New Beginnings

November 13, 2009

I’ve moved Adventures of a New Sci-Fi Writer to its new home at blogspot. Come see all new postings over there.

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My Vision of Rounding Jupiter

November 12, 2009

As a kid I closed my eyes and experienced colorful, vivid visions…that’s how my dreams were to me, visions. They were the same for both my nighttime and daytime dreaming. And ever since I picked up my first science fiction book these dreams were always set in space, or on an alien planet.

Several years ago I woke up after taking a mind trip around the planet of Jupiter. I’ll tell you what y’all, it was wonderful. Below is the insert of this dream that I used for a scene of Galileo.

It was on the third day Jupiter appeared as a bright glowing dot, quickly growing into a massive giant. Fear skittered through as reality of its size dawned on her. The large planet eclipsed all glimpses of dark space beyond. The swirls of peachy orange and creamy white encompassed her view.

The shuttle tilted one-hundred and eighty degrees, riding along the planet’s curve. Vertigo set in as the perceived upside down tilt gave a false sense of direction. As the shuttle continued rounding Jupiter, the sun burst from the horizon and muted peaches and creams transformed into bright oranges and whites. Nettie realized they’d boomeranged around and were veering outward, away from the tumultuous giant…

I hope you enjoyed the trip…I know I did. Funny how even dreams can become fond memories.

It’s Progress

November 11, 2009

Last night was another progressive work session. I cut 1,000 words of useless content and then added double that fleshing out telling sections.

It’s not that I don’t EVER like to write in a telling format. Sometimes it’s useful, but most of the time it disconnects the reader from the story. I know that’s how I feel when I’m in the role of reader.

The scenes I focused on last night were battle scenes. When I reread them, the scenes felt more like a dictation or debriefing report. That is so not what I want the reader to feel. I want them to feel like they, themselves, are going through the battle. I want them to forget the main character is Nettie and start thinking [insert readers name here] is the main character.

Example:

…The bent metal cut into Nettie, causing pain

The last part of the sentence is telling, but the scene really calls for a connected experience. I needed to show how and what kind of pain Nettie felt. I want to make it obvious and real to the reader.

Solution (for me):

…The bent metal tore into Nettie’s arm. She winced, biting back a scream. Her eyes watered as the pain shot through her forearm and up to her shoulder. Warm blood pooled at the ripped flesh then ran off, dripping onto her flight suit…

When you’ve finished your draft and start the revision phase, take a look and see what you’re telling versus what you’re showing. Then ask yourself if it’s the right format for the scene. You might find the story more enriching when you’re done.

Good writing all!

Letting Go

November 10, 2009

My creative muse is back. Yesterday I commented on my vibe search through my various industry sites. It worked! Yay! I started feeling the creative flow yesterday afternoon and after work…wrote like a madwoman.

I also did something more important. I let go of the remaining core of my story concept. Galileo has been a project I’ve been “working” on for over 16 years. Last night I was finally able to cut the last pieces of the original story and close a long-opened and quite drafty door.

There are still fond memories of that story. The characters fit in it because, like me in my writing, they were innocent and new to there “world”. But as I grew and evolved, so did my characters. They no longer were those young adults tossed into war, but adults tossed into political conflict.

My understanding of the world now, with all my experiences and knowledge gained since those first drafts, surpassed the ability to keep the story as it was.

Oh, I fought it. It was like a bittersweet romance that, although you knew it was over, you were afraid you’d forget the feelings after goodbye. But yesterday I realized those feelings and memories are apart of me, at the infrastructure of the writer I am now.

I’ve kept a version of the original story and will probably bind it…to look at from time to time when I’m feeling nostalgic. But as for right now, I’m honoring the memory by writing the correct story in the correct setting.

I feel released and finally free to wholly delve into the writer I’ve become. Today is definitely a good day.

Are You Thinking Outside the Box?

November 9, 2009

In my quest to overcome my extreme and quite aggravating writers block, I’ve been searching through my writing links. This in hopes that immersion into the “writers” realm will inspire my characters to break through the mental walls of my brain.

During the journey I ran across a great list of Potential Cliche Story Concepts. Strange Horizons created and maintains this list. As I read through the expansive content I found my head bobbing in agreement. Strange Horizon editors/participants put together a thorough, well worded description of “the same old hat”.

Oddly enough, I think this list really triggered my inspiration to explore some unique concepts. My writers mold is in hand and I’m ready to break it on the ground.

Wish me luck, and good luck to you all on breaking your own molds.

