Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bird by Bird

I think it's interesting how my wordcounts are following a different pattern for this WIP than they usually do. Usually I'm pretty good at writing something almost every day during the week, even if that's only 200 words. But this time I'm writing between 2-3k in one night, but only about once a week. I really like those nights, but I need to work on doing that more often. Taking five or six days to refill the well is just way too long. But I like that I've really increased my stamina.

I've been making a list of books to read, to see how authors handled certain aspects of writing. Research, but more fun. =] Here is that list of books for WFR so far. Please note: there are some spoilers for WFR, if you care about that.

Terrorists in Love, by Ken Ballen:
This book is about Jihadi soldiers and their motivations behind all the violence create. It a character study, and a morality study, and it's all about how there is no black and white viewpoints on several issues. Good and evil are muddled together. This is for Visola, the good king that turns villain. What would make someone honest turn to violence? I imagine him as Jethro Gibbs turning against the government. What would have to happen to Gibbs to make him snipe the SecNav, say? Or run the director over with a car? Even though Visola is not the main character, in many ways the story revolves around him.

Blood Red Road, by Moira Young:
There are many similarities between Saba of BRR and Malin of WFR. Saba only wants to find her brother. Malin only wants to find her mother, though for very different reasons than Saba. Mountains are thrown in front of Saba to make a simple plotline more complicated, and I want to do the same for Malin. But most importantly, Saba is strong, and incredibly three dimensional. That's what I really want for Malin.

The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morten
Oddly enough, this was in TBR pile when my mom snagged it and read it before me. It jumps between several generations of the same story throughout the book, and this is how I plan the structure of WFR. (I try to make these things not complicated so I have a better chance of actually finishing something, and then they go and get complicated on their own! I guess I just don't do simple.) In any case, I've never read Kate Morten but each of her books sound so good—maybe this will push me to finally read one.

The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
Because this book should influence everything.

Century Rain, by Alastair Reynolds
Two POVs in two drastically different settings. Reading this now, and already learned a few things! For instance, even though the two POVs have no idea about the other, they have already been linked for the reader. (What is this... dramatic irony?)

The Freak Observer, Blythe Woolston
Just discovered this today, and besides sounding awesome this book has PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and flashbacks, which may be useful.

A sidenote: I love reading stories about how writers became writers. I really love those stories when they say something other than "I've known I was going to be a writer since I was three." Puh-lease. If that's true, then great, but I've changed my career-mind about a thousand times. Sure, I always loved reading, but I didn't start writing until a year after I graduated college. I'm not saying I don't want to be a writer, because that would be really fan-fucking-tastic. But really, I just want to be happy wherever I end up. Anyway, mopiness over, the whole of this paragraph was to say check out Nova Ren Suma's Turning Points blog series, and that I'm finding writing a book is more and more like putting together a 3000 piece puzzle. Bit by bit, bird by bird. First you do the edge (the outline), then all the red pieces of the mailbox (the main character), then the little birdies (the subplots), then all the little remaining pieces that make it whole (the details). I love puzzles. I've done several 1000s, but never a 3000. Always a first time for everything, right? I'll take that as a good sign for my novel-writing career. =]

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