charamei: NaNo is Coming... (NaNoWriMo: NaNo is coming)
NaNo is coming. I will try not to fail so spectacularly this year.

Unless something incredibly inspirational happens between now and November, I guess I'm doing the first draft for [community profile] asexual_fandom's upcoming bang? There are vampires in it. Asexual ones! Because literary metaphor swings both ways, or in some cases, doesn't swing at all.

I'm sure I should provide some kind of update on my life, but there kind of isn't one? Life is being rather dull. I may be getting the keys to the house on the 28th (provisional on paperwork, lack of natural disasters, etc) and then maybe there will be things to do, but until then not much.

Also, SJA S05 has started, which makes me excited, sad and apprehensive all at once.


Nov. 30th, 2010 09:22 pm
charamei: Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters. (NaNoWriMo: Good Writing Day)
NaNoWriMo winner 2010!

Over the line! With 5,000 words of Martha and the Master stuck in a Gallifreyan prison together following the events of The End of Time. No, I don't know where it's going or if I'll even continue it, but it was an interesting experience!

(Mostly what I have learned today is that when I try to write the Master, he comes out as Meredith. This would be better if they weren't (a) at opposite ends of the Lawful/Chaotic spectrum, (b) at opposite ends of the sane/insane spectrum, and (c) COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CHARACTERS.)
charamei: NaNoWriMo: The plot thickens (NaNoWriMo: The Plot Thickens)
Oh, dear Lord, my dreams are doing ring composition now.

So I'm curious - is there actually a Simpsons episode where Bart, Lisa and Maggie get catapulted onto the moon while tied to a curiously anti-gravitational bungee cord, or is that just a recurring dream opener I have? It's hard to tell with my dream openers; the first few lines of dialogue are exactly the same every time, so I get confused as to whether a couple of seconds of an episode has made it into my dream or I'm just remembering the last time I dreamt this.

This one gets complicated, what with the multiple storylines and all. )

Crazy crazy brain.

(NaNo: 10k to go, and I've finished the story. I guess I'll start doing my manifesto for [community profile] asexual_fandom: that's due in rather soon now.


Nov. 21st, 2010 10:16 pm
charamei: (Default)

First Steps:

19159 / 19159 words. 100% done!

Begun: December 2008 (!)
Finished: November 2010.

Just in under the two year mark! Let's see if I can get it edited by Christmas... and not take two years next time. (Which, in fairness. If not for two dissertations and my parents' divorce, this one wouldn't have taken two years either.)

For my next trick, I will finish Miasma...

Well, SOD.

Nov. 12th, 2010 07:41 pm
charamei: Critical failure! (Rolled a 1)
Lost my memory stick, and with it, the 1,000 words I wrote last night after backing up to Dropbox. You know, the 1,000 words where the hero tells me what the fuck is going on in my novel.

Also, everything else that existed only on that stick, which wasn't much but was enough to be irritating.

Also, I don't understand how. I distinctly remember taking it out of my USB hub and putting it into my bag to take to work. My bag with the deep, solid pockets. Which at no point turned upside-down. When I got on the train and went to plug it into my netbook, it wasn't there, so either it somehow jumped six inches out of my bag pocket, cleverly bypassing the flap as it did so, or it fucking dematerialised.

(Yes, I am sweary today. It's been an aggravating one all around and this is just the icing on top.)

Sod sod sod sod SOD.

(Bright side! I didn't lose any of the new batch of First Steps, just Miasma. And, you know, every other fucking thing from before I started using Dropbox.)

Moodtheme!Unam is unsuitable. I am past 'Unam' levels of pissed-off and straight into FALLEN MEREDITH PSYCHOTIC RAGE at myself right now.

I just... I have no idea how I lost it. There was no logistical point between 'put stick in bag' and 'retrieve stick on train' where it could have fallen out.
charamei: NaNoWriMo: The plot thickens (NaNoWriMo: The Plot Thickens)


17380 / 50000 words. 35% done!

