laceblade: Chord Overstreet offering his hand to Chris Colfer. Glee live-tour. (Glee: Colferstreet)
I only have one WIP, so these are all from A Song Is a Weapon. There's a lot of middle between what I've fleshed out & these scenes, so still a little sketchy.
[personal profile] littlebutfierce, the tag is for introducing me to the song in #3, :)

1) Rachel assessed herself coldly in the mirror. She looked too peaked; she pushed her fingertips into her cheeks, massaging tiny circles to push some color there.

Who knew that a theatrical education would have practical applications in espionage? I should write a thesis about this.


2) Her fingers hit some low notes on the electronic keyboard. Simple - he knew she didn’t play much.

“All my life, I’ve been fighting a war…” her voice started out like it always did, clear, sweetly cutting the air with pure, full notes.

Her voice lifted higher.

“My heart jumps around when I’m alluded to.
This will not do.”

Puck new they’d all been scared - for a long time - but all he could think about was how Rachel had had the fear first, and worst - but her entire tone shifted, to anger.

“’Cause I was raised up to be admired
To be noticed.”

Her anger was about her loss, then. Of a meticulously planned future to which she’d devoted the last decade of her life.

Could she ever do this?

Would her bitterness allow her to slip into other personas, to ignore herself for the sake of their missions?

Rachel turned toward him then, as if reading his thoughts. Her smile was warm and infectious as she went on.

“It’s a switch flipped,
It’s a pill tipped back
It’s a moon eclipse.
And I can tell you that when the lights come on I’ll be ready for this.”

She went to another verse, and her voice was full and strong.

Puck hadn’t exactly forgotten what it was like to listen to Rachel Berry sing, but remembering was so different than being right in front of her.


3) “I’ve been thinking a lot about faith,” says Rachel. “But before you get upset, Kurt,” she holds her hand up as if to silence him, even though he hadn’t said anything. He lifted his eyebrows, waiting for her to continue. “This is a little different, though. And…I think you’ll like it especially, because you’re my Glenda,” she said.

She took a deep breath and rested her fingers on the piano. Her posture’s always good, but on the bench it’s perfect.

“Well I’m off to see the wizard,
With his curtain and his crown,
But my hands are not trembling,
And my head it is not bowed.
All I’m asking is that you show me something real…”

Her voice trembles a bit, and Kurt feels as though no one else is really breathing. When she sings, “All I’m looking for is someone to walk with me,” and reaches her hand toward him, he smiles and takes her hand, swinging them back and forth while she continues. He almost can’t believe how much her writing has improved - they’ve all matured over the past few months, but being able to articulate something this meaningful and… sad, is truly surprising.

Maybe it’s easier to write when you have something to say.
laceblade: Quinn of Glee, glaring. Bangs, pink ruffled collar, black cardigan. (Glee: Quinn)
So obviously I'm not posting these on the day they were intended any more. BUT there are a lot of gaps in my "month," so it's possible I'll catch up, or more probably just extend it past December.

Anyway, this prompt is from [personal profile] raanve, & after clarifying on Twitter a little bit, we're going with "music and writing," for me.

As-you-know-Bob, the thing I've been writing for the last couple years is A Song is a Weapon.
Music works a little differently in Glee fandom, as it would not be too random or unsettling for the characters to break into song in the fic itself. And as the title implies, singing does become pretty important to the plot. By the end of the fic, characters will literally sing.

That said, I still have a pretty lengthy "mix" for that FF7 Inception-AU I'd been working on for a while, too.

I find it almost impossible to write without listening to music. This is true even on the rare occasions when I sit down knowing what I'm going to write. Often, if I find a particular song gelling really well with a scene, I'll listen to it over & over until that scene is done.

Often, a lyric or a few lyrics will grab me & there'll be an image or a feeling that happens that I associate with a character in the fic.

Here's one from a few days ago. It hasn't been edited, so please withhold judgment as I'm using it to offer up a peek into my process. idk how other people write, but my process involves producing a lot of bilge.

