Writing update

29 12 2008

So, I’ve been writing a lot, finally.

In the week and a half before Christmas, I wrote a story currently titled “The Master Clock,” about 6500 words. It’s in editing stages. I sent it to a couple people to read and I hope they like it. (I already know where some of the problems are. Eeek. I wish I’d proofread it before I gave it to them, but I needed it out the door to feel good about myself.)

Since Christmas eve, I’ve laid down 7500 words of a story “The Crystal Face of God,” and it’s almost drafted. I think I have a fair amount more editing to do on this one though, and at least another 1000 words to add or more, because I just filled in some details so I could get to the end and have it all down.

Both are entering the editing stages. I have a few more stories in the brain pipeline that I might start working on while editing, but that will require me to pay special attention to time management, making sure I can finish everything.

Woo, productivity! Sadly, I have real work tomorrow morning, and I am up past my bedtime.


some writing

18 12 2008

So I have neglected to find more links or make other posts because I am in the process of writing stories. Somehow I got into my head that I could be a speculative fiction writer instead of just a fan. I’ve been writing a lot in and around my work schedule.

I went through documents that accrued over four years of school and found a decent stash of story gems, so I took one of them and started running with it. I’ve written about 6k words since last week, and I think I have the basic frameworks of the story in place. It’s nice to see that. The hard part now is going through and making sure the continuity makes sense and the story says what I want it to say without second-guessing my choice of language or general skill as a writer (and then going on and messing up the story with over-editing or giving up completely). I’d say I’m 2/3rds done. It’s a short story.

After I finish it, I’m going to ship it off to a few people to read. If they don’t say, “Augh, this is terrible,” or even if they do, I will try to incorporate some of their comments into the piece and then ship it off to various spec fic magazines. This is my plan, and is also why I have been and may continue to be lax in updating.

Link #2 — Under a Cabbage Leaf (where stories come from)

30 11 2008

Under a Cabbage Leaf (where stories come from) is a little essay on Storytellers Unplugged by Elizabeth Bear, a speculative fiction writer I’ve reviewed previously.

It’s a bunch of generalized thoughts on building stories. I really enjoyed it and am saving it for later reference. I thought you might like to read it, because it’s kind of a great little look at the creative process in general.

So say you’re building a wall… er. Writing a novel. You might start with one big block and a couple of little ones, and have no real idea yet how they go together. So you fuss with them a bit, move them around, and figure out some of the ways they might fit. But then you need more pieces. Fragments, bigger stuff. Great big chunks you have to call a friend to help lift. You start putting them together and see how they fit, and when you’ve got them wedged and balanced just right–voila, you have a book. Or a wall. Whatever.

So where do you find all these bits?

Go read it! Let me know where it is similar to your creative process.

Happy National Novel Writing Month!

1 11 2008

November is National Novel Writing Month! I am celebrating by attempting to write a novel. We shall see how this works out. I have figured out that if I write roughly 6 pages a day (starting today, of course) then I will be able to complete the challenge. Wish me luck! I will try to keep you all up to date as far as my progress is going, and if I decide I’ve written things worth reading, I’ll share.

Are any of you out there attempting this brave feat?


13 08 2008

I did it! I actually wrote a story from start to finish all on my own with no one prompting me and no one assigning anything. A resounding “I can do it.”

It’s about 2,000 words and took me three weeks to find the right voice for the ‘first’ draft. It went through several different perspectives until I found one that compelled me actually to write to the end. It’s definitely still a draft, but I did it.

I’ve started calling it “Rico Marte,” which is (according to Google Translation) Spanish for ‘rich Mars.’ If you want to get all over my case about appropriating languages I don’t rightfully know, please be my guest. But then help me figure out how to do it better. I’d even let you read the story.

Anyway, I did it. Now I’m going to edit it. Don’t they say 90% of the work gets done in 10% of the time, and the other 10% of the work takes 90% of the time? Scary thought.

After 3 Years, It’s Still Only 11 Pages…

31 03 2008

My career as a writer peaked in third grade when I wrote a story that my teacher loved so much, she helped me turn it into a class play to be performed in front of the neighboring second grade class. I was in fourth grade the last time I completed a fantasy story.

I am beginning to think it’s about time for me to break back into the business.

I read quite a lot of books (especially from the fantasy genre) and I have come to the realization that I can write just as well as a lot of the published authors I read, and my ideas for stories are just as interesting if not more interesting than some of the published stories I read. Of course, some or all of this thinking could be attributed to personal bias. My dad told me I was a good writer when I was in elementary school and the praise has far outlasted my college professors declaring my writing atrocious.

So here’s my secret thought; I would like to be a published author before I graduate college. I would, at the very least, like to have seriously attempted to become a published author before I graduate college. I have a little over two years left with a story that is only 11 pages long after three years in the works… but hey, I started writing the story over three years ago thinking that it was at least halfway decent, and three years later I still think it’s at least halfway decent.

That has to count for something, right?

Dave Eggers’ TED Talk, or What I Want To Do With My Life

20 03 2008

Please watch this video: Dave Eggers’ TED Talk

Basically what Eggers is talking about is the same thing I’ve been saying since I hit 9th grade—that’s eight or nine years of thinking this way about education. My thesis project was inspired by 826. I started a writing club at an after-school program for middle schoolers in nearby Holyoke, MA. While I finish the program, which is actually supposed to continue a week or two past graduation, I am also writing a handbook for others who want to do the same.

Basically, I am doing currently what Eggers is asking everyone to do, and I am writing to encourage others to do the same—and was before he gave his TED talk. I plan on applying for a job at 826 National to help them with Once Upon A School, if they’ll take me. I hope they do, because I haven’t thought of anything else to do yet.

But wow. Isn’t he inspiring?

(WordPress doesn’t allow embedded media, apparently…)