nanowrimo novel 2011


In the Devil’s Shadow

Uriel Collins knows that he is a resurrected man. He knows that he was once a villain by the name of Isaac, though he does not remember anything prior to his violent death. He’s going to Mileston anyway, to seek out whatever remnants of the life he may have inherited from Isaac. It’s so hard, not having a past. Everyone needs to start somewhere.

There are some sins so black that even a monster couldn’t possibly ignore them. When Uriel decides to dig up the crimes of Isaac Collins, both the living and the murdered have plenty they want to say. Some speak in riddles. Some speak with guns.


If you’re doing NaNoWriMo 2011, you can find me here!

Happy writing!

designing a writers’ site– what would you like to see?

So, as I progress through the coding of my web project, I’m left with the knowledge that I’m running out of my original design sketches and HTML. In fact, I’m coding pages’ content in PHP and having nowhere to put the data. Now I’m reduced to making horrible looking bullet lists.

I’ve weighed the ‘chicken or egg’ question of the web development world quite a bit lately, and it seems to me that design has to come before coding. I want to know how a user will need a site to work before I build the guts.

So. I need to figure out a design.

More importantly, what sort of look and feel would you guys picture on a writing site? I don’t want to go glossy-professional. I don’t want to commit to a big theme exactly, since we’re going to look for writers of all genres. There should be easy navigation and lots of space for reading and writing in. And since it’s a critique site, people will be looking at it for long periods of time.

So. How formal/informal? Any sort of style? Very graphical interfaces? Sparse?

Any input, thoughts, or ideas would be awesome!

phew.

So. Stabbing myself in the ankle– not fun.

Less fun: finding out that while I can handle my own blood without a problem, seeing the bits of me under the blood and skin makes me go faint. Fun fun fun. I feel like such a… girl.

Besides that, I found a book at the store the other day– The Seven Basic Plots: why we tell stories. I’ve only gotten through page 40 (out of ~700), but so far it looks like an exceptional read for anyone who’s really interested in literary theory. I’ll be posting my full thoughts here when I finish / throw the book across the room.

Also, I’m kicking my crappy rough draft about. About 1000 words written today, nearly the same number written last night.

geta-beta.com – my new (for-writers) web project!

After a great many design revisions, programming crash courses, and yet another critique group that didn’t quite meet my expectations, I’m pleased to announce that development on Geta-Beta.com is officially underway!

Geta-Beta— a bad pun based on the term ‘beta-reader’.

After trying a good number of writer’s critique circles and websites, I have to say that I’ve had my share of disappointments. Hobby writers clashing with determined professionals, fantasy die-hards trying to read cozy mysteries, groups of older women with loudly stated political views that… well, don’t quite match up to your taste.

The online critique circles have their failings, too. You have a bigger community pool… but how do you really know who is giving you feedback? And if you miss a week’s queue, you miss a chapter. Great for short stories, but terrible for novelists.

The main theory behind Geta-Beta.com is that the authors ought to be the ones directing who gets to see their stories. A user on the site will be able to browse projects, all of which are publicly displayed in query letter format– description, credentials, notes, and the first three pages. Find something that you enjoy, request to be a beta reader. The author will receive notice and decide whether to give you access.

Write some thoughtful critiques, earn credits for posting your own stories and chapters. If you want to focus on plot and not style in the first draft, great. Go browse the user directory and find some plot junkies who like your genre. Need a grammar sweep? Say so in your notes.

It won’t be a fair system. Better writers will get more attention. The site won’t be right for everyone. But I need something like this for my work, and I hope others agree.

I’ll post news when I get closer to finishing. I’ll need some test readers and writers to try out Geta-Beta-beta, and while I know html and css, my design’s not quite inspired. Anyone interested?

row80 – april update

Daily writing output

Wordcount graph
Powered by WritersDB.com

So, my writing really suffered when my computer died mid-month. Bad Eliza. No cookie. But as I’ve been writing one thousand words a day or so since Norwescon, maybe that can make up for it?

In other news, I’ve finally gotten back the reins on my plot, I’ve broken 100k words (which means it’s much too long, but we’ll cut that down later), and I can see my planned climax coming over my metaphorical hill.

