Aug. 19th, 2005 08:36 pm
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As I mentioned in my last post here, I've decided that maintaining two active LJ accounts has gotten to be too much trouble for me. Therefore, this account is going to be largely retired as of this weekend. If you'd like to keep in touch with me, please change all friending and other pointers to my personal LJ, [ profile] owlmoose. I don't plan to delete [ profile] kjswritinglog completely, at least not for now, but I doubt that much will be going on here.

I'm in the process of switching all my friends links, groups, etc. as well.

owlmoose: (Default)
I have been attacked by a surplus of ideas and seem to be working on three stories at once. The last two chapters of OMC are in progress, of course, each partially written. And then two separate epilogue pieces, one journal style and one vignette. (The idea for the vignette snuck up on me rather suddenly while driving home from work yesterday, shrouded in fog on the Bay Bridge. I spent most of the night that followed in its grip, setting down bits before I lost it.) It would seem that I have a lot of work ahead of me.

That's not even mentioning AGL 30, which is as yet completely unwritten but already brewing in the back of my head, and my plans to do a minor overhaul of the parts of AGL already written and posted. And my thoughts of upgrading and spiffing up my other LiveJournal and combining it with this one (I'm finding it complex to maintain two active LJs, and my personal journal, [ profile] owlmoose, is much longer established; nothing will happen on that until the weekend at the very earliest, though, so don't change any pointers yet). Yes, it's going to be a busy weekend...


Aug. 15th, 2005 10:59 pm
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Part Eighteen is posted.

I have a very small bit of Nineteen written, but I will hold off on any serious work there for now. I really cannot believe that this is almost finished...
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Seventeen is up. I've been wanting to get to this one for awhile, ever since we started plotting bits of it behind the scenes. So I'm glad to have it out there.

Over dinner tonight, a friend who has never played the games and knows literally nothing about them told me that she'd read OMC and enjoyed it. She didn't understand much of what was going on, especially in terms of backstory, but she still liked it. I suppose that's a compliment! She also read bits of the other pieces of the Quartet, mostly for context; she said that helped a lot. I guess that partially answers the question of whether OMC stands alone, something I've often wondered. Obviously it's much richer if one reads the rest of the Quartet as well, but could someone just read it and still feel that they've seen a complete story? Hmm.

new chapter

Aug. 7th, 2005 11:52 pm
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Sixteen, which has been essentially done but for polishing and one key scene for days, is up.

Seventeen is also almost finished, but I will hold it for now. I can't believe how quickly we've come to the endgame...

busy days

Aug. 5th, 2005 07:05 pm
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Thanks to an unexpected afternoon off of work (hooray for book publishers and the boondoggles they offer), Sixteen and Seventeen are both basically drafted.

Now I'm going to let them rest for a bit. Not only because I don't want to race them out before their time, but because my weekend suddenly booked itself -- it looks like a friend is coming into town at the last minute, and she will be whisking me away. (Oddly enough, this is the same friend whose visit caused my last mini-sabbatical from writing.) That's probably a good thing; the chapters can marinate in my mind, but I won't be able to get at them for tweaking. Should make for fresher editing, I hope.


Aug. 5th, 2005 07:38 am
owlmoose: (Default) up.

This one was a lot more trouble than I expected it to be, but I think I hit the right notes in the end.

Sixteen and Seventeen are both already partially drafted and coming together very well, but I don't want to rush either of them. Both are much too pivotal. But maybe we're getting to the point where everything is pivotal from here on out...
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Fourteen is posted.

I have not yet written a single word of Fifteen. Bits of Sixteen, yes. Fifteen, no. But I'm not worried; I'm sure it will come.

Edited to note that this is no longer true. I think I've found an angle, one that I think will work. I hope.
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It continually amazes me how we, the Confessional authors, pick up on threads and mutate them.

In Twelve, Ikon casually makes mention of the sole survivor of group Four, the recorder, "the one who can't stop crying." Ry picks up on that and expands on it, just a little, using him to illustrate the horrors of the broken survivors. Since the character is a recorder, and I had done nothing up to this point with the fact, mentioned way back in my Part One, that half a dozen people had come together from Luca, I make him a former co-worker of Paine's, give him a name and just a smidge of backstory, and expand on his suffering a bit more. Then Lee takes this and runs with it, dedicating almost a whole chapter to Baralai looking for a way to help him out of his stupor. An entire subplot sprang from what was essentially a throw-away the first time it was mentioned.

I'm sure there are other examples that show what an incredible thing we are doing here, but this is the one that really strikes me.
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Thirteen is finished and up. Amazing how productive I can be when I have a nasty cold that makes me unfit to do much more than sit in front of a computer. On such lovely summer days, too. Bleah.

Twelve and Thirteen came much more quickly and easily than Ten and Eleven. I needed to agonize much less over them. I suppose that's to be expected, given the emotional punch and importance of the earlier chapters; these last two are lighter overall, although not without their key moments.

I only have a small scene of Fourteen drafted, so that chapter may be a while in coming. Of course, I've said that before...
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Twelve is up.

Bits of Thirteen are written. I expect to have some time to work on it today; we'll see how much I get done.
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There is nothing so inspiring as good prose. On the other hand, it doesn't get much funnier than intentionally bad prose.

The 2005 Bulwer-Lytton results are up. For the uninitiated, this is an annual contest to come up with the worst opening line to a novel. A taste for bad puns is helpful but not required. Not as good as last year's crop, but there are some gems.

Here's a companion contest that's new to me: the Lyttle Lytton, which is the same thing with entries limited to 25 words. I just read through the 2001 winners and laughed until I cried. A taste for the absurd is definitely a plus.
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I got about half of Twelve drafted this morning, along with a small but important section of Thirteen.

