Sunday, October 30, 2011

Beats Now and Then - Patricia C. Wrede's Blog

Beats Now and Then - Patricia C. Wrede's Blog:

'via Blog this'

I've spent a lot of time looking at writing blogs, and 9 out of 10 are really marketing blogs. They might say they're about writing, but really they're about selling. (Also an interesting topic, but not the one I'm interested in.)

This blog, from Patricia Wrede, is absolutely the exception to the rule. I think I learn something every time she posts. And this post, on creating beats with punctuation, fits right in with what I've been trying to figure out lately.

(Also trying to figure out whether an ellipsis is three periods in a row or three periods separated by spaces. But such is the life of a geeky writer.)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

And a second draft, too

And a second draft, too. The first one looks absolutely nothing like the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, but there's some book it resembles, I'm sure of it. I'll find it someday and feel stupid for not remembering. But I realized while looking at it that it's wrong, anyway -- it's too dark, too serious. So I tried making it more colorful and I kind of like this one. The blur makes me think of Akira talking about what the energy of the house looks like. I suppose it would be better if I found a house picture and blurred that. Hmm, maybe with some Spanish moss in the background? But using Powerpoint for design is not so easy. (Not to mention that I'm not a designer.) But this, or something close to it, might do. 

There's a terrible catch-22 with cover design which is that if I want to sell the book, it makes sense to pay for a good designer, but obviously, I can't do that while I'm an unemployed graduate student. Or shouldn't, anyway. I need to remind myself that I'm not at a million words yet. Worrying about cover design is approximately 700,000 words in my future. Two days away from NaNoWriMo, and I should decide what to write! 

Cover design

I made my first draft of a cover tonight, just for the fun of it. It is definitely not going to be the final cover because it reminds me much too much of some other book. Midnight in the Garden of something or other, maybe? Spanish moss might be too much of a cliche.

That said, trying to design a cover in Powerpoint is not exactly easy. Especially the Windows version of Powerpoint. (I was once quite adept at the Mac version, but of course they're different and I can't find the same tools.)

Also, I might need to change that title. I sort of know what it means or what it meant to me, but it's probably pretty mystifying to anyone else. Still, it's exciting to have finished writing. Woo-hoo, I wrote a whole book. Conclusion and everything. (Okay, pretty abrupt ending, might need to add to it. But still, a definitely possible ending.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Procrastination vs block

I'm suffering from the worst case of writer's procrastination at the moment. I keep opening the file and then finding something else to do. I've browsed, I've read, I've played games, I've cleaned the closet, I've's bizarre, mostly because it's not writer's block, it's just writer's procrastination. I know what's going to happen next in the story (or what I want to happen, anyway), I'm just not writing it.

Amusingly, though (to me, anyway), when I decided to try one of my favorite writer's block cures, I couldn't do it because it doesn't fit. Whenever I'm stuck, I try to imagine what the character is smelling at that moment in the story. It makes for a nice sensory detail and it gets me back into the place to see what comes next. But at the moment, Akira is a ghost, so she can't smell anything. So this is just procrastination, and now I'll write something else.

I want to find a picture of Spanish moss to use for the cover. If I had one, I'd include it here. I need to get some more pictures for random blog posting, I suppose.

Goal setting

I am wondering whether I should create a new blog that's just about writing and books. I don't tell anyone the address of this blog -- it's not the most secret blog in the world, but I don't include it in my signatures or post it in comments or profiles or really anything. I figure it's a "what I had for lunch" blog and I have faith that the world really doesn't care, so I haven't encouraged anyone to read it. But if I want to start making it easy for people to find the other things I've written than maybe I have to be more public about it. So then the question is do I start a new blog or just stick with this one and realize that maybe someone is reading it? (Hello, oh, unknown reader! Delighted to have you here, really.)  Decisions, decisions.

I think my uncertainty...huh. I just realized that I'm feeling that "ought to" pressure again. If you're a writer than you "ought to" have a blog. If you're going to be successful, than you "ought to" do social media. (Which I do, kinda. Sorta. Once in a while.) To earn money from writing, you "ought to" promote your books like mad. Actually that last is even more of a "you absolutely have to" according to all the experts I read.

I decided, though, a few months back when I was feeling stressed, that my goal was going to be a lot simpler. I'm going to write a million words, and then I'm going to think about what I want to do with my writing. A million words that I let other people read, that is. Fan fiction counts, work posted on fiction press counts, work self-published counts. The million words of journals don't count. The marketing writing and words written for work over the years don't count. Just fiction posted publicly. So doing a new blog just got moved to the end of the million words goal. I'll think about it again when I've finished the million words. (The best thing about the million words goal is that I can push everything I don't want to do to the end of it! Clean the house? Sure, after I've finished writing a million words. Ha.)

But I should be writing some of those million words right now. I'm really close to the end of Ghosts and apparently now dragging my feet about finishing. I'm not sure why, except that endings are hard. I want it to finish with that sigh of happiness sensation, and at the moment, I don't know how to get there. But I never will unless I keep writing, so time to wrap this up.

(This new dynamic blog design makes me want to start randomly adding photos to every entry, just here, random photo. Rory on a cliff in Santa Cruz.)