xerinmichellex: ([stock]: fountain pen)
So, NaNo 2010. It's not going to happen for me this year. (Not that it's a big deal. I did it for fun last year, and ended up finishing at 46K.) Between having surgery/getting sick on the first day and pure laziness, I just haven't been in the mood to write. Pontificate, yes. Writing existentialism? Hells to the yes. Here's what I've discovered:

I'm pretty sure I have reverse-seasonal depression. That is, I don't get "depressed" during the winter, but I seem to have a lack of motivation during the summer. Which is odd because it isn't like I'm an outdoors-y girl. In fact, I probably go outside more in the winter (granted, it's shoveling snow off the driveway) than I do during the warmer months. I hate the heat, so maybe that's what keeps me in a crummy mood all summer. But I would think the heat would chain me to the desk, in the air conditioned house, and write about "cold things." Go figure.

However, just because I feel like I don't write enough during the summer, summer seems to be my "novel-thinking season." While avoiding my (somewhat) NaNo piece, I browsed through my potential novel notes. Between June and August, jotting down notes for potential novels goes through the roof. Typically there's three ideas, where one or two really shine and create a whole cast of characters and plots and themes. Sometimes that lone idea gets folded into the plot of another, or it vanishes from thought. On the opposite spectrum, manuscripts I start in the summer tend to stall out once autumn rolls around. September is when I usually pick up steam again. Again, go figure.

(And damn those Shiny New Ideas. I've begun to admit that I have an obsessive nature--which is probably a good thing seeing as I want to be a writer--but it's so toxic when I'm trying to write one story while a SNI is bullying its way to the forefront of my brain. But that's another topic unto itself...)

Anyway, it's nice--and super comforting--to know writing during the summer has been nonexistent going back two years. Seems to be my pattern and not just an anomaly this year. I know what to expect. I have to be more ambitious in the other nine months.

I'm wondering if anyone else is like this. Like, are there months where you seem to be more productive writing-wise versus plot-note-wise? I know every writer has their own system--I just wonder if theirs is as odd, or messed up, or obvious as this reversed-seasonal depression thing I've got going on.
xerinmichellex: (lillian gish2)
Lately I've been feeling like I took up permanent residence in a washer. Don't understand my lame-ass most awesomeness metaphor? That's okay--I've provided a visual representation:


We all remember Miss Bella, don't we? (*cheat sheet*)


Bella here is demonstrating the exact feeling I've had these past couple of weeks during my round of edits. I feel like I'm going around in circles with two chapters which simply do not want to cooperate. Bella literally walked around in circles inside the washer yesterday afternoon, amusing me very much. It was the highlight of my day--which just shows you my current state of mind. But! Watching a cute, innocent, black cat wander around her circular prison got me to stop obsessing over the problematic chapters, polish up the second draft to a semi-glossy state, and send it off to my lovely Beta (OH GOD! TAKE MY MANUSCRIPT AWAY FROM ME BEFORE I DO SOMETHING TERRIBLE TO IT!!! HINT: IT BEGINS WITH A "D" AND ENDS IN "ELETE"!!!!). So, victory me!

Before PETA gets all up in my business, I put the cycle on the washer--and Bella--on a low setting before doing my laundry. She's fine. Totally, absolutely fine. And probably the cleanest she's ever been, because ain't no way a cat can properly clean itself by using its own saliva when I know cats do not use toilet paper after going Number 2.

WIP Update

Apr. 25th, 2010 09:49 pm
xerinmichellex: (emma watson)
I feel like my brain has melted and grey matter is leaking out my ears. Ugh.

On the plus, I completed my WIP this afternoon, clocking in at just shy of 60,000 words. (59,200 words if we want to play with actual numbers here.) So yes, after bitching and moaning a couple days ago, I slapped together a final chapter I can live with finished writing the final chapter. Now comes editing--which will be more like adding instead of subtracting based on my editing list. I've got a chapter to add, plot points which developed in the back-end of writing to insert in the beginning, dialogue to finesse, and information to research. Wikipedia, here I come!

However! For this upcoming week, I've decided to do NOTHING! I'm going to curl up with a bag of Sweet-Tarts, pop on some Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVD's (damn you Logo for reaffirming my Buffy love), and lounge on the couch until April 30, when I've got plans to see A Nightmare on Elm Street (for the lulz, naturally).

Of course, my itch to edit usually kicks in three days away from the computer. So, you know, my Sweet-Tart/Buffy coma could only last a few days. Maybe by then I'll have enough brain cells to actually be creative once again.

And so, with this uncreative post done, I'm going to sit back and watch The Tudors. We're nearing Lunatic!Henry the VIII, but are still very much stuck with that hussy Katherine Howard, at the moment. Though, we all know how well that marriage ended.
xerinmichellex: (Queen Victoria)
STUPID LAST CHAPTER IS STUPID!!!!

