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fay_e: Text: If what they say is nothing last forever, what makes love the exception (what makes love the exception)
Thursday, December 11th, 2014 10:02 am
I stopped talking about the novel, because a) it was past NaNo, b) I read a post saying that writing about writing only took away the time from the actual writing, and c) I accidentally led myself into a ditch, because I was rereading my old notes and realised I forgot a central theme of my old novel: humans have to be saved from their own imagination. Because imagination, like fire, is a good servant but a bad master.

But on the flipside, I tend to read a lot of DW/LJ/blog posts when writing, and sometimes they help to unstick things in my brain. Then, because I forgot where I read it I can't explain how they got unstuck (see: the thing I mentioned two posts ago.)

So I thought I'd write this down before I forgot. I was reading a complaint about generic mermaid plots, which was broadly described as the following: "[girl who doesn't fit in] [meets mysterious boy] [discovers she must save an undersea kingdom]".

Since I was working on the novel, I immediately went to compare my current plotline to this. It fits the first two, [girl who (somewhat) doesn't fit in (at funky workplace dealing with dreams)][meets mysterious boy (at funky workplace)]. But on the last part, my heroine doesn't exactly save anything, not even the mysterious boy. In fact, she's a little responsible for temporarily breaking reality...

Then I realised that I could take the "inherent" traits in heroines of mermaid tales (or even princess tales) - traits of royal/mermaid/royal mermaid blood and honour and beauty and grace (how much these are linked are up to the author) - which the heroine forgot/didn't know about, and twist it a little. My heroine could have put a little too much spark of life into one of her previous dreams and forgotten about it... and now she has to fix her mistake.

At least, this is how the idea formed in my head. We'll see how it executes in the story itself.
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: though our instincts say that we should turn and run (instincts turn and run)
Sunday, November 16th, 2014 08:45 pm
By now this is my third year doing NaNo. 50k of words is a good target to aim for, but when you're working full time on top of writing it's a pretty sure fire way to burn out, or even fall sick.

This year I knew my day job was going to be pretty hectic and there was no way I was going to make about 1.7k of words a day. I needed a better plan.

Then I read this tumblr post about just writing 350 words a day. And taking two days off! This sounded like something I was capable of.

I'd been doing 750 words before that, so 350 words was a pretty easy target to hit. But not maxing out my word count also allowed me to dedicate other words to other areas. Plotting. World building that hadn't occurred to me. Rounding out new characters that had popped up.

So I'm pretty satisfied with using a 350 word count as a base, and counting everything else as a step up.
fay_e: Text: If what they say is nothing last forever, what makes love the exception (what makes love the exception)
Thursday, April 10th, 2014 01:44 pm
Another thing I need to keep in mind: actions speak louder than words.

I think I do a pretty good job writing conversation, including situations where characters say one thing but mean the other. The trouble is that I tend to pad out the bits between conversations with thoughts, rather than actions. Even in the instances where I use actions, I like to write out the emotion behind them, as if that would somehow make them clearer.

Obviously I need to let the reader do a little of the work themselves, and just stop there.
fay_e: Text: silence falls between us, as the shadows steal the light (as the shadows steal the light)
Thursday, December 5th, 2013 01:51 pm
I read this post about writing as a craft and [personal profile] melannen's response to it, and well. The first link to me makes me rage, because I am not a huge fan of the "writing is such a mythical process" and the "you either got it or you don't~~~" and I'm just old and I keep waving my canes at the kids on the lawn ok?

But [personal profile] melannen is awesome and her tips are awesome, so that inspired me to write some tips of my own. I know that I'm thinking about writing all the time (even at... work...) and that some of the exercises I do are such second nature to me now. I even go about my dreams in a writerly way!

So here are some of the exericses that I do to improve my writing, in no particular order.

1) Analysing your kinks, and writing out your favourite versions
2) Analysing your reactions to media - what works for you, and why?
2a) writing out quotes lists

I'm a very emotional person. So my favourite kinks and favourite scene draw out such reactions in me that even surprise myself! So I have the habit of analysing my kinks and how I react to media. What made me happy? Happy enough that I would clap my hands? What made me rage? Did I want to walk out? It didn't take much thinking to wonder if I could replicate those seal-clappy moments in my fic, and avoid the rage stomping type of things.

I put quotes as a subset because it's one thing to react to events, but another to react to writing enough that you think about replicating it in your writing. Only two authors have driven me to write down quotes.

To me, it's similiar to learning how the masters play music in order to perform in a similiar or same way. The reactions is about the mood, and the quotes are about the technique.

3) Thinking about writing. E.g. mulling over the story in the train.
4) Observation, and maybe writing it out (writing sketches)
5) Writing down lists of things that you like. E.g. I want to work the sound of thunder rattling glass into a story

These three are about working on writing on the go, especially when you have a busy schedule that doesn't let you do anything else. A lot of these don't even need anything more than pen and paper (or a phone in this digital age).

Quick lists are the key for my inspiration in that I can be inspired by anything, notice where my inspiration comes from, or in some cases revisit something that inspired me but I didn't have time then to expand.

6) Shopping for characters/doll makers
7) Learning the difference between observation and visualisation, and practising the latter more, esp with fantasy/sci-fi stories

These are a bit more deliberate, but also about inspiration and making the jump to actual things that would appear in novels. E.g. How does clothing reflect character? How do I turn the image in my head into something workable and doesn't change geography/the laws of physics (unless that's the point).

8) Practise writing starting lines: hooks, setting the scene, giving yourself a springboard to write
9) Figuring out where your natural stopping points are. Writing over them
10) Idea of puppy pound and learning how to write with the idea that nothing is sacred, and to cut without feeling pain
11) Finding out what annoys you. E.g. blank pages are my nemesis

These are a bit more on the writing technique itself, but they are on very different points of writing technique.

Edit: I found this too, and YES YES YES this is completely what writing consciously is all about: http://lightgetsin.dreamwidth.org/326659.html
fay_e: Text: if I told you a secret will you hold it and keep it alive (secret)
Sunday, December 23rd, 2012 12:12 am
This post is brought to you by the following question: Why don't I have either

a) Lady Gaga
b) Florence + the Machines, or
c) Ke$ha

mp3s on my computer???

This post is also brought to you by man, it's been forever since I posted. My excuse is that my course is way too busy for it to be even sensible. Even in the holidays, I've been doing numeracy tests. What is my life =(.

Other than that, it's been quiet because this is Christmas break month. The sun sets way earlier than I'm used to, which means that I get all lazy and sleep at 9pm and only wake up maybe another 12 hours later, when the sun does actually rise. I used to joke that I'm a plant - in this context, when I have other things to do other than sleep, it's not really very funny!

Even so, I've been writing a lot, and have gotten back to 750 words after not touching it for the... entire semester. I've also had a chance to catch up on my websurfing.

One of the really fun things I found was Diane Duane's tumblr. If I didn't know already this woman was awesome, reading her tumblr would confirm that.

She also described why I have a partnership kink when I had no idea how to put it into words. She did that in a post about the links between Sherlock and Star Trek. (I TOLD you she was awesome.) I'll quote liberally from it:

"It’s about growth, and what each of these men has to teach the other over time... Each man is going to make the other whole — though there’ll be the usual missteps and kicking and screaming along the way. But this is what makes for great and satisfying drama: characters who change each other and are changed themselves — not running together like two drops of water into one, but each growing more perfect in the exercise of some unique gift — say, the conduction of light or the reception of it — simply because of the other’s continued and reliable presence in an otherwise unreliable world."

Aaaaaah, partnership kink. *basks in that great description*