Busy little bee

In the past week, I have:

  • Read over fifty short stories online; I quit counting at forty-seven, because I was going through them so fast that I forgot to mark them down, but I know I read at least six or seven stories after I stopped marking my tally. I don’t even know how I managed to read so much, but it has left me somewhat burnt out by the time it gets to my nightly reading. Skipping that has started to stress me out some, so I think I’ve found my limits in terms of how many stories I can read for work before I have just read too much.
  • Emailed six authors; I received a thanks-but-no-thanks from one, and to be honest it just made my day. Usually people don’t bother writing back when they’re not interested, so I just have a giant gaping “NO REPLY” on my spreadsheet, and I wonder if they got my e-mail… but I am pretty sure they have, more often than not. Anyway, this author responded and even though it was a no, it just felt nice to be able to close that mental file. I learned that this week!
  • Written a little over 8k words; this isn’t an “OMG SO MUCH” amount for me, but considering everything else I have been doing, it does take its toll. I am at just under 55k on What You Wish For, aka Hilo-story, and I am now doubting that I will finish it in under 80k words. My 60k estimate was entirely too hopeful.
  • Stayed up past midnight nearly every night; this may not sound like a big deal for most people, but for me… my bedtime is ten pm by the latest; normally I am in bed reading already by the time 10pm rolls around. So it’s just been really tiring, staying up late every night–and I was up until two last night! Argh. I am going to bed as soon as I post this entry.
  • Attended two writing groups; I started attending these groups in November, for NaNo, but I am glad they have gone beyond that. It’s an excuse to get out of the house and it’s socialization with people who are enjoyable to be around.

Other small things I have done which are significant to me, but not significant enough for a bullet point: scheduled the giving of platelets, scheduled an appointment with my pdoc, asked for something from a friend that I was afraid of asking for… I am sure there is more stuff, but I can’t think of it at the moment.

In other news, I am officially registered for Authors After Dark in August. It will be my first writers’ convention so I am super excited, and looking forward to the road trip and rooming with the SMP crew! This will be a good thing.

Yeah, I can really tell I am lacking sleep; my mind is going off into random places. I bid you goodnight, blogland; sweet dreams.

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Musing on external conflict in my own writing

I’ve always known that writing conflict–real conflict, I mean, rather than the sort that can be classified as melodrama–is a weak point of mine. It’s mostly because I tend to be character-oriented rather than situation-oriented, but I think there’s also a part of me that just shies away from real conflict, from events that might in some way break my characters.

They’re my babies! I don’t want to kill, harm, or otherwise maim my children.

This was something that I realized after I read Hunger Games, and is one of the reasons that I ended up loving the series so much, despite being largely uninterested in the third book: Suzanne Collins helped me to realize that I am afraid of breaking my characters. She helped me realize that, because I am afraid of this, I will never write something that is as heart-wrenching as Hunger Games was for me.

It was a breakthrough! I decided then and there: the next story I write, I am going to kill my children. Metaphorically, definitely, maybe literally as well. I am going to make them psychologically different by the end of the story, by way of bad shit happening.

But I didn’t. I wrote Relativity and nothing like that happened. I was (and am) largely dissatisfied with the story because of that; it was supposed to be significant, but it ended up just flopping when I got to that part, because I had no idea how to write it and so the characters squirmed out at the last minute.

I guess this is where I get in trouble for not being the kind of writer who plans ahead. 99% of the time when I start a story, I have no idea where it is going. I have no idea of the ending. Rarely do I even know what the story is about. All I have, most of the time, are the characters.

They’re the most important part of the story, in the end, but I am just not good at creating external conflict. I feel like that fact weakens my own writing a lot.

I am hoping that with writing the Lin story with Penny K. Moss, I will be able to get a little better at creating external conflict, ’cause she’s superb at that shit. But I still need to be good at writing that on my own.

And the only way to get good at it is to write more! My official word count for November is 93,349 words, for Pete’s sake, I’d better be good at the making myself write part by now. Even though at the moment I am still slightly burnt out from writing ninety-three thousand words; I haven’t written in a week.

Except for that little bit with Koit an Atlas. Hmm. Why not?

I do always try to go with inspiration wherever it shows up. /Loooooks at Koit and Atlas. C’mere, you two. Bring Sera with you, and we’ll see about Riley on the way.

Change of address

I’ve changed my journaling/blogging/extended text social media from LJ to WordPress. Why?

I have several reasons, but only one that is really important: with WordPress I will be able to schedule posts and space them out. This, rather than having the posts come in big spurts as I’m struck with need-to-write-posts moods, is something of a relief to me. It’s not that I have anything against big spurts, it’s just that I’d rather not subject people to them if I don’t have to.

So… yes. I am here now. Keep an eye out for stray HTML and the like; never know where that type of thing will crop up when I’m screwing around with the layout.