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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:24 am 
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Well, yesterday was my last shift covering for my boss and I basically went on a writing frenzy last night to work out all the ideas I've had swimming around in my head but no time to work on them because of employment obligations. Finally, I'm free! For now. Anyway, over the last day or so, I've written a new short poem, outlined a new short story that I'll probably try and draft a first complete write up sometime before Friday and wrote my 1000 word weekdaily contribution to my novel. Free-dom!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:03 am 
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I've been working on short pieces lately also thinking of new ideas for my novel but haven't added anything new since mid last week. Ideas were getting stale there so I thought if I stepped away and worked on other things, some ideas would come back and I feel like they're starting to. I had an idea for the novel while washing dishes last night. It's potentially a sinister element but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Imma throw it in and play with it, for now.

At the moment, I'm writing a story which I first thought would be very short and kind of literary when I thought about it in bed last night, but it's not turning out that way at all as I write out, it's turning out more story and character-driven and more than I wanted to take on length-wise right now. If I write stories now, I want to keep them short so I'm not tempted to stay away from the novel for long. Still, I like its premise and have lots of ideas for it, so I'm forging ahead. I'm just trying not to draw it out too long.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:24 pm 
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Today I spent at least 6 1/2 hours working on the big project - but most of that was actually spent hunting down citations and (re)compiling my bibliography.
However, the project is taking shape. And I honestly think it might not be bad at all! Hope to finish it soon(ish).


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:30 pm 
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Yay, phoenix! It's nice to get the tedious work out of the way, too. It still has to be done.

Because my laptop is having power problems as of today, I'm on hiatus until it's fixed but I did get my writing time in today, in least (actually I was planning to do more before I was thwarted--but I'd put in enough to stop/my goal/quota for the day so it's not a total loss). Hopefully I will only miss tomorrow and will be able to put my writing hours again on Wednesday once I get a working laptop restored to me. I did print off the five pages I wrote today (of a new story) so in case it goes on longer, I have the record of something to build on.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:08 pm 
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Write on notepads!!!! ;D


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:15 pm 
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I still write handwrite poetry--in fact, I handwrite poetry over and over and over until the poem is pretty much complete--only then do I type it up when there are still maybe the smallest revisions still to make. Sometimes, when I flip through my notebooks, there's the handwritten copy of the same poem twenty pages in a row, all evolving to the final version. I used to handwrite short pieces, too, but when I decided to write a novel, I thought I had to transition to typing on the computer because the sheer volume of handwriting I'd be looking at. It's just so slow going to handwrite--but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I will still handwrite short stories because that seems manageable but I wouldn't handwrite any of my novel unless I got really desparate and was without a laptop for a couple of weeks.

But I will handwrite even my novel if/when I get desparate! Nothing here will stay at a standstill for long! I'll find a way! <3

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:04 am 
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I'm thinking of adding a third narrative but don't know yet. I need to shake things up. My book is booor-ing right now. I have every intention of spicing it up and making it more interesting in time but as it stands right now, it's dull and I need to do something about it.

I also am thinking about something else to do within the characters as a group it to make its scenario more plausible (I'm not sure it needs to be plausible, but maybe it could use a bit more plausability than it presently has) but this same idea might be too limiting in other ways and it's the kind of thing that could paint oneself into a corner if it's not done right so I'm kicking that around, too, at the moment, and am confused and torn about it.

I'm still at an early enough point to be willing to try radical things and see where they go, though.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:09 pm 
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I think I need to draft another outline going forward. I was going along fine for a time without an outline but then I lost momentum about a week ago (mostly because I took a break to write a short something else and now going back to my novel, my enthusiasm for the material is lackluster) and the thing that seems to be the problem is that I don't know what to DO or where to GO next with my characters or plot. Well, I have an idea, but just drawing it out scene by scene is so...ungratifying. And then taking a short break to write a short piece reminded me how gratifying that is because the cycle of short pieces is so much...well, shorter. Here, argh, it just feels like I work and work and there's never any progress. And I want to get to my favorite part of writing which is really editing and fine-tuning and I am still a long way away from that. I've been responding to the creative lull Nano-style by writing stream of consciousness material for the novel which I should be done with, just to get the ideas going again. Not that disaster has occurred, but I'm trying to prevent it. Also, I am at a crossroads with the work as I have come up with another (better, I think) reason for why my folks exist like they do, so while that's a good thing, it's presenting a new host of logistical problems that I'm currently thrashing out. Why this? Why that? Well if that's the case, wouldn't they do this? How to get around that? And so on. Tough stuff.

That said, my latest draft is growing impressively (I have to scroll through the files I've created for it now and it's up to fifty files containing ~1000 words each) so that's my progress but it's just not the type of progress I'm used to.

That said, the next scene I plan to write will be a clone speed-dating scenario which I think will be ridiculous and a lot of fun and hopefully, will restore my enthusiasm because I can just have fun with it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:14 am 
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seitanicverses wrote:
clone speed-dating scenario

That sounds super fun. Experimenting with scenarios can also push your plot forward. (Listen to me. Mine usually changes while I'm not looking. Like my main character revealing a secret I hadn't planned for.)

