Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Yes, this is a gratuitous post

I have some great topics lined up for the blog, but apparently there's some kind of holiday type thing this week and it's sent my schedule into a tailspin, so you'll have to wait for the greatness.

In it's stead I bring you: damnyouautocorrect.com


Friday, November 12, 2010

Decisions, decisions, decisions

We had our last round of workshopping in class on Wednesday and let me tell you, there were some unexpecteds out of that round. For me personally they mostly pertain to my story, so I won't share specifics, but one thing has come out of all of this workshopping that I wasn't expecting that I can discuss: me vs. research. BATTLE ROYALE!

So my story happens to be set in a different time period, but that was never really my focus. It's more the way the characters and the plot panned out that it made more sense for that time period, but I figured I could take more of a steampunk approach and build my own world. And I thought that would come through in the writing, the dialogue, and the storyline. Instead, I've turned into a research hound. People (at least my writing class) are considering this a historical. Why do I italicize that, you ask? Because it means research. And JEM is allergic to research. I also never intended to make this a historical; I just wanted to tell a story set in a different time period. But now everyone's all like, "What did they wear? What were the buildings like? What kind of food did they eat? Did they really talk that way?" And I'm all like, "How the crap should I know? I didn't LIVE back then, sheesh."

And I've been struggling with the next chapter all week. Every time I want to go somewhere, say something, do something, I sign myself up for a minimum of an hour of research, combing the hinterwebs for an answer to one line of writing. A body can't live like that, gentle reader! It's put me in a paranoid state of fact checking when I should be creativising (creative improvising, literally just made that up. THAT'S creativising, my friends). I had to come to a decision, and that decision is me vs. the research. I have to decide what will be research to help build the setting and the tone of the time period, and what will be me sprinkling my own JEM dust over the thing. And the instructor made a really good point: when in doubt, especially in the first draft, go with "me." After all, this is my story to tell, and it's fiction. If I want an alien life form to land in Victorian England, AN ALIEN LIFE FORM WILL LAND IN VICTORIAN ENGLAND.

So how do you decide me vs. research? What sends you to the research stacks and what sends you to your own creative juices?

P.S. My story is not about aliens landing in Vicotorian England. MAYBE.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Impromptu writer's retreat

Okay, so I'm not retreating anywhere, but the partner-in-crime has officially flown the coop for two weeks. He's got some international thieving to do, and I'm stuck here by my lonesome. I don't like staying by myself, never have, and now I have two loooooooooooong weeks to slog through before he shows up again to shower me with jewels and lost treasures.

So I decided to call the next two weeks my impromptu writer's retreat, or re-treat, since I'm not actually going anywhere. I'm curious to see how much writing I get done in the evenings with nothing but the TV and my faithful sidekick Scout to distract me (formidable foes, make no mistake). I have dreams that I'll have the current rewrite totally done by the time he gets back, but I'm realistic enough now to know that I can't actual bend the laws of time and space to my will (much as I try). I will, however, make a more concerted effort to set aside blocks of time I normally dedicate to family to writing. And who knows, I could have several chapters completed upon his return.

How's the hidey hole going for most of you? I know there are a lot of Nano and Nanorevmo workers out there, are you enjoying your own writer's retreat (by election or force)?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I'm writing to say I'm...not writing. I'm buried in work for work, creative writing, and sometimes eating and sleeping when I can fit it in. I've got lots of good posts about my writing class and what I've learned, though, so stay tuned for when I actually might be more coherent and less caffeinated (trust me, it's not actually a good thing no matter what I threaten the barista with in the morning).

Hope things are going well for everybody! Let me know what you've got going on, how NaNo is going if you're doing it, and if you (like me) have been treated for Halloween candy addiction (it's a serious thing, y'all).