Thursday, May 31, 2007

May Writing Update / June Goals

I'm pleased with my progress this month. Not only have a successfully made the leap back into writing regularly, but I've surpassed my Story-A-Day success. Previously, I've only written 6 for the challenge. Go me!

*Participated in the May SAD Challenge [10 stories written]
*Located and joined fantasy novel crit circle to sharpen up my analytical skills for the Forgotten Star edit [2 crits completed]

June Goals
*Edit Short Story "The Crossing"
*Edit Short Story "Treischan Strenth"
*Forgotten Star: Write new content chaps "B" and "C" as well as additional content throughout the novel;
*Silver Griffin Crits: 4 crits

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Writing Update 5/29

I needed a break from the critique I was working on this morning and decided to transcribe The Lonely Orchard that I handwrote earlier this month. The transcription was a disaster, as my handwriting has severely deteriorated. I could hardly salvage the story. I picked out what I could and focused on what I remembered and just rewrote the story. Just, haha right--just. It was heartbreaking. Through the rewrite I knew the story lost its magic, I knew I had ruined it by not transcribing right away. I read it again once it was typed up and surprised myself. By focusing as I did, I managed to eliminate the extra (unncessary) story elements and write the core story, which in my opinion, makes it stronger.

Strange how these things happen, isn't it?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Short Story: Imminence

This story has an interesting history in its planning. I used both a generated prompt and a challenge issued by my father-in-law in "Clue" style. His challenge was: "Nancy" and "Nanites" in "the conference room". Two years later, I made it work. The title Imminence is only temporary. This story needs a major rewrite. It's science fiction because of the nanites and their role, and I rarely write SF anymore. Mostly I don't write science fiction because I love fantasy more, and I'm afraid of writing Star Trek / Star Wars stories. I did like writing SF this time though, it was a pleasant change.

This story was the tenth in my challenge, and I've met my goal. This is also the most short stories I've ever written in a calendar year (yes I keep track, that shouldn't surprise you). So it's a double goal.

All I need now is to get these edited and out the door.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Short Story: The Dragon's Bard

The Dragon's Bard is complete, though it needs a lot of work in the rewrite. Bard means music, and song means poetry. I'm not really good at poetry, but the story called for it and I had to deliver. I enjoyed writing it, but I'm a little afraid of the edit.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Short Story: Treischan Strength

Treischan Strength, written over lunch today, came from a prompt for the monthly challenge. I had an immediate image of a story, and pitched it out right away as cliche. Then I had another idea, and that too was cliche, so it was a goner. Then I decided on something I've never done before: I wrote from the point of view of a creature that was not humanoid in any sense.


Spring arrived and wakened the Treischans; limbs stiff from more than a winter slumber plagued Shasss and fear rippled from his aching roots, up his cracked trunk, to the weak limbs he could barely hold overhead. His leaves had not returned, none of the Treischans would leaf this early in the season, but Shasss knew his would come last, if at all. It was time to talk to his sons.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Short Story: Kalila's Veil & General Writing Update

Kalila's Veil is more of an urban fantasy whereas most of my fantasy is epic, along the lines of Mercedes Lackey or Raymon Feist. This one wanted to be different. Partially because of the prompt I worked from, partially because this prompt was from my 2005 Story-A-Day challenge. I wasn't able to write the story I wanted then, and even now I haven't been able to write the story I had originally envisioned. It changed. And why shouldn't it -- I've changed quite a bit since 2005.

I've changed so much I can't even look at the novel I stopped midway through because of my pregnancy. It was too dark, I couldn't have my child feel the things I needed to feel in order to write Shadow of Blood. I hope to get back to it one day, but I need to remove some of the graphic scenes, they just aren't in me anymore.

