Ten Writing Accomplishments This Week
It’s a rare week when I worked and worked out five days and still found time to read, write, and meet with people to talk about writing. I have enough for a top ten list. I could be a writer for Letterman! Too bad he’s retiring. Besides, this is a one-time gig for me. Don’t get used to it.
10. Consistency. I haz it. Number ten is still an important mention. I’ve written in my journal every day, thanks to this:
I’m powering through the pages–I have filled 120 pages of a 200 page notebook since January 1. That seems incredible to me, since it’s just silly stuff. Once I start with a journal entry, it seems I have a lot to say.
9. I booked the trip to San Francisco for Yaoi Con 2015! I’m going back to Cali. I’m going to make it to the Columbarium this time. I’m going to take more pictures of cosplayers and sharks, and cosplayers dressed as sharks (with their consent, of course). I can’t wait to attend more panels to help me be the best LGBT fiction writer I can be.
8. After a month at the new job, I feel more comfortable using my skills to improve some tricky pages by grouping like situations for reading ease. I didn’t change the content. I moved it so that people can find what they need at a glance. That’s why we have a reference manual, right?
7. I worked out. I can hear you asking how the hell that makes me a better writer. Well, when I’m walking, I’m thinking about writing. Or I’m talking to Lemur about writing. Or I’m finding new situations to add to my writing, thanks to the racist children down the street.
6. I read. I finished The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, and it made me so angry that I had to read a short M/M romance afterward, just so I could go to sleep without wanting to kill someone. Why am I angry? This book was written in 1970. After all this time has passed, nothing has changed. There are still little girls born into this world who believe if they could change one thing about their appearance, people would love them. People say how powerful this book is, and they call Ms. Morrison one of the best writers of the 21st Century, but NOBODY LISTENED TO HER. “Oh, what wonderful fiction.” It’s not fiction. Any girl who’s lived it will tell you it’s not fiction.
5. I had long talks with two of my betas about my work. (A HUGE THANK YOU TO BOTH OF YOU!!!) I learned a lot about each of the projects they reviewed, but the most important point I took away from both is that my work suffers when it’s unplanned. Those moments when I let the characters lead wherever they want to go are usually the moments that cause the most problems, and will eventually be the scenes that need to be cut. As Dominic Santiago (Gears of War) would say, “Stop that!” So instead of berating myself for halting production on the pirate fantasy, I’m thankful that I haven’t written any further without a better plan.
4. I completed a read-through of Breaking All the Rules, my contemporary M/M romance. I like it. I still need to add in some justice for Drex’s step-father, the pervy asshole. I also need to work out the pace at the end, since it seems a little too picture-perfect to me.
3. I’ve gone through all of the former Schoolhouse Five and cut it to around 40,000 words that I can keep. That gives me 40-60k words to build my new romance, sans school shooting. What can I say? I really, really hated high school. I thought I was doing Louis a favor: he wouldn’t have to see the hell that Dolf created.
2. I realized the value in listening to Lemur. He mentioned all the same issues as my betas, including the title Schoolhouse Five, and that the Farbonnir world has far too many characters. I didn’t take his word for it. So this time, if he will agree to beta Breaking All the Rules, I’ll listen. That’s a big if, since he swears he won’t read another word I’ve written until it’s published. “You rewrite everything.”
1. You’ve probably guessed by now. The number one way I’ve improved my writing this week is undertaking the huge project of rewriting the Farbonnir Elves series. I’m cutting characters and changing some events. I’m rewriting Velden from creepy stalker to Han Solo–the reluctant hero who sticks around instead of pursuing his assassin’s mark to Farbonnir Bay. You think it can’t be done?