Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Wow, it's that time of the year again! Thanksgiving Day. Oh, yes, Turkey Day, which is now bound eternally to Black Friday Christmas sales. Well, so what? With so many people, our Holiday Season is getting longer and longer. It really starts with Halloween and the decorations (of some kind) don't come down till Twelfth Night and we are all freezing to death because by then, winter has settled in for weeks and weeks.  Whatever you celebrate, and why, I think it's nice to have a day where we can look at our lives and well, begin (seriously) to think about all the things we are grateful for. Because you know, most days, people just take too much for granted. Really, we ought to remind ourselves that life is a fragile thing and it's a gift, so 1) I am so grateful to be alive. Sounds a little silly in this format, but hey, living is pretty good these days.  I can walk a mile or two a day, write my few pages, have access to the Internet, TV, and lots of great books, which I can READ. Not much better than that. 2) My family is pretty healthy this year, no one is having surgery or medical tests run, no one is seriously sick like the last few holidays, everyone seems to be happy or at least contented. This is a very good thing. 3) My work is coming along and I'm starting to see these words as stories with beginnings, middles, and ends, ENDS being the operative word. In other words, that time is coming. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 4) I am reaching out and making new friends in the writing community and I really value the friends I have made in the last few years. These writers have made my life richer. You know who you are! 5) The planet is still turning. That's always a plus. Laughing.

I think in all this silliness, I just want to say, "Hey everyone, I am happy to be here, and happy to know you. And right now I feel loved and the family is doing great and tomorrow I am going to eat turkey and dressing, lots of cakes, and go shopping, "shop till I drop Friday," just have fun. I am grateful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Curse by Agnes Obel and my final NaNoWriMo Post

Day 20 and Day 21--Total words for both days, 2,871 words. Total word count 23,224 
Day 24 851 words, Total word count 24,075 
Day 25 991 words, Total word count 25,006 

(Add in my roughs, notes, and plot pieces and it adds up to 67,000 words)

I am finished with NaNoWriMo 2014 and will attempt to do this many words in December. More revision on this set-up in the first weeks of January, then I will be back to another project.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Half a book done!

I'll be back before November is completely over to update, but right now I am taking a break to decorate my house for Christmas because I won't have the chance to do it after this Friday. Yes, I am a busy person right now and I have so many personal projects to do that I am running around in circles. I am trying to finish that painting I started and have two or three craft projects that must be done. I did not expect it to get so cold so fast and we are going to have a few warm days before it gets really cold again. I need to take that time and paint.  Words today: 1,429. Total words: 20,353.  That is half of this project finished. That's very good work for me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day 18 of NaNoWriMo

Gawd, I am dying to read some good books, like Bleak House by Dickens or Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, something like that, something  big and fantastical. I've ordered three new books and they look pretty good, but we'll see. Not much written today. I don't feel good and I'm working on my Christmas decorations and it was like in the 20s this morning which means it was too cold for this body of mine. So I wrote less than 1000 words and the total now is 18,924

Monday, November 17, 2014

Victorian Sensational Fiction and Serialized, too!

Illustration from Varney the Vampire
I have a confession to make and today is as good a time as any to do it. I've got a lot of work going on and I haven't been talking about it to anyone. Things come and go, ideas and plots to put in my folder of things to do, but I have really been trying to figure out how to self-publish some work that I feel would work well in a format that you just can't do in print. The whole book could be done in print, but hey, I want to do this work as a serialized "penny dreadful" and yes, I thought of this idea, not the story, but the format and how I would do my work online when I was in the middle of watching Penny Dreadful in May, while suffering from back pain. I thought, well, each show is about 120 pages of draft in screenplay format.  And one big season is like one huge novel. And I thought, you know, I can do that for myself and a piece of work that has long haunted me.

The reason I've had so much anxiety about self-publishing is that I am not prolific and I think to be good at self-publishing, you need to have constant work out there.  I tend to write very big stories and I have big word counts. I don't think long novels do as well in a digital format. Smaller stories do. Short stories. Novellas. I have never been what I call a short story writer. I write novellas or big novels. I watched Meljean Brook serialize The Kraken King in her Iron Seas steampunk romance series and let me be honest, I loved reading the serialized version much more than I did the full novel. I bought it all and reread, then compared my experiences. It was at that point, along with Penny Dreadful, that I understood the power of serialization and the Internet format. That's what they have done with Hemlock Grove on Netflix, a digital series about werewolves and vampires. I've seen the same thing happen to some novelists who took the time to put out three books in a series in one year. It works.

I don't know what is going to happen to the novel. It's been under distress for years and years.  People keep experimenting with its content and format.  While experimentation has been exciting, I really have fallen back on writers who tend to do 19th century pastiche work. I don't want to read plotless books, first person present tense, or two people in a room stories. I like big books, with lots of plot and subplots, and a host of characters. And that is what I write. You can do that in a small format. And well, big books just don't do well and take a lot of time to write. I don't mind writing one. I love it. But finding a publisher for one is almost impossible unless you are extremely lucky.  And well, I've never had that kind of luck. I am going to have to make my own luck in writing by taking some risks.

That is what NaNoWriMo has been about, getting down around 30,000 words of a story. That's 120 pages, that's a story if you work it right, and that's part of a bigger story. And that is what I am doing.  It's Victorian, it's Gothic, it's an old fashioned penny dreadful. It's romantic, it's creepy.  And it's coming to life next year!

Day 17 of NaNoWriMo
Today's words: Around 1200. I am still writing. Stopped for food and to write this post.
Total word count now: 18,082
Feelings: I think this is my most successful experiment to date. And I am averaging 1000 words a day, which is really good for me, because that seems to be my speed when things in life are going good. Insight: I revise as I go.