NaNoWriALotLess

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I know it has been a while to vent ideas via the blinking cursor into the white void of blogism. It is so.

I, again, tried to believe I could finish my first draft of my novel by entering NaNoWriMo. I even had time for it, yet I wrote less than I ever did (at least for this novel).

Instead, “Wordexpanding”, a hyperlink novel written together with my dear friend and fellow poet Ville at the Cave (the blog where I hide a lot of my writing) & Chameleon’s stories has flown away and is going fast. I really enjoy these 100 word stories and poems that we are trying to forge, without any discussions, into a larger story. They may take some research and the dense messages of 100 words is reflected in the time it takes to write them. There is no NaNoWriMo robot-high speed traffic of characters spawn via the blinking cursor into the cloud-memory mind.

So that pressure was to restrictive. Now I will write again for “The Death of an Emperor”, I will try week by week, and I will deepen the characters better (thanks to a great on-line course I am taking at the same time). Also for the course I need to write, though its a different kind of writing.

Finally, then soon I will be reading again. The winter is upon us, the cozy warm bus awaits. Humming to bring me 2 hours of reading a day. Neil Stepheson latest book is lurking at me from my bookshelf for far to long.

So I unfurl myself in the dark day today, awakening to the possibilities and so I wrote once again today. NaNoWriNoMore, but #Iamwriting!

 

 

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The Mondays – Iteration

Do it, do it again, keep doing it until the deadline (or you are sick of this final draft):
Do it, do it again, keep doing it until the deadline (or you are sick of this final draft):

An attempt thwarted by bad spelling perhaps. In any case I was one day late and even though the editor said they carefully considered it another short story got rejected for publication. Its is ok, as an academic where in peer-review publications seldom there are comments, or in grant application where 1 out 10 applications (or less) gets funded, rejection is a continuous process. It is a constant in the formula.

On Saturday scenes my “following” is not big, but the opinions I do value. Fellow writers with more experience and mostly native English speakers may read and comment. This particular short was not shot down, so it gives hope to polish it up and send it out again.

The iterative cycles of draft to the final version (whatever that may mean) are important. I surely understand the power of the long, slow push and hope I have the stamina to get through my own manuscript several times to call it done and done. One good practice I keep forgetting to implement is to read my stories out loud, record them and listen back to them. I guess because it is not natural to do so.

Us writers* are also readers. Of course we are. We start young and read many years before we really start writing. When we are very young we listen to stories, and via the media we still watch and listen a lot. I say it is not natural to listen to a story only (at least for me, there a many book-on-tape addict out there I am sure), because when we read we get so lost in the words and the story. We add our own imagination to it. We read between the lines. The words get their own identity. From that place I write. Word come as a flow, and even though I look up once in a while to see where I am going, my eyes are on the few meters ahead of me. I never forget the total picture, but the scene and the moment-of-the-words is the now. So I should break that mold and listen to the words I think. At least as a researcher I should explore the method.

I am curious about others and their methods**, so I will wait for comments while I sip my Monday morning coffee and stare over the fields of my imagination…

*) Hear me oh others, with my puffed up breast and my tail feathers blazing. I am a writer! (It felt a little pompous to include me in the “Us writers” thing. Maybe I misspelled Us, yeah lets leave it at that…)

**) And I will ask as well, a guest post blog is coming up. Very exciting stuff!

The Tuesdays – Keep applying pressure

Sisyphys (1548–49) by Titian
Sisyphys (1548–49) by Titian

Wait a minute! Did this guy not promise to write blogs on Mondays and Fridays? Geez! Yep I did.

Yesterday, and actually all weekend was full of writing. As I mentioned many times already, two EU grant applications (one with the deadline this month, the other one was due last week Tuesday) take up some time, and I really wanted to make progress in a short story that I am writing: “Jumpers” for a competition due the end of this month as well. It is only maximum 2500 words, but I want to put some serious effort in.

In addition, the short story will be expanded upon to be a chapter in my work in progress: The death of an Emperor. Some snippets of that in its most raw form I posted already on G+. I may have to take it down at some point before publishing, maybe not, I have not decided yet. I feel right now that if the characters come alive enough  in this short story, I may follow up ‘Death of an Emperor’ with a book about the rebels on Ganymede in the wake of the Emperor’s death (no spoilers here, the Emperor dies).

So basically despite the busy week I managed to push something out and made progress. Sometimes that is all you need, some progress. Once in a while I  see posts that remind me of the proverbial pissing contest: “I wrote 6000 word today!” Well congratulations, I managed to do 300. I will crawl in the corner now and whither away with my unwritten literary thoughts. Of course the person is not at the moment a full time researcher, with 3 young & magical children, a heroic wife, 2 EU grant applications (‘oh shut up already, one is even already submitted!’), and trying to write a book, short stories, blogs and is not suffering from a mild addition to Renaissance  kingdoms. Oh and Opaque Dreams has to be finish some time as well (I started those poems in 1997). But we will get there, slowly we push in one direction and things will move.

I noticed this in my daily work as well, just keep applying pressure in one direction and in time things move. Sometimes fast, and then keep up, some times slow, and then keep applying pressure. Breath in between. Ask for help, collaborate where you can, but push all the time.

So I managed to ramble something. Yes it is Tuesday, but any day just writing something is more than thinking about writing something. Remember that not everything you write is good, but it is better than no writing at all.

See you Friday when I try to address the Introduction. It is all about hooks and cliff-hangers is it not?