Stay Still, Damn it

So, let’s see:

I’m technically on the second draft of my still-nameless, formless WIP (novel? short story? novella?), although it’s the third time I’m rewriting the first part. I can’t seem to nail it. The characters keep changing, like they want to be someone different everyday. It’s frusterating. But I think I’m closer. This last rewrite (again, only the first few pages) actually has pretty words that mean something, and not just the filler blocks that get you from A-Z in your first draft so you know what the story is about. Which, again, is slightly changing.

Why did Josh barge in with all this nonsense?

It’s okay though because the first draft of anything is a piece of shit. Am I right, Mr. Hemingway? And oh boy did mine stink something fierce. But you keep going, you keep writing and peeling back the layers and you find that beating heart deep below. I’m at the pulse stage – I think. I’ve got a few more layers (who doesn’t rewrite?) but I’m starting to feel more comfortable. Hallejluah. Because I was just getting to that  you suck you suck you suck phase.

And I really hate that phase.

How’s everyone else’s writing/artistic pursuit/life challenges going?

I Have No Idea What I’m Writing

If you’ll notice, I’ve installed two kooky word-count bars on the right there. Oh yeah, someone’s learning how to copy and paste code. I’ve been seeing these word-o-meters on fellow writer blogs and thought, that’s sort of awesome. It’s inspirational and gives anyone expecting your newest release some idea of when it’ll come out. But like most things, it takes me 1-2 years to get around to something because I’ll 1.) forget, 2.) forget, 3.) want to learn, start to look it up but notice the minimized word doc at the bottom of the screen and write instead, 4.) make the time but something happens, 5.) forget, 6.) stumble upon it as I close the computer.

I’m supposed to be eating lunch right now. Watching Sex and the City and eating lunch. But I figured I’d catch up on a few blogs first. And then I found the word-o-meter. And Hallelujah it was actually simple. This anti-techo was able to add a widget accurately without the mandatory five glasses of wine and a constant complaining to Batman. Poor Batman.

Anyway, as you’ll notice, I’ve started a new WIP that has no name. Just Current WIP. Which is strange for me because I’ll usually have some running contender in the back of my head. But no. I have no idea what this piece will be called because I have no idea what this piece is about. It was supposed to be a short story. We’re talking 7500 words or less. Then it morphed into a novella. THEN it took the reins and was like screw you writer, I’m pulling into novel-town. For real.

I thought I finished the first draft on Friday—even did a happy first draft dance—then heard a character talking. WTF? I knew I’d come back to it—because it still needed a lot of work and the ending was sort of open-ish. And maybe there’d be a second part to it… I don’t know. Okay, fine. Maybe it WASN’T the end of a first draft. I didn’t know because I DIDN’T KNOW WHERE THE HELL IT WAS GOING. And I still don’t. I’m on a rollercoaster over here, taking turns left and right and up and down and this happens and that happens and holy shit what am I writing?

I have no clue. But I love it.

It keeps going and going and this is the first time I have no idea how it’s going to end. When it’s going to end. Usually I start with the ending and work my way back. But this is different. It’s exciting and crazy and every day I go back and forth between, “I’m writing this for me. I will NOT publish this” and “I can’t wait to get this published!”

I even wrote a small blurb for it which I thought would be perfect for its novella stage. Want to read it? Remember, it’s evolved PAST the supposed ending. Okay, here we go. The first blurb which will have to be updated:

When Prava-native Josh meets Lunda-born Marie in an abandoned missile silo during the worst takeover since WWIII, the unlikely teenagers must depend on one another and the contents of a backpack left over from America’s golden era.

Lunda, the last hope for a civilized Province, is not something Josh intends to find, especially three hundred feet beneath the ground. Having lived in Prava, the country’s deadliest ghetto, has left him bitter and hardened and unprepared for Marie, an educated Politian’s daughter who is convinced survival is still possible. Armed with only two bullets, an old-world backpack, and enough food for a month, will thirty days be long enough to overcome their vast differences and find love at the end of the world?

BUT IT DOESN’T END THERE.

Anyway, check out the word-o-meter. When I have a name—if I get a name—I’ll be sure to update it. Happy February 18th!

H20 Baby

I haven’t written anything here in about a week and it’s not because I don’t love you. I do. All of you. (Especially you!)

But I’m writing a first draft and that, dear friends, always takes precedence. Sorry. It’s like being desperately thirsty and being given an enormous jug of the world’s most delicious thirst-quenching water and over there, a few feet away, is a can of Dr. Pepper. And who doesn’t LOVE Dr. Pepper? I  know I do. I would happily drink it whenever, but right now I’m DYING of this hydration and the only thing that can quench it is H20 baby. It needs me and I need it – the two of us in this monogomous, exclusive relationship. Except for now, because I’m sneaking off to see you!

You’re blushing, right? Good.

First drafts are always exciting. Anything can happen! Well, for me they can. I’m sure all writers do it differently, and I know my routine has evolved slightly, but while some have outlines that go as far as breaking down each chapter point, I have the overall arc of events in my head. That’s it. In fact, sometimes I don’t even meet all my characters until the first draft is done. I know… crazy. But, for me it works. So the first draft is like going on a really awesome first date that might have a few setbacks, a few awkward moments, but still ends with a totally baddass kiss. PLUS I know things are going to work out. I know this because they have in the past and also, I have that one thing everyone needs to succeed. Faith.

So, if you’re keeping count or have really followed anything to do with my series, the Arizal Wars, you’re probably thinking, “whoa, whoa. Wait. First draft? I thought Plague came out in March? Are you only NOW starting the third book?” Haha, no. The third, Discovery at Nerwolix, is off to the editor which means–oh yeah–I’m working on the fourth. *takes a bow* And let me tell you, I’m excited for both. I’m REALLY excited for Discovery but this next one (still to be named) already has some scenes I can’t wait for my readers to digest. CANNOT WAIT.

So, as a recap, I have *not* been ignoring this blog (or you, my sultry mistress), but busy downing my jug of water. Also, as I promised myself, I’m trying to read more and I just finished the second book of the Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole. It’s the best-selling YA PA (young adult, post apocalyptic) series about a deck of Tarot cards coming to life in the form of kids (teenagers/yound adults) who have to kill each other and win the game after a cataclysmic event rocked the Earth. Sort of Hunger Games-ish but with a bit more romance and magic, as these kids have different powers. The first one was a little slow for me in the begining (not the first chapter- that was awesome!) but the middle-end definitely picked up. The second one went way faster, was filled with more action and in my most humble opinion, was WAY better. Unfortunately, as I told Mrs. Whatever, the ending wasn’t just “left open.” There wasn’t even a door on it. And now I have to wait until January 2015. Only downfall of a reading a good series that isn’t complete.

*Of course*

But, I guess in the meantime I can work on my own story. Develop my own suspense from book to book so that other readers can hate me for only being human (write faster, Kresely Cole – I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!)

Yeah, sometimes it’s good to be the writer.