grayrose: (Default)
( Aug. 31st, 2008 07:44 pm)
I posted the second version on my query on AW. It still isn't nearly close to done.

Why the querying is causing me much anguish:

1. My MC is an antihero, and nobody quite believes (from my query) that he would want to save the day. Why bother? He himself is never threatened. When I say "duty," people ask me to explain why duty is so important to him. If I said, "love," would anybody ask why love is so important to him? A sense of duty is built-in in Ranruvan.

2. The query sounds voiceless and unemotional, and my book is anything but. My book has been described by readers as intense and compelling and emotionally vivid. The query's flat, because the query is from the MC's POV; but the MC never has a voice. It's  told by his slaves and his enemies (some eventually become former enemies, but still). There are five distinctive and voicy protags, but none can carry a query. [ profile] cathellisen  thinks that Paret can do it, but one of my betas told me today that Paret is too passive. It is a common complaint.

3. The book has a braid structure. Here's what Cat said about it,
"It felt to me like a rope woven around steel, all these different threads to build it, but the core was always one story."
Beautiful, hah? But this structure does not lend itself well to querying.

Karen Duvall from AW offered me a lot of good advice, culminating in "this is tough, maybe ask your betas to write a query for you and see what you can take from it."
Seeing what I'm going through with this, it doesn't seem like a very fair thing to ask of my betas.
grayrose: (Default)
( Jun. 26th, 2008 03:06 pm)
Yesterday I scraped what I had of Ulin 2 and started over.

[profile] david_de_beer blogged recently about emotion in stories, and I had a long conversation with [profile] shvetufae about the same subject. It is amazing how often emotion is overlooked. It is perfectly possible to write a story with great plot, great language but no feeling, or not enough feeling - the kind of story that labels emotions rather than shows, or forgets them entirely. The kind of story that entertains at the moment of reading but leaves you cold.

And I have an impression that for many SFF writers this is not a concern. As olid entertaining story will sell, even though it may fall emotionally flat.

But I scraped Ulin 2 and started over. It will eventually work the way I want it to work, even though it might take me forever. And it's not that I don't care - I do care about wordcount. I want my wordcound to grow every day. I want to finish my novel before the semester starts, but frankly I don't feel it is a real possibility at this moment.

And yes, I look around at my friends who finish novels and short stories while I am still working on my first book, and I feel like a complete fake. The kind of writer who will never amount to anything because she just cannot learn how to succeed, the kind of person who will have wasted months of her life on a project that is forever hovering in the "almost there."

But damn it, this book is going to happen my way. I'd rather have a 1/2 trunked book in which intense emotions happen than a complete and sold book which grazes but doesn't cut.
grayrose: (Default)
( May. 11th, 2008 11:50 pm)
1000+ something words of Otherblood rewrite. It was a completely new scene to replace a solid infodump, of which I was very fond back in the day (but not now, obviously).

Not bad, considering how incredibly lousy my real life is going.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12,680 / 90,000

In other news, made a new dish in my pot. Rice with orange veggies, chicken, and four bell peppers stuffed with vegetables. It was a freaking work of art, it was. Forgot to take pictures.
grayrose: (Default)
( May. 2nd, 2008 09:43 am)
Otherblood rewrite:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
6,435 / 90,000

Chapter four of dissertation complete rewrite:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12,130 / 13,000

Sleep: 4 hours with interruptions
Coffee: 1
Mood: anxious/frantic
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.
In the last 2 days I added almost 3000 words to Anda's POV, which translated into three major scenes. This may not seem like a lot, since the wordage is just first-draft quality, but it is significant progress. I was last able to work on Anda's POV in late January.

The scene I just finished continues a storyline which is not in the book, but which I hope to write separately, probably as a novelette. This story is about the heroine's grandmother.  This piece is tentatively called "Three hearts", and features a protagonist who suffers from post-partum depression.

If you know any spec stories dealing with post-partum depression, could you please recommend them to me?


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