Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Boring Updates: in which Tornado C's outline is being stubborn, and Will Vullerman is climbing out of my ear.


I have a penchant for creating grab-you-and-never-let-you-go titles, don't I? This one just screams "READ ME" like nothing else.

I'm also horrible at subtle sarcasm.

Guess what? It's update time - a time in which I shall bring you up to speed on what's going on in the writing section of my life.

So I was supposed to start writing in Tornado C. Easier said than done. I've told you guys repeatedly to write first, edit later. Now that I'm getting the hang of outlining, however, this terrible vice has come back to bite me.

How can I do that? you may ask. Well, it sounds more complicated than it is: but in essence, I'm revising the novel before I ever set pen to paper.

But not in a Doctor Who kind of way. I'm actually tweaking the detailed outline I've written for Tornado C. I originally started out with a mildly exciting outline. (My plot always gets better once I write it.) Once I had finished said outline, I had planned on starting the first draft ASAP.

One problem...I didn't think my outline was good enough.

So what did I do? I revised it.

Guess what? After I did the revisions, it was awesome. I tightened the plot and added some theme. I was so pumped to write this novel. Then I went to bed, woke up, and realized something.

It wasn't good enough.

So I revised some more, added a subplot, and generally made things better.

Went to bed, woke up, realized something.

It wasn't good enough.

Do you see the cycle? It's pretty obvious.

Now I'm working on adding another supporting character ("three's a company") and trying to figure out whether or not I actually killed off all of the remaining heirs to the Celamar throne. Gulp. That was a major plot problem. Tell you the truth, I hadn't actually realized that they were all dead until last week, even though I had killed them off (in my head) several months before. (Hey, when you're juggling half a dozen stories in your head at once, sometimes you overlook things!)

And also, the first three chapters of the novel (aside from the epic prologue) are pretty much run away, almost get caught, run away, almost get caught, and then we finally come to our senses and run away to a place that actually has to do with the plot. *headdesk* I still need to find a suitable subplot for that section. It's pretty much "butter scraped over too much bread" right now. It's trying to be more important than it is.

But that's one of the things I have found that I actually like about outlining: I can fix plot problems before I get to them. I don't have to go through the weary process of plot revision after the novel is finished; I can do it beforehand, in my head.

Except, outlining is still a major pain. If I write an idea down, I have to write down specifics, and that's something that my brain hates doing before it's time to actually write that idea into prose. Eurgh.

Aside from my fair-weather friendship with outlining, I've also been working on other writing-related things. Lately I've been shaping out the next four or five Will Vullerman short stories in my head. Included in this is the groundwork for an earth-shaking conclusion to Will Vullerman's saga, which I can't wait to write. I have no idea how many stories I'll write before I finish them off with the conclusion, but once I do, it'll be blow-your-socks-off epic.

But the next five WV stories are a 25k+ project, so I'm painfully abstaining from writing them until I actually get some prose work done in Tornado C. Gah! So much to do, so little time in which to do it!

Speaking of Will Vullerman, however, I've also been hammering out concept cover art with my sister, who does photography. We've got the cover for one of my stories (The Thirteenth Call) already finished and the rest are coming - I can't wait to show them all to you!

But cover art and, more importantly, publication, will have to wait. I have to do some extensive revisions on the stories first. And those edits come after I work on Tornado C. Blech. I've got my hands full this summer, no mistake.

But don't worry, I've gotten some solid writing done. My pen gets restless when I do nothing but brainstorming. So what did I do?

I've written and revised a 5,000 word short story titled The Flame That Does Not Burn, and yes, it tries to be as mysterious as the title implies. It's a fantasy-allegory chock full of little theme tidbits - and I tried out a new experiment. The story's narrator - and many of the other characters - use their native language pretty extensively, in little bits and pieces. If my style worked, then it'll add quite a bit of depth to the story; if not, it'll make the reader confused. Time will tell.

I sound busy, I know. But hey, it's the rainy season. Rain, rain, rain, 24/7. And it's cold. (By West African standards.) I actually have an excuse to stay inside and get some writing done!

How's your writing coming along? If you're not doing much writing (or even if you are), how is life coming along in general? I hear that it's hot! Y'know, right now, it's actually cooler here than it is in most parts of the States...

Oh, and do you have any writing topics that have been bothering you lately? I've been stumped about what sort of articles to write. I've exhausted quite a few topics and I'm looking for more.

Gotta go. Until next time!


8 comments:

Ely G. said...

Don't make us jealous!!!! It's SOOOOO stinkin' hot here! If only it would rain... :P
Revising has been a biggie for me too lately. Going back through a novel I wrote age 12 has been a little...painfully embarrassing might be the right way to put it.
Luckily, I'm thinking there might be a way to take what I've got and start over in making something cool. Let's just keep on hoping Procrastination doesn't strike...

Ely Gyrate

Eruantien Nenharma said...

I'm having all of the same problems. Forgetting important plot details, thinking that the story can be better...I feel your pain.

Eldra said...

I'm also in the plotting stages of a story, so I can totally sympathize with your outlining... ah, dissatisfaction.

We've had a lot of rain as well, although things should finally heat up a bit this weekend. O_o Maybe...

More Vullerman stories?! Oh, boy. You're just trying to keep me busy editing, aren't you? But now I'm excited to read the conclusion story, if it's as epic as you say... :)

Abbey said...

Aaaarrghh.... You are SO lucky to have to much time for writing! As a homeschooler, my work is never done (which I prefer) so I still have to do math, science, Dutch, piano, and saxophone. On top of re-writing my NaNoWriMo novel from last year.... Yeah, I kind of procrastinate.
It doesn't help that my mind is filled with a different story idea that has been growing for years and years.
Have a great July 4th!

Sandy said...

You've been nominated/tagged for the Liebster Blog Award! Yay!
http://cakeoyansandy.blogspot.com/2012/07/well-then-liebster-blog-award.html

Sandy said...

"But that's one of the things I have found that I actually like about outlining: I can fix plot problems before I get to them. I don't have to go through the weary process of plot revision after the novel is finished; I can do it beforehand, in my head.

Except, outlining is still a major pain. If I write an idea down, I have to write down specifics, and that's something that my brain hates doing before it's time to actually write that idea into prose. Eurgh."

I TOTALLY IDENTIFY HERE <.<

Ninja Tim said...

I request a post on being a perfectionist, as I am squarely in their camp and can relate to your (as Eldra put it) "dissatisfaction" greatly. It takes me forever to post anything because I can't stop constantly rereading it, improving it, and still thinking to myself "it could be so much better" (or as you put it, "it's still not good enough").

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like you've got a lot on your plate!! Chocolate pudding spread across too much ham, indeed!

I feel the same way. My Camp NaNo novel needs to have 25k more words, I need to work on a short story series, I have a MILLION blog posts to do, my little brother's friend is coming over for a week, and school is starting up in two weeks. AHHHHHH!!! Too many things to write in too little time. : P Guess I'll be doing more than a few late nighters of writing.

daughteroflight/Eowyn

PS: I've started looking at clips from Doctor Who - partially because you talk about it a lot (or you did...). It looks *really* good and I can't wait to start watching the actual episodes!