I've hit a wall--4-G speed, head first, no helmet, skull bashing SMASH!--with my new WIP. I am one chapter away from finishing the first draft, and said chapter just does not want to write. There are three versions of the chapter going, all in paragraph pieces, and they simply aren't working. I have never, ever had this problem before. (Blah, blah, blah...there's a first for everything. Yeah, got it!)

A little back story: Whenever I have a new story idea, I always settle on the beginning and the end (or close to the end...you know, what the climax is). It is how I've always done it. Now, sometimes the final chapter may be up in the air; but I at least have a partial final image to go on when I start, and by the time I reach the finale, I've figure out the end-end.

This time: crickets. I stepped away from it yesterday to breathe. I can usually force my brain to work out the kinks during a time like that. Yesterday, I got nada. Grrrr!

I'm sure it's a mental block. Why, oh, why it has to happen now, I don't know. I'm hoping to pull something out today, maybe tomorrow. Otherwise I'll just start editing and pray that triggers a conclusion I'm satisfied with. That, or I'll have something come to me while I'm trying to sleep...which always happens too.
xerinmichellex: (emilie autumn2)
Dear Lost,

Remember when you were all new and fresh and every week I tuned in thinking, "What is Lost going to do this week? How is it going to fuck with my mind?"

Let's try to be more like that in these final episodes and not so...lame. Boring. Unbearable to watch. I want to be captivated again. I want to forget American Idol is on; but seriously, these past few weeks, I've been so tempted to hit the "return channel" button and watch Karaoke U.S.A. over scripted television. Yes, Lost, it has gotten that bad.

Do want to know what also sucks? I am really, really glad Glee is back on next week--across from your time slot. I thought I'd go through withdrawal having to tape you. Now, I'm relieved. Now I am so happy I can tape you and watch you whenever I feel like it. Like, if I'm in the middle of balancing my checkbook, or folding laundry, or avoiding my computer because my WIP is being stubborn and I feel like punching my fist through its shiny, laughing face. . .I digress.

The point is, Lost, you are six years old, and you're beginning to show your age. You're dragging your feet. I don't care about Richard's fabulous, romance novel hair from the centuries past. I learned slavery was bad in the third grade. Seeing Sawyer bang a girl he had under surveillance was gross--and highly unrealistic. In fact, please find an antidote for Sawyer's shirt allergy and make him wear one. Your reveal that the Man in Black is evil personified is, well, not a reveal since that was obvious last season when we first saw him. And also, I don't know if you realize this, but Mark Pellegrino really is The Devil. Even your alternate universe is showing its stretch marks.

I'm worried about you. I'm scared that the whole series--the whole point of the show--can easily be wrapped up in a couple episodes. Yes, I know, you're planning some big deaths in the upcoming episodes. Can you say cliche? I mean, when J.K. Rowling started killing everyone off in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and I mean a wizard a page, I skipped to the fluffy end. So, cut to the chase, Lost. Eliminate the filler like Atkins cuts out carbohydrates and skip to the meat.

And for god's sakes! will you please put Claire out of her misery? That rat's nest for a wig is terrible on her. I keep envisioning--and hoping--her and Jackson Rathbone will form a Wig-Hating Union and protest wig shops.

Sincerely,

Erin Michelle

P.S. Will you stop running two minutes over? You make me miss the beginning of Justified by lingering over crap or on really important, meaningful stares between two characters.
xerinmichellex: (A Clockwork Orange)
Getting ready to query the finished manuscript, THE SOUL KEEPER, I began my new WIP a few days ago. I always start projects one after the other, leading to disastrous results. Last year, after finishing Book Two in my planned series and while querying Book One (officially trunked as of now), I began one manuscript, only to switch project a month in because Failed Project #1 lost my interest. However, a month into Project #2, it turned into Failed Project #2, and I started a new manuscript, which turned into my NaNo, and I completed that. I guess what I'm sayin' is it takes me some time to get into the groove of completing a fresh WIP. (Of course, after I wrote NaNo Manuscript, the idea for THE SOUL KEEPER came along and I pumped that baby out in a timely fashion. So. What. Ever.)

Which is why I'm determined to take my new WIP--codename "ultraviolent teenagers"--slow and savor the momentum. Okay, so using the word "savor" might not be the best term considering the subject matter. The premise is simple: A high school teacher suspects his students may be responsible for a fellow student's death, which they tried to pass off as a suicide. As he delves deeper, he realizes the teens are responsible for the rash increase of beatings, theft, and overall mayhem in their small town. But, sticking his nose into their business forces his family to become stuck in the teens' cross hairs, who are ticking time bombs, seconds away from imploding, and taking down everyone with them.

