The kind of murder where nobody dies

Wherein I ramble at length about things of little importance

(no subject)
leader, write, minion, pupptes
So I haven't updated here in forever. Those of you who've known me for even a little while know that I'm an incredibly sporadic blogger at best, and a person who tends to vanish off the face of the internet for months at a time at worst. But today I have returned with exciting news. Seriously. It's very exciting. Wanna know what it is?

I've finished a novel.

Granted it's just a first draft, but it's a completed first draft with a beginning, a middle, and end, a conflict, and everything you could hope for. It's one of four decently long projects I've ever finished and definitely the one I feel the strongest about. At just over 67k it's a little short, but I feel confident that I can get the words when I revise the thing, which will happen probably in March when I've had a little time away from it. (Plus I swore I'd finish the other so-close-to-being-done-it's-disgusting project this month as well, so I'm off to do that one.)

I'm one of those people who starts a heck of a lot more than she finishes, so being able to say that I finished even a draft is super exciting (or will be once it sinks in properly; this kind of thing takes time for me). Next step editing. Oh boy...
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Nano update 10
leader, write, minion, pupptes
110k hit. I spent today working on a completely different story which I didn't even imagine until yesterday. It's a paranormal romance set in the same universe as Caffeinated but three years afterwards and featuring none of the same characters. (Yes, I have a master timeline of events in this world, though it's far from complete at the moment, and I'm working on a timeline for both this story and Caffeinated. Liquid Story Binder is the best thing ever.) This one is tentatively titled One Peculiar Passing Moment, a line which is totally stolen from Into The Woods and it's supposed to be nothing but a straight forward romance-type story. Of course, being me, I couldn't help but include more complicated stuff in the background, like the tail end of a war and a great deal of angst and tragic backstories. (In my defense for that last, there was just a war, and the two were on opposite sides of it. Of course there's going to be tragic backstories.)

In other news, I'm calling this universe the Inhumanverse, and I'm finding that I'm actually quite fond of it. Urban fantasy is an interesting change of pace from the low fantasy type stuff I've been doing. Speaking of low fantasy, Mirage still hasn't been started, since I'm still not entirely sure what I want to do with it. (Actually, if anyone happens to have resources for allies of otherkin, I'd love you forever if you passed them along to me. I can find stuff aimed at actual otherkin, but nothing aimed at non-otherkin people supporting awakened otherkin. And yes, this is relevant to my novel.) But yeah, it's kind of looking like I'll push Mirage back until December, which might actually work out pretty well since it's meant to be a novella instead of a novel and I'll be busy in December.

Also, totally not going to get 50k this weekend (even counting Monday as part of the weekend), but whatever. I didn't seriously expect to be able to anyway. I'm also developing a rather alarming addiction to Izzes, which I picked up because they're not caffeinated or alcoholic and I need to drink more stuff that will actually hydrate me. And they're delicious, which helps. But dear lord lots of sugar. Also super bubbly with a tendency to explode when you open them. Oops...

I also wasted far too much time today researching British train schedules and finding pictures of ice sculptures. Plot relevant, I promise!

Nano update 9
leader, write, minion, pupptes
92k hit. Finally got through some of the middle bits to the actual last third of the book. A lot of it will be reworked when (if) I go back and edit, since, as has been pointed out, if it's boring to write it's probably boring to read. I have a lot of bits that are boring to write, since they're basically transition scenes, so those will have to be tightened up and retooled to actually be interesting as well as transition scenes.

More Than is at roughly 68k right now, which means I have between 10 and 20k left in it depending on how quickly things feel like wrapping themselves up. I know how it's going to go and where it'll end, so now I just have to write it up. Hopefully it'll go pretty quickly, since we're coming up on the end and things will be falling into place.

In other news I've set a final goal of 150k for myself and I'm going to do my best to do 50k over the weekend (defining weekend as Saturday through Monday). Since I don't have 50k left in More Than it'll probably all be on the unicorn story, which is tentatively titled 'Wind Over a Dusty Mirage' which is an incredibly pretentious title for what is basically a coming of age story, but oh well. That one is properly outlined and divided into chapters, so hopefully writing it won't be too hard. It'll just be a question of doing it. 50k over three days is 16ish k a day, which is a lot but doable if I actually set myself to it seriously. That should bring my total up to 140k, and then More Than will bump it up to 150k or more. And then I can devote the rest of the week to writing papers. Funfun...

In other other news, my pacing is just as awful as it's always been. That's probably one of my biggest flaws as a writer.

Nano update 8
leader, write, minion, pupptes
80k hit. I don't know if I'm done for the night or not yet, but at least my numbers on nano are no longer a lie. (Well, actually, I have 600 more words than it says on the site, but that's way better than, oh, 10,000 fewer, which is what I had this morning. I am far, far too obsessed with having a decent wordcount graph...)

