Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Thawing the Last of the Winter Freeze (Hopefully)

It's been a sad, pathetic road the past month or so, but I finally did it. Aside from this blog post, the new D&D sessions with Bear, and the one time I updated on the now-dead X-Future boards, I finally wrote something! It was only yesterday, but it was still something! The non-writing streak is over. And I hope it stays that way.

Things have finally leveled off at work, and I'm getting my down-time again. Still need to sort through home-life some more to get back on track there, but one step at a time. I plowed through my third book of the year, and I hopefully have enough time to get another one in before the end of the month to get back on track.

So, before I go any further, let's catch up on that reading challenge, shall we?
Challenge by Reading Books Like a Boss
I already have something for either "outside comfort zone" or "recommended." When I visited my father-in-law for Easter he handed me his "lending copy" of "Atlas Shrugged" and told me he expected it back, and read, in about two months.

I doubt I can charge my way through that book before the end of the month, so I think I'm going to purposely avoid it for a few more days. We'll see if I can manage to get through it in the 31 days of May, or if I'll have to ask Professor FIL for an extension.

That does mean that I need another book to finish this month off with, though. Perhaps keep going with my Nikki Heat series? I still have the "name in the title" book to read, and the Heat Series are all titled with a play on word of her last name, which was why she was given the last name Heat.

OK. So, I finished reading the novel I started mid-March. I've written something quick - like, forty-minutes off-and-on quick. As per usual, I don't have it typed up to share, but it is the January 19th prompt, and I do have the January 10th one to share this week. So, I'm catching up. Would be nice if I could actually do multiple prompts in order to get back on date, so that the prompt is actually written on the day listed. Maybe next year I'll get the rhythm to do so.

Anyway, without further ado, my January 10th prompt. It's super short at under 800 words. I wasn't really sure where to go with it, and I wrote it while waiting for my clothes to dry. Going from complete zero and only allotting myself about 40minutes to write seems to be the key to me getting short stories out.

Still haven't made it into an actual flash fiction skill level yet. I'm still pretending with these vignette scenes. Sure, there's dialogue and minor action, but there's no beginning, middle, end or character arc, so they aren't really stories, are they?

*Ahem* So much for "without further ado," I'll just let you read....

"Seeing Stars"

I'll probably fall behind again, because I really want to work on Please, Let Me Explain before my next writer's group meeting next week. I know the next section is both mindnumbingly long and oddly interesting at the same time. There's arguments and character advancement and it seems to at least keep me and Ronoxym drawn in, unable to break away from the drama. Therein lies the problem. We can't find a clean break. So their argument just goes on and on and on forever!

I need to figure out a way to tighten it up. A way to break up the action. Maybe have the arguments sprinkled within different interactions throughout the weeks since Devon's return? The problem there is that neither of them want to let the other have the last word. They chase after each other to explode more and try to guilt the other into shutting up. If either of them succeeded in walking away, would a conversation continue? There would have to be some sort of inciting incident. Would it get too boring for the reader to see them blow up at each other. Then do so again. And again. And again. All before Devon FINALLY convinces Willow to use her powers to get past their communication barrier; seeing things from his POV to better comprehend his pain. Maybe even have her leaving some of her POV for him to understand her too?

I think how we redo the opening will help a lot. How do we inform non-X-Future players the background of Devon's "defecting"? I am, supposedly, seeing Ron this Sunday. However, we're doing so to discuss him officiating a wedding for a friend, and I kind of don't want to hijack that conversation to bug him about PLME. Maybe I'll just do that online.

I think what's holding me back lately is an unclear direction of where to go with my writing. I have so many different paths I could travel, and I'm stumped.

I could edit the main body thus far written for PLME. I could redo the opening so I know how to better condense the dialogue. I could write the next part of the story since I have Ron's outline. I could update the outline so we don't have to do so many revisions.

And that's just with PLME.

I could also say "screw it; I'm playing catch-up" and just tear through multiple writing prompts. I could finally write out Jynna's backstory. I could figure out the backstory for my new D&D character Gevin. I could deal with the first major trauma that Jolene had to suffer and write the next chapter of "Lost Loves and Paramours." I could go back to "Ready. Set. Novel!" and work out more plot for Jolene's post-LL&P story. I could focus on finishing world building for "Glitches." Figure out such things as Cody's connection to the orphanage, or even what to call the damn place! I could even put in some "Hey, Arnold!" DVDs and get back to my post-college roots: finally finish, or at least write the next chapter for, What Is Truly Meant To Be.

There's so much I could do. I'm so overwhelmed by options that I think that's what's been shutting me down. I have no direction, so I wait to see which of my WIPs grabs me and goes "Work on me! Now!" yet none of them do. Without a demand to work on one project specifically, and without the desire to work on one project specifically, I'm frozen.

I need to become unfrozen. I need to pick a direction. I need a drive.

I need a fire under my butt. I preemptively apologize to my future agent/editor/publisher, who is/are going to have to really keep on me to keep going with my project in order to finish it.

Easter: yet another chance for new beginnings. Here's hoping my writing yesterday proves fruitful this time.

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