Saturday, October 19, 2019

Bumps in the Night

Urban legends. Something lurking in the dark, that will snap up bad children, lest they learn to behave.

That's why there are cannibals on my spaceship.

They're an urban myth, or whatever the spaceship equivalent of "urban" is. Eat your vegetables or the cannibals will get you. (Joke's on them, due to the impracticality of livestock on a spaceship, everything's vegetables.)

But maybe something is lurking down in the lower decks. Something with a craving for meat. Something just waiting for some unsuspecting victim to wander too close.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Pulling the World Back Together

Sometimes I reread my old stories. Even riddled with plot holes and bogged down with self-indulgent nonsense, they're not half bad.

Today, I read a short story (10,000 words) that I wrote for Camp NaNo back in 2016. It was a vaguely steampunk world that had been shattered into separate continents that drifted through… space? The science wasn't really a high priority. Anyway, the landmasses were reconnected via cable-car sort of systems that spanned thousands of miles, and the story follows a small town sheriff on the last continent to be connected to the others. He has to deal with the influx of tourists and troublemakers and all that kind of thing.

And it was really good and I never wrote an ending.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Launching Myself Into Space

I'm not going to finish Cold Blooded by the end of the year. It's just not going to happen. I accept that.

I don't want to abandon it entirely, but the time is coming when I have to start planning for NaNoWriMo in November. Sure, I could be a NaNo rebel and write a revision for the month instead of something new, but I don’t want to do that. Largely because I like the absolute freedom to write meandering crap and self-indulgent bullshit during NaNo. I don't want to get hung up on trying to write a "good" second draft.

This year's meandering crap and self-indulgent bullshit is probably going to be the yet-unnamed space story I was messing around with last year. I'm not sure if I've mentioned that decision yet. I can't keep track of what I've been saying, especially going so long between posts like this.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Going to the Mountain

Where have I been? Not writing, unfortunately. Mostly just watching Fringe.

Here was my plan. Spend all of 2019 getting Cold Blooded smooshed into something that people could actually read, and then spend 2020 trying to find people to read it.

But here we are. It's mid-August and I have very little to show for it.

I very much want to write this book. Or rather, I want to have written it. But I just don't seem to have the motivation or the discipline to do it.

I know I need to sit down every day and write. I know it. But what do I do? Play games on my phone and watch TV. Just passively absorb entertainment rather than actively creating something.

And why? Why, when I want to write this book, do I sabotage myself instead?

Saturday, August 3, 2019

I'm Pushing an Elephant Up the Stairs

I'm back. And post Camp NaNo, too.

Initially, I had set a 10,000 word goal for the month. It seemed reasonable, a nice chunk of words to get Draft Two started.

But I got busy, and just… unmotivated, so I dropped the goal down to 5,000. Which I succeeded at writing. Not as nice of a chunk, but words are words.

And it was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I thought that with my Draft One experience, and my handy new outline, the words would just flow and form a bigger, better version of the story. Not so. My 5,000 words were an exhausting slog through exposition and world building. You know, the boring shit I hate. I skipped a big chunk and didn't even introduce one character when I was supposed to because describing how the ice cream shop was set up was the most tedious piece of drivel I have ever attempted. There has to be a better way.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Falling Much Further Behind

I've had some sequel ideas lately, which might not seem super helpful right now, but it's actually helping me figure out how things should happen now, so they can happen a certain way later.

The downside of looking ahead is that I'm realizing just how many words I need to write and it's looking more and more impossible. To give you an idea of what I'm dealing with…

Assuming a finished length of 80,000 words, which is basically the low end of acceptable, that means a major structural beat occurs roughly every 10,000 words. So the first beat, The Inciting Incident, where shit starts to get weird after all the "normal world" set up, happens 10,000 words in.

Friday, July 12, 2019

I'm Writing a Book, I Swear

With the holiday and all, I kind of forgot I was supposed to write a post. So, sorry it's late.

I have commenced with the rewrite of Cold Blooded. I've been changing things from the first draft, right from the get-go. So some of the same things happen, but they happen differently. I think it's better?

Right now I'm in the midst of The Setup, the piece of world-building that occupies the first 11% or so, where we meet our main character and the normal world he lives in. And then we're going to shake it up when we get to the Inciting Incident at the 12% mark. But first we have to get there.

And my god, is it boring. I don't like how it's going. I don't like how I'm writing it. I kind of hate it. It's not fun and wacky and exciting like this story tends to be. It's just bullshit exposition. Here's a ice cream shop. Here's how it works. Here's some weird flavors.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Until We Have Faces

I nearly forgot to write a post this week, as my days off have been spent playing with larger scale murder than usual. I just got the game Plague Inc: Evolved on my computer and I'm trying to wipe out humanity with fungal spores. Mankind is surprisingly resilient.

So anyway, writing and stuff.

Camp NaNoWriMo starts on Monday. I'm super excited. Yeah, I realize I've been struggling with this dumb story for months, but I'm starting to feel it again. I've got my main character back in my head. He had become kind of nebulous and faceless (I’ll get into that in a second) and it was hard to actually get him to be in the scenes. But he has coalesced back into a solid form, and is behaving like a human (or nearly human) again.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

A Glimmer of Hope

Guess what?

I have had the most important breakthrough in the nearly three year history of Cold Blooded. I have done something I feared I would never be able to accomplish.

I named my god damn town.
Here's the stupid thing:

Every time I tried to come up with a name, something popped into my head, and I said, "Yes, like that. But not that, because we can't call it that." Well, guess what, kids. We can call it that. And we are calling it that.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Names Are Hard

The July edition of Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up (in—plot twist—July) and I, of course, have started thinking about what project I want to do. My intention at the beginning of the year was to start brand new, short projects, as a break from toiling with my novel. But I haven't been doing a lot of toiling lately. In fact, the main thing I've been doing is fucking around. Every now and again I'll write down a thought that may or may not fit into the narrative somewhere. Things like, "Do vampires take fall damage?" and "How do we feel about accidental murder?"

So I think maybe I should use Camp NaNo as a kickstart to the actual novel writing, with the hope that daily word goals will get me going. The issue is that I was hoping to have a full outline before I started actually writing, for once. Which I do not yet have.