What amazing and/or disturbing things are crossing my mind now? Enter and find out...
This is your first and most likely only warning. But I've been known to change my mind. Anyways, the warning is that my mind can be a pretty scary place for the uninitiated. By entering you waive all rights to sanity, and very well may be haunted by any manner of creature that is contained herein. If you're really lucky, you may be hunted by many of them at the same time! CHANGE PLACES! Ooh, this chair is quite comfy. Now back to the show, er, tour. To your left you may notice cracks in the fabric of reality itself. Don't worry about them, they're mostly harmless. To your right is the duct tape orchards. Mind that you don't pick the fruits, they're not the tastiest buggers, and they tend to sting. Above you'll see several chandeliers, and no, you don't need your umbrellas today. Tomorrow is a different story. You'd like to hear a story? OK, maybe a quick one. It may be larger than it appears inside that mirror. But before we begin, try this shot here. Yes, it is a potion of my own concoction. Drink it, and who knows who or what you might become. Also, you might wonder what happened to your pants... What about my pants? Oh dear, where did I put them now?
|I have decided to migrate to a new site for my Blog. While it's great having one here on WDC, this site doesn't get much traffic outside of the community. I've chosen instead to go to Wordpress for my blog usage.
People might be wondering why would I want to go somewhere else to blog when I have this one right here?
Exposure: That's a biggie. I aspire to become a published author, and while this is a good site, it doesn't get enough exposure, at least for blogging. I'll still be writing here, but not blogging.
Cross functionality: I've linked my blog to my Facebook, so anytime I post something on my blog, it will put a post on my Facebook saying I got a new one up.
Professional look: When that point comes that I'm looking for an Agent and/or Publisher, it can only help me to have a blog in a more visible place. Marketing is the way to sell your books and yourself, and I don't see a blog here helping me beyond what I already do, whereas I do see at least the potential of a Wordpress blog assisting in it.
That's the main ones right there. You can find my new ramblings at http://ducttapesamurai.wordpress.com/
My usual idiotic insights and inane ideas shall fill those pages eventually. But for here, the cast shall take a bow, and the curtain must fall. Your humble narrator bids you adieu.
Well, I'm gonna call it. There's no way I'm going to be breaking that 50k for nano with my current 12k. I was really psyched for doing nano this year, but my mind was in just too many places. I should have figured things would be different this year after last year... Well I guess I did know it would be different. But I thought it would be easier with all sorts of extra time.
I've never really settled into a routine this fall with going back to school. I think that is a big part of the problem. But then again I never had an idea that I felt I could run with. I worked on four different stories and only got 12k. I prepped 2 stories during october, one of which I abandoned during prep, and the other I abandoned after about 1500 words.
I did start to get some progress going on the werewolf story, but I never really got going. I just never found my discipline this time around. Too easy to slip into a bunch of those old habits from the first time I attended college, and I did. I've had so many goals with coming back to school, and I'm screwing up on all but the most important one; The goal to get my degree. That is the ultimate reason I came back, so at least there's that.
The other ones, like writing and losing weight, I'll have to make a better effort on those after I get settled into a job I guess. To every one of my friends that has made it through nano this year, I applaud you. And I did sponsor a bunch of people in the write a thon, so at least I'm giving through that a bit.
|I'm part of a couple different groups with Nanowrimo this year, like "October NaNoWriMo Prep Challenge" , and a class with new horizons taught by Katz. But there is one where anyone can help me out. I'm doing
|My first idea for this upcoming Nano Adventure was going to be some Hard Scifi, other planets and spaceships and fun like that. But as I got going on the Nanoprep, I realized I haven't read enough Scifi it to feel comfortable writing it. I haven't read enough Scifi novels outside of the Star Wars books. I'm much more comfortable with fantasy at this point, but even with that my reading is lacking a bit. I know I need to read some more but I didn't really know where to start at with this deficiency.
Then today in Scroll someone posted a link to http://chzsetphaserstolol.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/what_science_fiction_fanta...
This was what I needed to see, and gave me an excellent point to start for making my list of things to read. I've read a few of the books on the graphic, and so left those off. I also left Starship Troopers off because I've seen the movie, so unless someone tells me the book is far better I don't have much interest in reading it.
