I am kaitco

a writer's log

Interviewing and it feels so… Thursday, June 16, 2011

I interviewed a couple folks today at first-job. Though I put on a good show when interviewing potentials for our department, I can’t help a bit of guilt after the fact.

I have a decent job and present myself as someone in a position of authority, but I still can’t see myself as this person. Just as some time last year, I looked around the floor and shook my head in disbelief that I was one of the most knowledgeable people in the department. When I interview, a part of me wants to give the “real deal” and tell the candidate that unless they just really need a job, perhaps they should keep looking, but even at my lowest, I could never do it. I’m not sure if it’s me getting older or common sense or just the desire of not losing my job when I’ve not get second-job ready to takeover that drives me to smile and be the representative for the company, but I do it. And, I’ll do it again some more tomorrow.

I wrote 279 words today (father’s old bedroom to queue up Facebook) and realized that all my anguish over show versus tell the other day was all for naught since I’ve got no reason to drive so much detail into minor characters that serve a very small function in showing how Damen responds to the family that he seems to like. All 500 words will most likely get summarized by a run-on sentence later this year.

I’ve got nothing else to say except that, again, I’ve not played the piano and now I’m approaching four days after my lesson. Here’s hoping tomorrow is filled with music.

One more thing I’ve learned today, though: No good deed goes unpunished. I’ve got to remember this before I drive myself crazy with frustration…

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412 Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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One of these days I’m going to make it over 500 words again…

I was so tired this evening that I had to take a short nap with Frasier in the background before I took a moment to write. This is Day Two where I’ve not taken the time to play the piano; I hope to rectify this come tomorrow morning when I’m back on schedule, or at least as close to the schedule I think I ought to have.

I wrote 412 words tonight (turned his attention back to the television) and while I’ve mixed a little action and dialogue within the walls of “tell,” I think it’s working out all right. Only the axe of a later editing will tell if I’ve done it right.

I’ve not got much to say tonight other than the fact that I had a lovely drive home as I took the long route near the river to get back home. With my favorite Green Day songs echoing throughout my new car and the sunroof letting in the lightest touch of a cool summer night’s air, I looked west to see the last stretches of sunlight disappearing behind the line of trees. It was at this moment (I think I was in the middle of crooning to “Last Night on Earth”) that I realized, despite not having precisely what I want at this moment in my life, I am happy and that’s what counts most.

 

When the “show” needs a “tell” Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:58 pm
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I realized with this latest spurt of writing that I’ve focused so wholly on not over-telling my story that the reason the novel will easily surpass 200K words is because I’ve shown just about every facet of the story instead of relenting to some tell every once in a while.

This realization only came to light when I found myself telling some back story for the first time in my memory of writing Damen and I found it very awkward to create. It was almost as if I was doing something wrong by explaining Damen’s relationship and views of his cousins and it occurred to me while writing tonight that perhaps I’ll need to practice the fine art of light “telling” here or there to make sure I’ve not unnecessarily run some 100K words outside of a first-time publishable budget just because I fear to tell.

I wrote 299 words tonight (part of some teenaged rite of passage instead); I would have kept going, but I’d like to be on time for once this week…

The goal over these next couple days will be to tell when necessary, but also know when to stop. I don’t remember having such an issue with show and tell while writing Flight, but then again, Flight was four years and a degree ago and my writing’s changed drastically since then. On to tomorrow’s writing endeavours…

 

The second week Sunday, May 22, 2011

This marks the second week I’ve not gone to church. I’m trying not to be troubled by the ease with which it has become so easy not to attend. To simply lay in the bed until 11 and then rise and say, “Oop…Well, I’ll never make it now. I guess I’ll just go next week…”

Anyway, I’ve done an obscene amount of gaming today; Green Day Rock Band and The Force Unleashed (again) to name the ones encompassing the majority of my time. It was speaking with someone the other day about games and how un-gamerlike I am by playing multiple games at one time and then never actually finishing them because I move between them so often that I can’t keep my attention on any specific one for any amount of time. One day, I’d very much like to complete a game to 100% of its achievements, but I’m really a terrible gamer since I’ve still not finished Final Fantasy X and seem forever stuck on the second round with Seymour.

All this gaming, however, has got me wondering for what I’m compensating when I play. There are a great many things I could have accomplished today, but didn’t because I was playing Rock Band and Star Wars games. I got to see my Bumby again, but outside of that, very little got accomplished. Oh well…I suppose I’ll complain about all this wasted time on my death bed…

I did manage to write 487 words tonight (her rhetorical question about his plane ticket) and I’ve decided that I’m not going to stress about word count any longer. If the first full draft of the novel is 300K words, then it is what it is and that’s why it’s called a first draft. If I try to pare down anything, I’ll end up telling my way through the novel when there is so many wonderful things I could show.

