6
Jan

Honesty, Act III

   Posted by: amrath    in Current Projects

Man, I am having a really hard time, here. I am right at the end, and I just can’t bring it together. I have been stalled for quite some time, like a month.  I need to sit down and do some serious rethinking about the finale, only I have had many other things on my radar during the holidays.

This is the freakin hard part. I can write the actual chapters anytime once this is done. I do a few pages a day, following this skeleton, and I can easily get a chapter or two a week in my spare time. But I need this skeleton finished.

I know why I stall. It’s because I have gone off track. I have made characters do things they don’t want to do, or not allowed them to do what they must. If I force them, I lose the feel of them, and they stop talking to me, or rather, maybe I am just not listening. Whatever the case, if I can’t feel and hear them, I can’t channel them, and I don’t know what to do. So I don’t do anything.

There is nothing I can do but fix it. I just need to actually do it. Sometime this week, I swear, I will back out the bad shit and make it right. I’d really like to move forward here. It’s just that life keeps me busy.

I’ve been neglectful of this place for a bit, for lots of different reasons, but it’s time to get started here again. It’s been terribly busy of late, in a good way, with family visiting over the holidays. To make a long story short, too much food was eaten, far too much booze was consumed, and I have probably gained ten pounds. Ouch! Time to get back on the straight and narrow.

Three months now until the baby is born. We have tentatively named him Robert Matthew, though we’re still flexible. I found it amusing that Jess’s Grandma Nellie included a present addressed to him at Christmas, a small outfit that he will presumably wear shortly after he officially exists. I did, however, find it passing strange that one might receive gifts prior to officially existing, but that’s just how my head works: you do not exist, therefore, you do not receive a gift. I suppose, in truth, he is in a strange, proto-state somewhere between existence and non-existence currently.  Certainly, the IRS does not consider him real, this despite the large protuberance from Jess that is definitely not a tumor.

More to come soon.

One comment

GreyWolfSC
 1 

You give the gift AFTER he’s born, silly. Of course you can’t give something to someone that doesn’t exist yet. 🙂

January 9th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

As is usual this time of year, there will be a Halloween Hootenanny at my place, and pretty much anyone is welcome to attend.

Word has it that the new character is to be male. I am pleased. But there is still much work to be done before his arrival.

7
Oct

Act II Skeleton Done

   Posted by: amrath    in Current Projects

I am still a little iffy with it, uncertain if I want to hold with certain events that happen, but it’s fairly solid for all that. It’s not written in stone, and I can change it later if it makes sense to do so. I kind of need to solidify things all the way through in order to feel really comfortable. I am wavering between possible futures, as it were, and so I am having trouble seeing very far down the road of any particular set of events.

I could begin writing the missing chapters for Act II, and clean up what I have. I think, however, that I will go straight on to the Act III skeleton and take the whole thing out to the end. That will let me write chapters with more confidence that things will be solid.

1
Oct

Honesty, Act II

   Posted by: amrath    in Current Projects

Just a brief post to keep myself honest. I am indeed still working on the skeleton document. It is coming together in fits and starts, and is simply taking longer than I had hoped. Part of this is due to my agonizing over some of the things I mentioned before: keep certain interesting events and already written work, or toss them and let Sadrik be who he is? In the end, I want to keep Sadrik whole, and so I am using a seam ripper on the whole thing and trying to sew back together anything I can. Some of the old stuff will necessarily be lost. It will, when done, be better for the surgery. It’s just going to take longer.

New goal for the week: reworked skeleton for Act II.

23
Sep

Act II

   Posted by: amrath    in Current Projects

Okay, I have let the dust settle a bit, and it’s time to start pulling the pieces together for Act II now. As currently planned, I have 13 chapters in this act. A little over half of the chapters are complete, though I am uncertain of their condition, i.e. I think the writing is a little weak and the tone may be subtly different because certain moods have changed in the reworking of the plotlines. I will touch them up a bit as I work, though it is my intention to save any real ‘polish’ phase until after I complete the entire draft.

I maintain a skeleton document that has pretty much the entire novel plot, sans niceties like phrasing, dialog, and descriptions, i.e. “Ahmed fights and kills several Elgies”, which could be several pages in the actual chapter. I use this to plan out chapters and track the flow, figure out how things fit together. Then, once I have it worked out, I actually write the chapter.

For act II, I still have some rough parts with the Skeleton, specifically with Sadrik. He is not only a retroactively added character, he is overwriting another, more boring character, and I have to absorb some events into him while maintaining his personality, so there are some challenges. I may end up just tossing some of the stuff the overwritten guy did, though it will mean losing some work. In the end, Sadrik will handle things his way. One has considerably less leeway than you might imagine at making characters behave in ways they don’t like. Yes, brute force works. But the characters grow sick if you do this, and they die.

I think, if I can just solidify the skeleton for Act II and Act III this week, I will count myself as having done very well. And for alpha readers, no, you can’t see the skeletons yet. The entire point of alpha readers is that you know nothing about the plot! I know what I have in the skeleton. The question is, “Did I actually communicate it properly?”, so I need to keep it to myself and see if certain things come through to the readers. After I have heard some feedback from a few folks on the Act I draft, I’ll give some thought to posting the skeletons.

Assuming, of course, I’ve got them where I want them.

You have no doubt noticed the change in the site’s appearance. Having finally received some of Joe’s  excellent character art , I now actually care enough about the looks to put some measure of work into it. Thus the new theme, and resulting surgery necessary to make it work sensibly.

Yes, that means it was not initially behaving sensibly. For some reason, the templates were a little screwy and were putting default category info on non-blog pages, very weird, but what does one expect for free? It is fortunate that in addition to being a writer, I am also a professional programmer, and was able to muddle through some of the vagaries of the php to get what I needed. Due to this sorcery, you can also now click the link with my handle at the top of any entry and send me mail.

This is an important feature. You most certainly do want to send me mail, at least if you want access to the work in progress. Then you’ll know all about the secret lab and the appropriate signs and countersigns.

Clever, I am. Very clever. Don’t forget it.

2 comments so far

Joe
 1 

Lucian Lenoir. I started that during thanksgiving at your house. Remember? That was a good night, accept when I threw up that whiskey. Good thing Eric brought tums.

February 20th, 2009 at 1:58 am
 2 

(chuckle) Aye, I remember. Too bad you missed his wedding!

February 21st, 2009 at 10:19 am

Well, I did it. Last night, I sold the Z06, traded it for a more sensible vehicle, a red Magnum. There were lots of reasons. I couldn’t really justify spending the money on it anymore. I needed a back seat. I really don’t need a fast car to get myself killed in. All in all, it just made sense.

The Magnum is nice, for what it is. It’s roomy, and has nice pep. It’s not Corvette, but it works for now. I will miss the Z06. I had so much fun with it, and it has many a memory attached to it. But it was time to be more serious, at least for a while, time to be responsible and make certain my resources are not wasted on frivolous things, or that my life is not cut short by my own impulsive nature.

I got used to saying goodbye to things I loved long ago. These days, I know that everything passes out of your life at some point. You have to love while you can, and not hold back for fear of the inevitable. As long as you can tell yourself you did the best you could, it is the experience and memory that is the true value of any love.

That is the part of love that can never be torn from you. It is only when you foolishly throw those things aside that anything is ever really lost.

One’s soul is as emptied or filled by the bridges he burns or builds.

1
Sep

Act I is finished

   Posted by: amrath    in Current Projects

Well, it’s done. It’s still raw and needs polishing, but it’s complete. It’s shaping up to be a damned good tale, if I do say so myself. And on that note, I could use some alpha readers. If you’re interested, drop me a line.

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