bloodyrosemccoy: (Stand Back)
It can be frustrating to have to wait to get an agent and then get editors and publishers and things. But the good news is that the intervening time gives you a chance to have BRILLIANT IDEAS about how to fix some of the problems in your manuscript.

Oh, yeah. Today's a good day.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Creative Expression)
God dammit.

I've got to start over on this latest Scatterstone installment.

Those of you who know me might have heard about the unfortunate way my writing process works:

1. Have some idea how to get from Point A to Point B in a story
2. Take a long, laborious time to write a boring scene depicting it
3. Have a much BETTER idea about how to make the scene INTERESTING
4. Write the damn scene AGAIN

Step 2 takes forever, but unfortunately it seems to be an integral part of my mental process. So, yeah, I've gotten it written, but it's extremely boring at the moment. The good news is that, according to my process, I now know how to make it far more interesting. The bad news is that, yeah, it's gonna take a while.

I have got to figure out another writing process.
bloodyrosemccoy: (I'm Writing)
So I got some real feedback on the OGYAFE!

There is good news and bad news. The good news is that they like my writing and whatnot. The other good news is that they had some suggestions for stuff that needed changing to make the book better.

Some of it was pretty predictable: I've been struggling to figure out if I have managed to get the pacing for the first part of the story right, and the answer is no. So I have to do some surgical insertions of scenes that will unconfuse readers.

But then there's the bad news: they also sent some feedback that mostly just bugged me.

I wrote out a nice rant about the specifics of why it bugged me, but then I deleted it, because it was mostly so that I could explain it to myself. And here's what I realized: sometimes feedback is frustrating not because you like to believe your work is perfect and needs no changes (you get a little of that, but mostly it's kind of exciting to be getting ideas to improve your work), but rather because sometimes you are not entirely sure what the feedback is GETTING at. And when that happens, with the slow communication in publishing, you can't always ask for clarification. It's at that point when you have to just flail along and do the best you can with what you've got.

But! For the most part it's all stuff I think I can fix up. So, if you'll excuse me, off to do some rewrites.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Creative Expression)
Just sent off my manuscript to an old friend who works in publishing. My sister has been talking me up to her. Who'd've thought it would turn out that my literary agent was my sister THE WHOLE TIME?

In other news, got smacked by one of those insane inspiration storms. Which is all very well, but it's honestly all stuff that would not be terribly useful except as self-gratification writing. The only thing it's really managing to do is make it harder to write things like Scatterstone or Doctors! Redux, since I'm trying to concentrate through a whirl of triply-tangential characters having LOUD CRAZY ADVENTURETIME. It's like drinking from a fire hose. Or trying to tell a story in the middle of a giant showstopping Vaudeville musical number, with showgirls and acrobats and sparklers and tap dancers and so forth, and they're all trying to get you to join in. Can't this wait, guys?
bloodyrosemccoy: (Bat Signal)
It's October, and fall has ... fallen, I guess? And despite the exuberant ragweed and whatnot making everyone seem like they've got bad cases of Weepy PMS, this is my favorite time of the year. The leaves are changing color! The sky is either an intense porcelain blue or a hard, iron grey! There is a chill in the air! Football players take a break from sacking and pillaging to play some football! Soup is back! And for some reason everyone on the internet is arguing heatedly about pumpkin spice!*

And the cupboard is full of tubs of caramel apple dip, because according to Dad's Rules, it is fall, therefore it is caramel apple dip time.**

Also, I have an overwhelming urge to start CREATING things again. I've got a rather involved plan for some Torn Word inspired shenanigans. Maybe I'll finally get around to quilting that quilt that's been languishing in the closet since like 2009. And of course, I think I've untangled the knotty quetions holding me back on the latest Scatterstone installment!***

I find it interesting how very much I change with seasonal variations. Maybe they're a handy way to prod me out of ruts. Whatever it is, I do enjoy the energy surge.


*Seriously, what's with the pumpkin fights?

**We've got some Jolly Rancher caramel-apple flavored lollipops in the kitchen, but they're subpar. Nothing can beat those caramel apple pops Tootsie makes. It's hard to duplicate their unbeatable flavor combination of sticky caramel, artificial sour apple, and eventually blood because those damn things are sharper than an obsidian blade. Ahh, autumn.

