I am kaitco

a writer's log

300 words Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 9:16 pm
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I suppose I could say I made up for lost time from the last few days by spending the majority of today editing. I cut a little more than five thousand words today bringing me down to 158K; it’s almost like deleting an entire chapter.
What’s further gratifying is that I still managed to cut 5K words while adding a scene that helped explain a few things without spending another 10K words to “tell” it.

I jumped into Chapter 16 as well, but hit a road block with exactly 300 words that I winced to delete and eventually just hit Ctrl+Z until I had them back.

It’s just 300 words and exemplifies Damen and Brit’s characters so well…It’s just 300 words…

I find myself in a familiar predicament because these 300 words are really the bulk of the 38K I’ve left to cut. I keep telling myself, “It’s just X words. I’ll wait until I finish this edit and, if I’m X words over my limit, I’ll cut them then.”

Three hundred here. Two hundred there. Four hundred in this chapters, but I’ve already cut so much there as it is! It’s the same story every few thousand words.

I think what’s got me doing a complete 180 on where I was a few days ago is that I, against my better judgement, researched the industry’s standard on newbie author’s again, and it hit me: I may never even come close to publishing this thing if it’s not below 120K. And, that’s a discouraging thought when I’ve got 20-some chapters left and almost 40K to delete.

Today, as I was getting my braids done, I wondered about which of three storylines would have to get the axe. On the gallows stand Dana Barrington’s story that has, on multiple occasions, received the governour’s call the moment it had the rope around its neck; Amber’s story that was once supposed to be a focal point of the book; and Corey’s backstory who, while not new to the rope, believes that the pardon is inevitable.

I’ve considered dropping Dana Barrington’s story so often that searching for her name in this blog actually yields its own page of results. Amber and Corey, however, are relatively new considerations.

Corey is supposed to just take off randomly some day and return with a tale of his father’s hypocrisy. His story keeps the strain between Damen’s dual friendship with both Corey and Brit going. Amber is supposed to attempt suicide because of Jessie Clarke, which makes her story really more of an extension of Jessie’s character. At one point, this was the climax of the novel, but now I find myself completely lacking a climax at all, except for the very, very end.

If I cut any of these three stories, I may be able to save almost 20K words, but I’m still at a loss here. I feel like a spoiled brat whose favorite horse has had foals, but I have to give up one of them. Yes, I’ve a dozen other beloved horses in the stables, but I want all the ones that belong to me!

 

30-Day 5K – Day Eighteen Monday, June 18, 2012

Filed under: Gaming,Writing — kaitco @ 11:40 pm
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Every once in a while, I experience one of these great moments in time where everything seems to sync together. Tonight, this came in the form of music.

While working on a chapter I’ve titled “Foolish Games”, the song of the same name by Jewel began playing from my writing playlist. I’ll not deny that the song is likely where I pulled the chapter title, but I find it so fun when these sorts of things happen.

I’ve decided that I won’t be keeping the chapter titles when I finally start sending this thing, but I like keeping them at this point to keep me focused in each chapter and ensure that everything flows.

Something else interesting I came upon in my writing tonight was some prose and dialogue surrounding March Madness 2008. While I did play basketball for about 7 years and even took a basketball refereeing course to boost my GPA in school, I rarely watch the sport anymore. I suppose this has to do with knowing far too much about the mechanics of the game, so that I spend more time critiquing the follow-through on a player’s shot, rather than enjoy the game. The fact that I’ve not had cable or access to any live television should also be noted, but that’s all for another post.

I’ve got my characters discussing March Madness with a fervour I can barely remember sharing, but I do remember spending hours researching brackets and teams from that year through Wikipedia. What’s sad is that, not only have I got to cut the majority of this from the book now, I can’t even remember half of what I researched. Oh well…I suppose it’s better for my mind to push out the useless information to leave room for all these characters and stories.

I wrote 6005 words tonight (and offered to keep score) despite putting several hours towards Minecraft, Super Mario World and Chrono Trigger on SNES and then Grand Theft Auto IV today and I’m just happy to still have the inspiration keep writing in a world of so man, many distractions.

 

C-C-C-Changes! Saturday, February 18, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 2:30 pm
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My life is experiencing an abundance of change all at once. Fortunately, much of it is good change.

Things at first-job are the biggest change since I’m on a temporary assignment. How this will affect my writing is beyond me for the moment, but the change will be nice.

