valis2: Stone lion face (Mapfic)
So I was listening to the first episode of [ profile] slashcast again. It's been so long that I had kind of forgotten the episode (it's here if you're interested), so it was like listening to it new again. I'm most interested in the interviews of writers, and the interviewee for this ep was [ profile] amanuensis1. (I was hoping there'd be a transcript I could link to, but I don't see one on the transcript community, sorry.)

Anyway, it was a fascinating interview, as it was bound to be with Amanuensis involved. She's a really great writer and a really cool person. I met her at a con or two and, though we only exchanged a few sentences, she was warm and welcoming.

She said some really thought-provoking things in the interview. Things that I could identify with and things that I've long thought about, and there were other things, too, that fascinated me, so you all get to hear about it, lol.

Read more... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Mapfic)
stolen from [ profile] elle_blessing

1. How often do you write and how do you feel about your output?

When I have the time and Ducks In A Row, the writing comes out fairly consistently at about 1000 to 2000 words a day. When I am drinking fire I can write 1000 words per hour, but those times are few and far between. I am mostly okay with my output but I wish I had more time to spare for it and that my ducks lined up more often. Still, I don't like to make writing goals; that sort of thing always backfires with me. I get ahead of myself rather spectacularly every single time (counting my poor chickens before they're hatched is a failing of mine) and then I get disappointed. Especially because I so rarely do what is wanted of me. Even when I'm the one who wants myself to do it.

Read more... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Mapfic)
So while I was in Wisconsin I was reading a collection of essays called Writers on Writing. There were a lot of well-known and respected names, and a lot of advice, and a lot of interesting approaches to writing about writing, as one would expect.

But there was one essay that really stood out for me, personally.

You see, I have this theory about writing, that it is as individual as writers are. We love to write about writing, but there's only one thing I've learned about writing, which is that everyone does it differently, and thus a lot of this advice is of the Your Mileage May Vary school.

There are a few pieces of advice that I have seen fairly consistently. One, for example, is the Consistent Output advice. The main component is either to a) be at your writing desk at a consistent time each day, and/or b) write a certain number of words (I have seen more than a few mentions of 1000) per day. The thing is, IMO, this all depends on the kind of person you are and the kind of writer you are. Even on the kind of mood you're in.

For example, the very thought of just sitting and writing 1000 words of...well, nonsense, stuff without a plan--makes me break out in hives. My brain thinks, what a waste. I can't imagine that writing 1000 words of total crap each day would help in any way. However, like I said before, writers are such individual creatures that I am certain there are many who would benefit from this or at least enjoy it immensely. I'm not one of them.

"For Authors, Fragile Ideas Need Loving Every Day," by Walter Mosley was the first writing advice essay that really seemed to speak directly to me. More rambling about the writing process underneath. )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
[ profile] catsintheattic has been writing an intriguing series of entries on writing, and it's really made me think harder about my own writing process. One of the things that I've been really mulling over is what I call "plot and chores."

First of all, the terminology is my own rather poor word choice, and I'm certain that it's called something more accurate somewhere else, and it's probably explained better, too, but what I'm trying to do here is explain my own version of plotting in my own words. And keep in mind that this will not be a huge epiphany for anyone who regularly writes--it's more of an attempt to figure out how I write.

When I'm writing a long fic, I generally follow a pattern. I think about the fic quite a bit, daydream about it for days, sometimes months, and then I sit down and start writing down every plot point I can remember. I keep that up for a couple days, and then I type all of the plot points/scenes into a Word document and rearrange them until I have them in chronological order. I add a starting location and a date (and time, if necessary) to each section. I also add a few details that I don't want to forget, sometimes even a bit of dialogue. This is the plot. The outline looks like this:

Read more... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
The show went...okay. Better than expected, but not as well as hoped for; still, worse than expected would have crushed me right now, so I'm happy.

I'm also in high obsessive gear about a story.

Really high obsessive gear.

It popped into my head somehow on...Friday, I think? And I started narrating it in my head, as I do, and I narrated quite a bit of it, and I was...I was transfixed by it. Mesmerized, somehow. I thought about it all day yesterday and narrated huge portions of it in my head, and came up with side characters and plot and some twists and turns.

