Well, that was cool.

Just paid for part of my registration for GRL with money I earned from my writing. A seriously awesome feeling, and it counteracts the OMGPANIC! that Small Mind is trying to drown me with — after all, now I have to GO, and interact, and be social and stuff. With people I don’t know.

It will be fine, I know this. I was just as nervous about going to Sakura-Con the first time, and I had a great time, after all. A bunch of writers and a bunch of readers who love them, what could be more fun?

Plus, I’m going with my best friend, who told me in no uncertain terms that it didn’t matter how old I am, I am not allowed to go to NOLA by myself. There’s all sorts of wonderful things to see, too, and the food is probably going to be worth the price of the flight alone, so.

Boooooks!

I ordered my armload of books (most of them plot-centered), and they arrived yesterday.

So far, I’ve read most of Plot & Structure by J. S. Bell, with occasional dips into The Writer’s Little Helper and The Fire In Fiction.

I’m doing my best to apply the techniques in P&S to the ~30K story I’m tweaking — some of the ideas are a little awkward, because I already know what happens and I don’t really need to worry about how I want things to go. (For instance, I don’t have to worry about deciding on what kind of ending I want to have, or how I want my readers to feel at the end of it. I’m really happy with my current ending.)

One of the things I’ve been fiddling with has been the back-cover copy. So far, I have:

It all started when Jesse Swanson stopped to pick up a dead bird.

– – –

Jesse Swanson’s life is pretty normal. He has a job he doesn’t mind, his parents are pretty decent, and he’s got a boyfriend. So what if he still lives at home; so what if he thinks he maybe argues a little too often with his guy?

Then he stops to pick up a dead bird, some vague notion of burying it floating through his head, and nothing is ever the same again. For one thing, there’s suddenly a new guy in Jesse’s life; for another, the guy doesn’t seem to be precisely sane

– – –

Warning: This story contains strange logic, spoons, more eggs than your doctor wants you to eat, bad ideas, inappropriate responses to common life events, and ravens.

– – –

Warning: consuming raw or undercooked food increases your risk of food-borne illness. Contains egg, milk, wheat, and soy ingredients. Written by someone who doesn’t wash their hands after handling and/or consuming peanuts and tree nuts. Also contains ravens, strange logic, spoons, instincts, and produce.

I think I may be better at blurbs than I am at synopses. I’m certainly better (or at least I think I am) at coming up with silly warnings than either blurbs or synopses.

One of the more disappointing parts of reading my books, however, is realizing how much work I have to do in places. So far, I’m still not entirely sure what to cut, but I do know that I need to add a few things. I’m not certain how much rewriting I’ll have to do, either…

I’m also not sure that I’ll ever find a home for this story. It’s one of the few stories I’ve written where I love it and want others to love it in the same way, so much so that the idea of sending it out into the big wide world is more daunting than usual. (And yes, I know, it can always use a little editing, no matter how much I love it.)

Continuity: Not Just For Movies.

I just discovered that I had a character refer to two small children as boys, at the beginning of a scene. Twenty-five lines later? One of the boys has morphed into a little girl.

So much for me! At least I'm still in the writing/figuring out what's going on stage, rather than discovering this lovely little booboo after the story had escaped into the wild.

There, that’s better.

Finally got my fiction pages in order and up. As a bonus, not only did I post the epilogue to Totally Choice, I posted something else I’ve been working on the last couple of days.

And now I have to go to sleep or else. I’ve got a ridiculous weekend coming up, followed by zipping off to Seattle next week, and I haven’t even started packing yet. Hooray?

Sounds Like A Plan To Me.

Shea Meier posted the following:

Here's what I will do:

Write honestly.
Write the characters I love, as human beings.
Tell the story that I meant to tell.
Do my best to make each voice authentic to the character I'm writing.

Here's what I won't do:

Use my sexuality as an excuse to write what I write.
Let someone else erase my sexuality or gender as a way to discredit what I write.
Stop telling the stories I want to tell because someone insists that I'm not queer enough.

Other than having trouble writing the story that I wanted/intended to tell on the first go-round, I am happy to point at this and say 'Me too!' None of us would be sitting here, discussing this, if our antecedents sighed and gave up the second someone else told them they couldn't do whatever it was they were thinking of doing.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go write. I have a bunch of queer stories I really need to get finished some time before the turn of the century.

Watch This Space

This weekend, I think I'm going to post all of the fiction-bits I've posted here on their own pages, so that they're easy to get to. As a bonus, I'll also post a little follow-up thing I wrote featuring Will and Levi of Totally Choice.

If I don't get it done by Sunday afternoon, feel free to poke me or throw shoes or whatever.

So what IS the difference between "awhile" and "a while", anyhow?

You use 'a while' if you're also using the word 'for', as in, "I'll drive for a while; you get some sleep." If you're not using 'for', then you use 'awhile'. "I'll drive awhile; you get some sleep."

This–and a lot of other useful information–can be found at Paul Brians' (Big) List Of Errors page. It's ridiculously helpful, and if you'd prefer it in an offline format, he's written a book.

Maybe I should just give in.

None of my current WIPs are going anywhere. Maybe I should go ahead and start the new things rattling around in my head — a Fandor/Juve 'fic (primarily smut); a confrontation between two guys on the verge of both majority and perhaps something more than friends; and possibly something for Freaky Fountain, though I haven't decided if I'm going to use one of my actual straight couples or a new pair entirely. 

(Also, your moment of hilarity for the day: My brother is wearing one of his Utilikilts. The older of my Unofficial Nieces saw him and pronounced him "pretty as a princess". [She's not quite four.])

I write like…

(Shamelessly nicked from Shea Meiers, who writes lovely stuff.)

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Which is just strange. I fed it Nick and Brick, and this is what it comes up with? I’d absolutely love to see the comparison text, just to see how it is that my weird little faerys-and-technology story is at all like King. Other than a few mentions of blood (in a non-horror/injury context) and a couple of mentions of people being executed (in passing, you’ve read the entirety of the gory details), there’s nothing horrible or horrific in it. Granted, it needs to be polished up, but as far as I know it doesn’t have any sentence fragments masquerading as actual sentences…

So then I gave it my hockey players, which got me this:

I write like
Raymond Chandler

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Which is even more Whaaaaaaa?-inducing than Stephen King. I’ve read more Chandler than I have King, but… *Blink* Huh. In the course of looking up Phillip Marlowe‘s name, I discovered this: Underneath the wisecracking, hard drinking, tough private eye, Marlowe is quietly contemplative and philosophical and enjoys chess and poetry. While he is not afraid to risk physical harm, he does not dish out violence merely to settle scores. Which makes the comparison make a LOT more sense, to me.

So after that, I had to know what IWL would make of Benny and Phil. This is what it had to say:

I write like
Mark Twain

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Which makes perfect sense to me — I used the 1st-person POV of someone for whom grammar is one of those things they only deal with when they have to, as Twain did in Tom Sawyer. I don’t remember if Tom ever kissed Becky, but there was definitely some awkward moments of ‘um i think you’re cute’, which fits, too.

And then, just to see what would happen, I gave it Max and Trev to chew on.

I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Dan Brown. Dan Brown? How on God’s green-and-oily Earth do they get DAN BROWN out of 126 pages of angsty wittering, a boy in knickers and eyeliner, agrammatical Welsh, and BDSM? Unless it’s not the Dan Brown of the DaVinci Code (or he’s written some stories I’ve missed out on), which is I suppose entirely possible… Hm. Oh well; on the bright side of this result is the fact that someone somewhere said yes to Brown’s work, so there’s that.