***I suspected I'd follow the usual pattern of Online Installment Momentum Slowdown, simply because working out later parts of a story always seem to take more effort. But I am still plugging away! I refuse to follow the other usual pattern of Just Giving Up Completely, because dammit we aren't far from the end and it drives me NUTS when stories don't have endings. IT IS COMING, DAMMIT.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Old Spice Onna Horse)
Just to let y'all know, I'm still getting through the next Scatterstone update. Things have gotten in the way--legitimate things, like workin' at The Office, revamping Doctors!, and learning to roller skate, and totally NOT legitimate things, like deciding to play straight through both LoZ Oracle games when I found them on the Virtual Console.*

I also am getting bogged down in the This Story I'm Writing Is Goddamn AWFUL phase of writing, which is only partially legit but you just have to work through it. And then go back and try to cut all the infodumps. I am way too into infodumps.

Anyway, the point is that I haven't abandoned it. And also that 2D Zoras remain super adorable. That, too.


*The secret-sharing nonsense is SO MUCH EASIER when you can just switch the software between the two games without losing your place. I no longer have to lament my lost raspberry-pink Gameboy Color! (I still do. IT WAS RASPBERRY-PINK.)
bloodyrosemccoy: (Old Spice Onna Horse)
Got to meet a high school friend's 18-month-old baby and catch up with the friend herself. Also got the third-person third-degree which my friend translated for her no-English mother, who wanted to know:

1. If I was married,
2. Why the hell I am not married, and
3. When I plan to get married.

It is impossible to explain to some people that my plan at this point involves:

1. Not getting married.
2. Ever.

Around here, it's a problem I run into a lot. People do not comprehend the concept. I get a lot of reassurance that it's okay, one of these days I'll meet the right guy and settle down and get married and THEN my life will be fulfilled. I just smile and say "Maybe" and change the subject. It's better than when they start telling me how I should go about finding that man, anyway.

---

Went to Museum Crash Course. Don't climb on the exhibits, don't smear peanut butter on ancient artifacts, and please accept that the museum looks at evolution as, you know, A Thing, because--wait, do people seriously get offended at the thought that a museum agrees that evolution happened? Do planetaria have to clarify that they subscribe to the notion that the Earth goes around the sun and not vice versa? God DAMMIT.

---

Bought some Fisher Price Starter Plants. I can grow a lot of things from seed, but tomatoes are not any of them.* I've still got to work on getting a bunch of better dirt mixed into the ground before I actually put the plants in, but it's a start.

---

Finally got the next installment of Scatterstone properly storyboarded/outlined/thinged. I'm at the point in the middle that's always been a little amorphous in my head. I know kind of what's going to happen, but unlike the previous bits or the stuff near the end, this has been a bit of a jumble of Things That Have To Happen all piled up in a heap waiting to be sorted. I think I got it.

---

Watched WAY too much Mythbusters. It's hypnotic, man. Video On Demand has changed how I watch things FOREVER.

As an aside, I think it's funny that over the last few years my TV and music preferences have seesawed. Back in the olden days with CDs and no mp3 players, I was used to listening to an entire album by one artist. Meanwhile, with TV lineups, I could only watch several episodes of a single show if I bought the DVDs or caught a marathon on TV. Now, though, I am used to the shuffle on my iPod, so that two songs in a row by, say, the Doobie Brothers seems counterintuitive--I'm much more used to disparate things like Doobie Brothers - Mannheim Steamroller - Disney. And yet with the availability of streaming, I am dissatisfied if I only get to see one episode of whatever show I'm binging on. It's an interesting shift.

---

Anyway. MY POINT IS, that's what I did this weekend. Howbout you?


*Though that's not stopping me from at least trying again. This time I'm using the best window in the house, which counterintuitively is in the basement near my own Bat Cave. I'm not sure if that's what's doing it or if it's one of the other changes I made, but goddamn if the various seeds I'm sprouting aren't the happiest seedlings EVER.

Hey!

Jan. 26th, 2013 03:07 am
bloodyrosemccoy: (Bat Signal)
I seem to actually be stapling this hobbit story together into a cohesive whole! And now my brain is wanting to show it to y'all. If I post it on here, would you dudes want to read it?
bloodyrosemccoy: (Creative Expression)
The good news is that I am POSSESSED BY SCRIBBLEDEMONS and have been furiously stitching together one of the stories I've been kicking around for years, and every writer's block in the story's path is being obliterated in great blasts of inspiration.

The bad news is that this is the story with hobbits in it and it is not actually something I could publish.

Oh, well. Take inspiration where it comes, I suppose. Now if you'll excuse me, MUST WRITE OR THE SCRIBBLEDEMONS WILL EAT MY BRAIN
bloodyrosemccoy: (I'm Writing)
Trying to decide if this being the end of November will help or hurt my Author Quest. On the one hand, I don't want to put off agents who are going to be receiving thousands of pages of word barf over the next month or so from misguided NaNoWriMo winners.