Last night I went to bed around 11:45, knowing I'd have to get up at 6. And I started narrating the story in my head, from the very beginning, and I wrote the whole story in my head from beginning to end. I think it had to have been around 3K or so. Now, this is not new for me; I narrate stuff in my head all the time, using complete sentences, exact phrasing, etc. However, this thing spun together so well that I didn't think about anything else through the entire story. I just narrated it, a little breathlessly, and it just...formed, on and on, sentence after sentence. And then at 2:30, just as I was reaching the conclusion, I realized that I really had to go to sleep.

At the show all day I was still narrating huge long portions of it.

Past experience has taught me that if I do not write this now, I will lose it all in the murk. I had this happen once before with this incredible Snupin story that I put together on a long drive; it was delicious and taut and utterly riveting (well, to me) and dark and intense, and because I had so much to do when I got home I put the story on the back burner, and now I remember nothing at all about it except the fading feelings it inspired.

I need to write this asap, methinks.

And I feel guilty, but I need to shout for joy about [ profile] cactus_wren, and it will have to wait until tomorrow. I'm too loopy to do it justice tonight.

Plus, the story is burning me. Every time I think about it I get butterflies in my stomach. *shivers* (Oh, it's a Riptide fic, of course, btw.)
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I am now completely sick, most likely a sinus infection. I think I'll actually go to my doctor today. Usually I wait until I'm well past the point of miserable. I'm only at miserable as of yet. But I have a show on Sunday and I need to be ready. I mean, the getting ready part is mostly non-stressful, but the show? I want to be recovered before that. And if I just sit at home and blergh, it'll be a week to ten days, as usual. Plus, this infection is nasal-oriented, unlike the last three, which were throat-oriented with little or no nasal affliction, so I'm super-miserable. I do so enjoy being able to breathe, y'know?

In other news, the 'Nam flashback Riptide story turned out to be a good story, I think. I'm pleased with it, though I still like the TCfC story best of the Riptide stories.

I have this old strange ledger book from when I was a kid that I've been jotting down eBay notes in. Anyway, I was paging through and found a Riptide story I started when we first moved in (December) and I didn't have my computer moved in yet. It was just a bit of a ficlet, written longhand, but it didn't have an ending yet. I've transcribed it into Semagic and I've been tinkering with it a little, but it isn't showing that flash just yet. After I transcribed it I went through the next couple pages, and was surprised to find a little paragraph describing a totally different scenario, one I don't even remember writing down. It's a good h/c scenario, though. So the inspiration just keeps moving ahead.

There's a writer, I think it's Diana Gabaldon, who wrote some sort of writer FAQ equivalent once, where she sighs about people coming up to her and telling her that they have a great idea for a story and that she should write it. And then she points out that she has plenty of ideas already and doesn't need theirs. Heh. Well, maybe she says it in a nicer way. I have to say, I could not possibly run out of inspiration for fanfic stories, seriously. It's just a matter of writing them down. Same with original fic/nonfic. I have so many crowding my head that it's a wonder I have any other thoughts in there at all.

ETA: Doctor's verdict: Sinusitis, round #58.
valis2: Stone lion face (Serpenatrixlion)
Low: I am sick. And I'm really bummed, because we're going to my sister's tonight, and we're supposed to have dinner and watch Wall-E, which I haven't seen yet. And I've been totally looking forward to this because I haven't seen my parents in months and they're only here for two nights and it will be a lot of fun. Or would have been. I mean, I think I can go, but I really don't want to get my parents sick, y'know? Ugh. I'm all congested and my sinuses are really pissed off.

It's either all the dust I inhaled yesterday when I was playing the piano (look, I haven't played in ages because it was in a dark corner and I didn't have a lamp and now that I just put the bulbs in the lamp and I played yesterday all this dust seemed to come out of it--I think I need to open it up and vacuum it), or it's Plague Girl who was sitting next to me at work all week. Husband thinks it's the plague.

High: the story. Even though I was sure I could get it out in 6000 words, it ended at 9500. (Don't laugh, [ profile] oddmonster.) And with the copious notes and lyrics and crap, it's just barely below the word limit for a LJ entry, which makes me breathe a sigh of relief, because I really didn't want to have to do a two-part entry.

It was at 8400, but I was a little uncertain about the ending, and then Husband voiced the same thing, so I knew something was off, and I reworked it a bit. I still like the original ending better in a way, but I think the story is better overall for the second ending, so that's what I'll use. And Husband has just read second ending, and really really really likes the whole story now. So I'm really excited. I think I'll post it tomorrow.

I was relieved that he liked the second ending--honestly, I only had 150 words left to play with if he hadn't. heh.

