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I have an old story and a promising new one in the same story cycle. Both WIP, as everything is, these days. :-S

Both stories involve the same cast of characters and the same big trouble. They happen 7 very eventful years apart.

In the new story, which happens at the ramp-up of the conflict, the characters involved work out a strategy, and the sketch of a fall-back should the strategy fail for lack of resources or unity.

Of course, the resources are unavailable, and lack of unity delays implementation of the fall-back plan -- it should have been set in motion after two years, but they cannot get the pieces into placeā€¦

... until the old story, which happens seven years after the first, and marks the turning point of the conflict. As in, the fall back plan will now be set in motion.

And -- major inconsistency -- many of the characters are shocked, shocked to the point of rebellion or just walking away, that they are going to have to do something so crazy, reckless, counterintuitive and (possibly) evil. It's one of the points the plot hinges on.

But, if I write the earlier (newer) story as planned, they were the ones who agreed on it before, or even came up with it!

20 years ago I'd have scrapped the earlier story for being beyond repair from the get-go. Today, knowing more about people, politics, and self-delusion, I feel that even with competent and fairly wise characters, this kind of selective failure of memory is more likely than not.

But the readers, of course, will notice. So, what makes the characters react shocked about the implementation of a plan they themselves helped make (and how those who stay "on track" appear a great deal crazier than those who do not) will have to become a central underlying theme in the narrative.

I wonder (and I would be glad for pointers) if this particular, what, heel-face-heel pirouette is on TV Tropes, or if anyone has examples where this has been done in fiction, well or less-so. (Real world -- not so much. Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction has to make sense.)
lyorn: (Default)
Yesterday I sat down to write. Wrote a scene. Spent the rest of the evening designing stairwells. In a planetary station. On Mars. Which had been stolen by pirates.

Which would be better if I hadn't already kind of finished the story before wondering, "If the station is a half-dome, how can the stairwell be straight? Won't that look weird? And can you fall down the stairs the way I wrote it?

I went out of my flat with a ruler to measure the stairs in the hall.

Oh, well. It was fun. I learned stuff about stairs.

In the end I decided that it's an action scene, no one has time to measure or describe the stairwell, and of course you can fall down the stairs, that is not a very safe universe.

Argh!

Aug. 27th, 2015 10:23 pm
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I can't decide on a key scene in a story, so I'm writing two in paralell.
And I have no idea how to do one of the big reveals in either.

Also: Is there a somewhat Shakepeaerian word for "con man"?
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I just went outside to see the falling stars, which should be very numerous and visible this night, but the sky was hazy, and the city too bright, even from the not-reached-but-streetlights yard.

Other things:

It's too hot. Weather forecast says temperature will drop by 10 or 15 degrees on Friday or Saturdays. It seems impossible.

Work is crazy. With 1/4 of our team on vacation, I could put in 10 hours a day and the pile of things to do would *still* get higher. Also, shit keeps happening and I had a miserable headache today.

Yesterday night I stumbled on a story I had started before the longest writer's block ever struck, six years ago now, and I barely recognized my own voice in it. Was I ever that brilliant? It's scary.

Saturday we had a role playing game, flederkatz GM'ed Deadlands. Fun. Too short. We killed a few monsters that wanted to eat us, and broke into a secret base, and left as unnoticed as we came. (We think.)

We now have a chance to think if the guys we are after are really the bad guys. On one hand, kidnapping orphans and stockpiling what seems to be a hidden marine base in a place that is at peace only because of poverty and exhaustion is not looking good. On the other hand, we do not know exactly what happened to these orphan's parents (presumed dead after an earthquake where part of the town dropped into the sea) and we haven't the foggiest whose base it is, except that it seems well-maintained. There might be more than one group active here. Actually, one could make a very good point for two. So, shall we call in the cavalry?

Also, I got some of the best prune plums ever, and made the best Zwetschgenstreuselkuchen ever, helped by the heat, which made the yeast happy, and by confusing the amounts of sugar and flour for the Streusel, which meant that they got crunchy-caramel-like, and some butter melted out of the Streusel at baking.

Writing

Aug. 3rd, 2015 12:13 am
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I found that I severely dislike the beginning of the Perry Rhodan fanfic I should have finished, well, years ago. Yes, it sounds like a teenager ranting about school, but it's also an info dump, it's incoherent, and it's boring.