So does anyone have any suggestions on what I should read first off the following lists?
• Lord of the Rings series
• Neverwhere – Gaiman
• Dragonflight – McCaffery
• Crystal Cave – Mary Stewart
• The Way of Kings – Sanderson
• Mistborn – Sanderson
• The Chronicles of Amber – Zelazney
• The Malazan Book of the Fallen Series – Steven Erikson
• The Sandman Series – Gaiman
• Snow Crash – Stephenson
• Diamond Age – Stephenson
• A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter M Miller Jr.
• Stranger in a Strange Land – Heinlein
• Neuromancer – William Gibson
• Cryptonomicon – Stephenson
• The Martian Chronicles – Bradbury
• The Hyperion Cantos – Dan Simmons
• Webmage Series – McCulough
I'm not sure I'll be able to start reading any of them until I replace the nook I broke and didn't have an extended warranty on =(
I'm thinking I'll replace that sooner rather than later, but not sure if that sooner is going to be before Nano is over
|I've come to a conclusion about the human condition. We want to see bad things happen to people. We don't truly consciously want to see bad things happen, or hear about them, but in a way we kind of do. There are strings attached to this phenomenon though...
We want to see the people who we care about or can identify with rise above the bad things that happen to them. Now this doesn't always happen, which is the start of the truly epic journeys like the illiad, star wars, pick your fav.
I've found something recently with my characters that led me to this conclusion. The villains I create are whole and mostly easy to root against. We may root for them for a moment, but then we realize who they are and we want bad things to happen to them. Mostly we want the hero to do bad things to the villains. So I've found I treat my villains in a certain way, and even if they're not human, they bring a certain human quality with them.
My heroes I also treat a certain way. I treat them deficiently, giving them a leg up in situations. Because of the way I treat them, they are handicapped, never truly coming to life. Like a balloon that has a ribbon tied around it, it can't inflate all the way to it's maximum potential. I need to start treating my heroes like villains too, and then pit them against each other. I have to let them figure out who's better themselves, and then twist the light to illuminate the victor. Isn't that what history always does? Twists the light to illuminate the victor and keep the villain confined to the shadows?
|In the last post I detailed some of the absurdity of my roommate. Well last night our RA came down to mediate a resolution, and I thought it went real well. The kind of well where both me and him make peace and can live together again. I thought that either last night or sometime today we'd be putting things back to where they go rather than this whole step short of tape on the floor. We laid down when we can have guests over, which I just flat out said no one during the week, weekend is fine with notice.
Apparently that's not good enough. I come back from lunch with my buddy Jon earlier, and then we play some madden in his room (he beat me in the last minute with a bomb to Desean Jackson after we were tied 7-7 for most of the game) After our game I go back to get my stuff ready for the class I'm currently typing this in, (SHHH!) and he's bringing the last pieces of the futon out to his car. Oh.
So it looks like the immature child will be moving out in the near future, and I'm wondering what he's going to do. Is he going to commute from his parents house which is an hour away or so? Is he going to get an apartment on campus? He can't be switching rooms already, because there's a room freeze for at least another week. I'm curious but hopeful.
|Sometimes you gotta hash it out, sometimes you gotta yell and shout. And sometimes, you just gotta stand back and laugh. This is one of those times I gotta laugh.
Things are getting interesting with my roommate. I've had a couple discussions with him about how often his GF stays overnight in our dorm room. So far it's been 13/15 nights she's stayed over. So I'm not happy about that. And then the kid is inconsiderate of my things. I stormed out in a fury about his actions, didn't say a thing cause I was too furious to talk to him civilly. I come back a little while later to get what I need to get some HW done and tell him that we're going to have a chat later. He's pretty insistent we have a chat right then. (which was last night) I told him no, I was still too mad to talk, and he made the remark that he doesn't understand why I'm upset. I can't let that one go and tell him that that's half the problem right there.