Huzzah! Victory!

Anyone interested in beta-reading a rough-draft YA Steampunk Fantasy? The end is in sight.

advice i got at norwescon

Hey guys! My computer is down, sortof dead, so my posts will be few and far between. My apologies.

In any case, Norwescon was amazing. I didn’t know beforehand that Heather Dale was going to be there, which made an already incredible weekend rave-worthy. Those of you who don’t know Heather Dale, go to youtube. Listen to her song Joan or Mordred’s Lullaby. Then go to heatherdale.com and buy her cds. She sings like an angel, and she’s a complete sweetheart on top of it. Oh, and she does tons of songs on King Arthur.

In any case, Norwescon was full of writers and published authors. I dressed in a corset, I went to tons of writing panels, I found a writer’s social and found out that there’s a writing workshop that I need to sign up for next year, I got inspired and wrote a lot. And I got some neat advice that I’ll write here for you.

– To read: 10% Solution, by Ken Rand
Apparently, this is a very good book on writing craft. I have not seen it yet, but I will try it out.

– “You do not have to sell your books in the order that they were written.”
As I’m still debating on what to do with Blue Crystal when I’m on a Artificer’s Angels, this made me feel better.

– “Have two different problems going on, so at the end they solve each other.”
This was mostly applicable to short stories, but something to keep in mind nonetheless.

And last, but not least… and something I’ve never thought of…
– “Follow the money.”
Now, context is important on this one. This refers to world building, not audience-pleasing. Where are the money capitals in your world, and what the hell are they doing? Figure that out, even if it’s not part of the story.

In light of my dead computer, The week before I hardly wrote, and this week I’m overshooting my ROW80 vows. I’ll post a graph or something later. Until then!

winning by losing (row80)

Just a quick update on my novel, and ROW80.

My goal: 250 words/day, 5 days/week.

Thus far,
Monday: 742/250
Tuesday: 389/250
Wednesday: 416/250

It’s a tiny goal, yes, but it makes what I actually do look impressive.

I’ve noticed something about one of my characters. He’s perhaps the most brilliant badass character I’ve ever written. Huge, strong, smart, skilled, good coordination, good reflexes. … And he’s never yet won a fight in this story. I’m starting to think that he’s not going to. (For those of you who’ve seen pieces of my book, yes, I’m talking about Uriel.)

And yet, in each case he comes out ahead. I’m not sure why, or how, or what it is he does to manage this. He escapes at opportune times while pulling switches, lets himself get hit where he’s protected… he even lets himself get gunned down once.

How is it that his escapes, his deflections, his clever tricks and his patient ‘play dead’ schemes earn him more– and more reader admiration– than if he simply was a fighter to match his build? Why is this more effective?

We’ve seen this before. This is the story of the clever tailor who sewed ‘seven in one blow’ on his clothes and began ridding the land of giants. It’s purely a traditional protagonist trait… but my character being something of a noble trickster-villain, it’s taking a very odd turn.

round of words signup

A round of words in 80 days: A writing event where you set your own goals.

It starts tomorrow, so I’m volunteering last minute. I crashed on NaNoWriMo 2010, and since this event is a little more forgiving, I’m back at it.

So, my goal for the next eighty days is this: 250 words per day or more, five days a week.

It’s not much, so I won’t drive myself crazy on the days it just won’t come, and I get days off. And, if I get inspired, I can make much better progress.

Wish me luck!

writer link – the writer’s database

So, I’m back to (slowly) working on The Artificer’s Angels again (huzzah!).

And I thought to myself tonight, “You know what I really need while I’m avoiding this paragraph? A nifty online word-per-day word count tool that’s available online. But not a word count widget. More of a graph-thing… that remembers your project…”

So I waste yet more time searching the internet for a writer-toy. Yes, I’m a very focused person. But I did find a small website dedicated to managing your projects’ word count, the markets you write to, and where you’ve submitted your work.

Alright, sure, you could use Excel, too, but I thought this was highly nifty.

http://www.writersdb.com/