What I'd like to do today/over the next few days:
- Prettify my docket
- Write A Game for the Gods
- Sketch out One Good Storm, remixed
- Beta a fic for a close fandom friend
- Bookmark a bunch of 2009 fills on comment_fic
Hope y'all have an awesome weekend!
What I'd like to do today/over the next few days:
Hope y'all have an awesome weekend!
I broke down and watched The Voice like Dean Wesley Smith has been telling writers to do for years now. The interesting thing about it is after I wrote down the writing lessons I picked up from it, I wandered back through my email archives looking for a manuscript I'd emailed myself and discovered some things that my beta taught me and they ran along similar lines.
The Voice: Go all in. Lay everything out there. Lose yourself in the moment.
in_the_blue: Get down and dirty and write it all out.
The Voice: Overfeel, not overthink. Own the moment.
in_the_blue: Don't apologize.
In short, it took me this long to get a handle on what in_the_blue was actually telling me. There is one story that was her favorite of the Vardin shorts I wrote before I did the 365 challenge (which was a nightmare for my novel-writing skills apparently, though it did wonders for my shorts), and that was Portrait of a Butterfly. She told me it was unapologetic for the characters and their motivations and the hierarchy of Vardin came alive and took over.
I'd like a whole lot more of that, where something I wrote without trying to cater it to the uninitiated came together in a way that came alive.
There is a simple concept so intrinsic and fundamental to Vardin society and its root cultures that I only now, upon rereading all three stories in Gone Hunting, realized I have yet to convey it in writing anywhere and that it is such a fundamental law, tradition, societal code, and aspect of who they are that it is the basis of many of my characters' decisions there, including Rhiannon and Miraia, another whose family's reaction to her marital choices puzzled the one person I bounced them off of.
That code is this: outsiders must become family before they are trusted with the knowledge of the gifteds or are considered members of Vardin society. They must have what is called 'cahnten,' an inner circle of friends and family by whom any Vardin individual is measured.
Outsiders can become insiders and are given very specific avenues into how to do so, but Vardin's is an insular culture, so anyone who does not become an insider is neither trusted as one nor treated as one. This particular rule came out of life and death wars and slaughters in their history where too many died over this issue for their people to ever take it lightly.
As a side note, they don't consider mindreading an alternative as mental gifts are to be used on others with permission where possible, with knowledge and open communication where impossible, and by force only in life or death situations and war. Rhiannon wasn't at war.
Miraia broke the rules at a whole different level: she married a man and refused to make him a "son" of her household. In short, she refused to make him family and an insider. She had reasons, but that's not the part that puzzled the one I was talking to. The family's reaction was entirely overkill by our cultural standards. She had just broken a law that would result in her being disowned or worse and talked them into exacting a blood debt instead as if she had killed a son of the house.
It only makes sense in the context of a culture with intense insider/outsider rules for leaving, entering, or crossing those lines. It doesn't make sense in a culture that is simply protecting a secret. It only makes sense in a culture that is a secret.
I have three different writerly skillsets and intense practice of one makes it very hard to slip into another apparently. I write poetry, I write shorts, and I write long chaptered fiction. I can mix up the first two fairly easily, but the last two don't get along so well. I used to write a ton of chaptered work and kept on it too, then my life blew up and I switched to shorts as a temporary thing to keep in writing practice. Didn't work. Why? I had a very hard time writing chapters after that. After a second life blow up, I almost lost the ability altogether.
At least I get that now and have an idea of how I'm going to approach Nano. I suggest, thecatisacritic, that you don't read my Nano posts because I am going to be yakking about how I work this project for my own personal information in the years ahead, and you've already told me you don't want to know about it if anything goes wrong. So heads up.
This rambly post brought to you by "I felt like writing out my pre-Nano/Yuletide/trovia's gift/collab wrap-up" feelings. Hope I didn't bore you too badly.
First Nano prep post coming soon.
So I break radio silence without much to show for it yet, but care not because accountability being what it is, I work better with a little. That said, the plans:
Love y'all. See you soon.
So done with accepting prompts on the prompt post, though I may still write more fic/lets on that thread.
Been buried in exhaustion, so I fell off the face of the earth. Sorry about that. I even had plans and they just went by the wayside completely.
I've finally got my angle on Collateral Damage. It was hiding in the title the entire time. Duh. Sometimes my muse is great at ideas and lousy at communication to the scribe.
