Monthly Archives: August 2014

Character books

I am a hoarder and a collector.  I have found out that I have way too many composition books (and it takes a lot for me to NOT buy them, especially this time of year when they’re on sale).  I use composition books for my writing journals.  There’s too many pages in them to last one a month, so sometimes I have two months in there.  I try and write my 3 pages in there daily, but sometimes I don’t.

I also now collect small college-ruled comp books – and now small “fat notebooks”.  These are for character explorations.  I always feel guilty using a regular notebook for character stories because I don’t think I have enough information to put in there.  These smaller books don’t make me feel as guilty, and I can carry them around with me.

The problem is, I can’t come up with the questions in the same order all the time.  Like some times I want to write about demographics, other times about their motivations, other times about their relationships.  Rubicon, I’m itching to write out his college years, but I’m still stuck on his “motivations”.

Most of these characters, also, are possible throw-aways – in other words, for work only in game and stories that I write, but nothing major.  Like I haven’t done one for Nybbas yet, and he’s a very important character in Grim’s novel.  Or Pathfinder.  Or Ritter.  Nybbas has a lot of dark secrets that I have in the back of my mind – he and Grim are too much alike.

I’m still trying to make Grim a “pawn” but a pawn that breaks out of the mold.  I know it’s been done, and I don’t plan on being very subtle about it – my character, after all, is not subtle.

This should be for a YA audience.

Hemmingway needs a desk

I bought a journaling book, and the first question it asked was what was my goal.

I wanted to write down, “To have a published book.”

I almost did, but I wasn’t being realistic.  If that was the case, then my life, my whole purpose, would be for that.  I would be writing in my novel every moment I could, thinking about my novel, planning it in my head constantly.

Instead, what takes up most of my time and creativity is work.

At work, they’re constantly asking me questions where I have to think.  I have to make the computer system do things that are not normal.  Some of these clients come up with the craziest things, I swear that someone in the board room is saying, “If they’re an executive, for their oncology they pay half, but for Joe Schmoe, he pays double.  How can we do that?”

Or, “Before they use Viagra, they have to use a generic ED enhancer.  Twice.”

Where do they think up this shit?  That’s the nature of my job; to make our limited computer system do those kinds of things for specific classes and to come up with different ways to screw you, Mr./Ms. Cog In The Machine.

But the point of this blog is not to vent about my job, but to vent about writing.  And one thing I noticed: I haven’t been living the writing life.  THE JOB gets in the way.  However, if I didn’t have THE JOB I wouldn’t have money to pay the bills to keep the computer on.  (Though I should follow Anne Lamont’s dictate and have only a pen, paper and a candle if necessary.)

Hemmingway, my writing computer, needs to be put on a desk.  Not on the kitchen table.  The computer is always there, reminding me of what to do, but when I sit down here, it’s for THE JOB.  I bring home my computer, disconnect Hemmingway, and plug in the company computer.  This space becomes the company’s for 16+ hours a week, when I really should be spending a goodly amount of time down here, with Hemmingway, drinking iced tea and writing Grim’s novel.

I am at the middle of Grim’s novel, I think, the point where, “It can’t get any worse” but it can.  And it will.

I’m not sure if Grim is going to be a pawn or a leader.  That will change the whole dynamic of the novel, of where I planned on sending it.

And maybe there will be only one novel.

Oh, yes, they call him The Streak! (Boogitty Boogitty)

I have a streak.  I had eight days of writing 800+ words.

(Oh, by the way, that title came from “The Streak” by Ray Stevens, from the ’70’s when humorous albums and songs were all the rage.  None of that stuff around anymore.)

I blew it on the weekend.  Why, I don’t know.  Didn’t do it Tuesday because of work and trying to help a friend through a trying time with her loser of a boyfriend.

By the way, her loser of a boyfriend will be immortalized as Grim’s father in my novel.

I told my CA-friend that I was writing stories, and I have about 25 characters – actually, more.  He asked me (jokingly) if I was doing an epic.  Hmmm.   HMMMMM.

What if I gather some of these stories, make them slightly interact with each other, and make it an epic superhero story set in the modern day?  What city?  New York would be big enough for them, I’m sure.  I know nothing about the West Coast.  Or Washington DC?  Miami, Florida? Or an entirely new town/city off the eastern seaboard.

I started organizing 800 Words’ website to make it easier to get at the characters that are “live”.  Instead of tags, they are now categories.  Knight no longer is under the Champions banner, because I actually plan on taking him and Mal and Scott out and writing an epic novel.  Probably to Samhain publishing.  Should I include Blake, Mike, and all the other guys Scott is/was involved with?  Nah, then he’d look like a slut, and I don’t want to do that to him.  So not ALL the other guys.

I might do the Knight story for Nanowrimo.

My God, that’s only 3 months away!  I need to kick up my daily average.

Description, description, description.  And exercises.

I have allowed my journal to become an initial place for stories, where I start the stories and hope to finish them online or something.  I’ve noticed I don’t stray much from the first draft.

I’m also noticing I’m manic.  All I want to do is write.  Why am I manic?  I’m taking too much of my happy pills, 10 MG more than I should.  Why, you ask?  Because I’ve gotten samples from my shrink, and they’re 15MG.  I take 20.  Of course they don’t have 5MG samples, and I’m not going to fart around with the pill cutter to cut these itty bitty things into quarters.  Or thirds.  Whatever.  Anyway, I don’t have time for that.  So I put in 2 15MG pills.  I’ve done it for 2 weeks now, and WEEEEEE!

Heh, maybe I should save them for Nano.

What Dreams May Come

“How can someone who brought so much laughter to everyone be so depressed?”

I heard this from one of the people I work with, and I had to do a double take.  How could she not know?  The more you try to make people laugh, the more depressed you actually are.

