The Process of Angst: A Writer's Blog

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Update #15

#1 The Lonely Light (working title)
Type: original fantasy novel
Progress: dusted off and being proofread
Thoughts: I'm hoping that proofreading each part up to the point where more needs to be added will help get me back in the groove of the story. Part 2 is missing large swatches of story, so I'll have to insert scenes as I go along. Phyllis is very well represented as a character, but the rest need more page time. There definitely needs to be more dialog between the pack to establish the dynamics of their relationships with each other.
Likes: the way Isaiah and Phyllis relate to each other, the fact that I'm able to trim the angsty bits so that they're actually useful rather than being angst for angst's sake
Dislikes: The way I feel like I'm looking at my own characters through a window rather than living their lives along with them during the early bits of part 2. If I feel shut out, readers will feel the same way.

#2 Everything else
Progress: on hold due to other hobbies and generally bad time management

Quote of the Moment: "Remember, people who live in glass houses get embarrassed a lot!" ~ Garfield & Friends, "The Feline Philosopher"

Sunday, November 04, 2007

National Novel Writing Month 2007 - Day 4

NaNoWriMo is all about the magical power of deadlines. Give someone a goal and a goal-minded community and miracles are bound to happen. ... As satisfying as it is to reach deep within yourself and pull out an unexpectedly passable work of art, it is equally (if not more) satisfying to be able to dramatize the process at social gatherings.

After sitting out the wonderful insanity that is NaNoWriMo last year, I am insane enough to attempt this again. And since blogging is a perfectly reasonable method of procrastination, I intend to make the occasional update here for your reading pleasure, and for the purpose of preserving my sanity when I start checking my word count every two sentences.

What's this year's novel about?
I'll admit it right off the bat: I'm cheating. The Lonely Light has been in progress in various forms, both active and on hold, for two years now, and it's time to finish it even if my brain explodes in the process. So it's 50,000 new words for Phyllis & co. this November.

What about all the other fairly pointless, yet entertaining, stuff that shows up in this blog?
The Alternate HP7 Project is on hold for November. It's too early in the game to pass off the next chapter to a co-author without a plot-related conference of some kind, and I simply don't have the time at this point.

Other fanfic is non-existent, even in the planning phases. Ideas for House and M*A*S*H fics have been toyed with and recorded, but may not ever make it to a full story form. A full-length parody of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film is forthcoming, pending the DVD release.

In the meantime, the prologue and chapter 1 of AltHP7 are up for the reading, so if you find yourself a spare minute between scrambling for word count (assuming that you, too, are insane enough to be doing NaNo), go check them out!

Why NaNoWriMo? Have you truly lost your mind?
Yes. Yes I have. NaNoWriMo is quite possibly one of the craziest endeavors known to mankind, and I love it, not only because of the reasons listed on the NaNo site (see above), but because I love the written word. Even when I'm being mercilessly beaten by my own word count, even when it's 2am and I'm trying to crank out another 1,000 words as my eyelids threaten to slam shut at any second, I love words. Words in songs, words in novels, words I write myself...all of it.

There is something truly magical about the ability of what amounts to a bunch of random lines arranged in the right order to transport the imagination to a completely different world, be it a real place or a fantasy landscape. As a reader, I'm enchanted by the experience, and as a writer, I take advantage of it to climb inside character's heads and see what makes them tick. It's a fairly safe way to learn about how I think, or how I would think in someone else's shoes, and the end product is something I can share with other people. There are very few things outside of the creative world that the same thing can be said for.

So yes, I may be insane. But it's a type of insane that I'm perfectly happy with.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Update #14

Current Projects

#1 "Aftermath" (sequel to "Colors of Grief")
Type: Harry Potter fanfiction, AU after the final battle with Voldemort
Progress: done
Thoughts: I like how the story ended up turning out. I think I'm done with Aidan as a character, but it was nice to develop his personality and identity in this story, and fun to have him interact with the Order on a more adult level.
Likes: Aidan, Ainsley, Remus & Tonks
Dislikes: How freakin' long fanfic seems to take to write.