I'm still working on the bibliography, which is growing to a ridiculous length and leads me to re-read various essays and short stories. I actually understood a lecture written by Stephen Hawking! (Admittedly one of the more accessible ones, and about astrophysics rather than subatomic physics. Still I'm constantly amazed at what I'm reading considering I'm doing a PhD in English Lit. Haha!)
Anyway, hope to be done with the fact-checking and digging for references sometime this weekend, so I can finally get back to reworking the text. Love this thing so much (even though I'm always getting mini anxiety attacks about its potentially being utter crepe).


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:28 am 
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Finished getting my bibliography in order last night. Spending this grey Sunday poking at my short story. Enjoying myself inventing brand names for bottom-shelf tequila - even though this is essentially a painful, complex, sad, and strange story. Maybe I'm just postponing writing the most painful scene; maybe I'm feeling pity for my protagonist.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:46 pm 
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Phoenix wrote:
Enjoying myself inventing brand names for bottom-shelf tequila

I love inventing brand names for stuff! My thing seems to be inventing brand names for as-yet-invented electronics (electronics that exist only in my mind).

I spent some of this weekend researching 20s slang for a new short piece I'm writing. I could only find one word for boobs: "bubs". "Boob" apparently means a dumb guy. NEED MORE WORDS FOR tortes, TWENTIES.

But I'm discouraged right now and everything sucks! Still, I'm moving forward. Gritting my teeth and plowing on. There are always bad patches that get better with perserverence.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:16 pm 
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Happy with how things are going at the moment (although this changes, always, by the day) but this morning was very productive with me working out the second half and ending of a short story I've been stuck on for over a year and keep having to put aside. I think I worked it out though. I'll polish it over the next few days and then look at it in a week or so and see what I think then. Time away always clarifies my opinions!

Also, the novel is going better but still not great. I think I might be turning a corner with it and finding a way to pull some ideas that have been stymie-ing me together. Although I feel like I'm kind of bored with it, I realize that when I'm bored with is the process, not the story or its characters. I'm bored with the idea that I keep wanting to get on with it and it's taking so long but I have to take it scene by scene. But when I read what I've written in its totality, it's definitely coming along and developing which is all I can ask of it at this juncture. If I was bored with the story and characters that would be a problem though, but I realize that it's the boredom of IMPATIENCE I'm dealing with, the boredom of this slow, drawn out process that's required of me in this stage of the work.

Writing short stories in the morning is helping augment this frustration and making me feel productive again, like I can finish something, but I'm working a lot right now and very hard for many hours every day at it, but once I get a couple of short stories I'm happy with down, I think I'll be happier to return my attention exclusively to the novel again for a couple of months and can take it easier, but for now, it's nose to the grindstone because I have the energy and gumption to keep it going for the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:07 am 
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Still working out the one short story from a while back but think I'm close to finishing. It's a nice circular plot but feel kinda meh about it right now, but that's because I'm super tired right now so everything's meh. Also, it's in a meh stage on the page because everything's meh after a slash and burn cycle so I have to bulk it up again with something not too purpley-prose but it needs a bit more art in the writing and greater attention to detail that I'm too tired for today. It's a development stage I am well familiar with. I was describing its plot to my sister the other day and she said "hey! I've heard this one from you before!" and I said "no, this is the same story--this is what it's evolved to now."

Have four more short pieces in the pipes: one that's already been worked on and is pretty well-developed and maybe one-third done (speculative fiction); another still in my head (speculative fiction) with no words to the page, but lots of thinking about and it's worked out in my head (hahahahahahahahaha....having something worked out in your head but not yet on the page is worlds away); a literary fiction one that I've been thinking of for a while but have no conceptualization for it but keep thinking because I know it's a good idea, I just have to find the key to it; and a creative non-fiction piece that I have had at least three false starts on and keep scrapping but am about to try a new narrative approach and we'll see how that works because again, if I can get it right, it'll be worth it.

