Blogging about writing is not writing

But it is a handy way to procrastinate when you’re having one of those terrible Everything I Write Is Awful And How Does Characterisation Even Work And I Have This Weird Feeling This Whole Scene Is Coming, Like, A Chapter Too Soon.

750 words have been added to The Draft.  I’m aiming for 1000 before I go to bed, or better yet, a speed of productivity that will see a chapter completed.

I’ve taken a break to blog because this is an achievement!  Not only have words been written, but they’ve come after I put in 7.62 hours at the day job and read a few chapters of A Storm of Swords.  (Okay, re-read a few chapters.  It’s amazing how much more fun A Song of Ice and Fire is when you realise Stannis is essentially hilarious.)

I’ve also taken a break to blog because I really do have a nasty suspicion that something is going wrong with the pacing.  Something needs to happen before this scene can happen, and I don’t know what it is.

It’s moments like these that I wonder if this ever happens to people who outline.  I know where the story is going, and I have a rough idea of which major events need to take place in what order, but a subplot has reared its head.

(I really regret to say that this is the mental image I have of said subplot.  Sorry.)

Moving gif of a newborn Alien, ie, a chestburster, wearing a boater.
HELLO MAH BABY, HELLO MAH DARLING, HELLO MAH RAGTIME GAL!

Usually I don’t start formally outlining until I’ve written about a third of the story.  I mean, yes, I have an idea when I start, but I don’t get to know the characters until I’ve written them for a while, and that’s when I begin to understand how the plot will come together.  Maaaaaaaaaaaaybe I should give this whole “early outline” thing a go.

Then, of course, there’s the problem of depicting a schoolyard bullying incident that doesn’t read like a very bad after school special.  I’ve spent a lot of time lately remembering what it was like to be 12 (horrible!) and how my classmates interacted with each other.  But, of course, I’ve spent a lot of time firmly repressing those memories, so it’s difficult to tell the difference between an accurate memory and a reconstruction.

Not that accuracy matters!  I’m writing fiction, after all.  But verisimilitude is important, and one thing I remember very clearly from adolescence is that kids are the most vicious critics of all.

I wonder if an unexpected zombie attack might fill in the space between the previous chapter and this one?  One of those short, over-in-2500-words-and-no-one-ever-speaks-of-it-again zombie attacks.  Like a 24 hour stomach flu, only with more decapitations.

ETA:  1040 words, and I found a solution to the pacing problem.  EPIC WIN.

Grown-up blogging

Secretly I feel a bit silly, starting this shiny new blog, when I have a perfectly good Dreamwidth that holds my archives going back to 2002.  I mean, am I ashamed of my (*gulp*) ten years of writing fan fiction, flailing about Harry Potter and Doctor Who and Avatar: the Last Airbender (among others)?  Not in the slightest!

But there is something to be said for having a nice blog you can take home to your mother, or at least tell people about at conventions.  I’ve decided that it’s like going to work.  At home, I wear jeans (or, you know, pyjamas) and lie around and say whatever comes into my head.  At work, I wear nice clothes and brush my hair and make small talk, and generally behave in what I hope is a professional manner. 

I have something being published later this year, which I cannot talk about yet, and I am writing … various things, not necessarily in the speculative genre, but roughly in the neighbourhood.  I’m also doing programming for Continuum 9 in 2013, and the committee members I met over the weekend all seem so sensible and professional and not at all likely to tell people off for being wrong about a children’s cartoon.  So this is my amateur professional blog, and hopefully one day I can strike out the “amateur” bit.