With regard to my writing, I’ll admit that I’ve not been doing as much of it as I should, but I think this has more to do with the sudden changes I’m experiencing and a lack of inspiration for Damen. A long-standing problem I’ve seen while writing is when I get bored with a project. It’s not to say that the story is boring, but that my attention span is so short that once I’ve other ideas running through my mind, it gets harder and harder to focus on my current project.

The other day, I spent some time backing up a bunch of files to Dropbox and found my original one-page note file for Damen. I was in the middle of writing Flight and was determined to see it through to completion, but even then, I was starting to focus on other things. That is where I am now; Reruns is almost daily at the forefront of my mind, but then there are the other little stories that keep me distracted.

I tell myself that God has led me to this passion and has made me focus on it, hence the reason I see these providentially coincidental happenings in my life. Earlier this week, I was in the middle of playing Guitar Hero (and finished the Hard Tour for GH2, btw 😉 ) and all of a sudden, I had this incredibly urge to watch The X-Files. Not just X-Files, but a very specific episode, EBE. I’ve seen this episode probably 100 times since I was 9, but in doing something completely unrelated (though this random spaceship does appear on the screen while playing Freebird), I had the desire to watch this episode. So, I queued Netflix on Xbox and watched the episode I’d watched so often I can practically quote it. The difference, however, is that Mulder and his Deep Throat were arguing about conspiracy and I looked up one of the conspiracies he mentioned, The Tuskegee Experiment. After a simple, but troubled read on Wikipedia, a new story and then a whole series developed within the hour after I’d completed the episode.

I call this experience providential because…well, honestly, how can I be prompted to watch a random episode of a beloved show that I’d seen dozens upon dozens of times and only then have my interest piqued in something that led me to a brand new project? To quote X-Files, If coincidences are just coincidences, why do they feel so contrived?

I suppose all this is just an elaborate excuse for why I’ve not come any closer to completing the novel this week, but I thought it worth mentioning just in case I ever desired to recollect how my Lucy Chambers stories became more than just one novel.

I’ve got a lot of changes upcoming at this venture in my life, but with all of this, I realize that I need to change God from something I want to make a priority and instead to something that is the priority in my life. If one whisper in my ear can lead me to a whole series of stories when I’ve not been to church for 2 weeks, what would happen if I did what’s said in the old song: I woke up this morning with my mind…set on Jesus…

 

A house? Thursday, February 2, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:08 pm
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For the first time in my life I considered that idea that I should be a homeowner. I actually started to look into what homes would be in my price range before I started to add some logic to it, but I can’t escape the fact that I actually thought about it.

I’ve been anti-house for a long time, but in recent months, I seem to be running out of space in my townhouse; and I really want a garage again. The living room isn’t large enough for all my stuff anymore and I would really like to have a decent sized kitchen again. I won’t be able to afford the kind of house I grew up in yet, but the idea of a little space that’s all my own is starting to sound more attractive than it ever did.

“Now is the time to buy” is all I ever hear nowadays and I’m wanting more than ever to feel like a “real” adult with a mortgage and a car note and all the other debt that the rest of America has. Now, feels like the time.

This idea faded a bit on the drive home, but it’s still there nagging at me as something to consider. That said, just a week ago, I almost dropped 1500 to buy a MacBook just because I wanted one, so I realize I just get caught up in the moment at times.

I had planned on getting more writing done today than I did.

I wrote 1003 words today (dinner with Angel and Anthony that evening.). As far as my writing goes, I’m starting to see what I used to attempt daily as not nearly enough any more. I used to pray daily for 500 words, but now when I see that all I wrote was 500 and I highlight it on the page, it looks like nothing and it’s no wonder that it’s taken me three years to write this book.

All this notwithstanding, I wrote a poem today; probably the first in about five years. It’s not truly “my” poem in the sense that I “was” my character Dana Barrington while writing it, but still, poetry is hard and I’m always lightly amused at the result when it’s done.

I wasn’t going to write any poems at all for this project, but I’ve got Damen and Dana discussing poetry in depth and it won’t feel right without at least one:

The story

How do I tell the story
to someone so young?
Should I lie
Should I weep?
Say nothing?
Keep it deep?

He’ll ask the question
I know it; soon
I’ll take time
I’ll get by
But can I look
In his eye?

How do I tell the story
to someone so young?
I’ll make it quick
We’ll feel our pain
But he’ll know he wasn’t
Born in vain.

I was inspired, and thus my character was inspired, for the poem after reading an Emily Dickinson (If I can stop one heart from breaking) and I don’t think much of it, but it’s done and now I can move on with the rest of the book, especially since I completed Chapter 24 tonight.

