I will never be a novelist that is certain. Forgive me, but plot seems hollow and most characters are superfluous. This is my inadequacy as this post, surely, makes clear. I hope I have retained some audience!
The enamoured past and sorrow has darkened my lips among heartless souls.
a group of boys crouched, stirring gazes
upon the timid dissent of caravan clatters.
And I’d say: “…”
Fates drift in as frivolous as the unruly winds. Days we’ll leave behind, as their thoughts and insights seem unfair, burning through on the soluble reflection Forever casts. As it is silvery sheets of memory are busied rearranging pasts; construing adequate space for honesty’s wax and wane. Languorous rivers pass, like grotesque self-deprecating Carnivals, in the night. […]
Waking as strands of imagining reel through my mind: my death savaged at the hands of sight and reverie replete with superimpositions of you remain an instant, trying uselessly to grasp the heraldic complexions of the dream yet consolation is elusive. Now alert, wakened to swelter in the torrid afternoon marked by the imperceptive and thoughtless resonance of minutes.
What had been said, indistinct in the hypnagogic haze, which seemed to match then and Paradise, alike?
That lance has gleaned my heart and drafted multitudes of bile in the thankless void; Incessant accusations enumerate Cataclysm’s inaudible outstretching, reaching every limit.
Beauty derides me in silence.
It’s over. The first two weeks went great for me, I wrote ~20 000 words and was having a lot of fun. But then the crucial point came: I needed to spend some time working out my plot. The first 50 pages I was writing entirely off the cuff, which worked out fine. My main character had no idea what was going on and neither did I. What stopped me in my tracks was when I needed to start playing author instead of detective, and make some real decisions.
But I still really like my idea, and I intend to work on it throughout December as I will be off from school for 3 weeks and will want some sort of mental distraction from laziness. I know exactly where I want to go with the book in terms of theme and style, but I need to start making my plot more interesting. Where I stopped, is where my mystery girl Jenny Harlow is found under the most normal of circumstances, and now she has some explaining to do. I also want to make it weirder. I started out really weird with dead things all over the place and creepy atmosphere, but I kind of forgot about my original vision of terror.
Writing on this blog so far has been really great, albeit humbling. Reading Geoff’s book has really motivated me to work harder on writing again, and figure out just how to do that plot thing, with pacing and stuff. And Tasty Yumyum & Halton Stoves’ letters are hilarious, I hope they keep on writing here as well. I am going to try to participate on this blog, but I do have some qualms. I had a blog for years and years back in the day, and I developed some issues with putting my unedited work out in the public. I take fair criticism well, I take unfair criticism very poorly. At this point in my life as a budding and inexperienced writer, anonymous notes informing me of my pretentiousness and poor style can do a lot to crush my ego. Yes I know I’m snobbish and I know that I’m not a good writer yet, I just don’t need other people I don’t know telling me that.
Thanks Leigh for letting me participate here! I like the cut of your jib. (Gib?) (Ed. Note: Jib.)
Expect more from me soon.
At around 10pm on November 29th, I finished my seventh NaNoWriMo novel (in nine tries). The story kind of sucks. Our fearless leader, Marcus, suggested I post my worst passage and celebrate how much it sucks.
But I can’t find a passage. It’s not that I think it’s all good, because it isn’t. It’s just all meh. It’s not offensively bad, but if I put it on Feedbooks with a tipjar, I’d make about forty-five cents, plus ten dollars from my mom.
Here’s an example. The Man in the Gray Suit is one of the main characters of the book. Think of him as an SVP in Hell, Inc. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo is over, and I won”
Well, NaNoWriMo is almost at an end, and I am most definitely not going to be a winner, hovering as I am at barely more than twelve-thousand words. I made what I now realize is a classic NaNo mistake: I got way too invested in the project. As I noted in my warm-up short story, I have a tendency to labour over every piece of prose, which is something I rather enjoy doing but not a habit that jives well with writing 1,667 words a day.
That being said, I am quite absorbed in my work so far and I have no intention of stopping. In part I’ll be relying on the readers here at Stranger Than Truth to keep me motivated: your eyeballs and your feedback are much appreciated. Tomorrow I’ll be back here on the blog with a recap of what we’ve all done during NaNoWriMo, and a look at some of our plans moving forward. Until then, please enjoy the next unedited slice of my ongoing novel!
(If you missed the beginning, read that first. Otherwise this will be even more confusing than it already is.)
Continue reading “Madness, Fire & More Parrots: A Sticky City Story Continues”
It’s late in the day, November 27th, 2010 (Editor’s Note: Apologies for the late posting). My word count sits at 30,000ish, and I’m okay with that. This was my first NaNoWriMo. I had a lot of fun with it, but when it comes right down to it I didn’t make this the priority I said I would at the start of the month.
