Monday, February 28, 2005

The Dreaded Word Count

Slow day, only 1,457 words. (Not too bad though, considering I did them all during my lunch hour!)That brings me up to 157,000 words on "Clans" my WIP. That makes it -officially- the longest novel I've done yet. I still have a good ways to go, I will probably end up between 190k and 220k: not sure yet. That's a bit scary, since I started this as an NaNo project and it was only planned for 90k max.!!

Snow is really coming down now, may have to leave work early. (what a shame, eh?)

Holly Lisle - One Pass Editing

So I spent a few hours on my completed novel "Godslayer" working with Holly Lisle's directions. Tell ya what: it's great stuff, but it ain't easy! Editing has always been a huge stumbling block for me. I tend to get overwhelmed by the need to cut entire sections and re-write/re-create entire portions of the novel. The idea of having to do so much work on something I've already spent months with, is daunting. I tend to move on to new projects and just sort of leave the finished works hanging in "I'll-get-to-it-soon" limbo. This time though, I'm really meaning to make it as a professional (hence this blog - and you thought I just liked the sound of my own voice, didn't ya?) and doing so means I have to get those works edited and out into circulation.

I don't think I've ever done anything as frightening as when I had to put a big red "X" through six full pages of my beloved novel last night because it was too much InfoDump and did damn all to move the story forward. I kept careful notes on what I cut and thoughts on where pieces might be re-worked into later chapters, but . . . Damn! I will say though that without Holly's outline to work with I'd be lost. The intro portion on defining your themes and characters is really priceless, it lets you easily identify what scenes are/are not vital to the story. I plan to keep working with this and I'll keep you updated on my progress.

So, it's going to snow here in Jersey (Again!). They're saying 8" to 12" overnight. Great. Like my back isn't sore enough from the crap that dumped on us Friday! I should really buy a snowblower, but the shoveling is often the only exercise my big old butt gets, so . . .


Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Power of Words

Just finished watching "Field of Dreams" for the umpteenth million time - one of my all-time favorite films. I was fascinated by the character of Terence Mann (James Earl Jones). As a writer I was fascinated by his status within the film, as a former Pulitzer winner who had not written for years. At the end of the film, he talks about writing the story of ". . . Shoeless Joe Jackson comes to Iowa." When Kevin Cosner expresses surprise he laughs and says: " . . . it's what I do." That struck me as a particularly apt summation of all writers.

Some of us are famous, some are wealthy, some are mid-list hacks (just kidding!) and others, like myself, are complete unknowns with nothing more than hope and a dream but we all share one thing: we write. It's what we do. We do it every day, terrified that there is no point in it. We struggle in front of the screen (or the notepad) trying like hell to convince ourselves that there is talent, and importance, and destiny in what we're doing while all the while the voice in our head laughs at our pathetic arrogance. Are we good enough? Is there truly talent there, or just the dream? There are countless with the latter and not the former.How do you tell which you are? It's some very scary stuff.

You are setting your own inner self on a page, giving each sentence every bit of skill and heart that you have and in the end: who knows? Will you produce the next "Grapes of Wrath", or will it become a running family joke before it's used to start a blaze in the fireplace? I am terrified each time I sit down to write and I imagine most everyone else who does it is too. Maybe even the Uber-Writers like King, Grisham, and Jordan. There are days I swear I'm going to just give up and stick to the day job instead of wasting time in front of this damn computer that I should be spending working on my house, playing with my son, or talking with the wife. I look at the mirror and ask what the hell am I doing this for? The answer is always the same . . .

"It's what I do,"


Friday, February 25, 2005

That's Just Nasty!

So I stopped in the gentleman's room on my way out of the office last night. I took care of my business and proceeded to wash my hands. As I'm doing so, I watch another fella come in, make use of the urinal, then go straight to the paper towel dispenser. He pulled of a wad of paper, dried his hands and left, without ever once touching a drop of water. What is up with that??? I'm standing there thinking:

1. What did he have on his hands that he needed to dry off?
2. If you need to dry off after doing THAT, you need some soap and water!!!

Ah well, noting important I guess, but I couldn't shake the fear that I might actually have to shake this guys hand one day. (I actually used a paper towel to open the door, cuz I was NOT touching the handle after he did!)

Slow writing the last two days, I've only managed 1500 words on the WIP, though I did get a little work done on the current Edit. I'm really just reading through that to refresh my memory since I haven't touched it in over a year. I'm going to be taking a shot at One Pass Editing as outlined on Holly Lisle's site (the link is on the sidebar - fantastic site for anyone who writes!) I like the sounds of it, though I have a feeling it will be rough going for me. I'll post on my thoughts and progress . . .

Snowed here in Jersey today, about 4-5 in. in my area, just finished shoveling (Yay!) and I'm tired. Off to get some lunch and do some office work so I don't lose a day's pay. (You gotta love telecommuting!)


Thursday, February 24, 2005

Right out of the Gate

Okay, so first off I should say hi . . . so: Hi!!!

Whew, glad that's out of the way! Now on to the important stuff; the insane ramblings of my own inner self.

I am a writer (note I do not say: author!) I point out the distinction because I have yet to publish anything of note. I have had a few small press short stories published but my true pastime is in writing novels. I work in the Fantasy genre for the most part, with the occasional detour into soft SF and Horror. I currently have six (6) novels working, in various stages of completion. (Yea, like one at a time isn't painful enough! My masochistic mind wants more!) Two are done and undergoing editing prior to submittal and the rest are at least 50% or better to completion. I'm spending most of my free time (of which I have damned little!) working on an epic fantasy (no title yet) which I have just broken the 150k mark on, with no clear end in sight. (sigh) Don't you just hate it when the characters run away with your story?

In any event, I really don't know why I'm starting this blog but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Who knows, maybe I'll be hugely succesful some day and those of you who read this can say: "I knew him when . . ." I'll be posting regularly with updates on my WIP and ongoing wordcounts, traumas, concerns, and issues ,with the occasional bit of whining thrown in for fun. Hope you all enjoy, feel free to comment on anything I say that ticks you off . . . Brings up a good question: Who the hell is going to read this? I just signed up for this thing and have NO idea how to get some readers. Hmmm.

Guess a little research is in order, eh? Oh well, if you do happen to see this and have some ideas for me, I'd sure like to hear 'em!