Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gargles

Ok, so this whole "writing thing" really hasn't been happening for the past couple of days. I don't particularly know why, I would just get on the train and zonk out or stare out the window with my computer on my lap until I gave up and read.

Over the weekend, I plotted out the background of one of my characters. I plan to write it out. That would be a good thing to tackle this week, since I am leaving for vacation Wednesday night I don't expect to get much writing done this week either.

I think one problem I've been having is that I'm finding out I need to do more planning and background work. I've been trying to avoid brainstorming because that's always what slowed me down. A la, "If I already know what happens, why do I have to write it?" But I'm finding I need to know more about my characters before I throw them into scenes, because when I start "pantsing" my characters (haha) they all turn out exactly the same. And not that interesting. I originally started working on the background of my villain because I was going to break it into chunks and use it as epigraphs in the beginning of each chapter, but I think it's just a really good exercise and may do it for the other characters too. (Plus, everyone loves origin stories (especially me). X-Men: First Class rocked, if you haven't seen it yet.)

The problem with all of these really cool origin stories is that I don't feel like I'm writing. I'm not making any headway on my WIP, and even though I am sorting out important information in my head I feel like I'm just making excuses not to write.

I know I'm still learning how this whole hoopla works. My biggest problem is still keeping myself focused. This is where Ravenclaw's Lost Diadem would be handy (damn that Tom Riddle!).

Friday, July 22, 2011

Itchy itchy

I really want to be writing the meat of my story. The middle. Where all the shit happens. But I feel like I still need to know my characters better, and my characters need to figure out what the hell they're going to be. Maybe this calls for writing some scenes that won't end up in the story. But I'm tired of writing the beginning and trying to figure things out from there. I need to figure out their histories, and their motivations, and all that writerly crap, but I wish it was already done in my head so I know how they will act. The shortfalls of discovery writing, I guess. BUT I am still figuring out my own process for these things, so I just have to keep plugging. Bird by bird, yes?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I am conflicted

I am so completely wrapped up in my story. I keep thinking of great subplots and even greater character quirks and history bits, and little things I can change to previous chapters to make them so much better. But then I go to sit down and write and nothing happens. No, something does happen, but it's me checking my favorite blogs or stalking twitter. Then I realize I haven't gotten anything done for the past bazillion years, so I force myself to stare at the painfully white page, and after a few minutes of that I slam the computer shut (but gently, don't want to hurt my baby).

Work has been extremely busy. I'm trying to get through certain things before I leave for vacation mid-next week. I'm trying to consolidate my school loans. I get onto the train and fall asleep, and tell myself I'll take a nap and relax and write when I get home. Then I get home and there's laundry to do, various paperwork items (because they never have an end) and the I have to get a shower and suddenly it's 9:30 and I finally sit down and my mind is so frazzled I'm definitely not getting any shit done. I could be writing now. It's my lunch break. But I've been scrambling around all morning and I just can't bear to have to think of words. (So naturally, I'm blogging, which requires zero word-thought and is really just my brain-phlegm.)

I have 10k in my draft. I've already thought of several scenes I want to add in. Some, I feel like I have to write before I go on because I have to use them to work through a character's personality to be able to write the current scene. It's all a ker-jumble. Ugh. Ok. Maybe I can bang out a few sentences..... I KNOW PEOPLE. I KNOW I have to just sit down and do it. It's easier said than done, ok?

Monday, July 18, 2011

As usual

I didn't write anything over the weekend. Which sucks, because that's three days of writing. I can't say I have to get back on the ball because I was never really on the ball, but I do need to keep working at getting a steady word count. The good thing is, I'm still excited with the story, and subplots and dimensional characters are emerging for once, instead of hitting constant road blocks. The hard part now is incorporating them all, so the best I can do is be sure to write them down to remember later for rewrites.

And speaking of rewrites, there are already several scenes I need to go back and add to the beginning chapters. Which is a good thing, that the story is naturally filling itself out. But there just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I want to! I am horribly behind on beta reading chapters for people (seriously behind, by a month). But I can't even get my laundry folded and put away in a reasonable amount of time.

We went to Selin's Grove Brewing Company in Selinsgrove, PA yesterday, and it was deeelicious. They don't distribute their beers but rather have a small restaurant. The Kriek beer (a black cherry fruit beer) was delicious, though a little sweet for me to really drink, AND it's rated the best or the second best fruit beer in the world. I completely understand why, it's really amazing they can get that much flavor in the beer. The Cream Ale was awesome. Didn't like the IPA very much. But the food... oh, the food. It's all cold sandwiches and simple things (the kitchen consists of a countertop and a microwave, I think), but everything is local and holy cow I don't think I've ever had a better roast beef sandwich. I can't wait for the pumpkin beer in the fall! (I love pumpkin beer.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I missed you, blog.