 

Weak Tuesday, September 6, 2011

by SWV ~ It’s About Time

The title song sent me Googling and Wiki’ing the artist/group for a short trip down memory lane. The song makes me long for my childhood when things were less annoying and far, far simpler.

Tonight’s writing has got me a little depressed as I let some of Angel’s maternal premonitions set up a ridiculous amount of foreshadowing. For the first time in the novel, I’m really starting to identify with Angel, which means I know I’m going to need to start answering the question “why does she stay” in much the same vein I had to answer the same question for Damen in regards to Corey.

As I saw earlier, these answers will materialize as I continue writing, but now that her voice is becoming stronger and less that of a secondary character, it’s becoming more and more important that I figure her out soon.

I wrote 1064 words today (to that church of Anthony’s on Sunday) and I doubt I’ll get to the end of the novel before the end of the month, but as I did with Flight, I’m going to pull out all stops still trying to get there.

 

Managing rage Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Seven days into this quest of mine, I came upon a true test for myself. Instead of being racked with boredom, I was pained with stress so deep that it made me physically ill and had I not been the calm and composed Christian I am, may have caused me to do harm, either verbally or physically.

I’m thankful today that I have my mother who can talk me down from rage and help me see myself in a different colour. I was livid this evening, as I am still quite livid now, but I realize that it’s not at the person – my former assistant – nor is it at the situation – me putting my neck out there for him, only for him to display utmost immaturity at my expense – but what had me in a rage so strong that I momentarily saw stars and a pain started to ache in my stomach, up through my chest and around my back, was that I was wrong. I had made claims about something and I had been certain and, yet, I was wrong. This fact alone is the cause of my rage; sure, correct, straight-forward and knowledgeable to the point of arrogance Dorienne was somehow proved incorrect.

I said as I left first-job today, that I didn’t care about this little test of mine and that to de-stress I was going to sit in front of my TV and watch old shows and then play Rock Band until I couldn’t see straight any longer and today of all days, I think I would have had the perfect excuse for it. But in a moment I can only call providential clarity, I told myself that tomorrow, I’d be so much angrier that I’d let anger drive me from a goal that I would probably have a stroke at 26 from the anger piled on top of the anger.

I did tonight what I set to do which was have a little dinner and read. It took quite a bit of pacing in my bedroom and in the kitchen and two lengthy talks with my mother and a friend, but I eventually calmed to fall in and out of the fictive dream of my book and eventually begin writing.

Normally, when I’m upset, I can write out any emotion and all will be well once I’m done, but when I’m livid…so full of rage that I can feel my blood moving, I’m not capable of enough rational thought to even remember who Damen Eisengardner is. Like my mother says, I’ve got to find a way to manage this rage; find a way to pump it into something creative or at least useful instead of bottling for the sake of a composed demeanor.

I wrote 357 words tonight (through the door, shutting it behind her) and I think know what helped bring me to the calm I have currently, is not the music playing softly beside, but because I ended tonight’s session with a meager stroll through the bible, looking for quotes.

I was a little ashamed that I really couldn’t name any off the top of my head, but I’ve long since decided that memorizing bible quotes and passages serves me no purpose. I had to memorize Psalm 23 and the Beatitudes to pass the second grade, but I can recite Psalm 23 now because I heard a gospel song for it and I can barely remember where in the bible the Beatitudes are (fine, I looked it up: Matt 5:3-12).

I have my favorite passage of course (Luke 15:3 – the parable of the lost sheep) and if I think really hard, can remember the line which makes me excited to be a Christian at this point my life (Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost) and makes me a tear a little when I think of it, but I’ve rarely seen a ton of value in memorizing verses. Perhaps I should, though.

It was not until I started to search for and read these quotes I used to show some banter and characterization that the rage finally started to ebb and I started to feel some peace.

Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. Yeah, I like it. I like it a lot.

 

Blank again Sunday, June 19, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:04 pm
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It’s odd to feel so drained and devoid of emotion and thought…so blank, especially after I’ve just spent some time researching some of Jackson Pollock’s art. I think one has to completely clear the mind to try and analyze art, but sometimes, it’s a bit difficult to get the engine started again.

I wrote 287 words tonight (at one another, but nodded simultaneously). I don’t know what I’ll do about my piano lesson tomorrow as I’ve not really had a chance to practice practiced much this week. I suppose I’ll just cross that bridge when I get there tomorrow.