On the other hand, it might be a good time to send it, because compared to a stack of word barf, my book's going to start looking pretty good. So I'm torn.

Not gonna stop, though. One of these agents has GOT to recognize my brilliance before long.

Special Note To NaNo Buddies: Don't get me wrong, output is good. But it is not the only measure of a novel. Planning and editing are also important steps.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Creative Expression)
I keep thinking I ought to send out another agent query, then realizing that all the agents I've got listed at the moment are based in New York. Seems rather impolitic to send something off now. ("Dear Agent: Sorry you got hit by the mother of all storms. But once the power comes back on and you've drained the water back out of your basement and checked to make sure you aren't missing any pets, do you think you'd be willing to look at my manuscript? Thanks! :D" Yeah, no.)
bloodyrosemccoy: (Creative Expression)
Well, dammit.

I just realized exactly what Doctors! needs to make it work—how to fix that nagging sense that something is wrong with it.

Editing sure is a fine art, isn’t it? I make all sorts of minor changes that ultimately make a better story, fine-tuning and fiddling and WHAT WAS THAT YOU SAID I NEEDED AN ENTIRELY NEW NARRATOR? OH, SHIT.

Even though I’ve got an excellent candidate already in place, with an engaging voice and clever ideas and an actual sense of humor,* there are two major problems with this:

1. It will mean a massive overhaul of the entire structure of the story, so I’d basically be rewriting it, and
2. I really, really like the narrator I’ve currently got.

I mean it. He’s a great character—a real sweetheart, and smart, and so very earnest. But as a narrator, he’s just fucking boring. The dude thinks in parameters and infodumps. Plus, he’s not human, so there’s no frame of reference like there would be if I switched to the human. He’d benefit from the switch as well, it’s just … I also think his worldview is really fun to write.** I’d miss him if I were no longer in his head.

I’m definitely going to change it—what do they say about being ruthless and tearing out your heart for the sake of the story—but by god, it’s tough sometimes to get these darn things right.


*As versus the bitchy contrariness that so often gets mistaken for A Sassy Sense Of Humor in narrators.

**Especially that one time he got a concussion. That was a blast.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Creative Expression)
Well, one nice thing about the long-ass submission process is that it gives me time to realize what my book is missing and add it.*

So while I could whine about how this is taking forever, I could also take the opportunity to make my book more betterer in ways I had not previously thought of.

Or I could do both. Because hey, I've got time.


*For example, way more things should be on fire. Editing!
bloodyrosemccoy: (Beastly)
So yesterday while explaining fanfiction to Dad,* I had a curious little epiphany:

If I ever do get this book published, and nobody slashes these two particular characters in new and terrifying ways that would never occur to either of the characters, or to me, I will be very disappointed in the internet.

Never did understand the writers who were against it. Me, I just know I’ve got the master copy in my head,** and whatever crazy fans do with it is gravy. Sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes hilarious gravy.


*He read an article about Fifty Shades of Grey. You know, one of those articles that is shocked—SHOCKED I TELL YOU—to find out that older women are interested in reading SEXY SEX WRITING ABOUT SEX.

ME: Clearly the author of this article does not spend a lot of time on fanfiction sites, or they’d find out that Grey is a typical bit of it.

DAD: What is this “fanfiction” you speak of?

**This is also true of all works that are not mine, of course. Nobody has the correct version of Star Wars but me.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Headpiano)
Picked up another interesting-looking book from the library, sat down to be transported to a fantastic world, glanced at the first page, and AAAARGH THE DARN THING IS IN PRESENT TENSE.

So I closed the book, slammed it against my forehead a few times, then opened it and continued reading.

Dear Authors: Please knock it off. I know it's effective in many cases, but your standard fantasy or sci-fi adventure narrative is none of those cases. In adventures, it does not make the action feel more immediate. I don't know about you, but I process past tense faster, so present tense makes things feel less immediate while I stop to figure it out. And that's annoying as hell.

Anyway, Authors, I HOPE this is just a passing phase. Because if it gets worse, I'm going to have a serious bruise on my forehead.

Bookin'

Apr. 7th, 2012 06:48 pm
bloodyrosemccoy: (Bat Signal)
So I posted that last entry with the intent of adding a synopsis later that would actually catch people's interest,* but then life and other such inconveniences got in the way. And for some reason a bunch of you want to read it even without the synopsis. Y'all are weird.

