Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Strangest Things Inspire Me

For my Utopia Project, it's maps. Especially geographic maps of Europe, because that's where the action starts out. This is mostly out of a desire to worldbuild.

For the story that's coming after the utopia project, the one about Iris spirits, it's looking at houses with interesting architecture.

Looking at the weaponry section of The Grammar of Warfare makes me want to draw. So does staring at my sister's colored pencils. As does reading Talking With Artists (there's a volume number, but I do not remember it). And watching Soul Eater.

...I should get to work on the Utopia Project now.

UPDATE: 1,666 words.  Yay!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapters are getting shorter as the end draws nearer. 12,212 words, over a thousand less than last time.

What have I learned this time?

Writing emotion is not my strong suit, as I feel I've said every time. If a person does something that goes completely against her moral code, then why doesn't she read as guilty? At the end of the scene, circumstance exonerates the guilt, but no change is apparent. Note to self for when I revise: fix this.

I keep forgetting where things go, physically. Chekhov said, "One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it." I would like to add this: "One must not put a knife on the stage if it will disappear later on."

I did not particularly want to dwell on scenes 101 and 103, and it shows. Especially for 101, my message feels all over the place.

In all, I did not really like any part of this chapter in particular - except that one confrontation at the end of 102.  The first version made a very confident guy into a pushover, so I rewrote it to give him back his dignity.  If a scene feels wrong, change it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cheap Books and Jokes

Don't you love libraries?  Today, my town's public library had a book sale at insane (and wonderful) prices. The most expensive book I got, a massive volume about Renaissance Italy, was $3. All the rest were either 50 cents or $1. I decided against getting a gigantic book about medieval warfare, though. Should I regret that?

Oh yeah, and it was interesting to read Amerika while listening to "Amerika." (Former by Franz Kafka, latter by Rammstein).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chapter Twenty-Two

When you stick a girl in front of the computer for 4-5 hours a day, miracles (and procrastination) happen.  Namely, a 13,919-word chapter (longest!) in half the time as the previous one.

I think it is one of my better chapters, as well. At the very least, it was fun to do my customary read-through at the end. Most of scene 96 was written in a mental explosion in the hours after a pretty fun block party.  I was in "the zone."  Scene 99, though, was certainly my favorite. It involved two of my favorite characters and an idea that I got for them a long time ago.

But there are still problems. My perennial enemy, writing emotion, plagued me this chapter just as it always has. How do you build up and then crush hope?

Scene 97 has a subtle pun that plays off two characters' names, but "subtle" in this case may really an-inside-joke-I-have-with-myself.  Note to self: it's not funny if you're the only one who gets it.

Events in scene 98 have justification, but I haven't laid the groundwork for that in earlier scenes. Note to self when I go back to revise: make sure to write in clearer examples of X character trait.

On the I'm bliiiiiind bright side, I have the rest of the book planned out. Three more chapters should do it.