Monday, March 9, 2015

Just Camp Nanowrimo

So Nanowrimo is National Novel Writer's Month. It happens in November, and the idea is to write a complete 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I gave this a shot last year, but failed. I wrote 10,000 words in five days and then hit a brick wall and couldn't write anymore.

Camp Nanowrimo happens in April and June, and one can either write a novel or do something else. I'm going to use it to help me edit the Ejuridae novel, which I've tentatively named Keystone. It feels weird to have even a tentative name for it.

I have not finished reading The Darker Road. I want to but it's due back at the library tomorrow, so I don't know what's going to happen with that.

Been doing more of the same as last week for Worldstriders; worldbuilding and some scene.

That's it. Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Page and I

I feel like when I'm writing I am doing what I was meant to do and everything else in the whole world is just a distraction. I wish I could just go away somewhere and write and that's all. No games, no family, no facebook, just me and the page. Or, the document, since I write on the computer. I feel like a shithead to actually say that or, type it, since that's actually what I've done.

I did a significant amount of worldbuilding, and some scene writing on WorldStriders. Don't know if these scenes will be in the final version.

I'm on page 223 of The Darker Road. It's still meh. I should read it more quickly so I can move on to something else.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 23, 2015

If I'm going to do this, I've got to get serious.

Or perhaps serious isn't the right word, because serious isn't enough. I've been going about writing like it's some kind of hobby, or a once in a while weekend gig that I can just blow off and play video games.

And as long as that's how I feel about it, how I treat it, that's all it's going to be. I can't just get serious about it; I've got to treat it like it's the only thing I've got. If I'm going to be successful.

But I have other responsibilities, tons of them. But really not that many. I mean, I've got a family I neglect already, might as well neglect them by writing. It's not like I have a job. I'm the support person in my family.

I have a personal blog in which to complain about all that, though. This blog is about reading and writing. I'm on page 122 of 477 of The Darker Road, and I write every day but it's all in my personal blog, no stories or good stuff.

I need to get into the habit of writing. This is just like I've said on my other blog, habits. I can sacrifice lots of stuff and write, and still be able to enjoy my family.

Do I have goals for this week? Keep blogging in my other blog the way I've been, keep reading every day. Experiment with reading/writing habits. Write the stuff I don't want to write. Push. Obsess, not in a pedantic way, but in a passionate, creative, flamboyantly insane way. Throw sword, attack with scabbard and lunchbox. 

Treat writing like it's all I have, because it is, and I can't let it get away. I hate to admit that in public because I feel like I'm betraying everyone who loves me. But it's all I have that's mine only. And I don't mean that in a jealous way, like nobody else is allowed to write. Just that of all of the things I have that define me, writing was first, and only and wholly mine. Nobody else told me to write, or that I should be a writer. Well, they have, but that was after I had already decided it was for me.

And if I let it get away it's like I never lived. I mean, I have my lovely children and all the people I ever talked to, and that's great, but none of that is just me, my own, at my core. It's what I've shared with others, what others have influenced me to do. Writing is the only thing that originated 100% from within myself.

I can't let it get away. I've got to hold on to it, lift it above the fires of Mount Doom for as long as I have fingers, as long as a single thought remains in the tattered remnants of my brain. Write.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

All's Quiet on the Writing Front

Hello, Readers.

I'm still toward the beginning of a book called The Darker Road. So far it's not as good as the other books I've read this year, but I'm trying to keep at it. Chalion was a little hard to get into...but this one is way worse. I'm hoping it will surprise me.

As far as writing goes, I'm having trouble writing for one of the characters. Maybe I'm getting hung up on the fact that he's a man? I don't know. I tried to work around it and things got very convoluted. I don't know what I'm going to do, but I'll do something.

That's it for this week, Readers.

Thanks for Reading.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Curse of Chalion and not much else

Hello, Readers!

Yesterday I finished The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold. It is the first book I have read by this author, and I enjoyed it very much. It is a classic fantasy setting, one we might call "low" fantasy instead of "high". It is a pretty standard feudal society, everyone seems to be a human, and there is no magic but religious magic, and very little of that.

The first half of the book was slow, but not so slow that it became uninteresting. Then things sped up and I just couldn't put it down. The world is very well built. There are no maps but even so I was able to follow where things were happening. The culture and religion are well constructed and well integrated with the plot. The characters, especially the main character, were deep, sympathetic and believable.

I was able to guess a number of plot points before they happened, but there were plenty of surprises as well. I was so happy with the ending, but a cynical part of me wasn't thrilled with how evenly everything worked out.

I had a thought the other day. These reviews are for me, to get me to the point where I can write about writing, which will help me be a better writer.. I try not to include spoilers, but I may stop doing that. I'll try to add spoiler warnings. I may also try to write notes as I'm reading.

As for writing, not much has happened. I tried to write some backstory for a character but got hung up on worldbuilding and other issues. Maybe for my next book I need to focus on something that happens more in the real world. Then I don't have to worry about stuff like armor or medieval combat techniques, or medieval anything.

Actually, that gives me an idea, but I won't share it just yet. Maybe next week.

That's it for this time, Readers. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Daggerspell, Worldstriders planning progress, Ejuridae editing progress

Dear Readers,

I finished Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr last week. It's the first in a series. I love series that start with  a character of limited experience, whose world is small, and then broadens the readers knowledge of the world and universe as the larger story continues over the course of the series. The Belgariad is like that, and I have a feeling this series is going to be the same way.