I re-wrote 1200 words today.
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For January, I joined trobadora's Write Every Day. So what happens on Dec 31st? Read more... )
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So, Gareth Rees' "A Credo for Critics"? Mostly tl;dr AFAIAC (attention span, my cats have more of it than I), but I followed legionseagle on DW to the most annoying point, being
I think his argument is basically right: fiction that treats of kings and queens without any kind of satire, irony or other form of undermining is implicitly endorsing conservative and authoritarian ideas.


Which made me go, mostly, "oh goodness, not again" (as this stuff has plagued my childhood from dinner table shouting matches to the ban on Spinrad's "Iron Dream") and then steaming over it on low flame for quite a while, until I came to two ideas which I might find useful dealing with that in the future:

#1: Creating a narrator's voice that makes the most weird, strange, outdated or plain creepy things sound completely logical and common sense is half the fun of writing. It is, in fact, so much fun that if you succeed in it, it's worth being called a sick, perverted, crypto-commie-fascist anarcho-authoritarian. (Only remember to use a pseudonym when you do it.)

#2: Author's assumptions show themselves in the way their world works, not in the narrator's voice. This goes into degrees of realism and I don't have the patience (oh, look, a Schlumbergera, I have one just like it at home!) to define this in any useful sense, but I think most readers have encountered the effect that it's easier to suspend disbelief in magic than to suspend disbelief in genetics. Or something similar.

Writing

Feb. 14th, 2011 12:37 am
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Wrote 2K words in the last three days. After not writing much in all of the last six months.
I dare to hope that I am getting back on track.
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On Sunday, Snow was at my place to assemble the IKEA drawer and eat potato stew. (Snow loves assembling stuff, while I feel that it's a hassle.)

IKEA )
Band practise, and voice acrobatics )
Fic writing )
lyorn: (Default)
The story has now reached the point where the villain (or misguided do-gooder) is about to monologue at the heroine.

And every time he opens his mouth I see him drawing himself up as if he were making a speech long rehearsed, and beginning to declaim, "The Elder Days are gone. The Middle Days are passing. The Younger Days are beginning. The time of the Elves is over..." in a Christopher Lee voice.

This won't do.
lyorn: (Default)
If you cannot think of any good filler to write in before the next interesting scene, don't write the filler.
lyorn: (Default)
Ich habe jetzt ein bißchen an einer älteren Story herumgebosselt, um sie endlich mal in trockene Tücher und an die staunende (ja, sicher....) Öffentlichkeit zu bringen.

Mag jemand gegenlesen? Hauptfragen sind, Stil, Tippfehler, copypaste-Fehler, Logik, und, Sollte noch was gestrichen werden?

Genre ist Fantasy (ziemlich standard), Länge 4.600 Wörter, Rating (denke ich) FSK 6, Warnungen, nicht daß ich wüßte.
lyorn: (Default)
Am currently trying to hammer a story into shape that suffered from starting out as a short story and continuing as a novella. Wrote 2000 words towards that goal.
lyorn: (Default)
Different story this time -- I'm always working on everything at once, unless something really grabs my focus.

Cut for probably boring content )
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I have been working on The Monster of a Story and found that I have a bunch of scenes at night, followed by a scene at sunrise, followed by one at breakfast time, followed by one in the morning -- so far, so good -- followed by three scenes at the break of dawn with different characters. It does not break logic, and it develops drama the way I want to, but I fear that the sun bouncing up and down in the sky will not leave the best impression on reading.

Have to shift scenes. Or have a few people sleep in. Shouldn't be that hard, but for some reason it is.

Sigh.
lyorn: (Default)
I have finished the dratted chapter eight. It still came out a travelogue, and I didn't include the man with the gun, but I managed to parallel space and time in a vaguely satisfactory manner. The not-moving is a place to which the protogonist returns, the movement is how her perspective has changed.

And with that, it's possible that the story is complete, even though it will still need some re-writing (of a fight scene in chapter seven, and of the epilogue which is a pasted-on older story). And then I'll need [livejournal.com profile] flederkatz's help again to untangle my sentences and dig out missing auxiliary verbs.

I wonder if it happens to anyone else that they get surprised by finding that they have written everything that belongs in the story?