I'm definitely going to post it here, because it's not slash, well, at least, it's not overtly slashy. You can imagine what you want to happen later, of course. *grins*

Haven't done screencaps in a while. I'm thinking about picking up where I left off. I'm also up for new icons, too, because I made one the other day, and almost made a few last night. Need more Riptide boys!


Mar. 13th, 2009 02:46 pm
valis2: Stone lion face (Riptide mimi disembark)
I just wrote 3400 words in the past four hours and finished the story and wow. (8400 words total, so far, which will change in the revising, but whew.)


Clearly, writing it in my head over and over again paid off. Okay, fine, I'm not totally finished, I still need to polish it, but wow.

Now I just need to polish it, force poor Husband to read it again for the fifteenth time, and bam. Done.

Y'know, in the HP fandom, I'd time posting it so it wouldn't get posted on the weekend (nobody online), but it occurs to me that it might not matter in the Riptide fandom...I mean, there's so little fic that it's not like people get overwhelmed and skip stuff or accidentally miss stuff. I mean, it's just one comm. *ponders posting early*

So tired.

Mar. 11th, 2009 10:22 pm
valis2: Stone lion face (Valis II)
Work is super fun right now--I'm doing the kind of nearly mindless stuff that's a) just mindful enough that I can almost stay awake and b) just mindless enough that I can think story thoughts. And there are still at least two days left of this particular job. yay!

I have put together 4300 words already on the Riptide fic. Halfway done. Maybe even more than halfway, honestly. I'm about to write a scene that is making me squeal with glee inside. I've already written it in my head today at least twice. Scary thing is, it's violent and scary, but I can't wait.

Well, I mean, I can, because I'm not going to write it tonight; I've done all the work to bring myself to the exact point where this new scene will begin, and now I'm going to bed because I really should (believe it or not). But wow. Tomorrow night, I will be writing it, the Awesome Scene. Er, or maybe I should say, the Scene I Think Is Awesome But Will Probably Make People Roll Their Eyes. But still. Geeked. Geekery. omg.

I don't even know if this entry makes sense, but it doesn't matter, because I'm turning off the computer now and going to BED. blergle.
valis2: Stone lion face (Riptide smoldering)
Seriously. This new Riptide story has completely managed to resist all attempts at writing. It has only three scenes, and I've written these scenes in my head over and over again, and each incarnation has its good points and bad.

I cannot decide between first person and third.

I cannot decide between past tense and present.

I am beginning to wish I had never thought of this. I just tortured poor Husband for a half hour about it. Instead of making progress, I am even more deadlocked than before. Husband pointed out so many very logical things--how much narrative distance do I want? And then advised me first person, present tense, which so many good/great fanfic writers/readers abhor and won't read.

I am so torn. I have been leaning mightily toward third person/present tense, but this is a very disassociated style, which I'm not certain is what I'm looking for, but then again I don't think the past tense will do, and...and...I'm sick of thinking about this and I want the story written NOW. Y'know, I'm ready to just start writing the Jake Tyler fic instead because I know that it will be in third person/past tense like usual and I won't have to agonize over anything except for details about walkie-talkies.

Y'know what it is? This 'Nam fic, though it will be short, could be something special. It could be something unusual and interesting, and I want to give it the perfect tense/POV combo so that it will shine.

valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
Hmm. I just wrote another story between last night and today for the Riptide fandom and posted it.

It's been ages since I did any writing, and what I always forget is that once the words start flowing, it just takes over.

I mean, I just sat and wrote 5600 words. When I'm away from writing, I feel like it's insurmountable, but when I sit down and write, I remember that even though it's hard, it's easy, too.

I hope I can keep this up. TLS has been eating my brain for three months straight and I'd like to get it on a page.

*hugs [ profile] tinx_r for being so much inspiration*!

Oct. 3rd, 2008 06:13 pm
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I'm a featured author at Sycophant Hex's Ashwinder archive for the month of October!


I never, ever, in a million billion trillion years would have expected this. It's especially surprising that the fic is the freaky, crack!dream-inspired the Pond.

I'm totally astonished and humbled and wow! I'm completely bowled over. Thank you so much, SH!!
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
[ profile] etrangere had an entry about writing, and it made me think about my own writing, and how I haven't been doing any.

In fact, someone just reviewed the unfinished tLS with, "I am so mad at you!" because I haven't updated.

This has just been a crazy year, between shows and the wedding and stuff. I pushed myself to get out there and sell, and unfortunately, the returns were not great. In fact, they weren't even good, but that's for another entry entirely.