The first book in the series takes place in the kingdom of Deverry. The tech level seems a bit more primitive than most sword and sorcery, and magic is sort of shamanic. The story is about a small group of people and their strange "wyrd" or destiny. They interact across several lifetimes, accruing, repaying and forgiving karmic scorecards.

As for writing:

I started going over the plot of the Ejuridae novel, and I thought of some changes. Once I work that out completely I'll implement the changes in the text, and then I'll go through the whole thing for consistency and language. Then it will be ready for first readers.

I have done a lot of backstory writing for Wordstriders, and I've started to work out exactly where I want the actual story to go. Starting with a bare skeleton and then filling it in. Usually what I do is I start writing at the beginning and get bogged down in the middle. This time what I'm hoping to do is work from general to specific. The backstory writing has been really fun and I'm getting to know the characters well.

That's it, Readers. Have a good week, and thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Quick post from sick writer

Dear Readers,

I've been sick this week. I finished Daggerspell and really enjoyed it. I'll write a proper review next week.

I've written like 10,000 words of backstory scenes for the main character of the World Striders novel. It didn't seem like that much. I'd just write whenever I felt like it. It felt good to write. None of it is actually going in a novel or anything probably. But I've enjoyed writing.

That's it. Thanks for reading. (cough, cough)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Writing update, no review

Hello, Readers!

So yesterday was a day off for the family, so I forgot it was Monday. That might happen on Monday holidays, so be warned.

I'm a little more than halfway through Daggerspell by Katherine Kerr. It's an enjoyable read so far.

As for writing, I did a tiny bit of world building for WorldStriders, and hashed out a little more backstory. I am working on the villain's backstory right now. I've also had several moments of doubt. Do I really need to do it this way or that? My goal for this week is to write 20 minutes every evening, whether it's about the story or the actual story itself. Just to really write, to exercise my creative muscles. I feel like I'm holding back a tide right now. It only hurts, and why bother?

Of course, I will finish Daggerspell and get started on other reading by next Monday as well.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 12, 2015

The King of Elfland's Daughter and On the Edge

Greetings, Readers!

This week I read two books. I finished The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany, and I read another book, On the Edge by Ilona Andrews.

I loved reading The King of Elfland's Daughter. The prose was so beautiful, like an old faerie tale. Which is sort of what it is. The language is a little thick and flowery, so it was not a quick and easy read; it made me slow down and savor. That's the kind of book it was. The urban fantasy I've been reading is fast and exciting and hard to put down; this book almost needed to be put down between chapters to let it soak in. I wish I'd read it when I was younger, a child, on one of those rainy autumn afternoons in Forestville, when it didn't matter how small the cabin was because I was worlds away in Elfland and Erl.

On the Edge was more urban fantasy. The story was predictable and a little too pat, the romantic subplot even more so, and the love scene cringe-worthy. There was so much backstory I double checked to make sure this was the first in it's series. Some of the backstory points would have made a better novel than this one! However, I loved the world and the characters and the way they interacted, especially the protagonists little brothers, enough to want to read the sequels if/when they come out. Maybe they'll be about the brothers.

As far as my writing goes, I did accomplish the character backgrounds for the two main characters. This week I'll work on worldbuilding for the fantasy realm and start playing with plot and writing up some background scenes to explore the way the characters interact.

I started rereading Ejuridae but I've read it so many times I go cross-eyed. I have to edit the last few chapters to get it ready for first-readers because I'm just not able to see it anymore. I'm too familiar. There's a big chance I'll put it aside after I give it to a few people to read, I just want to be able to say I've finished it.

Thanks for Reading!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Review of 7 Wonders and a Goal for the New Year

Good Evening Readers!

I finished Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher on New Year's Eve. I'm glad it didn't follow me into this year. I loved Christopher's previous effort, Empire State. The actual prose itself in Seven Wonders was as good, and that kept me reading, but the story fell short in my opinion.

I really wanted to like this book. There was a lot of good stuff in it: the superpowers, the moral ambiguity, the realistic treatment of untrained superheroes, some great flashy action scenes. What it lacked was a protagonist. Not just a sympathetic protagonist, but any at all. It starts off with Tony Prosdocimi, but then it's off everywhere else, and nobody is right or innocent, nobody has clear motivations. It's great to keep a reader guessing, but what if they don't care to? If the reader is so divested from the characters that each new twist makes them shrug and say, "Oh. Okay. Whatever." That's how this book made me feel. The writing itself was good enough to keep me going through the end, but I can't say much else for it.

I am currently about three-quarters of the way through The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany. The review for that will have to wait until next week, but I am enjoying it.

As for writing, I have two projects. One is the new one I discussed before, the Worldstriders one. I have not moved on that yet but I do have a couple of goals for it. One, I'd like to finish it, a whole novel, before NaNoWriMo comes around again this year. I'd like to spend November mad-writing a brand new novel. This week, I plan to do detailed character creation on the main characters and plan out a (very) rough plot. I will do some writing, but it will largely be backstory and may or may not end up as an actual part of the novel itself.

The other is a D&D homebrew I'm running for my daughter. This is a creative writing project as much as anything I've ever written. We game on Fridays and there's a ton of world building to do.

There is also an editing project. I want to get the Ejuridae novel ready for first readers by the beginning of summer.

And that's that for reading and writing. Thanks for reading and I'll be back in a week!