Just Can’t Find the Words

November 9, 2009

It’s all there….brewing in my brain. I just can’t find the right creative circulation to write it down. There are just times, I guess, that a writers needs to let it simmer and brew.

And only when it’s boiling over will it come out, in a mass of energy and creative mania, into pc or onto paper.

But I’ll be honest…it’s causing a little mental fragmentation. I’m started to feel like several other people live in my head.

Progress During Chaos

October 30, 2009

have been working on edits for Galileo and thinking about changing over to Sorcerer’s Carnival for a bit. My creativity is on the border of boredom. I guess I’ll never be one of those writers that works on projects one at a time.

With the holiday’s, school, and work, I’ve had little time to keep progress here and write.

Chapter 13 is coming along well. With the subplot and character changes outlined in earlier entries here, I’ve been busy making a lot of modifications. I’m hoping to have Chapter 13 completed by next Friday.

Then I have to decide, as mentioned above, whether to trek through to Chapter 14 or change over to Sorcerer’s Carnival for a bit. I guess my creative flow will veer in its own direction when I get there.

Good writing to all and I hope to bring a more thorough entry tomorrow or Sunday.

Progress Update

October 15, 2009

Galileo War is going well, finished the last two scenes I needed for the chapter. Now I just need to flesh out the transitions between them. Then it will be moving to the editing marathon phase.

I’ve been so focused on Galileo, once the characters and I started conversing again in my head, that I’ve neglected my short story Sorcerer’s Carnival. I need to find time to finish those revisions. The deadline is not until March, but I’d like to keep some breathing room for brain freezes and character tantrums.

Well, signing off for today…good writing to all my fellow writers out there.

Starting Back Up

October 14, 2009

Yeah…eventually it’s going to happen. You’re rolling along and rocking out your story when WHAM, you’re hit with life.

The kids get sick, you get sick, your day job demands overtime. It happens.

Then after a week or so you’re kids get healthy, you get better, your workload lightens back up.

Now what?

You’re staring blankly at your work that just a week before you were pouring your brain into with a realization you’re lost and not sure where to start.

This is what I faced last night. So, I took the time to really think about this, so I could document it here for future use.

My first instinct was to just start from the beginning of the manuscript to “get back in the flow”. So I started reading. After 3 chapters, I felt further behind then before. I stopped to reconsider my approach.

This is what got me started back up…maybe it’ll work for you.

Goal: To zone in from big picture to a manageable “bite”.

  1. Scanned the storyboard for that chapter
  2. Reviewed last 5 paragraphs written (ignoring editing mistake, which is ripe with distraction potential)
  3. Mentally checked off accomplished bullets from the storyboard
  4. Then, integrating earlier advice from a commenter here, I started the next big scene in the chapter (worry about transition paragraph later, after the flow has opened back up)

Whoa-la! My creativity is flowing and my story is moving along.

Painting Your Story

October 4, 2009

I wanted to spend a quick few words giving an apology. It seems that unwittingly, I set my blog’s comment filters too high and your comments weren’t posting. I just found them, approved them, and then fixed the settings. Here I thought I was just blogging to an empty audience!

Okay, so now that I’ve confessed my blogging mishap I can turn to Saturday’s writing wisdom (quiet in the peanut gallery).

Today I did not write. I know. The week has been a mad cap of writing frenzy up to now. Then today…nothing.

I needed to reset the brain. Everything’s emptied out so fast, I’ve gotten ahead of myself. Of course, it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped the writing process. I don’t even know if that’s possible. If so, my midnight ideas could be moved to a more convenient time.

Today was a day of white canvas and colorful paint. My creative outlet needed a change of scenery.

The sky came first.

Dipped the brush in water, then into paint, and started turning a blank white surface into a sunny, clear day. Happy, calm, lifted…I painted a perfect sky. The emotions I pulled to the surface when writing the turmoil of my characters washed away, lost in the cool, calm blue. My shoulder’s relaxed, my breathing evened, and my muscle tension eased. My brain waves started to flow at a meandering pace…revisiting stories and ideas at a productive, healthy pace.

The ground came next.

Beautiful brown beach. Not too sandy, a few pebbles to make some imperfections. Like writing…the interesting parts are in the nitty gritty. My now calm and flowing thoughts started to spark…attracted by a few eye-catching ideas. The reality of the hard, rough beach in my picture grounded my ideas. Made them more real.

Troubling aspects of my story, the ones that had become convoluted, are clear to me now…my vision landed on its beach, a little imperfect but real.

I am ready to write again.

What is your canvas and paint? Sometimes you have to lose your focus to find your solution.