Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Long Time, No See

Gee--sorry, folks. Real life and my parents' internet-free zone have kept me out of the loop for weeks now. Add to that heinous editing deadlines, a new manuscript that just won't shut up and the kids and you'll understand my recipe for blogging disaster.

I'll try not to let it happen again. I promise.

At any rate, it's been kind of difficult to get my head on straight lately. To begin with, Harlequin, the sequel to my urban fantasy Deception Enters Stage Left, is cranking along at supersonic speed. Last week, I wrote almost 50,000 words on the manuscript and am seriously looking at closing the first draft out within days. Naturally, because I overwrite like a check fraud fanatic, that first draft is probably going to close out at 125k plus.

Because I can edit the heck out of anything, I'm thinking I'll be able to trim at least twenty-five thousand adverbs, dialogue tags and unnecessary scenes out of it. I'm really liking the story. I'm starting to play with some new theories about where to take my spec fic work. I'm getting more drawn to fantasy worlds that are shared with our own--without getting caught up in the tropes of urban fantasy per se.

Let's put it this way: anyone who saw the movie Magic when it first came out probably came away with an active dislike of ventriloquist dummies. (I know I did.) Creepy little clown dolls? Not a big favorite since Poltergeist. Now I'm trying to do the same thing for all of those harlequin masks hanging on walls all over the world--save with a lot of commedia dell'Arte influence and a healthy dose of the American theater world to make it more fun.

And, of course, I'm spending a lot of time torturing my characters. That makes everything worthwhile.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Fifteen Minutes of Sunshine

Yep, so I'm taking my medicine.

I was actually prescribed--PRESCRIBED--fifteen minutes of sunshine per day. Now that it's pleasant outside and not nine hundred degree celsius, I'm actually going to obey my physician and leave my dungeon for a quarter of an hour everyday and sit in the sun.

I figure I can make myself productive and use the time to blog regularly. After all, I've not exactly been faithful to Elf Killing as of late; the Other Hobbies have been taking up most of my time.

Other Hobbies at this point would be editing.

Remember how happy I was last year when I got to the point that I could write full time? How excited I was that I could spend all day every day at my computer zipping out stories? Well, I got sidetracked into editing. Don't get me wrong: I like editing. I like seeing how other writers' stories come together. I like helping to make those stories a little bit better in between the writer and the reader. It's fascinating work.

*Is it my imagination, or is it getting hot out here???*

I just never thought it would be so time consuming. I read quickly--abnormally quickly. Gone With The Wind is an afternoon's recreation for me. The Harry Potter books go down like bon-bons. Editing, however, is a bit more than reading quickly. It's grammar books open on the table, looking up grammatical constructions and then coming up with a way to fix a problem. It's continuity plotlines growing on paper beside the laptop, so I can make sure that all the plots and subplots are resolved. It's a lot of note taking: what works, what doesn't, what needs to be changed and what should stay the same because it's awesome. Every pretty little white manuscript that comes my way ends up bleeding like the slow guy at the running of the bulls in Spain.

*is that a trickle of sweat? That can't be healthy.*

But the greatest thing about being an editor? It's making my writing much cleaner. I'm finding fewer mistakes in my own work now, and writing cleaner means writing quicker. What could be more awesome than that? Every writer searches for a way to make the process faster and better. I think I've stumbled on the secret. Editing frequently makes me a better writer.

*has it been fifteen minutes yet? it's awfully bright out here*

So anyway, I'm watching the hummingbirds dive bomb at the feeder. They seem to be distressed that a human is sitting so close to their food source. If they knew that I was the one that fills the darn thing, do you think they'd be a little more polite?

Well, there you go. Fifteen minutes of sunshine aka dialy blog session. Dang, it's warm out here. I can't wait until winter comes so I can be unhealthy and comfortable in my dungeon.