First Steps:

15405 / 20000 words. 77% done!

Yesterday, I completely redid my plot outline to accommodate certain epiphanies regarding the nature of the book I'm writing, and actually wrote maybe 500 words of Miasma and 1167 of First Steps.

Today, my hero barged into the king archon's office, sat down, and... recapped the plot in an epic 1,000-word speech of epicness. Which was extremely useful of him, since (a) I now know what happened in the ideal first draft of this novel up to the point I'm now at, and (b) while he was at it I got some interesting insights into his motivation and filled in a couple of remaining logic holes.

(Meanwhile, in First Steps land, wow, that 1,100 words feels good, and so does breaking the original 15k aim. I might even finish it this month!)
charamei: Being terrible is a first draft's sovereign right. (NaNoWriMo: Terrible first drafts)
...Ohhh, that's what this novel's about!

Okay. Could've told me I was writing a ghost story nine days ago, subconscious, I've been labouring under the misapprehension that I was writing a fantasy crime/political thingummy.

Still! I have a plot now. An actual one, with a beginning, a middle and an end, which is just as well because I'm basically at the beginning of the middle now. I need to work out which of the scenes I've already written shouldn't have happened yet, but basically, this might start making sense soon.

And if not, at least we're getting to the part where the unquiet dead turn up and start attacking people.

(In retrospect, why did it take me so long to realise I was writing a ghost story...?)

Also, a NaNoism! Courtesy of Timandra, the thirty-five year old, highly-educated, intelligent and (Greek-)traditionally feminine female protagonist:
... today there were no arguments; there could be no question that shit had got real.

I don't know if Athens had a ghetto or not, but I do know she's not from it.
charamei: NaNoWriMo: The plot thickens (NaNoWriMo: The Plot Thickens)

5005 / 50000 words. 10% done!

I also killed off my protagonists' son in one of the driest pieces of prose ever written, and someone has said the vital line, "I'unno, it all just seemed wrong."

The Plot has begun. By the end of tomorrow, Epicles will probably be doing CSI Prehellenic Megara while Timandra does, er, something.

By the end of the week, I might even have shown something rather than told it! (I am having, to put it nicely, troubles getting back into writing long-form. The advantage of this is that it really condenses the words, so while I might end up with nothing more than a bare-bones outline on which to hang bells and whistles like 'spelling', 'historical accuracy' and 'good storytelling', I should at least have a finished bare-bones outline.)

Day One

Nov. 1st, 2010 08:29 pm
charamei: Start writing and keep writing! (NaNoWriMo: Start Writing and Keep Writin)

1736 / 50000 words. 3% done!

500 words in: "This is all utter crap, WTF happened to my writing - ohhh, yeah, wait, this happens every time I begin writing anything. Keep going, fix it later..."

900 words in: "Did I really just spend 400 words expositing on the fact that it's unseasonably foggy?"

1200 words in: "Epicles, if you keep patronising your wife like that I'm going to end up hating you. You're my protagonist; I'd rather avoid this eventuality."

1300 words in: "Well, you're likeable now, but why do you two sound so posh? ...and is it just me, or have I accidentally skipped a scene that could give me a couple of thousand words? Ehhh. SECOND DRAFT."

1400 words in: "You're likeable, but now you look like an idiot next to your wife. Stop that."

1600 words in: "Er... hold on, wasn't Slave 1 the one who was with the wrecked expedition? Did he teleport? it was Slave 3. Sure, whatever, it's not like they have names or personalities yet anyway."

1700 words in: "Hold on, when did I break 1700...?"

(Might go back and write that ENTIRE SCENE that I skipped before bed, but for now, free time.)


Oct. 27th, 2010 07:55 pm
charamei: Dark clouds gather. Caption: "Yup, those are my ominous clouds." (NaNoWriMo: Ominous Clouds)
Okay, so I've finally got around to working out the date my novel starts on:
  1. Rolled a d10 for the prytany. 4th prytany; we'll say the first day because that's easiest.

