I don’t know if I like it, but I like it.

Started another Storyball project this month.
Got the first story done. (Sort of; it’s really just the beginning of one. I might go back and add some more when I’ve more time — it should be a bit longer.)
Holly Black wrote in a recent essay/blog post about tapping into something inside yourself — “find your inner rage or your inner perv.”
Think I did both.

About this thing…

So I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.
… Except for this one leetle project. Nine of us are doing intertwined short stories in a shared setting, using a little set of ‘rules’ to make sure that the stories are all intermingled. In the end, it should be 50000 words.
We’ve all agreed that we’re not going to link to the site where we’re doing this until (at least) after the thing is over, but that we can talk about it. I’m going to talk about two things.
1. The rules, cuz I think they’re pretty spiffy. This is the Very Simple Summary of the rules.

1. 925 words, minimum, due on the 3rd, 8th, 13th, 18th, 23rd, and 28th.
2. In the first turn, you put a link at the end of the story to two new, unwritten story titles that (a) sound like something cool you want someone to write and (b) you want to have ‘touch’ your story in some way.
3. In the second through sixth turn, you have to write a story for one of the titles that someone else created in one of THEIR stories, and do a mix of (a) creating new titles for unwritten stories that someone else will have to write and (b) linking your story back to stuff that’s already been written. ((In the detailed version of the rules, there’s a pattern for this.))
Example of creating a new title: in your first story, you mention ‘the ghosts in room 141’, but that’s all you do with it. At the bottom, you make a link to a story called “141 Ghosts”. It doesn’t exist yet, but it will, because now someone else has to write that story in a later turn.
Example of connecting to a written story: you have an ornate salt cellar in your story. Joe has an ornate salt cellar in a story that he wrote a few turns ago… you put a link at the bottom of your story to Joe’s story, simply because, in your head, it’s the same salt cellar.

There’s a version that’s a lot more detailed, but that’s pretty much it. I think it’s kinda spiffy (for all that I didn’t really think of it, just tweaked rules from another creative writing thing I’ve done).
2. What folks are writing.
Stuff for the first turn is coming in from the other authors.
Holy crap it’s good. Damn.

NaNo thing

Okay, for those of you who were thinking about the group NaNoWriMo project that Noelle/Kate had mentioned and I’ve talked about here and there, go peek at a more fleshed out version of the vague idea I had, now written up on writing in the dark.
Commentsesses over there, precious.

Well, that’s a comfort, at least.

Neil Gaiman:

The reason I got testy was because I’ve spent a day fighting with an uncooperative novel and every scene I wrote kept turning into two people having a conversation, and it was driving me nuts. It wasn’t even that they were sitting around having interesting conversations. They were telling each other things the reader had already seen occur, and I felt powerless to stop them…
So I abandoned the incredibly dull scene I was slogging my way through in the Chinese restaurant and wrote a scene from later in the book, that seemed like it might be an interesting thing to write, set in the Hell of Birds. And because that scene meant that some things had to happen before that happened, I wrote the scene that it implied too. And the book’s now behaving, more or less.
Only What Happens in the last part of the book is all different now. It feels more like What Happens than what I thought happened in the last half of the book when I started writing this (or, er, this morning). But…

I’m unspeakably comforted that this happens to writers like Neil as well. It makes me feel part of an exclusive club.
Except I’m more of a hack — I even crib someone else’s words to whine.
Right, back at it.


I’ve long been someone who uses a keyboard almost exclusively for writing work. I can write longhand passably enough (for my own purposes at any rate), but I’ve never really seen the point, since I know I’m just going to copy anything useful over to a digital format anyway. Why do the work twice — unless you have to, as I did in London?
I’ve amended that stance somewhat.
1) I’ve discovered that I really enjoy writing longhand when I’ve got the time and no particular place to “be” with regard to writing. In other words, when I’m doing a little verbal meandering — don’t know exactly where I’m going and I just want to look around for awhile — then longhand is just the thing. It lets my brain run out ahead a bit and see what’s coming up next.
2) When I don’t know where I’m going because the path ahead is dark and unknown, then longhand is just the thing — it let’s me explore slowly and take my time as I go.
3) When there’s a big wall in the way, pen-on-paper is the tool I use to get it taken down, one brick at a time.
Eventually, I start to see where I’m going, though, and I have to set the pen down and hit the keyboard, because my longhand simply can’t keep up when whatever I’m writing is really coming through at a good (even normal) clip. If I can’t type at that point, it gets pretty frustrating and I’ll even (horrible mistake!) starting editing things out of what I’m thinking of writing just so I can get it written down without going numb from the elbow down.
So: not 100% useful, but much more than I’d once have thought .

Band camp? We were never in band camp…

Via ***Dave: The way we weren’t.

Invent a memory of me and post it in the comments. It can be anything you want, so long as it’s something that’s never happened. Then (if you like) post this in your journal so that people can invent memories for you.

Alright, people… let’s have it.