Sunday, November 01, 2009

And We're Off!

I'm finished with The Heretic King, nine pages into my NaNo novel, have really no plot at all, and I'm loving every second of it. Forget about Christmas. November is the most wonderful time of the year.

4052 words,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Motivation to Tell a Story

I'm angry. I'm extremely angry.

I'm a storyteller. I may not be the best nuts-and-bolts writer, and I'm certainly not the best at weaving my tales together and making everything make sense, but I am a storyteller and I take pride in that. Stories are important to me; I cry over the touching moments in anime, books, movies, anything. Storytelling is sacred to me.

So the abuse of it incites a righteous anger in me. WHY would a show - a show that was shaping up to be at least my second-favorite of all time - waste so many perfectly good elements? The kid who was obviously the reincarnation of the big bad of a hundred years ago shows up ONCE and disappears with no more mention made, no show down, nothing more than hints? A thirteen-year-old girl binds her soul to a demon from the Abyss, a deal that happens only when someone desperately wants to change the past, and we're never given the reason or even have it really alluded to? A nine-year-old boy - the brother of arguably the best character in the series, nonetheless! - is seen at the sight of a heinous tragedy, surrounded by corpses and flames and covered in blood, laughing at the sight of it all, and we are given nothing but the fairly obvious hints that he was in fact the killer of a main character, that he's using everyone in the story, that he retains his memories from that tragedy when NO ONE ELSE DOES, and the last time we see him in the show, all he says is that he wishes he could tell his brother, but he doesn't remember? No showdown with any of the setup villains, no closure for any of our beloved characters, and - this is probably the most heinous failure of the story, though if any of the major villains had popped back up I could have forgiven it - a clock imprinted on the main character in the THIRD EPISODE with the explicit statement that when it makes a full rotation, he'll be dragged into the Abyss (which is exactly as bad as it sounds - and we saw it happen to another character very early on, in gruesome and tearjerking fashion) - this clock, over the course of the series, ONLY MAKES IT TO THE SECOND MARKING OF TWELVE?!?

So, yeah, I can't remember the last time I was this angry. Tears were shed, parents were sufficiently exasperated; such is the life of a sentimental idiot.

I think it came on a bad day, too; I've had to deal with something of a disappointment from several people I've known for quite awhile, and I admit, when I sat down to finish this series, I wanted an escape. A story where the consequences of one's actions are destined to come about. An ideal. That's possible in stories.

And instead, I get one of the bigger letdowns of my lifetime of engaging in stories. It's not fair. It's really not.

But I knew this was a possibility. Another series I watched recently crashed and burned, but I wasn't nearly as attached to that one. I knew this might happen, much as I had hope for it not to, and I knew one of two things would happen:

One, I would be so depressed that my motivation to do anything would be sapped. I don't recall if this has happened, but I've been out of sorts lately and this show caught my fascination in a way that very few have.

Two, I would be angry, fired up, motivated to write a better story, to give my story a true ending, and to do it inside the confines of a month, just to show how much better I am than them.

Thankfully, it's the latter.

I cannot WAIT for NaNo to start.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Public Service Announcement!

The NaNoWriMo site is up and running! It's awesome and has a ton of new features. Yay!

Check it out:

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thought #8

Yesterday, I realized the only rapper I like at all is Agape, and I love 'Hiphopapotamus Versus Rhymenocerous' by the Flight of the Conchords, and I can kind of stand Eminem. So, apparently, I only like white rappers. The three white rappers in existence. What is wrong with me?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Interjection #2, or, I Love Animation

And I always will. So the movie 9 really made me hopeful for being able to continue to watch intelligent animated movies well into adulthood. In any of my discussions about the movie, I mentioned that I was thrilled to see the movie industry breaking out of the Animation Age Ghetto.

Then I read the Trope page, which states that the Animation Age Ghetto was "Not just subverted, but punched in the face, shot up with a machine gun, thrown off a cliff, fed to sharks, and blown up. Also gassed."

Yeah, I giggled for about five minutes straight.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thought #7

Guys, forget about everything you've ever heard about writing. All you really need is a good friend who also writes and is willing to help you with your plot crises (and word-war during November.) Everything else is just filler.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Interjection #1

Derailing Ink's train of thought for...what year is it again?

Revising a book is stressful. School is stressful. Making costumes for fun and (a startling lack of) profit is stressful.

Revising a book while going to school and making costumes at the same time is COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY IDIOTIC.

Next weekend is AWA. These were our costumes last year. We're rewearing them on Sunday, and our new ones this year are those cranked UP TO ELEVEN.

Which I just typed as EVELN. I think my characters are trying to tell me something. Ev, I'm going to finish revising your book just as soon as the costuming crush is over. Please don't hurt me.

