Saturday, October 30, 2010



So I've been the most MIA person for the past couple weeks. I promise I never forgot about this thing, I was just way too lazy to update it whenever I had a second of free time. This weekend, I don't have school on Monday, which means that I'll be furiously typing away at my NaNovel all day in between doing homework.

My computer monitor shakes on my desk whenever I type because this desk is a piece of shit, and I'm kind of worried that it might take off into space one of these days.

With NaNo looming on the horizon, I've been thinking. What makes thousands of people try to write a novel in November? For some people, I'm sure, they just want to write a novel to try to get it on the shelves. They're in it for the cash, rather than the words; the results rather than the process. But I don't feel like those people are a majority, or even a percentage worth mentioning. At least not with NaNo.

People write because they have to.

That's why I write.

They write because their hearts are seized by an idea that won't free them until they give it a voice, until they give it a life to return to their own. 

Even though I've doubted myself and my story more times than I can count, I'm returning to it in a little less than eighteen hours, and I can't wait.

How many of you guys are doing NaNo?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mired in the Middle

Wow, it's been a long time. A really long time, even though, in the universe, a couple weeks isn't that long at all. Whenever I want to freak myself out, I think of the universe and how huge it is and how it's constantly expanding. I wonder what's beyond the universe. Does the universe expand into nothingness, transforming a void into the life of space and stars? Or is the universe nothing? Is it nothing expanding into nothing?

I already have a headache and I think I just made it worse with all of those astronomical, philosophical thoughts. 

This weekend I decided that I'm going to continue working on Gunmetal Gray. I also just read a blog on the Nine Stages of Dating a Novel. Last November, I was in the squee! stage. Then it was the anticipation right before NaNo started. The second week of NaNo '10 was procrastination. Then it was me beating my creativity back into shape for the rest of the two weeks. I was somewhere in between squeeing and shouting expletives at my screen.

I was in the middle, where you just keep going because it's better to keep going than backtrack. It takes just as much energy to backtrack as it does to keep going forward, so there's no point in giving up once you're in the middle.

But I never realized that I've been in the middle ever since NaNo ended. I've procrastinated. I've shouted more expletives at my computer than my main characters know, which is saying something, considering they're marines. Then, come July, I was stolen away from Gunmetal Gray by a new idea: When the Storm Birds Fly. I tried to divide my attention between the two; WtSBF (lol, yay for long abbreviations) was shiny. It was new. It was gentler than GG. There was only a moderate amount of character death. A moderate amount of research to be done.

It was a hell of a lot easier to write than GG, but my heart wasn't in it.

I had an emotional affair with another novel. It's like when people go on Dr. Phil claiming that their email affairs aren't real affairs because no one screws anyone out of wedlock. But I removed myself emotionally from my story. I was writing, yeah, and it was alright. The grammar was correct, the spelling wasn't so bad, the plot didn't have too many holes that I couldn't patch over. The characters weren't terrible, either.

But it was never alone. I could always feel the characters of Gunmetal Gray waiting for me. Patiently. Lee and Cam, Todd and Ben, it didn't matter what I called them; they're still the same guys that I see in my head, doing the same things, living the same lives. Come midnight on Halloween this year, I'll have lived with them for a year. The idea behind them, though, is much older than that, at least by six months. 

When Neil Gaiman wrote a pep talk for NaNo a few years ago, he mentioned calling up his agent and begging her to let him quit his current project. I don't remember which project it was and I'm too lazy to look it up, but he hated his characters. He thought his plot would never hold water. It would never sell. And the only thing his agent said was, "Oh, you're in that place again?" 

I'm still in that place.

I'm still in the middle.

Gunmetal Gray and I, we have a history. We have emotions. We've got our problems, yeah, but we've worked through them before and we're stronger for it. I'm about to update my Novel Info on my NaNo profile with the cover I made for GG last year. I'm going to put up an excerpt from the prologue. And I'm going to write a goddamn synopsis of what I know my story to be as of right now, because I'm sure it's going to keep changing, just like it always does.

And I can't wait for it when it does.

Friday, October 1, 2010



This is pretty much me right now. I'm so excited I can barely type. I'm almost more excited for this relaunch than  I was for actually writing my novel this year. The two main contenders for NaNo are still Gunmetal Gray and When the Storm Birds Fly. Emmy (who pretty much was the first person ever to tell me I could write, ily bb) said that she thinks I should write Gunmetal Gray, because if I didn't I'd just be thinking of writing it anyway.

And she has a point.

But I'm still not sure.

I still don't have the confidence in my characters that I'd like to, and I can't decide if it's because I've "known" them for so long or if it's just because they really do need work. My characters are what I pride myself on; without characters, you don't have a story.

But this isn't the place for that right now, because I don't want to rant. Pretty much, this has been my week:
1. Organizing two schoolwide (K-12) charity events. I feel like I'm running a business and it's nuts. I have lunch meetings every day and I don't know if I like it or not.
2. Tests, tests, tests. I'm taking the PSAT in a week and a half. Shoot me now.
3. SCRIVENER FOR WINDOWS IS COMING OUT IN TIME FOR NANO. If you don't know what Scrivener is, google it. I'm too lazy to link it.
4. I went horseback riding on Monday and rode this crazy horse and ended up falling into the jump standard/wall as I was going over a jump. It was not fun and it hurt a lot and I'm still sore, but I went riding tonight and it was fine.
5. I have to work tomorrow.
6.  Next weekend, I'll be at my Aunt's, hopefully planning NaNo for the whole weekend.

We're reading The Scarlet Letter in my English class. It's pretty good, and it's definitely an "American classic." So, I'll end this with a question: What makes something a classic?