Talk about storms… my post from this morning is now outdated as far as Black Violas goes. Black Violas is a good story, and the contest theme led me to it, but they don’t fit together. I broke the story elements out to what would fit, but my heart isn’t in it. I like the story the way it is, aside from fixing plot holes and getting it to fix inside the 3500 wordcount limit. So why do I need to do that? I don’t. I can turn this baby into a novella, get into all those nitty gritty details without freaking out about writing a full length novel on this topic.
So my new plan for the parsec contest: I’m taking the elements I broke down and fitting it to a fantasy story, changing the setting from a cave to a forest (because I really don’t need two cave-in stories!), and THIS concept seems to fit the theme better, more naturally.
Here’s the catch: I only have eight days to write, revise, and submit this thing. I am insane, but I’m going to give it a shot!
I know I’m growing as a writer. Before, when someone critiqued me and tore my story apart, I bled. Me. I’d think I was a failure and question why I was doing this to myself. I’m done with that. Critiques are so neccesary to writing fiction. The world and story are so alive in my mind, that I cannot convey it all properly right off. Maybe if I had six months to forget the story and read it anew, that would help. But I’d still need the view of someone who hasn’t had any exposure to it at all. It’s invaluable.
So, Black Violas: I got back two critiques from writers, and two from non-writers. They all helped me understand what isn’t working. It was an early draft, I knew it needed work, but I didn’t realize how much I really tried to cram into a short story. It seems what I need to do is go in with a highlighter and find everything related to the single most important idea in the story, and anything that supports that. And start the next revision with just that.
It means cutting another character, and actually, I’m all right with that. What’s helping me is believing that the story as is, is a novel synopsis, so I can play with all my complications later on, in a stronger form. It’s allowing me to let go of what isn’t critical for this small piece to work.
There is less than a month until the contest deadline, and I have two other deadlines before it. This is definitely shaping up to be an interesting year–and I am not backing down from the challenge.
This story has gone through the ringer, but it’s finally in good enough shape to pass onto critters. 🙂 No not the furry kind, the writer kind. Yes, I’m loopy. I stayed up too late, but… it’s okay.
Despite my cold, I came down to write tonight. The edit’s been progressing well, and I got done several more pages tonight, and then realized that my wordcount is still way too high. I’m five pages from the end, which is going to be rewritten more or less. I had a brainstorm on eliminating a character that really truly isn’t neccessary. But he did serve an important part that can be transferred to another character, but that means adding a scene and removing a scene. It might end up being that this change will not alter the word count, but I think it puts my MC in a better position of seeing the crap that’s about to happen and not just get it from someone else.
This could be good, but it means I’m NOT done tonight.
And I still need to dig through my To Edit pile for some short stories for my viable paradise application.
I need more time in my day…
Last night I stayed up late to complete the rewrite. Not the revision: the rewrite. Sent it off to a few friends who I know enjoy SF, and sure enough when I read it over lunch today I realized how far I had veered off course in the last five pages. This is major. And this always embarasses me. I know I need to wait 24 hours before sending it anywhere.
I figured out what it lacked, that was all I had time for. But the amazing thing of driving home from work, without the radio, without screaming kids in the car, is a focus for me. I connected the dots of what was wrong to how to fix it. And that’s what I’m doing now. Just finished the final redlining, and am launching into a screen edit.
Will I finish tonight? I sure as hell hope so!
Spent a few hours on Black Violas today, and put together a game plan on how to fix it. I was afraid it wasn’t fixable. I didn’t understand why the voice wanted to be in first person, but it did, desperately, and today I figured out why. I figured out why the ending didn’t work, and came up with a better one. I found a couple of muse bombs and I am exploiting the hell out of ’em. This is going to be a kick ass story when I’m through with it. I would love to share specifics, but heck, that’ll ruin it for when you read it.
A few days off due to family and stuff, and now I’m back at the keyboard. Working on Black Violas, and it’s coming along nicely. Slow, unfortunately, as I am rewriting the story, so it’s deeper than an edit, and not quite as free as a first draft, but it’s strong. My heroine is bitter yet motivated, and damn if she isn’t going to figure this out, one way or another. 🙂
Black violas edit is underway; the new opening rocks.
Received Hunter back from a submission, no luck there. I want to revise it again before I send it out, but I need to finish Black Violas first.
