Revisions And Trimming Up

I’ve been trying to cut a ~30K story down to less than 18K, today, and I’m beginning to think that it really isn’t meant to be any shorter than it is. There are parts of it that definitely have to come out, but there are parts of it that I can’t really get rid of. Not because I’m too attached to them–at least one of them involves vomiting, and I’m so totally not a fan of that, you don’t even know–but because it goes to show that the characters involved are kind and worthwhile beings.

I don’t have problems with people pointing out things like misspelled words, or missing punctuation, or even cutting a few lines here and there. (In fact, in the first story I ever sold, I got the edited version, skimmed it, said ‘looks great!’ and went on my merry way. It wasn’t until almost a month later that I re-read the edited version in MS Word and actually saw that an entire conversation had been cut, at the beginning. Clearly, it added nothing to the story and I knew it, on some level.)

I’m not too good at letting go of things if I have to make the decision myself, though. Maybe the scenes that I’m thinking make a solid foundation for the later development of the relationship between my characters don’t actually do that and I just can’t see it. Fortunately, I’ve sent it off to someone else who can see that kind of thing, and I should have an answer in the near future.

Argh times two.

Argh The First: a grown woman, on TV, reinforcing the same old  tired gender stereotypes of 'girls like flowers, boys like bugs'. Thanks, Katie Brown, but I think P. Allen Smith and Jamie Durie would like to have a word with you about that whole 'boys don't like flowers' thing…

Argh The Second: last night, I realized that I'm going to have to go back and rewrite/revise some of the magic and summoning stuff in my Epic. Yes, it counts as world-building, but I don't know if it's interesting. (I know, I know, internal consistancy is always interesting, as well as being a hallmark of someone who knows how to write.)

It's official:

I'm writing an epic. I'm closing in on 70,000 words and 130 pages, which makes it the longest single story that I've written.

I've also started something new, which is really par for the course around here. I'm poking at some older stuff, too, trying to figure out how to finish/polish it.

I only celebrate obscure holidays.

Okay, that's not really true, but I do like to learn about them and then have characters celebrate them. For example, everyone's getting all excited about Valentine's day, on this side of the pond. However, there are only ten shopping days until St. Dwynwen's day, which likely means poking at my Welsh contingent to see if I can get anything out of them. (Hmm… Nick and Brick might have an interesting time of it, that day… Particularly Nick. I can just see him getting swamped by tokens of affection from everyone he works with… Heh.)

It also gives me a good excuse to figure out how and/or what precisely my extra-dimensional beings (who aren't demons, vampires, werewolves, OR zombie tyvm) celebrate… At least one of them comes from a bunch who don't celebrate Christmas, but do have some other gift-giving occasion, not that I know what it is. (The conversation went off in a different direction before he was asked to elaborate.)

…That's it for this installment of Randomness Theater, really.

I don't get it, at all.

I wandered over to I Write Like…, just to see what it would make of my latest stuff. The first thing I fed it–my 89-page epic featuring extra-dimensional beings and rather a lot of fairly-graphic sex–netted me Margret Mitchell. I'm not sure if it's the sheer length, the fact that one of the character tends to give other characters nicknames which are then treated as their given names, or just why I got that.

However, I can understand getting compared to Ms. Mitchell. What I do not get, on the other hand, is how my air-pirate not-quite-adventure story got me James Joyce. No real sex, some kissing, plenty of proper grammar and punctuation, no run-on sentences (as far as I know)… *Shrug* It's weird, but hey. It also said I write like Dan Brown, so I'm thinking maybe it doesn't know what to do with my stories.

Mark Your Calenders, Kids…

'Cause The Slipstream Con–a concentrated dose of AWESOME and STORY–comes out in April. This is the cover:

Recipe for broken brain: Van + Tal + Frey + STORY = Concentrated AWESOME.

Yeah, it's another plug for the talented duo that brought you The Balance Of Silence (plus other fun things, like Enchanted Grounds and The Wishing Box, along with the more serious but still satisfying You Speak In Memory) — but hey. They let me beta-read for them, so it's only fair I do my bit to promote them. 

Go here to read a little teaser; my own one-line enticement is this: Bounty hunters are as human as the rest of the 'verse, and these two may have just caught more than a wanted man…

Dear Universe:

I really shouldn't start anything new. I know this, YOU know this, and yet… And yet, here I am, with Things bubbling in the back of my head. Saturnalia/Mardi Gras, Planetary GO!, Save Yourself; I'll Hold Them Back, all mixing together and making me want to WRITE something. 

Not that I'm objecting to writing anything, but I just… *Blink* *Blinkblink* Jimmy. Jimmy lived in NOLA… And… Oh, for crying out loud. *Wanders off, muttering about festivals and pastry chefs*

A new year, a new start…

Sort of. Like a gazillion other people, I make lists of stuff I want to accomplish in the next year. Unlike a zillion other people, however, I try to A) keep my goals flexible and B) not attach too much importance to accomplishing any of them.

I've done it the old-fashioned way, and discovered that the "If I don't do [Thing X] or [Thing Y] by {Date}, I am a big fat failure and should be left on an ice floe!" attitude is really not my idea of a good time. So, instead, this is a list of stuff that I want to check off by this time in 2011. If I don't, no big; if I do, more power to me. (These are in no particular order at all, by the way.)

+ Writing Stuff:
– – Figure out how to come out to my family about my writing.
– – Buy some how-to-plot books. USE THEM.
– – Have at least three stories out at any given time. 
– – FINISH STUFF. 
– – Suck it up and learn to deal with transitions… Or find someone who loves them and arrange some kind of trade. (I make really GOOD fudge! And good cookies.)
– – See about collaborating on something featuring old characters in new stories. 

And a few Personal Things:

 — This is apparently the year of The Body Mod, at least in my head. So far, I want to:
 + Get one or more holes in my ear(s)
 + Finally decide on getting a piercing somewhat further south (not that far south)
 +Finally get the tattoo I've been promising myself for forever

 — And go out and be social with strangers. Possibly even dance with them. Maybe talk to them!

That's really all the exciting stuff that I've been thinking of, lately. Well, that and having my brain eaten by a sprawly completely-random paranormal thing. 

Be good to yourselves and one another, because we're all we've got, right now. Happy new year!