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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 07:57pm on 26/02/2013 under
Not posting much these days. I finished my 3rd draft edits (though I still have a few details to retcon and do some minor fixes here or there).

What I'm looking to do is start a writing group that meets monthly via Google Plus hangout. Ideally, it would consist of 4 people with a finished novel draft they want feedback on. Every month, two people submit 50 pages of their draft. The next meeting, they get feedback and the other two submit 50 pages each.

So the reading load is 100 pages in a month, and you can get feedback on a novel-sized manuscript in less than a year, if all works out well.

The first meeting we'll probably talk about our projects so we can make sure everybody can stand each other's genres and stuff. I'm specifically trying to recruit people I know write well, so we won't have any really really remedial contributors.

PM me if you're interested. :)

If you'd like to beta-read the novel but don't want to submit anything to a group, let me know. I can maybe pay you in straight trade or gift cards or something? :)
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 06:49pm on 19/09/2011 under , , , ,
But, it worked out all right. I had Saturday off because I went in on Friday. So, I mostly slept all day. I did get dragged out to the free family movie at the local theater. It was Rango, which we had rented but thought would be fun on the big screen. And it was, you know, FREE. :)

Got up and got my hours in on Sunday, then wrote. It worked out well, because I went from having about three pages of chapter 18 to having 12 pages of fixed content and another five more of fairly solid stuff that still needs to be retro-fitted. (Chapter 18 is a FrankenChapter, in which something that happened in the last third of the first draft is moved to near the beginning of the novel, so all the little details have to change.) I really like the way it is turning out, because I get to introduce a really cool character, like 200 pages earlier than before. And, like most of my secondary characters in this draft, she's much cooler than she was.


My Beloved made Taco Feast. *breathes shallowly* I ate too much. It's been a while since I've done that.


He also has a like on some contract work. My new employer also offered him a job, but he didn't take it. He has a minimum threshold that they couldn't meet. BUT he also had a meeting with a tech employment agency, and the guy there knows he can place him quickly at his required rate of pay, so it's all good.

Did I mention that he's decided to change industries? This man who has been modding Xboxes and rigging home networks to answer our phones and stuff in his spare time for fun, has finally clued into the fact that maybe he should be in IT. :P This was not as good an idea a few years ago when I suggested it. :P


They've added a new product to my list at work, because I had done EVERYTHING there was to do on all the other products they had for me. If they will just start letting a approve some of these things, I will stop annoying them with my constant presence at the end of their desk, like Oliver Twist asking for more. :P

Tomorrow we have a client visit. The client is MontBlanc, and we have to dress business professional. We also cannot leave until half an hour after they leave the office, so I am likely to be caught in traffic hell. Perhaps I should go prepared to stop off in Alpharetta at a short story/novel writing workshop that is just forming. That's not until 7pm, though. What to do between 4:30 and 7pm... Perhaps I will pack my computer and plan to write. :P
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 11:40am on 13/03/2011 under , ,
Before I started messing with my manuscript, I went through the whole thing, copy-editing and making plot notes. There were many times in the drafting where I just wrote like a mofo, hopping through POVs depending on what suited my fancy at the moment.

This is not the best way to do that sort of thing, I know. But for several reasons it was the way I needed to do it. I have kind of a Thing about finishing what I start, and getting overwhelmed. I'm also a trained in literary criticism and copy-editing, so I had to find a way to hogtie my inner critic. So what I did was ignore structure and everything, and just wrote it in a big chunk. When I was stuck, I wrote anyway. People made themselves cups of tea and wandered around until I found something for them to do.

It was simply how I got through the process.

But then, going through the manuscript, I realized it was choppy and that I really needed to organize it into single POV chapters. I *knew* that in doing that I would horrendously complicate my chances of finishing in time to the Suduvu Writing Contest, but the important thing was to make it better, right?

So, it's taken me almost a week to re-write/edit the first 200 pages (more or less) of my 468 page draft. That's actually a pretty awesome pace, for major revisions, but I may well not be finished by the contest deadline. Such is life.

I'm still going for it, mind you, but I have made peace with the idea that it is going to be so very much better than it was, either way.

The thing about attempting something well out of your comfort zone/core competence is what you learn from it. Thinking in new ways about things, you know?