  2. First day of the fourth prytany = 108 days after Hekatombion 1, the start of both Athenian calendars. This translates to roughly Boedromion 19 in the Athenian religious calendar.

  3. From the late fifth century BC onwards, Hekatombion 1 fell on the Julian calendar's July 1, so Boedromion 19 translates to October 16*.

  4. Add thirteen days to make up the discrepancy between the Julian and Gregorian calendars, and that's... October 28, 396 BCE.
Which is tomorrow. Like I said: spooky.

It's also about halfway through the ten-day celebration of the Eleusinian Mysteries, which is Very Interesting Indeed. I had a feeling those were going to play some part; now I've got some new ideas as to exactly what part they play.

Mostly, though, I'm a little creeped out by the idea that my novel starts tomorrow XD

* Beeewaaaare the Iiiiides of Octoooober...!
charamei: Dark clouds gather. Caption: "Yup, those are my ominous clouds." (NaNoWriMo: Ominous Clouds)
I had a brainwave last night.

My plot (a) has very strong symbolic ties to the underworld and (b) needed some in-your-face threats to go along with the background stuff of people dying from disease, famine etc. And I already knew we were going to have one ghost, of a minor character who gets murdered early on.

As of last night, I have a whole subtheme of 'the city is being pulled into the Underworld', and while that's fantastic, it does mean... the walking dead. Ghosts, mainly - zombies aren't very Greek - but oh, deary deary me. I'm writing an undead story for NaNo.

I feel so cliched.

(On the other hand, the ghostly/illusory Charon waiting patiently on the Eridanos in the Agora (or possibly somewhere else depending on how big that river was, my research is incomplete... it'd also work in the harbour at Piraeus) is delightfully creepy.
charamei: NaNoWriMo: I research more for this than I ever did for my thesis. (NaNoWriMo: I Research)
So while fact-checking for NaNoWriMo, I stumbled across the random tidbit that Socrates and Alcibiades were lovers while both were adults (generally frowned upon in Athens).

Which raises all sorts of interesting questions, most notably: WARNING: CLASSICS NERDERY AHEAD )

(Oh, and at some point along the way I misread 'love of boys' as 'love of buoys' and became extremely confused.)


Nov. 2nd, 2009 08:44 pm
charamei: (Nano: It makes sense)
Regan scowled at him. "Nothing. Really. It's just... a feeling. Incidentally, author, the horses should be feeling uneasy too, and Meredith ought to be more aware than I am of things being dead all around us. You've started out with the wrong POV again."

"She's right," Meredith said. "So let's quietly switch POV and pretend that I started this conversation, because it'll make editing easier later on. Regan, everything's dead. There's nobody in the fields and I can't even sense any wildlife nearby."

The moral of this story is: never let anally-retentive characters write themselves. Especially when the fourth wall is flimsy and easily-broken.
charamei: Start writing and keep writing! (NaNoWriMo: Start Writing and Keep Writin)
Iiiiiit's NaNo!

And at some point over the last month, all of my characters have wandered off. I'm having to fight to characterise Regan, Meredith and Anya, FFS - they're some of my oldest and favouritest characters.

On the plus side, it's flowing today. Last night, when I started (yes, I'm one of those sad people who sits up until midnight on October 31st to start as soon as possible), it took me nearly an hour to churn out 500 words of pure unadulterated crap. Today, it's flowing, but there's no spark. None. No character channelling, no plot point happening. Just... blah.

I suppose it's not too surprising. I've barely written any fiction since last Easter, so I ought to be blocked and horrible. Just... hopefully I'll break through it before Week One's out.



Oct. 28th, 2009 01:21 pm
charamei: (NaNoWriMo08: Book Learnin')
My MA results have (finally) come through. Against all odds, I passed.

