Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Needs more coffee.

Blurgh... *rises from the depths of bed, coffee mug already in hand* Mornings, right?

Whatever they say about it supposedly being hot again, it's quite clearly going to be another grey horrible day, and I'm glad of it. Working in blistering temperatures is exhausting and expensive because I keep buying as much Fanta as I sell to customers.

I've run a bit aground with book 5. I tried to talk it through with Ciaran last night and just ended up confusing myself too much to begin with the plot... I hope just because it was five books in and every time I began talking I realised there was something else he needed to know from an earlier book... Book 5 does not have that complicated a plot and that's possibly part of the problem. So now I have a writing hangover from staying up late babbling about my plot which I'm still not much clearer on.

Maybe it's just nerves about getting to the end because at that point I'd have finished a draft for all eight of the first books in the series. And at that point I have a few options:

- Book 3 is still half-redrafted. I think it's actually sitting with a half-finished scene and then ten blank lines before it picks up again. And after book 8, which rudely interrupted it, I feel I can handle the fairy half of the book much better.

- Book 4 is still far too short, and I would probably need to sit down, write out the plot and then try and brainstorm ways to add more drama/suspense/twists because right now Tanya blunders in and out and that's it basically.

- Book 6 needs a total overhaul since I'm still just sitting on my NaNoWriMo draft. Just last week I was walking down to work getting all excited about the way I could write it properly. It's the least-good draft of any of these stories

- Book 7 is still missing a few scenes I told myself I was going to write basically as soon as I wrote the last chapter... I think I even wrote the last chapter alluding to them a little bit. But in the end a million things distracted me and I never got around to writing it.

I'm half-tempted to go do any one of these things now, but Book 5 has been repeatedly abandoned to write the others because I'm like "Oh it's just Ally, she can wait." And now I feel guilty for doing that because I've really enjoyed writing the middle of the book. I just can't find a way to bring it to a natural conclusion, mostly because I'm really not sure what's meant to actually happen at the end.

So maybe it would be a good idea to go, like, write that bit of book 7 or something.... *bad ideas all over the place and off I go...*

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Oh yeah, I have a blog...

Well that was an embarrassingly long time to go without blogging anything.

Random thought: I wonder how many other people stare at a word like "embarrassing" that they're not actually sure they can spell, then type dgkfhjudfg into the box to check the spell checker is on, despite it never failing them before, and only after seeing that wiggly red line appear actually feel confident they've spelt something correctly.

I suppose I should start off lightly with just saying what I've been up to (not much, in terms of doing anything other than selling doughnuts). The season crept up on me and I was working more hours each week... I went to EasterCon and that was fun, but other than that I've been in Hastings pretty much just writing in my off hours.

Last month I finished book 8, which I think I was probably only just starting about the time I made the last blog entry. Considering how fast I write for NaNoWriMo, 80k words between late December and... June? I think? Probably doesn't seem all that much, but the important thing is I usually don't like 100% or even 50% of what I write for NaNoWriMo, while this feels like a proper draft of something. I haven't re-read it for a while but there were moments it really made me sad or really made me happy and most importantly consistently had me excited. It was also the first in that cycle to actually heavily feature fairies and goblins, since book 7 was more about humans and the first two had unique supernatural entities bothering my protagonists. And I like fairies and goblins. No, really?

Just like it was nice and refreshing to have them around, it's also refreshing to be working on Book 5. I know aside from Book 8 my most recent work was a clean redraft of Book 1, but I still feel like I really missed Ally. And Book 5 (which  may have a more awesome title than it did before this week) is surprisingly easy to work on.

I sometimes worry, when I'm not writing something in particular, that I will forget how to "do" the characters. Because to me in a way every bit of dialogue and the actions are me acting out the story. But because I have a terrible poker face and mild stage fright, I act it out on the page instead. That way it's a one man show with me doing all the characters, and while I have a puppet on every hand and foot, I have to give them all a different voice because otherwise people will just see a load of socks with buttons for eyes.

Ally is one of those characters where I felt, while I wasn't working on her, that her voice was so distinct in the stuff I had written before, surely it must be hard for me to recreate that! She was my most ridiculously decorated sock puppet, and it would be so easy to ham it up to the image she presents and to forget the subtleties I try to put in her character. She could just be the clumsy one, the one who runs her mouth off without thinking. What if the character I wrote in Concrete Faery only works in that context?

Somehow though I think I managed to find the same tone of blind panic, supreme confidence, crippling shyness and unstoppable mouth that I had so much fun writing the first time. My only fear about this story was not the plot: Ally's stories are never about the plot... But not being able to carry the plot on the awkward back of this character. It's a story where I have a concept and I can throw Ally at it and the story just appears around the character.

Anyway, I'll stop there, but I shall try and remember this blog because it is good for me to ramble on somewhere, mostly because otherwise the wrong person asks an innocent question and gets all of this thrown in their face without me even stopping for a breath while explaining it. HERE you get punctuation. Lucky you!