Watering the Black Violas is in the edit process now. It’s drastic in that the pov is shifting from third to first, and while I’m keeping the events fairly close to the original, it’s easier to jsut rewrite it into a clean new file. I’m eager to get it done, but I’m guessing it’ll take a few days at my evening writing pace. Then I can send it off for crit.
Started the edit for Watering the Black Violas. The ending is wrong, way wrong, and I might have the wrong POV (3rd vs 1st) but I have to play with it before I know for sure. This doesn’t look like an easy edit….
Finished it up this evening. The writing is horrendous. I started in 1st person pov, then went to 3rd and sometimes flipped back to 1st when it felt right. I still don’t know what it should be, I’ll figure that out next month when I edit it.
This is the first new story I’ve completed in over a year. I’m quite pleased with the story, and can’t wait to edit it. Well truthfully, I can wait, but I’m eager to see what I can do with it when the time is right.
Now it’s time for bed.
Amazing progress on Violas today. Gutted most of the old version, and wrote the new story, and have the climax and finale to write now. I have to figure out the ending though, something is hanging…
This is a much better story than I thought it would be. 🙂
I also had a few ideas on how to slip some extra details into Fading Light that should liven up the surrounding world.
Violas has changed drastically thanks to a brainstorming session with my brother. He asked a question I wasn’t prepared to answer, and that threw quite a wrench into the works. The end result is a better story (outlined, everything else has been gutted), but the ending still needs some attention. Looks like I’ll be skipping the workout tomorrow to get this done.
I worked on Violas over lunch today, I’m about a third of the way through the story and the POV (1st) isn’t working anymore. I’ll move the story into 3rd and edit out the 1st perspective on the edit.
I’m almost done with the 3rd of 7 scenes, so definite progress. There is a lot of (fill-in-the-blank) type notes though, but that may clear up with the pov change.
I’m so excited to be moving again on this story. I’m just not thrilled with the bumpy-stumpy 1st draft sentences… can’t wait for the edit. I don’t think anyone is looking at this first draft.
As soon as this is done, I’ll get back to Carter’s crit. I’ve learned to balance multipe projects, but I can’t seem to juggle 1st drafts with other tasks.
I think I’m on the right track now with Violas. I need to refocus on the important details and I am using the Think Sideways techniques to do this. After the past few days of sick baby combined with insane working hours, my brain and body are tired, and after today’s insane workpace, my hands are very tired. My fingers want to find a cool vat of silky mud and jsut soak. So, I will cut the Viola scenes tomorrow, am salvaging two, but redirecting them, and then I have to write the rest.
Slow, yes, but progress is good.
Fading Light has been posted for my crit group. I’m eager for some feedback and a little fearful as well. I’m always fearful on crits. Occupational hazzard I guess. 🙂
A full day with the kids is exhausting, yet I still pushed this evening. Did some science research for Black Violas, tried working on the first draft a bit, but failed at that. Science fiction is difficult for me, not impossible, just very difficult. It requires a lot of effort to understand concepts that do not come naturally to me, but yet I have the need to understand them to represent them properly in the story. I don’t always understand the science I read in science fiction either, but I try. And for some reason I love reading it. Figure that one out.
I’m giving my brain some time to adjust to the science and am going to spend the rest of my writing time tonight review Hunter for those changes. I originally decided it would be a rewrite. I need to skim through the manuscript and select which passages will remain.
I’m not a scientist, and I don’t bluff well, but somehow I write science fiction. I write the characters and the problem first, and place them in the world where they’ll be most interesting. Currently, it’s science fiction. Somehow I have to evolve the science of my story into a merge of actual science and dawn-science. It’s not easy but I do enjoy a challenge every now and again.
I finally remembered what happened this weekend (sick child and stress and exhaustion) and the bad news is I feel it sneaking up on me now.
Onto the writing: I hit a breakthrough on the story I’m writing on for the parsec contest. I wrote the ending first and now I’m on the beginning which is weird for me but a change in routine is good for the brain. It confuses the muse, but she gets into the swing of it. I think it amuses her. The title is Watering the Black Violas, and it wound its way into science fiction. The original ending I wrote is already obsolete, but that’s all right. It helped me find my path for this story which I can’t wait to share.