Random Things Learned on Writing Forums

Nearing the completion of the first draft (I cannot believe I am actually saying this out loud, but, according to my calculations, I should be done in about two to four chapters—which, in all fairness, might take quite a while, considering my propensity to endless expansion), I decided to extend my web presence a little, while gaining some “credits”/”karma points” along the way, which would let me post excerpts of my own writing for critique, once I am actually finished with the first draft.

It also allows me to stall a little while pondering upon what I am to do with the next scene—whatever it is.

Continue reading “Random Things Learned on Writing Forums”

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!”

Random Things to Think about while Waterboarding another Cockroach in the Kitchen Sink

There are a few (the order is random as well). Some, are more entertaining than others:

  • Why does Hillary dress like a cartoon character? Queen Elizabeth II does, too, but she is a queen, she is allowed. She is basically a fictional character anyway.
  • There should be a limit to the number of my own funeral parties that I have to host per week. It gets depressing after a few. Same goes for the cards. My fault, though. Should have kept my mouth shut.
  • I finally have my dream metabolism—no matter what and how much I eat, I lose a pound a day.
  • Today’s episode is brought to you by the letter C and the number 4. As in 4% survival chance (that number had been recently optimistically upgraded to 30—if I make it to the test trials—but at least I have an appointment scheduled for January next year! This is the first doctor’s appointment I am excited about).
  • If you were miserable yesterday, but today you look back at that day with a warm and fuzzy feeling, what exactly does it say about your state of mind?
  • And finally: how come that after working most of my life (with some unfortunate and not at all enjoyed unemployment gaps) I cannot afford to simply stop working and concentrate on my treatment? Although I feel quite ancient, I am apparently too young to retire with a less than ridiculous income, nor can I can expect Social Security Disability Benefits to cover me (I have started the Social Security application and see absolutely no light at the end of the mine shaft)—once I do that, my medical insurance will be over, and I will not be able to afford one on my own, while also clearly not being eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, because my wife makes too much money. Nobody cares that “too much money” is still not enough to pay for my insurance, our current apartment, food—human, cat and dog—and other necessities (like cigarettes and red wine). The system is effectively sentencing me to a painful and not-so-quick death, unless I keep on rowing. Well, I guess, it is what it is going to be.

On that note, back to the Ward (the scene split again, damn it, could not keep going without losing momentum), need to steer my main characters to the second inciting moment. Almost done with Part II!

Sighting time. Here, dragon-dragon-dragon…

E.L.I.S.A.

The above abbreviation stands for Enforced Levity Increased Speed Authoring—which should be my new writing method—named after Elisa, Hans Christian Andersen‘s character from The Wild Swans.

the_wild_swans

One well-documented downside of this method is a possibility that one of my eleven turned-swan brothers might still end up with a wing instead of an arm, no matter how swiftly I knit the magical nettle shirts.

A. K. A. Scenes.

Have to hurry up. My doctor finally caved in and gave me the deadline.

If chemo does not work, I have months. About three. If it does, I have… well… months, still, but waaay more. Maybe even a year. So…

E.L.I.S.A to the rescue. Or so I hope.

The whole band (Verra, Venny, Torvenn, Marque, Ngale, Dae) is only a couple of hours away from reassembling at Stormhold for the first stand-off, and, perhaps—a sighting? Can barely wait to tap-type my way there.

A. T. T. On an irrelevant note (or, perhaps, rather relevant one?), just Skyped with my father.

If I had some guilt about not talking to the man for decades, no more. In about five minutes in the conversation I asked permission to be polite. Given one, I hung up.

He called back.

I hung up again.

Done.

Life is too short to deal with jerks.

A Status Update

Just saw the doc.

I was sooo hoping to go under the cleaver like, tomorrow, but apparently the hexed thing spread too wide (when did it find time?), and they have to start nuking me as soon as possible in an attempt to slow it down (I hope I will look half as handsome as the cat above, poor hairless creature).

Evidently, cutting me open would delay the aforementioned nuking and thus would be counterproductive to the whole process, unless we go for the whole-body transplant (my suggestion) which is, to put it lightly, not really a real option (doctors’s answer).

Luckily (if the word is even remotely applicable) I happened to have some magical marker* in my blood, which would allow them to nuke me 2.75 times harder and in a 2.145 times more efficient and a 1.0989 times more promising way. The very thought of that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. In the areas where it does not hurt yet.

Or perhaps not the thought, but the three happy hour cocktails, plate of wings and a fried ice cream at v{iv} Thai restaurant half a block away from the NYU Pearlmutter Cancer Center.

Highly recommended.

The cocktails are strong and the food is out of this world. Or on the way there. :-/

An awkward segue to the main purpose of this journal— let us talk about the deadline.

I have still not been given one (they have to nuke me first and keep doing that for a while to see the results), so I think I could continue going at the pace I was going so far, but just in case I might be facing a time limit in the unexpectedly near future, I should explore various avenues to take.

Finishing the First Draft by November and embark on a NaNoWriMo** experience to write the Prologue, two Interludes and Epilogue as a stand-alone piece, called The White World***, which could easily qualify for a novel length-wise, is hardly feasible.

So, I guess it is Christmas for the First Draft, and The White World interjections right after…

Decisions, distractions, decisions…
______

* I promise to learn the proper terminology soon. I do not think I have a choice.

** National Novel Writing Month. In November, when NBC anchors fight (ironically) cancer by not shaving. I will try that, but the imminent chemotherapy might make some adjustment to the plan.

*** Maybe, go for repetition instead of an alliteration—White Desert, White Sky, White Death? Sexy, no? :-/ Hm…

On Robots

This is to be sent to all my new subscribers with computer-generated usernames:

Dear Subscriber!

Hello and welcome to The Tally of Words!

I am genuinely thrilled to have you aboard and along for my little journey.
Before we proceed—one humble request:
Please, log into your account and update your profile with your first and last name (whether real or made-up), thus ensuring that you are not a robot (if you are not). While I do appreciate the avid interest my work has recently evoked within the Artificial Intelligence community, and do not wish to discriminate my AI readers, knowing the human-to-robot ratio of my fans would aid me tremendously in finding a writing voice for my audience.
Thank You!
Lew.

On Today

As much as I am reluctant to turn this journal into something it was never intended to be, I have to admit that the reality does somewhat affect my otherwise happy world of fantasy, or—as my wife disaffectionately calls it—Laloland. This morning in Laloland was a tad hectic—which would not be unusual after sleeping over the alarm clock after yesterday’s prolonged alcohol-soaked hearty discussion of how to handle my situation—and yet a tad different, because there was a distinct physical adjustment to the routine.
My breakfast—as simple as it was, just a piece of lean baked pork—decided not to stay in. Jumped out literally while I was still chewing. Bon Appetite.

As much as I enjoy logging less food into my calorie-tracking app, deleting the whole entry seems to be a tad overkill.

Anyway, back to my regular stream of uncounsiounceness: half-way through the pivotal chapter of the book—the last chapter of Part II, The Things That Matter.

There shall be more of those accidents now, I gather. It is only a little over a week since I was diagnosed with cancer.

The trick is not to loose the momentum.

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”

Blog Maintenance: Got Rid of the Header Image.

Had it up for a couple of weeks, then got tired of it. It would take up too much space…
On a separate note: why do all the book covers for fantasy novels look like they were made by the same artist?
fantasy

this is just the result of a random Amazon search… (with the exception of Brian Harmon’s “Rushed” and the book with the chick in a red silk diaper) Hm.