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Ladywriter

Harold goes boom

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no, this doesnt really have anything to do with some guy named Harold, this is about writing -_-; Many years ago my favorite writer got stuck writing one of my favorite books. Poor Steve was beside himself, thinking that The Stand was going to end up in the proverbial "fuck it" pile unfinished and forgotten. Thankfully the idea came to him of how to fix this story so that it was back under his control and could he was free to finish the piece. Harold Lauder put a bomb in the closet and let it blow durring a Free Zone Committe meeting, killing and maiming and applying the breaks to Boulder's techno progress. (If you haven't read The Stand let me assure you that the bomb was right on for the story)

Steve recounts his trial in On Writing and it just so happens that I read that chunk of narration a little over a week ago.

I have been taking a break from a longer piece I have been working on (yep it will probably end up in the "fuck it" pile) I'm a little stuck, but its more of a being put on the spot feeling. I know how the story is supposed to move and what comes next, but I've let myself get bogged down in syntax and suffixes and... -_-; If you write you know what I mean. It's the english teacher part of your brain screaming at you, "What do you think you're doing putting a semi colen there! or This narration is awful! Nobody can understand this but you!" Word's spell check likes to remind me that I spell very crapily (oooh how ya like that made up word) my puncuation is unconventional, I use tons of fragmented sentances, run on sentances, and I am constantly adding new words (names or places or phrases in another lang) Lucky me I also have the 'the therapist' part of my brain constantly critiking my work looking for themes and deeper meaning and shit -_-;

I was stuck in the way of thinking that everything I was writeing had to be fan-fucking-tastic. It had to be coherent and fluid, it must absolutely envoke an emotional response from the reader... in other words PERFECT.

Finally the pressure I put on myself to be 'most excellent' made me walk away from the story. The garden was the perfect excuse, it keeps me very bizy in spring, but I didnt need to sit there and play Windwaker 2x in a row... Honestly its been over 2 months since I even touched the damn thing.

Last week I took On Writing with me when I had to wait fer sledge at the dentist. It’s been a few months since I have read any King, mostly its been manga; the last novel I read was The Lost World. I had just finished that so I brought On Writing with me. I read through the part where he talks about The Stand it tweeked my brain a little. The next discussion in the book is about writing drafts, several of them actually. I used to write 3ish drafts for a long piece, but always at least 2. Even though Word hates me, its every bit my slave too. It ate up any need for multiple drafts. Multiple drafts clutter up my folders and make a mess.

While I was out working in the garden I was thinking about how I wanted to get it done so I could just enjoy it this year. I want to take Wolves of the Calla out there and when I'm done with that probably Song. I dunno if I'm going to re read TDT this summer, I'm still hurtin over my dudes :( I thought back to what Steve said about the bomb idea coming to him. He gets a lot of his ideas on the walks that he takes, I just let my mind wander when I'm out in the garden, similar I guess. I kept thinking about the last book in the tower series, Jake and Roland mostly and what Steve said about the bomb.The bomb had simplified the story back to its core, the bomb took out one of my dudes I really liked too. Ka like the wind and there was nothin I can do for my dudes except tell others to read their story. I would never write King fan fic, I have enough trouble keeping his other worlds then these vocabulary outta my crap as it is. I was thinking about what he said about drafts too. I used to lug around the "500 pound briefcase" full of drafts in longhand, typed up and attacked with pen, neat copies that eventually I'd surrender to Pat and Mark and then never see again. I thought about what he said about the way he does his first draft and how he writes shorter stuff between big stories like the The Stand.

It kinda dawned on me that I didn't need to blow up the story I have taken a va-ca from, I just need to blow up my method. Going back to the story now wouldnt do any good, I'd just be chewing the keyboard again. Well shit that means that I have to write something different, but what? So I figured why not try to write something for Windscar, kill 2 birds with one stone. I'm a slave to Word and the sites anyway, why not do both at once.

I'm a real asshole when it comes to my writing. Aside from the "it must be perfect" hangup, I just cant resist complex characters. I get a real kick outta taking a character and while keeping them ic by the end of the story they're a changed dude. My shit has a way of becoming enormous and thus unfinished too. Seeing as how I dont want to spend all summer on a fan fic, I would much rather be outside, I had to establish the boundaries with the story early on. I decided to try writing a first draft straight through w/o stopping and revising like a slave. Just write and keep writing till its done. The first .doc was a babble of chelle speak breaking the story up into chapters, defining the characters, notes or comments that would leave other people going "What the fuck does this mean?" I must admit that writing as shitty-crazy as you want is pretty fun. I chose to write about Sesshomaru, he was sort of difficult at first, but there is something so Roland about him and I know Roland Deschain better then I know my own family :P I have got 5 (of 7) chapters done in less then a week, printed some of the first draft and attacked it with the red pen, but I'm not revising the story 'till its done. It's kinda hard to do, but it feels pretty good to know at least something is getting done and it even looks like I'll finish it *clutch heart and scream "I'm coming to join you Elizabeth!" or not if you've never seen an episode of Sanford and Son :look: *


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                                               Look at the flowers

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Sounds like this fic has been giving you quite the run for your money. I know how it is charactor wize, though, because I do the same thing. As for the mad revising of the story, I understand that thanks to a friend of mine. Her stories boil down to about twnty pages each, but the notes she makes in the margins, and that crap, make the story anywhere from 40-75 pages each.

