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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:20 pm 
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Started another new short story today based on an idea I came up with last night. It's literary, not sci fi. Actually my other short story is turning less sci fi and more literary. I mean, it has suggestions of sci fi (in the form of mysticism) but it's only suggested, not deployed at all in the story and not really part of it--only impactful in that certain characters believe in it. I like freaky stories, I guess, genre-straddlers.

Anyway, this new one I'm really gonna take my time with as it's uncharted territory and tricky and horribly unsympathetic subject matter. It might never work out, it's one of those risks of my time, but I've gotta try.

Novel is presently at a standstill till I figure out where to go next. I think I need to drop the third narrative I was just starting and get back to working with the other two as I think that is what I will ultimately do anyway. I do like the irascible character I had going in the third narrative though, but he can still be in it, just not as a narrative perspective. I just want the story to be going somewhere and I'm not setting it up to get there? I have to figure out the next set up/direction for it and I really need to review what's there so far but I kind of balk at that because the manuscript is so extensive that will take up two days of my writing time just to review it. But I gotta do it soon because I'm at around 60,000 words. But again, it's gone NOWHERE in 60,000 words. Geesh. Making things happen is tougher than it looks.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 1:24 pm 
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The weather is beautiful and I'm in a 'screw writing!' mode right now. I want to enjoy the beautiful park across the street, take walks and bike rides, do yoga and do a bit of pleasure reading this time of year. Writing as a priority will drop a bit for me now that the weather's nice, but not completely. I gots to live some, too. All work and no play--blah, blah, blah.

Wednesdays are always tight for me time-wise and after my run this morning, I only had about 45 minutes to stick my head in the short story I started writing yesterday before starting work, so I worked a little more on the first couple of pages, bulking up a couple of paragraphs and will carry on with it piecemeal till it's some kind of tale with an ending and then I'll start revising it. That seems to be how I'm writing my short stories these days: just starting them, writing a few pages, leaving them, coming back, chipping away some more day by day, even if it's only reworking a paragraph. I'd rather write them in one shot, especially if they're, say eight pages and under, but that just doesn't seem to be happening these days and I just work with whatever way keeps me moving forward. I have a pretty good idea of what's going to happen in it so I'm not sweating the ending too much right now. It will be sweated buckets over later in the process, but now izallgood.

I have a vague inclination to try and move forward on my novel tonight before I go to bed, but not pressuring myself to do it. If I feel like it, I will. I admit it's bugging me a bit. I have a goal to finish the draft by September (I want a minimum of 100,000 words) and now am at around 60,000. And that includes putting time in on short pieces and whatever poems happen to arise, not just writing the novel exclusively because writing the novel exclusively was getting me down. I need the impetus and gratification that shorter form writing brings to keep up my flagging long haul novel-writing motivation because I'm working through the part of writing I most hate right now in the novel (forging the story and plotting) and is most challenging for me and it just feels like it will NEVER END. You guys will probably never see me when I finally get to the polishing stage. That's when I'll get obsessed and start working feverishly around the clock to finish it! But that's a long way away.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:46 am 
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OMG, I love working on the new short story. I've noticed that the longer I play around with a paragraph - or rather a visual image I've created - the more complex and the better it will become. And I'm finding more places I can use it, so it will become an established theme, a thread to follow. :)

& have I mentioned that I have a name for the genre I'm writing in? It's definitely dreampunk. ;))


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 11:57 am 
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Yay! I wrote only a little bit today, like on the first page of one story tinkered with around three paragraphs, and then opened a document from the novel to catch up on and maybe get my mind going in that direction (but then didn't look at it--ha!) and went for a nice bike ride!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 2:26 pm 
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I've decided to take much of May off! I will be asking for kicks in the pants if my writing vacay goes too far (like, into July).

Sometimes, like when I was covering for my boss in March and couldn't get all the writing time I wanted to in, ideas collect and I can't get enough time to play with them and then start binge-writing wherever I can find the time to; and then other times, like right now, the opposite occurs and my ideas are tapped out and I feel unmotivated when it comes to my work so I take time off because I want to do other things (like enjoy the beautiful May weather, my favorite month in Toronto). IN SUMMARY, I'LL WRITE WHEN I WANT TO THIS MONTH *defiant look*

Although I was a tiny bit pleased when I finally read the latest chapters of my novel where I plan to pick up where I left off when I go to work on it next, I did find some of what I'd written somewhat funny. Just a little tiny bit of that feeling, you know, of "oh, I miss these guys." Well, I'll get back to them.