The novel's coming along. Clones are hard to work with, mun. I mean, there's so damn many of them depending on what you do with them, but I've scaled them back (I think, finally, successfully) to a manageable level but the driving idea behind the whole premise had to change (which is fine, I think the new idea is actually better and more emotionally compelling than the original). My sister really liked the original premise but I told her that it just wasn't working for me because it sounds nice in theory, but in practice, on the page, it would have been a huge, unmanageable wreck that I'd never find my way through. Still not sure if I'll ever find my way through (well, I know I will somehow, just maybe not how I envision it) but every weekday, I add to it and even though it all feels like a huge waste of time, I realize that every single day, my characters, the idea, a scene that (finally!) works and the whole piece is gaining one thing that's a keeper--at least one thing--every day and that is good. It's just a ton of work to find that one needle in the haystack every day. And then sifting, sifting through the rubble again and again and again to find what works and makes sense try to give it heart and life and then polish it all so it's all shiny and clean and clear at the end. Argh. ~55,000 words now or thereabouts. And this is still just the beginning of this massive odyssey I've set myself up now to see through to the end.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:39 pm 
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So, I've been away from my short story a few days and read it this morning just to see how it's doing and it definitely needs more work. It starts off really nicely, promising for around the first two pages like it's going to be a good story, then it kind of goes wrong for a time where it's not bad, it's just not enough (I think it just needs more substantial narrative/scenes in the middle section) and then the end is good but fails to deliver on the promise of the beginning--but I think that fixing the middle section, making it more compelling and expanding it with more story, more background, will naturally take care of the ending and if it doesn't, then I'll deal with that when the time comes. But the ending has always been there for me, and it's the ending I want, I just need to properly write/find my way to it. Imma try and fix it tomorrow and then leave it alone again for a few days. I think it's mostly done I just have to fix what's there, really. This waiting on things and taking time away from manuscripts really does give me perspective. I usually tend to rush things and not sit on them.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:19 am 
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Short story news here as well! I'm in the middle of fixing a bit of description right before the ending of that story that kept changing and surprising me. I got super feedback on my squid story yesterday from an editor (although in a different field), so I'm more confident about my creative writing right now. I've re-read the story I've written so far, and I really really like it. Like in your case, sv, I think it needs to be stronger in the middle section - but language-wise. The narrative is there, I just have to get the imagery consistent. Tinkering. But happy tinkering because it will be done sometime in the next couple of days, and I think it's quite good. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:39 am 
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I'm just taking a break from typing up all my changes on the short story. The paper I'm working on is just at a point where I can't even do a straight reading of the text anymore, it's been scrawled all over with editing marks, slash marks, new words and sentences and short paragraphs added, numbers coded to move sections around and reorganize, two new scenes added and a couple others bulked up. Still needs considerable work, methinks, but I think it'll come together in the end.

I'm happy that you've written a story that you're enjoying, Phoenix. It's a nice feeling! <3

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:39 am 
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All done! I can't find anything that I would want to change... so I'm reading the story to a friend after work. She enjoys being read to, and I'll get a first reaction. (It's also a good plan to combine with sitting in the sun and having a beer.) :))

Edit: Still not sure what genre this is. I'd call it Queer Noir Fantasy (although the fantasy aspect is optional).


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:24 am 
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Yay! I'm glad you're done. Every time I pick at mine, stuff unravels but I'm working through it. Rewrote extensively today, changed the ending. Not a drastic change but turning toward something that makes more sense with what I have. Also expanded one character. I'm not happy with my story yet, it's still in a state of transition, for sure, but what's there is promising. I worked on style for so long with my writing that storytelling and plotting are still the most challenging components of the craft for me. I'm working hard at that now though and really trying to reason my way through plots and being more hardline about where things are going and no longer settling for less compelling scenarios just to tie things up and get to a clean ending.

I'll type up the changes I made tomorrow, I have no extra time for that today as tonight's my yoga night.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:11 pm 
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I've got a rewrite and the skeleton of something new. MUST FOCUS...


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:07 am 
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Yay! Go, alan!!!

Typed up my changes today on the short story in progress. I thought I ruined it over the last couple of days with my radical changes, but I think it reads better than it ever has. I'd say its 65% of where it needs to be.

Still working on the novel before I go to bed. I think I need to re-evaluate where it's going because I've added another (third) narrative and when I start throwing in new narratives all haphazardly, that means I'm getting stale--it's like adding the orphan kid to liven up a shitcom that's on it's last legs.

The narrative will probably continue for now and then be resorbed into the other two on future revisions. Doesn't hurt to explore what it has to say, anyhoo, if nothing else is doing.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:31 pm 
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OMG. I read my new story to a friend, and it almost made her cry. It's certainly doing something. Changing one last word which had been bothering me, then starting shopping it around.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:41 am 
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Making someone cry is a very good sign, Phoenix!

Tore my story apart (again!) today. Will type up the changes on Monday. It's making more sense but I'm trying not to explain too much within it, give reasons or justifications for how things are--that's a road not to go down. Let situations explain themselves. Changed the ending (again!) I read Nabokov's "Signs and Symbols" (or is it Symbols and Signs?) yesterday to remind myself how this is done and the lesson I took away is: sparse, sparse, sparse, sparse, sparse! Include only the most essential detail. Cut, cut, cut and then cut some more. Huge chunks of narrative fell aside in my story as a result today. It's all action and an attempt to stick to the absolute essentials. Trying to keep it that way. I might have killed the pacing though, but I'll read it tomorrow/later to reevaluate. Still a work in progress.

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:37 am 
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Another day, another rewrite!

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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:54 am 
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OMG. Had less than half an idea this morning, played around with it for a bit - all of a sudden I'm 1000 words into my next story, and I already have the perfect title, too. I'm beginning to think it's okay I didn't get the dream job - this way I have more time to write. And writing is THE BEST THING EVER.


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 Post subject: Re: The Writers "Kick in the Pants" thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:19 pm 
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^Yay!!!! Excited for you!!!

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