Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Start of the Second Quarter

Figures that as I was falling asleep last night I thought of the perfect start, and most of the body, for this week's post. Now that I'm awake and capable of typing it all up, I can't think of what to say. Which is about par for the course when it comes to this week's writing.

The collective writing whole was made up of some parts more brewing; some parts "not capable of writing right now" when I come up with something I like, and then forgetting what I came up with later; and some parts skeleton building. I was kind of all over this past week. Just none of it on paper....

A lot of missed opportunities, so I'll go in order to make sure I don't get off-track. First up was the remainder of last Tuesday. The day went in a blur, as it usually does, concluding with Writer's Group and then laundry. As I mentioned last week, I went with reading the opening chapter of Please, Let Me Explain. As is true with most of my stuff, I had a lot of positive reviews. The usual "you really paint the picture; I could see every wall of the scene and exactly what each character was doing." However, it was followed by "I had no clue how to picture the actual characters, though." Whoops. I put so much over-the-top amount of detail in the X-Future backstory to PLME, so people won't get lost, that I forgot that people don't know what Willow and Devon look like. No one even knew what ages to picture them at. Since Ronoxym and I know so much about our characters it didn't even occur to us via our read-throughs that we needed to DESCRIBE Devon and Willow.

On the "over-the-top amount of detail..." bit, well, yeah. We need to figure that out too. It was kind of an overwhelming amount that made the dialogue really drag. As I was reading the chapter to them I was mentally saying "Dear lord, I'm not done yet? I've been reading forever!" So, two key things we need to focus on: find alternative ways to insert the backstory of Devon's leaving the institute, and DESCRIBE WHAT THE TEENS LOOK LIKE.

I've talked to Ron about my group's notes and how we need to revise yet again. He laughed as he tried to remember the last time he looked at the story. He then laughed again when I commented about the outlines we put together for the story about two years ago. He didn't remember we did so. He's such a pantser, he can't even recall planning ahead. Either way, he agreed to give it another read over to catch up. Although, at nearly 30pgs, it might be a bit before he has the time to read through it.

Another critique from my group? I never stick with anything. Ironic, since I'm constantly yelling at Ron for the same reason. Guess he truly is my Wonder Twin.
DC Comics' Wonder Twins
Originally created by Norman Maurer
I was told that I write "such great and intriguing stuff," but I never seem to stick with any of it; grow any of it. I always bring in something new to group each time. So.... I guess I should work more on PLME? Kind of the reason why I wanted to read it in the first place. Get a bead on how outsiders feel about the story without knowing anything about X-Future. I wanted to hear that positive feedback to stoke the fire and get me to want to return to this project. I want someone to push me to advance the story; finish it. I need people to get me to finish a WIP. I always have, be it readers or teachers or bosses needing a script.

Aside from talking to Ron, though, there hasn't actually been real progress. I have thought of different ways of reworking the information from the cell scene so it doesn't all need to be expressed via dialog. Still not sure if we want to go with a prologue, or if we want to have Devon dream about the day he left after passing out from Willow's visit. The problem with the prologue idea is figuring out which perspective we want to use, since the first half of the story is Devon's and the second is Willow's. Do we go complete omnipotent 3rd-person for the prologue? The problem with Devon dreaming about his leaving while passed out is two fold. First, the reader will probably be temporarily confused as to what Willow and Devon are yelling about, only getting vague hints until the chapter where Devon dreams the explanation. Second problem is that the reader doesn't get Willow's POV about the event. Her side of things is still a mystery. Besides, we get to see Devon's side of things, and Willow's reaction to it, in the second half of the story. We need Willow's POV, which is the part that bogs down the pacing, and I'm not sure how to insert that if the first half of the story is Devon's POV.

Lots to think about still. At least I can still read at group what we have written thus far. Fill in the lag it will take for us to catch up on editing and revisions this month. Hopefully, by the time I'm done reading our story thus far, and taking notes on potential edits, we can finish the first draft of the second half of the story. Then we can start our third draft of the whole thing.

Getting rejuvenated with PLME also gave me the driving force to finish up my writing prompt about Devon and Willow that I started. It's a pre-Devon-defecting story that's probably shortly after the duo meet and begin bonding. Devon is playfully teasing Willow. She's immaturely teasing back. Like true seventeen and fifteen year olds? Honestly, I think I need to get back to studying the different age groups because I don't believe I remember how teenagers, preteens, children, or toddlers naturally act anymore.

Switching gears, Bear is starting up another campaign. It has enough of an intriguing concept build that even Hubby has joined in this time. He's super excited about the character he built, and can't wait to cause shenanigans with him. Mostly, I suspect, he can't wait to see people's reaction to the build. Hubby always creates the most off-the-wall characters that just become a fan-favorite, as it were.

Me? Well, I'm still struggling to build my character. Hubby's supposed to be helping me put on the finishing touches today, so we'll see how it goes. I always give you guys a look into my RPG characters, and then they sort of die in a corner. So, I'll probably hold off on really talking about this one. At least, until I have something completed: PLME, or "Lost Loves and Paramours," or anything dealing with Amara or Elymoxa or Jynna or Artie or any of the many RP characters I have stockpiled.

Just for a taste, though, here's my intended character: Gevin Denthakt, a 23-yr-old spear-man who cannot be harmed by electricity.
Zhao Yun from the Chinese mobile MOBA game "King of Glory"
Aside from that little intro, I know a bunch about him, and yet nothing at all. Plus, the bit I do know about him may not come across properly in D&D, it might be more of a "narrative character" build. So, I'm keeping him hush-hush as Hubby helps me with the mechanics of building him, and then we'll see what ends up on paper as I play him in the games.

This weekend was a bit of a wash in regards to writing, though. It's mostly where the "I can't stop to write, but my brain is going a mile a minute with ideas" part of my week went. Lyonish had to move out of her apartment. So I helped her with the last-minute cleaning. Let me tell you, spending the better part of three hours helping scrub hard water stains out of a bathroom is a great time to let your mind wander for story ideas. However, much like with driving, it doesn't lend itself to jotting those ideas down easily.

Because my year hasn't turned out as disciplined and productive in the writing field - or much else, to be honest - I was a bit hard on myself. I've also been a bit hard on Hubby for NOT being so hard on me to make sure I was writing. I lamented some more about how little frequency I've been writing lately. That's when the lovely ChibiSunnie stepped in by sending me this photo:
Chibi: I...thought you might find consolation in knowing that even authors who are so famous that their works are required reading for all high school students struggled to write every day.

It was a consolation, Chibi. Thank you for always knowing how to put my writing woes into perspective. 

Now, to put some words on paper this week so I don't need people like Chibi to lift me up.
Hideki and Chii from Chobits
by Akira Toriyama and Clamp publishing


  1. Enjoyed reading this, Dana. I particularly identify with ideas that disappear on me, even tho' I have made notes on the inspirations thereof. - S

    1. Thank you for saying so. I try to not only write about my life as a writer, but about my head space. I like to think I'm not alone in that respect, and I hope that my blog shows others they're not alone either. We all struggle. We all get through it. We all become better. Thanks again for stopping by for a read.