In other, less satisfying news, the sports club in which I'm only a member because I forget to leave has sent me a nasty letter for not paying my dues and threatens me with lawyers. Only, I have a bank statement proving that I paid in March. This is stupid.
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I wanted to go out into the hills for a hike today, but first it took me forever to get to the starting point (and it would have been so much more fun on the motorbike, which for some reason still does not want to start), and when I finally arrived, I heard thunder, and the sky was full of those dark silver layers of cloud that mean really bad weather is coming up. So I drove back home. The weather, at least, didn't add irony to inconvenience, and there was heavy rain as soon as I was back in my car, and the temperature dropped 6 degrees. (Diving back would not have been more fun on the motorbike.)

Grr. I bet Monday will be brilliant, and Easter will be warm and sunny and all the paths will be crowded. Still, looking forward to two four-day-weeks.

I'm going over the top with interior decorating at the moment. Have ordered curtains for the bedroom on Saturday. I haven't had curtains since I was living with my mother.

Have a kind-of solution for that darned chapter eight of my current top-of-the-list WiP (whined about here). I'm afraid it boils down to having a man with a gun appear. But I think it will work.

Busy week

Mar. 28th, 2009 01:23 am
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Gwydion and I had the party on Sunday, which was, as usual, an extended breakfast/brunch with too many people for the place (especially as the kids wanted one room to themselves, so the adults had to crowd in the living room and the kitchen) and heaps of food. It was fun, and the usual suspects stayed past 6 p.m. and helped me move every single item of furniture in the living room to make place for the new sofas. We discovered lots of discarded cat toys, and dust bunnies massive enough to stampede and cause widespread destruction.

Monday we were playing Werewolf in the evening, and I was very, very tired, had trouble to concentrate, and was extremely miffed, as some moron at work had entered an incomplete list of files for a delivery on Thursday, discovered it late in the afternoon on Monday, three guesses who got to fix their mess before Tuesday morning. So I logged in from home at midnight, did everything in record time, only do discover at half past one that some e-mail I hadn't taken the time to read told me to take my time, they had discovered more problems and it would be fine if everything was fixed by Wednesday morning. Have I mentioned that my job is insane?

Tuesday at 9 am sharp the new sofas arrived and looked very strange in the old room. I was dead tired the whole day, which was not made better by the need to dismantle everything on my desk at work so it could be moved. More rabid dust bunnies, and me in my good clothes. I haven't done that much moving stuff in years, and I hope I won't again. With no computers on my desk, I could at least go home early and catch up on sleep before singing lessons and going to the gym (which was OK.)

Wednesday was a normal day at work, and choir practise in the evening, which was fun. Afterwards I invited Ceridwen over and we had hot cocoa. The weather was raining if it wasn't snowing, as it had been all week, so I drove her home at midnight.

Thursday I had an appointment at the gym to get the settings for the new machines. The trainer was half an hour late, but we still managed to get it done and I did two rounds, went home, showered, then went over to Snow to watch SJA. After that, I tried to work on the story I hope to finish sometime this year, but chapter eight refused to do what I wanted it to.

Today I have sore muscles, but the week was calming down a little and I noticed how out of breath I was. Talked to Snow a lot, about the recalcitrant chapter eight, and found out that it cannot do what I want it to do because I do not know what I want it to do.

I notice pattern and structure very strongly, and dislike having my own writing "out of pace". The story I'm working on is episodic, ten or twelve chapters (not sure yet) over the course of about one-and-a-half years. Every chapter is about 1500 words and happens in one place, over a short period of time, and focused on one character, but contains flashbacks and parallels to the character's history. At the end of every chapter, the character is in the same literal place where they started, but has moved a lot in a metaphorical sense. There is a lot of world building, but it's low key -- this is not a travelogue. The story is (I guess -- it might still surprise me) about running away and running towards. Chapter eight takes the character back to the first place she ran away to (not "towards") in another life, but I get side-tracked again and again with getting her there, and creating scenery. The movement that should be internal insists on being external. Which does not work for the story and does not work for the character, who is rather introspective. And after thinking about it loudly for hours, which Snow patiently listening to my rambling, I think the problem is that I do not know what I want her to discover in that place.

Now I only need to put that diagnosis to good use and make that damned chapter eight work.

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