Monday, May 30, 2011

Why I Didn't Write This Week

I didn't really think through when to blog, I guess. I should've waited until after I returned from being six days away from the internet. Had I just waited to complain about not having a finished book and blamed my procrastination until last week, I would be on schedule. But now that I'm here, I will say that I really was away from my computer for six days. Not that I couldn't write without my computer, but I couldn't blog about why I didn't write. Were there too many negatives in that last sentence?
Last week, I stayed with my friend who just moved into a brand new apartment. As I love the aliases and simple adjectives, her name on this blog shall henceforth be Smarty Bookington, in honor of all the books she had strewn around her apartment when I arrived. There really is so much more to Smarty than books, but this was the first name that came to mind, and I usually feel that's the best way to go.
It was great spending time with Smarty. I helped her out where I could; washing dishes and buying a curtain for her shower (because I like to smell nice). We explored the area around her complex and found a terrific bakery! And we watched "Prince of Persia", which is just the silliest movie.
I've spoken with Smarty before about my story, and even let her read two chapters. She asked me if I'd found time to write, to which I answered no. But I told her about an idea I was working with to flesh out the storyline.
Without giving too much away, I have somewhere between fifteen to twenty chapters written already, as well as a pretty lengthy outline. The issue is there are holes that need to be filled in and things of that nature. It's very possible that I have a series on my hands, but I don't entirely have a sense of direction still for my story.
The idea I told her about was a way to motivate my characters. It was something that would impact them and cause conflict for them throughout the story, but would put them all in a dark place. Smarty was not too keen on the idea and suggested it might affect the readers negatively. That immediately made me think about the tv show "Stargate Universe". I am convinced that the reason it failed so miserably was you couldn't really root for the characters. Apart from the math whiz kid, there was no one on that show that I liked. The endearing qualities were few and far between, and I don't want that for my characters.
I'm wondering if maybe it would read better if I wrote out a chapter with that element in there. Can a character be both horrible and endearing? Dexter, the character of both the book series and tv show, seems to be (though I admit, I haven't read or seen either one yet).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I've been working on a novel...

I've been working on a novel for a very long time. I'd probably have worked on it less if only I'd not taken giant gaps of not working on it all this time. But you see, I'm what is called an ordinary human being. I procrastinate. I find reasons not to work on it. I start a new hobby. I give myself all sorts of excuses that ultimately prevent me from working on it. Then tv shows, films and other books come out with similarities to my own story and so I think, if I'd only stuck to it! Well, no more, hopefully.
There really is a lot going on in my life. I really wish sometimes I could be like the author of Water for Elephants and just lock myself in a closet for six months to finish my book without any interruption, but closets are dark and small and usually filled with coats. Not my ideal writing space, exactly.
The problem with taking a break for so long from writing a story is you start to see the faults within the story, even if it's only in its early stages. Your characters are not complex enough. Some of your characters just don't work. A major plot device gets contradicted later on or is easy to disprove. Then other ideas for the story pop into your head that sound great, but would cause a serious rewrite.
What I'm planning to do is this: I'm going to write my story, even if it's completely bonkers. And once a week, I'm going to blog about my progress. I won't be divulging my story, but I'll write about things that come about or complications I come upon. There may be blog posts where I might say, I didn't write anything this week, but I'll try to write about interesting things that happened or why I didn't write. Hopefully, this will get my mind working to actually write my story.
I'd like to take a paragraph and explain why I didn't follow through on writing about my time as an extra. Once I started thinking back to that time, the whole thing just really depressed and angered me. There were some really fun and interesting moments, but it mostly just took a toll on me. Along with other things that were going on outside of work, I just felt I wasn't being treated with respect as a human being. I didn't really want to put myself back in that mindset, so I chose not to continue. Maybe later, but I think whenever I try to look back on the whole situation, I'll feel crappy about it.