I merged two lackluster minor characters into a completely new guy that is so much more fun than either of the others. I've identified draggy parts and cut the heck out of 'em. I've added scenes that set up the tension earlier and introduce characters in strong ways. I ... it almost looks like I know WTF I'm doing.

I will still need another pass after this, at least. A sentence-level pass. But I've totally leveled-up.

I really need to attempt the impossible more often. It kind of rocks.
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 02:12pm on 09/03/2011 under ,
I'm dilly-dallying. I am. *sigh*

I viciously murdered my darlings yesterday, and there is more on the menu today.

But I have four chapters, each with a single POV and a plan for streamlining the timeline of the story for the next, oh, hundred pages. I'm hacking and slashing so hard, I've lost all perspective.

I'm afraid I sacrificed narrative tension for structural cohesiveness, but I can always give it another pass later. In fact, I suspect I'll need another word cull after this one, but just getting something I'm not ashamed of on paper is something.

I even had the hubby read the first 50 pages of the draft, plus the four chapters I hacked and slashed it into, and he said it was improved. (He never really over-praises my work. I think it's not really his cuppa, what with all the slashing of man parts. :P )

He also said that fears of it being too derivative of the X-Men have been allayed somewhat in the re-write. It has more of crime novel feel to it, I think.

Anyway. I may well be out of the loop (if I know what's good for me) until after St. Paddy's Day.

Then I will be back to beg for beta readers. :) Be warned.
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 04:00pm on 24/02/2011 under , ,

The first draft of Form and Void is complete at 123,159 words (by Word's count) and 620 pages in a mono font.

This beast doesn't even have chapter breaks in it yet. THAT is how little I've kept to form in this draft. It was the only way to get it done, I think. The only way to ball-gag and hogtie the inner critic.

Since my core competence has always been editing, I can only hope that the next draft will be easier.

Now, to fool around a bit. Tomorrow, the pain starts again.


I also walked nearly three miles and lifted free weights, so it kind of makes up for be basically never putting on real clothes or even brushing my hair yesterday. *snerk*
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 09:45am on 28/01/2011 under ,
Yesterday, I had a scheduled chat with one of my Wise Readers. It had been a few days since I had sent her my work, so the manuscript was some 25-30 pages longer by then than what I had sent earlier in the week. We talked for a bit about where things were shaky in the plot, or needed clarification -- I was very pleased that most of her notes were about things I had also made revision notes about, so that was good.

Then I sent her the last pages I had written, with the hint that a little-seen character showed up again in it. I swapped out the laundry while she read, and came back to see this:

[11:11] WR: holy fuck!
[11:11] Me: Is that a good Holy fuck?
[11:14] WR: holy fuck!!
[11:14] WR: wow
[11:14] WR: damn
[11:14] Me: LOL
[11:14] WR: I did NOT see that coming
[11:15] WR: even though you told me RYM was in this section
[11:15] Me: YAYS!
[11:15] WR: wow
[11:16] WR: hell yes
[11:16] WR: go with this, girl, just run with it

This made me very happy, because she's one of a very few people I genuinely trust to call me on it when I go off the rails.

So, the draft is very nearly done, and I have rediscovered the Roller Derby!

Of course, after that I got complete jack done because of all teh other stuff piling up that I needed to do. But today is another day.
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 11:17pm on 31/12/2010 under ,

I'm on page 500, with 99,975 words by Word's count, and the whole climax to go, yet. *headdesk* I take comfort in teh knowledge that, surely, much of the total words will be cut due to the fact that I was floundering and floundering was better than not writing at the time.

On the bright side, my sister characters are breaking my heart.

A really nice New Year's benediction, spoken in a lovely accent:

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Yeah, yeah. Look at me! I just broke 90,000 words on Form and Void! Also, I'm over it. I am so tired of this effing book. I want it to be over, and I'm just not feeling it. But, too freaking bad, because I'm sticking this one out. It may have taken me more than a year and a half to finish this draft by the time I'm done (though I did move house and start home educating my children in there, too), but I'm going to finish the bleeding thing.

Then I'm going to print it, beat it with a stick, and use it to start camp fires. NYAH!