The reason I'm not sure whether I'm done yet or not is because, unusually, I'm not done for the night after 10k, but actually could keep going, since today all the things came together into one delightful plot epiphany which quite literally kept me excited during the whole three mile walk from the coffee shop downtown to my apartment. That might not sound like much, but do keep in mind that last time I got seriously super emotional about something was when we watched the horrible fundamentalist movie in religious studies and I'd calmed down by the time I got halfway home. Maintaining excitement for that long? Incredibly rare.

But so yeah, plot point happened and I know exactly where it's going and how it's going to end and it's glorious and it actually will be between 75 and 85k, though more on the 85k end, and that will be lovely and there's even material for a sequel if I wanted to write it, which I don't, but it's all exciting and shiny. I hardly ever get to this point with novels, so it's always to be celebrated.

Also of interest is that I figured out my next project of the month, which will not be Caffeinated, since that one's at a standstill, but instead be about unicorns and queer people and flying and angst and rainbows and will be a great deal of fun.

And now I have to actually study for the stupid midterm tomorrow. Which I don't want to do. At all. But I have to. Otherwise I will fail. Which will be bad. ~sigh~

(no subject)
leader, write, minion, pupptes
So More Than features, among other things, a couple of card-carrying Dark Lords doing their best to raise their daughter to be a well-rounded productive member of society. Thus, they taught her things like manners and literacy and how to properly behead something. Relevant to the plot is the alphabet poster they made for her, which lives proudly on the door to the old nursery. For your amusement and education, I present to you the text of the Monstrous Alphabet:

TW for comedic treatment of death and mentions of painCollapse )

The way I write
leader, write, minion, pupptes
So we're closing in on the halfway mark of the month, and several things are becoming clear. Probably they're obvious, but I haven't had a chance to look at myself while writing for a while since, before this month, there hadn't been any writing in a while. Now that writing is finally happening again, I am actually getting a chance to see the kinds of things that let that happen.

Mostly, what I've noticed is that I am not the type of artist who draws inspiration from her tortured soul. It might be nice if I could, since then I'd feel less worthless when things are bad, but downswings for me are characterized by an utterly lack of inspiration, not an excess of it. This is why last year was spent writing absolutely nothing: badness=no energy=no inspiration=no writing. At least I've figured that out now, so hopefully if we start slipping back into badness we'll be spared the, "I'm not a real writer, writing is my soul and now it's gone, what am I going to do?!" freakouts. Of course, mid-freakout is very much not a time when I can expect logical thought, but a girl can dream. (The ideal option would be to just not have freakouts anymore, but that's not likely to happen soon, so.)

The problem is that my mental state is pretty directly linked to certain things, including stuff like getting enough sleep and actually going outside sometimes and, probably, eating more or less well. Which means that if I want to keep writing and stay mentally okay (both of which are things I do indeed want to do) I'll actually have to keep paying attention to my body and taking care of it and generally acknowledging that it's allowed to have wants and needs of its own. Getting annoyed at my body for being hungry when all I've fed it today is half a plate of pasta and a cookie is probably not the most productive thing to do. Alas. (Note: this is a lie. I have fed it half a plate of pasta, a mini hot dog, some french fries, and a cookie. Also lemonade, chocolate milk, and apple cider. I have spent far too much money at the coffee shop this weekend...)

There's also the emotional issue. Basically, I don't get to let myself get attached to lots of people, since then burnout happens and I end up useless to everyone including myself. It feels kind of awful to have to ration affection, but it's better in the long run. Maybe when I learn to handle my empathic tendencies I'll be able to have a normal-person social life again. It was nice, while it lasted.

Anyway, other than actually not being depressed, it tends to be a matter of timing and energy. I write best in the afternoons when I'm undisturbed and have a decent chunk of time set aside just to write. This is why it's hard to write on Sunday and Monday this month, since I work until 8:30 both nights and don't get home until an hour later (because I'm stubborn and insist on walking home every day to clear my head and get exercise). By the time I get home, energy is low and time is running out and neither situation is conducive to writing. Next year I'll have to remember not to work super late at night fall semester. (Yes, I have become the person who plans her schedule around NaNo. Are any of you surprised? Really?)

And that's about it. My mind shuts off when I write, so the hard part is mostly getting started, and when all the above conditions are met I'm good at making myself start.

Of course this could all be an elaborate rationalization for why I wrote practically nothing today and why my numbers on the nano site are a lie to preserve my stats graph, but I prefer to think of it as a look into my psyche. Because you totally care about my psyche. At least I'm not angsting at you, or rambling on about multiplicity, though you may get the latter at some point, since it's super interesting and vaguely applicable, assuming I can actually find much information on healthy multiplicity instead of the DID or schizophrenic versions.