I go downstairs, do some HW and chat with some people, and finally come back up 2 hours later. During that time he had moved all his stuff (Entertainment stand and TV, and everything else that he has, which is quite a lot) to his side of the room; Everything is on the couch, blocking the closet, blocking his desk. Everything of mine, which really isn't that much, is now on my side.
We're half a step away from putting tape down the middle of the room. You can't do much more than laugh at the situation!
|Wow, it's certainly been a while since I updated this thing. The last couple weeks have been crazy with moving, but I'm glad to say I am gone from Iowa. I got everything out of my apartment and either into my dorm room or stored in my grandma's garage. First week of classes are under my belt, and I even was able to drop one of them. I was told nothing by the previous director of my major on whether or not I had to repeat 2 classes because they were one credits when I previously took them, and they're two cred classes now, so I just signed up for one right away. Had a short chat with the new Director, and everything is all good with those 2 classes. I'm going to have a longer meeting with her next monday to make sure everything else is copacetic with my classes.
I had a good time with WDC Bday week, what I was able to enjoy of it anyways. "Three Word Mayhem!" was a blast like always. I just wish I could've kept up the pace I started with, but being in the middle of my move it was kind of impossible.
Argh, I don't like this keyboard one bit. We get laptops at my school so we can be a "21st century school" or something like that. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad for it and the wireless all across campus, but the backspace key is just messed up. It's about half the size of a regular backspace key, and the home button is just to the right of it with barely any space between the two. So everytime I go up to delete a mistyped letter, (of which there's usually many) I hit the home button 30% of the time. Pisses me off. I believe I'll be using this laptop only when I'm out of my room, and keep using my desktop whenever I can. Allthough the laptop is more powerful than my desktop. I really need to upgrade my desktop, it's too damn old.
|Am I going about things wrong?
I've known for a while now that creating antagonists has been a strength of mine, while it's pretty difficult for me to bring my heroes to that nice round point where they seem to have a life of their own. Now I'm wondering if I'm going about creating each of them wrong.
I'm starting to get a handle on my current protagonist, but in looking at him, his world, and the story that is starting to crop up around him, I'm finding something interesting with my antagonists. Every time I create one, I realize something is missing, and then realize this is a much higher level antagonist than my hero can deal with at this point. If I were to compare it to a video game, I think I've found the end boss of the first or second game. But what about all the level bosses that take my hero from one act to another?
Ok, I don't really think that works yet. Taking a different tact, think of the show Buffy. I think the main antagonist I've found is kind of like that god like woman, Grace or whatever she was called, in season 5. He's very powerful, has minions and magic and all that. But he's much farther into the game than my hero can get to. Buffy couldn't have defeated Grace in her first year at Sunnydale. She needed to fight the master, Spike, Angelis, and maybe even that cyborg demon thing before she would be ready for Grace.
So yeah, I'm finding my villains for the second or third book in my character's series, should I end up writing that far, but I'm having heavy difficulties with the villains for the first book, the one I'm trying to write.
While driving I had a thought that maybe I should write a story from an antagonist's PoV, and how he goes about fighting the hero and how he fails in the end. I think that's gonna be next after my current story.
|I've looked back at the goals I set for this last month, and I was either extremely ambitious, or slightly deluded, or more likely a little bit of both. So I'm sure you're asking how'd I do?
Enter Round 2 of "DreamTime Dragon's Poem Contest"
I came up with a little tale based on the prompt pic, but I couldn't figure out a poetic form for it. Halfway success.
Enter Round 2 of "Invalid Item"
My entry is "D.J.I.N.N." . A little simple, but I feel it's also elegant and fun. Looking forward to finding out if I win. I also found out I didn't win in round 1, but after taking a couple steps back from my entry and rereading it and some of the other entries, the winners deserved it more then mine.
Get to the point where I've submitted 50/100 reviews.
Nope! I was too focused on the other goals I set, and anther phantom goal I'll be mentioning at the end of this post that I didn't give enough effort to these goals. I did make progress though, so I'll count it a halfway success for the one and failure on the bonus reach.
Enter and win "The Writer's Cramp" at least once this month
Didn't feel any inspiration from the prompts I checked. There was one prompt I saw that inspired me, but it had already expired. C'est la vie.
