Someone visited me from Nepal yesterday. Hello!
NaNoWrimo starts a month from now (November first). In Nano, one must write a 50,000 page novel, or realistically, the first part of a novel, as novels generally run twice that length. The organization prefers it’s a new novel instead of adding to a novel you have because it’s easier to write from scratch.
I was all ready to submit Gods’ Seeds as the novel I was going to write, but then I opened it up to find out that I’d already written 21k of it. This was the novel I started for NaNo and quit when Trump got elected President. It wouldn’t be a cheat to work on Gods’ Seeds as long as I didn’t count those 21k words, but it would be harder to get back into.
I could start a new novel. Not sure what that would be yet.
Or I could be a rebel, which would be writing anything but a novel. This way I might be able to edit/develop Gaia’s Hands, which I’m editing and at the same time wondering what I can add back. Or I could write more short stories that fit in the Archetype universe, or …
I don’t know what to do. I’m committed to write, because I’m hosting a NaNo write-in space at the Game Cafe. If you have any ideas, let me know!
Are you trying to be funny?
I consider myself a pretty funny person, with stories, puns, dark humor — a pretty good complement of funny.
However, I tend to write pretty dark, picking topics that might be too close to home at times (climate change) or contemporary with fantastical elements (immortals, people with preternatural talents).
What are some ideas for a funny (maybe dark funny) short story?
- A vampire at an NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting
- A man who time travels to the future to find it’s being run by sentient cats
- A man who tumbles an autocratic government by introducing them to cat memes
- An “elixir of life” that ends up inducing extreme altruism
I have to come up with a novel idea (see what I did there?) for NaNoWriMo in November. Wish me luck.
Bits and Pieces
Having a relaxing weekend in Kansas City celebrating my birthday, just as I needed. Now in a coffeehouse on the south Plaza, typing this and drinking coffee and trying to come up with good ideas for writing.
The computer issue was a ID-10-T error (look at what that spells carefully); it was my dongle for the mouse rather than the USB port itself. But what the heck, it got me down here for a birthday celebration.
I’m feeling really frustrated with ideas of what to write, however. I just finished a short story called “God’s Broken Promise” which was based on an experience I had. Richard keeps suggesting characters — a guitar-shredding Buddhist monk, a woman with a pack of cats — but I can’t find the stories there. I guess I don’t start with characters like I thought I did. I start with plot, run with theme, and then the characters make themselves known.
So what do I want to write about? I want to write short stories with twist endings — shocking or satisfying or dramatic or silly. (I haven’t written enough silly stuff lately). I want to write novels again (although I’m about to embark in another dev edit).
I need ideas that grab me.
Stories have several aspects to them that make things interesting:
- The plot — what’s actually happening; the action. In a novel, there may be more than one plot (designated as A plot, B plot, etc.)
- The themes — these are the wider messages of the piece. They have big implications: man vs. nature, greed doesn’t pay, etc.
- The characters — these are the people in the story. Generally you will have one or two main characters and maybe up to 8 point of view characters in a third-person ensemble piece.
- The setting — people want to know where something happens and what it looks like.
Writing short stories, on the other hand, feels strange — all the parts of the story are there, but they’re a lot smaller, with one sentence often carrying the seed to all the parts: For example, “A woman hallucinates about the end of the world — or does she see visions?” With that idea/character/plot, I proceed with the story.
Short stories are harder for me because of motivation. I can’t dwell in a short story for months at a time like I can novels, so it doesn’t tempt me as much. I’m with the characters and the plot only for a short time, and I have to make the best of my time.
Need New Ideas for Stories
I’m writing short stories, as advised by some people at the Gateway Con who thought I’d written enough novels for now. The three short stories I have written (as opposed to the flash fiction or short essays) are from the Prodigies/Archetype universe*: “Tanabata”, “Hands”, and “Runesansu”. You can find them in these pages if you want a read.
- Alpha-freaking-male ANYTHING
- Unbridled gore
- Gratuitous sex
- In-jokes **
- The Adventures of Gary Stu
- Fan Fic ***
I can’t get my thoughts to coalesce.
I’ve tried three times to write on topics — the beginning of the semester, growing older, expecting more from people — and the topics keep winding around in circles until I don’t know what the topic is anymore.
It could be because I haven’t had my coffee yet, I suppose.
Ever have one of those days? “There’s something … bothering me … but I can’t for the life of me figure out what.” It’s that sort of feeling. There’s an elusive topic, something my heart needs to write about, but I don’t know what it is and my brain’s having none of it.
Now I have my coffee — home-roasted and fresh-ground, so you can feel jealous of me — and I’m still not sure what the topic is.
The ideas to write aren’t always there. At five in the morning, I’m not always there, either.
The idea, though, is to write and keep writing. Even if the words aren’t flowing, even if you don’t know if you’re making any sense, keep writing. Keep your pen ready, keep your fingers warmed up. Write something.
You’ll have to go back and edit it anyhow.
An embarrassment of riches
I don’t know what to write next.
This, as you may guess, is unusual for me. I have eight novels (with two needing serious work to redo), and these were written in a five-year period. (And should have been edited more ruthlessly much sooner, but I didn’t know better).
I want to hold off a bit on editing the two that need serious work (why? Because I feel like I haven’t done anything but edit lately.)
I have a couple ideas of what to write:
- Gods’ Seeds. This would be another book in the Archetype universe, taking place after Reclaiming the Balance (which needs much work) and before Whose Hearts are Mountains. and which features a brewing war among Archetypes
- A sequel to Voyageurs, which would require a lot of history research, which I detest
- A sequel to Prodigies, a New Adult novel, with no idea who I’d be following.
- Something new and I have no idea.
What am I going to write about next?
I know it’s a little early to think about this, as I am about to send Voyageurs to the developmental editor and my beta-readers have a hold of Prodigies, but I don’t know what to write about next!
The problem is that most of my new ideas are based on either Voyageurs or Mythos (the book that will go to developmental edit after Prodigies, because my betas get lost in the middle of it) and I don’t want to make the mistake I made before of basing 3 other books off a first book that I can’t publish.
No, I still don’t have an agent yet, but I remain optimistic.
Anyone have any ideas?
My plate contains a smorgasbord
I have three books I’m working on at the same time. Three.
Then, my husband and partner in crime suggested I write the 20-something-year-old idea then named “Dirty Commie Gypsy Elves” by a friend of mine. That was my NaNo project, it’s since become two books and I’m working on expanding on the first so it’s a novel and not a novella.
Finally there’s my non-fiction/poetry/prose/story/research book explaining life with bipolar. That project is currently called “Ups and Downs”.
OOPS. I’m also editing a book on roleplayer support in disaster simulation exercises and writing two chapters of it. That’s four books.
The most compelling project right now is the non-fiction item because it’s creative, informative, and autobiographical. But both of the other books are begging for attention just now. Did I say I was going to quit writing because of too many rejections? (Oops, I forgot to quit.) Do I worry that my ideas don’t seem to quit? (Yes, I do, a little. Is it time for a med check?) Do I still wish someone would publish my stuff so people would read it and I would have money to put into a new computer that had more storage and could handle graphics? (Absolutely.)
I guess I can’t NOT be a writer.
Interrogating the Dream
I get my ideas for writing from my dreams (I’m pretty sure I’ve already told you that). This post regards the first book I wrote and the dream that first tripped me into writing.