Also, have a reading project to finish, two small writing projects to get out of the way, and one large writing project to hit. Catch y'all on the flipside.
Fanfiction — 208 words completed
July 2014 Totals
So the article count I need to rack up over today and tomorrow is... large. Expect nada.
Original Fiction — 269 words completed
July 2014 Totals
So it’s been a while since I’ve made even the slightest attempt to track my writing or writing numbers, not that I’ve been idle or anything. So I’ve decided to start up again—on July 2nd. I’ll post the previous day’s numbers for completed work only. As nice as it is to track raw numbers, I’ve decided that completed work is more useful and a lot easier to pull off too. That will put me with exactly three months of blackout: April through June.
In the meantime, I’ve actually written some stuff and am writing some stuff and I need to get back to reading. I seem to be stuck on Kingdoms and Thorn for original fiction just now, plus some one-offs, and poetry. I still think that logically I should focus on Seven Days, but yeah, let’s go with what’s rolling.
I’ve been fighting not getting sick lately, so there’s cause for the radio silence. Yes, I’ve posted fanficcy things. Brain’s not all the way there, but I’ve got to be actually gone in order to not be able to do a decent bit of fic. Original fic? Yeah, right. Reading? Can’t concentrate well unless I’m hanging on a heavy knowledge of canon’s scaffolding. Proofreading? Considering asking for an extension and this is a paid job. Poetry even? Yeah, no dice. Crossposting even aforementioned fanfic properly? Hah.
En brief, that’s where I’ve been.
The inspiration’s cranked, just not the execution. I’ve been nibbling at several major projects to see which one will actually let me bite. Haven’t made it far, though I’m in love with the ideas for sure. I’d like to wrap up Son o’ de Guild too. That would get a lot of pressure off for all the abandoned fics, just too scared I’ll throw myself out of the decent Clint/Natasha vibe I’ve got going before I wrap up some other much shorter pieces that I’d like to.
I wonder if I’m a story commitment phobe. Probably not. I just lack that delightful ability to stay focused on a story after I’ve mentally figured it out. Go figure.
Have a snippet:
One moment, Alaine was wrapped in the blinding white light of a gleaming apartment light, begging the child beneath her hand not to die. She was pouring life into an empty hole, feeling it slip through her fingers and out of the body that needed it so badly. The next moment, the entire room was swathed in black darkness except for Devon’s meagre flashlight shining over her hands.
It startled the little boy and startled Alaine, cutting their connection.
“D—!” she swore. Don’t die, don’t die, don’t die. Trust me! “Who turned out the lights?” Alaine demanded aloud, but she didn’t have much spare room for the question or the faint murmuring of Devon’s answer against the blur of sliding into the slippery mind of her charge—playing catch in the tiny sparsely grassed backyard, picking up his father’s gun… She lost herself in the child, holding with a touch that had no fingers or hands, only the pounding, blending of a healer merging her body’s resources with his.
She felt something shoving heavily against her.
Breathe. She breathed, in and out, into the child. Fingers gripped painfully into her shoulder, yanking against the connection. Don’t die on me. Breathe!
Abruptly, Alaine fell away, connection broken as Devon’s voice came clear in her ears, shouting at a volume that made hearing his words impossible. She barely glanced at him, then scrambled away and threw up on the floor beside her. She gagged and retched for what felt like long minutes, and even after she stopped, her entire body trembled. Someone had opened a couple of lantern lights. The yellow glow made her eyes ache, and medical sirens wailed too close to not hurt her ears in her weakened state.
Devon pushed her up gently and put a bottle to her lips.
She wanted water. It wasn’t water. It was the horrible nutrient-rich formula they gave to healers after they nearly passed out. She sucked in a few mouthfuls, ignoring the way it dribbled down her chin.
Devon’s mouth was a grim line again. The emergency medic had tried in vain to keep her from overdoing it ever since she’d been assigned to work with him last year.
She rolled her head slightly to one side, and it nearly sent her heaving again, but she breathed steady, shallow breaths and forced her vision to focus on the little boy she had tried to save. He was breathing—barely, but he was breathing.
In a brief list:
What I'm really trying to work on as opposed to getting done in the corners of life:
That's where I'm at. How are you?
How are you all?
This is why I'm a little stretched just now. :grins: