Have at, open thread. Discuss the season finale and stuff. Spoilers in comments, etc etc. I’ll just be in the corner crying.
Just found out yesterday that someone broke into the Clarion West sorority house and stole 4 laptops, some clothing, and other stuff. Apparently they broke a window and grabbed everything they could. There are many times I wish I had the power to send down lightning on someone, and this is one of them. If this had happened to me at my Clarion I would have been just devastated. I also could not have afforded to replace the laptop. This is the situation 4 students find themselves in now.
They have temporary computers, I hear, but will definitely need some replacements. Clarion West is collecting donations toward that end. I know many of you have pledged or donated for the write-a-thon and may not be able to spare anything. But if you can, please do. Having a laptop stolen, no matter who you are, is heartbreaking. But when you’re a writer and your laptop is your livelihood, it’s indescribably horrid.
If you can, please donate here (be sure to put in the notes that this is for laptop replacement and not the general fund) and contact the workshop admins at info -at- clarionwest.org if you can help by donating/selling at low cost a spare laptop. Thanks.
Randy Henderson has a very funny take on what McCain and Obama would say about the destruction of cities by superheroes fighting villains. In some alternate universe, these things are being said, I swear.
This week we had a lot of interesting stuff go up at Fantasy, so you should all check it out!
First, this week’s story, Marrying the Sun, by the writer to watch out for, Rachel Swirsky. Rachel has also agreed to do a Puppet Strings Author Spotlight for us, so go over there and ask her questions about her story and such.
And if you’re still in need of a fiction fix, there’s an excerpt from Seaborn by Chris Howard available.
And, of course, today is Fantasy Friday. Time to Blog For A Beer! We’re talking about superheroes and property damage today, inspired by my marathon watching of Justice League Unlimited. Almost every show in the Bruce Timm DC Animated Universe is like crack to me, so I’m happy to get a chance to talk about it (even if this particular aspect is annoying).
The reason for the lack of updates this week is that I hadn’t been writing much (due mainly to work and such) but I knew that this week’s chapter wasn’t going to be very long so I felt okay about waiting. Last night, when I was very tired and wanted to sleep, I had a revelation about the chapter, switched my protagonist from female to male, and wrote it all in one sitting. It’s only around 1000 words and isn’t likely to get much longer in revision, so I guess I have room for a longer chapter somewhere else.
5,335 / 53,000
Since I’m done early this week, I’m going to pause for more research. I just got a book on Egypt by Margaret Murray, one of the few early female Egyptologists, and I’m looking forward to seeing her take on different aspects of the culture and history.
I’m hitting a strange wall in writing this novel now in that I have not nailed down the cosmology of the culture, therefore I can’t write the interstitial bits between the chapters explaining what the purpose of the different neighborhoods are, which all depend on the cosmology. This does not completely stop me from writing the chapters because I can work around it, come back and change, etc. But having that nailed down would really help me figure out what needs to happen in some of the pivotal parts.
When I first conceived of the city, I put it in an alternate universe of dynastic Egypt where certain stupidities did not happen. But now I’m waffling — I’m not sure if I want the timeframe to be dynastic Egypt or pre-dynastic. And I don’t know if I want my gods and goddesses to be actual deities or closer to the indigenous concept of NTRs (the word some Egyptologists translate as gods) as senses or aspects of consciousness. The reason for all this waffling is that I’m reading some books by alternative Egyptologists, some of which I’ve read before (but it’s becoming obvious to me that I’ve forgotten a fair bit of the info), and they keep presenting theories that make me want to rework the cosmology and some parts of the culture to fit them. At the same time, I feel like if I tried to incorporate all of this stuff, I’ll end up with a culture so alien and strange no one will be able to relate. And then there’s the stuff that would also totally mess up my overall plot, which I cannot have. But… it’s all so interesting!
Right now I’m resolved to finish the books, then try to sort out all the ideas and such in my head. I obviously need a cosmology and culture that feels real nd thought-out, but I am afraid of too much complexity overwhelming the story.
And the final thing I am trying to keep in mind is that I’m writing a novel and not a historical essay. I’m not even writing a historical novel, but a fantasy novel set in a fantasy world that is based on an actual historical period. And therefore I am allowed to make stuff up. I actually do need to remind myself of this when I go into Writing Egypt mode because I’ve done so much research on this stuff and I love the real history and culture and want to be true to those things I love. Still, it’s my novel, I am allowed to make shit up.
A little while ago I calculated how long the novel would be based on the number of chapters averaging about 4K each. I also have a prologue and suspect an epilogue, neither of them longer than 2K. That comes out to about 55K total. It’s low, but when I go through and edit i’ll probably add at least a thousand words to each chapter filling in sensory detail and what stuff looks like, since I tend to leave that out the first time through. Other people take out words, I have to shove them in!
So right now my goal is 55K, and thus I got one of these cute little progress things:
4,388 / 55,000
I’m not counting the prologue I wrote since it needs to be rewritten… a lot. Still, it’s a good start.
Shall I take a day off or get started on the next chapter? Decisions, decisions…
I just finished the first draft of chapter one — woohoo! It’s just shy of 5K now, and I’m sure it’ll be a bit longer when I revise and put in things like what stuff looks like and smells like and all those things I have to deal with in the second draft. Still, I met my goal! Let’s hope this trend continues over the next 5 weeks.
Today’s Blog for a Beer is all about your favorite female genre writers:
we invite you, dear readers, to share with us who your favorite female genre writers are and why. Be they writers with a solid track record like Eileen Gunn or Nancy Kress, or writers who you’ve only seen a few stories or novels from, but are so far impressed by.
Go forth and name drop!
Wrote 1,029 words today. My goal has been to write at least 1K every day since I’m aiming for the chapters to be between 3 and 5,000 or so. So far, I’m meeting that goal and I have a little over 4,000 total. I have probably one or two scenes to go and then I need to write the interstitial/intro thingy, which will be 500-1,000 words. In other words I’m still on track to finish by Sunday. Yeah!
I spent a lot of time today pondering if I want to tackle the story that inspired this novel and get it in shape for an urban fantasy anthology I want to submit to. I don’t know if I can write it in such a way that it will work as a chapter for the novel… we’ll see.