Anyway, at this point mostly I'm looking for people to read it and say "Yes, sir, that's a book, all right!" and maybe point out whether any parts are wildly incoherent or fantastically stupid or whatever. And to provide myself with the illusion of control I figured I'd start with a smallish number of readers, selected through the precise and complex process of rolling some dice. So after I give it one last proof,** a few of you ought to start getting notes from me.

And yes, as I figure things out I'll probably want more readers. So keep an eye out.

For now, though, don't worry. You haven't really missed any car chases. Those'll be in Book 2.


*Magic mountain lions! Sarcastic old sprites who live in lighthouses! Dragons that taste of chicken! Librarians! World-saving ghosts! Shoes that can turn your world into Super Mario Galaxy! Car chases!

**I write by hand and then type everything up on a capricious keyboard. I go through and try to proof things, but after a while I stop being able to see the typos, and have to put the thing aside for a few days before I can spot them again. I am sure I've missed a few …
bloodyrosemccoy: (I'm Writing)
I can get up a full head of steam when writing a 68,000 word YA novel, and yet I get stuck for a week writing the synopsis?

C'mon, man, I just WROTE the story, and it took me 68,000 words. And now you want me to cut out 65,000 or so of them--and then make you want to read those other 65,000 anyway? How the hell am I supposed to do that?

Man, this writing shit is hard, yo.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Fiddle)
Dang, y’all are seriously knowledgeable about obnoxious earworms—but then, I guess the whole point of them is to be memorable. Now I’ve got all of these going through my head, right along with my own brain’s suggestions.* If I have a brain aneurysm, you’ll know why.

For the record, I needed an obnoxious jingle to make a ridiculous songto for a story I’m writing. It may have come at the cost of my sanity, but we writers can’t have everything, I guess.


*Banana Man, “Mama’s got the magic of Clorox 2!” from when I was, like, 4, “Down in Fraggle Rock,” The King of 8, “Yakko’s World,” and the DuckTales theme.** Which for the most part aren’t jingles, but are definitely earworms.

**Wait, the DuckTales singer was a dude?! My entire understanding of reality has just shattered.
bloodyrosemccoy: (I'm Writing)
So I’ve got some core vocabulary for the proto-language I’ve been working on—I’ve been referring to it as Protogyafe, since it’s the ancestor of the language they’ll speak in my Obligatory Giant Young Adult Fantasy Epic. Now I’m moving on to the sound changes to make daughter languages, something I’ve never done with much seriousness before.

Although I’m not sure how “serious” this is, what with the way one of the daughter languages is based on the sounds of stereotpyical caveman talk, which was inspired by the one of the latest episodes of my latest cartoon obsession.* Now I want to try to make languages that sound like other stereotypical fake dialects—maybe go revisit my old Galactic Common language, which was supposed to sound comic-book alien while still being viable. Or maybe I can run Cavetalk through a few more sound changes and make Tazmanian Devil-ese, because that would be hilarious.

Of course, I am doing this as a naming language for the book I’m ALMOST DONE WITH OMG working on. But as always, I’m also getting wonderfully sidetracked. I love writing.


*Yes, “Tri-Stone Area” from, you guessed it, Phineas and Ferb. Oh, god, I could not stop laughing. But one of the things that amused me the most was not really cartoony: the cave talk was more or less thought-out. Yeah, it was a cipher of Caveman English, but it was a pretty consistent one—they actually did seem to have a little glossary of word substitutions, and given how many lines in that show are running gags, it wasn't hard to figure it out.
bloodyrosemccoy: (I'm Writing)
Tried to do some editing last night for my stories--both the OGYAFE and the ongoing and scattershot Hobbits Doing Awesome Things In Standard Fantasyland. There's a certain point in a story where you've got all the major components, but arranging them together is about as easy as making a rubber duckie mosaic in a bathtub--the darn bits keep floating away and never keep their shape.

It's embarrassing to find that one helpful thing there is goddamn INDEX CARDS. Back in my youth, when there was far less in my brain, I could hold onto details of a story world with encyclopedic precision. Now I am using flash cards to remind me what parts go where in a story. And it's SO NICE. I can go through a checklist and figure out what I have to put in or take out!

Probably it'd also help at the moment to fix this Critical Spoon Error I seem to have hit. Might make my writing WAY more coherent, and less likely to be a complete word salad. I don't know about you, but I like my storiesto at least make SOME sort of sense.

Therefore, I will be off today taking a spoon-recovery nap. Sleep: I do it for the STORY!

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