Loser? Nope!

Some of you may think I’m a loser when I say this but I don’t even care: I haven’t written a word since my last entry.

Here’s what I’ve decided, though, in my defense. I’m going to count my first couple thousand as a plotting exercise. I really can’t get into a story without knowing the characters and I can’t get to know the characters without writing them. I have a pretty good grasp on them now. So I’m going to put it off another month and do NaNo properly. Until then, I’ll keep plotting and planning, and posting here.

Hahaha, writers are such terrible people. But we’re so lovable.

Also, I finished Dracula tonight, review soon to follow.

And I’m halfway through a book that was written a few NaNos ago (if you wrote a book for NaNo and it’s been published on Amazon, let me know–I love to support my fellows). And I guess there’s that new JK Rowling book out…?

Kidding, it’s mine and I’m loving it so far even though it’s weird to hear JKR talk about testicles. Once I can get past that squeamishness, I will love it. I can tell!

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ

I didn’t get 10k.

My goal was to get to 10k each week until NaNo, but I didn’t make it this week.  The sad truth is, I only write when I’m at work or at a coffee house.  Three nights this last week, I didn’t work–and I was out of town, in a little place that didn’t have a nice coffee house.  So I missed out on three nights’ worth of word count.

I got to just over 7k.  Since I’m lacking the frenzy that comes from actual NaNoWriMo, I can’t expect myself to get the usual 1.7k a day, so I lowered my expectations to 10k a week.  Apparently that wasn’t low enough.  Oddly enough, of the nights I did write, I got an average of 1.7k written!  But as I had no motivation to write the other nights, it wasn’t enough.

New goal:  Get 7k a week.  Is it wrong to lower expectations instead of raising the bar?  Yep.  Oh well! 

As for the story… I still love the characters, and the story is cool, but it’s moving too fast.  I need to slow it down–either by elaborating (which I really need to do, honestly) or throw in more obstacles.  Or both. 

Hope you all are doing better than I am.  Thanks for the everlasting support, folks!

My history as a writer.

My history as a writer.

In case anyone is interested…

The first fiction story I remember writing was in the fourth grade. The year was 1998 and I was nine years old. It was titled “Halloween of 1999,” and, if I recall correctly, it was about a girl named Katie (or Megan) who moved to a new town and wanted to make some friends. She met a girl named Megan (or Katie) and the two set off to explore a haunted house nearby. They encountered some violent ghosts and used karate or something similar to fight them. They escaped the house and collapsed in the yard, under a tree, to catch their breath. After a moment, Katie (or Megan) looked up and realized that Megan (or Katie) was dead, had been literally scared to death. The still living one, whatever her name was, ran off screaming for her parents, and that’s where the story ended.

YEP. How I managed to avoid being sent to the guidance counselor’s office for eight years, I have no idea. But I’m skipping ahead.

I also wrote a story that year called “Christmas of 1999,” but I don’t remember what it was about. Both were written as assignments at school, and both received praise (though I can’t remember if it was generic teacher praise or legitimate). P.S. My three best friends at the time were named Megan, Katie, and Katie.

I do remember my first attempt at writing a novel, but unfortunately I don’t remember how old I was. My guess is around ten-eleven? It was a terrible rip-off of Animorphs, called “True Control,” and it was about some kids who met an alien and were granted the ability to control weather. There were six of them, three boys and three girls, and they were all siblings—maybe adopted. The oldest were twins, named Samantha and Samuel, nicknamed Sammy and Sam respectively. I didn’t get very far with that.

When I was eleven or twelve, I wrote a rather long fanfic about Dream Street. It was mostly written in pink ballpoint, and was very hard to read. It spanned two notebooks, I think. I don’t remember any of the plot, but I’m sure it was very bad.

In the seventh grade, age twelveish, I wrote a few stories that made my teacher cry. One was about the wife of a soldier, and how she was some kind of spy, and she died at the end from…something. Maybe being shot? It was written in a diary-like format, so she was telling her own story, and it stopped in the middle of a sentence. My teacher read it aloud to the class and cried while doing so. The other story that made her cry was about a girl whose father died, she thought about suicide, and she was saved by a very new boyfriend giving her hope through his complete and everlasting love. I think that was also written in a diary-like format. Anyway, my teacher used my stories as examples of damn good writing and what my fellow students should strive for. I didn’t think they were that good, and I think that’s when my doubt of praise started in. It comes from low self-esteem, and she gave me no reason to think she was lying when she told me the writing was wonderful…but I doubted her anyway.

In the seventh or eighth grade, I started a project with five of my friends called The Notebook (this was before we knew about Nickolas Sparks’ book by that title). It was fanfiction, blending several fandoms, with all of us writers as self-inserts. It was literally a notebook that we passed around and we all wrote in it—a word, a sentence, six pages, whatever we felt moved to write before throwing it at another Notebook member. The story had to be completed by the time we reached the end of the notebook. It was a lot of fun, and we got a few more notebooks over the years. That came to a close in the tenth grade, when a member accidentally left the notebook in a classroom and it was found by a teacher. By that point, The Notebook had gotten…vulgar, crass, and not even we, the writers, could pretend it was appropriate. It was turned in to the administrators and we were all called to the office. The meeting consisted of us being panicked out of our minds and the administrators, middle-aged women, saying, “This is completely inappropriate, I mean, the writing itself is very good, but you could get a man fired with this kind of stuff lying around, I mean, it’s a wonderful read but you cannot write this sort of thing during school hours,” about twenty different ways. They kept our notebook—to this day, I’m convinced they made copies and kept them under their pillows.