Write Poverty Essay Scholarship
I worked on it, but then had technical difficulties with the scholarship search website on the submission deadline day. Kinda sucks, but I ended up applying for a few more scholarships.
Enter round 2 of "Invalid Item"
I entered with "Chosen by DaShire" , but I lost. I ran out of time but I did pump out my submission the day before it was due. I had to cut down on the outline I wrote up for it though and negate a good portion of story, for which I think the piece suffered. Also while I figured out the villains, I never really figured out who the hero was. I started to as I wrote, but not enough. It was while I was figuring out this tale I set the phantom goal.
Enter round 1 of "The Pressure Valve - closed for now."
I didn't know enough about this genre and while I kind of figured it out, I ran out of time to write my story.
Make some progress on my Novel
I've decided to put that project on hold, give it some time so that I can go back and start it fresh in couple months.
Write an entry for "What a Character! : Official WDC Contest"
Completely spaced on this one.
Have something to submit to Writer's of the Future Contest.
I was planning to combine this with either my novel work or one of my contest entries, but since I didn't work on the novel, and my contest entries weren't up to snuff, I didn't do this one either. There's always this next quarter though!
And now the PHANTOM GOAL!
While I was outlining for the story contest entries, I realized I don't really know how to outline all that well. I started researching it, found an author's blog where she talks about story structure, and a group here on WDC that is working on novel writing. Through these 2 avenues, I ended up buying two books. One based off the blog, and a novel writing guidebook with letters to the reader... I don't know how to really describe it. But both are guiding me, and I hope to produce something from them.
And how about some new goals? I wasn't planning on setting them with this post but I might as well now that I'm rolling. This will be a series of Quarterly goals (End of September) since I overloaded myself with this last month.
Continue work on my Phantom Goal!
Lol, I just like saying that, but I've already detailed some of it, and the rest I'm keeping somewhat under wraps.
Blast past that 50 review barrier.
This and all my other goals will take a backseat to my daily Phantom goal progress. I'm close enough to finishing this I feel 50 is an easy target, and I can probably make 75 even by the end of September rolls around.
Enter some more poetry contests.
"Invalid Item" and "DreamTime Dragon's Poem Contest" and who knows, maybe I'll find another contest I want to enter. But three rounds for each of these over the next quarter, I'll figure if I enter at least half the rounds this will be a success. So 3 poetic entries will be a win on this goal over the next three months
Writer's of the Future Contest
If I'm diligent with my Phantom Goal work, I'll have something that I can edit into proper shape
Enter more Scholarships!
Gotta pay for that schooling somehow!
Considering all that I have going on over these next 3 months, I think these goals are enough. Let's see...
Vacation in two weeks;
Packing up my whole apartment and storing most of it cause I'm going back to school;
School starting in September;
Plus work itself and oh yeah;
Flying out to San Diego in mid August for my cousin's wedding!
I'm going to be more than a bit busy!
|When I was preparing for NaNoWriMo last fall, I did all I could to prepare. I joined a group on this site, did all the challenges, created what I thought was an appropriate outline, sketched out a few locations, and various other tasks to help me create that novel I so badly wanted, and still want, to write.
I may have detailed in an earlier post why I failed, how I didn't flesh out my outline enough or know my characters. That is all true. I took a class at "New Horizons Academy " to help with creating characters, and I learned SO MUCH!
Not just about creating characters, but a few other things to help reduce, and one day eventually eliminate, passive voice from my writing. I created a few characters during that class, and specifically the start to what I was hoping to turn into a larger story, "Champions of the Astral Planes" . I absolutely love the character of Laura that I have here, and all the other things I've planned for fleshing out Kain will turn him into a great villain.
I've written in a few other posts how I've been having trouble continuing that story from either Laura's side, or the companion Hero Anthony's side. I just don't know where to go with the story. Which brings me back to my other problem: Outlining.
I decided to take down my outline from that Nano project. I've had note cards taking up a wall and a half with the outline that I had created since the middle of October. About 8 months I've left those up there. I think it's been holding me back from moving on. All those note cards, and the few sketches I made, and I've just now taken them down.