Nano update 7
leader, write, minion, pupptes
70k hit. I was aiming for 80k today, but that's totally not going to happen, and I'm thinking I'll just quit for the night. I've done 10k today, and that seems to be my limit for writing and still being interested tomorrow. Given that I'd like to still be interested tomorrow, we'll leave it there. It means I'll have to keep playing catch up instead of making it all the way, but I'd rather have to play catch up and stay consistent than crash again.

Again, it was all work on More Than. We've finally met the official villains, who are awesome and whom I love just as much as I thought I was going to. I hit 45k on More Than, so it will definitely cross 50k this month, giving me a nano win on one single story. So far I haven't noticed anything super horrible that needs to be fixed which, since I often realize halfway through a book that something isn't working, is definitely a plus. I like this story, and that's really one of the most important parts.

At 10k a day I should hit 100k Tuesday, but I don't think that'll happen, since Sunday and Monday are days where I spend all evening at work, and no writing gets done at work. Tomorrow I'll try to change that, but I really should also work on actual homework, so I think I'll set my goal for Sunday and Monday at 5k a day.

Nano update 6
leader, write, minion, pupptes
60k hit. And yeah, I did vanish for days and forget to report in when I hit 50k. Sorry about that. It's been basically all work on More Than, which actually has a complete plot now and a defined ending and everything. At this point I think More Than may be the most cohesive novel I've worked on in a while, and it's not giving in to the temptation to be super confusing and pretentious and stuff. There's a twist about halfway through, but the story before and after that is fairly straightforward and nicely laid out, which is rare for me.

At this point I'm thinking it'll be between 75 and 85k total depending on how much filler I stick in without realizing it. One thing I've noticed is that when I'm writing nano-style my scenes tend to go on forever, which is why More Than is at 35k+ and I feel like not that much has happened. If I ever make it to the editing stage, that will change.

At least more is happening in More Than than in Caffeinated, which has slowed to the point of nothing happening practically at all. Mainly this is because I am ridiculously bad at making friends, so I don't know how that actually works without one person saying, "hi, you should be friends with me now," so I'm at a loss how to get the two main characters' relationship to progress organically. Actually, that's a problem in both novels this year, since in More Than I have to keep reminding myself that the characters probably aren't friends yet, given that they've known each other for all of three weeks or so. Plus two of them currently hate each other, so...

Anyway, as soon as I can move on from this stupid scene in More Than we can finally get going and meet the official villain, which should mark the halfway point of the book. After that things start getting fun.

Nano update 5
leader, write, minion, pupptes
48k hit. I spent most of today (well, the part of today I spent awake, at least) at a local coffee shop, mostly to see what it was like to write seriously in public. And it turned out to be extremely fun and something I will be trying again next week. I ended up with just under 18k. I could probably write the two or three hundred words it would take to get to 18k, but I don't feel like it.

Today was actually pretty evenly split between the two. Bad things are happening in both, unfortunately, and even more bad things are planned for the future. The fact that I spent a decent amount of time this afternoon googling field amputations should tell you something about what's happening in More Than, and Caffeinated Ambrosia is about a serial killer, so...

Technically I've written all my words for tomorrow as well as today, but I want to hit 50k tomorrow, so I'll write at least a couple thousand. I also almost know what's going to happen in both stories, which is an excellent development. I won't bore you with a detailed plot explanation, but suffice it to say things are starting to make sense and come together, and my 750 words for tomorrow will probably be plot rambling so that I remember everything. The 750 database must be so confused, since apparently you're supposed to actually talk about you, not ramble on about magic and Inhumans and plot devices. Whatever. My paper journals turned into story ramblings too, so. Apparently I can't keep a journal without story stuff creeping in.

Nano update 4
leader, write, minion, pupptes
30k hit. I almost didn't get it today. Starting was tough, and I didn't until after eight. Once I got going it was okay, but getting started took some doing. Plus, my interests randomly shifted on me so I spent today working on Caffeinated Ambrosia instead. Which I suppose isn't bad, since I'd like to write them both, but it would be nice if I got a little warning before my interests shifted on me like that. At least those characters are getting more fleshed out, and I'm growing increasingly fond of Ami's sister, who is bubbly and gregarious and everything I'm not. Everything Ami's not too, which makes it even more fun.

I might try for more than 10k tomorrow. We'll see how I feel. I doubt I'll get much done at work, since I never do, so having that cushion would be nice. Plus, if I can get 15k tomorrow and 5k Sunday I'll have hit 50 two days ahead of schedule, which would be nice.


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