I recently added Paramore's "Future" to my mix for this fic [which I have yet to update anywhere online - it's been a pretty big overhaul of adding/removing songs]. [Full lyrics here.] This fits into my mental image of Quinn-in-high-school, closing herself off from everyone else after her dad kicked her out of the house due to her pregnancy. In the show, she makes connections with people who help her, & then the relationships are never referred to again. On Glee itself, this is just lazy writing on behalf of the writers. In my fic, I'm trying to make the argument that Quinn used every waking minute to make sure she got into Yale [so she could join Skull & Bones], & researching her father's work and Skull & Bones, and figuring out how to bring them down.

Since the rest of the characters are physically separated from Quinn in my story (due to college/some still being in high school), & also suspicious of her, I haven't gotten into her head much, but after the intensity of season 3 & the shift in everyone else's attitudes, I think the reader needs a better understanding of where Quinn's coming for.
Anyway, the lyric from Paramore's 'Future' that prompted this scene is, "We don't talk about the past," but also the song as a whole - feeling really shitty about something specific that's ruined your life, but having a plan for the future that you can be focused on to help you get through what you have to get through now - in this case, high school.
(ALSO pretty sure the song doesn't mean your goal should be destroying an evil/patriarchal cult but YMMV)
Anyway, here's what I jotted down on a legal pad at work.
Watching her father had been jolting, once. After years of repression, it was jarring to see his face, to hear his voice. We don’t talk about the past, she’d said sharply to Mercedes to cut her off, once. It was one of the last times Mercedes pushed Quinn to talk about how she was really doing - feeling - after Beth was born. There’d been a sharp pang of guilt after seeing the hurt on Mercedes’s face, but Quinn hadn’t let herself acknowledge it. Like her mother, she agreed that not discussing the past was best. Unlike her mother, Quinn was fine with letting the past map out her future quite clearly. She wouldn’t talk about the past - that was fine. But it didn’t mean that she’d forgiven or forgotten. It didn’t mean she’d stopped caring about the puppet strings her father and his cronies had laced throughout the government and the rest of society. Wearing a white dress with matching headband didn’t make her innocent again. Holding up a copy of Pride and Prejudice in glee club didn’t mean she wasn’t reading Robert Kennedy’s The Enemy Within.

This is pretty rough, & a version of this won't end up in the fic.
I don't like "jolting" and "jarring" being in the first two sentences.
I dislike the "sharp pang of guilt" cliche, also the "forgiven or forgotten."
The last few sentences are building toward something, but I totally miss the landing - there's no conclusion.
Most of the text is pretty dramatic & vague, too, and it makes me wrinkle my nose - the sentence about puppet strings especially.
BUT STILL, it captured everything this lyric was making me think, & now it's down on paper.

In addition to the chapter I'm currently working on (4), I have a bunch of other "image flashes" like this for the rest of the fic. 10k words' worth, at the moment. Especially toward the end of the fic, some of these are the same scene - rewritten 2 or 3 times because they've happened different ways in my mind, almost always thanks to listening to different music.

Eventually, I use logic to string them all together.

Sometimes, the image I've jotted down doesn't work - originally chapter 4 ended in a warehouse-type building that looked like one of the reactors from FF7.
Recently, I decided that part of the reason this scene wasn't working was because the whole premise was stupid - it made way more sense to be in a nondescript office building than in a dramatic warehouse - especially since the kids were supposed to be obtaining paper documents.

Sometimes the lyrics of a song can drive the plot of the story. This happens most often when I hear a song for the first time, or after not hearing it for a really long time (so I'm paying closer attention to the lyrics than usual).

Kris Delmhorst's "Yellow Brick Road" ended up giving me a glimpse into how the story ends, & the lyrics are almost perfect for a Wicked-obsessed Rachel Berry. (I won't say too much more than that, lest I give away the conclusion!)

Sometimes too, it's a beat. I played drums in high school, & I can be really drawn to songs/bands because of unusual and/or strong rhythms. Beats are what keep me moving when I'm doing something longer, like editing an entire 8-10k chapter.


UMMMMM, so that's part of how I write. And perhaps also explains why I'm such a slow fucking writer ^^;;
When you write a lot of disjointed crap, it takes a while to get rid of the shit & make it ready to email a draft to a beta, let alone post it for good at AO3.

As always for this meme, additional questions are welcome.
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Glee: Pezberry couch)

Chapter 3 is up. (It is my favorite chapter so far!)


