Ooh, shiny….

Yeah, I know. I should be writing. Not writing a blog, but writing-writing. Today has been one of those distraction-filled days, where Facebook and Twitter and Google Play and staring into space (and this blog, I guess) all keep me from making any progress on my work-in-progress.

Okay, so maybe I made a little progress. Regressive progress. I did some more work on strengthening my main character, but in order to do so I took out a few hundred words. Granted, the words I took out weren’t necessary anymore (and not really necessary to begin with, I found out), but it’s still a step backwards.

Maybe this weekend I’ll get more done. Or at least Saturday. Sunday I need to get back cracking at finishing up the minor final details on our cosplays. That’s another thing I keep getting distracted away from.

At least the commission art project I spent so much time on is done. It was fun, but it’s a weight off my shoulders to have it completed. One less distraction.

Tonight will be a live tweet of the 100th episode of Grimm for Talk Nerdy With Us. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve live tweeted because I’ve been caught up in stupid adulting, but I think tonight I’m going to take some time to focus on the show and getting a good live tweet done. It’ll be good practice for getting back in the swing of live tweeting, because next week I’m back on Pacific time so I can tweet alongside the people who are watching the West coast feed (so few people live tweet during the Mountain time zone! No one interacting, which makes it less fun).

Aaaaand I got distracted. Again. Well, since it’s almost time to go to work I guess I’ll leave my poor neglected WIP off to the side for a while. Until the morrow!

In Deeper Waters

I ended up revising my first few chapters–again–because my main character was falling flat. She was whiny and skittish and just too scared of EVERYTHING. Too neurotic to be likable. Who wants a candy-ass heroine? Not me.

So far the male protagonist seems likable and believable. Okay, it’s a sci-fi type story, which means some of the stuff isn’t necessarily going to be believable. That’s the fiction part of sci-fi.

^^Wow, I got distracted by something… I started this post a day ago & forgot to finish typing it up.

Anywho, much revising left to do to ensure that my female protagonist doesn’t end up a flat, whiny brat.

The Journey Continues

Things are moving right along with the new manuscript. I’m not writing as quickly as some authors might, but I’m getting a lot accomplished for my personal pace. Less than 9 months left in the year for me to finish the first draft, but I’m still optimistic that I can do it.

My protagonists are out of the city where they were being hunted by the authorities and have now reached another city where their arrival will cause something of a stir.

I’ve noticed that I could be more descriptive. I kind of lack in that department, so during revisions I will probably bump up the verbal painting until the pictures are more vibrant. I can envision my characters clearly, but will the reader be able to?

As is, probably not. But I’ll make it better. I’ll learn and adapt. I’ll create a world that people can step into to escape their own.

A Whole New World

I think I’m getting there. It’s been a rough road these past couple of months, but I’m finally starting to get inside the world I’m writing. I’m understanding where the characters are coming from and their motivations.

I still have a long way to go, though. I don’t even have a name for where the story takes place. I have a bunch of places in the story that say “[insert city-state name here],” but I haven’t gotten a good name for said city-state yet. I’m just plugging along, hoping it comes to me eventually. Then a little “Find and Replace” will take care of that part.

The first two chapters are really short, which is a problem, but I keep trying to tell myself to just get the story down and worry about chapter length once the first draft is done. I’m terrible at listening to myself, though. Lol

At least I have something to fill my early mornings once again. I think I’ll be able to move along more quickly now that I have my head more immersed in the world I’m creating. But we’ll see. I still have 10 months to reach my goal of having a complete first draft by the end of 2016.

Sick and Tired of Writer’s Block

My new manuscript has been stalled for pretty much a solid month or more, and I didn’t really know where to start–or rather, restart. The first few chapters were paced wrong, and there was a character in there that really wasn’t integral to the story. He was just kind of shoved in there.

So, how do I start over? Do I keep what I have and revise the hell out of it? Do I start from scratch? What do I do? So I spent a month weighing my options and trying to make up my damn mind.

Today, I was finally able to restart the manuscript from the beginning, and I think it’s turning out pretty well. The odd thing? I was only able to start writing again after being incredibly sick for nearly a week. Is it my muse returning … or is it the promethazine-codeine cough syrup? I may never know…

Regardless of where the surge in creativity is coming from today, I’m taking full advantage. Are these three chapters any better than the three previously-written ones? Not necessarily, but it’s a better start. I have a better place to build from. My word count sucks for these chapters compared to the other ones, but I think the story is stronger and I can make it into something more with revisions later down the road. This particular rocky start is a better rocky start than the rocky start I started with. Or something.

Will this mean that I’ll have my first draft by the end of the year as I had hoped? Maybe, maybe not. But it does mean that I have momentum again, and momentum is much needed right now.

Maybe this illness has been a blessing in disguise, a sign to myself to take stock of what’s going on in my life and take a step back. I’ve been stretching myself a bit thin, not having any days where I’m not doing anything, and this small break, doctor-advised though it may be, has shown me that if I can relax I can accomplish more. Yesterday I did almost nothing work-related (with the exception of inking one drawing and scanning in the others for a commission I’ve been a part of), and it felt great. No writing. No cosplay. No sculpting. Just catching up on living life–although I was living part of it in the doctor’s waiting room.

And now, back to codeine-induced inspiration!

Fanfiction: Devotional or Uninspired?

Yesterday’s post had to do with the strange phenomenon of “shipping” when it comes to fictional characters and worlds. Today, I follow that up with a post about fanfiction, which is basically fans writing “episodes” of TV shows, movies, comics, etc.