After that, I'll open the file on my computer and revise the damned thing. *shakes fist* But I don't have to LIKE it. *sour face*

Next, I'm going to write a mystery.

You heard me. I've had the idea in the back of my head since I was a teenager, at least, and it's been nipping at my brain for the past week. *Hard.* I've already written out a few scenes as they came to me over the years, so I'm just going to keep doing that as I do the other stuff.

Oh, and I'm still working on HMOWK, but I'm fighting the fact that my brain is more interested in B/X than in Q/O, but I need the Q/O to finish the thing. Meh.

I will make this work. I will. All of it.


I survived today! For this accomplishment I offer the following acknowledgments:

Special thanks to Cecily (aka [ profile] narniadear ) for encouraging to write what my brain wants to write as a pause that refreshes from the work on the other. As long as I make my quotas on the main work, I'm golden. Also, for chatting with me about how thin and pitiful David Tennant looks in Single Father, and how we are all clearly meant to want to feed him up and kiss him better.

Also, to [ profile] hominysnark, for listening to me rant about the article I'm writing on gay characters on daytime TV, and not laughing at me (or, for laughing only when I was trying to be funny, at least).
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My town is getting more than its fair share of poison, but hey, who's counting? I've just been to my Writers Circle, and I'm more positive than ever about it being a good fit. However, I probably won't be critting my novel with them because of time constraints. I've come to some other conclusions about writing and how I need to handle some things.

One, I'm nearly to the end of my novel. The last quarter will be done and in first draft shape by the end of the month, I'm thinking. When it's done, I'll be wandering around, begging folks to read it and give feedback.

Some time ago, I started a live journal just for that story, but during the re-write that turned into a prequel, keeping up with posting there was just plain too much to do while moving, writing, and teaching my two kids at home. I still have the journal, though, and whatever I post there will be friendslocked, of course, but I was hoping that maybe some of you would be interested in friending [ profile] lethe_maya to give feedback.

I'd also dearly love a couple voluntary Wise Readers to read the whole novel when I get it in (or at least very close to) final draft form.

If you'd like to read a bit of it to *see* whether you would be interested in reading it, friend the [ profile] lethe_maya journal, because the first chapter is going up there this week. If it doesn't interest you, no harm no foul, just unfriend the journal or tell me to unfriend you so it won't stink up your feed.

Or, if you do like it but would rather wait until you read the whole thing at a gulp, just let me know and I'll add you to my list of possible whole novel Wise Readers. I will do whole novel readings in exchange as well, if you have something you'd like me to read.

I really appreciate the help if you can give it, and I totally understand if you can't as well.
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 02:00pm on 27/06/2010 under , , , , , ,
Of course, yesterday we were going to go on a bike ride and didn't, but the heat index was well over a hundred, so, yeah. Also, my biking clothes did not fit properly. (I may well have over-indulged in the good food this past week, what with my birthday and all, though I did eat a lot more salad than usual, too.)

So, instead of biking, we finally sat down and made William's flip book from a couple of years ago into a short video. He was very pleased:

It wasn't bad for a barely 8 year old, and of course putting it together as a video was fun.


I've been holding at 80,000 words on my novel, even writing like mad. It's because I keep re-writing sections I've deleted. I believe the story will be better for it, but still. It's kind of like being in one of those rodent wheels right now.


ETA: OMG! Almost forgot to mention that I finally got to see Hamlet with the hunny bunny last night. (I'd been holding off to watch it with him, and he's been working late a lot in the past several weeks.) It was great! Sort of makes me wonder, though, if there will ever be a performance of Ophelia that *doesn't* make me want to slap her silly. Also, Laertes' teeth gave me nightmares. *Chomp, chomp* They're coming for me!

That said, it really was wonderful. Tennant was awesome, Stewart was amazing, and it probably had my favorite Horatio ever. Just lovely.


My no-spoiler impression of the Doctor Who finale? *SQUEEE* It was lovely. I think I may even be getting past Mat Smith's giant, distracting, head. He really did some fine acting, there, and I admit I have a soft spot in my heart for Doctor Owies.

Also, I want to build a Pandorica in my basement. No particular reason. *whistles innocently*

Why are you looking at me like that?


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