September 25, 2002
Well... Write Club was therapy
Well... Write Club was therapy club tonight, but it was a good thing. I feel sorta cleansed. I did actually manage to write a little bit.
Oh yeah... writing...
I desperately need Write Club this week. But at the same time, I just want to curl up in a corner and sleep for a week. No writing at all so far this week, mostly because Mondays are a pain in the ass and yesterday ended up being errand day. But I have a job, which I start this morning.
September 20, 2002
Well, the hatchet came in handy. I chopped about 2,000 words out of "Computer Dating" tonight. I'm not quite done revising it yet, but I think it's a much, MUCH more solid narrative than it was. More action, more punch.
To demonstrate what I mean, here's the original opening sentence: Sara knew even before she logged on that he'd be waiting for her.
Here's the new opening sentence: Sara thought her new relationship was going very well right up until the FBI came by to question her.
I already know this story is going to Black Gate first. I'm hoping to send it out by Monday at the latest, maybe Saturday.
September 19, 2002
Progress and panic
Another 1000+ words rewritten on The Host at Write Club last night, and I finally got some comments back from Brand on "Computer Dating". He was able to put into words what was bugging me the most about it. Too much build up to the exciting stuff, and my prose is almost too smooth and polished for the story. The (hopefully) exciting, action-y stuff is written just like everything else. So I've got a direction to go in, and it's one that involves probably chopping the first third of the story. Forget the scalpel, nurse, hand me a hatchet...
I've managed to finally stick to the plan of writing every weekday so far this week. No writing yet today, but I plan to. I've just been in a panicky mode due to real life unemployment issues, and every time I've sat down to write, I've felt like I should be off finding a job, never mind that I applied for five jobs today through various sources. I've almost reached a point where I'm hoping to sell stories just for the money, how sad is that?
September 18, 2002
Okay, I lied. I finished up the new first interlude of The Host tonight. I'm hoping to rework the next actual story chapter and send both bits to the Minions this week. THEN I can clean off my desk. I promise.
September 16, 2002
I am officially declaring this
I am officially declaring this my week to clear off my proverbial writer's desk. At least one more of the stories listed as being edited WILL go out this week, damn it. I know, I know, I promised the Minions two more chapters of The Host to edit, but this is making me nutty.
Grar grar grar. So I worked on cleaning up "Midsummer" this morning. Oh. My. God. Apparently, when I did my major rewrite, which included switching a lot of sections around, I didn't bother to do a lot of work cleaning up transitions, making sure the new order of events made sense, and so on. What I had on my hands was an incoherent MESS. At first I thought, okay, maybe I just rearranged sections and then submitted the wrong draft. No, no I didn't, because there were some rewrites, just not nearly enough. I was careless and a little cocky because I adore this story. What kills me is that I really thought this could be the story that was good enough for F&SF, and I already submitted to them in this state. Grar. Kicking myself.
But anyway, it's coherent again, and is currently running off on my printer to send off today to Realms of Fantasy.
September 14, 2002
Glimmer Train rejected "Midsummer". Not terribly surprised about that, especially when I re-read the edit I'd sent them. I'm surpremely not happy with the story. I want to resubmit it, but I think it still needs some cleanup before I send it back out again. Not to mention, I'm not quite sure where to send it next. Bleh.
September 12, 2002
I got some writing done tonight, finally starting one of the 'new' sections of The Host. I'm inserting three or four interludes that are separate from the main story, similar to the prelude with Maura. The idea is to trace how mythology changed from faeries kidnapping likely subjects to aliens doing the same. Just for kicks, since I haven't done it in ages, here's a little bit of what I wrote tonight:
Long and long ago there lived a handsome young man on the shores of Lake Lough. Fiachra was the joy of his family and the pride of his clan. He excelled at all things, so much so that some gossiped that he was a child of Lugh of the Long Arm, Master of All Skills. Fiachra was a fearsome warrior, had a deft hand with a verse, but above all these things, Fiachra was blessed with a voice that made the wind herself pause to listen. When he raised his voice in song, fruit ripened in nearby orchards, in season or no. Men on the verge of bloodshed would forget their wrath and swear oaths of brotherhood to one another. Some swore their cows produced richer, sweeter milk, and in greater abundance. Many pleaded with Fiachra to sing in their fields, in hopes of a larger crop. Fiachra would always do as he was asked, for in truth, singing was a joy to him beyond any other.
Nor were the cows the only ones enthralled by Fiachra's sweet voice. All the unmarried girls (and no small few of the married ones) thrilled to his singing, many of them tossing their hearts at his feet without a second thought. Alas for them, Fiachra's heart remained his own, and he loved none. The bereft maidens chided him as proud and unfeeling, and the words stung until he wept, giving their words the lie. He often wondered what flaw there was in him that made him unworthy to feel love, and he grieved.
Naturally, that voice of his is what gets him in trouble. ;)
Well, the Minions met last night and we all did our first critiques of each other. I'll concur with Julie: We're a talented bunch. :) I have so much good stuff to work on with the first several chapters of The Host now, I feel more enthused about diving in and editing again. The only problem, of course, is that I want to go back and rework the first five chapters (well, prelude and four chapters) again. I'm resisting that urge, because I feel like I should at least finish rewriting the whole thing first, then go back and tweak.
The good news is, they liked it. This made me happy. They also had some great insights, both into factual details that were fuzzy or wrong (hey, the novel's set at the University of Michigan and all three of them are U of M alumni) and in the more esoteric type stuff.
The bad news is, as excited as I am to get back to work, I'm also feeling remarkably lazy. Part of my head is whining, "But I don't WAAAANT to completely rework David as a character!" Which is a problem, because David's a pretty lame character as written. (I've described him as the stereotypical hero's girlfriend in your basic pulpy sort of story: decorative, exists only for the hero's purposes, doesn't do much.) That's why my first instinct was to cut him rather than flesh him out. But he needs to be there. I'm realizing, thinking over the course of the novel, that there just isn't enough conflict between A.J. and her "real life". Sure, she's got conflict, but it's largely either internal, or completely removed from her everyday life. David, as a boyfriend or at least potential boyfriend, could be excellent fodder for real world conflict. I hint at it a little, but I don't use it enough.
You know, I'd tried retyping in the manuscript as a rewriting tool, thinking that would make me rethink everything I typed, but that hasn't happened as much as I had expected. When I type from a manuscript, I think part of my brain shuts off and I go into data entry mode. If I can just find a way to stop that...
So yeah. I want to rewrite. But I don't want to rewrite. Geh.
September 10, 2002
Not doing so well with the five days a week thing, although I did write today, a little bit. I was hoping to have several chapters to pass out to the Minions tomorrow, but that's not going to happen, at this rate. I have one chapter to give them, because I absolutely was not able to keep my eyes open today. I mean, I sat here at my computer and slept, sitting up, for like four hours. Several times I'd wake up enough to go, "Damn! I need to start getting stuff done," and then I'd go back to sleep before I finished the thought. This after getting a decent night's sleep. I'm slightly concerned, this happens a lot. If nothing else, it's really cutting into my writing time.
September 09, 2002
Cross post, but I don't care!
September 06, 2002
I'm out of the habit of writing, and this is a bad thing. Henceforth I resolve to do better, even if I do just go back to an hour a day. I got one hell of a lot done, writing an hour a day. I need to work on something new, at least part of the time, because I'm getting tired of rewriting. I miss being productive, damn it.
I received the final draft of "Rhythm of the Tides" yesterday. I'm amazed. It's a much better story than the one I originally submitted. Hooray for editors! I don't have an exact publication date yet, but I'm so psyched about this.