stillsostrange: (Dark City)
Today [ profile] arcaedia sent me her notes for Dreams. My goal for this weekend is to take two clunky flashbacks and turn them into something graceful. Then...the book will go out into the world. After nine years, this book will have become something I can take out in public.

I don't know what I'll do without my bete noire. I suppose some other book will come along to take its place. Knowing my luck, it will probably be D2.
stillsostrange: (fatale)
I'm working on Prayers To Broken Stone, and coming to the conclusion that it's no longer the right title. This isn't surprising, considering I've completely changed the main characters, if not the last incarnation of the plot. This is the book also known as La Ghoul Nikita (Or: A Travelogue With Ghouls), and has gone from being slow and elegiac to a lot more thrillerish. A title that reflects that might not hurt, and might get me through the current revision burn I'm suffering on the first three chapters.

[Poll #1858116]
stillsostrange: (Words)
My commitment to writing every day lasted slightly longer than previous Nano attempts, but not by much. Luckily, small and attainable goals prevailed. The bulk of these words were on The Poison Court, some on The Ashen/Winter Throne/Road, and most recently some on Prayers to Broken Stone. I also got two chapters into the revision of Dreams based on my crack location expert's notes. (Add more rain!) Right now I'm trying wait for [ profile] arcaedia's notes so I can bring this in with just one more pass.

10590 / 10500
stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
I am a badass, but not quite badass enough to pull an all-nighter. The climax has to be completely rewritten not just to purge the suck, but also to add in a new plot point, and that means I should think about it for a bit. By which I mean, all day at work tomorrow. The denouement also needs to be rewritten entirely, because after nearly seven years consideration, I realize that I cannot let one of these characters wander off into the sunset alone like an emo Mad Max dumbass.

81674 / 80000 words. 102% done!

It would be nice to post about things beside this book, like the opera, or...whatever else people talk about when they're not writing books. I think people also do the dishes when they're not writing books. I may need to look into that soon.

On the upside, though, I got to write one of my favorite death scenes again today. I've shot this character in three drafts now, and it never gets old.
stillsostrange: (Driven)
So many words today. So...many...words... And the words I'm replacing--yeesh. For every finished scene in this draft, there were two or three repetitive, flabby scenes in the last draft. I was a bit fan of hesitation marks, apparently. I have less than 9k of old draft left now, and only one new plot point to insert. (That I can think of now, anyway.)

75067 / 80000 words. 94% done!

Mean things: head trauma, unpleasant realizations, electric shock, abrupt decatheterization, pneumonia... And I wonder why I've had such a hard time getting a sequel out of these characters.

I have to march early tomorrow, for tomorrow night I'm going to see the Austin Lyric Opera perform Lucia di Lammermoor. I wish I could have seen it before I finished The Bone Palace, but better late than never.
stillsostrange: (Driven)
Today was not as productive as I might have liked in wordcount, but I did also manage to take my car to the shop (cracked ignition coil), buy [ profile] jmeadows' brand new book, meet [ profile] commodorified & co. for coffee and mutually assured corgi destruction, and spend some time chatting with a strange and tiny new cat in my driveway.

Dreams of Shreds & Tatters

70105 / 80000 words. 88% done!

I have five chapters left to revise from the old-old file, or around 13,000 terrible awful nogood words. I'm not sure what that will become in new words. On the one hand, the old stuff was overwritten and repetitive sentence-wise, so things will shrink. On the other hand, I'm adding more useful bits in this draft, and have two new plot points I want to squeeze in. And the original denouement was atrocious, and needs to become completely different. I would guess the final product will turn into 85k, but I've been wrong before.

Tomorrow I have dayjobbery and climbing, but Thursday through Saturday shall be a bookmarch of epic proportions.

Also, Publishers Weekly has nice things to say about Kingdoms.
stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
The revision is moving right along. So quickly, in fact, that I have upgraded from one to two wrist braces for typing and sleeping in. My hands are not at all happy right now. But I got through another chapter today!

Now I've come to an annoying set of scenes which take place inside a construct within the dreamlands. The setting could be anything at all, and too much choice makes me freeze right up.

Dreams of Shreds & Tatters

67057 / 80000 words. 84% done!
stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
The creeping of the word meter is a beautiful thing. The magic of LJ came through again, and I found a truce with the Ghoul-With-A-Gun--enough to get me through this draft, anyway. I also changed the setting of a chapter, and ripped out a very pointless and silly scene. One more scene to go, and then I come to the scary part: Carcosa itself.

Dreams of Shreds & Tatters

61365 / 75000 words. 82% done!
stillsostrange: (Hungry)
More progress today, if not of heroic proportions. My hands aren't crazy about typing 6,000 words in a day. Luckily for them it so rarely happens.