Fic Synopsis: Post-Season 3 AU. Quinn Fabray has vowed revenge on her father for being a close-minded WASP who kicked her out of the house when she got pregnant, & has spent all of high school plotting. She won't let anything stop her, even when her attempt to infiltrate Skull and Bones drags in her closely-knit group of friends, at their peril.


General Note: This is a gen fic, but people still have feelings just like real life. Followers of mine might like to know that this chapter has a Pezberry moment!
This chapter is also the first time I've bumped it up to "graphic depictions of violence." If you need more detailed warnings, lmk.


Other Links: Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Playlist

laceblade: Cardcaptor Sakura, smiling at viewer, surrounded by pink. Text: RESOLUTION (CCS: Resolution)
So, the point of this meme is actually to post your "top 10 fic" in terms of hit counts.

I haven't posted 10 fics, so this essentially just means that I link to all the fic I've ever uploaded to the AO3, lol.
My hit counts seem woefully small compared to other people's, but it might be interesting to compare the numbers a year later, or something.

I'm also trying to stop comparing my popularity with other people's.

A Song is a Weapon (Glee, gen fic): 375 hits

Untitled (Avatar: the Last Airbender, Toph/Zuko): 360

Bad Habit (FF7, Tifa/Cloud 100 word drabble): 225 hits

Don't say you're not lonely (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, gen fic): 155 hits

For What It's Worth (Angel the series, gen fic): 141 hits

Limit Break (FF7, gen fic): 98 hits

Set This Very Second On Fire (Glee, gen fic): 37 hits



It feels strange that I was never able to complete the FF7 Inception-AU. There's a whole pile of words I've written but never posted.
Although the same is true of all the unposted passages I have in my Scrivener file for A Song is a Weapon, though. I have better hopes for finishing ASiaW, though!
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Glee: Faberry)
Set This Very Second on Fire
Glee mahou shoujo AU drabble (or whatever you call a few hundred words of a drabble).

Born from a heinous conversation on Tumblr.

I thought it was funny.

And then immediately struck with thoughts about how to string this out forever & have everyone make contacts with some Kyubey-type character.

BUT I AM ALREADY WRITING A SRS BSNS GLEE FIC?!

Anyway. I put it on AO3 so I could find it whenever I wanted to, & cackle to myself.
YOU CAN READ IT IF YOU WANT?!
laceblade: Rachel & Santana giving sideeye just past the viewer. (Glee: Pezberry look)
After a hiatus of about two months, I've started working on my fic again.

At the beginning of December, I'd gotten really frustrated with things. I'd had a flurry of meeting a daily word count goal of 750 words, but it kept getting harder because that was too much to expect from myself every day. I kept writing anyway; the writing got a little shittier. And then I realized I wouldn't meet my 2012 goal of 75,000 words, so I stopped entirely because I was so upset.

I've written 4 almost-complete chapters (4 needs a solid final scene), about half of a fifth one, and maybe 8,000 words of parts of scenes that will come later.

I worked on addressing comments/suggestions given to me regarding chapter 2 by [personal profile] wintercreek. Late last night, my friend S. had started looking at chapter 3.
I really, really like lots of things in chapter 3, but it has a lot of issues, which she rightly pointed out in notes. MOSTLY these are plot problems.
As I joked on Twitter, turns out it's NOT EASY to make your plot make sense when you're trying to reconcile a main plot of CIA stuff & guns with...Glee kids. It'd be a lot easier if I could just not care, BUT I DO CARE.

When I'm writing, I care a lot about the emotional arcs of the characters. How they feel about things. I'll write an entire scene having only a vague impression of what the character is reacting to, but knowing exactly what they think/feel about what's happened.
While I'm trying to get those true notes of feeling (& sometimes dialog) down, I don't care about the plot of if it makes sense.

So I get all of these scenes and have a rough idea of the arc of the chapter, and then I try to stitch it all together & get 2-D villains who talk like they're in a spaghetti western (I blame my father).

S. will give lots of character notes, like, "Kurt would not say that," or "There's no way RACHEL BERRY would just say, 'Okay' in response to that sentence from Santana," or etc. Those are fine. Also typical word-choice issues, but generally the narration is okay & I think the pacing is pretty good. RHYTHM, I LIKE IT.

