Monday, April 30, 2012

New Project Ahoy!


(Due to the fact that I was unable to attend my libraries this weekend, and therefore my haul was extremely malnourished, I have forgone the usual Library Haul this week. Do forgive.)

As you are aware, Project V has been giving me no end of trouble and refuses to be written, so I decided to work on another story, hoping it might get me back into the swing of the thing. I pondered a few options and started a few promising stories, but it wasn't until late last week that I found The Story.

And so, I am announcing the new and exciting Project P!

If you must know (because, of course, you must, right? ;), I am currently describing Project P as "The Hunger Games meets Legend (by Marie Lu) meets In Time." It is a stand-alone YA dystopian novel with a female protagonist in 1st Person Present Tense.

After much personal debate, I decided to devote the next two months to write it. To insure I don't aggravate my already bad health, the word count schedule is: 500 words on work days, 1,000 on off-work days, and 1,500 on weekend days. At this slow but daily pace I will have 56,500 words on June 30th. I do not consider this a novel length, though, and plan to write as many words as I can each day to be sure and make at least 60k in the end. But I need an attainable daily goal to strive for, lest I write nothing at all.

So why this story, you wonder? Well, there were two very important and very striking factors right from the start that indicated Project P was The Story:

(1) Before I could even wrap my head around it, my mind started writing a query blurb. I have yet to write a query letter, let alone a blurb for one, and yet there it was, pouring out of my pen onto the page. It was like another, more structured writer had taken over, which was both fascinating and freaky at the same time.

(2) And then, after several sentences of blurb, came The Outline. I am a hard-core discovery writer. I DO NOT outline. And yet I am now the proud owner of a currently 3-page and growing, honest-to-goodness outline. I don't normally outline because, once I get even the gist of the story written down, I lose interest. But so far, it has only increased my excitement to get this book written! Again, fascinating, yet totally freaky.

Needless to say I have no idea what happened, but I saw it as the writing on the wall - to write this novel, and NOW. Strike while the story iron is hot!

I begin tomorrow with a 1k day (although I'm hoping for 2k). I've had less than a week to get my main characters figured out, do some extensive research (of which I've only scratched the surface and will have to do as-needed from now on), draft an outline (currently only one-fourth done), and get some very important rules in order. But writing on the fly is what I do best, and I am all aquiver with excitement. I don't think I've been this excited to write a novel since perhaps my first Nanowrimo. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Writing Block

I have writing block.

This is not to be confused with writer's block. Writer's block is when a writer is blocked in their story and they don't know what to write.

This is not my problem. I am not blocked in my story. My story overflows with ideas and material, my brain churning out new points and angles for Project V like nobody's business. If anything, I am too not blocked in my story - it refuses to stop evolving, constantly changing this bit and that bit until what I had before is nothing more than a second-rate idea.

My problem is that I'm blocked from writing, the physical act of putting words on paper. I know what I want to write, but when I go to physically write, I can't. And right now I am re-writing, which means I have 100 pages already written that only need to be physically typed and tweaked. You think this would make things even easier, but it hasn't.

I know the solution to this problem: sitting my butt in the chair and writing. I KNOW THIS. And yet, the physical act of writing repels me like magnets of the same polarity.

Luckily, I have found some solace in a new story. I am physically writing, and that counts for something with me. But sooner or later, I know I have to return to Project V. I have sworn to have the first draft finished by the end of this year. I keep telling myself this, scolding myself for every wasted writing moment. Yet every time I glance at my laptop, my mind simply goes blank of anything remotely resembling a cohesive sentence.

Here's hoping my polarity changes soon...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Library Haul: In Translation

It's time for a look at my Library Haul, the tower of goodies I picked up during my weekly trip to the libraries (TL, ML, and CL). Sideways are borrowed, upright are purchased used from library Friends.

Here is this week's haul:


Highlights:
  • For 25 cents, wouldn't you pick up a nice copy of Torment? Even if you weren't reading the series. *blinks* Book hoarder? *looks around* Who?
  • The Japanese manga (25 cents at TL Friends) is Alice 19th Volume 5, which I was then able to borrow from the same library to have some fun translating! Been waiting for something like this for a while.
  • I've read Yurara before, but it's been long enough that I can enjoy it again. And I am.
  • The last copy I got of Skinned was nasty - this one is almost like new! I'm a library gal, but sometimes even I'm afraid of where a book has been when it looks that dingy. And germs can live a long time on paper. Better safe than sorry.
  • I didn't get Timeless back, but I got a book just as good: Glamour in Glass! I've been desperate for another Mary Robinette Kowal book since I finished Shades of Milk and Honey. I fear, though, that reading all these Jane Austen-period books one after the other is going to affect my writing voice. :\
  • Nothing to speak of in the movie department... wait, two movies are missing from this photo! (I knew I was forgetting something!) Hehe, oops. :) They are second tries, though - In Time and Doctor Who Series 6, Part 2. Let's see if I get time to watch them this week.
  • What I am finding an abundance of is CDs, especially awesome soundtracks at TL: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Big Miracle, Downton Abbey. Oh, and I would like to announce at this time that I have put the first season of Downton Abbey on hold. It will take a while, but soon I shall be finding out what all the fuss is about!

What have you picked up from your local library as of late?


