Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Ups and Downs of Draft 1: August 2012

Sometimes, I just want to get online and bitch. Other times, I actually think I'm doing ok. Sometimes I don't want to talk about writing at all. Now that I've finally got my ass moving and working on Marshmallow's story, I can finally give you updates! Instead of flooding my blog with meaningless posts, I've put them all here, and kept it as an ever-growing draft post in Blogger to post at the end of the month. I held the posts back mainly because I knew they were going to be depressing and full of all my insecurities, and I don't want to have a depressing blog. But I am posting them because it helps me to see the insecurities of other writers, and to know that I am not the only one out there who thinks this is a horrendously depressing, wrist-slitting hobby/occupation to dream about, and that maybe I'm not crazy after all. And now, the ramblings of some crazy bitch who thinks she can write:

I'm working on the second scene of Marshmallow's story, and already the crappiness is overflowing. Not to mention everything is stressful right now, and why the fuck do I think I can write a book? The books I read are amazing. I have no idea how I am going to pull that off. I feel like I have no right wanting to tell stories for a living, but that is EXACTLY the kind of thing I need to ignore. Who the fuck cares how bad it is? Write it anyway, because otherwise I am never going to stop thinking about it and wanting to write it down and share it and the characters are going to infect my brain for the rest of my life. So, I guess there's my answer. Whether it sucks and never sees the light of day or somehow somebody out there was to read it and it gets published... I still have to write it.

I've spent the past couple of days putting my entire outline into Scrivener. And doing all that work made me realize, other than the snapshot function, I am not using any part of Scrivener that is not included in Microsoft Word. For the past week I've been thinking to use Scrivener, and buy an iPad and use Scrivener on that (even though it doesn't release until Christmas), which of course means I have to break down and buy Scrivener and an iPad. Writing is supposed to be my cheap hobby. Buying an iPad kindof ruins that whole plan. So, time to watch Dragon Tattoo and do some final organization of my outline, and put everything into MS Word so I can write there.

I have my whole outline in an MS Word document now, but I still haven't really started writing yet. Still only the two scenes I wrote two weeks ago. I'm just... overwhelmed. I've sunk into my buzz-killing mindset even before I hit the 30k mark this time. The problem? Partly, I'm reading The Rook by Daniel O'Malley right now, and it's really good. I can see similarities in my story in The Rook, and it's making everything difficult. He's a debut author. He worked on his manuscript for years, while wiling away the days at a day job. The prose is not supremely polished or poetic, something that turned me off at first while reading it, but then the story and the characters became engrossing and now I'm sucked in. It has a "supernatural slipping through the cracks" vibe, like my story. Currently, the outline and smattering of scenes stands at 7,919 words. I have a scene already started to work on, so it's not like I don't know what to do next.
       Honestly, just fuck it. I'm going to write. I'm going to just get the words out on paper, and only look toward finishing this one scene. It shows Siri's disability. It shows Marshmallow's frustration. Add in a little bit of humor to let Marshmallow's personality shine through. It's not following the crowd to have a funny protagonist. A book without any humor is just freaking rough. And everyone is funny, in their own way. They either get the joke or they are the joke. The Human Condition is worth laughing at, which is why every book is allowed to have humor. I know what my friends are like and what they say, and sometimes it's really cruel, but oftentimes it's still funny. People are harsh, especially when they don't say things out loud. And M is supposed to hate the freaking ground he walks on. Make the reader look at the jokes they tell, and see how cruel they are.

I wrote 670 words yesterday, in one writing session at the end of the day. I wanted to hit 800, but it's a start! Today, I wrote 1000 words in two writing sessions earlier today (though most of the words came out during the second) and I'm now sitting in Starbucks with my brother and writing some more. I hope I hit 2k for the day! Or even better, finish out this scene, since I only have 300 words to go to 2k. I'm totally going to regret this caffeine in the morning. I hope writing so much in one day is not going to leave me with an empty well for tomorrow. But it probably will. I just have to MAKE myself BLOCK OUT TIME. It will be even harder if I have to start a new scene. Ok. I need to get back to work. Concentrate!!!

I didn't finish the scene last night like I planned because I mostly zoned out once I started futzing on the internet, and then I didn't have any concentration to write more once I got home. That's ok. I wrote 1625 words yesterday! I also hit 10k, and it's been such slow going to get there. Do two days count as a roll? I think so. But the important thing is to *make sure* I do some writing today. Yesterday was a big day, and if I take today off to refill the well (when I didn't even finish out the scene) I'll end up taking a whole week off. It's important that I keep the momentum going, because otherwise I'll stop to think about how terrible the story is. Writing every day would be best, but realistically I know that isn't going to happen. Every day during the week is second best.
       Happy my ms is in Word. It makes it so easy to jump between computers, and it's just simple. Scrivener is nice, but there are too many bells and whistles to freaking bother with it. I need to concentrate on doing the writing, not figuring out the tool.

Some motivation:
Facing the Blank Page by Erin Bowman, on PubCrawl
Three Secrets by Brian Yansky, on Crowe's Nest

Last night I had the most peculiar thing happen to me. I wanted to write. I was reading, but in the back of my mind I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted to be writing. That never happens to me. I'm finish up a scene that has been going on for days, and I guess I feel like I am a) actually in the swing of it, and b) ready to finish it up and to keep going at the same time. GUYS. It was such a good feeling. I banged out 500 more words for the day in about 15 minutes, and then the feeling left me. But that's 500 more words closer to calling it a story than it would have been if I didn't stop what I was doing and sit my ass down. #proud


Overall, I'm happy with this month. It wasn't a full month of writing, and it definitely had some hang-ups, but it ended on a good note. I had several writing chunks where the words just poured out, and it felt good. The best thing for me is to write in several small chunks throughout the day. I'm excited for my story, and excited to keep pounding out some scenes. Here's hoping that September will keep getting better!

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