It's just that there are these huge plot holes, both in like THE ACTUAL PLOT & then also like, there are people in a scene who talk & argue & fight with fists, only to reveal at the very end of the scene they've got weapons (WHY WOULD THEY NOT HAVE USED THEM SOONER?!).

Those things are hard enough - I'll have to rewrite a lot to figure out & then fix the plot holes.
But what ALSO sucks is figuring out that the stuff I'm relying on for storytelling is actually super cliched & misogynistic. I have clear arcs for most of the characters, including Rachel, but now I'm realizing that she is a huge victim. In a really cheap way, in this chapter, too.
I also basically treat every male character (Glee kids aside) as potential sexual predators, which. No.

And when I try to have Santana try to step up & be strong, she's both extremely paternalistic and possessive of Rachel.
idk. It's a super gross feeling to have. I am glad I'll be able to figure all this shit out before posting it!
But it's still kinda, "Huh, so you're one of those, eh, self?"


On a lighter note, it's fun to have S. nitpick things like, "Artie wouldn't answer the phone like that" or "Kurt would not own sai knives," & I can be like, "No, that actually happened in canon," to which she said, "jesus christ the least realistic things in your fic are actually from glee."



Last night, I reread chapters 3 & 4 & all the other scenes I've written so far through the end of the fic, and it was a nice feeling. I like lots & lots of what I've written.
I have lots of work to do to beat it into a coherent story that's post-able.

I wonder if it's always this hard with a first hella long story?
I hope it's not this hard every time.
laceblade: Chord Overstreet offering his hand to Chris Colfer. Glee live-tour. (Glee: Colferstreet)
An end-of-year fic review seems to be what all the cool kids are doing, so I will do one, too.

Don't say you're not lonely
Fandom: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
Words: 1,632

Chapter 1 of A Song is a Weapon
Fandom: Glee
Words: 8,596

That's 10,228 words of posted fic.

I've written a lot more of "A Song is a Weapon" than I've posted thus far.
Chapter 2 is 10,084 words; Chapter 3 is 7,278 words; Chapter 4 is 8,136 words & isn't done yet.
The randomass scenes to be included in future chapters amount to 8,721 words.


So that's 44,447 words fic that have/will be posted.

I wrote about 60,000 words this year. The rest of that was outlining, crap that got deleted, scenes that got moved to a "this was terrible but I'm not ready to delete it" folder, and I think some of the word I did at the beginning of the year on my Inception-AU of FF7.

Thanks to everyone who has ever cheered, complimented, or encouraged me in any way.
That sounds really vague & all-encompassing, but all of it has meant so much to me.
I grew a lot as a writer in 2012, and I hope to continue to do that.
laceblade: Ashe from FF XII, looking at viewer over her shoulder. Text reads: "So you say you want a revolution?" (FFXII: You say you want a revolution)
SO. Since I last posted, I've met/exceeded my daily goal every day. Today I'll complete day 10 of a 10-day streak, which will earn me a new cute animal badge at 750words.com.

\o/

The farther I get in "writing enough" for successive days in a row, the more difficult it gets.
Because I tap out the ideas I'd been mulling around in my head.

I angsted about quite a bit on Saturday, and finally got my words out around 4pm after writing mostly nothing all day.
What got me going was starting at the beginning of chapter 4 (the chapter I'm currently writing) and making my way through it again, fleshing out scenes and tying things together.
This also carried me through yesterday's words - yesterday I pushed extra hard to get to 970 words so that I can finally make it over 50,000 total for the year (I'm currently at 50,015, for the record).

I don't feel very satisfied with my writing at this particular moment in time, but I'm also learning that it's hard for me to move forward unless the words that come before where I am "right now" are at least at a first-draft level.
If I don't have a solid handle on what's happened, it's hard to move forward.

However, this is in some ways just how I write, so it's really annoying.
For example, right now I need to figure out WHY four of my characters are in Chicago - I know they're there to do a "job" for Quinn. I know this makes sense narratively because I need Mike to do something, and I need my Lima-based characters to do more than sit around in someone's parents' houses talking.
I know what comes after this scene - it sets up a narrative excuse for most of the characters to come together later and do something semi-epic. It also sets up some suspense that grasp both other characters and the reader, kind of firmly taking them by the hand and saying, "This shit is real, wtf do you think will happen, how will things be okay?!"

