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aliented [userpic]

with water dripping down my neck

March 24th, 2008 (05:32 pm)

This writing group has been good for a number of reasons, but the primary one is that I'm now writing enough to realise that I DO have a particular style. Over the years my attempts had been highly varied and usually (probably because of the variability) more than kinda sucky.

Now I have a blogging voice. Well, I do usually, as long as I'm not tired or bored or just mentioning a cool site I found. But that's dramatically different to trying to write fiction. And in my group there are some AMAZING literary fiction writers.

I find myself looking at my own writing and seeing how it differs from theirs. I find myself mentally slapping the back of my head at my own inability to tell stories in these beautiful, evocative voices the others can. I find myself scuffing my shoe when it's my turn to present and hoping that if I can make them smile, maybe they won't realise the other failings.

But actually, I have discovered that this lighthearted genre style IS my voice. So I like cracking bad jokes, and I like writing SF. It's fun, it makes ME giggle (actually it made me laugh out loud in bed the other night, waking up DrH, when a few of my planetary characters got into a bar brawl and snide remarks about Uranus were thrown about. Yeah, so I'm childish as well. Deal). I think I'll keep doing it.

It would help though if I could write stories longer than flash in this style. My novel has been banging around on the edge of conciousness with no idea where it's going. Damn thing.

aliented [userpic]

the group thang

March 12th, 2008 (03:12 pm)

I am actually in a writer's group here. A bunch of native English speakers from various corners of the globe (shouldn't that be curves? or arcs?) who get together once a week, throw something on the table for crit and do various creative writing exercises. It's fun, and almost a bit too social. Ever noticed how really liking people can get in the way of buckling down and working? Especially when its in a location with beer on tap?
Yes, probably our greatest mistake there, but it's a mistake we enjoy making. Again and again.

Somehow I inherited organising the group, and have been trying to send out summary emails the following day. I've been using it as another creative task and have been trying to work in themes, exercises or discussions from the meeting. So I thought, bugger it. I'll share it with the world as well.

The ocean lapped longingly at the floating debris, gently cajoling it towards the aquamarine depths. A blue promise of quiet and cool, away from the glare of the midday sun. There wasn’t much left now, the pirates had already taken what they wanted. All that remained of the gleaming white yacht was assorted knackery, strewn across the surface of the Strait.

A sugar bowl, adrift on the galley door, was trying to mediate.

“Everyone, can we have some order please? We have to decide what to do next.” Salt water had worked its way under his lid and the sugar had become a crystalline rock. He rattled it around; a tinny clang which quieted all but the last of the objects.

Singing warbled from a small waterproof radio, floating in its rubber jacket.

I can show you the world… Shining, shimmering, splendid…

The bowl rolled its sugar in annoyance. “Can someone turn her off?”

“Oh gladly,” said the wooden ladder, “only I don’t have opposable thumbs.”

A pointed sigh emerged from the potted fern jammed between the second and third step. “We just have to get out of here,” she said. Her leaves were rapidly browning in the tropical heat. “Have you any idea how bad all this salt is for my complexion?”

“Not to mention,” said the ladder, “that this area is renowned for crocodiles.” The fern squealed and began over-photosynthesizing in panic.

A white straw fedora, its brim half submerged and its black ribbon already bleaching, spoke for the first time. “Babes,” he said, “I could take on a croc. Anytime. You just call the man. Ain’t nobody say I can’t take on a croc. No sirree, I’m out there whenever I want, taking on those crocs. Yes indeed.”

Tell me princess, now when did you last let your heart decide?

“Well maybe you’d like to go find us somewhere else to wash up on then?” asked the sugar bowl.

“Yeah sure man,” said the fedora. “I can take it. Bring it on is what I say. No problemo over here, I’ll find us something new.”

There were a few minutes of silence, interrupted only by the music.

No one to tell us no. Or where to go. Or say we're only dreaming.

“Are you still there?” asked the ladder.

“Yeah mate, I’m still here,” said the fedora.

“Not to nitpick or anything,” said the sugar bowl, “but I think still is the operative word.”

“Hey, I’m going, alright? I’ll do it when I want to. Nobody's telling me what to do. Nobody’s gonna….”