#2 The Lonely Light (working title)
Type: original fantasy novel
Progress: was moving along, but is back on hold now
Thoughts: I have no excuse whatsoever for why this has come to a screeching halt yet again. It's my own fault for not making time for it. I don't want to cop out on it, but I'm starting to feel like it would be better to put this on the back burner and work on something else for a while.
Likes: Phyllis, Isaiah, Caeville
Dislikes: The way this is dragging. I have so many ideas that I know can work for this book, but somehow they're not making it out of my head an onto the paper. I'm stuck in all the boring, in-between bits, and the story isn't materializing.

#3 The Alternate HP7 Project
Type: book-length Harry Potter fanfiction that will eventually result in an alternate ending for the series
Progress: prologue & chapter 1 in the works
Thoughts: Slow-moving, but worth it. I'm liking where the story is leading me right now, and I've had some ideas for future chapters that I think will make this turn out how I've been envisioning it. Chapter 2 will be passed along to someone else to write, but I may be stubborn and want it back for chapter 3.
Likes: Remus freakin' Lupin. The man deserves page time, and he's getting it.
Dislikes: Harry. The necessity of his presence is going to be a continual stumbling block for me throughout this project. I can't stand him as a character; he's self-centered, selfish, clueless, and spoiled. I have some ideas on how to work with that and possibly give him a chance at redemption. I'm also hoping that the fact the story is going to have multiple writers will make it a bit easier to deal with things, since we don't all have the same dislikes of the HP universe.

Quote of the Moment: "Why don't you run along and play with your chemistry set?" ~ Sirius Black, to Snape

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Update #13

Current Projects

#1 "Aftermath" (sequel to "Colors of Grief")
Type: Harry Potter fanfiction, AU after the final battle with Voldemort
Progress: chapter 7 in the works
Thoughts: Most of what I had written so far was leading up to the big clash in chapter 6, so I'm not really feeling the story love right now. Reading Deathly Hallows didn't do much to help that. However, I've had an idea or two that should pull this out of its current slump.
Likes: Aidan's character potential for the rest of the story
Dislikes: How stubborn the Wintertons are as characters. They will not listen to anything and it's getting frustrating, since the next part of the story requires them to listen...

#2 The Lonely Light (working title)
Type: original fantasy novel
Progress: about to pick up again
Thoughts: August is here and I want to blaze a trail with this novel! I'm revved up and raring to get going with it again. I'm not sure what part I'll start with, or if I'll alternate between 1 and 2, but I know I want to really get working!
Likes: Tristan remains a favorite. And I'm liking Phyllis's pipe-smoking habit, especially in light of all the ridiculous debates about portraying smoking in movies.
Dislikes: Mainly, that life has taken over and I haven't forced myself to budget time for this.

#3 The Alternate HP7 Project
Type: book-length Harry Potter fanfiction that will eventually result in an alternate ending for the series
Progress: in the brainstorming stages
Thoughts: Sorry, uberfans, but I hated Deathly Hallows. I thought it was verbose, tedious, poorly plotted, largely nonsensical, and couldn't be redeemed by the near-end exposition. It doesn't help that I already had rather a large amount of dislike for the trio, as most of the book focused on them. I remain of the opinion that other characters should have gotten more page time throughout the series, and that certain concepts should have been introduced sooner in order for them to feel like part of the story instead of something shoved in at the last minute for plot's sake.

It would be presumptuous of me to say that I think I and other fans could do better. The goal of AltHP7 isn't necessarily to attempt to one-up J.K. Rowling--it is, after all, her series--but rather to create the story we, as fans, would like to have read. Some elements may remain the same, but most will be different. Of course, all normal fanfiction disclaimers apply.

