After a week of writing . . .

As I said a few posts ago, I took this past week for writing. Not surprisingly, I’m feeling much better (in comparison). I spent (most of) that entire time writing on New Series (8, if you’re going by my What’s in the works? page). I’ve said before on here that I’ve had some major issues with getting this series out of my head. I really think a lot of that is to do with timing and not being able to write as consistently as I used to, with releases/blogging/Twitter/anything that isn’t writing pulling me away from writing.

Book 1 . . . it took forever (for me) to get out. I started it in February, hit a brick wall very early in, then took about a month off of writing. I got back to it, figured out a way around that (particular) wall, then hit another (smaller) one. It’s gone on and on that way from the get-go. I’m six months into this series, and it’s been the longest I’ve been actively(ish) writing on one without having the first (garbage) drafts finished. (Excluding the first series I ever wrote, which I typically exclude from everything.) That’s pretty strange for me. I don’t like it. But such is life!

At the start of the writing week, I had a few chapters of the third book written. At the end of it, I’m happy to report that I’m over halfway finished with the third book (if the word count continues to hold in the way it has been). I’m also happy to report that (for the most part) planned events in this one have gone (pretty much) the way I’d thought they would. What a surprise!

I’m wondering if part of the issue with this is the sort of . . . evolution of it. If I look at my three separate fantasy series – Reave Series (2), Completed Trilogy (4), and New Series (8) – they are all very different. I always focus the most on characters, and the Reave Series is a prime example of that. The story IS the characters, more so than the ‘world’ they’re living in. (That’s not saying the world isn’t important or has no impact.) Completed Trilogy has the world taking a bigger part in it, impacting the characters in more atypical ways than that of the Reave Series. The world was/is bigger (or maybe I should say different), and that was pretty difficult for me to get down. (Thus the start of more detailed mapping, more detailed character/information sheets, more detailed lists.) It was harder to keep it all in my head.

New Series is . . . MASSIVE. It’s the first time I’ve undertaken having multiple viewpoints in one book (though in Completed Trilogy the books aren’t all from the initial main character’s perspective). So, not only is it having to tackle that (voices and all), but it’s dealing with multiple arcs, multiple backstories that need to be told (in the right way at the right time) and dealt with in the head of whichever character is telling that part of the story, multiple races with their own rules/ways of being/focuses, etc. That’s not mentioning how much detail is going into the actual locales, and from getting one place to another. And as I said, I’m a completely character-driven writer, so there being so much of a focus on everything else has been . . . an experience, that’s for sure. Completed Trilogy definitely helped with that. I wouldn’t have had a chance in hell at writing this one if not for that one. (That seems to be the way it goes . . .)

But something happened during this week of writing. I actually wrote. Even adding the POV of a different character . . . it went pretty seamlessly. This was the first bit of substantial writing I’ve gotten done in that sort of time span in what feels like freaking forever. And it feels good. I’m not sure if that’s having a (much) better feel for everything, or if I had the time needed to really get into it, or both. (Probably both.)

This is the first time in a while that I feel like I need to write, not for my mental wellbeing, but because the characters and story have finally clicked hard enough in my head that they must get out. (And I’m not talking about little bits of getting out here and there, I’m talking OUT.) The characters are no longer content enough (yet grumpy) about me potentially pinning them to trees so that I can carry on with things and get back to them when I’m able. If I were to have a conversation with this group of characters, telling them I need to do just that, it would go as follows . . .

1: *stares at me for far too long* I’m not letting you pin me to a tree again. Are you that ignorant?

Me: I’m sorry. I have a lot of things I need to do.

2: So do we.

3: But if she has things she needs to do, shouldn’t she do them? I mean, she’s helping us, isn’t she? Shouldn’t we be quiet for a little while if that would help her get us out of her head so we can live?

4: I’m sure we could keep ourselves occupied while she’s away.

1: Shut up, 4.

4: *grins*

Me: I really am sorry. I don’t want it to be this way.

5: Why don’t you try time-splitting again? Obviously it would be difficult. We all *looks around at the others* know you want to tell our story. So tell it.

Me: It would be pretty much impossible with writing rather than editing. I’m worried pinning you to the trees will end up being necessary.

6: This is bulls***.

Me: I know.

7: Is anyone going to tell me what I’m doing here?

Me: I am. Just give me some time.

1: I am not letting you pin me to a tree again.

2: *nudges 1*

1: *shakes head at 2* I’m not.

4: Is everyone going to ignore the fact that I’m her favorite here?

6: You’re being an ass. She likes all of us.

4: But we all know I’m the favorite.

7: *looks at me* Can we talk later about why? Because I really don’t understand that.