The act of removing them from the wall has given me the chance to let go of it a little more, and look at it in a new light. I wasn't planning for a novel when I created that outline. I was planning for a SERIES of novels. That's the reason my outline didn't work, I did too much planning on the back end of the series, what would probably end up as end of book 2 or book 3, and not enough on where my hero grows up in book 1. I understand where I failed now. I'm going to file that project away, and maybe someday revisit it when I can feel like I'll have a fresh new perspective and give the ideas I opened there justice. Or maybe I'll just always have it there as a memory of a learning experience.
But I'm finally moving on. Right now I've been working on an outline for a new group of heroes. I was thinking about one of those contests I'm planning on entering this month, oh, in about a week, and an idea clicked into place. The addition of a Succubus. In the outline I'm working on, I won't even get close to revealing the Succubus for what she is, but it's there in my mind for when the story reaches that point. It's far after the point where my contest entry is going to have to end, but that's okay. It's a motivation for the bad guys, it's a reason that after a certain point my heroes won't be killed by the Dragon who, although he's quite fierce, is also very honorable. It's also a major changing point in the Status Quo of this new world that I'm going to create. It opens up worlds of possibilities just knowing this one little fact, that won't be revealed to anybody reading the story until much further along into it. And it's far less complicated than my previous novel ideas have been, which is what I need right now.
|It's time for me to create some more writing goals for myself. I've tried setting goals before, but I wasn't too successful with them. I identified the problems with my first goal, which was that I didn't know enough about the world I was trying to write in, but then I made a vague goal of creating more about the dream realm within the novel I plan on writing. That one fell by the wayside. I made some progress on one area, but then kinda... forgot about it.
So my new plan is to set a bunch of goals to accomplish this month. I may not succeed in accomplishing all of them, but I'll have a bunch and each little one that I accomplish will help keep my motivation going to continue more of them. Also, it's better to complete 70% of ten goals than to complete 0% of 1 goal. At least it is for me.
So here goes:
Write a poem for round 2 of "DreamTime Dragon's Poem Contest" Contest closes on June 24th. I entered round one this last month with "D.R.A.G.O.N.S." and got second place, which is a success to me.
Write a poem for round 2 of "Invalid Item" Contest closes on June 30th. I entered round 1 with "Flight" , still waiting for winners to be announced.
Get to the point where I've submitted more than 50 reviews. I made a bit of progress on this one tonight. Reviewed 3 things for a friend, one very detailed review, and 2 minor ones. I find it hard to do detailed reviews of poetry. I find it even harder to do lots of detailed reviews, due to the amount of time and effort I take on them. I have to remember it's okay to do a less than exemplary review as long as I can still feel that I'm helping the author.
Get to the point where I've submitted 100 reviews. Might as well shoot for the stars a little. Who knows, I might even achieve this one!
Enter and win "The Writer's Cramp" at least once this month. Just for fun last week I looked at all my entries I've submitted for the "The Writer's Cramp" since I've become "active" on this site. (I joined this site, but only added sporadically to interactives, and don't really consider myself active until I branched out from those to other reading and writing here) I found that of the 18 or 19 times I entered, I've won the cramp 3 times and tied for the win once. I'd say that's a pretty good track record.
Write Poverty essay for scholarship. Due on June 15th. This one is high priority, as that scholarship could help me out a ton when I go back to school this fall.
Write a story for Round 2 of "Invalid Item" Contest Closes on June 20th. I found this one after it's first round had already closed, though I think this one is right up my alley.
Write a story for "The Pressure Valve - closed for now." Contest closes on June 10th. I've never written or read Steampunk before, but in reading about it I can recall a few movies that had steampunk elements and I think I'll be okay with that. This last night at work I downloaded a samples of 2 steampunk books onto my nook, think I'll try to read one of those before I turn in here. I also think I have a good starting point that follows the prompt. If nothing else, it's an exciting foray out of my writing comfort zone. Maybe I'll find a new direction to lean towards, or maybe I'll say it's not for me and be done with it. Who knows at this point~
Make some sort of progress on my Novel. Whether it's drawing more maps of the dream realm, writing 10 pages onto Anthony's part of the story, or 10 pages onto Laura's part of the story. If I do any of those 3 things, I'll consider this goal a success.
