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.
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)”
Hello Friends and Gentle Readers,
I seem to have fallen behind on the Nanowrimo track; I’m at 19000 words and should be at 26000 or so. But that’s ok. I turned off my creativity for a few days to concentrate on being lazy for the weekend. I also started reading Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami and finally watched David Lynch’s Wild at Heart. The latter has inspired me to delve into some serious melodrama. I’m talking about pulpy forbidden love, with lingering gazes and amazing one-liners. I’m already bringing out the red lipstick and blue eyeshadow. Too bad none of my characters have Southern accents…
But before I get to that, I’ll share this fragment with you (it’s not very good, don’t judge me). In this chapter, Sabine is meeting the mysterious “Emma” at an awful bar in the east-end. Yes, my hatred for the east-end is palpable. I find that area absolutely horrifying and refuse to walk around there after nightfall. Sabine apparently met Emma during the night that she can’t remember, but the circumstances are…mysterious. Hope you don’t mind it! Continue reading “Falling Behind…”
Editor’s Note: After a long silence, editor Trent Yardles has sent us the latest sampling of his anthology-in-progress, Dear Fiend: The Letters of Stoves & Yumyum. In this installment, the good bastard Stoves has sent a letter to Tasty Yumyum that strives for oneuppance but instead only betrays the state of his own affairs. Mr. Yardles has included a newspaper excerpt for context.
I wanted to post a quick update from the half-way point to confess I have been otherwise occupied for the last several days. My word count has stalled at a little over 17,000 words. Hopefully I can get things moving again over the next couple of days: Even two or three great days will have me back on track.
A few of things I’m pretty confident of after two weeks of plugging away at this thing:
1) I’m not funny, or satirical, or humourous. Where I can provoke a smirk out of a reader, it’s when the obvious ‘straight man’ unexpectedly cracks wise. My original intention was to use the conversations between a narrator who has lived for millennia and a physical incarnation of Death as a light-hearted framing device between episodes of historical fiction. I’ve been trying that for days now, and I cannot convincingly make that work. Not in 30 days, anyway.
2) As such, my admittedly provisional title is probably not long for this world. If I can’t create a spark between the narrator and the backpacker, Death is just going to have to be demoted from title-worthy down to conclusion-driving device. We’ll see if I can still work in a bit of character development: I haven’t lost all hope here. I’m just admitting things have not evolved as I would have wished.
3) When I get going, I can shoot out 2,000 words as easily as I can whistle a happy tune. When I’m trying to get going, though, it’s like pushing a gold fish across a soccer field with your nose: It’s not an impossibility, but getting it done is a laborious task, and it would probably be a sight to see if a would-be spectator should wander by.
Anyway, I need to go change my laundry load. That and writing are all I have left to do today. Happy writing for some and reading for all. Cheers!
After re-reading my first chapter, I am somewhat ashamed of myself. It’s not very good. But it gets better. I want things to be funnier, but I’m not very good at making up comedy without a straight man to set me up.
Anyway, today I found myself leaping around with my axe down crazy ice covered side hill landscape. I descended into marshy black spruce with light fluffy old man’s beard. I plucked a bunch of it and lit the rager to end all ragers. I could see my smoke signals rising from 30km away even after we picked up all four other guys. While I was flying, I realized that I don’t play my guitar that much anymore. And I thought, I’ve got to stop swinging this axe and start swinging my axe. I thought that was pretty funny. Anyway, comedy show tonight and then an early bed time. I will scribble a little more into my text edit document and then hit the hay. Hope everyone else is having as much fun as I am. Or at least isn’t going insane.
I had this idea when I started NaNoWriMo this year. I was going to kill a ton of characters. Each chapter would be about one person. At the end of the chapter, that person would die. The next chapter would be about the person who killed them. It was going to be lots of fun, murdering all these poor innocent characters. And every chapter would be a new person with a new life story to share, at length, if I got stuck for words.
It just didn’t work out that way. I started off with a squirrel, and he died like he was supposed to. A hungry cat got him. Then the cat got hit by a girl on a bike, as planned. But the girl decided she didn’t want to die. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo and uncooperative plot lines”
Hello! I’m now about 15,000 words into Grindstone Baby. Things are going surprisingly well, although I am hesitant to share very much, due to how rough it all is. Some passages are downright…. precious. But actually, my favorite part has been writing dialogue so far. It’s something I’ve never done before, and I’m finding it hard to not get carried away. My favorite character is Gordon, who is in this scene. He’s this really sarcastic and mean gay guy in his mid-twenties who works at H&M and is Sabine’s best friend.
Previous to this scene, Gordon & Sabine went to a bar opening and then to a party, after which Sabine woke up in the park. Here, they meet over pho to try and figure out exactly what happened the night before, and come to no real conclusions. I hope you enjoy it!
Continue reading “Post-Traumatic Pho”