So like: I know what's going to happen when these characters get to the building they're going; I know who comes out & who doesn't; I know how the other characters react to this entire scene.
What I don't know, though, is the premise under which these characters go to the building they're in.
And I'm at the point in the fic now where I need to stitch everything that comes before with everything that comes after, and IT'S REALLY HARD TO DO THAT WITHOUT KNOWING WHY THEY'RE THERE. And I need to figure something out so I can write today!

This also happened to me in chapter two (believable reason for a lesser action scene) and in chapter three (needed to determine what the ~big secret~ is that some characters find out).
I guess...this is what happens when writing a story that is emotionally mapped out, but not so much with the details.
If the details were determined ahead of time, it would be easier to meet my word count without moping about all day, jotting notes to myself as I try to figure out the answer to the logic problem of the moment.



Math Update:
50,015 words written
24,985 words left to write in 36 days, which works out to 694 words/day, or 33 days of meeting/exceeding my daily goal of 750 words (meaning I'd get 3 days off).
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Sailor Moon: Uranus back)
75,000 words written on/before December 31st = my goal for 2012

45,876 = words already written

29,124 = words left to write
42 = days left to write

Split evenly, this would mean writing a minimum of 693 words per day to meet the goal of 75,000 words.
Despair! The longest streak I have of writing 750 words or more every day has been 7 days thus far, ;_;

From June when I started writing habitually through today, the middle of November, I have NOT written anything at all on way more days than I've written something.

Anyway, my ideal goal for every day is 750 words per day.
Dividing 29,124 by 750, it would take 39 days of meeting my daily word count goal to reach 75,000 words. That means I can take 3 days off!

I should also take into account that whenever I do meet my daily word count goal, I almost never end on 750 words. I usually write over, between 725 and 950.
According to the statistics at 750words.com (one of the reasons why I love this site, btw), on days that I do write, I write an average of 827 words.

29,124 / 827 = 35, though, so I'll still need to make or exceed my daily goal almost every day between now and December 31st.

I am feeling the momentum of my current 4-day streak, but this still seems really daunting to me.
In any given month, I generally only make my word count goal on a handful of total days.
I also sometimes need to stew quite a bit to figure out what to do next with my characters, what kinds of scenes to have.
I've almost exhausted most of the scenes I know things about, but I still have a few images, and some flashes of character moments that I haven't used yet.
I imagine that I'll get frustrated often, in trying to change my habits.

For the record, the only things that I count toward my daily word count goal are words that specifically go toward my fic.
This includes drafted text (account for almost all my words), as well as character notes and outline notes.
From what I gather, a lot of people use 750words.com as a sort of brain dump, so I'm not sure if I'm being too hard on myself, or what.

Anyway. Simple math shows that in order to make the goal I've set for 2012, my habits in the remaining 42 days will need to change.

I hope that I can make it!
laceblade: Rachel & Santana giving sideeye just past the viewer. (Glee: Pezberry look)
When I have something to say, I'm still commenting weekly at [community profile] inkingitout and in the daily posts at [community profile] writethisfanfic. Both of these communities are very important to me!

I've been trying to write. I've written at least something the last four days. Met/exceeded my daily goal the last two days. I feel like once I get on the other side of 50,000 words, the total goal will seem much easier.

CURRENT STATUS (which is regularly kept on the sidebar of my Tumblr, btw):

44361 / 75000
(59.15%)


I'm currently working on chapter 4.
Chapter 2 is with about 4 people for beta (having been extensively beta'ed by one person thus far).
Chapter 3 just got sent to someone for the first time on Saturday.
I have a collection of "future scenes" that have been around for a while. One of them might be the very end of the fic - I wrote that a while ago, while I was still on chapter 2.
There are also a few intense action-packed scenes and some that are emotional.
Conclusions of the emotional arcs for Santana and for Rachel (these are separate scenes).

My outline doesn't have a lot of detail, so I'm not 100% certain how much I'm going to be writing before I can make it to these scenes. But having them as emotional places I'm reaching toward helps guide the scenes I'm writing now.
Every time I start writing a new chapter, I write a scene or two before realizing, "Yup, no way I'm getting to these this chapter," and I start an n+1 chapter and paste them all into there.

