On Checking off Bucket List Items Without Accidentally Kicking Their Container

This is a third post which has the words Bucket List in its title.

I find it mildly amusing because I do not actually think about my bucket list as often as I probably should (evidently, it is a big deal for normal people, but I—honestly—am not even sure what is on mine). Continue reading “On Checking off Bucket List Items Without Accidentally Kicking Their Container”

On Smoking and Other Indulgences

Recently—a week ago—on June 1st, 2017 and (as one of the countless apps I have on my phone informed me) the 20014th day of my life—I finally received full absolution to do whatever I wish.

I can drink (which I never stopped), smoke (which I stopped—not quit, mind you, stopped—eleven years, four months and four days ago to date, but can start over with no effort whatsoever*), talk (if I suddenly want to), leave the toilet seat in an upright position, touch art in museums, and cross the street on a red light.

Continue reading “On Smoking and Other Indulgences”

The Rumors of My Resurrection Were Slightly Exaggerated

Last Monday’s upper endoscopy showed that my tumor is NOT gone, as I was led to believe by my doctor earlier.

Now, another six sessions of chemo later—although it has decreased in size (by about 30% in the esophagus and 50% in the stomach area)—it is still pretty much there. Small wonder I still cannot swallow without chewing everything but drinks to mash.

Continue reading “The Rumors of My Resurrection Were Slightly Exaggerated”

Emptying that Hexed Mantel

It is happening! I have finally found a use for my pain enhancer. One more thing off the mantel (not without going back and fiddling with the chapter where it was first mentioned, but I think I managed to have the changes worked in smoothly). Go me.

I am now thinking about not killing one of the characters just yet. He is simply too potent to discard. I do realize, that once I do that, he shall be found sitting on that very mantel, dangling his feet and making funny faces at me, until I figure out how to use his abilities, but the challenge is on.

Besides…

Continue reading “Emptying that Hexed Mantel”

Another Milestone: 500,000 Words

And counting. I nearly missed this one—only yesterday I was still three or four hundred words away from it, and I do write slowly—but another scene is in and all of a sudden I am past 500K.

This is what happens when you start with a five-bullet-point outline, a strong sense of direction and absolutely no idea what you are doing.

Continue reading “Another Milestone: 500,000 Words”

On Suspension of Tension

Whimsically subtitled

Not Everything that Rhymes is Stupid (or at Least I Hope Not)

or, better yet

Other Poisonous Things that are Pumped into My System, Other than the Ones Depicted Above

Those poisonous things are, of course the ever-buoyant (a fancy way of saying never-sinking) doubts that I am doing everything I can to progress the story forward in the most naturally consumable way—and that means that I need to give the reader a break and stop escalating the tension for at least a few hours of the story’s timeline.

Even if that means restraining myself from killing or hurting people for a time.

Continue reading “On Suspension of Tension”

Part II is Finished!

Part II is finished (first draft of it, that is), bringing the tally of words to a staggering 473 thousand. Go me.

It was a difficult one, considering the fact that I had to deal with several characters, simultaneously climbing their individual arcs. Now, since I have dealt with it, I can move on to more fun stuff, like actually hunting—a dragon.

Continue reading “Part II is Finished!”

On the Beginning

After listening to the archives of the Writing Excuses blog for two days in a row, I am now almost convinced that I need to modify the beginning of the book. As of now, it starts (and always had been starting) with a lengthy encyclopedic pseudo-quote:

The Great White Desert, Heart Of Lands, or, simply, the Flats, is a vast territory of thinnest silt dust, baked by the Sun into an immense ceramic plane, that spreads for thousands of miles in the very center of the Circle of Known Lands*.

Continue reading “On the Beginning”

Writer’s Block, or a Slight Case of Between-the-Scenes Anxiety

In my case, the notorious writer’s block manifests itself as a difficulty in coming up with the start and end of another scene. The line in and line out are very important for my process, and often they just come to me naturally. And, sometimes they do not. And, once in a while, I have a hard time figuring out logical continuations to events which just happened in my story, because the longer and more complex the story grows, the more things seem to happen by themselves—at least I feel like I have less and less control over them.

Continue reading “Writer’s Block, or a Slight Case of Between-the-Scenes Anxiety”

On Character Development, or What to Do, When They Refuse to Cooperate

Having been able to successfully avoid character development glitches for most of my journey through the first draft (which is not over yet), I first encountered this problem at, roughly, the 393,000 word mark, when Dae, instead of passing by Northhill during his morning run—as he normally would do—stopped and started talking. I was knocked out of the writing process for most of the day, because I had no idea why he would do that, and what he would say, and I am still not sure I handled it gracefully, for I had to invoke my right to resolve the situation externally, which I normally try not to resort to. In this particular case, my rescue came in the form of a scream of a very distressed damsel, which interrupted their conversation and saved me from the necessity to write more of the dialogue.

Now the plot thickens.

My main story delivery vessel, Verra, had evolved into such a stubborn (or determined, if you prefer) little creature, that I am now in need of a massive inciting incident for her, just to hammer her back into my (joke of an) outline—I have about five main events in the whole book, and this is the second major one of her arc—because the “I have to do what father said” approach, which I had initially planned, she has, unflinchingly, already dismissed.

The good thing about her decisiveness, is that she will have less problems making a choice.

The bad thing, is that she is leaning toward a choice I cannot afford for her to make.

My main concern is that another personal tragedy might not work, since she is already dealing with one—way too well, I fear—and I am reluctant to eliminate all of her household.

So, in an act of desperation, I have to kill someone in order to prevent Verra from making the wrong decision and buy myself more time to figure out what to do. I really do not want to start civil unrest in the City now (the time for that has not come yet!) just so she has no choice, but to change her mind.

Writing is hard. :-|

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