I know this from experience.

Most writers find it a lonely experience, something that they have to do alone, single-handedly, weaving words into pictures.  They take the images in their minds and try to put them to paper, so that the rest of the world can see how beautiful it is.  Sometimes the rest of the world doesn’t care.

That’s when we get depressed.

I have staved off depression by not sending my items in, by “polishing” everything up again, by rewriting from almost scratch.  I tossed out 10K words because I realized that I wasn’t starting in media res.  That’s where I like to start.  Exposition will come with time, and forcing myself to write the required 800 words a day has brought me new practice and insight in exposition.  I used to just do dialogue.  Now, I need to fill in the space.

I am a little depressed about Robin Williams.  He was a great actor, great talent, always funny.  But deep down was the black dog.  All comedians have one; it’s what makes them so funny.  They talk about how drunk they were when they did something, how high, how dysfunctional their family was, how dysfunctional THEY were – all dark and sticky stuff, when brought to light, scares us into laughter.

Writers need to do this too.  Writers need to get the dark and sticky stuff and throw it onto the page.  I’m on meds, and I can’t think the dark and evil thoughts I used to.  I cringe from horror now.  My demons are pretty, cute, handsome, and sexy.

May he rest in peace, though I doubt it, because a lot of people will be trying to get a hold of him to make them laugh again.


Scared and tired

On my twitter account, I said, “800 words for 3 days in a row.  I’m tired.”

The worst part for me is getting started.  Once I get started, however, it’s like I can see different threads that show the end.  I pick one of those threads and I write toward it.

Most of the stuff I’m writing is bullshit.  It’s not even a story, or if it is, it meanders.  Toxicon’s story was horrible.  It started in one place and ended up in another.  Holder’s went all over the place before ending where it began.  And Jack’s – well, it was an all-of-a-sudden thing with him.

It’s crap.  It’s garbage.

But it’s writing.

Getting past that editor in my head is the worst part.  The one that says, “You have an audience, you know, and they’re reading this shit – they’re not going to read your stuff anymore because you’re not staying with one thing that they know.  They want to know about Knight and Mike, maybe Toxi – but who are these other guys you’re writing about?  They don’t care.”

I’m not sure.  But it’s my blog, it’s a raw blog, and it’s meant to have garbage.  I only hope that they stick with it – or if they want to skip over it, that’s fine with me, too.  The idea is to get 800 words out, and I feel that I need to put it somewhere where people can see it.  Otherwise, my feet are not held to the fire and I won’t do anything.

I’m reading Bird by Bird, and finding it to be fun and true in parts.  I got to the “Jealousy” essay and I was thinking, “Yes, YES, that’s so me.”  To read someone else’s crap and say, “This is crap.  Why did they get published and I’m not?”

Well, I can answer that pretty easily:  Because I don’t submit.    I’m too scared.

I want to submit to Samhain Publishing.  I wish WD would put together a “small publisher” book instead having to push us to getting into the BIG THREE.  Grimaulkin is not going to be a best seller.  I’ll probably be on independent podcasts (though I think I’d refuse, because I don’t want to disappoint the readers who are reading “Jacob Logan”‘s stories).   I still think of 50 Shades of Grey and know that the only reason that sold is it’s fanfic of Twilight (another story that should never have seen the light of day).  What if I try to sell Grimaulkin as fanfic of Harry Potter?  Will it hit the bestseller list?  No, because we need sex in it.

Some of my other characters are epic and I want to write their stories – Knight and Mal, for instance.  Casey, my first love.  Mike and Scott (as opposed to Grimaulkin).

Meanwhile, I’ll still be ADD and write character stories all over the place…

Last month

Ok, so last month was pretty shitty when it came to output, compared to June.  June I wrote consistently in my journal and on 800 Words, a lot.

July I put out 8000 words on 800 words, compared to June when it was just over 10K.  Being that I can do a novel in a month, I know that I can do better than this.

So, a new month, and as punishment, I’m not getting a fresh notebook, but using June’s.  I haven’t even got halfway through it, so nah-nah, you’re not getting a new one.

A new month, and I need, NEED to write 800 words a day.  How hard is it?


I read Stephen King’s short story in Esquire.  It was short.  In my opinion, it was a character exploration, not unlike what I do on 800 Words when it comes to writing up a new character.  Hell, he went into things that I didn’t care about with this character, and the end – he just dropped him at the curb.  Literally.

Call me old fashioned, but I was waiting for the end.  Something happened to change the man’s life, and he did nothing.  Where’s the story there?  What am I missing?

Of course, this is Stephen King, the man with the golden, bloody pen, and anything the man writes is considered pearls of heaven (or hell, as the case may be).  In my mind, he’s getting lazy.  His books still sell, his name still causes people to swoon, but if this is the best he can do, then God help me, even I can do better.

That’s always been the fire in my belly, “I can do better than you, published idiot.”  Same thing with the last book I read, Daywalker.  What a horrid book.  But I kept reading it because I said, “It can’t get any worse – oh, yes it did.  No, it can’t be any worse – oh, no, it is.”  The writer is local.  I’d love to go to his house and say, “Dude.  Dude, this book sucked.  But the world you created…man, it’s awesome.”

I might do some fan fiction.  Hee hee.  Take his Railwalkers and work it up a few notches.

I’m rewriting Grim, and it’s going so far off the beaten path that I’m not sure what I’m doing anymore.  It’s not staying in lane.  It’s like I’m writing it from scratch again, and it’s irritating the piss out of me, because I’m never going to get it done.  It’s a YA with swear words, and maybe sex once I get him together with someone.  Can I get away with that?

Just write the thing and pigeonhole it later.

Well, there goes my break.  I’m going to write more.  Somebody hold my feet to the fire.