The more that season 4 of the actual show progresses, the more important it is to me to treat characters like Mercedes and Tina and Artie with respect, because the show never will.

Fic Update

Nov. 4th, 2012 10:16 pm
laceblade: Chord Overstreet offering his hand to Chris Colfer. Glee live-tour. (Glee: Colferstreet)
I've had a pretty sluggish October, writing-wise. Other things going on, mostly.

Tonight I wrote, though. I'm now at 40,435 words written this year. (My goal for 2012 is 75,000 words.)
I've said for a while that this goal feels attainable to me because I didn't start writing until June, so my pace hasn't been as bad as it could have been.

Still, now it's November and I have 34,565 words to go, so I really need to step it up.

Luckily, posting chapter one online and receiving feedback has given me lots of good feelings.

Today I finished my draft of chapter three and started chapter four.
It feels a little weird that I'm unsure how many chapters this fic will have total.

B T W, I have it on authority of [personal profile] littlebutfierce that this fic is "fun and exciting" even if one does not know the canon. CONSIDER READING IT?!

Oh yeah! And now I can update this list:

Fic published in 2012:
Don't Say You're Not Lonely, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon fandom, 1,632 words
A Song is a Weapon, Glee fandom, chapter one: 8,596 words

For anyone counting "total words written" to "words of actual fic," my drafts for chapters 2 and 3 right now total 17,287 words.
laceblade: Santana singing on stage in a black dress, facial expression almost painful (Glee: Santana RHI)
I am still writing. Apparently, I am a slow writer.
This is partly because I'm editing while writing, which some writers say you shouldn't do.
But when you leave massive plot holes in your wake, it kind of becomes necessary to sort that shit out before you can move forward, ^_^;;

Not yet including any of today's words (because today isn't over!):
Current Word Count for 2012: 37,408 words. Out of the total goal of 75,000 words, I'm at 50%. CAN THAT BE RIGHT?! 50%?! WOOT.

I'm crediting the Snowflake Method for some of my current breakthrough. I thought it was stupid and not worth my time, but writing my one-sentence summary and a one-paragraph summary of my plot was incredibly helpful.
Then, I thought that it was pointless to do step #3, which involves sorting out some character information.
The reason I thought this was pointless is because it's a fanfiction - I already know who these characters are and what they want from life, right??
But once I started doing this in relation to my fic, it helped me a lot.
I still haven't done it for all of my POV characters yet.

I haven't yet done steps 4-6 of the Snowflake Method, but it's nice that it shook some things loose for me in the meantime.

I don't know how long it will take me to finish writing this fic, or how many words it'll have before I'm done. (Or even how many chapters, sob. There will be at least 4!)
There are still some major plot elements that need to be worked out.
BUT, it's feeling like a real story that will really get posted on the AO3. Maybe no one else will like it, but I'm really looking forward to that sense of accomplishment.

For now, my immediate goal = finish editing chapter 2 so that I can get it to my other betas (so far only one person has read it, and pointed out every single logic hole ^^;).
To do the editing, I need Google Docs and Scrivener open, so I must be at home for that.
I sometimes have time to jot some writing down during the day, so I do that with paper and type it in the evenings.

Here's what I'm using to write this long fic:

Scrivener: Main draft of the story is in here. It also contains a lot of fanart and photos of the Glee cast that I can look at when doing a split-screen. I don't usually do a split-screen, but the option is there.
In addition to the main draft, I also have some a page full of character notes; swaths of text that have been scrapped from a multitude of scenes; a page of outline/plot notes; notes about the playlist I've been cultivating; a page of notes for AO3 tags & thank-yous for whenever I get this puppy online.

Google Docs: Where I save chapters for people who read them, so they can leave comments. Thus far, four people have read chapter one. One person has read chapter two.

750words.com: Not a program, but a website. This keeps track of my daily word count, which is very helpful as I jump around between chapters frequently. Having a daily word count goal helps me feel accomplish when I make it. My highest streak is 6 or 7 days, I think. I try not to feel too guilty when I don't make my daily goal, or don't write at all some days.

