Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What I'm Working On (Or, rather, what I'm -supposed- to be working on . . . .)

I’m currently working on chapter 18 of CSH. I was intending the scenes in 18 to be part of 17, but when I find a good place to end a chapter, I have to take it. So, 18 may be a little short, and my estimate for this novel is now 21 chapters instead of 20.

I worked on As Prescribed once so far during the break. Fail. I’m supposed to have the rough draft done by January 4th. Hopefully I’ll have many a bored moment this week to inspire me.

I also received four mini composition notebooks in my stocking for Christmas. This makes me very, very happy. (I always carry one in my bag or something so I can write down story stuff.) And I got a new premise for another novel in my head—inspiration I somehow received during Relief Society. Unfortunately, I won’t be getting to it any time soon.

Finally, I’ve been getting really pumped up for my revision of The Oracle Seals*. This is good! I’ve been brainstorming how to change my protagonist’s personality and how to alter the beginning of the book. I jotted down the first two lines in a Word doc the other day. (After reading the first line of Elantris, I knew I needed to do better. I don’t have the book on me, but Elantris’s first line is something like, “Raoden awoke having no idea he’d been damned for all eternity.” Beautiful.) I’m also excited to return to the side characters of TOS, too. I think some of my best-ever characters are in TOS. However, I refuse to let myself touch it until CSH is done.

Yay acronyms.

P.S. Starting in January I have to actually start looking for a job, so if anyone knows anyone hiring for an editor-esque position, feel free to tell me.

*I never know if I’m supposed to italicize or quote my titles or not…

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fight and Battle Scenes

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my biggest blocks in writing is fighting and battle scenes. Especially battle scenes. I related this information to my sister yesterday, and apparently she loves writing battle scenes, so hopefully she’ll mentor me over the Christmas break. (I, by the way, completed my finals yesterday at 8:30 p.m. and am therefore very happy.)

I’m coming up on the last four [long] chapters of my novel, minus the epilogue. These chapters are chock full of battle scenes—one-on-one and multiple people. I want to write these scenes as well as I can, so I’ve been looking around online for information on it. Here’s some of what I found:

Season 2, Episode 21 of Writing Excuses
-Play to the strengths of your media/genre. If you’re fight scene is in a novel, don’t write it like it’s in a movie.
-Include lots of emotion. Emotion = tension & conflict
-Multi-task, if possible. (Like fighting during a conversation)
-Need to be able to visualize what’s going on without turning the scene into a blow-by-blow
-Don’t be afraid to show a character’s motives, thoughts, and goals as he/she fights

From Ezine Articles
“There is a fine line, however, between creating enough description and creating so much that it takes away from the pace. Fights are fast, furious and often over within minutes; if you drag it out too long, your reader will get bored. Keep the pace flowing by intermixing your description with the mechanics of the fight.”

From Fight Scenes 101
-Keep a careful tally count of your characters from both sides of a big battle.
-Location plans are especially useful for mapping out who is where on the battlefield.
-If the prospect of writing a battle is daunting to you, go for the limited point of view option which will allow you to break the battle up into some little one on one fights.

And it’s about at this point that I realize there aren’t a lot of decent sites about this particular topic. I may check my Orson Scott Card book when I get home to see if he ever touched on fighting scenes—it’s been a while since I last read his How to Write Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Where I am as of 12.7.09

Today I officially started Part 4 of Circus Soul Heiress. The book comprises five parts, though the fifth is just an epilogue. So, as of right now, I’m ¾ of the way through my rough draft! At this rate I’ll be sure to beat my goal of having the novel completed by the end of April—I may be done by the end of January. That means I can start rewriting The Oracle Seals three months earlier. This is a good thing.

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to work further on “As Prescribed,” but I plan to finish it during the Christmas break.

Been watching an anime called “Vampire Knight” with my older sister. It’s a pretty good show—as much as I hate to admit it, it makes me want to write about vampires. (Don’t worry, I won’t.) Though it does have me thinking along the urban-fantasy route. It’s hard for me to come up with good urban-fantasy ideas. Maybe my next book will be one. Of course, I really don’t want to start a new book until after both CSH and TOS are ready for peer review.

I did take the ending theme of Vampire Knight [season 1] and put it on an “unknown playlist” along with “Sweet Dream” by Beyonce. They sound like songs* that belong to a story I’ve yet to come up with.

*I make soundtracks for my novels while I’m writing them, part for inspiration, part for kicks and giggles. I should post them sometime….