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I seem to be developing two things:

1. A cold.
2. A new method of planning longer stories.

My previous NaNoWriMos were written using the basic story formula, with each plot point plotted out, and none of them worked out. The next step became obvious too early on, the events didn't proceed at a natural pace, and I ended up writing a lot of nonsense instead of utilizing concise language. The characters seemed forced into their paths. So, the basic story formula: a complete washout when it comes to story planning, at least for me. It might be something that's better applied in the editing phase, when naturally emerging plot points can be moved closer to the points specified in the formula.

Another easy trap, but one that I was already avoiding, is making a lot of character detail before you have a story. I'm now utilizing two characters from my latest short story as a kind of a detective-narrator pair, so they are rather well-thought-out, but the other characters a this point are roles, with some impressions and details attached. (I might end up writing a crime novel without a crime. That remains to be seen.) To develop the story they walk into, however, I started writing down aspects or things I wanted to see in the story.  These included things like "a rare Bhutanese butterfly", "Tarot reading" and "funeral".

This really sparked up the imagination. From the butterfly I got a butterfly enthusiast, and the seed for the first character, who I already see in my mind as being played by Michael Palin, though that might change when the actual writing begins. Another aspect, "a rose garden", created another character and with her an important chunk of plot.

I've only played around with this today and yesterday, so I haven't got anywhere close to a real plot yet. If this works out, the plot should emerge from the elements, and from consciously avoiding the obvious. Internal consistency will be key.

I have SO much to work out before this gets anywhere, but I refuse to stress about it too much. Now for lunch.

(Oh, my God. Could I drop Kwan into this story? No-- mustn't. If I want to meet him, I'll have to write another Ursula Herman story.)

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Three short stories in a week. Now I'm exhausted. This is why none of my NaNoWriMo novels were any good. If I want it to be good, it's a lot of hard work to get it on paper.

It also seems that as long as it's horror or erotica, the chances are high that there's a home for it somewhere. The story I was writing for Circlet's Coffee: Hot collection turned out to be about mothers and daughters and the sex was not the point, so I edited it out and sent the story to a horror publisher. Now to wait six months for a rejection, after which I can edit again and resubmit elsewhere...

I wish I felt more moved to write erotica, but it's rather boring unless there's plenty of space to establish characters, too, which you don't get in a short story. There's also the expectation to make the sex good, when bad sex is at least as interesting to write about.

I have one more story stashed, which I've already sent around before, which I hope I'll be able to submit it to Crossed Genres in a couple of months when their betrayal theme comes up. In the immortal words of Commander Taggart: Never give up, never surrender.


Aug. 29th, 2014 11:53 am
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I broke down another short story yesterday. I thought it was fairly solid, but now that I'm writing it, I don't find it exciting.

Part of it could be because I know what's going to happen. The other part is the story itself. It's cliched and predictable. I'm writing to order, which is probably why. It helps productivity to have limits to your subject and plot, but it doesn't necessarily produce the best fiction.

Well, I'll push through and edit heavily, and maybe it will turn out decent enough that I can at least send it off. I'm somewhat embarrassed by the Rogue Hearts story I already did send off. It's probably decent enough for what it is, but it isn't very me, or anywhere near the standards I usually hold myself to.

Ah, well. Let's carry on and see what we end up with.


Aug. 27th, 2014 02:58 pm
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I finished and sent off that Rogue Hearts story, which probably won't be what they're looking for, but I won't know for another six months.

I also wrote a short erotic story that I can't find a fit for - the only publisher who might be interested reserves the rights to edit the story, which doesn't sit well with me. I'd expect an editor to consult the author first, at least. I'm not sure letting some brute of an editor manhandle poor Tameka and Manny is worth $15. And now I'm tired of looking through publishers. This one might just stay in my files for a while.

I wonder if Ursula will pop up again. It's rare that one of my characters has such a distinct voice. I might want a story where she reconnects with her old partner Kwan, because I have very specific ideas about what he's like, too. Problem: This setting is contemporary, and it's easier to sell fantasy, sci-fi etc. I suppose I could spin it as neo-pulp. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable writing her in a fantasy setting. I suppose it's something to think about.

This has been a rather intense three days of writing. But work resumes, so I can get a rest. (!)
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If you're writing a short story about Civil War voodoo priestess, it seems to me it would be more prudent to make her black than to invent a complicated backstory to explain why this particular mambo is white.
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That mix of emotions when the editor calls your story "very interesting"... Someday I will write something that isn't fucked-up. Not that there isn't pride mixed in there, as well.

They pay either $5 or an ebook. I went for the ebook. :) Ghost erotica sounds unpassable.

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Cleis Press is looking for romance/erotica stories about "bad boys".

Imagine a Scottish reiver come to steal sheep from a neighboring clan, but instead, he captures the laird's daughter. Imagine him striding toward her in a dirty tartan. As he scans the glen, his gaze snags on a woman whose frightened face is nonetheless set into stubborn lines as she meets his piercing gaze... Imagine what happens next...

I don't know about you, but my imagination supplies a shower of spores from an interstellar sentient fungus. Two weeks later, the laird's daughter is mentally fused with the vast fungal intelligence, gifted with amazing destructive powers, and busy taking over Scotland while the reiver joins a ragtag group of human freedom fighters.