Evernote: Right now, I use this in two ways. The first is for a notebook called "Fic Draft," where each chapter = its own "note." That way, if I'm writing at work, I can use the app on my iPhone to pull up the chapter I'm working on as a reference (without having it up on my work computer, lol).
You can also embed Evernote in your Firefox browser, and use it to clip news articles. I have a bunch of articles about the CIA/FBI saved in mine, which I'll probably be trolling through to help my plot in the near-future. I think this is similar to Instapaper?
Anyway, I have the Evernote add-on in both computers I use to read the news: home and work.

Music: Cultivating a playlist has been very valuable for me. It allows me to think about my fic when I'm not writing: at my desk at work, in my car, while I'm making dinner, etc. It also allows me to get into the mood to write, as I've assigned certain songs to certain characters/relationships.



Meanwhile, if anyone has any ideas for a really juicy state secret, let me know. It'd have to be big enough that members of the CIA (or a sub-sect of the CIA) would be ready to kill someone over it. My overall plot is farfetched enough, so I'm trying to steer clear of "sci-fi reasons" (e.g., "Aliens really exist!" "Time-travel is real!" etc.)
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Default)
I've started reading J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, and I kind of like it so far.

It may be worth buying for some of the prose alone, everything else aside.
50 pages in, Rowling appears to be setting up a novel about local political intrigue, and also of class-based judgments between a "beautiful" community and an uglier community next-door that takes their tax money to pay for vandalized bus benches, etc.
As an added bonus, the character with whom I most identify thus far is a woman of color who immigrated to England.

It's got a lot going for it, is what I'm saying, and I plan to finish reading.


Throughout the first 40 or so pages, Rowling is introducing a varied cast of characters. She has a pretty negative view of society (which is part of why I enjoy the book). Some people are sympathetic, but most are not.

Then we get to Howard.

Though Pagford's delicatessen would not open until nine thirty, Howard Mollison had arrive early. He was an extravagantly obese man of sixty-four. A great apron of stomach fell so far down in front of this thighs that most people thought instantly of his penis when they first clapped eyes on him, wondering when he had last seen it, how he washed it, how he managed to perform any of the acts for which a penis is designed. Partly because his physique set off these trains of thought, and partly because of his fine line in banter, Howard managed to discomfort and disarm in almost equal measure, so that customers almost always bought more than they meant to on a visit to the shop.

For such an accomplished writer (seriously, some of the sentences in this thing), it strikes me as really fucking lazy to use a character's fatness as a marker of their flawed character.

She did it with Vernon and Dudley Dursley in Harry Potter, and now it's happening again.

And what the fuck is up with the penis!fascination in that quote?

I want to love you more, J.K. Rowling. Be better.
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Honey & Clover: Yamada)
I just finished my draft of part two of my Glee fic, so I wanted to update my word count.

Current Word Count Total for 2012: 25,891 (35% of 75,000 words)

[personal profile] wintercreek has also agreed to beta my fic, so that's pretty awesome. SOMEONE CRITIQUING MY WRITING! It makes me so happy. I probably haven't gotten this kind of detailed feedback since high school, I don't think.
laceblade: Kevin McHale & Harry Shum Jr., screenshot from their remake of "Scream" music video (Glee scream)
Although I haven't published much fanfiction that I can point my finger at, I have been fairly open about the fact that I'm working on a long Glee fanfiction with people who are not in fandom.

My mom knows, as do a few other members of my family (including a cousin who I hope might actually read it once posted). So do a couple of my co-workers, including one who is trying to understand more about fandom, even if she seems uninterested in being part of it (so far).

Sometimes when people learn that I've invested a 20k word count already, their reaction is, "Why don't you write some actual/real/original fiction?"

Is there a canned short response that can be given to such questions?
"Because this is the story that I want to tell right now" ?
"To me, this is valuable fiction. I like reading it and I want to contribute and write something too" ?

It's important to me to not just brush off the question because it would be cool for people to know how important fanfiction can be, but it's hard to summarize it in a way that doesn't lose people's interest, I think.
So far, though, I'm a lot better at talking this way about politics than I am about fandom - in a way that answers the question but doesn't mock people for not being part of it, or for giving a fuck, which is totally valid.
What do you say?

Merp

Aug. 20th, 2012 10:02 pm
laceblade: Sailor Mars, mid-transformation, close-up of eyes. Text: MARS (Sailor Moon: Mars eyes)
Current Word Count Total for 2012: 23,520 (31% of 75,000 words)


I'm feeling pretty crappy about writing, lately.
A big part is that I haven't written much in the last couple weeks, between moving and being out of town.