Definitely going for a contemporary thriller/suspense, commercial fiction with this one--more psychological horror than a splatter-fest, but there are some bloody scenes...especially towards the end. The story is mostly from the teacher's perspective, but the main teens involved get a chapter here and there. You know, getting inside their mindset, seeing which teen has more pull over the others, makes it feel like a fuller story. There's just something that attracts me to the psychology of why people do what they do. That has always been the appeal I've had towards reading up on serial killers or murder cases, Mother, not that I'm sick or deranged. Much.

But what I am most proud of is the direction one of my characters decided to take. Now, I don't claim to know every detail about my characters. My focus is only on the things that will come to play in the course of the story. I don't need to know who their first kiss is, if they don't kiss anyone in the story, m'kay. I'm not writing their ancestry charts for Who Do You Think You Are?. And yet, something about one of my characters had been bugging since their conception. They take a sudden change of course in the final act, emphasis on "sudden." Well, this weekend, working backwards from the end to the beginning (which is a great way to spot plot holes), I made the horrifying discover that she--yes, it is a female--has more to with the "incidents" than she let on before, explaining her, shall we say, freak out in the finale. This character development makes me excited because I really, really want to write that scene now, and may be my motivation for seeing this project through to the end. (I have a tendency to, for the most part, write in chronological order.) Though another one of my characters from a different manuscript idea might decide to have a shocking revelation of their own to one-up this one; then I am totally screwed.
xerinmichellex: (titanic_pretends)
So. The final season of Lost is premiering tomorrow. A whole nation of Lost fans are cheering, whilst everyone else is throwing their hands up and saying, "I don't get it." I have been very, very good and stayed off the blogs and television gossip sites to avoid all the inside scoop--save for Obama-geddon.

However, that does not stop me from making some predictions 'cause that's what I do.

Here they are:Just so I can later say I told ya so! )
xerinmichellex: (Default)
I have come to realize I am in an abusive relationship with my current WIP. Each day I timidly walk up to my computer, praying my manuscript will let me in so I can shape it into what I want. And everyday I walk away beaten up even more. But--damn it!--I just keep going back to it thinking it might change.

The abuse was so bad a couple days ago, I cheated on my computer by writing out a scene in longhand. The end result was my computer hissed and groaned for an hour, I thought it was going to go all kamikaze on me--taking my WIP with it.

Usually I refer to my WIP as "skeletal remains" just 'cause. I have never had a more apt description as I do with this manuscript. There are pieces of story all over the frickin' place. Each chapter has at least one sentence to it. I am not kidding--Chapter 13 only has one sentence so far. I have gaps and [insert info. here] brackets in the middle of long paragraphs. I even found a place where I stopped mid-dialogue yesterday. Seriously, my disorganization with this project is giving me hives.

Which is why I made a deadline schedule for myself. I think I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again: I suck at making deadlines. Deadlines come and go, and my stuff ain't done. I have 12 chapters that need to be finished--all of which are in different stages of completion. Plot points still have to be finalized/thought about, and I am not one who can write on the fly. I write a paragraph behind of what's in my head. Also, I have all this science stuff to look up because I am dumb and decided to write a science fiction novel which has to be based on facts. So, I am hoping--fingers crossed--to have my WIP done by the end of January, with a query (cue thunder sound effects) start date of March. *Gulp*

Of course, once I made my schedule, I saw just how much work I still need to do. I am in for two weeks of hard abuse here.
xerinmichellex: (titanic_pretends)
There's been a slight uproar at the house for the past couple of days due to my brother's idea of a Christmas gift for me. Ever since we put my cat, Midnight, down, my brother's been insistent on getting me another to "even the cats out" since he has two and I was left with one. Naturally, when my brother teased me about my Christmas gift and said it "was special" and I was "going to love him [my brother] so much for it" I knew he was trying to convince my mother to adopt another cat for me. It was also suppose to be a thank you for helping him with his papers for college--which I have basically written for him, so those A's he received are mine anyway.

On Friday, when my mother and brother conveniently ducked out of the house, I figured they were getting my "Christmas present". Did I mention my brother volunteers at the animal shelter near our house? The pieces were adding up, and when they did come home, I received my new, replacement kitten. *I is so smart.*

I swear, she's living up to her name with each passing day )
Totally unrelated, the first hour of SciFi's (yes, I refuse to use that stupid, variant spelling "SyFy") Alice aired last night. I was less than impressed. I really liked Tin Man--it was fresh, new, and engaging. Though both were created/written by the same people, Alice felt...off. Wonderland looked like a recycled set from Doctor Who--even the selling of emotions was borrowed from a Doctor Who episode that aired in 2007. Honestly, Alice started off bad. When I see a brown haired Alice, I don't like her unless she's carrying a butcher's knife and sporting Victorian boots. Needless to say, this Alice wasn't. Perhaps the second night will make up for last night's. Doubt it. I may just have to wait for Tim Burton's Alice as a worthy re-imagining of the timeless tale of a girl who slipped through The Looking Glass and the adventure she had on the other side.

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