Please keep me updated on your projects other writers who post here, because it really does help me personally in my work and motivates and inspires me. I'll keep you updated on whatever small leaps I decide to make this month, if any. <3

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 12:36 pm 
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I went through the potential discards pile from my manuscript pre February 2013 and weeded out all of November 2012's work (except for salvaging maybe five paragraphs - this was the period of the last Nano session) and some of January 2013. What I kept still has the potential to be integrated into the new narrative which is why I kept it. You think I'd be freaked out to throw away all that work--pretty much a month's worth in the two hours it took to review it today--but throwing stuff away is actually progress. Clarifying things! Focusing on the stuff that deserves to stay in and lets me know what ideas are worth going forward with and pursuing.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 12:23 pm 
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Tinkered with the first pages of two newer and incomplete (half-written) short stories for an hour or so this morning. Not getting far beyond the first page though with either. I keep telling myself if I give them good beginnings, I won't be able to resist at least trying to write an ending to justify all that work at some point. I have ideas for endings on both and have written them in but they probably won't stick and I don't really expect them to. Just sketching a possible direction to go in, kind of thing.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 2:34 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
Tinkered with the first pages of two newer and incomplete (half-written) short stories for an hour or so this morning. Not getting far beyond the first page though with either. I keep telling myself if I give them good beginnings, I won't be able to resist at least trying to write an ending to justify all that work at some point. I have ideas for endings on both and have written them in but they probably won't stick and I don't really expect them to. Just sketching a possible direction to go in, kind of thing.


Me too! I think right now it's "lots of ideas, too little time" around here. But I'm taking notes and trying out all sorts of material to help flesh those ideas out. Some of it might stick!
I'm also leaving for a conference on Thursday, and I fully expect to mainly attend for my own talk & that of a friend and spend the rest of the time walking around, exploring a city I don't know, and hopefully having a couple of beers with friends. So many possibilities to come across more data I can use! ;D


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:46 am 
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Today, I worked out a story that's maybe close to 80% of where I want it to be. This is the one that languished for a year before I picked it up again a month ago and I've been chipping away at it ever since. I last worked on it April 29 (just over a week ago) and picked it up again today. It's in that phase where I have to leave it alone for spells after working on it so I can really judge it with a fresh mind. It's nice to have something nearing completion when all I otherwise have are half-done things. Tomorrow, I will type up the changes as I already spent 2+ hours today editing it and adding some new stuff to help pull ideas together. Then, I might have a whole different verdict on it but I really feel it's coming close to being finished.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 1:15 pm 
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My lovely fellow penmonkeys - I heard back from an amazing magazine!
A couple of edits, and my favourite short story (so far) is going to be published!!!!!! :D

Off to celebrate a bit (celebrating more when everything's done and the story is up).
\o/


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:21 pm 
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Woot!!! Congrats, Phoenix!!!! Time to celebrate!!!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 10:50 am 
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Tinkered with my spec fiction story for about 45 minutes this morning because I felt creative rather than typing up changes on my almost-ready story from yesterday. Still working on the first couple of pages of this spec fic one and but went on from page one to page two today (progress!) and am getting to a point where I feel the intro's looking okay and I can start to move on. This piece is 13 pages long of just ideas on the theme, nothing cohesive but I've already written the ending. Still, it's not sorted out at all, nor is the ending final--just a direction to move in right now. I figure somewhere within that thirteen pages is what it's gonna be. I just need to organize it into a story and flesh it all out.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 10:51 am 
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Phoenix wrote:
Off to celebrate a bit (celebrating more when everything's done and the story is up).
\o/

When it's ready and if possible, share a link with us! <3

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 12:47 pm 
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I gathered the spec fiction piece of disconnected parts into one ten page running story today instead of keeping on tinkering with the first few pages, which keep changing anyhoo. It's pretty terrible right now. Like, not good at all and I'd never let anyone see it as is, but it has potential and there's some fun stuff in there. There's a trick to it that I need to figure out and I'm pretty sure it's in the narrative approach on this one. Also, the ending has to be right and it isn't right now but I suppose it could be. It's one of those pieces that will take time, like where I'll put it aside, look at it every so often (every few weeks, months) and one day (maybe...hopefully) will say "A-ha!" Or the solution will wake me up at three in the morning, type thing. That's what it needs, methinks.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Awesome Phoenix!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:55 am 
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Oh you guys. I had really expected the whole conference thing to be pretty crappy, and the conference part of it kinda was, but I did meet some nice people, and what's best: my friend and I took a psychogeography kind of walk and came up with the best creepy story ever! Took lots of notes, will write collaborative short fiction. :D


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 1:25 pm 
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I had a goal of typing up edits on two short stories I've been working on today (each edit will probably take 1.5-2 hours each so say, around four hours work today). Anyway, I only got halfway through the first one, it was taking longer than I thought anyhoo and then I went on a cooking spree and only sat down now, three hours later. I still have to do my work for work (paid work), and be finished in time with that for the Leaf game tonight and then Top Chef Canada. So...my editing will have to be finished tomorrow.

