Thursday, September 30, 2010

Milestone Achieved!!

I have just passed page 300 of Tea Times Three! I keep saying that I'm 3/4 done but the novel is still growing a bit. Getting longer and more complex, which is good, but the ending keeps farther away.
The struggle lately has been with my own self-confidence. I worry about what to do next in the story. Where it's going. I have an ending so that is something, but getting there is low going.
Poor Ambriel my other WIP went along for two years with no ending!! But Ambriel is a WIP in the most literal sense possible. Work. In. Progress. A seemingly never ending work. I did the math the other day and it is up to an estimated 130,628.6 words. It is written first person and it still surprises me how easily I can slip right into her voice. But after 2 years it shouldn't be a surprise. I haven't worked on the R.F.N in awhile. It stalls out periodically during these long conversations that I don't know where they're going or what I want out them. I want to finish this thing! I love the world! I love Ambriel- she is such a good character and she isn't cliched AT ALL especially since she is in a vampire novel. I'm proud of this book! But it is unpublishable. With it's length (which is fixable), it's total lack of romance (fixable only with TITANIC re-writes), and it's very unhappy ending. But I don't care! I will self-publish it if I have to! If my mythical future agent and publishing company (optimism-optimism) will allow. Hell, I could serialize the mother if it came to that- make it free on my website (also hypothetical at this point.).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things I'm tired of

I have been spending a lot of time coming Amazon for interesting books and I have run across a lot of trends that are starting to annoy the crap out of me.

I have done my utter best to avoid acknowledging the existence of 'mash-up' novels like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and it's slew of imitators. But this trend of bastardization keeps on going! Where has originality gone? How hard is it to rewrite other people's (better) novels?

OK- I haven't read any of the titles mentioned above, and I don't want to. I like authors who create their own worlds, rely on their skills and plot their own books.

But, in either an attempt to one-up the mash-ups OR an attempt by publishers to cash in on a trend comes--- I don't even know what to call them so I'll call them this Historic Figure is actually demon/vampire/werewolf Slayer. These at least have the possibility to be original, maybe even interesting, but there are too many of them out there to make me care. And you know what? I like history for what it was. It's not necessary to turn every head of state/famous author into some kind of undead or undead slayer. FYI: The only exception to this Kim Newman but he did it first and better!

AND to one up the Historic Figure is actually demon/vampire/werewolf Slayer comes the Modern Retelling of Literature because what was wrong with it in the first place? Books like Jane This is why there are 3 versions of King Kong each one worse and longer than the one before it. People equate classics with boring so by God someone out there needs to make it all modern/better/now with computers and cell phones and things the KIDS can relate to.

Lastly there are the "sequels" to great books which honestly are fanfic-lit-wank.

I guess I just don't understand this need to bastardize everything. Is it because the original wasn't interesting enough? Is it because the authors were hurting for an idea? I like Jane Austin as much as anyone but I don't feel the need to steal her books and insert vampires. I have my own ideas, my own worlds, that I want to get out on paper. I don't need to beg, borrow or steal from anyone. Certainly other authors inspire me but to make Anna Karenina a steampunk rewrite with robots? No thanks. I have a few other things up my sleeve.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Anti NaNoWrimo

For the month of November I am joining an anti-NaNo group. Why? Well, for starters, while I do think NaNoWrimo is a fun and good idea I hand write my manuscript. Now, I suppose it is conceivable to write 50k long hand in 30 days or so but my arm would fall off and I'm not going to try. Secondly I want to finish T3 and the point of NaNo is to complete something in a month. Anti-NaNo is fine with coming to the table with a WIP. Thirdly I actually hope to finish T3 within the next two months! The end is in sight folks! And hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train.

Some people lament the end of a novel but I'm looking forward to it because it means I CAN write a novel. I can also make it better through editing. And then the fun starts! Finishing a novel is only the beginning and that's exciting!

I think I found the agent I want and they are the first one I want to try. I have heard people talk about 'dream agents' before but honestly my dream agent was one that would have me as a client! But I did find a dream agent- and not through Internet research. Through reading the dedications in an ARC which I picked up a couple years ago at ComiCon. The dedication to the agent stuck in my head for all these years but I never dreamed of ever trying to send the agent anything and back then of course I had nothing to send. I thought I would be working in comics happily scripting Dark Moon Diary for Tokyopop.

Well, this was a rambling post!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Showing or Telling? I don't even know anymore...

I read this article , it's old but I only recently found the link on Absolute Write (so it's new to me), and it got me thinking a lot about how I write. After much thought I'm honestly just confused.

This is what I do. When I'm writing I write, I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know if I'm telling or showing.

Too much showing makes the character seem entirely disengaged from their world. A character that doesn't pause to reflect or think becomes a list of actions. A character that doesn't say "I love this show." or stop and wonder why they feel so bad even when things are going well feel to me like they are floating in an endless world of actions strung together without a single self reflection.

But is a character that thinks about things just an endless dull teller? A lecturer on the inner world which no one cares about? Is that what I'm doing?

What I try to do is have the character do something but also think about why they are doing it. I put on a page their unvoiced concerns and pit-of-the-stomach feelings.

I couldn't even begin to tell you what I'm doing and whether it's any good or not because I have no idea. The more time I spend on Absolute Write the more I feel like I'm doing everything wrong.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Middle Grade Fail

Well, I took a couple days off from Tea Times Three to write a short story for the Absolute Write forum's September Prompt in the Writing for Kids section. Well, my entry is a little... grown up, not naughty- just morbid. Leave it to me to write the most morbid thing for kids... Well, that is the perks of being a goth.

If you would like to check it follow this link

Now it's back to T3.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tales of the Brutal Beta

I am, when asked, a brutal beta reader. I have what I like to call "An eye for imperfection". If asked I will tear your manuscript a new one. I will poke holes in your plot. Pester you with failures of logic. Rake your dialogue across the coals. Call you to the mat on character inconsistencies.

However this laser perception fails- sometimes more and sometimes when faced with my own work. That's not to say that my rewrites are completely unhelpful, but they lack the insight which I can level at someone else's. This is the same principle as the shoemaker's children have no shoes or the matchmaker is always single. In some instances it's just easier to do for others.

There is a lot of advice on brutal self editing, everything from putting your manuscript in a drawer for a month to reading it aloud. The reading it aloud option is a very good one, BUT even that sage advice only goes o far.

When the time comes, after as many edits as I can stand I will be sending out Tea Times Three to beta readers far and wide and I only hope they skewer it to the wall, rip it apart, and help me make it better.