Archive | April 2011

The productive week.

I said I would start posting my word counts, to encourage me. :) Well, so much for that. I did, however, write this week so I might as well admit it.

Last time I posted, I had 19,009 words competed in mermaids. Since i didn’t write for almost two weeks, we can assume that is the same number. This week I have 24,985, which means that I wrote 5976 words.

Not only that, but I also imputed the paper edits of Shad’s synopsis, all 7 pages.

Oh, and I think I came up with a good enough title for Shad, at least until someone can really give me ideas: The Sweeper Pilot. Preferably it’d be fun of it showed up on the book as The Sweeper Pilot, but I think that works well enough. What do you think?

This was a productive week.

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I read a book.

I know; that isn’t a good thing to say as a writer. But with college and my own writing,  my fear of not having a good book, and the sad lack of books we have available at the library in South Dakota, I haven’t picked up one in possibly a year.

Wow!  I forgot how good it is to just read a good book.

I read Imager, by Modesitt. It sounded pretty good, so I asked to borrow it from a friend. I didn’t start it for almost a week. Once I did though, and I actually got passed page 60, I started finding it incredibly interesting. I almost literally couldn’t put it down and would bribe myself to clean a section of the house, read a chapter, clean, read, clean, read. (I had to clean; I wanted to read.)

Now, don’t mistake this for a review of the book. I actually think it was a little slow and a little confusing, and I wished I had a map. But I’m more focusing on the fact that I read a book and leave my reviews for amazon.

I actually did it based on someone’s advice. I didn’t want to write and all I could think about was reading. I just wanted to be swept away into a story.

And suddenly, I want to write again. It’s like after seeing a beautiful world created and put to right, with fun characters, plots and intrigue, I wanted to put that kind of magic on paper. For really, in many ways, it is magic. Think about it in that we as writers get to sweep someone up in a world of our own creating, and hide them in it for a while.

I’m now ready to write again. In fact, since Saturday night, I wrote 5000 words, which tallies out to about three or four chapters. Yes, I’m writing small chapters. I like doing it better that way.

So now I’m looking for more books to read, and I want to soon modify this website and include a page on my recommended books in sci-fi and fantasy. I don’t have a lot right now, but hopefully they’ll grow.

A reminder as finals approuch

Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.

~ Lawrence Kasdan

 

 

The New Addicts.

So apparently, this new study shows that teenagers suffer from withdraw symptoms without any type of media device for 24 hours. Wow. Guess I have now proved I am not addicted to social media. (I don’t use electronics one day a week.)

Why I don’t mind editing

No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published.

~ Russell Lynes

Unique beginnings

I wrote this story last year called Miles’ Love. It came out to 34 pages, poor writing and too much dragging. I didn’t like it and left it on the shelf for some later date.

That later date happened to be yesterday. See, I figured out how to cut out a good 10 pages from the story, and that’s just the beginning. It also made it ten times more interesting I think. The reason for this change is the story started much too slowly, because it had too much background.

Now, this does mean I have to change the story from third person to first person, but I kinda like it like that actually. We’ll see where it goes at least. I thought about doing this before  type of introduction before but this is the first time I actually tried it.

So here’s the very beginning of Miles’ Love.

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“Your father and I believe that the time has come for you to be married.” 

“We have been told that you can help us with a bomb issue with are having, involving the SFFC.” 

“Rachel is a nice girl. You will do well for each other.” 

“I’m just here for therapy. Nothing more.”

“You weren’t really on guard duty, were you?”

“Three years is more than enough to be running around the world with the military. It’s about time you settled down.”

“I know I’m the eldest, Luke, and that my tradition my marriage is arranged. But I don’t want to be married, let alone to a girl I don’t know.”

“I can’t tell you anything. It’s classified. Mother can’t know either. If she knew….”

“You take care of Rachel, you hear?”

“Thank your for your help, Major Jospehson. We are indebted to you.”

“Don’t go to the mall–not until Wednesday at least. It’s not safe.”

“You should take her on a picnic. She would like that.”

“How much were you hurt when the bomb exploded?”

“What did you hear?”

“Stop playing games with us, Jospehson.”

“You used the bomb to lure me out.”

“We have our sources.”

“Don’t you dare hurt her.”

I was ten when I first heard about the Changers. These people would voluntarily removed parts of their body to have new, improved bodies, generally speaking for criminal purposes. The prosthetics had become so advanced by now that a person could sometimes move faster, quickly and more. Changers were the future of the criminal race, for they used these skills to exploit and steal.

accurately with one. By the time I was fifteen, everyone believed that any amputee was probably a Changer. Not that they could be easily recognized, since most artificial limbs looked normal. Still, people would see, or think they would see, the small metal band and know. As such, most everyone would do anything to keep a limb, no matter how maimed they were.

Except me. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I imagine I would become a Changer.

I didn’t mean for it to happen. I should have seen the bomb, realized the location, not miscalculated the time–anything to keep myself from being caught in the explosion. But it did explode. Before I could get out. When the pain cleared enough for the doctor to give me a choice, I told him to use his best judgment.

But I never thought he’d chose to remove my arm. And even then, I never thought I’d be pressure to opt for a millitary-issued arm. Nor did I expect that injury would encourage the military to select me to go to Bordino, a third world country who current sold telepathy to anyone willing to buy.