Write an entry for "What a Character! : Official WDC Contest" The prizes are just too good not to at least try.
Have something ready that I can submit to the Writers of the future contest. Deadline for this quarter is June 30th. I don't know that I'll have something appropriate to submit, but who knows, maybe one of the stories I create for one of these contests could work after a little expansion, or maybe I'll start writing about Anthony or Laura and really get on a roll!
Well I think that's a damn good start. 11 goals set, with varying deadlines throughout the month. It looks a little daunting right now, but if I work hard I can at least make a dent in this list, and I feel better already just figuring it all out. At the beginning of next month I'll do a recap of these goals and see about what new goals I can set then.
|I've never been much of a joiner, preferring instead to go my own way and observe everyone else like they're fish in a tank. This can get lonely so I do make my forays into the tank myself, usually short jaunts where I keep my distance from most and spend my time around the little scuba guy that's always there before I retreat again into myself and behind the glass.
But here and there someone throws an encouraging smile my way, or suddenly I find someone is patting me on the back. And my day brightens up just that much more. I've gone off and jumped head first into groups, mostly just the ones I know there's a time limit on and then maybe I may never talk to those people again. Maybe we'll just wave as we pass, or maybe who knows what will happen.
And now I'm finding that not as many of those walls that I put up are there anymore. Some are turning to swiss cheese. A few are still strong and stout, but not so many as there used to be.
We all seek attention in some way. I'm finding that the attention I get through spaces where some of those walls used to be is pretty good. I'm reaching out more and more than I ever have, and I don't pull back quite so fast, if at all. And not so many of those random faces and/or names in the tank are complete strangers as they used to be.
I'm at a point where I think another wall just toppled. I think I'm going to stop and chat with a few of those names that have stopped to wave at me. I know I'm still going to walk my own, completely random and to most people an utterly absurd path. But it's my own path, and I can shape it how I want. I'm just going to make it intersect with other peoples paths a little more often.
|I am very much so baffled. For my writer's cramp entry the other day I did an acrostic, and even though I don't think I did a particularly good job on it, I still submitted it anyways. I've been known to be surprised before, and what do you know it happened again.
No, I didn't win the cramp, but I'm surprised in other ways. I've never gotten so many positive reviews of an item in such a short period of time before. So many people expressing amazement just because it's an acrostic, and/or being enthused about the one part I do feel great about, the last line.
I know when I focus on it, my poetry can be real good, but I thought this was a mediocre output on my part at best. Eye of the beholder eh?
|I've never written anything bad before.
I've never intentionally written anything bad before. There, that's better. So it was quite the amusing exercise to write my entry for the "Invalid Item" . I thought of having the most ridiculous way of having people speak, and decided it would be the mixture of Shakespearian and modern English I settled on for my story
I don't know how I settled on the story that I did, but suddenly I realized, this story isn't going anywhere, and I need to end it pretty soon. Might as well have my narrator die! lol
I ran right up against the 1000 word limit in the end, which makes me a little sad I can't add in any more over the top adverbs and adjectives, but I found myself giggling as I was writing so I'll just consider it as acceptable. I just hope when I read it again tomorrow I still find it as funny as while I was writing it!
I encourage everyone who reads this to check out the contest and throw in an entry themselves. That little abomination that I wrote was almost as fun as singing karaoke. Except that, ya know, my karaoke singing is good.
Usually. Like when I'm singing Billy Idol, Mellencamp, or Bad Touch. Those I sing great!
|What a night. I have this one box person who is a complete ass. He thinks he deserves respect, but no one respects him one bit because he's an incompetent moron who hasn't earned a shred of it. Only reason he got his position is because he spent a night letting the boss pound him. Or maybe a night pounding the boss's ass. One way or the other.