A Note to My Readership:
Do you enjoy reading Library Haul? I haven't gotten any comments in a while, so should I cease this odd little weekly segment? I would hate to continue boring you, if I am. Please let me know, even if it's a quick "I enjoy it. Keep it up!" or "It's pretty dull. I'd rather hear more about your cats." Thank you in advance for your comments!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Library Haul: The Adventures of Ex Libris

It's time for a look at my Library Haul, the tower of goodies I picked up during my weekly trip to the libraries (TL, ML, and CL). Sideways are borrowed, upright are purchased used from library Friends.

Here is this week's haul:


Highlights:
  • Not much in the way of books this week. Went looking for another book and discovered A College of Magics instead - we'll see if it's any good.
  • FINALLY got Rin-ne Volume 4! Now I can read all the volumes I've gathered and get on with my life.
  • New movies are The Adventures of Tin Tin and The Three Musketeers. Musketeers wasn't bad, although I would've liked to see Bloom as one of the three, and not the bad guy.
  • I've heard so much about Columbo, but don't think I've ever actually seen a full episode. The first season called to me. Same with The Bodyguard.
  • TL is getting in all sorts of new CDs, which means I'm trying all sorts of new artists and getting some great soundtracks, like Hugo. Who knows who I will discover!
What did you pick up from your local library this week?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Necessary Infodumping

I hate infodumping. I definitely hate reading it, but even more I hate writing it. Yet alas, sometimes a certain degree of infodumping is necessary to explain the details of a more complicated idea or world aspect.

We all hear time and again that infodumping is a no-no in novels. Never infodump!, They say. But sometimes, there are those rare things that simply cannot be shown, and must be told. The trick is to whittle down that information as much as possible until it is just the bare minimum, and then tell it in as interesting a setting and scene as you can. It usually comes out rather clich├ęd (as mine is, taking place during a tour), but sometimes it's just gotta be there for other things to make sense.

I am at the necessary infodump point in my re-write of Project V, and it's even worse to re-write than it was to write. I'm having to rearrange the information, which has me all confused with what needs to go where, and because I've become so frustrated with it, the whole ordeal has been like pushing a car through the mud. I have been at it for weeks (also on account of my health, though), and I have yet to see a dry patch to get the story back on the fast track.

I've been tempted to try my hand at another story for a while, perhaps just a short story, so I can at least keep writing to some extent. However, when I sit down to write, I cannot decide on any one project, and in the end my mind comes back around to Project V - as it should, really. So I end up working on whatever bit of Project V that pops into my head - be it the story of what happened that fateful day months before the first book begins (part of which ended up becoming the first book prologue, and a darn good one at that), or the beginning of the POV change in the middle of book three, which only this past week I discovered is going to happen (oh...uh...spoiler alert! :). Even if it doesn't fit into the books and will never see the light of day, it's writing - and more importantly, it's writing in my current WIP. So I don't sweat it as much as not writing at all.

I'm not sitting on my hands, however (which is a funny idiom for a writer :). This week I have begun trying some new techniques, which I hope will get me out of this infodump rut I'm stuck in and back onto the smooth road soon, sailing along towards the end once more. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Library Haul: I Hunt Books

It's time for a look at my Library Haul, the tower of goodies I picked up during my weekly trip to the libraries (TL, ML, and CL). Sideways are borrowed, upright are purchased used from library Friends.

Here is this week's haul:


Highlights:
  • Lots of yummy new YA novels to read! I'm attacking Black Heart by Holly Black first, since it's a favorite series. I Hunt Killers looks to be interesting, although I read the first chapter and it's no I Am Not A Serial Killer - which is actually probably a good thing.
  • New movies include War Horse, Atlas Shrugged Part 1, Jane Eyre, and Cafe. CL had I Dream of Jeannie Season 3, so I grabbed it for some quick and fun entertainment. I used to watch reruns every weekday as a kid after Bewitched. We finally finished Jericho, and I'm going to watch Still Walking this time around even if it kills me (it's my third check-out)!
  • I picked up two Vanessa Carlton CDs, hoping they would be just as good as her first two (which I own). Talk about disappointing! Her latest doesn't even sound like her. What happened?

What interesting items have you picked up from your local library as of late?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tassels




Shawn: "What purpose do tassels serve on shoes, Gus?"

Gus: "I don't know."

Shawn: "I do: evil."

(Shawn and Gus of Psych, on Shawn's irrational fear of tassels)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Library Haul: Reading My Way

It's time for a look at my Library Haul, the tower of goodies I picked up during my weekly trip to the libraries (TL, ML, and CL). Sideways are borrowed, upright are purchased used from library Friends.

Here is this week's haul:


Highlights:
  • I Am Here! Volume 2 came in just as I wanted it! So happy. A surprisingly good series, although short - Volume 2 ends it. :(
  • Emma Volume 1 was okay, so I snagged the only other volume TL has (10). This is, unfortunately, the last volume, but at least I'll know what to expect if I ever get my hands on the rest.
  • Interested to see what Daniel X is about. All I know is it's aliens.
  • Saw The Espressologist at a bookstore so decided to give it a try. It's thin, so hopefully I'll be able to finish it and write a review!
  • Writing Your Way is supposed to be an awesome new writing book. Will let you know.

Pick up anything interesting from your local library as of late?