 

Day Two, feeling better Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I feel far better today than I did yesterday or the day previous and while I know I’m coming down with a full cold, I no longer feel as if I’m going to be crushed the weight of everything occurring in my life.

I haven’t much to say tonight since Frasier’s Season One has arrived from Netflix today and I’m anxious to continue watching since I’ve been playing Season Five repeatedly since I got my Frasier kick a couple months previous…still a little ticked that the show is not streaming yet, but that’s for another post.

I wrote 266 words tonight (something to relax her for the night) and I think I illuminated Damen very well even though I was telling a lot more than I normally like to do, but it’s for the best.

Overall, I’m just plain happy to be alive and feeling like myself again.

Oh…and a Happy Star Wars Day to all! 🙂

 

Slow Sunday, April 17, 2011

I was a bit slow tonight getting to my writing, but what I’ve decided about blog is not so much getting an exact word count done by a specific point in time, but to write consistently each and every night. So, while it took me some time to get there tonight, I wrote 517 words (Corey to turn and find his bus along the line.) and that’s what’s most important.

I surprised myself this evening as I wrote Damen’s reaction to Corey and the n-word. I didn’t have any new “heavy” notes outlining the prose and dialogue for this part, so apart of from breezing over some old notes in what was once going to be Chapter 15, I pulled tonight’s writing straight from the heart.

His reaction was a little stronger than I had always thought it would be prior to today and I wonder if perhaps it was a little too strong. Damen will go through a myriad of thoughts and emotions before the end of Chapter 14, but I know I must be very careful at this point in the novel. As with any character, the urge to make them a little too autobiographical can sometimes appear when characters come to very poignant points in the storyline, but to write a good character is to remain true to what I’ve previously written about them.

In the case of Damen, he’s already said a handful of semi-bigoted words when he was yelling about this or frustrated about that, so it would be wrong to have him look at and judge Corey without also taking a look inward.

What surprised me in the long run though, was how far I deviated from the original notes. Originally, Damen and Corey had their exchange, and Damen walked home analyzing every interaction with Corey in detail, from his first day at the school to right up to that moment. Now, I’ve got some “telling” that Damen replayed previous events, but “show” far more about his reaction to what had happened instead. And, now that I’m planning to bring in his own previous words and actions as well as that of Mrs. Munnerly – his favorite teacher – this scene is taking on new life of its own, to the point that I don’t think it’s right to include all of this in a single chapter. Well…maybe what I’m writing now is fine, but some slimming of the whole Damen-Brit -I’m mad at you, now you’re mad at me, so now I’m mad at you- piece instead…that will probably be it in the end.

Anyway…I know I only wrote 500 words tonight, but those 500 hundred were a long time coming and must really be the most finely-crafted prose and dialogue I can muster since so much of the novel rests upon this point. I suppose all I can really do is just pray about it and know that it will work out in the end.

 

Purple Rain Tuesday, April 12, 2011

by Prince ~ The Very Best of Prince

The first day back to first-job after a three-day weekend is usually the longest in the month. Today went unusually smooth and I realized something interesting about myself during a meeting. I constantly seek approval.

I don’t know if this is something stemming from my relationship with my mother as a child, but I always look for even the slightest bit of approval and the smallest sense that I’ve done something wrong or not performed at the level expected is enough to make me simply glum, if not downright depressed about my job. Alternatively, when in one of these moods, the tiniest nod, smile or any reaction that sends the impression that I’ve done well is enough to perk me back up to my normal self.

I don’t know what I’ll do with this new-found knowledge or if it is even useful since I’ll never realize this until after the fact, but still…I figure it’s good to know.

I wrote 563 words tonight (in hopes of seeing her outside the lunchroom.), again bumping myself up just a little bit more to get over the 500-word mark. There was this bit of dialogue between Damen and Corey that I started to erase entirely, but instead, let it continue to see where it went.

Just as I was about to give up on the interlude, I pulled in some prose that alluded to Corey’s past relationship with Brit and that made it all worth it. In fact, the previous dialogue was a perfect tie-in with Corey’s reaction as it shows him being his normal ornery self, but suffer a complete demeanor change, regardless of its brevity.

My hope is that it keeps the reader wondering about Corey as it foreshadows what’s to come, but will complete the total sucker punch I’m desiring when Corey’s true nature is described. What I’d like is for my reader to think “Oh, I know what’s coming. Those two had a thing.” and then later, BLAM! Corey’s real side. I figure a more savvy reader should immediately think that perhaps half the reason Corey is the way he is is due to foreshadowed moment, but I like to write to a reader like myself, who would be so shocked given my previous assumption that I would have to keep reading just to see how everything plays out in the end.

 

 
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