So I pissed off this jerk big time tonight. He's always had a problem with my nine stick call. I go "Na-Na-Na-Nine" after I say all the other necessary information. I've been talked to by my shift boss about listening to my box, but Moron (which is what I'll refer to him here as it's not hard to find this for people who have my facebook) has decided to make a blanket call that I can't say that anymore when he's on box. When other box people don't want me to say that, they say one time. or whatever. They're okay with me saying it once while they're on box. Not Moron. So I started doing it with other words. Fa-fa-fa-five. Wa-wa-wa-winner. Okay Ma-ma-ma-moron. Except I used his name.
I got pulled into the office to have a little chat about it tonight, and moron was livid. The best part about it was when he told our shift manager in the office about me saying Ma-ma-ma-moron, (Still with the box's real name) our shift boss burst out laughing right in the office. That pissed moron off even more.
I have a feeling this isn't the end of it, so I started writing an essay about why I should be able to say my "Na-na-na-nine" I start it off with a quote direct from our craps manual.
"The stickperson should develop an individual style of calling the dice, but it must be in good taste and informative."I'm going to try and finish it tomorrow, print up several copies so I can be prepared for the inevitable shit storm that's gonna land. I've gotten too many congratulations from other dealers and floors for pushing moron to this point with such a simple phrase to back down now. Maybe I should type up a special copy for the GM himself... Though I'm sure if I did that it would be the end of my time here, and I need to earn a bunch of money over the summer at least.
|I've been seeing a bit of buzz about this game of thrones series what with HBO doing a second season of the related tv show, so I decided to check it out. I downloaded the sample on my nook, which is surprisingly long. Makes me wonder if the book is 1200 pages or more. I've been reading it, and it's a little hard to follow at points with all the PoV changes. That first chapter with the soldier and his company that gets killed is real good, shows some promise. Then we go with Jon's PoV, his father, the woman whos family lost control of the throne when she was a child. Arya, Bran, and now this other guy whos name I've already forgotten because I stopped caring... I think I may have forgotten one or two more in there, and I don't even want to know how many more there are in the book and the rest of its series.
But the PoV changes are not what's made me lose interest. It's the turtle slowness of the plot, and the unimaginativeness when it comes to the bad families. Both the bad families are incestuous! I can see it with one, but with both of them? The only two bad families I've been introduced up to this point, and both are practicing incest. The Queen and her twin brother no less. If crap like this is printed and lauded and made into a tv show...
Makes me want to get going on my novel even more and outdo this series.
|Now I'm finally getting on that Novel. I've been stuck on a small spot, the transition point where Anthony finds he's in the Dream realm. I tried writing it two different ways, but I was having trouble describing what was happening. How it was happening. I finally broke through that point by deciding to jump ahead a little to the point where he's just falling. I got on a roll, and I found that all the necessary parts that I was trying to force into the scene in the other ways I created it, fit right in it in other ways now. And a few things that I thought were needed, well, they just don't matter now.
So now I've gotten the story to a point where I'm ready to integrate previous things I've written into the story with the concept as I've developed it. Yeah, that just means I'm ready to rewrite an early exploratory scene into the story.
Now that I've crossed that hurdle, I can see a natural point where I would cut this off to be a short story that I could submit to that Writers of the Future contest I mentioned a few weeks back. It'll be completely ignoring the other half of the storyline, the Laura and Kain section. Though Laura does gain a mention in the opening chapter... I may have to edit that down a bit to make the opening story all about Anthony. It works good as it is for the full version, but may have some things that might be confusing for the short.
Speaking about Laura and Kain, I revisited them for a bit for a recent "The Writer's Cramp" entry. The five senses have a lot to do with Kain's motivation, and I decided to jump ahead and experiment with revealing it one way in "Invalid Item"
I'm not sure if this is the way I'm going to do it in the Novel, if I'm going to reveal it in a different way, or use foreshadowing to complement this short, but it was a refreshing exercise that I'm quite proud of. The judge rated it a 4.5, but gave the win to two other entries in a tie. I read both of them, and think my entry is superior to the taste one that won. Someone else who read it emailed me, wondering if I got disqualified for not following the prompt correctly because I didn't win. I can only guess at why I didn't win, though there's no accounting for taste. The judges choice is the only one that matters, and I can only surmise that mine seemed like it didn't have a 'proper' ending, or she thought I'd written it beforehand or she just didn't like the fantasy aspect, or whatever else. I have bigger plans for these characters in the end though, and while it would have been a nice ego boost to be called a winner with them in the cramp, I know I'll be winning with them in other ways down the road!
|Today is the check in for my first post class word goal.
