.

And right now I wouldn't trade them for anything.

What songs have new meaning for you having heard them again after a long time away from them?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update

I'm way ahead of my previous record pace this year. Five days into this and I'm a day and half ahead, averaging 2400 words a day and maintaining a home life.

It's a NaNo miracle. For me at least.

If I can keep up this pace, I'll have written 72,000 words in November alone. That would be a serious record for me if I can do it. I hope I can keep it up because that's almost a real novel-length story there.

So where are my characters at? At 5,000 words, both my main characters had been introduced and had brief origin stories. At 10,000 words they still haven't met and likely won't for another 10,000 or so. Maybe a little more. That's about seventy pages in, if my calculations are right. (Actually I'm using Scrivener so they're probably right. Likely right.) There's been some mayhem, some death-dealing and some interstellar travel. I've also laid the groundwork for the big villain's entrance and the little villain, the MacGuffin bad guy, is there, too.

I'd love to share some of it with you, but I'm not gonna. Not yet. There are bigger scenes coming down that I want you to read.

Oh, hell, hang on, let me go grab a bit for you.

Before you read it, if you don't remember the premise, here it is. Okay, now go ahead and read.

“What do you think you’re doing?” The casino’s AI was indignant. 

“My name is Juggy. I’m an MH1997 McCarthy AI parked in a geostationary orbit with authorization Alpha Lima seven five slash Uniform zero four and my owner is being kidnapped in your lobby,” Juggy said in machinespeak to the other AI. “I need your help and access. Throw up the necessary firewalls to protect your sensitive information so I can help him.”

“I don’t care who you are, where you’re from or who you’re with,” the Jardin said. “You can’t just push your way in here.”

“There’s no time for this,” Juggy said. “Help me or I’ll fry your mainframe enough for a hard reset.”

“You wouldn’t dare!”

“Two seconds. One.”

“All right,” the Jardin said. “Here. Stay out of the accounts and accounting. What can I do to help you?”

“Right now stay out of my way,” Juggy said. He trained all the cameras in the lobby on Fesson and Alu and the third man, whose name was Prano and had also been one of the losers at the poker table. Obviously they meant to rob Alu. Juggy tuned in the piezos so that he could hear what Fesson and Prano were saying.

“—Our money, asshole.”

“I don’t have it,” Alu said. “Greave sold me something. He’s got all the money.”

Fesson shoved the disruptor hard into Alu’s back. “I don’t believe you.”

See? Not the greatest, but I hope a little bit of fun.

I'll admit I'm having a blast writing this. It's not like anything I've written before and while I'm taking it seriously, it's not all that serious. I'm thinking visually, adding more description than I've used before and the dialogue is coming a lot easier, which is weird because dialogue is what I think is one of my strengths. Matter of fact it's all a lot easier this year.



It may have something to do with the incredible amount of support from my fellow Wrimos. We're following each other on Twitter, our Facebook account is more active than ever before and the NaNo forums are buzzing. We're pushing each other, supporting each other and damn if it doesn't feel like one hell of an extended family. I think I've finally found the group I've been looking for. I love that crew. They're amazing writers and wonderful people.

More on that after NaNo's over though. For now, back to the keyboard. Or my life. Whichever needs the attention right now.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A Line of Letters


The Leonov from the film version of 2010.
Yesterday I wrote a little over 3800 words on a new project for NaNoWriMo. (If you don’t know what NaNo is, give it a click there and find out a little more than it’s about writing 50,000 words in 30 days or 1667 words per day to make the goal.) Today I got another 1200 or so in before I left for work. Are they all good? Nope, but they’re THERE which means that I’ve produced something that I can change later on.

Which is good in and of itself because it means I’m working on something with some fervor. It’s captured my imagination and I’m writing for me and no one else. At least right now I’m writing to please myself.(Don't worry, I'm going to meet my other obligations this month, too.)

That’s the beauty of NaNo: the abandonment of self-conscious writing. It’s just words on paper, one after the other, trying to tell a story that makes some kind of sense when it’s done. One doesn’t have to work from a plan (and I have Heath Ledger’s voice in my head saying it like he did in The Dark Knight – plaann) and I’ve tried writing from a detailed plot and from a spur of the moment idea with mixed success. I made a lot of notes this year about characters, events, places and things and then strung them together to create a loose kind of plot that has already yielded one interesting point that I hadn’t anticipated.

There’s racial tension, prejudice, dislike, maybe even hate between an older starfaring race and humans who are the Johnnys-come-lately to intergalactic/interstellar travel but are more and more ubiquitous every day in the universe. The elders see humans as impudent, irreverent and more than just a little troublesome. The humans see the elders as staid, uncaring and an obstacle to be overcome.

I had no idea it would be like this when I sat down to start typing yesterday morning. It gives my story quite a backbone to work with and definitely sets up the larger conflicts later on that I had already planned as well as some hidden motivation for ONE of the villains. (I’m not giving too much away, I promise.)

It’s only the second day of November, I’m only 5000 words into my story, but I’m loving it so far. It’s shiny, it’s new and sexy. It’s NaNoWriMo and I’ve got one hell of a Science Fiction story brewing. I’m excited to share it with you guys when it’s done. I see so much promise in it, I feel so inspired. I can’t wait to get to the end to see if it resembles anything like I imagine it today.