Category Archives: COD

No Admittance Without Plot

It’ s been awhile.

I’m trying.  Maybe not very hard, maybe not in the most consistent way, but I am.  And the why of it is simply that my head is full of brain dolls, and more show up all the time.

A brain doll is sort of like a character.  But a character is someone whom I work, whom I form and mold and tweak.  A character fits into a story and the story fits around the character.  They are the ones who make it to the keyboard and are not generally allowed to run amock.  A brain doll works me.  Brain dolls are creatures that live in my head.  They’re made up of bits of backstory and internal conflict with a dash of physical characteristics, and they often show up in pairs.  They tend to come with very few accessories like, say, plot points, and most of them are lazy and don’t build on their own.  They just wait around for me to do it.

Some of my brain dolls, the ones that have been with me a long time, make their own spaces in the corners of my world.  They build sets and create stories, and they live lives within the borders of their regions.  Their stories tend to be soap-opera quality messes that I could never untangle enough to put to paper, even if I wanted to.  Some of them are former characters, retired with their abandoned plots to enact and embellish on their favorite scenes for, it would seem, all eternity. 

Matt and Alex still live in the WOTM region, waiting for that last 20K or so of grey area to get colored in.  They’re still characters, and thus far, they continue to wait silently for my return, should you wonder what became of them.

 But it’s the huge brain world playset of Supertown that’s out of control.  That’s the world where Mac and Colby live, though they, too, linger as characters trapped in the brain doll world.  Rand and Marissa want their story told, but not enough to give me enough hints on plot points to keep the action going.  Marissa brought in this ex-boyfriend named Joel, and next thing you know, Tina showed up with a criminal past and said she wanted to, after much angst and denial, be hooked up with Joel please.  Well ok, Tina, but what else ya got?  Give me more to work with or get in line.  One young woman showed up a month or so ago, and she felt promising.  She brought a hero, a father, a sister.  And then she turned around and informed me that no, she had 2 sisters, and they had beaus, but please excuse their complete fuzziness.  Great.  Thanks.  Take your trilogy and wait over there.  Patiently, Carolyn waits, reminding me that she’s important and she has a love interest, and please don’t forget to introduce him at some point.  But while she’s told me what she can about him, he has yet to show up and introduce himself properly.  Which might be why we refer to him as Stasis Guy.    Today, as I stare at the last line I wrote for Rand and Marissa, wondering about their motivations, I realize that someone needs to die.  Not right now, just, you know, sometime.  And the man she leaves behind waves to me from a dark corner.  I didn’t even know he was there, but he’ll be ready to play the Grieving Widower type who finds true love a second time later on down the road.  He introduces me to his Best Friend, who pulls him away from the body of his lover.  Best Friend says hey, how’s it goin’?  Just wanted to let you know that that experience will make me realize what a jerk I’ve been to my COMPLETELY FUZZY love interest here, and I’ll be having one of those Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone moments (yeah, coincidentally Cinderella is playing right now, neat).  Oh, how will that come about?  Well I don’t know, that’s your job, isn’t it?

Hey, I love hangin’ out in Supertown.  I love you guys.  Really.  But I’m constantly distracted by all these new arrivals.  You guys are never going to reach your character potential if I don’t get some work done.  Help me.  Help me help you.  Give me some stories to go along with these setups, or your world is never going to be anything but a some assembly required brain doll playset. 

Rand, you’ve got that anti-gravity thing going for you.  Get up there and pull down the Welcome to Supertown sign with the everchanging digital population indicator.  Bryan, get off your not coming up with my YA subplot butt and help him out, because I suspect you’ve got a bit of telekinesis going, don’t you?  The new sign is right over there.  It reads:

No Admittance Without Plot.

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Filed under characters, COD, ideas, progress update, rant, romance, wotm, writing

No News Not Necessarily Good

I haven’t written anything since my last post.  I haven’t even tried.  Every time I think about it, I feel vaguely uneasy.  I’ve made up a bunch of dresses for my Etsy shop which I’ll be listing over the next few days, so I haven’t been wholly unproductive, and I was behind on that too.

