fay_e: Text: If what they say is nothing last forever, what makes love the exception (what makes love the exception)
Sunday, February 8th, 2015 10:30 pm
I may have finished a novel and it may have been before Chinese New Year. O_O

Of course this isn't quite the end of the month, but it's good to have a milestone to look at. Just over two months to write over 52k words, which are in 13 chapters now. Of course what it will look like after editing, I have no idea. But that is AFTER Chinese New Year. I need a break from writing.

Now to do genre research. I'm regretting reading Neuromancer because OMG so white guy, but since it's a ebook I don't really want to throw my phone across the room. I'll take recommendations of any other book that makes people think of the Matrix or Inception, if anyone knows any.
fay_e: Text: I'm the morning rain (morning rain)
Thursday, January 15th, 2015 01:02 pm
I had Grand Plans! of making a 1 January post, but then I was too busy watching the countdowns. And then I had Grand Plans!! of finishing the novel before I went for my holiday, but I forgot that 15 days is not a lot of time, and then my brain kicked a fuss and only wanted to write 350 words a day...

So I tricked my brain a little by writing in ilys where my brain was convinced that I hadn't written anything because it couldn't see the words until I reached the word count of choice. Of course, that posed problems of its own, such as when my mom called me at the 200 word mark and then I completely forgot what I had written before and couldn't see anything because I had set the limit in ilys to 350 words.

With that, my progress isn't bad as the novel now stands at 45,898 words. I already know I have to hack it apart and put certain scenes in different order, but in terms of rewriting it actually doesn't seem as difficult as it sounds. Of course, we'll see if I say different after I get back from my trip, especially since I'll be starting a new assignment at work then. All of the things to do!

But first, holiday. I'm off to the very sunny Melbourne, which is only different from my current place in that the sun is even sunnier. 40 deg C sunnier. See you all in a week!
fay_e: Text: It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart (speak right to my heart)
Sunday, November 30th, 2014 06:04 pm
Now we're at the end of the 2014 NaNo. I'm about 27,000 words into the story, which works out to be about 6 chapters. What that means in story progression remains to be seen, since I'm pantsing things. I don't have a firm plot outline, and just a few days ago I trashed an entire scene. The story actually works out better that way, even though I lost some character interaction I liked. We'll see if the emotional progress still makes sense with the deleted scene.

I'd thought of starting editing next month, but my mom broke her arm and I need to be able to drop whatever I'm doing when she calls. It's easier to pick up the threads when writing rather than editing. We'll see how it goes.

Here's to the end of the Nano. It's a time for putting things together and learning what we got out of the process =)
fay_e: Text: if I told you a secret will you hold it and keep it alive (secret)
Thursday, November 27th, 2014 05:10 pm
I thought I'd write this down before I forget. Recently, I read an article about "using the wrong words to capture the emotion, and searching for the right words later" (which of course I cannot find. So it goes).

Perhaps reading the article gave me some awareness of an intuitive process, because I found myself using the wrong words a lot, and actually having to think "do I want to solve this now?" It got to the stage where, when I was trying to figure out the chapter title for the snippet that had a lot of wrong words, I had to think "is it ok if I use the wrong word for the chapter title too?"

Chapter titles are a thing I like playing with. I had a novel once where the chapter titles were dictionary entries of words I had redefined due to a world building change. So I was less inclined to use the wrong word here. I felt that I had to convey the central idea of my chapter right so that while I continued to fill out the chapter, I would at least know where I was going.

The chapter title in question started out as something about the changing tides, because the previous chapter was titled 'Ebb and Flow'. I was pretty happy with this title, and I thought using something similar would work. But it was the wrong word. More googling led to change in the winds (wrong), game changer (getting closer), change agent (nope, totally cold) and finally phase shift.

The last was better than the others because the chapter in question isn't entirely a change in direction, just a little shift in thinking. Hence, 'phase shift', because it's a little shift of the wave to the right, but still hitting the same beach. We're still in Kansas, Toto.
fay_e: Text: Travelling I only stop at exits (only stop at exits)
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 10:52 am
I wanted to ramble about my main characters, but I realised that everything I wanted to gush about was spoilery, and everything I could gush about wanted to be caveated in big letter "BUT THIS WILL CHANGE DUE TO X THING IN PLOT!"

So I will just keep it simple today and say that this series of images makes me think of my male lead for the reason that he still continues to be imaginative and creative despite being in fear. Possibly even closer in imagery, because this is a novel about dreams after all.

Just five more days to the end of NaNo. Today I just finished up the 5th chapter, clocking in at about 22.5k words. Not bad for something that was supposed to wind up only 10.5k words long. However, I can feel myself writing with caveats already, like "This needs to be introduced in Chapter 2 so I can make the female lead's dilemma about switching jobs clearer." The end of the month might be a good time to pop back and edit so I can write it in definitively, instead of making mental notes all the time.

We'll see what the next five days bring. Novel progress might become a weekly thing instead, as I balance both writing and editing.
fay_e: Text: if I told you a secret will you hold it and keep it alive (secret)
Monday, November 24th, 2014 01:23 pm
The next supporting character of my novel, Dr Hashim, was actually inspired by multiple doctor friends. These were people I'd spent the formative years of my double digit ages with, so I like to think that I know them pretty well. Most of them were pretty ambivalent about religion when I first got to know them.

When they starting studying and practising medicine though, a lot of them started going to church. Bewildered, I asked them why they would commit a large part of their weekend when they were very busy. I got a lot of non-commital answers like, "it's something to do" (like they didn't have enough to do) and "I believe in God" (without wanting to go into why their belief flared up just about now).