Quote of the Moment: "But in some other universe, believe me, I hauled off and punched you one." ~ Vimes, Night Watch

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Update #12

Current Projects

#1 "Aftermath" (sequel to "Colors of Grief")
Type: Harry Potter fanfiction, AU after the final battle with Voldemort
Progress: chapter 4 just posted; brainstorming chapter 5
Thoughts: Chapter 4 took rather longer than I was hoping and, as a result, I'm starting to fall out of love with this fic. Fortunately, I do have an idea of where I want it to go, and I think things will start picking up in chapter 5. I don't see the story as a whole being longer than 6 or 7 chapters.
Likes: Moody's random appearances, Tonks, shameless M*A*S*H references
Dislikes: Good heavens, this story is long...much, much longer than I originally anticipated. That was okay when it was flowing, but now I'm starting to hit patches of tedium, which isn't exactly the point of fanfic...

#2 The Lonely Light (working title)
Type: original fantasy novel
Progress: on hold for now
Thoughts: I have big, big plans to work on this come August. August in my month off from work and shows, so I'm hoping to be able to devote a good chunk of time to working on this story. It's about time, too; Phyllis originally came into being two years ago!
Likes: Tristan, still. Maybe he has his own story in him? I'll have to keep that in mind.
Dislikes: The long periods of time I've had to put this on hold. It makes it hard to keep things cohesive and make them flow properly.

Quote of the Moment: "Who could have known that a drenched Scotsman would appear in this rotunda?" ~ Donovan, Lost, "Flashes Before Your Eyes"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Update #11

Current Projects

#1 I must confess, I wrote another Desmond fic.


More angst/mental drama, and a somewhat stream-of-consciousness style, based on the first ten or so episodes of season 3 of Lost.

#2 The Lonely Light (working title)
Type: original fantasy novel
Progress: about 3,000 more words than last time in two different parts of part two
Thoughts: I'm worried about the parts I'm working on suddenly drying up on me. One of the two already has, but I expected that. The's coming along, but slowly. I need to be more diligent!
Likes: Tristan. I never expected how big a part he'd play in the novel, but he gets more and more interesting every time he shows up.
Dislikes: Part one. It needs to be written, but I'm really not sure how to make it all fit, or how to handle the ending so it isn't too depressing.

#2 "Aftermath" (sequel to "Colors of Grief")
Type: Harry Potter fanfiction, AU after the final battle with Voldemort
Progress: chapter 2 posted, chapter 3 in the works
Thoughts: What in the world was I thinking?? Haha.
Likes: Aidan, Hermione and Neville, the impending TOTAL CONFUSION for the Wintertons
Dislikes: This is turning out to be a lot longer than I thought it would be. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, I have to wonder if the quality will stay consistent the whole length of the story. I find myself struggling to make certain plot points last over the course of what has yet to be written.

Quote of the Moment: "A plane fell out of the sky, Mikhail. Of course we saw it." ~ Ben, Lost, "One of Us"

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Update #10

Current Projects

#1 The Lonely Light (working title)
Type: original fantasy novel
Progress: about 2,000 new words in a later part of part 2
Thoughts: I've never skipped ahead and written a later part of a story before. I've always been too afraid of how I was going to connect it all up. However, going ahead and writing a part of the story that I'm not so familiar with is turning out to be a good thing. I'm more excited about writing it, and I think working on a bit where the characters already know each other fairly well is going to help me more with character development than the bits where they're meeting initially.
Likes: Miriam. Derek and Phyllis's interactions. Tristan.
Dislikes: I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, for this bit to run out of steam. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when that happens.

#2 "Aftermath" (sequel to "Colors of Grief")
Type: Harry Potter fanfiction, AU after the final battle with Voldemort
Progress: chapter 1 posted, chapter 2 in the works
Thoughts: I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on this recently, but I'm getting a few more plot ideas that I think will help pull the story together.
Likes: Fred and George, the fact that Hermione and Neville are practically glued together for the moment, picking on Moody's paranoia
Dislikes: I feel like, at times, I'm writing in things that aren't necessary just for the sake of length. I'm trying to work it so that those things help with the flow of the story or offer information rather than just being there.

Quote of the Moment: "You've been doing your job with all the efficiency of a one-legged man at a butt-kicking contest!" ~ Colonel Potter, M*A*S*H season 8