My work is more important to me than getting to 50,000 words in 30 days. When my job required 10- and 12-hour days, I put in those hours gladly. I got the results I needed, and that means more to me than this particular story.
My personal life is more important to me than this project, and when that demanded my evenings, I never gave a second thought to dedicating my time towards that too.
Finally, my leisure time took priority. That was my great failing on this particular NaNoWriMo: When my work and personal life took its toll on my creativity, I came home and vegitated. I needed to unwind. I didn’t get into the headspace to write, and my faltering attempts on those days of recuperation resulted in 500 or 600 words of gibberish and dreck that I would never dream of sharing with the world. Continue reading “Update from Face In The Blue: This is the End”
I’ve been trying to focus on writing lately so I’ve been neglecting the blog, so i thought I’d just give everyone a quick update on how the iPhone challenge is going and talk about the WriteRoom iOS app I’ve been using.
First of all, the iPhone challenge. I am loving this. Wherever I go I can work on my NaNo, whether I’m walking down the street, on the subway, at the office, having dinner, or out at the bar. Whenever I get an idea I can get it down and do some writing (ideas seem to be hard to come by lately, so if I get one it’s great that I can write it down before I forget). Continue reading “iPhone Challenge update & Review of the WriteRoom app”
Editor’s Note: Yesterday we featured the first half of Chapter Four from Life Loves Death, Geoff’s ongoing NaNoWriMo project. In it, we witnessed the passing of the ice age and saw our hero take up trade as a bronzesmith. Read on for his first-hand account of the emerging age of metal and the importance of tin. (I happen to know that Geoff wrote a paper on the subject of tin as an undergrad, and it was deemed Masters-worthy by his professor.) Continue reading “Life Loves Death, Chapter Four (Unedited First Draft, Part Two)”
This is Chapter Four, Part One of Life Loves Death, the unedited first draft. If you haven’t been following along, get started with Chapter One, Chapter Two and Chapter Three. When you’re finished with this, move on to Part Two
The fourth chapter I dislike for its lack of a character piece. It is as difficult as it sounds to cover six thousand years in five thousand words and still have meaningful character development. In the end, I just had to make it my narrator’s story. I hope there is some human emotion and empathy towards the end, but I can’t be sure.
For the remainder of the month, I need to work very, very hard on this. Fortunately, I believe that is in the cards. I will also be travelling on the 28th, 29th, and 30th to Calgary for work, so hopefully there will be a lot of time in airports and planes and hotels to make the final sprint to the finish line.
Continue reading “Life Loves Death, Chapter Four (Unedited First Draft)”
That can’t even be considered a number really. It’s sort of like a un-number. It’s like how white isn’t a colour because it’s the absence of colour. There you go, zero is a shade.
It’s also what my word count is still sitting at.
Not that I was expecting to have some brilliant blue or verdant green all over my page. Shit brown more like. I would have even settled for a little bit of grey (sure it’s a shade too, but it feels a little more substantial at least).
Long story short (writer’s competition joke), work’s been crazy busy. As if getting ready to moving offices, stocking all our retailers with holiday level stock on our subway buttons, and getting a promotion to Associate Editor wasn’t enough, we’re getting in to crunch time on our new Winter-themed issue. At least my creative flair — or general Bulkoness, I’m not sure — has been seeping in to my article on the hidden grossness of winter in the city. I’m pretty much painting it as the season most akin to repeat-offending ambush rapists.
Though I’ve yet to put pen to paper, my mind has at least been going over the details of what would have been my NaNoWriMo piece. I’ve been thinking of how to avoid certain pitfalls common the genre and just fine tuning specific that I was previously unsure about. So although it’s been a No-word-vember for me, at least I have an extra month’s worth of forethought for my story.
And if you really need to see what Bulko has to say, wait for the new issue of Spacing. I say “Ninja Turtle farts” in it.
If you haven’t been following along, get started with Chapter One and Chapter Two of Life Loves Death
Here’s the unedited continuation of my story so far. I’m not as far along as I would like to be, I’m afraid. I’m currently at 26,000ish words. I’m hoping to pick up steam now that my story has passed from pre-history into recorded history after these two new chapters have elapsed.
I have a couple of observations about this update. I am disappointed in the tone and tenor of Chapter Three, as I now need to build forward several other encounters between my narrator and the backpacker off of this rather flat beginning. I had hoped to ‘get it in editing’ without really editing, but a couple of cursory passes have convinced me I’m not going to get it right without taking the whole thing apart and starting over, and my quest for 50,000 words in 30 days has been hampered enough by recent events at work and within my personal life. I cannot justify scrapping a couple of thousand right now for the sake of tone.
Happy reading, and good luck to all my fellow writers! Continue reading “Life Loves Death, Chapter Three (Unedited First Draft)”