Me: I’m really not allowed to talk to you about that sort of thing. It would mess with the dynamic.

2: You know you shouldn’t be talking to us at all, right?

Me: I know. I’m just trying to explain.

4: Am I the only one who’s getting this? *looks around* No? No one? Seriously? I can fix all of this. *grins at me* You know you want to spend time with me.

Me: I know, 4. I know. Time for the tree.

4: *gapes* You’re not serious.

Me: Completely.

7: I guess being the favorite doesn’t always help.

Me: Seriously, everyone. Trees. It would be better if you could pin yourselves there. I don’t know if I can make myself do it right now.

1: Are you forgetting that we’re not currently someplace that makes pinning ourselves to trees feasible?

2: She’s not forgetting.

6: I’m not going back in that forest until I absolutely have to. You’re out of luck with the trees.

Me: Can’t you just go shut yourselves in rooms then? At least for a little while?

5: I’m fine with that.

3: You’re coming back for us, right?

Me: Of course. Hopefully in a few hours.

Everyone grumbles a bit and starts walking away.

1: This is what happens when we have a human writing our story. We already have to deal with her taking too much time to eat, and gods, she sleeps for an eternity. Doesn’t she realize how much we have to do?

Me: I can still hear you, 1.

1: *shrugs just before turning a corner*

There are a few waves and a few glares before everyone else disappears.

 

Yeah, I need to get this story out. If it gets to the ‘I’m having conversations with my characters on my blog’ point? Yeah.

Anyway, the point of all that is this: I AM going to try time-splitting with this. I’ll be cutting down on my posts on here, as I mentioned. (At least for the time being). The plan is to do two ‘update’ type posts monthly, around the first and third Monday of the next few months. I am wanting to bring back my Friday Music posts (to pop in and say hello, and to share some of the ridiculous amount of music that I like). I’ll probably do two of those a month, maybe on the second and fourth Friday’s. I’m also planning to do a few stray ‘fun posts’ here and there, which could be about anything and come at any time.

I’ll be spending this week legitimately trying to get caught up on things while time-splitting. The plan is that doing this will KEEP me caught up, but I’m not sure. I’ll really just have to see how it goes. If this doesn’t work? I’m pretty much out of options.

In other news, some interesting things were going on while I was away. For one thing, Charles Yallowitz released the newest book in the Legends of Windemere series.

Also, they’ve opened up the crowdsourcing to potentially make the Frostbite movie, the second book in the Vampire Academy Series. I know I’ve said on here before that I love (LOVE) that series, and a lot of that has to do with the friendship(s) involved in it. (I wrote on that in Female Friendships, if you want to check that post out.) If you’ve read the books, you know they only get (SOOOO) much better after the first. I really, REALLY hope the second movie gets made. (They really seem to be LISTENING now, which I think they could’ve greatly benefited from doing with the first.) It seems that word hasn’t gotten out about that as well as it should be, so I wanted to make sure I said something about it on here, in case any of my followers are fans and don’t know about it. You can check out the campaign here: Frostbite on Indiegogo.

One more thing. I’d been deleting the ‘news’ bits on my What’s in the works? page when I would update. I think I’m just going to leave them there and update below them from now on. That way if anyone is THAT interested, they can see how progress actually goes.

Guardians of the Galaxy was pretty fantastic, by the way . . .

That’s all!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sorry this was so long . . .

 

Madness.

That’s what the past week and a half or so has been for me. It’s gotten to the point – numerous times – where I’ve just wanted to close my eyes, put my hands over both of my ears, and scream, “STOP THE MADNESS!” Best Friend will get the inside joke there, if she reads this. It’s really not a joke though.

I guess it’s just been one of those, “When it rains . . .” bouts of time.

There’s just been madness in what seems to be every avenue and aspect of my life, ranging from small frustrations, to outright confusion, to absolute discord. A lot of that is my fault, I’ll admit, for being how I am. Such small things from flopping around again about what I want to do with my books, to gigantic things that I have no desire to talk about. I’m pretty sure I’ve got an uncountable amount of new gray hairs that will have to be covered up, just in the past ten days or so alone.

I’ve been hiding in my shed. I kind of realized about a week and a half ago that ‘hiding’ is what I do there, among other things. Being happy, being productive in the only way that I am, etc. I’ll admit without any issue that this past week, hiding has been the main priority there – hiding from life as much as I can. It works a little. Works better than anything else.

But I was struck yesterday that I can’t hide from most things. Acknowledgement, and acceptance.