Dreams of Shreds & Tatters

32324 / 70000 words. 46% done!

Sadly, I ground to a halt right before the melting maenads. (I should stop calling them zombies--someone will get the wrong idea.) Eight years ago I thought it was a fun idea to include a certain character I had lying around, one whose backstory ties in to larger parts of the meta. And while it was fun, it was also incredibly wack, and not actually helpful to this particular book. So now I have to replace that character--or at least his backstory--with one more streamlined. But while I know exactly what this character does in the book, I now find myself with too much freedom while recasting. Who is this person? Is he a he anymore? Do I care more about his amusingly snarky interactions with one character, or his romantic subplot with another? Can I still have both if he's a she? (The romance definitely, but I'm not sure if the other character would react in the same way to a woman.)

Who is my mysterious ghoul with a gun? Has anyone seen hir?
stillsostrange: (Words)
Dreams of Shreds and Tatters

23783 / 70000 words. 34% done!

Slowly but surely, this becomes something like a book. Still a mess of a book, but not quite a hot mess? More like the chill of the cat vomit that's been congealing by the side of your bed overnight.
stillsostrange: (Byakhee)
The time has come once more for me to do battle with my very own bĂȘte noire, the novel known as Dreams of Shreds and Tatters.

Many of you who haven't fled screaming, Dreams is my adolescent mess of a novel. Not meaning I wrote it as a teen, but meaning it was my first novel after I put away the Dread Juvenilia. I wrote it with serious intent, but made a terrible mess of it in the process.

In 2008 I started a fairly serious revision. I rewrote vast swathes to get the prose up to snuff; I figured out better characterization and pacing; I trashed pointless scenes. I was within several chapters of the end when I got distracted with selling TDC.

Looking at the last revision now, I have to concede that the structure has serious problems. I still love the story, but it needs new guts on its bones, or maybe the other way around. I need to stop revising a bad book and write a better one. I kinda wish I could find a new and better title, to help sever ties.

I'll be in the corner crying if anyone needs me.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace)
The Bone Palace

Words today: 383
Words total: 118518

118518 / 118518 words. 100% done!

Yesterday I wrote one of the new scenes I needed. Today I wrote the second. This is very close to being a finished draft. I still need to go through it one more time Sob! for a repetition and continuity check, and to make sure I've tweaked everyone's motivations as much as possible. I'm fairly sure I've borked my timeline in a couple places, and while that may be the CE's job, she'll be busy enough changing my greys to grays, so I don't want to give her any extra work. (I have adopted house style in several places, but you will pry my greys from my cold dead manuscript.)
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Thursday March 25: walking, ~4.5 miles
Friday March 26: --
Saturday March 27: --
Sunday March 28: --
Monday March 29: bouldering
Tuesday March 30: pub trivia, the antithesis of Project Valkyrie.
Wednesday March 31: bouldering & a little top-roping. I flashed a V0+/V1, and then failed to send the rest of the V0s. :P

The rest of the day involved getting through Chapter 8 in the revisions, and then mainlining RuPaul's Drag Race. I had RuPaul's picture on my wall in high school* and I'm pretty impressed by how she hasn't aged in 15 years. I'm even more impressed by how well he'd play Nyarly in those suits.

*Along with Brandon Lee, Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman, Lady Death, and Dawn. Yeah. My Sandman poster is still hanging.
stillsostrange: (Revision)
Back from the gym, and trying to muster the wherewithal to clean up and go grocery shopping.

Today's revising revelation was that I have completely screwed up my timeline. Bone Palace takes place two years after TDC, not three or even four, as I have stated various places in the text. Two years. Really. Well, technically two and a half.

Today I added an expository transition in chapter 2, and typed in my line edits through the end of chapter 4. I still need a new scene to introduce a POV character earlier--probably either at the end of chapter 1 or the beginning of 3--but I have no idea what this scene should be.

5 / 23 chapters. 22% done!
stillsostrange: (Revision)
The prologue and two chapters down, except for one transition I don't have the brain to add tonight.

3 / 23 chapters. 13% done!

And eventually I need to add a new scene in here somewhere. I need a lot more brain for that.
stillsostrange: (Veil)
Kingdoms of Dust

Words today: 902
Words total: 8246
Reason for stopping: waiting for the plot to catch up

8246 / 100000 words. 8% done!

Deaths: An assassin assassinated! (death by plumbata, just for [ profile] hawkwing_lb)
Mean things: Ingrown toe removal. Before modern medicine.

I added two scenes to chapter one, and then retrofitted chapter two to take them into account. Now I'm into chapter three, and need to figure out what happens next.