Fast forward to my novel, when I'm thinking about a doctor figure. Because my novel is about meshing dreams and technology, I started to think about what other things that sound like opposites at first, but are actually pretty complementary. That's when I started to think about my friends who were doctors, technically science people, but also very religious.

Unfortunately, thinking of a Christian doctor didn't sound very extraordinary. But I knew my friends worked with Muslim doctors too. Add on the fact that I’d read a lot about advances made by Islamic doctors in the Middle Ages, I became intrigued by the idea of making a Muslim doctor one of the characters in my novel. That was how Dr Hashim came to be.

I only read about Ibn Sina after Dr Hashim’s character was fully formed, but I think it’s just proof that a person can be interested in science and yet consider themselves religious.
fay_e: Text: how she rocks in keds and tube socks (rocks keds and tube socks)
Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 01:25 pm
The reason why I was writing just 350 words a day set me back to that baseline, which meant no time for even writing posts.

But towards the tail end of my busy period, I got to go for an art exhibition, and saw Gabriel Moreno's painting (the one in the body of the article). Immediately I thought, "This is Janelle from my novel."

Unlike the painter, Janelle in my head has African ancestry, but she definitely loves such bold colours! This is more reflective of her fun-loving aspect than the mentor she plays for my main character.

Her evolution has actually been kind of interesting. As hinted by her name, she actually started out a bit like Janelle Monae. Then I started to think Rihanna might be cool too, as was Lupita Nyong'o. These two ladies I suspect are the reason for Janelle's more forceful character, though the Janelle in my novel remains a lover of music and arts.
fay_e: Text: I'm the morning rain (morning rain)
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 09:37 pm
Sorry, I was so cheesed off by the movie I watched that I forgot I was supposed to be posting about my writing process.

For this novel, after coming up with the world I needed a story to set it in. The trouble was that I didn't have a story. I had a cool world, and a bunch of characters that said they wanted to be in it, but nothing for them to do.

So I decided to try the Snowflake method. The idea is that you have a central sentence as your seed, and from there you draw it outwards like a snowflake. So from a sentence you pull it out into four more sentences, then four paragraphs, then four pages with scenes that you can pull out into a spreadsheet if you feel like it.

Easier said than done. The central sentence must be concise and suggest the direction of the novel. The four sentences springing from that central sentence also have to be specific, following the structure of 3 conflicts and an ending.

Luckily, I came up with a kickass sentence: A girl temporarily breaks reality when having technologically amped dreams.

And what four sentences did I pull from this? You'll have to find out!
fay_e: Text: if I told you a secret will you hold it and keep it alive (secret)
Saturday, November 15th, 2014 09:15 am
It's 1993 and I've just lost my 3rd tooth. I'm sleeping with it under my pillow when I smell the most incredible floral perfume. The smell is so intense that I dream of rolling hills of flowers and grass. When I wake up, the tooth is gone. My parents, who hadn't been shy about giving me money in the morning for the previous two teeth the tooth fairy didn't take, swear it wasn't them.

It's 1995 and my teacher is handing out personalised reading assignments. She makes the mistake of handing me 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. From then on she catches me reading it non-stop under the table, but can't confiscate her own book.

It's 1997 and I have a nightmare about a scarecrow. I hate it enough that I drag myself out of my dream. From then on, I've had some control over what I dream. People call it lucid dreaming.

It's 1999 and I've watched the Matrix and Serial Experiments Lain in the same year. I spent the time waiting for the second Matrix movie thinking about technology and minds and all the different worlds. I watch the other Matrix movies, get disappointed and drop the idea of virtual worlds entirely.

It's 2010, and Inception has just been released. After the Matrix I go into it with a doubtful mind, but find the movie enjoyable even though I know dreams can be pushed a lot further than what the movie showed.

It's 2013, and I watch Pacific Rim and Sword Art Online. The idea of the shared minds to drive the Jaegar and a game that traps minds makes me recall 1999. I mull over the idea.

It's 2014, and reading all these posts in quick succession causes the more distant Inception to crash headfirst into Pacific Rim and Sword Art Online. I flail madly as a world is born.

It's 2014, and I'm writing a novel about lucid dreamers who are the last stand between the waking and the dream world.
fay_e: Text: I am not afraid to keep on living (not afraid to live)
Friday, November 14th, 2014 10:51 am
As it turns out, as of today I have:

- Written in 750 words for 1,001 days/nights. Hello Scheherazade nice to join your story telling club.
- Successfully used the Snowflake method to springboard a story.
- Written 25% of my novel according to NaNo standards.

So I think it's pretty safe to say yes, I am doing NaNo though it's an abbreviated version with only 350 words a day. Why will be part of a series of posts I'm planning to do about this novel and the writing process for it so far. Tentatively we have the starter topics of wordcounts, the seeds of the story, how to be better at worldbuilding, my experience with the snowflake method and how cool the characters in my story are. Interested? You're in for a good week ahead!

I might write beyond the next week too. One never knows.
fay_e: Text: if I told you a secret will you hold it and keep it alive (secret)
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 06:38 am
Title: The Road to Hell (Is Paved with Good Intentions)(Puella Magi Madoka Magica, AU: Apocalypse & Road Trip)
Summary/Preview: Magic girl vs Zombies, round 1
Content notes: Dark, preview of a longer series that I dearly wish to write

Sayaka's gone missing )