My writing has defintely stepped up these past few weeks. I've joined a critique group on and managed my first critique tonight. I started with Chapters 25 and 26 of a novel. What a strange place to start. I read chapters summaries of the previous chapters, so I was prepared storywise. I'm starting slow with the group right now. I tend to overcommit, a repeated problem in my life (just ask me about senior year in high school). Pacing is key. I don't want to ruin it, as this group seems to be going at a decently reasonable pace, and their writing/critiquing level is above mine enough that I can learn from them but not so far ahead that I can't help them in return. We'll see how that goes, but I feel fairly positive about working with them. :-)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Short Story: Knights of the Scarlet Rose

Today's short story, Knights of the Scarlet Rose, broke my record for the most short stories I've ever written in a month. I've come a long way, and am having much more fun now that I'm not struggling with the form. This one is different because I've never written about knights before, and I rarely if ever write about dragons, though it isn't the typical dragon hunt you've read before...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Short Story: The Crossing

The Crossing is today's short story, written from the point of view of a boatman who uses magic to steal from his passengers. I wanted to convey some humor in this one, but I'm going to have to wait for some feedback on that. Humor is not my strongpoint in writing. Regardless, this one's a keeper.

It also seems to me, the more stories I write, the more I like what I've written. I think I've grown, I think my skills are improved, and I think I need to get moving and edit my shorts!

Blurb from The Crossing

Everdeep Lake was chilled by a grey mist this morning, a mist that was bad for business. A dock hidden by mist lost customers; a boat enveloped by mist would be invisible to waiting passengers and even discourage them to take the day long hike to the bridge south of the dock. Mist was bad, definitely bad, but when Beltair rowed the rectangular boat up to his dock, he smiled at what the mist had obscured from him.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Short Story: Storm Song

The fourth story out of my goal of ten, is about a Sentinel hunting a murder, all of which happens at sea, under a thousand words. I wrote this one off a prompt, with a rapid first draft written on the fuel of inspriation.

The two sentinels sped through the raging sea toward the Storm Song. Their gills opened and closed at an exhausting rate, their triceptus fins cut the storm forged waters more sharply than ever. They were depserate to stop her.

Short Story: The Knot

This one has been transcribed and completed. I did less prep for it than I normally do. Though it originated from a writing prompt, was written more out of inspriation than planning. The style is first person, something I don't try very often, but enjoy in a short story. This one is definitely going on the edit stack.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Computer Has Me Spoiled

If I had to choose between a television and a computer, I'd take the computer hands down.

Yes my computer spoils me. I type quickly, a skill I credit online role playing. I think it, and my fingers have typed it. This skill makes writing a more enjoyable process, except when I'm not at my computer, or when I'm stumped, and the tactile feel of a pen in my hand wakes up my brain and I resort to the painstaking process of writing it on paper. I don't know if it's because I'm getting older, or because my pregnancy damaged my hands (still questioning this), but my handwriting has become horrible.

I've written one story by hand (owie) and am working on another. It's done, I guess, but without the typed up version, I feel like I'm cheating. If it's not electronic, and I can't save or send it, or print it out in neat legible letters, it feels like it doesn't exist.

Mostly I'm afraid I won't be able to read my own handwriting later. So yes, my computer has me spoiled.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Short Story: The Lonely Orchard

This latest prompt caused me some grief. I came up with two story ideas, then had to choose between the two, which needless to say showed its grief in the form of writing confusion. I started my choice of the two on several different occassions, and deleting the garbage every time. I just couldn't connect with what I wanted to write. I couldn't even decide on a workign title, something I rarely have trouble creating. Finally, I sat down over lunch today with pen and paper and decided to focus on an outline (why the heck did I try to write without one, anyway?).

Instead of writing an outline, I handwrote the entire story. Eight pages of blaring red ink that I need to type up this evening. The good news: I reconnected with the story. It's going to need a lot of editing, but I like it.

The title: The Lonely Orchard

No blurb this time, you'll have to wait for the edit. :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Short Story: Apotheosis

My favorite writing challenge of the year has begun: Forward Motion's "Story A Day" Challenge. It isn't truly a story a day unless I choose it to be, but it's a great focus time to work on short stories.

I wrote my first one today, a fantasy story about a man looking for salvation in a sword. He doesn't find it in the sword of course, but you'll have to read about it. :) Here's the opening (subject to change upon editing):

Apotheosis promised life remade, a chance not only for redemption, but restitution, and it lay beneath his feet. Matthew sunk to his knees and studied the map he had drawn months ago, drawn with a mathematical fervor that could not be matched by his wife's anger as she left their home that last time, nor the burning hatred in the eyes of his neighbors.