It's been a while. A lot has happened. I've been working on my WIP (almost 40%, holy crap!) and I haven't been reading. Which honestly made me depressed.

You see, reading was just distracting. It was the first draft, and I wanted to spew it out like projectile vomit and be done with it, but naturally it's taking longer than I wanted and i was just way too long without a book fix. I took a day off from writing and read Passion by Lauren Kate in a day, and my word count is so much happier for it. I need to make sure I always have some reading time, for my sanity. I'm going to read Shadows of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and I'm pretty excited for it.

I'm still excited with the story. Which is awesome. I am now in the MIDDLE. But I also just began the middle, so this little plan of 25,000 words is going to be way too short. But I'll see where it takes me.

And OMG Harry Potter tonight! My childhood is officially ending... I don't want to talk about it. But rest assured, I am SO. EXCITED. We'll see if I can nap when I can get home tonight, seeing as I'm going to the 3am showing and won't be in bed until likely 7am. Red Bull and Excedrin, here I come! And the pub. At midnight. They have the best baked potato soup. But skip the bread bowl, you get more soup in a regular bowl, and that's what's important.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Motivation

I decided that I need to start talking about how I keep myself motivated. Everything. From watching the progress bar get progressively more filled to those days when wrist-slitting and head-bashing are necessary to getting just 200 words out. My biggest battle so far has been just getting words out. Turning off the inner-editor, making time around the hell-hole that is mine and everyone's life, and just doing it. Why? Because I want to. Because I don't want to sit in a cubicle for the rest of my life. Because I want to get tattoos all down my arms and may need to consider a career that makes doing that socially acceptable (though I may just do it anyway. Backs are lame, and why would I get this awesome thing if no one is able to see it? The point of a tattoo is to show it off. Moving on.) Also, I've been slacking on the blog because my writing energy has been put towards writing (go figure). Naturally, it's easiest to write about what I'm dealing with.

My first huge obstacle was finding time to write that wouldn't take my precious time away from my reading. I was writing little by little, getting it in whenever I could, but what made my word count jump was finally putting aside a chunk of time every day that was specifically devoted to writing. I can't tell you how many people/bloggers/authors have said to do this, but I didn't listen to them. Then, just within these past few months I started writing on the train. Lugging my computer every day, and opening it up and typing. Sure, some mornings I stare dumbly out the window, and sure some afternoons I'm falling asleep. But once I started this, it was AWESOME. I have to take the train, so that's 2 1/2 hours every day that can be devoted to writing, and my nights are free for chores and plans and errands and reading.

Also, you should check out Mur Lafferty at http://murverse.com. She has a blog and a podcast, and I was listening to the podcast in college before I was even interested in writing. She covers technical stuff and listener questions, author interviews, and most importantly that it doesn't matter how bad you suck, as long as you enjoy writing. Her podcast got me through many a late-night shift cleaning classrooms, not to mention her podiobooks. Check her out.

Update, about five minutes after I originally posted: I had every intention of writing this blog post then finishing out my lunch break by working on my WIP. I ended up clicking around the interwebs. Haha, go figure. I've got some BICHOKing to do. (That sounds like I'm gargling phlegm, or something. Need a better acronym, HoTay.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shit's goin' down

So here it is folks, it's getting harder. I'm at that point in my story where shit needs to start happening. It stalled me a bit yesterday, but I had a lot of non-writing stuff to do so I used it as a day to brainstorm. (And by brainstorm, I mean think of one sentence that describes the chapter.) Naturally, I'm procrastinating by writing a blog instead of writing.

This first draft has been really absorbing my time, which I like and don't like. I haven't read anything. Since my problem with getting myself writing before was that I could never drag myself from my reading, I guess quitting cold-turkey was the only way to rememdy it. That's ok, as long as I can bang out a first draft in a reasonable length of time. My best friend is on my case about reading Passion by Lauren Kate. She read it and loved it and needs someone to talk about it or else she'll die. Or so she says. =] I do want to read it, I'm just not in "reading-thinking" mode right now. (I'm in writing-thinking mode. It makes sense, I promise.)

I bought a book yesterday called Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass, and I can't wait to have a first draft so that I can work through the book. It has a lot of great step-by-step things to keep and eye out for during revisions. (So excited for revisions already! But I can't get ahead of myself! WRITE GINA, WRITE!)