It's also that I feel stuck in terms of plot and what I'm trying to do with these characters and things are stalled out.

The other night I tried to reread the first part of the fic, which I had initially felt really good about, and now it seems like it reads terribly. There are a lot of issues, and none of it is as good as I remember it being.

The amount of editing that needs to be done on what I've already written seems insurmountable, but not half as bad as how much still needs to be decided, let alone written.
Common things such as "find a beta" also seem impossible, although I have successfully found two cheerleader people who have read "part one" of my fic and given advice.



These feelings of inadequacy are pretty common for me, and it's why I haven't written much at all the last few years, I think.
Maybe I won't post this fic after all. I'd feel like a faker, for how much I've tweeted about the writing process.
laceblade: Mio fixing Azusa's tie, screenshot from K-On! (K-On!: Azu & Mio tie)
Current Word Count Total for 2012: 22,710 (30% of 75,000 words)
laceblade: Shot of Tifa from FF7: Advent Children, looking at viewer, half of face cut off. Text: no white flag above my door (FF7: Tifa no white flag)
Taking a break from packing to do a word count update.
Writing has been pretty slow-going lately, mostly due to exhaustion.
My full-time job has been incredibly busy for me the last two weeks, as has my part-time job (we just moved to a location!). And now I'm moving apartments, so yeah. My leftover brain power is pretty minimal.

I do try to keep my fic alive in my mind even while not actively working on it in two ways: music is the main one, constantly adding music to the playlist I associate with this fic. Listening to the music often inspires me to write a few spare notes. These get organized in Scrivener, but if I'm away from my my laptop - at work, on the bus, whatever - I use my phone to save some notes in Evernote.

I took some time to reread Stephen King's On Writing, which is probably my favorite book to read about writing, ever.

I also finished with my re-watch of season one of Glee. I've only seen most of the episodes of this show one time, so this canon refresher is nice. I'm able to make a few character notes in Scrivener, unsure of how many I'll use. But it's nice to be reminded of who the characters are, especially ones who've had minimal development in season three (Mercedes, Puck, Artie).

I am hopeful that once I'm moved, life will settle into something of a routine, and I'll be able to write more regularly again.
In the meantime, maybe I'll get some writing done today during the breaks I take from packing.



Current Word Count Total for 2012: 19,996 (27% of 75,000 words)
laceblade: Ritsu, Mio, & Azusa in bathing suits, holding inflatable inner tube, smiling (K-On: Summer)
I've met my daily writing goal more often than I've missed it. Generally, if I write at all, I make the goal. I am glad that I brought my laptop Up North with me.

The long-fic I'm working on is an action Glee fic, I'm not sure if I've mentioned that or not. I'm working on the second "part," I guess the second long-ass chapter. For a while there, I was working on scenes a little aimlessly, and I think that lack of direction was why I struggled on Monday/Tuesday.

Tonight, while grasping about a little bit, I read the post, Plot is not a four-letter word by [personal profile] synecdochic, and afterward I spend about 5 minutes to jot down 8 sentences in a 'notes' sub-folder in Scrivener about the emotional and action plots of my story.
Then, I revisited a pretty lifeless and pointless scene that I had written earlier in the week, and infused ~932 words into it, while also cutting about 800 words.
I feel a lot better about that scene now than I did before.

I'm saving the words that I excise from scenes in a "cut" folder. So far I've cut at least 1,200 words from this fic, and I haven't done a proper edit of anything yet.

I'm starting to want to purposely avoid reading other Glee fanfiction set post-season 3, because I'm afraid of taking details and using them without realizing it. But I'm really digging this Finchel fic by [livejournal.com profile] smc_27, so I'm probably doomed from staying strong on that front.

My overall plot goals are pretty sketchy for this fic, and I should probably spend some time thinking about what I'd like to write, and what needs to happen to get from where my characters are, to where I want them to be. This shit is unwieldy.


Since returning from Up North, I've also started a canon refresher.
It is disturbing to me how much better Glee was in the first half of season one, compared to how shitty it is now. (To those who dropped it: yes, really.)



Current Word Count Total for 2012: 16,753 words (22% of 75,000 words)

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