Well, by 14 or 15.00 today I had given up, freaked out, gone to take a nap with a horrible headache, and convinced myself that all was lost. Then I got up from the nap, made black-bean chilli since I realised I hadn’t eaten in well over a day (probably the source of my headache), and went from feeling like a failure at 5000 agonizing words to hitting 7K and saying “That’s enough.” Then I pushed ahead to hit 8K/ 30 pages in less than 24 hours. So even if I don’t hit my goal of writing a short novel (23-25K/ 80-100 pages) in three days, I think I figured out how I’ll be able to do it the next time I try. (And honestly, I’m worried that even if I do hit my word/ page goal by Monday Midnight, I’ll not be done with the story. One of my slippery good/ villain characters is more deep than I thought, and my main character is really having a lot of fun telling me her story. So, I’ll check in tomorrow night, and I’ll still be posting on Twitter with the #72hournovel hashtag.
Writing is physically draining enough when you don’t dash around the dining room, your patio, and your kitchen re-enacting an epic fight from your Sword and Sorcery novel. Today, I also learned that it’s a good thing I don’t write erotica.
When you try to force a character into a box she doesn’t want to fit into, she will rebel. Much like fitting a person into a category she doesn’t want to fit into. The difference is: I can erase the character. I think that actually makes it harder to deal with.
Magic in most fantasy novels is glowing, mystical, and beneficent, or dark, chilling, and malignant. It has crisp edges and direct lines of attack. When a man is hit with a spell, he dies or is turned into a toad or whatever curse is laid upon him. But I’m a veteran. I’ve seen Fireballs, and Magic Missiles, and Called Lightning. I’ve seen especially what they leave behind. There are no crisp lines and magical effects in combat.
So, I’ve been on track so far with my goal to write 50 stories in 52 weeks. (2 for 2… that’s a start, I think…) However, this next story is a little longer. A teenage girl from the same world as my current serial at Way Too Fantasy stopped by my head and convinced me to tell a story about what happened to her and her family while she was travelling with her Uncle’s wagon train to a busy port in the north. Seemed like a simple story so I agreed… and then I realised it was going to take me 80-100 pages to tell the damn thing.
No worries… I have Friday to Monday off this week, and I’ve always wanted to see if I could write a novel in a weekend. Well, a short novel. Michael Moorcock, and some of the other great prolific pulp writers did it. And since this is Sword and Sorcery, I think it may lend itself to this type of frenzied composition. We’ll see. It could just wind up a flaming heap of triceratops dung.
Today I spent outlining (I never outline, but it seemed necessary for this) and sketching and procrastinating, but it’s midnight. The witching hour. I have my snacks (apples and Doritos and caramels) and the first of what I suspect will be many pots of espresso (I have a 6-cup stovetop Moka pot, the kind they use in Italy… also, I don’t drink coffee much). I’ll be tweeting irregular updates @bovisrex and, if I remember, using the hashtag #72hournovel. I might also use #DiversityinSFF since my heroine is overweight, a minority, young, and not the typical swordsmaiden from these types of stories… i.e., no chainmail pushup bra and plate mail cameltoe. She wasn’t taught how to fight by an Uncle, or a boyfriend, or a brother whom she must now avenge… she grew up in a rough-and-tumble farming community and learned to fight with what she had. If she survives, she’ll get better.
On that last note, if anyone reading this can think of ways a 16-year old scrapper can ‘MacGuyver’ weapons and armour that she can use on her quest, hit me up here or on Twitter. By tomorrow, I might need a hand.
Alright, it’s five after midnight and I’ve procrastinated enough.
Yup. Things got a little rowdy here at Chez KC what with it being Fiscal New Year’s Eve last night, and ‘sampling’ a new shipment of Saurian Brandy, and, well, I got carried away. So carried away that I lost all sense of judgement and proportion and decided that…
Well, I have two friends. (Honestly.) One of them, June Faramore, started a 365 poems-a-year blog called Work Your Way Out, which I recommend. (She claims I inspired her to do that, but I don’t believe her… that’s all her.) A few months later, my other friend Charlotte Cuevas was inspired by that blog to put up her own 365 poem blog, The 365 Poetry Project. This blog is also wondrifulous and awesome. So, I’ve decided to follow their example. But of course, I couldn’t do the same thing that they’re doing. That would be, among other things, sensible and responsible.
Nope, I’m writing 50 stories over the course of the next year.
I was originally going to write 52, but I thought that giving myself two weeks of flex would be a good plan. And to show I mean this, I’m putting up a short-short as a sort of “Week Zero” post. Anyway, I write well (read: I only write) under pressure, so come along for the ride and we’ll see how this goes.
The page is here. Wish me luck.