Don't hang up on the whole perfection thing, either. That is something that I, too have a problem with, and it almost always turns out that, no matter how much "self-ism" you put in the story, others will usually understand. You just need to remember who you are writing for, and not get to yourself with overanalysation. You yourself told me that no matter how steep it gets, just keep writing. It may feel stale, or woody, but you can gleen good thoughts/ideas/etc out of what is there.

Patience is a virtue...:D


"There's no such thing as can't. You always have a choice."--Ken Gor, Ying hung boon sik II

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Yeah, I get that same perfectionist mentality when I'm trying to write something serious. That's why it takes me five hours to write a two page paper, and why I could never be a writer. :P Pretty cool that you were able to overcome it though...maybe I'll try that method next time.


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Lady, with the sort of problems you're facing in your writing (perfectionism, that thought that everything must be emotionally provoking, etc), I have a book that I think you'd really enjoy and get a lot out of--Bird by Bird, by Anne Lammott. On top of having the best suggestions for helping out those exact sort of problems, it's also hilarious and just a fun and entertaining read (and easy, so it doesn't blow any Summer-relaxation mentality ;) ).

And sometimes it helps to just sit down and write everything that you first think of, without editing or really analyzing it...put tape over your backspace button or eraser, and just go. You might surprise yourself with the quality you can throw out on a whim. =)


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i love the fact that she isn't beating herself up over one thing anymore.. and the fact that she's actually going to finish a story.. :D

*looks at the sessy action figure sitting next to the monitor* thats right sesshomaru, force her to finish your story. :P


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That's so totally awsome Lady...just keep on truckin okay, and don't worry I'm sure every writer ever has gone through what you're experancing right now. Keep your chin up and your will strong...you'll finish it, and I look forward to seeing it on a book store self, then my own personal one. :happy:


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I'll have to look for that book Jilly:)

I sho do read enuff laws yes! <- note the incoherient chelle speak :P

I did break the part I'm working on up into 2 chapters titles today. Ves'Ka Gan will have pt 1 Thunderclap and then pt 2 Empathica. Of course these titles have absolutely nothing to do with Inuyasha or anime, but they mean something to me and are making it easier to keep this story corraled. I'll probably have to change em once I get the story together.

Sesshomaru is interisting to work with tho its not always easy crawling around inside his stubborn head. :meh:


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                                               Look at the flowers

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That's so totally awsome Lady...just keep on truckin okay,
Like she would ever want to STOP truckin.

Yea, I understand about the character thing. I would hate having an incomplete character in my story, unless his incomplete-ness (not a word, but if you don't like it, eat me) served a purpose. So either he can't tell his story, or won't.


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The easy part about working with someone else's character is that they are already defined and you are familiar with the way they think, act and speak. The hard part is minipulating the character to do what you want them to do w/o throwing them so far out of their frame that it seems fake or forced for them to ac/speak/think the way you want.


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                                               Look at the flowers

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heh... done... kinda good/weird :look:


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                                               Look at the flowers

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my biggest problem in writing is putting what i'm thinking down in words....a lot of times i know what i want to happen.....but putting it in words that convey that thought is sometimes really hard....


Yesterday was the deadline for all complaints!

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I know exactly what you mean. My way of thinking wouldn't make much sense to other ppl :P Generally I scribble down a shit load of notes first as different ideas come into my head. All of my notes are in broken english w/ forigen words/phrases and all sorts of Kingisms. I have notbooks full of illegable crap skipping from story to story. Looking over my notes you would think english is my second language ^_^; Sure I know the difference between a fuckarow and a fuckaree, but the person reading my shit might not. I know all about 19 and ka and what it takes to make a tet work, but wtf am I takin about right??? ^_^:

having a great idea and writing it down and presenting it in a way other ppl can understand is the super duper hard part. Ya actually have to have a grip on wtf yer doing or the story comes out like one of those pos's ya run across on ff.net. Yay spellcheck. Sometimes I'll just write something in chelle speak and when I do the 2nd draft I smooth it out so that its in english. :P Now that i have allowed myself the freedom of multiple drafts (it does not! have to be perfect the 1st time thru) it makes it easier to plow forward.

Reading a lot is another good way to help iron out a story. Looking at the way other writers use diolouge, setting, mood, theme... whatever. If i get stuck on something, I go read.


                                               gallery_3_22_21209.jpg

                                               Look at the flowers

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