What did you call me?

Fair Dinkum AwardMysti over at Unwritten listed me for the Fair Dinkum award.

Now I am obligated to share five facts about myself and nominate five people.  Off we go, then.

1:  I am incredibly lazy.  I won’t join a gym for that reason.  I am a programmer by training, and will often write a script to do things (like convert a directory full of .tiff images to .jpg) because I don’t want to go through the process of click, click, type, click, click 75 times.

2:  I am terribly disorganized in most aspects of my life.

3:  I am ridiculously organized (or getting there ) when it comes to writing and programming.  I am using the snowflake method as closely as I can for my next story, and when your programs have a potential to cause serious injury or death, you make sure you are careful with that, too.

4:  I have been to three countries, technically.  The US (where I live) Canada and Mexico.  Canada was nice.  I didn’t enjoy Mexico.  I was in Monterrey for two weeks, and it rained the entire time.  All trips were work related.

5:  I happily got rid of my iPhone 3GS and replaced it with a Droid2.  I am still happy with that decision.

OK, that was, um, Interesting.  Let’s go with that.  Now the bigger challenge.  Finding five people that I can nominate that haven’t already been listed.  Hrm…1.  Shawn over at Light’s Fury.  He got me interested in writing my first sad little Warcraft related blog.  He is much better at this than I.

2. EJ Ruek at The Grimace and the Giggle. She has been away for a bit on personal business, but was one of my harshest critiquers.  When she told me that my main character was “contemptible” I knew it was out of love.

3. Stephanie Jones at Across the Border.  She’s pretty new, but has already caught my eye as a blog that I enjoy and hope continues.

4. Andrew, who brings us Aquatic Eden. Someday my 100 gallon tank will look as cool as his stuff.

5. …Erm.  I think I will cheat and stop there.  Everyone else that I can think of to nominate already has the award.  If I missed you, complain and I will put you in here.  There are a few people that I would nominate if they had a blog, but they don’t (that I know of) so that’s that.’Till next time.  Thanks for reading!

–j–

Ideas

As anyone who writes knows, ideas for stories come from everywhere, and nowhere.  Today is a perfect example.

I was having a “I am so incredibly lazy that I think I will take a nap at 1:00 in the afternoon on a Saturday” sort of day.  I was laying there, dozing, when an entire plot line fell from the sky and landed on my head.  It was absolutely the most insane experience I have ever had.  An entire story was “flash baked” (to steal a phrase from Cory Doctorow’s “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom”) into my brain.  I jumped from the bed (literally) and grabbed my laptop that was sitting next to it.  Much to my wife’s dismay (she was having the same sort of day I was, minus the sudden inspiration) I plopped the laptop on my pillow and began hammering phrases and snippets into a program called “Text Tree” that I use for my outlining and organizing.

I am sure that all of your spouses / significant other’s have told you how difficult it is to sleep next to a hammering keyboard.  I was reminded once again.  Nonetheless, I have my next story almost completely finished.  In my head.  Now begins the arduous task of translating it from thought to word.

Wish me luck!

Aging

So I am currently in the aging period between first and second draft.  I have been told that it is best to give a few weeks away from the story to let it mature, so to speak.

Meanwhile, I have been reading “On Writing” by Stephen King.  He suggests figuring out what your theme is.  What kept you bent over the keyboard at night, rather than sleeping.  That way when you work on your second draft, you can polish it in the proper places.

So, what is my theme?  Loyalty?  Forgiveness?  Redemption?  I am not sure yet.  I am going to wait another week or two while my critique partners get to the end.  Fresh eyes when I re-read it will hopefully help ferret it out.

How about you?  Do you know the theme of your WIP?  What do you do after you finish your first draft?  Do you attack the second draft right away, or give it a resting period?

Also, I am casting about for my next story.  I may have a kernel starting to sprout.  :^)

–j–

Endings.

So I am closing in on the end of my story.  Actually, I wrote it once, but I dislike it enough that I am redoing it.  That isn’t the point right now though…

No, my issue tonight is knowing where to stop.  I have found that I am quite attached to my little group of characters.  The final conflict is resolved.  The story is wrapping up, but where to stop?  I am going to quote The Order Of the Stick (Frame 8, in this case).  “There is no end, there’s just the point where storytellers stop talking.”  I think that is my problem.  Their lives are going on, and I don’t want to stop following.

I know that they will be much safer, and happier, if I am not following them around.  But it is difficult to make that break.  It feels like when you are moving away from someone that you know you won’t get to come back and visit.  Also, um…  their phone is being disconnected so you can’t call them.  Ok, so it isn’t the best analogy.

For now, I shall content myself by saying that I will write a sequel someday.  In the meantime, how do you decide where to stop?  At what point do you fade out of your character’s life and let them live in peace?

–j–

Not a real post

Sorry, but this is more excuse than post.  I am two chapters away from typing the magical words: “The End”.  All my free time is focused on finishing the story at this point.  Once it is done, I will be stepping away from it for a couple weeks, so I will have time to crit for others and update the blog properly.

Thanks for sticking with me.  See you soon!