Jumping back a little, when I was fourteen and a Freshman in high school, I wrote a story for a class called The House. It had six characters, three women and three men (WHOA, like True Control!), who all lived together in a house in the woods. Spanning about 7.5k words, one man cheated on his girlfriend with another woman, the couple fought about it, he hit her, and all these blocked memories of abuse came rushing back to her, so she killed herself.

Those characters stuck with me intensely and I developed them until they barely resembled themselves in that story. I call them the Housers, and I have plans for them to this day—almost a decade after The House was written.

When I was fifteen or sixteen, I tried NaNoWriMo for the first time, but didn’t even hit 5k.

When I was seventeen, I wrote a short story for a class. It was the story of three of the Housers, not even recognizable, and was a sort of prequel to The House—the characters weren’t living together yet. The woman who killed herself in the original story and her brother were the main characters. The story was about how the brother fell in love with a different Houser, and how the sister did not approve of the match because the other guy was too much of a player, while her brother was too sweet and quiet for trash like that, etc. At the beginning of the story, though, it described in not a lot of detail an instance of sexual abuse. For that, I was sent to the guidance counselor’s office and asked if I needed to talk about anything. All I had to say was, “I’ve never been abused, it’s fiction, don’t worry about it,” and I didn’t actually get in trouble. Five of my friends (some former Notebook members) were also sent to the guidance counselor for their stories for that assignment. We all sat in a huddle in the back of the class, but we all wrote about different (inappropriate) things—one or two were about drugs, one was attempted suicide, etc.

I stopped writing for a while after that.

When I was maybe twenty-one, I wrote a short story for a class about a world in which bisexuality was the norm and people who were monosexual (gay or straight) were degraded and insulted, labeled discriminatory and sexist, etc. I actually really like that story, poorly written though it is.

And then there was November 2011, at twenty-two years of age, when I participated in NaNoWriMo. I wrote 35k words about a polyamorous triad, the Andersons. In the ten months since, that story has been polished up to 44k and is hanging out with my editor. I’m so very proud of it…poorly written though it is!

That brings us to now.

Now, I have a blog about my writing. Now, I’m looking into query letters and agents. Now, I’m working on a new story. I’m so glad I returned to writing. This is where I belong. I am a writer and I don’t understand why I ever stopped.

For anyone who has actually read this far and is still interested, the Housers are set up to be a sequel to the Andersons’ story. Two of them are actually the Andersons’ children—timey-wimey!

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ

Well, I did it

Screw it. I’ve started my new NaNo. My plan is to get in ~10k a week, and hopefully I can get the first draft done by November. For the actual NaNo, I plan to rewrite. Second draft, I’ll be able to beef it up and flesh it out and rearrange. It’s the second draft where it starts to get good.

I got 1.6k last night. I looove my characters. MC is getting an eye-patch, at least for now. She’s pretty and fierce and her brother is adorable and the other character is funny and, and…

Yay.

Starting a new story is very much like starting a new relationship. It’s all exciting and full of potential and makes me feel all giddy. Luckily, I am polyamorous to my core, so that I can enjoy a new relationship while keeping my old one strong, and a new story without forgetting or throwing away the old one!

Is that a terrible metaphor, or did I just handle it poorly?

So, I was reading last year’s book, about the Andersons… don’t judge me, I miss them… anyway, I kept picking up on little typos that I’m going to tell my editor were planted to test her.

“You found that one, good! Ah, that was a tricky one, but if you can figure out I meant IUD when I put UTI, I know I can trust you to polish my novel to perfection.”

Cheers (chears), folks, I hope your planning and writing and whatever else is going marvelously.
(Marvolously. Some day, I might outgrow the Potter puns. That day is not this day.)

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ

Should my character wear an eye-patch?

I’m making her lose an eye. Well, she lost an eye before the story began. So she can either have a fake/glass eye, or an eye-patch, or…nothing, I guess. An eye-patch would draw too much attention to her, but it would be so cool at the same time. Ah, decisions.

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ

Writing tragedy.

I’m fleshing out my inspiration from the other day, and I’ve realized that it’s going to be a tragic story. FMC is going to fail.

I barely know her, or the other characters, but it already makes me sad.

And here comes the worst part of pre-NaNoWriMo: Having to wait! Ah, I want to write the story already but I know it’ll be better if I wait. I really should take these ~53 days to work on my outline, get to know my characters, etc. It’s just frustrating. I’m impatient!

I coooould do my own NaNo and write it in the next 30 days…but I shouldn’t. Should I? I shouldn’t.

Anyone else struggling?

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ

Inspiration!

I guess I will be doing NaNo after all. Inspiration has struck!

I will be writing about siblings Nina and Tyson (names may change, of course). They are immortal…more or less. I guess we’ll see just how immortal they are in November, right? Ah, I love inspiration.

I was trying to make a story from scratch, and it…didn’t work. It was so painful. My brain couldn’t handle it, so it popped out a nice little bunny for me to play with. Thanks, brain.

Also, the story I mentioned before, that I may be writing with my girlfriend*, it seems like that will still be happening but in a completely different way so we won’t be able to use that I wrote. But that’s okay. I may rebel and work on both stories for NaNo…

*I said “friend” before, but she’s actually my girlfriend and my other girlfriend called me out for it. So, to avoid confusion, I will use her actual title here.

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