Thursday, December 25, 2008

{ 9 } A New Year, A New Reason To WIN

So: I've discovered non-motivation for HOS, I've found new motivation, and I've lived through another year. So far so good.

With 2009 looming large over my head, I've been contemplating a lot. I abhor resolutions as they usually seem to make me sad when I realize I have yet to do them. But this year I'm lucky: I have a BF who has thinks he hasn't accomplished either.

Why is this a good thing? Because we're both super creative. I think if we combine and use our powers for good, we can get some stuff done. Neither of us have fully realized or actualized our creative dreams. I say we take an hour a day and work on them. Enough of this here and there, hit and miss bullshit. I want to win in 2009!

As I've stated before: 2009 WILL be the year HOS gets published. I can't stand it any more. I can have this amazing story rolling around in my head like a pebble in my shoe.

My wonderful friend Terrie filled me in on a little secret awhile ago. Apparently Margaret Mitchell wrote the last chapter of Gone With The Wind first, then skipped around. Maybe that would work for me; I do seem to have an ending down...

Well, all we can do is see what happens. I promise in 2009 to actively write and, hopefully in the process, help the BF get some of his creative projects done.

I will own 2009.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

{ 8 } Year's End Lament

I hate this time of year. It's a left right knock out, with XMas, brother's birthday, New Years, my birthday, all with in the span of two weeks. Ick.

Of course, this doesn't inspire me to write. BUT I did indeed find a good source of inspiration: one Mr. Josh Bucher. Joshems is an ex-BF of mine. But not the crappy kind of ex, oh no. He never hit me, he never spoke a bad word to me, he was never unkind. Josh is my ex-BF only because I'm an ass hole. Josh is one of the kindest, most giving, smartest people I know. And when I say smart, I mean it. In all ways, but, for the current most important way, smartest about the subject of my novel.

Josh and I met to discuss HOS last Wednesday. It was awesome: I couldn't even finish a sentence before he was spouting off ideas. We are to meet next week to go over some more ideas. I love the Josh!

Getting shit done!

Monday, December 8, 2008

{ 7 } Flatlining

Getting inspired in bursts is starting to piss me off. One day I'll write or research like a mad women only to have it followed by days and days of nothing. It makes me crazy. Even writing this blog is taxing right now. It has been said that a good writer writes every day to keep their skills honed, much like a track runner. And I try, I really do, but some days I don't want to read let alone write.

I've been trying to compile a list of things that inspire me to work. So far all I can come up with are things that don't inspire me. I now present you with The List of Things That Make My Brain Shut Off:
  • Booze: I've tried the Hemmingway/Bukowski approach and it doesn't work that well for me.
  • Canasta: I will play online for hours on end without a single thought in my brain.
  • MySpace: How many times can I hit refresh to see if I have a new comment? Lame.
  • Life in general: Same day, different crap.
I know there's more. But what inspires me? In this current brain cloud I'm sitting in, I can't think of one thing.


Friday, December 5, 2008

{ 6 } Dispair And Desperation

It's almost six in the morning. I browsing Amazon.com, searching for more books to digest that might help my novel. I am being punched by a wicked thought: what if this novel of mine is too big? What if I'm not ready to handle it?

This novel I am writing is to be the one. I've said it time and time again: it's my magnum opus. But what if I'm still too naive as a writer? What if I haven't truly found my voice? What if I fuck up the best thing I am ever supposed to create?

I'm wondering if I shouldn't try to write a less important book first. "The Great Gatsby" wasn't F. Scott Fitzgerald's first. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" wasn't Mark Twain's first. "As I Lay Dying" wasn't William Faulkner's first. Hell, "The Da Vinci Code" wasn't Dan Brown's first either. Should I try and write something else as my first to find my "writer's legs"?

This all leads me to think about J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. Their first books were international sensations. Of course, I hate both of them due to their "I just had this idea..." attitude, but could I join their ranks with HOS? I mean, honestly, I just had this idea...

My biggest fear while working on HOS is that it will be poorly received and I will have failed at the one thing I have a true passion for. Do I need to write something else to get my name out there and to make sure I know just what the hell I am doing? Could I even begin another book with all the HOS stuff in my head?

There are so many good books out there that I've never heard of by authors I've never heard of. There are also some really bad books out there by authors I have heard of. I am torn between two worlds: write HOS and hope it's all I know it to be, joining the ranks of Rowling and Meyer, or push something else out there and hope by the time I get to HOS I can be the next Fitzgerald or Faulkner?

Isn't being a writer supposed to be easy?

{ 5 } The Most Productive Lunch Break Ever

Work makes me want to die. First, I can't be doing whatever it is I want to be doing. They pay me for that. But second, and probably more important, is that no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to think about anything while I work. It's not that my job is at all thought-consuming. Actually, there's no thought involved in it at all. Somehow, though, my brain refuses to hold any thought I try and feed it during my shift.

I mentioned in the last post that I finally remembered to bring a notepad with me tonight. And I'll be damned if it didn't make a difference. Who would have thought that I'd get inspired just knowing the fact that I had a yellow tab by my side? It was almost like, "Okay, you have the means to write, so do it". No excuses.

And write did I ever! It started out simply enough with the heading "What I Know (Very Little)". I began doing a basic character sketch of my main female. No biggie, since I don't really know her well enough. Then a wrote a line or two about my main male. He worries me, as I don't want him to be a wimp. Then, before I knew what was happening, my hand was flying across the paper writing line after line about the two mains and how they progress through the novel, straight through to the end. It was amazing. I got more work done in my thirty minute lunch break then I have in ten years.

So now I know the secret: keep some goddamn paper with me at all times. I feel like I knew this before, but for some reason it didn't go in to practice until tonight.