I did have this moment while I was cooking today of realizing that my stories right now are not what editors want and I know it. But you know what? I don't care because I have a day job, I like them and my biggest beef today about modern contemporary standard fiction is that there is a surplus of REALISM out there and my first joy of reading is escapism. Both my stories are escapist (with realist aspects but still--my writing MO has always been get out of everyday life and onto something maybe a bit fantastical). So eff off editors, I'm doing what I want and I'm pretty sure you won't like it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 11:53 am 
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Still plugging away on the short story that a few posts ago that I said was 80% done and it's holding steady even though I did another extensive edit on it--it's still at around 80%. Okay, maybe around 82%. It's about a disgruntled customer, in a nutshell. I dunno it still needs tons of work but the vision is clear and it's relatively workable. A few questionable transitions and unexplained things that I have to determine if they remain unexplained, or I find a way to explain them or remove even more detail to deepen the mystery and leave other things explained or maybe just tear it all down to a blank page as if the idea never existed and move forward with something else. Nah, I think I can do something with it. Trying to figure out what's best for it now but I'm fatiguing on the idea and exhausting it and feel close to finishing with whatever it's gonna be.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 2:28 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
Phoenix wrote:
Off to celebrate a bit (celebrating more when everything's done and the story is up).
\o/

When it's ready and if possible, share a link with us! <3


Just saw this. Will totally do. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 11:41 am 
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Okay, so I think I'm 90% there on the disgruntled customer short story saga. Progress!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 12:05 pm 
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Phoenix wrote:
seitanicverses wrote:
Phoenix wrote:
Off to celebrate a bit (celebrating more when everything's done and the story is up).
\o/

When it's ready and if possible, share a link with us! <3


Just saw this. Will totally do. :)

Yippee!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 12:21 pm 
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I am THIS close to getting the title right.
Doodling versions and permutations of versions and free-association shiitake with a black marker (markers are super creativity tools), but just...not...getting...there. Yet.
Maybe all I need is a pint, and the perfect title will present itself. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 12:22 pm 
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Ha! Sometimes, a pint is all it takes! Maybe give it a shot if nothing's coming to you.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:11 pm 
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Went through the story again and typed up another edit this morning. I guess I worked for close to three more hours on it earlier today. I'm still not satisfied. Well, I never will be, but I try to come close. I've taken out a lot of explanation--but I do kind of have to know what's going on so it's always in there for a while until the end when I start working it out. Tried to sharpen the disgruntled character. He's totally ridiculous. I'm trying to figure out exactly how ridiculous I want him to be and what are the bounds of credulity. I might have overstepped them.

The story is pretty much finished though and I know what's going on behind the scenes and can justify everything within it. Now, I have to figure out the tone, the pacing, refine the character(s), figure out if my main character is too much, not enough, etc. And sort of polish it off and get the flow right and yadda yadda. 92% done maybe. Thereabouts. At around 96-97%, I consider it done because there's always something slightly wrong with everything, you know. At least to me.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 2:05 pm 
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So I added three pages (more than a thousand words) to the disgruntled customer story today. I know not how. I thought I was in the cutting stage. I think I'm trying to assplain things. I don't know, I'll be looking at it again tomorrow. I've looked at it enough today and the judgement of where it's at gets muddled when you've been working on something a while. Anyway, even with all this uncertainty, I still say it's coming along...I don't think it's where I thought it was last I posted (around 92% done). I don't know what percent done it is anymore. I would be able to pull it into a cohesive story in a week, methinks, but not necessarily a completely FINISHED story in a week, like where I can say I've closed the door on it and dusted my hands of it and stop thinking about how to improve it.

I told my nephew its premise on the weekend and he said "it's out there," because yeah, it is. And he also said "it could be good." Anything can be good though, if you do it right. Therein lies the rub. Sigh.

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