After that I revised more of Bone Palace, slaughtering stray commas and weasel words. And now I'm off to eat red meat in celebration of The Wolfman. And find out if werewolf movies still scare the shit out of me now that I'm 30.


Jan. 29th, 2010 09:39 pm
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace)
The Bone Palace

117500 / 117500 words. 100% done!

It's long. It's late. It's done.

Still missing a few names, and one scene of forensic necromancy with drowned corpses that I'm too tired to fill in tonight, but the end is complete. And quite miserable--I need to get the notes right on this one.

I'm sure as soon as I open the file again, the word rep in the last few scenes will punch me in the eye. Luckily for me I'm not opening the file again till I hear back from either my fabulous agent, adorable editor, or intrepid beta readers.

And now it's Miller Dogfish Head Time!
stillsostrange: (Romance ferrets)
I just watched The Abyss again, and then had to spend ten minutes shaking my impotent fist and cursing Titanic. And then I realized why exactly Titanic bugs me so much.

Cameron is actually quite good at romantic subplots. Sarah and Kyle. Bud and Lindsey. Ripley and freakin' Hicks. Ripley and Hicks are best couple in the world and they don't even kiss. The magic here is competent adults acting like competent adults in impossible situations and saving each other's asses. That is awesome.

And Titanic with the romance as its A-plot has a couple of boring-ass kids who I couldn't care less about.

And so, of course, it made more money than god. :P

I think Kingdoms of Dust needs to be a competence-porn romance.

In other news, Bone Palace has grown 2,000 words since I started revising, and I have five more chapters to go.
stillsostrange: (Revision)
Much revision progress in the last couple days. I managed a serial-killer-bird scene, and then figured out most of a fake opera for Isyllt to describe--all I'm missing is its tragical ending. And for bonus progress, in describing the opera I figured out exactly what triggers the riots I need to be happening during the climax!

Next I get to write a conversation wherein Isyllt learns a little more Awful Truth, and then the only scene that will be missing at the end of chapter 13 is some forensic necromancy that I'll probably end up summarizing anyway.

The downside to giving Steven his Christmas present (a Gretsch Electromatic Hollow Body) early is that now my husband has vanished, and been replaced by the distant sound of scales and bits of songs coming from upstairs.

And now, an updated list of Some Things My Dog Has Eaten:

4 novels--Another Life, Black Cherry Blues, one I've forgotten, and most recently God Emperor of Dune. [ profile] tanaise thinks she thought is said Dog Emperor.

The eye off my stuffed panda.

A cello stand.

The insulation off our AC unit.

A steak knife.

A vial of BPAL's Aelopile.

The lid of the catfood dispenser.

A Kinko's CD.

The new Sonic Youth CD case.

1 comforter on the bed, 1 sheet on the couch, several towels in her crate, and her last dog-bed.

Several tennis balls

1 plastic tub that formerly served as her pool

The tips of one of my shoelaces

A million rawhide bones, stuffed animals, rubber chew toys, and various dried animal parts.
stillsostrange: (Baby bats)
The Bone Palace

Draft 1.0

431 / 462 pages. 93% done!

Goodnight, book. Sleep well. I'll likely kill you in the morning.

Today's exciting dayjob adventure was bat relocation. A lost little Mexican free-tailed ended up in the store, and was found sleeping upside down in the kids' section. (Most adorable thing ever, of which I sadly did not get pictures.) So a coworker and I gloved up and retrieved him. As we hit the doors, I found myself saying "But it's cold and rainy and we can't just dump him in the parking lot!"

This is how our chiropteran friend ended up in a box in my car. I called a coworker's friend who works with bat conservation and left a message, and tried to find a vet on my lunch break for advice. The vet, unsurprisingly, gave me the party line of Don't touch the bat. Have nothing to do with the bat. I, unsurprisingly, ignored this. (No, I did not touch the bat ungloved, or snuggle the bat, or kiss the bat. This used up all my willpower for the next month. So! Adorable!)

After that came some frustration involving the bat rescue website being down, and me not wanting to call animal control. Then I remembered [ profile] batwrangler, who answered her phone and gave me sage advice. My coworker's friend called back a bit later, and gave me the same sage advice. So after work I took Mr. (or Ms., as the case may be) Stellaluna to one of the bat bridges in town (where many of his relatives were still hanging out, having decided not to migrate) and let him go. He was still a little dazed when last I saw him, but crawling around and starting to perk up. Hopefully the trauma of being manhandled by giant monsters will wear off soon.

I took some bad cellphone pictures for [ profile] batwrangler, but you have to wait till tomorrow for them. Or Wednesday, depending on how long tomorrow's deathmarch runs.

I need a giant bat to sit on my shoulder while I type. That would be soothing.


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