My first question is this: Why fanfiction? Sure, some are just little short stories depicting something the fan wishes had happened on the show/in the comic/whatever. But some are epic, novel-length works about their favorite characters and worlds. It boggles my mind, because if you have enough imagination to write a novel, why not create your own world and characters? Why piggy back off of someone else’s characters? Is it really just to show your devotion to the show? Is it to make real the things you wish the show writers had put in there?

I admit, I’ve only written one novel, but I can say without a doubt that it’s my own novel. I didn’t base any of the characters or situations on something I had seen in someone else’s work. I took a character of my own making and created a cast that revolved around her.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m “better” than a fanfic author. That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I’m trying to say is, if you have that much creativity inside you, why not use it to create your own world? Maybe even write a novel that gets turned into one of your favorite TV shows or into a movie. You could have fanfic written about your original idea. Wouldn’t that be even more awesome? To be the origin of fanfic, not a perpetuator?

I don’t know. I could certainly write fanfic if I wanted to. I’m a terrible worldbuilder, so theoretically if I just snatch up someone else’s world and fiddle around with it it should be easier. Then again, I’m also selfish and narcissistic. I want something that I made. Something that wrote from my imagination. I want to be able to say, “I did that. I created those characters. I wrote the plot. Me.”

Sure, my plots might not be the most original. How does the saying go? Something about how no idea is truly unique anymore. Every story has already been written, and it’s only a matter of the spin you put on it. In that case, isn’t every story fanfiction? Every vampire story a fanfic of Brahm Stoker’s Dracula? Every tragic love story a fanfic of Romeo and Juliet?

Who knows. What I do know is that fanfiction is yet another area of fandom that I don’t fully understand. Why ship things that don’t exist? Why write from other peoples’ ideas instead of creating your own?

I may never know.

A little of a lot

Got quite a few things done today. Not a lot of any one thing, but a little of a lot of things.

Got more of the beta read I’m doing accomplished. Wrote a couple thousand words on my new manuscript. Drew a little. Set my craft room back up after our company left. Sculpted a little. Burnt most of what I sculpted.

No email yet about the interview, but I’m not too worried about it. If anyone knows what it’s like to have time get away from you when you have an email interview to prep, it’s me. Lol

Back to work life tomorrow, full-on. Cold is gone, so I should be ready ‘n’ rarin’. Or something.

Will the Grass Be Greener?

I’ve been given a great opportunity, and I wonder if/how it will pay off in the coming weeks.

A publication for the Phoenix, AZ, area is interviewing me about my book this weekend. I’m pretty excited, even though I got the interview because I work with the editor-in-chief at my day job, and I talk about my book all the time there (because fuck yeah! I wrote a book!).

I’m wondering if this will help increase sales any. They’ve been dismal for quite some time now that the die-hard fans (translation: some of my friends and coworkers) have already purchased their copies. I’ve gotten only a couple of reviews, but I am proud to say they were both five stars. I’ll stick that in the “win” column.

This also gives me hope for the next book. I don’t know what the interview questions will be, so I don’t know if I’ll even have the opportunity to talk about my work-in-progress, but if the first book sells a few more copies then maybe I have hope for the second book.

It feels weird to be on this side of an interview. I wonder if any of the bands or actors that I’ve interviewed have felt this way. Probably not the more well-known ones; they already have careers and don’t care if they get interviewed by me. But the indie bands, the actors just starting out? They just might have a inkling of what I’m feeling like right now. The excitement, the anticipation…it’s pretty cool.

I can’t let this get to my head, though. I wouldn’t have this opportunity if I didn’t have a “connection in the biz.” Still, it’ll be interesting to see what things are like on this side of the fence.

Dead to the World

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted, I know, but I was kinda half dead. Okay, a little dead. Dead enough that I didn’t want to write or do much of anything.

Though it was only a cold, I’m sure y’all know how much that can take out of you. The constant coughing. The wheezing. The shortness of breath. The sinus congestion. The fever. The body aches. It sucks, and it isn’t very conducive to productivity.

Thankfully, though, I’m starting to feel better. I still have a little ghost of a cough, but hopefully tomorrow I’ll be right as rain. That’s a funny saying. What’s so right about rain? Shouldn’t it be right as sunshine? But I digress.

A lot of projects have been backing up. The art commission project. The cosplay work. The beta read. The writing. I’m barely keeping up with the Talk Nerdy With Us work that’s been assigned to me. I’ve been able to work at my day job, but only while heavily medicated. (Not too heavily medicated. The max that I can take legally to function in the workplace.)

I’m trying to psych myself up for getting back into the swing of things. I need to get back into that art project. Like kick-my-own-ass get back into it.

Back from the dead. Time to get to work.

The other side of the glass

Though I have a solid idea for a new novel and am mostly ready to start, I’m putting that aside for a while to do a beta read that’s been sitting in my computer for far too long.

I’ve already read this novel in bits and pieces for critique, but this will be my first time reading it all the way through. It will also be my first beta read, so I have to read through carefully and look for plot continuity and things like that.

Beta reading should be interesting. When I read for a critique, I usually look for grammar/spelling and general readability, and I usually only get snippets–a chapter or two at a time. This time I have the whole manuscript before me.

Being a beta reader is a big responsibility. This is someone’s livelihood. They’ve entrusted me with their hard work to pick apart or compliment as I see fit. You can’t just phone this one in.