Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones
cleolinda

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My blog sidebar is way out of date and I need to sit down and write the HTML to fix it, but other than that... I'm trying to move my linkspam back over to Short Attention Span Theater. I'll put the little tag at the bottom of LJ entries when I update the blog, though. And some of the entries are things we talked about here. But a lot of the ones I posted today are not--there's a really cool new series of alternate-reality/"unfiction" sites (Dionaea House is one, for example; the A.I. game was another). Also, I've compiled a few book recommendations from the LJ entry comments around here lately. But some of the entries aimed at people who don't read this journal, so if you see anything redundant, that's why.

Meanwhile: Gahhhhhhhhh. Sister Girl has the heat on again. I know it's November, but... Jesus, people. It's 75° right now.

I need to make some new Heroine Addict icons. It's been a while. Also, my main Photobucket account is way over-full, and I'm trying to decide if I should pay for more space with money I don't have. Hmmm.

No class tomorrow! Yay! Well, actually, the professor is sick, so boo on that. I like the class, too. It's just that I have one of those Dreaded Annual Doctor's Appointments tomorrow, and even worse, it's been more than a couple of years since I've been to this one, and I really don't want to go, and wahhhhh. But at least I don't have to worry about getting out of class in time to make the appointment (it's the only one they had left this calendar year). And after that, I go vote. So, uh, women's issues will be foremost in my mind when I vote. Yes.

Anyway. I'm going to sit here and stall until the damn air conditioning kicks in. I should be working on Black Ribbon, or--hell--my book, but I'm going to wait until the house is a civilized temperature again. While I wait, I am going to congratulate those of y'all doing NaNoWriMo (which I am not, because I suck) for having embarked on a bold and fulfilling venture.

I've noticed a lot of people are doing NaNoWriMo because they've always wanted to write something substantial and this is a chance to force themselves to do it, which is very much in the spirit of the thing. However, there will come at least one point, and possibly 5000 points, where you will get hopelessly stuck. Depending on your level of writing experience, you may or may not be expecting this. The important thing to remember is that there are essentially two sides to the writing process, and everything else can be put on one side or the other. There is the creative part, where anything goes and you should feel free to turn off your internal critic and write anything you want, no matter how dumb it looks at that moment. Then there's the editorial part, which is when you turn your critic back on and have no mercy. The problem is that too many good writers forget to turn their critic off and give themselves that grace period where they can do anything, and they stifle themselves. (On the flip side, too many bad writers forget to ever turn that critic on. Think of pottersues and deleterius.) But while you're in your creation phase, don't be afraid to throw just anything out there--don't be afraid to talk it out, which is what I ended up doing that weekend I wrote for two straight days and didn't come up with anything more than two scenes. My original draft--and by "original" I mean "sixteenth"--version of that scene looked, in part, like this:

The big problem I was having at the time was that I couldn't decide if Seward should drop West a clue that led him to the hotel, but that would mean that Seward would secretly want him to find it, and not only was that overly complicated, I couldn't figure out a reason for Seward to want to do that. On the other hand, I couldn't figure out another way to get West over there. (This is the kind of crap that's been holding the fourth chapter up, people.) So, finally, after several paragraphs of playing out different scenarios, I arrived at this:

So here’s the idea. He’s not supposed to be at the Wickenhart at all. Ham does take him there—he’s at the Ministry arguing with Seward (which we may have to show in flashback, because it doesn’t start the story off right, and it takes too long to do it straightforwardly). He sees this rather vulnerable young clerk named Macdonald come in and deliver some sort of telegraph or message, something that refers to Bonneville, and West has a very stealthy side to him, almost a pickpocket side, and Macdonald is perhaps a little more open than he might have been otherwise because he assumes that anyone in the ministry office is there because they’re trustworthy, and West overhears enough to find out that this is who he wants, he needs to follow this clerk and that will be the way to get to Bonneville. Also, the clerk has seen him and therefore will recognize him in an “Oh, it’s a ministry man” sense. (Okay, this is getting better, in terms of logic.) And West will know his name. Good, good. </p>


See how this is not fine literature? It's not even in the right tense, or person/perspective. But I'm still in the creation phase, so I'm free to do that. Seriously, don't get hung up on things sounding good or even making sense. Write down what's in your head, even if it's just as a sort of discussion with yourself, make a note to come back later, and keep moving. From what I understand, NaNoWriMo is all about the creation phase and not about the editorial phase at all, so throw self-consciousness to the wind--no one has to see this but you or the journal readers you eventually inflict it on in order to make a point.

And there ends the advice of a girl who ran a year late on her serial deadline and STILL couldn't finish the damn thing. Thank you. Thank you verreh much.


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