I am so addicted to this thing. And it doesn't help when new chapters come along at the exact moment that I should be running out the door for work, and then leave me with cliffhangers... Heh.

I was talking to some friends about my new past-time at dinner last night, and regretting the timing; a year ago, I wasn't working, and I would have had so much more time to devote to writing. But SE disagreed; she said that it's probably better this way, that I can let my work be my work and my creative outlet be something completely separate. Upon consideration, I think she's right. I like my work (although not always my job -- there is a difference), but it's not my life, and shouldn't be.
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Eleven is up.

I really sweated over parts of this one (although some sections actually came very easily). I hope it paid off.

I'm going to take a bit of a breather now, I think. Not to work on anything else, just to let what I've already done settle and to give my coauthors time to catch up to and/or get ahead of me a bit. That's the plan, anyway...


Jul. 26th, 2005 08:13 am
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It turns out that my reputation for fast writing may be actually earned after all -- as of this morning, Eleven is largely finished. It's not quite ready for prime time yet; there's a section that's still rough, a small but key bit that I want to get exactly right. If it rings false, everything falls apart. So it won't go up until I'm happy with it. I don't expect to have time to work on it tonight, but it could be ready as soon as tomorrow.

After that, I'm not quite sure what to do in terms of pacing myself. Finishing Eleven catches me up to RyRy and puts me two chapters ahead of Lee. I know that the only restriction is that I not pass up Ikon (and I don't think there's much risk of that at this point), but I'm not sure how I feel about setting plot. Paine's big moment of action, saving Nooj from the sand-bear, has passed, and that's the only section, really, in which she drives the story forward. Paine reacts, Paine observes; she doesn't usually take the lead. Also, Ry and Lee have both been so good at coming up with secondary plots, and I'm not sure I can live up to them. I'm mostly a character-driven writer, not so much a plot-driven one. (I think that may be why I'm drawn to fanfic: the plots are mostly already there for me. I just need to plug in holes here and there, and then I'm free to write character studies and backstory to my heart's content.)

So I think I will take another pause, or at least make an effort to write at a more measured pace for awhile. This could be a really good thing; Ten came out quite well, I think, and I am sure this is at least in part because I was forced to slow down, to consider it all very carefully and work on it slowly over several days instead of during a burst of productivity. There is time for inspiration and time for deliberation, and I think this may be the latter.

Well, enough musing on company time. ;) I'm off to take stock of the book room.


Jul. 25th, 2005 05:30 am
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Ten is up. I put a lot of thought into this one and am very curious to see reactions.

Eleven is a little over half drafted, I think.
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All in all, the weekend was quite nice. My best friend arrived from Boston on Friday evening; we spent that evening hanging out, cooked dinner on Saturday, and had a long lunch today with a large group of people whom we know from our alma mater. Tonight she left to join her husband, who came into town today. Between our activities, I relaxed and enjoyed the warm days -- we have been in the 80s, which is unusually hot for San Francisco in July. I bask in hot weather and sometimes feel the lack of real summer days here. I also finished a delightful book, Catherine, Called Birdy, which is the tale in diary form of a fourteen-year-old girl in Medieval England who is determined not to marry unless and until she wishes, despite her father's efforts to find her a husband. It's written for preteens, but I found it more than readable at an adult level. The main character is strong-willed, thoughtful, and very very funny. Definitely recommended.

In the end, though, I couldn't stay away from the work entirely. My houseguest was gone for much of Saturday with another friend, and went to bed much earlier than I on both nights, so I did end up spending some time writing after all. Ten is basically finished and Eleven is partly drafted. I will hold posting anything until tomorrow, though. Ten needs to season over one more night at least, and we did all say we'd be taking the weekend off!

zip zoom

Jul. 21st, 2005 09:36 am
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Wonder of wonders, I have caught up! Just in time for the weekend break we all seem to be taking. I wasn't planning it, but I woke up early this morning full of inspiration for where to take Nine, and I finished it.

Transitional chapters are always the hardest for me to write. I keep being drawn to the significant events that are happening next, and I have to force myself to concentrate on where I'm actually supposed to be working. It's even worse with AGL, because I set my own agenda there. This story is a little bit different, because I'm working within a much stricter framework, which helps force me to mostly write it in order. In that respect, I think OMC has been an excellent exercise, because this story is coming out much tighter. (I really wonder what a good editor would do with AGL; I bet one could cut out a lot of fat.)

I'm glad for the weekend break, actually, because now I can really take some time to think about Ten. That chapter is such a turning point for everyone, and I really don't want to rush it.

busy busy

Jul. 21st, 2005 12:21 am
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OMC Eight is here.

I seem to be writing Nine and Ten at the same time, the days they cover coming to me all at once and out of order. I admit to having some impatience with Nine, since it is largely a transitional chapter in preparation for the red meat of Ten. But I have to do it justice; otherwise Ten will lose all its impact. A challenge, one of the many I have faced on this project. Successfully, I think, so far.

I confess to often falling behind on reviewing the work of my partners in crime. I read the chapters as soon as I can after they come to my attention, sometimes multiple times over, but then I can have trouble gathering my thoughts to comment. I will always get to it eventually, honest.


Jul. 20th, 2005 04:23 pm
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My collaborators keep praising me for my superior writing speed and then beating me to the punch with wondrous new chapters. This amuses me.

Seven is up and Eight is largely drafted. I wish I could be working on the latter as we speak, I know what I want it to say, but I am at work and it is at home. Alas. Regardless, I have hopes for finishing it tonight or tomorrow morning.

After that, it may be a few days before I have time to write much -- I have a houseguest coming on Friday evening and staying through Sunday night, and she will be in town through Tuesday. At the rate everyone else is going, the rest of story will be finished by then, with Paine languishing many chapters behind! Oh well, there are worse things.

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