I'll just be going to eat Baked Barbecue Lays and read Good Omens now. That's not stressful.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Thought #6

Thought of the Day:

An agent who asks for queries only by email asked for the first five pages of The Very Watery Ocean and Other Unnecessary Tales, also via email. I wonder if this is the wave of the future. First queries, then first five/ten/twenty pages, then the first fifty pages, then the full manuscript, then an offer of representation. Good news if you write great queries. Bad news if your writing is great but your queries are terrible.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thought #3: A Game

I dare you all to go to Gives Me Hope and see how many pages you read without tearing up. My personal best is three. Can you beat it?

Alternatively, you can go to FMyLife and see how many pages you can read without cracking up. My best for FML is... a solid 3/4 of a page. Can you spell 'schadenfreude?' I doubt it.

Thought #4

Earlier today.

Sarah: Sometimes I have the transient thought that Mom and Dad don't love us three. Ha ha ha. Isn't that crazy?
Sarah's much-younger sister: Aww, don't worry about it, Sarah. They love us. They only hate you.

...owned. By an eleven-year-old. Actually, I'm kind of proud of her snarkiness. She's all grown up!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thought #2

I'm pretty sure I'm the worst vegetarian in the world. I buy leather products, I think PETA is creepy, I support gun hunting, and I sing along to the Hillshire Farms "Go Meat!" commercial.

(On the upside, I sent out 14--count 'em--14 query letters today. BAM.)

Thought #5

A tendency to see all one's worst traits in a changing room mirror seems to be universal among my female friends. Still, shopping stays popular.

So this is what we've become:

I also tell people about my dreams. And psychoanalyze them. Oh, the humanity.

So. In a small attempt to make my life less boring, I'm going to start updating. The updates won't be good. But they'll be there. I'm thinking of doing a thought of the day kind of thing, and maybe Miri will pop in every now and then with a quality update. We'll see.

For today: I think tiny houses are awesome. Who wouldn't want to live here?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Query Letters: the eighth circle of hell

This January, I had the honor of spending New Year's with my family, some friends, and Miri. After watching the whole New Year's Eve extravaganza on TV (and then flipping right back to Sweeny Todd), I decided what I really needed to do was create some New Year's resolutions, despite the fact that I didn't have an edited novel. I wanted to write, draw, and exercise daily. That didn't last a week. The other thing I wanted to do was to send out 50 query letters.

"Maybe 30 would be a little more manageable," Miri suggested.

"Yeah, I guess you're right," I said. "Hey, we should both send out 30 letters!"

"... how about 15?" Miri asked.

Since then, 15 query letters has been my goal, seeing as the other ones failed. So far, I've sent out four. Of course, I edited my novel and wrote a query letter, all of which took time. Then it was the middle of summer, and sending query letters when it's hot and icky does have an effect (just ask Miss Snark). So far, I've sent four query letters. I've gotten two rejections, one personalized. Still waiting on the other two.

I'm about to become very busy, and that probably won't let up until the end of the year. If I want to get those 11 letters out, it's gotta be today.

AgentQuery has given me 16 names that look appealing. It's a start.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Wow, it's been awhile

I think we can say for sure by now that Ink and I are rather remiss about updating the blog. Perhaps even notoriously remiss.

So, as an apology (and definitely not a blatant plug for my far-and-away second-favorite show in the history of ever), I give you the best animated music video I have ever seen in my life. It's only 3:15, and you won't regret it.

I love well-timed music videos.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

... because we haven't updated since January and we're very sorry. (And because Ink gets overexcited about Saint Patrick's Day, what with the shamrocks and greenery and such.)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

14 Hours Into the New Year And I've Already Screwed Up

Yep, I thought I'd be cool and title this post "a goal unwritten is just a wish" and find out who said it, but Google and Wikiquote yielded no answers until I realized it's a proverb, not a quote, and proverbs < quotes. Alas.

Either way, the sentiment is correct, and it's especially true for writers. If you'll forgive me another overused canyon metaphor, you and story are one one side of the gulch and publication, riches, renown, and literary immortality are on the other side. Waaaaay on the other side.

So, like good metaphorical mountaineers, we lay down some ropes between the sides and start building ourselves a bridge. However, those ropes snap, and they snap a lot. Sometimes it's rejected query letters, sometimes it's a bad critique, or, like the publishing horror story Miri was telling me the other day, it's having the company who bought your manuscript go under. Canyons are dangerous and falling rock is everywhere.

This is the part of the post where I should be saying something cheesy and inspirational, but actually, after that, I've kind of forgetten what brilliant, moving point I was going to make. So I'll wrap this up.

We can't decide how many rocks fall on our heads, but we can decide how many lines we cast to the other side. That means setting goals. Building a sturdy bridge doesn't happen by accident--it requires planning.

My goals this New Year are pretty modest--fifteen minutes of writing or revision each day, and sending out fifteen query letters by next New Years' Eve--but they're goals all the same. How about you? Got any goals this year?

Holly Lisle's post on goal-setting.