 

Working Hardly for Hardly Working Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:49 pm
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I’ve reached another point in the novel where I have to struggle for each word I write. I hate these spells because it’s so unlike me. Normally, the words just flow from mind to fingertips and I only pause every once in a while to correct typos. With times like these, however, I’ll stare at the screen just searching and searching for right word or phrase to use.

Sometimes, I trek onto thesaurus.com in hopes of inspiration. I never really find the exact word I want, but for some reason, when I’ve got a plethora of words thrown in my face at one time, my brain sparks slightly and I can get a small jump start to the writing. I had to go back for third and forth attempts at getting my mind to turnover, but I hardly got the engine running when it sputtered and died the moment I hit 250 words. Perhaps tomorrow will bring some sense of literary enlightenment with it.

I wrote 252 words tonight (unsure what ignited such attraction in the former) and, while I’d like to spend the rest of the night playing Rock Band or figuring out how to jump out of this painful pit of written fog, I’ve got a good deal of first-job work to finish and I don’t think there’s a way to put it off to another tomorrow this time.

 

1121 Friday, May 27, 2011

On an extremely personal level, the numbers 11 and 21 hold no specific value for me; 11 and 24 do as that’s Grandma’s birthday, but not so much 11/21. At the back of my mind, however, I see 11:21 in the morning or at night and smile to myself because I remember that that’s the birthday of the wife of the creator of The X-Files and I remember that the numbers 11 and 21 together often appeared throughout the show and, across my later childhood and adolescence, I had always grown excited when I saw 11/21 in some capacity.

I mention this, not to show what a huge nerd I am, but to convey how my mind seems to work. Tonight, I hit “the zone” again where the right side of my brain takes over as if it were another personality out of multiple battling for control of the single host body. The right brain just writes and writes without care of hunger pains, thirst, pain in the wrist, my back, my butt, my chest, my neck, my eyes or even my jaw. The right brain just knows it has prose and dialogue it must release and, once it takes control of the body, no other senses take precedence until the right brain has said its fill.

Once the right brain is done, it almost floats to the subconscious like an evil demon fleeing from a purified body and leaves in its wake a tired, hungry, thirsty, pain-ridden husk of a Dorienne. That said, I did get a lot of writing done tonight and had some great fun researching which “King Charles” of England was the one with all the illegitimate children (it was Charles II) and also reading through about two scenes of Hamlet to find the exact words I wanted to highlight.

Tomorrow will be a long, sad day because the day after such a rush is always a long, mournful one and leaves me wishing that the right brain would take control once again to pull me out of the doldrums of ordinary life.

I wrote 1121 words tonight (“A little,” she spoke to the floor.) and my back hurts so much and I’m so hungry and thirsty and exhausted that I’d like to just crash to the floor out of fatigue, but dare not for fear that I’ll starve to death in my sleep. Perhaps some food and a little bit of Roseanne or a movie followed by wistfully sleeping with Frasier playing in the background…

 

256 Thursday, April 28, 2011

I’ve not been sleeping well these past few nights and it seems to have all caught up with me in the last twenty minutes. Nevertheless, I did manage to write a little.

I signed all the loans for my car today. It was simultaneously an amazing and an ignorant decision. Where do I get off borrowing 15K for some little thing to take me back and forth to work and church?? On the other hand, just the thought of my current/old car is enough to drive me into a depression. Though I’ve not driven the new car yet, I’m already in love with it.

I’ve decided to change the second book Damen and Brit read together from Their Eyes Were Watching God to A Raisin in the Sun instead. I’ve not read Their Eyes in a long time and, while the story is great, I realize I’ll have more to say about the play than the novel…

…hmmm. Just realized that that change kind of mucks up a previous conversation between Damen and Corey which leads to a big revelation about Corey. Oh well…I suppose I’ll make it work somehow.

I still haven’t figured out how Dana Barrington fits into the latter half of the story, but I’ll add the play to the now growing list of inconsistencies with the novel that I’ve got to fix.

I wrote 256 words tonight (when you live two seconds away.) and because of my extreme fatigue, I really wanted to just let this night go and not write at all. In the end, however, I looked at the date on my laptop clock and said to myself, “Are you really going to let almost 90 days of consistent writing go to waste like that?” So, I wrote a little and brainstormed some more. I’ve got even more to “correct” in the book, but at least I’m recognizing my issues before half a chapter goes by and I’m left to really correct the book.

 

 
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