Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Of Details and Characters and Other Odds and Ends...

Someone once said that the devil is in the details - and I find myself agreeing with them just this once. Currently in the adult story, the hero is entering the theater where he will meet his heroine and I'm finding it a bit hard to balance how much I need to describe about the setting, and the crowd around him. The theater is an old art deco theater from the 1930s that has been lovingly rehabbed by it's new owners. However, the theater is only in the story for the next set of chapters and it doesn't get visited again until the very end of the story. Also, I don't want to go all GRR Martin on my readers and completely loose them (Not that I don't love GRR Martin and A Song of Ice and Fire - I do, but there is just an insane amount of detail in those books!).

After a bit of trial and error, I finally found a good balance, but I'm really looking forward to the next chapter when the dance begins.

Sometimes when I write, I will base characters off of people I know - but I've never run into this conundrum before. In this story there is a character based off of an acquaintance at least physically - in temperament they are two totally different people. In the story, the character is a villain  In real life, the person is actually very nice and sweet. I can't help but wonder what said person will think if they ever read the story and notice the resemblance (which is very highly unlikely because I doubt they would even look at a book like what I'm writing - it's just not their thing) Have you, fellow writers, ever done something like this? Or based a character on someone you know?

On other fronts my husband recently discovered that occasionally I write adult scenes in my stories. He was very shocked by this, and kept looking at me as if he couldn't believe that I would do something like that. He then proceeded to spend the weekend occasionally muttering things like how he couldn't believe his wife writes smut. I still don't know why he was so stunned - yes I may be quite an introvert, but I'm not a prude (not that there's anything wrong with that) and it's not like I'm writing scenes based off or our relationship - however watching him try to process this information about me has been quite entertaining!

The ongoing tax issue is nearly resolved so we're all breathing a bit easier. I'm just waiting for the tax man to take a look at everything and make sure it's all legit and legal before we proceed.

And that's all there is to talk about this week...

Hopefully your words are flowing freely on whatever project you are working on!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Still chipping away...

Based on my friend's advice I added a little bit to chapter three of TUO. The heroine and her friends now have a run in with a guard while trying to go down to the old bridge. I saw that some of you suggested that I wait till everything was done before I let my betas read it, but I was stuck, and my normal tricks to get unstuck weren't working. I've been helping this friend with her stories so I figured that she could help me with mine. And while I'm still stuck, at least my story is hopefully a little better for her advice.

The adult story (I really need to find a better name for it) is coming along at a scattered pace. I reached a point where I was also stuck with it, so I tried breaking the document down into separate documents for the various chapters to see if maybe that would help. While that made my computer happier, I'm still stuck. I blame the fact that I'm in the middle of a crowd scene with a lot of description and very little action. In the mean time I've been working on other, more interesting, parts of the story and wondering what my brain was on when it came up with this idea. Belly Dance and Hockey don't really go together. But somehow it's working. Perhaps because the opposites attract tropes is one of the oldest tropes out there. 

Meanwhile a friend drew me a very lovely picture of a character she created for me in her story as a Valentine's day gift. I've based characters off of friends before, but I've never had one based off of me - so I may have squeaked a lot and walked around with a silly grin on my face for most of the day.

Unfortunately the tax issues from last week still haven't been resolved. I don't feel very comfortable discussing them on the internet until everything is said and done, but it occurred to me that I may be able to submit the story of what happened to XOJane (one of my favorite online sites) as an It happened to Me article. A very boring IHTM article, since it's about taxes, but from what I've seen online while researching this issue, this actually does happen quite a bit and not everyone knows their rights. Maybe by putting my story out there I could possibly help someone. Who knows. 

And that is all the news that's fit to print at the moment. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Will Write In Words of Fire...

I discovered this poem today while surfing the net and had to share it:

I will write in words of fire.
I will write them on your skin.
I will write about desire.
Write beginnings, write of sin.
You're the book I love the best,
your skin only holds my truth,
you will be a palimpsest
lines of age rewriting youth.
You will not burn upon the pyre.
Or be buried on the shelf.
You're my letter to desire:
And you'll never read yourself.
I will trace each word and comma
As the final dusk descends,
You're my tale of dreams and drama,
Let us find out how it ends.  - Neil Gaiman

Happy Valentines Day Husband dear. I love you.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Taxes...

I've done a little work on TUO this week, but another beta/friend of mine read what I had done so far and said that she was confused about why everyone was afraid of the guards in the castle.

Me: Well, they're not the greatest guys.

Her: You need to show examples of that. You can't leave it a mystery, because if you have too many mysteries, then people will get confused and stop reading.

Me: *insert huge sigh and defeated look here*

However, here's the rub - the characters haven't encountered the guards yet. I'm very close to the scene where Mattie, the main character, bumps into the King and realizes that her friends were right all along and the guards are jerks, but until that point they're just background characters. She suggested foreshadowing (well, it would be backshadowing really, since all the examples I mentioned to her in our conversation are situations that happened in the story's past) but I can't do too much talking about the past within the first few chapters because that may loose readers as well.

I'm trying to stick with my policy of 'it's my story, I will write it how I want to' (and then worry about edits after everything is said and done) but I'm self-conscious and want to please everyone so I find myself doing rewrites again.

Of course, all of this has been pushed to the side momentarily because it's tax season right now - which is turning out to be more of a headache than usual this year. I bring this up, because from what I've read on various blogs authors either make estimated payments throughout the year or pay a lump sum. Patricia Wrede (who actually has a lot of great writing advice in her blog) discusses taxes more here and estimated taxes here. Personally, after dealing with the mess that is this years taxes, when it comes time for me to self publish, I'm going to make large estimated payments throughout the year to hopefully avoid owing the Federal Government. I may also pay someone to do my taxes instead of doing it all myself.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday the Seventy Second...

I do not have a picture of it, but I did get some knitting done this weekend. We went over to a friend's house to watch the Super Bowl, and, since I really have no interest in football whatsoever, I spent the entire game working on my Ravenclaw scarf. Currently I'm about halfway through the orange stripe.

I have pretty much given up on the mystery baby blanket. I just have no interest in continuing it, and I suspect the person who it was for has given up on it anyways. However, I can't bring myself to frog it just yet.

I purchased Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger yesterday since I finally finished Let's Pretend This Never Happened last week. I loved Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, and The Finishing School series is set in the same world as Parasol Protectorate, so there's still Vampires and Werewolves and steampunk gadgets galore. However, it's set 20 years earlier than the Parasol Protectorate, so the steampunk gadgets that the characters have encountered so far are a bit clunkier; there's automaton butlers that run on tracks, and the dirigibles haven't quite mastered the aether yet. Also the characters are much younger - Sophrina is 14 where as Alexia was 26 - which was a bit of a shock since most young adult novels have characters that are 16 to 17 nowadays. So far I've only gotten to the 5th chapter (or is it the 4th?) where Sophrina and company arrive at the location of the Finishing School and are greeted by a werewolf.

I haven't done much writing this week. I did a little playing around with the Adult Story (I really need to find a better working title for that) on Thursday and Friday but nothing has flowed since. I'm tempted to go the serial route with that one a la Anything He Wants, but I've read mixed reviews about serials. Some people enjoy them. Some people don't.

TUO is being just as stubborn. I finally sent what I had written to one of my friends to go over to see if her thoughts or questions about it might get things moving again. I'm tempted to play around with another story while I wait, but the amount of research I need to do on that one is daunting and part of the reason why I haven't written anything for it yet aside from the prologue. Plus, having two stories going on at once is enough thank you.