Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chickpea is a Zombie Story

While reading this, I realized that although "Chickpea" is a zombie story, it has no zombies in it.

I wonder if I should fix that in the next draft, or if it's better this way?

Friday, March 23, 2012

I'm doing it again

I've been trying to edit "Chickpea". Mostly, I had this brilliant idea for a story, "Lucky Kate", and I really want to write that, but I kind of said I would edit some stories instead of just writing first drafts all the time. So, while sitting in a meeting, I wrote a little schedule for myself that said I would do a draft of "Chickpea", and then a final draft of "Apophis" and send it out, and then get "Walnut" onto OWW, and then I could write the draft of "Lucky Kate".


More about this story later, but last night I caught myself doing that thing I do. I was trying to edit "Chickpea" without actually reading any of the words.

This does not work.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ignoring the shiny

So I said I would edit some stories, rather than just write first drafts all the time. And I’m trying, really I am. But then I had a great idea for how to make a story work, and I just so badly wanted to write it... Lucky Kate! And Mishepishu!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Giant robots

Also, if you're writing a story, and you know the climax involves giant robots, and you've written approximately 70,000 words and there is no sign of any giant robots on the horizon, perhaps you have a problem.

And by "you" I mean me, in this case.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fairfax characters

At “Magical Words” there was a post about characters, and I realized that all three POV characters are outsiders. I wonder if that’s bad? They’re outsiders for different reasons, and I suppose it might make it easier to fake up the research rather than doing it properly... but that’s a bug, not a feature.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

What I read: Feb 2012

OWW: 1

“The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi (Kaufman translation). I had to read something for my karate essay, and I had this, so I read it. I’m totally glad I read it, but wow, it was a tough read. It seemed like every sentence was quotable, and some of it was so deep that my head would periodically explode. I mean, “There is no such thing as yin/yang. That does not mean yin/yang does not exist.” Oh dear.

“Midnight Never Come” by Marie Brennan. I’ve wanted to read this for a couple of years, I think since the book entered the Scalzi household and Krissy took off with it. I got it for Christmas. It started fast and kept moving. I might have forced it on Ed when I was finished.

“The Poisoner’s Handbook” by Deborah Blum. I love the microhistories, and this one was fascinating. And it was great carrying it around, because it conferred on me all sorts of notoriety. One person told me he wasn’t eating any of those brownies I brought, because I’d pulled the book out while waiting for a party to start (I know, who does that? Except me of course).

The other nineteenth century : a story collection : containing startling revelations of the lives of literary persons; also, truthful accounts of living fossils, Montavarde's camera, the irradiodiffusion machine, and El Vilvoy de las Islas; with heinous crimes, noble ladies in adversity, brilliant detections, imperial eunuchs, political machinations, etc., etc” by Avram Davidson. I read this because Neil Gaiman was doing a NG presents audio book of something else by AD, and I couldn’t have that, so I looked at the library for what else was available. These stories were generally good, though some of them I think I lack the requisite history knowledge to make sense of. Each story had a little note after it that often referred to some other, better story by the same author. These notes were appalling and I wish I had been able to avoid reading them.

In process -- February 2012

First Draft

“Fairfax”. Started month with around 61K words, in Chapter 23. Now I’m on Chapter 26. There was actually a day when I got two pages, instead of just one!

“What Would Musashi Do?” This is the essay I had to write for karate class. I did it from start to finish this month, and I’d say it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. I’m not even sure if it ever got read.


“XTree”. (short story) Typed this one up. It turned out to be 9600 words, which is absurd. Still, I find when I edit, sometimes I just chop, chop, chop, and don’t improve things really, just gut the tale. However, this time I’m trying to do better, work with a plan. Last night I did the second pass on the first 28 (of 40) pages. At VP, Jim MacDonald talked about leaving little presents for yourself that you can decide to use later, or not. Some of them I use, the ones I don’t need, I’m taking out. Also, Hal Duncan had a blog post a couple of days ago about editing good sentences. This was good because it’s focused me on the words, on tightening the sentences, not taking out the thoughts but making them clearer.


“Joy” from Rowan Vintage Knits. Back and both fronts done. I was reluctant to do the beads, but now that I am, I’m loving it.