And the stated goal is a failure. Sure there's still several hours left in the day, but I'm not going to write towards the story, or at least not enough that I could make 8k words.
However, secondary objectives have been realized.
First off, I've decided that I'm going to work on my Champions of the Astral planes story, and when I get sufficiently far in that take one of the subplots and rewrite that so it can be a stand alone short story. The long term goal is to have a finished novel, and that's on track, if a little behind schedule. That's okay though, as I expect it to take me a while to get up to speed on it
I've also discovered the biggest impediment to continuing that story, and have made some progress on defeating it. The Dream World/Astral Realm. At least 50% of the novel, perhaps far more, is going to be located there. And I've figured out very little of it. Sure I know some characters and demons that will be populating it, but where do they live/lair in there? What is the general geography? What kinds of places would even form in this realm?
Floating islands, and below those a nearly endless forest. Well, I had the forest thing earlier, but I had nothing around it. I knew there would be some kind of tower/fortress/whatever that would be the seat of power for the Guardians of the Astral Realm, but I had no idea what that would be. There's also gotta be a fortress of some sort for the powerful demons. The answer is floating islands.
Not just any floating islands, but Floating islands that are chained to the forest floor so they don't float away, and they also contain mythical places on their surfaces. What better mythical place for the Guardians to use as a seat than Asgard and Valhalla?
I've also come up with some interesting factoids in my research. Twelve is a very important number in both Greek and Norse Mythology. So there will be 12 islands (though not all need be under the Guardian's control) and 12 Elders in charge of the Guardians.
I have a lot more to figure out on this, but I think I'm off to a good start. Maybe I'll hit that 8k word mark this next week
|Wow, been a while since I've updated this beast. This spring weather has had me feeling good, and now that I don't have any more assignments to do for my "New Horizons Academy " classes, I've been letting myself take it easy. Well, there's that, and signing up for classes for when I go back to school this fall semester.
But now it's time for me to get my act in gear and get to writing. I found out about the Hubbard Writer's of the Future contest, and I plan to place in it either this quarter or the next. So there's the goal. That entails writing a story with a maximum of 17000 words, editing and polishing it, and then submitting it by the end of June. And should I somehow not win with that first story, have another one ready and polished to submit by the end of September. I've learned a lot this past year about writing, and I feel I've developed the skills that I can do this. As long as I put in the time and effort, I can do this. I've downloaded the anthology of last years winning stories, and of the stories I've read so far, I feel I can do better than at least the third place stories. The first place stories I've read so far have been really top notch, so I know competition will be fierce. But I can do this!
Oh yeah, last week I bought a Nook! I am loving this wonderful piece of technology. It's been much easier to read while I'm on my breaks at work than it is to write, so I'm shifting my efforts around a little. Read for pleasure, and to study fantastic stories (such as the anthology winners) so that I can pick up clues about how other published writers wrote their stories, and my eyes won't hurt from reading for too long on a screen. And then there's the chance to sit out in this nice spring weather and read too. Think I might do that for a while after I get myself restocked on my groceries.
Trying to decide now on what kind of other goals I want to set for myself. Without assignments to do I've been slacking, so should I set myself some word count goals? Nothing too far out... That 50000 words in November really kicked my ass. I slacked and couldn't get myself moving right for those first 2 weeks, made some progress in the third week, and then pounded out 20000 words in the last 5 days of November to just barely make it across the threshold of 50000 with an hour to spare before December. Weekly goals? Bi-weekly word counts? Or should I just go on pages...
Well, I need to pound out a 17k story here, so let's start off with a goal of 8k words by the 21st. An easy enough goal to start out with. That gives me 7 days to write a little more than 1100 words each day, and one day to think about what kind of story I want to write. Though I have three of my current characters and their worlds on my mind, maybe I should start with one of them? I do plan to extend their adventures at a later date far beyond the 17k mark into their own novels, but it could be a nice launching point...