With an advanced arm and a telepathic ability to sense other’s emotions, I might as well be a Changer. I couldn’t tell my parents though.  A lord’s son–without an arm? Even if that would be found out soon enough, no one could know about the telepathy. That was against the contract. Nor could they know that my expertise lay in bombs, both decoding Intel and defusing. I made too many enemies in the war zone to allow that to be known here.

And where did all this end me?  My specialized skill set and training? A basement cell, kidnapped by the SFFC  because I prevented a bomb explosion earlier this week. And my betrothed pretending to sleep against the wall, her dark hair falling into her face. Luke, my brother, told me to keep her safe before we left for the picnic, but I couldn’t have imagined this would happen. I couldn’t have known they would know about me, let alone go after me.

I took a deep breath. No matter. First, I would get free. Then, we’d deal with how they found out. But about Rachel… I had been in worse situations.

I shifted and stretched my legs. “I’m thinking it’s about eight.”

Rachel pushed herself up. She didn’t really sleep. Only pretended to.  “I don’t know. Why does it matter?”

“It just does.” The sun set within the last hour, so we would have enough twilight to run and enough darkness to hid. I fumbled with the handcuffs behind my back. Rachel just stared at me, her large brown eyes not even bothering to hide her fear.

“Did–they say something? When they questioned you earlier?”

********************************************

So, what do you think? Did it work maybe? What do you know about Miles (the  person who is telling the story)?

Have you done any kind of unique beginnings like this for your writing? How did it work out for you? 

Is this me writing or him writing through me?

Currently I am taking in college Advanced Composition, which involves writing a huge research paper. For my topic, I chose mermaids in folklore, because I’ve always liked folklore, I want to write a story about merfolk, and it seemed like the only topic I could stay interested in all semester.

All is fine and good. He reads my first third, really likes it, gives me a few suggestions, and really encourages everything to move on. Then he reads the second chapter, isn’t too sure because I’m not clear, explains how to become clearly. Then we get to the third chapter.

Now, by this time I have found extensive lists of mermaid sightings, include mermaid dissections, sighings recorded by by Henry Hudson and Columbus (although Columbus probably saw a manatee), sightings as early as the Roman empire, and all sorts of other fun things. I don’t really know what to do with this last chapter, but I kinda wanted to pull in the sightings and what people did to protect themselves against merfolk, into the last chapter. Since he wanted me to make a comment on what the merfolk meant, I thought about it really hard and came to the conclusion that merfolk were the ancient aliens. Since we can now explore the ocean, we know there are no merfolk. But we can’t explore space, therefore, we have aliens and UFO sightings.

I showed him my outline and he thought it was crazy. Basically, the way he said it was that it pulled down the paper. He suggested that since I am finding stories from everywhere, from Japan to Native Americans to Europe to Africa, that I should do a discussion on what do these stories tell about the human psyche. (He said this after chapter two as well.) To encourage this, I should compare three stories from three areas, and then make my statement on what it says.

And I have something. Now, it’s depressing when I think about it, but I have something. In short, marriage sucks and ends too soon, people want simple things in life, but also to be special, and people want to be human. (I’ll eventually post this paper on my website so you can see how I came to that conclusion.)  We’ll see some time later what he thinks about it. I can’t turn it in until tomorrow.

Then today, I looked at chapter 2 so I could put his edits into my copy for the final. And I found a note at the end of the paper.

I wrote:

In fact, the variances and differences among personality and activities are rare and usually induced by human interference. Interestingly, these characteristics are not isolated by continent but span the world. With both appearance and personality rather similar, it is enough to raise questions as to the true physical nature of merfolk.

This was written with the assumption that I would show the status of merfolk in the real world in the next chapter, including both sightings and the idea that they are the old aliens. With the new paper, it is obviously changed. However, he wrote underneath it:

NO. The similarities and variations raise the questions about what the merfolk mean of the human psyche.

Now, that is written as best I can tell. He’s very old and has handwriting that I struggle to read. However, this started me thinking.

Am I having him tell me what to write too much?

This teacher became excited about my project and excited about everything involved in it. And since I really want an A (if I don’t have an A, I lose my greater than 3.75 grade in his class.), I have been listening, nodding and agreeing with him in that I’ll do what he recommends. But after seeing his note, I’m wondering if this is case of this is what Dr. D wonders or is this a case of what a normal person reading this paper would wonder.

I don’t know. I don’t know if I would have the courage to go completely against what he said. And he may be right; claiming that merfolk were the old aliens is crazy. He originally suggested a very evolutionary idea of merfolk, which myself, as a creationist, will not do.

However, after all of this, I’m thinking if I’m bored this summer that I will write my original third chapter. I had enough. I could have been very interesting.

Grammar Attacks!

Just in time for link day appears this blog post. Even though it’s freshly pressed, it is so funny  I must share, just in case you missed it. (And you might, with how wordpress is looking these days. Why did they have to move that column? It’s quite annoying.)

Anyway, Grammar Lolcatz.

My view on writing (right now).

Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head.

~From the movie Finding Forrester

Yes, I know, a movie quote, but it makes sense.

Slow Progress

So like I said, I want to give a word count every week.  So anyway, last week I had 17, 820 words in Mermaids. Unfortunately I did not get my goal accomplished. I only got halfway through the second half (dumb school got in the way). However, I am now up to 19,009 words in Mermaids.  So perhaps only a 1000 of so words this week, but not too bad if I do say so myself.

As for my goal next week, I want to get to chapter 19 by next week.