I hope my Nano and Sweat buddies are doing well.  I’ll try to get around to see you soon.

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Filed under COD, NaNoWriMo, progress update, writing

Nano/COD Update: Day 10

No new stats to report.  Someday, maybe I’ll learn how to handle writing and my brain chemistry, but after beating myself up pretty good the other day, I’ve just taken a break. 

I figured out that if I wrote 2K per day from now on I would still make it.  That sort of made me feel better.

Right now, though, my mind’s just blank.  And that’s an improvement.

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Filed under COD, me me me, NaNoWriMo, progress update, Sweat 2, writing

Nano/COD Update: Day 8

I did another little bit this afternoon.  Officially I’m at 11580, although I’ve got another 500 or so words written in the scene I’m currently (not) working.

I got an email from a municiple liason today in which she talked about Week Two and how it’s said to be the hardest week of Nano.  She said, amongst other things, that Week Two is the week in which you may come to feel that you are writing the worst novel ever.

And I thought, nah.  For one thing, I’m pretty sure I’ve already written the worst novel ever, so this probably isn’t it, and besides that, I’ve read an awful lot of crap in my life which often serves to make me feel better.

Then, just now, BAM.  It hit me.  I was sitting here, pondering something other than Nano for a while, and next thing I know

Damn!  My story totally sucks. 

So I don’t know, either I need to figure out how to fix it up, or I just need to get over it and move on.

Anyone else have this happen this week?

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Filed under COD, insecurities, NaNoWriMo, progress update, Sweat 2, word count, writing

Nano/COD Update: Day 7

So my update for yesterday.  Hard hit by the plague, and even though I had to spend most of the day being still so I could keep breathing, I didn’t get much writing done.  It should have been a good time to get ahead, but I just couldn’t think straight. 

 By the end of the day, I was only able to come up with 755 words.  Which is far better than nothing.  It means I only have to write 2572 today to catch up instead of 3334. 

Ok, that was my attempt at positive thinking.  How’d I do?

So the thing that didn’t make sense?  I skipped it.  I know a reasonable answer is there and I just refuse to see it right now.  The thing about the traitor, as well as coming up briefly later in the story, is really a background thread for the series.  So it’s not critical that it be here for me to move on.  Skip!  Then I checked my outline and was supposed to write about my heroine going about town talking to people and finding out stuff about Mac.  Oh, I forgot about that.  The fact that I forgot it makes me wonder if it’s important, or if it’s just fill.  Since I couldn’t think of a way to make it important (like I wanted to write the dinner scene from my snippet yesterday, so I forced new reader info into it, which was easy and worked) I decided to just skip that too, for now.  Maybe I’ll come back and fill it in with things about Mac and thoughts from Colby that I fail to illustrate any other way.  And maybe I just won’t write it at all. 

So what the heck did I do?  Not much, like I said.  Mac came home from work and had some words with Colby.  I established that it’s his regular poker night and it’s his turn to host, and he can’t get out of it because everyone wants to come gawk at the fake girlfriend and he’s pissed off an worried. 

I did have him pull his shirt off as he stalked down the hall to the shower.  It was gratitous because we were in his head and there was no one there to see it but me.  But a girl needs to get her kicks somewhere.

Speaking of which, romance stuff is on the horizon, action too, and, beyond that, immersion into the superhero world.  Trying to remember to be excited about that.

I’m at 10764.  How’re you Sweaters and Nanoers doing (and those of you who don’t need a challenge to get stuff done too)?

 P.s. If you didn’t visit Joely Sue Burkhart’s blog yesterday, she had an interesting post that included her storyboard and a collage of inspirational stuff for her story.   Which, of course, made me want to show you whom Mac and Colby resemble.

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Filed under COD, NaNoWriMo, progress update, romance, Sweat 2, word count, writing

Nano/COD Update: Day 6

You know, I like to write in scenes.  I write from beginning to end and then I’m wiped.