I – partially intentionally and partially accidentally – messed up my sleep schedule so that I’ll be awake on days for a little while. I can’t write during the day, as I get bombarded with what I’ll politely call distractions. Basically, I’m forcing myself to take a pseudo-break. I’ll still be writing (yes, I’m writing), but I’m going to have to do some other things too. I asked Best Friend and her significant other to hang out with Husband and I tomorrow. I’m going to see my grandpa and have lunch with my parents. I’m going to be getting sucked farther into Diablo III with Husband. I’ve been trying, very hard, to get some things out and dealt with (though it’s difficult due to reasons that I have no control over).

Writing for me, generally, is healthy in most ways that matter (at least to me, which I’ve mentioned recently). But given all the nonsense and madness and . . . ugh . . . other things currently going on around me, I just can’t let myself do what I usually do. Can’t run and can’t hide from everything. It’s not healthy.

Anywho, that’s the reason for the lack of everything on here. I’ve been hiding.

Expect my usual Friday post tomorrow.

I really, genuinely, hope that everybody out there is having a fantastic day. I really do. The world needs a bit more good and fantasticality.

Writer’s block, and other things.

So . . . it’s happened to me.

It took me two days to realize that I had writer’s block. Two days of sitting in my shed, staring at the screen of my laptop.

I’ve had difficult scenes to write before, of course. I trudge along through them – sometimes slowly – and stick my conquering flag in the face of whatever character or situation caused me so much grief. I never laugh though, so don’t picture me laughing while you’re picturing me sticking that conquering flag wherever I’m talking about (if you are). It’s never a funny thing – or a pleasant one. It’s simply something that must be done at some point or another during every story (or at many points, depending on). After writing two complete series (albeit one sh- er . . . uhm . . . crappy one), I’m no stranger to difficult scenes.

It was different this time.

Firstly, that it took me so long to realize that WRITER’S BLOCK had me at a near standstill.

Secondly, the scene I was stuck on was only remotely difficult. It wasn’t anything to bat more than a couple eyelashes at.

In two days, I wrote only about half of a chapter.

On the second of those days, I LITERALLY wrote one half of a page (keep in mind that this is while using Georgia font 12, so that half a page was not really half a page, but close).

This is not saying I sat down for an hour or so combined. I’m talking two entire NIGHTS. I know a lot of people are lucky to get that much written, usually because they have real jobs and the like. This is not me bragging (and I will say it again, I type very fast and I have a lot of time to write), but I usually knock some pretty decent word counts out in the eight to fourteen hours a day that I’m writing. Clearly. That’s a lot of time.

Last night was better. Mostly because I think I realized what’s been plaguing me. It has everything to do with that entry I wrote a few days ago – Overwhelmed by the new WIP. There’s just SO MUCH going on past the eyes of the current MC. So many things that I somewhat knew about, but didn’t really. So many characters that haven’t yet come into the story. So many ties connecting them all together. And I have to figure it out. That’s the issue.

I made some character chart things. Or basic ones – questions that need to be asked for all of them. Who are you?

Haven’t filled any of them out yet.

I had to come up with names that aren’t relevant yet. All kinds of names. Let me tell you – coming up with a giant list of names at one time is SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT than the spur of the moment names when introducing one character to another. I drew a map of this world, separating all the kingdoms. EPIC FAILURE. I tried again (with pencil). Had to put forests where I knew they were. Rivers. Because all of this is relevant in some way or another. The devil is most certainly in the details. The second attempt was only a minor failure. Well, that would depend on your outlook, I suppose. It was a better attempt than the first and – for the most part – I think I’ve got everything (so far) where it needs to be.

I’m trying to figure out when to do all of this (all of the lists/charts/webs [webs are important with this]) and I don’t have a freaking clue. I want to write. Of course this was all hanging me up, preventing me from writing in the first place. I have things to do on here. I have about four blog awards to accept (I WILL GET TO THEM AT SOME POINT! I REALLY HAVE EVERY INTENTION OF IT!). Comments piled up while I was working (I’M SORRY, I WILL GET TO THOSE HERE IN A BIT!). I have some emails that I want to respond to (I WILL GET TO THOSE IN A LITTLE BIT LONGER BIT BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO TAKE ME A FEW HOURS!). I want to sit down with Husband and watch a movie we bought the other day. I had to pick blackberries and make jelly with my mom yesterday. Had to welcome my niece back home. I need to eat at some point.

Yes, not very many things, I know. But if you write on a regular basis, you’ll know that every minute you spend doing something else is a minute that you could’ve been writing. Depending on your typing speed, a minute is what? Between 60-120 words? Add sixty of those together and you get . . . well, I’m bad at math and I don’t feel like adding it up.

LOTS OF WORDS.

I have issues, I know.

A minute spent doing character sheets. A minute spent responding to comments. A minute spent blogging. A minute spent doing anything.