If I want to write a story of a certain kind, I've noticed, I have to trick myself. If the thing to be achieved is a romance with "a special sort of hero - rogues with hearts of gold", I tell myself to write a story about a murderer and rapist and the woman who sees through his social graces to the monster underneath. That's the only way my contrary brain could produce a happy ending. Then I can edit out the murder and rape. I'm afraid otherwise it's going to be all alien genocide.

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she found herself strangely drawn to him
just an ordinary girl
book III
(calls mythical creatures such as vampires, werewolves, ghosts etc. a new made-up name and capitalizes it)

(I may be missing out on some excellent fiction.)

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...when you realize the things you've written and are proud of may be a little too sick for the general public? 

I was surprised to find myself developing into a horror writer, since I'm not a fan of the genre. It also means I'm not at all sure if I'm doing this right, or if there is a right way to do it.

In other news, I now have a Wattpad account, and am waffling about whether or not to publish Pet Monsters on the platform.


Jul. 9th, 2012 11:07 pm
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I haven't posted in over a year, and suddenly I get three community invites to fandom communities for a fandom I'm not in? Sorry...

Why haven't I posted in a year, though? I've been posting elsewhere, of course, in personal blogs. I really haven't taken this "post publicly about writing" thing very far. I even finished NaNoWriMo 2011 and yet not a word on either of my blogs.

That being said, I have been sending one story around recently. It was rejected once, and the next one has said they won't get back to me about it until August. I really want to write for Crossed Genres' Winterwell and a couple of Circlet anthologies. Now if only my muses agreed.

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My little story didn't make it to the list of the ten finalists! Oh well, gives me something to put on A Touch of the Fantastical, anyway. I still like it, too.

Left it on another computer, though, so posting will have to wait until Monday.

In the meanwhile, go vote in the Crossed Genres flashfic contest!
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I am still, I find, rather proud of that little story I wrote yesterday. This probably means other people won't get it at all, that's just how it tends to go.

I really want to do something in the adventure/action genre, but tend to only be happy with what I write in the brainfuckery genre. Is that a genre?

Working on a little something about wolves as metaphor, but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Should have stuck with gorillas.
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Me and Susannah will appear in The Year's Best Lesbian Fiction 2009 anthology! I am pleased, ticked pink and full of squee. Kind of makes you think I should finish/submit something else this year, doesn't it?

It lives!

Jun. 14th, 2010 10:57 am
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After months of writing bits and pieces that never seem to come together or be finished, I wrote an entry for the Crossed Genres flash fic contest in about 15 minutes, and am ridiculously pleased with it. All sent now, without beta or my usual minimum of a day's consideration before submission. Wish me luck!


Mar. 26th, 2010 10:25 am
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My, I have been neglecting this journal, haven't I? Let's see if I can do something to rectify that with linkspam.


Link to Livejournal, v. important: Preach it, sister. Seanan McGuire on how My Little Ponies could beat up G.I. Joe ANY time.

Let's stand up and be counted: I love My Little Ponies, too. There are few things that make me as happy as an original 1982 Cotton Candy. Sigh! Unless it's a 1983 Applejack...


A friend has helped me discover the wonders of Tumblr. Three recommended blogs out of many: Comically Vintage, Turn of the Century and, of course, G1 MLP.

I'm on it now too, if only to watch other blogs. My currently empty Tumblr blog is here.


Amazing artist who makes, among other things, modified My Little Pony sculptures: Mari Kasurinen


Did you know April is Script Frenzy month? I found out too late to participate, and if you're learning this from me, so did you. Sorry. 


Nov. 25th, 2009 02:26 pm
tuulia: (NaNoWriMo09)

My statistic chart looks like a rollercoaster. I guess this means I write in quick bursts?

This has all been highly educational. I learned things about my own writing and what works with it than I have in ages.

Of course, the novel still isn't finished... I guess I'll schedule myself a new burst for next weekend!

Oh yeah.

Nov. 12th, 2009 06:26 pm
tuulia: (NaNoWriMo09)
26,000 words in 12 days.

I am shamefully pleased with myself!

Now to keep this up...

I'm experiencing a great deal of character shift at this point. One character who started out as a jolly-heigh-ho kind of a fellow has turned into a nervous scientist. Another who I created to be a duplicitous character may not end up being so. A gay person has turned out bisexual and completely new villains are popping up like daisies. I don't mind, though, it keeps things interesting, and the plot evolves and changes along with the characters.
tuulia: (NaNoWriMo09)

Did some writing and am less behind now. Phew! Still intend to have another good go to pull on level with the expected wordcount. If all goes according to current plan I should have as much as 29,000 by Sunday. We shall see.

One really has to let go and write with NaNoWriMo, and it's both fun and frustrating. I keep seeing a million things I'm going to have to fix and address in the editing phase, I find myself forcing through passages that just don't work, etc... That is the frustrating part, but then there's also a wonderful sense of freedom in knowing that you can't go back and fix it right now, you just have to plough onwards to get to that finishing line. I fully intend to bring my story to a close this month; anything else would feel like cheating. If I wrote the first 50,000 words of a novel and left it without an ending, I would not have "written a novel in a month", I would just have written a certain number of words within a month. I want to get to the resolution, dammit! THEN I can sit down, expand it and make it work.

In other news, my buddy [personal profile] lemposoi has joined the ranks of Dreamwidth! Must be one of those months when she's not "through with the Internet"...

ETA: Pulled level! Go me!
tuulia: (NaNoWriMo09)

I'm about 5,000 words behind on the NaNoWriMo novel. Yikes! Hopefully I can make time to catch up a little tonight. For now, groceries.