So it seems to be a bit of an issue that scenes for me are rarely more than 1600 words.

Anyway, 1632 today to total 10009.  That makes me happy.  My heroine told the hero why she was there, which, of course, he didn’t take so well.  But neither she nor I expected him to.  She because she read his file, and I because I’m just all about the conflict and I know it.

So I sat down to write out some notes to get me throught the next scene.  I wrote some general impressions of the head of the bad guy agency and then WHAM!

Um, if the bad guy agency has someone inside the good guy’s secret mountain compound (such that they have the information they’re about to discuss in this scene), why don’t they just get its location from the aforementioned traitor and wipe them out?

Yeah, so my outline has a bit of a flaw, huh?  I think I’m too stunned by my own stupidity to think my way around this right now.  Right now it feels important to me that they actually don’t discover the location, as opposed to being able to get that information but feeling like other goals are more important right now.  So I don’t know what to do and I think a simple solution is right there and I’m too sick and miserable and pissed off right now to see it.

And aside from how lousy that last paragraph was, I’m not really in that bad a mood.  Not really.  I am, however, out of it to the point of senseless babble.

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Filed under COD, ideas, NaNoWriMo, progress update, romance, Sweat 2, word count, writing

Nano/COD Update: Day 5

I just wrote that scene I wanted to write last night.  I put in a bunch of political stuff that should hopefully be interesting to the reader, sort of explains what’s going on, shows off more of who the characters are, both to the reader and to each other. 

I’m really happy about that, and that I’ve just passed the minimum goal for today.  Hoping to get a bit ahead later on.

Did 1618 and am now sitting at 8377.

 Of course, I was supposed to be making this week’s menu and grocery list and getting ready to go out on errand day.  Gotta run!

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Filed under COD, NaNoWriMo, progress update, Sweat 2, word count, writing

Nano/COD Update: Day 4

I got some time to myself this afternoon and I just passed today’s goal.  So I was happy.  I figured that tonight I could get ahead some more.  But frankly, I’m very sleepy.  It’s not coming to me, and my DD’s got a cold, so I think she’s going to wake me up…again.  So I’m taking myself off to bed.

6758 as of today.  I’m in the middle of an uncomfortable dinner situation.  The main characters can’t talk about what’s going on because there’s company.  But it still has to be worth reading, so I’m thinking that the company should bring up something in the news that will bring the fictional world into focus a bit better for us.  But I’m not inspired as to what that is.

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Nano/COD Update: Day 3

Such exciting post titles for me lately.

So, what did we learn today.  Well, I learned the following:

  • One cannot intimidate the Nano site with how many times in a row one can hit refresh.  It doesn’t care.  It is not impressed.
  • When making icing, don’t just put in the listed ingredients, pay attention to the consistency.  It’s easier to add a little milk to thin it out than to add a lot of sugar to try to bring thicken it back up.  Admittedly, that’s not really a learn, that’s more of a review, and a duh at that.
  • Even when it seems like you’ve been in a scene so long that you must surely have written over two thousand words, it is very likely that you haven’t written one thousand yet.  Do not be surprised with you it see the actual number.
  • Three year olds, chocolate cake, and NanoWriMo progress do not peacefully coexist.

 Ok, that’s probably about it, really.  My hero and heroine had their first conversation.  My heroine’s just sashayed back off-stage, and my hero is standing there dumbfounded and not knowing what will happen next.  Guess which character I resemble.

I’m up to 5778 now, and losing a bit more of my lead every day. 

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Filed under COD, love, NaNoWriMo, progress update, romance, Sweat 2, word count, writing

Nano/COD Update: Day 2

Ugh.  I just crawled through a patch of guy talk to introduce my hero.  The heroine just walked onstage and put me out of my misery, thank goodness.  But I know I’ve hit the point where I need to go to bed and I’m not going to do good work, so I’m going to stop at 1132, even though it’s not what I wanted to do today.

That puts me at 4081.

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Filed under COD, love, NaNoWriMo, progress update, romance, Sweat 2, word count, writing