grayrose: (raven)
( Apr. 15th, 2008 02:20 pm)
For those who read Maze: what do you think of "An Exile in Wakewood" as a title?

Please feel free to suggest alternatives.
grayrose: (Default)
( Apr. 7th, 2008 09:33 am)
1. Got my first "wow" for Maze from a female reader. That last rewrite really got the story there, or almost there.  I'll make one more pass on the characters, and it will be ready. With every pass I got deeper  and deeper into to the characters' heads, and slowly I am taking this story from  a yarn to something with heft. Something with significance. And it is about honesty, about opening up and spilling the guts and forcing the tongue to tell how it feels.  I have been there with "Home", but "Home" was much easier because it only had one character. Maze has three. And I think I will ultimately fail with "Maze," because I do not have the craft to take it all the way there, but it will be a good failure. Does this make sense?

2. Got in 800 words on the novel yesterday. I am done telling the novel what its plot is. Now I am going to sit back and listen to what it has to tell me, because it doesn't want to be about the Grayblood, and I am too tired to argue with it anymore, and I love it too much to give it up.

3. Contract from Fantasy Magazine arrived: squee!

4. Next short story project will either be the "Perfumed Glove" for Lace&Blade, or "the GULAG ship." I need a good SF hook for the "GULAG ship," but this is secondary. I know what I need to do with it. I need a woman protagonist. It would be so much easier to go with a male protagonist, because many men actually came through these experiences with some sense of personal honor intact, and women didn't, and so very few made it alive, and almost none of the women made it sane. But since I decided that my writing is going to be about emotional honesty, I think I will have to do it  - nobody else will. I know a lot about GULAGs (not from Solzhenitsyn), but I shudder to think at the research for this one. I have to do it though. Guess the GULAG story is going to be more powerful for me than "the Perfumed Glove", heh.
grayrose: (Default)
( Apr. 6th, 2008 01:19 am)
I am done with Maze, I think. Updated beginning, updated ending, some tweaking in the middle scenes.
And I'm before schedule. Second round of readings (I hope) will help smooth out the remaining kinks.

Now that I am through, I believe in this story. Sword and Sorceress will probably pass because of Aggriu's  character. Marion Zimmer Bradley's guidelines put an emphasis on "sympathetic," and I have my doubts that Aggriu truly comes across as sympathetic to an American audience. But if not S&S, then I hope some other market will pick it up. There has to be a place for a female character who is hard and difficult and stubborn. I cannot soften her. She is herself.

Final wordcount is 8,559 words.

I have rewritten the beginning five times. Two POVs and three versions with the king's scene, one version with soldiers, final version opening on the plain. Each of those alternative scenes was rewritten and updated many times. I do not feel like I've learned from this, but I probably did.  
grayrose: (Default)
( Apr. 2nd, 2008 06:52 pm)
So the first crits of the novelette previously known as Maze start trickling in. I am getting many a "liked" and "enjoyed", but not "loved." There are two great flaws with the story, namely its beginning (wrong place; clunky) and its ending (weak).

I am also getting different comments according to gender. Women insist that Maw gets off too lightly; men are silent on the issue, apparently satisfied?

To-do list:

1. Revamp the beginning. Great advancements have been made! Almost done with this. Where is my medal?
2. Set up Aggriu's ambivalence about the marriage's lasting power
3. Fix the great battle
4. Punish Maw (=fix the ending). MUAHAHAHAH!
Actually I can't punish him. He can't die, he cannot get maimed because he is such an incredibly strong dreamer he would just fix himself unless it's a mortal wound, and, err, his punishment is yet to come (not in this novelette). But I can make his grief more pronounced, and this is what I am going to do.
5. Find a good name for the novelette. Really, Formerly-known-as-Maze is laughable. It's currently called "Three Hearts" (this was the first working title before I came up with "Maze of Hearts"), but I feel it is not memorable enough.

grayrose: (Default)
( Mar. 30th, 2008 11:26 am)
I have a drafty draft of the novelette previously known as Maze of Hearts. It is complete at "lean and mean" 8,600 words, which makes it fit in with Sword and Sorceress requirements - yay!!

I would like some readers for this, so please leave me a comment if interested. It ended up being high fantasy, though it is definitely dark and gritty, but if you have an aversion to high fantasy then this is not for you :) This draft is not polished, so if you'd rather wait until I have a polished version let me know.
grayrose: (Default)
( Mar. 28th, 2008 11:12 am)
So I spent this week recuperating from the conference and catching up on academic responsibilities. Then [profile] norilana came up with an announcement for Sword and Sorceress 23,  which I was hoping for since forever, and I knew that I absolutely had to finish Maze. And I felt stuck at 10k and did not know how to continue the narrative line that was fascinating but also led me astray.

So last night I loped off 4k of words after one pivotal scene. They were good words, mind you. Some were even excellent words. But they were not the right words.

Between 6PM last night and now I wrote 4K of new words, and all of them were the right words.

I am done.

I need to completely rewrite the opening scenes since they're weak and a minor character needs to go out, and I need to reduce the piece from 9,800 to 9K per Sword and Sorceress word limit, but my story is all there. The telling of it made me teary, so now I can only hope it will be as powerful  for my readers.

And yeah, she ended up givung birth much, much earlier  in the story, and she struggled with some variation of PPD.

I am not ... happy exactly, but I am... high.

BTW I hope you note this market. It is a great and beloved market which pays pro rates.
9,800 words and now finally, finally in movement four (and last). She still hasn't given birth, but I think she is going to feel the contractions just about... now.
It is officially the longest "short" I have ever attempted. And it is hopeless. But I am going to stick to it, I think - not too long now, before the end.
grayrose: (Default)
( Mar. 20th, 2008 02:47 pm)
8,200 words into Maze of Hearts and the heroine did not even give birth yet! Something is very wrong, or perhaps it just does not want to be about post-partum depression. It wants to be about being tricked into pregnancy and trying to abort.
At this point I am sure that - whatever it is - I am not doing it justice.
grayrose: (Default)
( Mar. 19th, 2008 12:37 am)
Maze of Hearts update: 6300 words and working. And I am deep in Movement Three, not sure even if I reached the middle of it.
The story is probably not going to be done before 10K, and I am afraid it will be longer.
It will be impossible to place - too long. Nobody will consider it.
But at this point, I think I am committed. Not sure I can do this story justice, but it is an important one to tell.
grayrose: (Default)
( Mar. 17th, 2008 12:18 am)
Maze of Hearts: 4200 words total and still not sleeping.

Update: 4400 words and going to sleep. Movements 1,2 complete - which means I have 3, 4 yet to write, which means I am more or less mid-story.
grayrose: (Default)
( Mar. 15th, 2008 06:15 pm)
Started my novelette yesterday, the one about bisexuality, racism and post-partum depression. It seems to be writing itself.

I cannot believe I am writing such a blatantly feminist piece. I am just hoping it will end up intense and not preachy.

Some people argued with me over at Absolute Write forums on the topic of menopause. Some seemed to imply that "menopause" and "fantasy" just did not go together. I have to say this made me very angry.

Maze of Hearts
Fri and Sat  wordcount: 2300 words and working.


grayrose: (Default)


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