To Infinity And…Oops Wrong Universe

I’m so excited about Marvel’s Infinity War. Like, so fucking hyped! I can’t really explain why – I rarely get hyped over Marvel movies. I mean, I do watch them all (except Antman, the only side series I just have no interest in), and I generally like them, but I just don’t get crazy fangirl hyped. Very “not me,” if you will.

But I am so, so hyped for this movie! Perhaps it’s the finale in basically a “season” of movies, perhaps it’s my utmost fondness of large ensemble casts in various media, perhaps it’s just nice to watch Chris Evans again haha (I got my Loki fill in the last Thor movie, so that one’s sated). I don’t know. Either way I’m super pumped. I do wonder how long this movie’s going to be, though, because there’s like 20+ people involved and if each one has 5 min of dialogue that’s already over 100 min. I also wonder if there’s going to be a “part two.” They just won’t call it part two because that has gotten tacky ever since Harry Potter did it, it’ll be like “The Beyond” or something (argh, wrong universe again!), but it’s essentially Infinity War 2. (My husband wanted it to be named Infinity +1 War. I was like you’re not a dad yet why’re you making geeky dad jokes already?)

The kicker is that I actually may not be able to watch it this weekend. I always watch films on the second or third week, because one it’s easier to get good seats, two my husband dislike large crowds, especially children, while watching movies in theater, so we always went on like a Sunday night second week where it’s mostly couples or people avoiding the exact same situation he is. Me? I’m okay with a large crowd, especially with large blockbusters. Anyway, I’m hoping we can get some time to see it, but if not, and I have to wait until next week, I’d have to stay off ALL social media and pretty much the whole Internet to avoid spoilers. Especially tumblr. (One of my friends didn’t watch the new Thor movie, but she knew every single plot point and clever dialogue anyway due to tumblr gifs.) Maybe if the weekend’s sold out I’ll try on Monday night or something. Surely people have jobs and children to take care of the next day.

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A Trilogy We’ll Go

It’s pretty official now. My novel is now definitely the first book of a trilogy. I mean by official that it’s no longer an idea that I’m throwing around but a set goal, which means from now on I need to think about setting that up and be aware of it as I write the rest of the first novel. Exciting, kind of, to make a first novel into a trilogy. It’s like a whole different mind set, and you’re more aware of how characters should act as they evolve and age and experience different things. I’m definitely taking a month or so to plot everything out properly once I’m done with the first draft of this novel, hopefully sometime in summer, although at the rate this is going it’s kind of doubtful.

I did not write much this weekend but I talked with my s.o. about it. He’s not a writer person, per se, but he is very logical so I could run ideas by him and he can go, uh, that makes no sense. Or that person’s motivation is whack. Or that defies the law of physics in an unbelievable way. You know, stuff us creative types tend to forget or brush aside just because we thought of something super cool. We talked about this trilogy thing and he actually gave me a good starting point for book 3, which I’m very happy with. I mean of course my issues is usually not plotting (is it though? I’m actually not sure at this point) but writing out the details, but like I said I feel like this novel will get finished in the next couple of months. I can “feel” it, which is dumb and illogical, really, but I do. I’ve never felt this before regarding my works, so maybe this time it’s actually true.

Or I’m just feeling hopeful, which I think is warranted, once in a while.

A Blank Space

This is going to sound weird, but unlike a lot of authors, an empty page of a new document (or new chapter, section, plotline, etc.) excites me instead of frightens me. I opened the page in Scrivener on my novel on Monday, and I can genuinely say that one moment was more exciting and made me more content than what I’ve been doing all week. While I had to potentially scrap half of what I had of that chapter before, I did not feel like I was wasting my time. Instead, I felt like I know what I’m going to write and it’s going to get done, and the word count (I try to keep myself around 800 words a day, less on weekends or super busy days) just flowed.

But everything fell apart after that. I couldn’t write for two days after the initial rush. I think it’s because I already had a vague plan in mind when I started, so my brain was okay with just letting it flow. But as soon as I read through what I’ve written I found that my plan didn’t work, and that basically just stopped everything. Which is horrible because, ho boy, if every time your plan doesn’t work out while you write your novel you stop then this novel will never ever finish. (That would explain why this is taking forever, yeah?) I think it’s much worse than the people who get blocked staring at a blank page. For them the more they write the better they’ll feel. For me the more I write the worse feel. I don’t know what’s going to make me feel better save completely finishing the book and it’s perfect. I’ll find out when I finish I guess (nevermind perfect, but maybe my brain will accept ‘good enough.’)

CJ Cherryh Why You Gotta Be So Panicky?

I’m re-reading Cyteen by CJ Cherryh. I’m sure I talked about it before, but just to reiterate – it’s the book that basically cemented my own writing style. I read Cyteen when I was 19 and finished the whole trilogy in a week (read about 100 pages a day; I was enthralled). It made me go “wow I didn’t know there are English sci-fi books that are like this!” English because there are many, many Chinese books like this, although not sci-fi, where it’s sort of an ensemble cast and it’s a giant web of deceit and personal relationships. (This was back in early 2000s, long before Game of Thrones was a mainstream thing.) Anyway, I’ve decided to re-read it, see if it holds up now I’m no longer a wide-eyed teenager being exposed to new things. It…does and doesn’t at the same time?