Not much else to report. NaNo plans proceed swimmingly, by which I of course mean that half of my main characters have no names, my villain's motivation is a cliche, I keep forgetting about both subplots and I still haven't created so much as a definite article of the conlang.

But hey - I have an MA.
charamei: (NaNoWriMo08: Not Harry Potter)
The bad news: Exodus features no central dilemma, and not one of its plot strands wraps up in a satisfactory manner at the end of the current plan: basically, at the end of this novel, everyone's fucked. Sure, I can kill off the fairies, but that doesn't actually solve anything; in fact it makes the end worse due to the Unfortunate Implications of that much power flying around...

The good news, sort of: While attacking the bad news with a sledgehammer and some mindmapping software, I realised that Exodus has a unified theme. It's even the one that the title references!

If it ever gets published finished through a basic plothole check unscathed, I'm totally going to pretend I did that on purpose.
charamei: First, find out what your hero wants. Then just follow him. (NaNoWriMo: Follow The Hero)
One of the joys of rewriting is to watch plot devices that sort of worked the first time around spring into logic.

Not saying this draft is perfect, but it's making more sense than Draft 1 did. So far, so good.
charamei: Never give up, never surrender (Galaxy Quest: Never surrender)
Okay, so Screnzy is a bust. Or at least, this year it is... I can't seem to silence my inner editor enough while simultaneously trying to visualise a television show for the first time ever. I'll poke the script over the next year or so, and then maybe next year...

I am, however, determined not to waste the month, so it's back to NaNo and at least 1,000 words/day (spliced scenes from Draft 1 count towards this total). Draft 2's master file is up to 13,488 words, and an awful lot neater than Draft 1.

So, I'm still doing Screnzy in spirit, if not in practice, I suppose.

Icon is of course in reference to my absolute determination to finish this sodding book at any cost, not to my abject failure to do the same for Screnzy. I do hope that at some point I'll be able to start feeling the love for Exodus again; it's got a lot of my favourite characters in it.
charamei: Start writing and keep writing! (NaNoWriMo: Start Writing and Keep Writin)
"There. All she had to do was to re-discover the lost art of magic, get good enough to break open the door, turn herself invisible and leave. Simple, really."

So, the beginning of Draft 2 has finally reached, and is in the process pf being spliced with, the beginning of Draft 1. Master file II is currently at 10362 words.

Good sign. Very good. Especially as Lysis has found her voice at last.

If only I could start doing 1667 words/day again, I might stand a chance of completing this before November 09, as planned. Certainly splicing helps.

Back to work. If I can successfully splice Ch4.II and 1.I, I should finish 4.II pretty soon, actually. Most of the rest of that scene's fine.

UPDATE: splicing complete. Master file II now at 11984 words, and I'm splicing a lot more in for the next few chapters, until Evessa shows up. Awesomesauce.
charamei: (EGS: Writer's Sphere)
March 21: Eighth Doctor appears in my head with radio script, charms me into doing Screnzy for him.

March 22: Lewen and Merrigan elbow their way back into my subconscious, wondering what's happened to plans to write their Time Trek thing and apparently unaware of the need for them to wait until I finish the Whofic of d00m.

March 23: Dora, Charles, Peter and the rest of the Blue Moon Inn crew, who were sent away a while ago to think over their backstory and not come back until it made sense, return with a fleshed-out concept that is actually pretty damn cool. And want me to write about it.

March 24: Genesis Floe, who has had two pages written about her so far before the story was scrapped, pops up and tells me about her new sci-fi gig. And wants me to write about it.

March 25: Exodus cast go on holiday.

Would somebody please SHUT THEM ALL UP?

Or at the very least, teach them to form an orderly queue. That's orderly, Unam; stop shoving. I said stop. Don't push back, Merrigan, that's not - oh, and Peter's stolen your wallet. Someone catch him, he's getting away and the Doctor's got a broken ankle...


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