I’ve restarted writing of a re-telling of The Wild Swans I started a while back.
I’m not quite sure how it’s going, but I’m hoping it’ll be okay? keep your eyes peeled for calls for betas!
(No Camp posts right now.)
It’s me again! You caught me while I was thinking deeply about April!
Okay, no you got me, I’m lying. I came here on purpose to tell you about April. Who would have thunk it, huh?
I’m think maybe a way to get through April – instead of pushing myself to write MORE, MORE, MORE everyday; instead of trying to be one step ahead ALWAYS – is to be exactly on target. Each and every day. To reach my goal, which is a modest 45,000*, I have to write 1,500 words every day.
And so, with this new plan, I’d have to stop writing each day as soon as I hit fifteen hundred words.
A long time ago, I read that one great way to bust writers block was to stop writing in the middle of a sentence. And just leave it. It’s true, when you’re forced to stop writing for any reason, your brain falls over itself trying to continue where you left off**. Maybe you’ll forget what you were going to write, and think of something better, with more possibilities. Maybe in this time your characters will have a chance to grow and your plot, a chance to progress. I guess this is partly why I find October good for plotting. I want to write, but I can’t, so I do everything else instead.
In addition to this is the fact that I don’t think I can really sustain any particular level of quality for long periods of time. My friend over at Johannes Punkt told me he was planning to chunk up something he was writing, and I think that’s a brilliant idea.
And so, if*** I do Camp this year, I think that might be an interesting – if not the best – way to go about it. Well, I won’t know until I try!
*Bearing in mind, the most I’ve ever written for one piece was last years NaNo word count of 38,442
** At least, mine does. Doesn’t yours? Shouldn’t everyone’s?
*** Oh, who am I kidding?
Oh, go on then. If you must.
Well, Burgoyne house is a little project of mine that died last summer, along with my laptop. The house itself is a house of multiple occupancy (something like that) that is home, as a rule, to the less normal of society.
I had a few characters sorted out: Annie Valens, Caroline, Mirijam, Andy and Rhys Jones. I also had a vague idea for a ‘where did that come from?!’ fantasy subplot involving someone whose room actually contained (wait for it) … another world. Yep, I’m forever original.
And each of the characters would have their own storylines, but would interact with each other, and so with each others story lines.
This base idea had remained unchanged. However, the characters have all become more extreme versions of themselves. Which is a little worrying, actually. I don’t know if I’ll really be able to write them the way I’d like to. One of the characters is a truly horrible person, and they seem set on getting worse. Another is an absent minded genius who is actually accidentally evil. One of them is a stereotypical teen who has to make problems before he actually has any.*
But I hope that, if it goes, it goes well.
Have I plot? Sort of, actually! But not much of one. But these are all things that are there to be worked out 😀
*This last is, of course, the worst of them all.
Last week I went stationary shopping with a friend of mine. She’s doing Camp Wrimo this year, and she’s going to try and do it by hand. We wondered around the stationers of tottenham court road for a while – that is to say, from Muji to Paperchase and back again – before sitting ourselves in Costa to review her purchases, talk and write a little.
My friend asked me if I’d be doing Camp. No. Why not? The usual excuses – April is the month before my exam semester, I haven’t got ideas… Etc.
But it turned out I do have an idea that needs writing. And exams? Psht, when have I ever taken those into consideration!
The result: I’m probably doing camp wrimo.
I signed up to the site last night and put down my target (45,000 – I want to push myself, but I’m bearing in mind the fact that I really ought to do some revision during the month). I chose a title – subject to change:
Which ain’t great, as titles go, but I like it.
I’ve got a vague idea of the plot, and very detailed plans for my characters – but more on the later.
And of my Wrimo’s doing camp this year?
This is a post on conlanging.
It details 3 methods of constructing a language more or less from scratch – that is, not basing it off already existing languages. There are surely other ways to do conlangs but these are the ones that have occured to me/the people I conlang with. Let’s give the methods the arbitrary names clusterfuck, evolutionary, and interpretive.
…is the approach taken with the Cekno’s language; all ideas and jumbledness, like a brainstorming session that doesn’t really end. It goes a bit unwieldy after a few months of working like that, apparently. This involves a lot of jumping back and forth between different topics. You can do it more or less structurally but it is the most chaotic method nonetheless.
In trying to create the Cekno Idiosyncrasy, we tried to think like the star and figure out what kind of stuff it…
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That is, Love. Remember when I was sighing last post because eugh that fricken thing was so difficult to write?
Well, I wrote it, with a little help from Virginia Woolf (speaking as Lily Briscoe, of course.)
In To the Lighthouse, which I am currently reading, Woolf wrote:
All that in idea seemed simple became in practice immediately complex…
(Woolf 1994: 109-110)
about the process of artistic creation (here within the context of painting).
My reaction, of course, was along the lines of ‘preach, sistah, preach!’
And then? I read this:
Still the risk must be run, the mark must be made.
(Woolf 1994: 110)
In essence: stop pansyfootying about, Lily, and get on with it! And so, as fictions Lily did, I did too.
Start with what you know you want, the base ideas. This is not what you usually write, a story. This is a painting, of a very particular emotion at a very particular time. What distinguishes it? Where is its heart?
And when I got that, everything else seemed to fall into place (including the first line – which was meant to be the first line of this post).
At any rate, it’s done now. And while it’s not perfect, and probably never will be, I think it’s alright.
Well, what are you waiting for? Go read it, now! It’s on Pinpricks and Feathers, for the uninitiated 😀
(If you’re wondering what, exactly, I’m quoting from, it’s the Wordsworth Classics edition of To the Lighthouse, published in 1994.)
You see, I’m trying to write about it. Love, that is.
Not a love story. Not even a story. Just a little short for Pinpricks and Feathers about two people who just love each other.
And it’s really, really hard. I’ve got a couple of versions, and both of them are right and both of them are wrong. They’re too complex where they need to be simple; they don’t say enough: they don’t explain enough.
It’s the tiniest of notions I want to pin down. Not write a treatise on love as an absolute; an explanation, an exploration. I just want to put the feeling on paper and I can’t. I don’t know why. I just can’t.