It doesn’t because I’ve matured as a writer, so I can recognize pacing issues, and that the dialogue is a bit repetitive, and how her prose is kind of bland and succinct. Now nothing wrong with succinct prose – hell I should learn some of that for myself, god knows how long-winded I can be – but the story is so long and complicated that the oversimplified descriptions doesn’t really keep me engaged. Her books are not action-oriented tales, so a lot of the conflict is psychological and internal. It’s boring to keep reading “they can’t trust anyone” over and over expressed in similar ways, you know? Some parts drag on too long in the worst way. Those aren’t boring, nope, those are anxiety-inducing and panicky. You feel like you’re just pacing around in circles, pumped full of fear, and it doesn’t end. I mean, I guess the writing succeeds in that you feel the full extend of panic, but it’s just so draining. You can read how this character is panicking and the relief doesn’t come for another 100 pages. So by page 80 you’re like okay enough is enough I can’t take this constant anxiety time to skip ahead good lord. Unlike Downbelow Station, which is just as anxiety inducing but moves at a good pace so it actually keeps you super engaged, Cyteen just makes you want to put the book down and never pick it up back again without taking some Xanax.

I’m only halfway through right now, butI think I finished all the parts I remember from before (the brilliant parts). Apparently all the interesting stuff happened in the first third, which I guess is the first book (it’s an omnibus). I feel like the first benefited from setting up the world and the people, so you are naturally interested because they’re so alien and unfamiliar. And the people themselves are quite fascinating. But by book 2 and 3 she should’ve stopped setting up, so to speak, and get more plot points in, but they don’t. Well, I don’t know what the 3rd book does because I’m not there yet, but book 2 is definitely sloggy. Now I just want to move on so I can read the actual sequel Regenesis. That desire prompted the trip through the Union side of the Alliance-Union universe in the first place.

(Watch this bite me in the butt when I write my own trilogy, and all the readers’d ever remember is the first one. I’m crossing my fingers that this won’t be the case.)

False Start

Welp, today is not a good day.

Neither was yesterday, tbh. I am not writing as much as I should, and today I just kind of stared at the document all afternoon and went, forget it. I did rewrite what I’ve had in the chapter so far, just enough to make my brain happy that it’s sorta readable. I’ve learned that if I don’t do at least that much I would never move on to the next section because I’ll just trip over it over and over, no matter how much I force myself to go on. But if I fix it JUST enough that it makes rudimentary sense (is not beautiful nor sensible in the long term, but that’s for the true rewrite), I can trick my brain into thinking “okay, you’ve edited, it’s alright now” and move on. Makes me feel like getting around Purple Man’s conditions in the most technically acceptable way.

(Jessica Jones reference if you’re wondering.)

But apparently not today. It’s almost dinner time and I have written like 10 new words. Not good. Will have to try more tomorrow.

Camp, Not Camp

I finally started writing in my novel again.

After all this time writing random crap that makes no difference in my career progression save maybe marginal increase in my writing quality, I reopened my novel’s Scrivener file, and began typing. And you know what? It was easier and quicker than I thought it was going to be. I’ve been stuck on chapter 10 of part 2 since, well, forever ago, it seems like. Maybe I can actually finish it this week. God knows I need to get past this and move to the next sections. At least get to part 3 ffs.

(The funny thing is that I know exactly what needs to happen, just couldn’t bring myself to write it or figure out the details. I think this is what actual writer’s block looks like. Boy was it hard to overcome. Still gave me shivers thinking.)

I also started the month with the ambition of trying Camp NaNoWriMo for April. I won July last year, so I feel alright about my chances. Well, then my father-in-law visited for a week and all writing kind of went out the window. It’s so stupid because he left me alone for most of the day, I just feel so distracted with him around that I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Now that he’s finally gone my writing has gone right back to schedule, but it does mean I won’t be able to make my initial word count of 20k. It’s okay. I’ll just write as much as I can, I guess. I mean I’m not really using these “word writing months” for anything other than a small push. I’ll be trying to write 33k by the end of May anyway, so the Camp part is just a formality issue.

I’m just happy my novel is finally, finally moving forward again.

A Mess of a Journal

I’ve taken a look at what I’ve posted on this blog, and I only can say that: this is a mess.

So many random things, so many unfinished thoughts, unfinished series, unfinished books, just about everything is unfinished, pretty much. I get that it’s a blog, a personal one at that, but I thought I could at least get some semblance of organization. If I started something I should stick to it, but that’s my problem, isn’t it? Personality flaw. I start so many wonderful things and then don’t finish them. (By wonderful I mean I think they’re wonderful, not objectively so to anyone else.) It sucks that I can’t even keep myself happy. I feel like I’m doomed to just have half-finished everything for the rest of my life.

*Sigh*

The only thing I sort of consistently touched upon were the Friday Fictioneer bits. I could keep doing that, I suppose. It doesn’t really do me much good, but who knows. Can’t hurt to write more, ne?

I’m going to seriously try to write more often here. I say this every time I start again, but since Camp NaNoWriMo April is coming, at least I can make it a habit for one month. Oh yeah, did I mention I’m participating again? I am. I won last July for the first time in one of these NaNo writing things. Maybe I can win again this time, too.