The thing is, this year I've done the least amount of writing since I started the HP fandom. And it's not for lack of ideas--I have stories and plots and characters overflowing in my head. It's just that RL has eaten me whole.

Worst of all, I can't possibly participate in the [ profile] snupin_santa exchange. I will be moving in December, and if I sign up, it will be disastrous. I'm very sad about this. Very. I've so enjoyed the kick in the pants that is writing for an exchange. However, I have to be realistic. Not only will I be moving an entire apartment's worth of belongings mostly by myself, but I will also be helping to move husband's grandmother out of same house, and I will also have to deal with improving same house before we move in (the carpets are wrecked, it needs painting, etc.) and, if that weren't enough, I will have to deal with the oodles of furniture/items left over because she is going into an independent living facility.

Please don't think I'm ungrateful about having to do this work--said grandmother is the height of generosity for letting us purchase her house at an amazingly reasonable price, and it's a steal. But it is a lot of work, and I won't have time to write.

Even worse, I won't have time to write tLS, which makes me sadder than words can convey. I have the entire ending plotted out, I have oodles of thoughts about where I'm going, and I'm totally geeked--except I don't have the time.

Hopefully when everything dies down after December I'll have a couple weeks to write something before I leave for Arizona. *crosses fingers* It's sad when you have to plan your writing time five months ahead...
valis2: Stone lion face (Deathly hallows)
Yeah, probably useless at this point, but still.

Last week I was listening to [ profile] snapecast episode 16 (which was released last spring, before DH hit, yeah, I'm still catching up in a weird way--I missed a few episodes because they were mislabeled in my mp3 player). The snarky chapters portion really made me pause and rewind.

So. Thoughts about DH, now that time has dulled the senses. And uncanny predictions made before the book's release, and predictions that were dashed upon the authorial rocks. heh. Also, about fandom and how it seems to have changed, at least to me. If you're sick to death of DH blather, please avoid this. )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I'm always fascinated by fics written by teenagers that portray adults. Certainly there are many teen writers with a lot of skill who draw convincing portraits of adults. But then there's that wish fulfillment fantasy writing--a teen writing about herself as an adult, or what she imagines would be a "cool" life as an adult.

Ages ago, I read a story (HP story) by a teen whose protagonist drove an "old" car; worked as a bartender--but was so good at is she only had to work three days a month; kept only the money she needed to live on and donated the rest (retirement? huh?); wore clothing/makeup that wasn't so great, but anyone who looked at her knew she would be gorgeous if she spent a moment on it; could speak Russian fluently; had lots of dangerous enemies; had an apartment with some sort of homemade security system; and didn't bother with a man because she didn't need one. There are a lot of details I've forgotten by this point, but you get the picture.

Read more... )


Jun. 22nd, 2007 02:40 pm
valis2: Stone lion face (Circus wagon lion)
So I'm working on the dark!Snupin challenge, and I'm dissatisfied, of course, as I always am to some degree. I had hoped to write something in the style of A Free Man/A Line in the Dirt, something lyrical and rich, but instead I find myself falling back on the the Last Sanguimagus style instead, which is much more to-the-point.

What I don't like about this is that the enjoyment rests squarely on the plot, instead of the actual writing. In tLS there really isn't any special wording or fantastic imagery; it's all character-driven, plot-driven, get-to-the-plot-point-next-scene-etc. stuff. It's bare bones, in a way. I don't have any pretensions about the writing in tLS; it isn't lovely, by any means. But it isn't how I normally write, either. I was trying to emulate JKR's writing style, in a way.

So I thought this dark!Snupin challenge would be a great way to work in the more poetic/lyrical style that I adore and that is closer to my own style. I wanted it to be enjoyable in terms of plot AND words both. But I seem to have failed so far. 1500 words into it, and it really is bare bones, and every attempt to dress it up seems to fall flat on its face with a reread. My friend, who reads nearly everything I write, simply says, "This is on course."

I want him to say, "Wow!"

But this apparently isn't going to be one of those Wow stories. I've tweaked the plot more into Wow because of this, but still, I'm mourning the story that could have been.
valis2: Stone lion face (Sanmarcolion2)
Y'all know I can't resist this. Sometimes I feel really weird for liking what I write, but there you go.

Post a list of your top five favourite fics you've written, regardless of fandom or the reason you love them. This isn't about the BEST things you've written, but what you LOVE most.