A whole new wooorld. With new hor-i-zons to pur-sue.

aliented [userpic]

so it's naughty I know

March 10th, 2008 (07:14 pm)

.. but what if you have a few characters floating around your head that are absolutely screaming at you to write them- but they don't belong to any of the projects that are already underway? Is it okay to start another, or should I finish one of the others first?

Is this me just procrastinating and putting off the hard slog through half finished stuff?

Ahh, probably. But maybe I'll just sketch out a few quick ideas while they're fresh. You know, so I don't lose them somewhere in the synaptial mess of what passes for my mind.

aliented [userpic]

a writing breakthrough

March 8th, 2008 (06:17 pm)

current mood: ecstatic

If you also read my normal blog I apologise for the duplication, but as it concerns writing I wanted to crow about it a little more record it here.

Becoming a paid writer is one of my greatest aims. I would love for it to be fiction but, until that happens, any form of writing is a step in the right direction. I'm now going to be blogging about my adopted hometown, luckily one of my favourite topics and a place where there is always so much happening that there's plenty of fodder for posts.

Feel free to come along and check it out!

aliented [userpic]

migrated from the first to the last pile

February 14th, 2008 (12:12 pm)

I've heard that one of my short stories (okay, it's more a flash piece) has made it through initial slush readings but still has a final pile to get through. I'm sure that just in posting this I'm jinxing myself and it will now never be published. But I figure it's better tp post something slightly positive now than to wait two months and post the final rejection.

At least this way a small glimmer of hope shines through this currently dismal blog!

I'm going away for two weeks to escape the winter and sit on a beach and will be taking my notebook along with all the best aims and intentions. See you in March!

aliented [userpic]

another day , another reject

February 10th, 2008 (05:52 pm)

Strange Horizons didn't want it... oh, well.

Last night I had a wonderful headache brought on by stupid tensed shoulder muscles and spent an hour in bed trying to fight the thing. Sleep appeared out of the question, but I did come up with a fairly good plot for a short story. I then got so worried about forgetting it that I REALLY couldn't fall asleep and had to get up and nut it all out on paper.

I'm not sure I have the ability to draw the depth of character that would be needed for this piece to succeed - it's one which needs the reader to fully empathise with the lead. To really be pulled into her perception of the world and experience it with her.

Well, only one way to find out!

aliented [userpic]

hammer time

February 4th, 2008 (11:29 pm)

What ever you do, don't mention the war word count.

I shall simply say that I have submitted two short stories to Strange Horizons and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. The one I've sent to ASIM has already been rejected by Fantasy and Science Fiction, with a lovely little note which I am going to pretend an editor took ages wording because that makes me feel better.

But I fully expect both of these submissions to be summarily rejected.

Well, that was short and negative. How are you feeling?

aliented [userpic]


January 14th, 2008 (08:04 am)

No, it wasn't 5000. Not even close. In fact, only 20% on the way there.

But I may have figured out some of the plot, and this makes me happy.

6547 / 67500 words. 10% done!

aliented [userpic]

bursting at the seams

January 13th, 2008 (04:22 pm)

You know what I really think the problem is with my storyline at the moment? I think I'm writing two different novels and trying to squeeze them together. Every time I try to tighten it on one side, a bit squirts out the other end and I'm back trying to poke that into the burst seam. They just don't fit in there together. Even the voices are different - I'll write a chapter about two characters in one style, but then when I go onto the story of another two it is a completely different voice entirely.
It feels awkward and unwieldy and I'm not sure how much is just that I'm not an experienced enough writer, and how much is that I'm just trying to write the wrong thing.

aliented [userpic]

well I did get one of the last four days

January 7th, 2008 (09:40 pm)

I didnÄt update here on Thursday, although I did in the Novel in 90 group, where I managed over 800 words. Howver since then writing was on hold ENTIRELY. I could offer up excuses, but hey, I wouldn't even believe 'em.

So I was lazy over the weekend with writing.

But, man, you should see how well organised I am. My system KICKS ARSE. I will never again suffer sleepless nights over unachieved deadlines or pressures nagging in the back of my mind. No siree!

Except of course for those writing ones.

5408 / 67500 words. 8% done!

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