Thursday, January 17, 2013

Something Cool in Latin . . .

. . . would be a nice title for this post. But all the Latin I know is: carpe diem, caveat emptor, and vale. That last one is thanks to Doctor Who.

This post is also egregiously overdue, and for only one reason. Shame. Well, shame and guilt. So two things. I didn't want to post until I had actually followed through on my last post. Life is busy, unpredictable, and weird right now, so it wasn't until Monday that I sat down and told myself to forget about everything else and write. And I did. Then on Tuesday, I did the same thing. For hours. But at the end of it, around 2:30 in the afternoon, I typed "THE END" in my manuscript.

Yes! I did it. I finished the first draft of the final book in my series about teenagers with superpowers. I am so glad to be done, to have these books written so I can start whipping them into shape. I need a break from that world and those characters for a bit before I begin that process, though, which brings me to my shiny new project.

I don't want to get into a whole lot of specific details because it's just kind of dumb to put the whole plot of your story on the internet before you even write it. So here's all I'm going to say:

Snow White.


In space.

That's it. The weirdness for me, I think, will come in totally switching gears, from a series to a stand-alone, from urban fantasy to straight sci-fi, from me have to make everything up to having the bones of a plot laid out for me by retelling a fairy tale.

Snow White is not my favorite fairy tale. Rapunzel is. Why? Because everything starts with an obsession with food, and that is awesome. (I'm way into food, in case you didn't know.) Snow White is my second favorite fairy tale because I have a strong childhood attachment to it AND it has food (the apple!). Prince Caspian is my favorite Narnia book because of the food in the beginning (apples! smushed sandwiches produced from pockets!). So you see the theme here.

I've already dabbled at retelling Rapunzel (set in contemporary . . . L.A., maybe? can't remember), and maybe I'll go back to it someday. But I am really, really excited about Snow White. I fall asleep thinking about ways I can adapt certain plot points and how fantasy magic could translate into a sci-fi world and the logistics of making Snow White a boy . . . It's so much fun, it's a wonder I can fall asleep at all.

So that's what I'm up to. One book complete. On to the next one.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Going After Inspiration With a Club--The Kind You Hit People With, Not an Exclusive Group of People

So I was planning on updating this shiny new blog once a week, but then I missed a week. And then my dad had a minor heart attack and major bypass surgery, and so updating went way, way down on my list of priorities. The day before that happened, I had written some on my novel and was confident that I could finish it in the next few days. Then hospital visits and taking care of the pets while everyone was gone took precedent.

I didn't write for about 12 days. A couple of days ago, I sat down with my netbook, opened my document, read the last few paragraphs, and then . . . stared at the screen for, like, three hours (well, between games of Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook). I had been going in a certain direction when I left off--one character was saying that another character was a distraction from something big that was happening. But what? I have no idea. I didn't take any notes because I planned on going back to it the very next day.

So I sat, and I stared, and I played a jillion games of Bejeweled Blitz and solitaire and mah-jongg. And nothing happened. I didn't spontaneously remember what I was thinking when I stopped writing. That rarely happens, at least to me. That quote about not waiting for inspiration is true--I don't get inspired staring at a blank page. I start writing, even if it's crap, even if I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm leaving a plot hole that will have to be fixed later. And at some point, it gets less crappy. Maybe it gets exciting, not always right then, but in a day or two, after I've warmed up. Just the act of typing words, of forcing myself to work even when I'm totally clueless--

Ah, I was going to say something brilliant there, but I forgot what. Anyway, I can't wait to be inspired because I'd wait forever. I have to start in order for inspiration to show up. She's like a really crabby supervisor who totally surprises you by giving you a Christmas present or something.

I think my lack of inspiration is apparent in that super-lame metaphor.

So tomorrow sometime, I'm going to sit down with my netbook again and get all comfy with my cup of tea, and start writing. It's going to suck. I'll be writing a lot of stuff that will have to be deleted or rewritten later. But it's going to move me forward, and then I'll write "THE END," and have a celebratory Diet Coke. And then the next day, I'll write "Chapter One" on something new*.

*Something new which I am super, super, ridiculously excited about and will talk about a little in my next post. Super excited!