And I actually took a bit of time to do some fun things on Friday. Went to Qdoba with my husband, tweeted about it and they tweeted me back (I’m sure they do that with everybody, but it was super awesome for me). Went and saw The Lone Ranger. Don’t even get me started on that. I actually wanted to blog about that movie and I might. I just wanted to make sure I’d do it with a calm mind.

Irrelevant.

Minutes. Words.

Clearly I’m losing it.

Can anybody see why I crawl into a little hermit-hole while I’m writing?

Sorry.

Thanks everybody for being so cool about all of it and (for some reason) liking me anyway.

Hope you’re all having wonderful days and whatnot. And I hope that no one else is plagued by the WB. Kind of like that down-bug that made its way ’round a few weeks ago. Be careful. Don’t catch this one.

Hmm . . . come to think about it . . . It would probably be best to go seclude myself. Just so nobody else gets it. 😉

Hello World. I am a moron. Nice to meet you.

You know that overwhelming feeling of panic that you have when you’re turning a doorknob and nothing happens?

You’re turning, you’re pulling (and YES, it IS a turn and pull door). Nothing.

And then your claustrophobia starts setting in. And then – in the span of about five seconds – you’re contemplating all the ways you could POTENTIALLY break this door to get it to open. And, “Hey, C. How ironic is it that you wrote a scene in one of your books, making a joke about a door being broken? BET IT’S REALLY FUNNY NOW, iddn’t it?”

Anyway, the door opened.

And apparently I’m talking to myself via blog.

I should probably sleep, but I can’t yet.

Wow. This isn’t as bad as jumping and nearly screaming when you catch your reflection in a pancake syrup bottle.

Hello World. This is me.

– C

Overwhelmed by the new WIP

The title says it all, doesn’t it?

I somehow managed to fix my sleep schedule back to normal (nocturnal) after that first night of coming home from Florida. So, for the past several days, all I’ve been doing is WRITING. Time has slipped away from me. I’m not ashamed of it, and I feel only slightly guilty.

Things are going well with this second book (so far). I’m writing it from another character’s perspective. Interactive. The story rolls on.

Here’s the thing . . .

I write a LOT of characters over the course of a series. I’m not even going to tell you how many were in S2. It seems natural to me. People meet other people. I guess it’s enough to be confusing if you have a difficult time remembering names. Normally, I don’t.

And you see . . . it’s not that there are a crapton of characters being introduced in these new books. There really isn’t. It’s everything else.

EVERYTHING.

I made up a new world in S2. Cities, small towns, etc. But it seems so . . . my god, I’m going to hate saying this, but it seems so basic in comparison.

Now I’ve got magic to deal with. Who can do what most efficiently. What it looks like when each of them use it (and its differences).

I’ve got creatures.

I’ve got dragons with names.

Ties. Families. Wars. Lineage. Kingdoms. Villages. Armies. Generals. Units. Laws. Punishments. More ties. Marriages. Kids. Taverns. Weapons. Soldiers. Secrets. More magic. SO MUCH MORE MAGIC. HAVE I USED THAT NAME? WHICH DRAGON IS WHICH? HOLY JESUS, WHAT COLOR DID I MAKE THEM AGAIN? WHAT’S THAT ABOUT REPRODUCTION? WHAT WAS THAT NAME? WTF IS GOING ON HERE?!

I uhm . . . I’m going to have to map this stuff out.

This will be a first, minus my little lists for sh . . . er . . uhm . . . craps and giggles. Lists of names, usually. Gotta make sure they’re not too similar (as I tend to do that occasionally). Lists of chapter titles. Lists of word counts for each chapter after each editing. Tallies of each cuss word and how many times they’re each used. Yes, I’ve got a bit of OCD. I like lists. And apparently the word each when writing the past few sentences.

But now I’m going to have to make detailed sheets, like . . . for each thing. It’s new. It’s made my eyes twitch a few times, thinking about it.

Anyway. What I’m trying to say here is, “Hey. I’m a little busy right now.”

I know I try to post every three days. I think I’m a day off right now. I might have to extend that a little.

Here comes the guilt.

We’ll say I’ll try to give an update and say hello every four days or so. I’m usually pretty good at responding to comments, but I’ve even fallen off on that. I’m just feeling very overwhelmed at the moment. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, but honestly? I’m looking forward to it. This will be a new experience. New experiences – yaaaaaay.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. That’s what I’ll be doing. That’s what’s going on.

Hope all of you out there in the vast expanses of internetdom are having wonderful days and all that good stuff.

I sure am, despite the eye twitching.

I shall wave the shame fan in my own face for being such a horrible person and neglecting my social networking stuff.