A Line in the Dirt [RL]/A Free Man [SS] Summary for A Line in the Dirt: Sometimes Remus is human. Sometimes Remus is an animal. Summary for A Free Man: Severus is wary of traps.

Right now this pair of ficlets is, hands down, my favorite. I absolutely love the way these worked out. I started writing them on the way home from Lumos. They originally started out as poems, and I wrote most of the Lupin piece on the plane, and the first three lines of the Snape piece, too. Eventually I finished the Lupin piece and loved it tremendously, and thought the Snape piece was awful. And then, in one last fit of intensity, I really looked at the Snape piece, reshaped it entirely, and just poured it right out, and in the end, I think it's better than the Lupin piece.

Next is The Body is His Book [rated R, SS, LM] ).

I wrote this as a response to a First Line Challenge, where you take the first line of someone else's fic (in this case, [ profile] switchknife) and you write a drabble around it. Anyone who has been on the flist awhile will remember this chestnut, but honestly, I still love it, because it's creepy to the extreme and because I really stretched my limits. Just coming up with different references to books was a challenge. I loved it.

Snupin haiku series, wartime and Snupin haiku series, Remus rescuing Severus from Azkaban were extremely enjoyable to write. I really love the taut, spare nature of the haiku. I love the rhythm which develops naturally from haiku.

I also quite like This unnamed drabble, SS, PG-13: )

For some reason I forgot entirely that I had written it. Funny how that happens! I wince at the "another country" bit, I have used that too many times, but otherwise, I did enjoy rereading this drabble, and I really like how the last paragraph turned out, especially how his life has been reduced yet again to a choice, and how I tried to convey the duality of his nature/existence...heh.

And I'm going to be totally shameless and mention the first HP fanfic I ever started writing, which is the Last Sanguimagus, of course, hosted in all of its lovely WiP-ness at [ profile] lastbloodwitch. Read more... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Last Sanguimagus)
I have just finished editing the last entry on [ profile] lastbloodwitch, the new home for the Last Sanguimagus, my SS/OFC work-in-progress. A great big thank you to all who read, all who review, and all who offered advice about structuring the archive.

I have also finished uploading the revised, updated version of tLS to every archive it is currently hosted at (save one, but only two people seem to be reading it there, so it's a bit lower on my list of priorities).

The Last Sanguimagus Chapter Index - Chapter One

Why? What was changed? )


Nov. 22nd, 2006 05:40 pm
valis2: Stone lion face (flaky death eater)
You know, there's this roller-coaster which always accompanies writing (for me)'s this continual movement, up and down, and it's even worse when I'm writing something like an exchange fic.

I'm working on the snupin fic, which is coming together very nicely (joy), and I am feeling all of these things concurrently, which is making my head spin:

  • The recipient is going to hate it. I don't think this is what they were looking for.

  • I am having the time of my life writing this. I can't imagine a more perfect scenario for me to write.

  • I've bitten off way more than I should have. I'm glad that I'm flexible, and was able to rearrange things.

  • I adore this fic.

  • No one will understand this fic except for me, and one other person in the fandom who I know, for certain, shares this interest.

  • I really love this fic.

  • It's not going to receive any comments because no one's going to read it because it's such a bizarre niche-fic.

  • I can't wait to finish this fic, yet I know I'm going to be sad when it's over, because I am really enjoying it.

  • It's so utilitarian. I must embellish it. But if I embellish it too much, it'll be too much. Maybe I should leave it stripped down. Or maybe I should embellish it.

  • No one is going to like this. They're going to get one paragraph into it and throw up their hands in despair.

  • I am so very much hoping that [ profile] odddollsstories thinks it's decent.

  • I think I will actually be very, very happy with this fic, as long as the recipient likes it. If they don't, I'm going to be so very sad for ruining someone's fic exchange experience.

What's Ron's quote? "One person can't feel all that at once, they'd explode?" Heh.

Seriously, all of these thoughts have gone through my head today, sometimes all at the same time.
valis2: Stone lion face (Venicelion)
As usual, time restraints sharpen my swords, and the ginormous bloated thing I wasn't certain about writing for Snupin has revealed itself to have a simple, tripartate structure at its core that is making me jump for joy. Huzzah!

The daydreaming stage (the longest part of me writing anything) is at its end.

My ratio seems to be 4 parts daydreaming, 1 part writing, for just about anything.

What about you guys? What's your daydream-to-writing ratio?


valis2: Stone lion face (Default)

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