Sometimes I amaze myself...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

{ 4 } Plot, Plot, Plot. Dot, Dot, Dot.

Perhaps as a sign, my computer rebooted and I lost the links to my final research materials. Not a bad thing; I have more then enough, as mentioned.

As I previously discussed, I need plot. So, I've started digesting books like dinner. I read super fast and I know that the best way to be a good writer is to be a good reader.

I'm rereading things I haven't read in awhile. This is working out well: since I already know the basic plot, I can focus on subplots and conflicts. It's funny how much you forget of a book, even if you've read it a hundred times. I remember the basic plot, but all the little subtleties just escape you.

It's like my novel: I know the major plot. It's everything in between I forget (because I don't know what it is yet!). Though I still haven't sat down to write or even outline, I'm starting to knock more and more of it out in my head. Thank goodness.

AND I'm actually remembering to take a notebook to work with me so I can jot down notes on break.

I'm not entirely brain dead... Yet...

Monday, December 1, 2008

{ 3 } Panic In My Brain Space!

I was sitting in my car at lunch break, about 1 a.m., talking on the phone to my BF. He asked if I brought lunch and, since I had not, he told me to at least do something productive with my half hour. Productive, huh? Well, of course that led me to thinking about the novel. I decided to formulate a brief outline in my head so I will be better prepared when it's actually outline writing time.

Then it struck me: I don't have a novel. I have an opening, a huge plot point, and, finally, an ending. I have two underdeveloped characters. I have no side stories. I have no catalysts or motivators. I have a three line description of a story I have been working on for almost a third of my life. When telling people what my novel is about, I filled in all the details with "Then some time passes and..."

How could this happen? Easy: since I have not had an ending I have not been able to write. Since I have not been able to write, I didn't bother to formulate the actual story. Simple, stupid answer. I got arrogant and figured that, by the time it was time to write, I'd have it all worked out in my head. Oops. I forgot to think about it.

Still sitting in my car, panic sets in. I start babbling to myself trying to remember any book I've ever read and what the point of it was. Blank. Nothing. I've read hundreds if not thousands of books and I can't remember the name or plot of a single one of them. I try to mentally scan my bookshelves back at home. It's all a blur. I try to think of movies I've seen. All that comes to mind as of recent is The Strangers. That is so not helpful.

I finally start to get titles: Anthem by Ayn Rand. Too simple; no good here. Dead Eye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut. Really? You're not Vonnegut, baby. The Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy. What? I haven't even read that book!

For the life of me I could not figure out what people in books actually do, especially my people in my book. I know what they don't do. They don't mill around while the writer says, "Then some time passes and...". That is not a plot. Hell, it's not even remotely anything even valid. Things happen in books. That's why they exist. To be obvious, without a story, you have no story. Duh.

There I sat, still mumbling to myself, not caring that I was in full view of my coworkers in their cars, probably thinking I had lost my mind. And I had. I presented myself with a whole new set of problems, ones that no amount of research in the world will fix.

So what to do? Other then cry, I just need to start working on the actual writing of this damn thing. I need to get to know my central characters a little better and find out what makes them tick. I need more story for my story.

Crap. I'm doomed...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

{ 2 } Rewarding My Reward

Like finishing this damn book wont be wont of a reward, I've promised myself a little gift: knuckle tattoos.

I know what you're thinking: What the hell? I've always wanted knuckle tats but have never found any rhyme nor reason to get them. Besides, what would I get? Man's Ruin? Fuck Love? Geek Life? I H8 Space? All very compelling, but not on my knuckles. Plus there's that whole never-get-a-job-again thing.

So how is this a reward to me? Well, I've been working on this book since forever and yet it has not had an ending. This is part of the reason I've been so hesitant to write. I hate not knowing where the story is going. I'd been over and over endings: love conquers all (lame), the world ends (cop out), everything's just okay (further copping out). Then it struck me: FREE WILL. The book is an apocalyptic thriller (might have helped if you knew that) and one of the long-standing philosophical debates is free will versus God's will.

Did I mention I'm an atheist?

Anyway, once the theme of the ending finally smacked me in the face, which was two days ago, I hung a note on my cork board that reads, "How could you forget Free Will?!?" Indeed. Since then I've come to realize that that's been the underlying theme of the book from Day One. I just didn't see it.

My reward upon getting this thing published will be FREE WILL on my knuckles. How could I forget? With a tattoo like that I'm sure to never again. Plus, once I'm a rich and famous writer, who cares about getting another job?

Speaking of, I'm late to work...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

{ 1 } Research Loop

I'm doing it again: endless research. Page after page after glorious page. Not that there's anything wrong with that. This is a very specific book and I don't want to mess up or miss any details. The more believable and in-line with previously written texts the better.

But I find doing research is taking away from my actual writing. I'm stuck in this infinite cycle:
  • Can't work on the story until outline is written
  • Can't write outline until more research is done
  • Can't stop doing research; too much to know!
  • Stop doing research and write already...
  • Begin loop again
Every time I touch pen to paper or fingers to keys, I panic. Dear god! I can't write dialogue! I don't know my characters back story! How do they respond to this situation? What implications will this text have further in the book? I need to make an outline! MORE RESEARCH!

At this point, I could write a nonfiction with all the research I've done. But I don't want to do that. I want to write my story. The one that's almost fully hatched in my brain, minus silly little details such as, oh I don't know, the actual story.

I currently have four browser windows open with research material. When those are read through, no more. I should have more then plenty of information. Thankfully, I've been keeping wonderful research notes, so I don't need to worry about cataloging all of that. Then, it's out line time, baby.