Block

The thing that I think is the worst for me is when I try and write something and it’s nothing at all like how I imagined it in my head, and then that feeling is the thing that makes me blocked. I know what I want my words to be like and I’m not there yet.

I want them to be like that feeling when you’re scrunched into a ball and you plunge into water, and everything’s dark and cool and you can’t open your eyes yet but the water is everywhere around you.

I recently read The Sopranos by Alan Warner and I think that his style is something that I want to emulate in my own work for now because I guess that’s the closest thing to what I want my voice to be like but it’s not quite there yet. And it’s super frustrating because I know what I want.

It’s kinda like the Ira Glass video I posted last time. ‘It’s going to take a while. It’s going to take you a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just gotta fight your way through that.’

Just gotta keep on keepin’ on, I guess.

Productivity and exciting things

I love editing. I really love editing. I would like to take editing out for dinner and then raise two beautiful children with editing. For me, it’s just a really nice feeling to be able to print out something, get out a red pen and then scribble all over the page, cackling ‘AHAHA, PAST ALISON, YOU ARE A FOOL AND I CAN WRITE BETTER THAN YOU NOW’. Or, if I can’t write better than my past self, I can at least fix some of her mistakes.

For NaNoWriMo last year, I completed the third draft of my novel that I started in 2011. It started off as a fifteen minute short film script that I’d written for a uni assessment and now it’s more of a novella than a novel. I don’t really know what the point of this post is, but I guess it’s just funny how things change. My MC is a lot happier than she was in the first draft, she has a different name and a different mother. She’s more lost in her life than she was, but that’s okay. Her story is about the unknown, I guess, and it fits that she can’t find her direction. When she’s confronted by other versions of herself (parallel universes and science fiction ahoy!), they sort of become the antagonists and it does scare me a little bit. These doppelgangers weren’t as scary in the first version of the draft (they weren’t even in the film script) and I think the worst thing is that they’re just different versions of my main character. They’re all biologically the same, just my MC has made different choices in her life and, as she makes those choices, she creates the doppelgangers. She’d made them this way and she doesn’t even realise it.

Anyway, not sure if that made sense without any more context and that would be a bit too complicated to shove into one blog post, so I am sorry for my ramblings.

So, onto the exciting things!

1. In my last post, I talked about how I was in a competition. And guess who won it! For the prize, I get an illustration to go with my story, and it will also be published in the journal. I do believe it comes out in February, and I will probably spam a link at some point.

2. I have this friend who is super amazing at drawing (amongst other things) and next year we are going to attempt to create a graphic novel. I’ve no idea what it’s going to be about, but it’s going to be awesome because we are awesome. I’ve never really done anything creative with anyone else before. Writing for me is a super-private thing and so I’m not sure how this is going to go, but, onwards!

NaNoWriMo so far, also zombies

So it’s day 16 here in Melbourne and I’ve been having the MOST fun, you guys. I’ve never really been into the social side of NaNo things, I went to a couple of things last year but didn’t meet a lot of people.

Everyone that I’ve met in the past couple of weeks is super lovely and it’s hard to believe that it’s only been 16 days. I kind of don’t want NaNo to end because the community is just amazing. (But then, it would be nice for it to end because I need sleep.)

I’m currently sitting on 43,081 words. The novel that I’m writing is a re-write and I’d planned for it to be about 60k, but I don’t know if I’ll even get 50. I guess it’s more of a novella than I’d thought. Some more plot tinkering needs to be done but I’m going to leave it for now before I get sick of it.

Here’s an excerpt on my NaNo page: [linky link]. I think it’s pretty funny but maybe I just have a terrible sense of humour.

Anyway, as I’m almost finished the first NaNo novel, I thought I might start writing something else. I’ve been watching a lot of The Walking Dead and I had a thought that has inspired a new novel idea: what do the survivors do when they have periods?

Because, seriously now, the zombies would able to smell the blood, right? And tampons and pads won’t be made anymore. And it would just be so inconvenient, oh my goodness.

And another thing I was interested in was a zombie apocalypse in Australia. We don’t have guns, or at least we don’t have a lot of them. No one I know knows how to use a gun, even they were to get their hands on one.

So that is my writing planned out for now!

On ebooks

I was with a couple of friends in the city today and we were looking at this free trust library:

It was very cool. (For those in Melbourne, this is in Melbourne Central kind of near the Converse shop and under the giant clock-ish.)

Anyway, there was this guy who decided to give me a lecture on ebooks there and I was pissed off about it but I have this terrible urge to be polite to ALL the strangers so I’m just going to rant a little bit here because of reasons.

First off, I don’t have a dog so don’t give me this shit about how books can withstand a dog biting them. I’m sorry, sir, but this is a ridiculous point. I have no plans to put my iPhone into a dog’s mouth. Was there any particular reason as to why it had to be a German shepherd?

I also do not have a child, so your point about having a toddler smash my phone does not apply. Also, I’m pretty sure I would be keeping an eye on my child if they were holding something very expensive if they were that young.

I do want to read in the bath, yes. I can take my phone into the bath, it’s really not that hard. I’m not going to drop it. I’ve read plenty of “real” books in the bath and I haven’t dropped any of those.

And my last point, I’m not going to read ebooks on my iPhone, jesus christ, do you take me for a fool? (Although clearly you do, as I am an e-reading heathen who deserves to be shot.) I have a kindle. It uses e-ink in its screen. It may run out battery but it can last for a month, which is pretty impressive.

And, by the way, I purchase a lot of books per year that are not second-hand, from op-shops or bought online. I go into a fucking book shop and buy them because I want to support the industry I am a part of. I buy ebooks, too, because sometimes books are just not available in Australia or the shipping is too expensive.

And buying ebooks helps the industry, too. Did you know that some publishers solely publish ebooks? Shocking! The horror! Won’t somebody think of the children! Are we living in some kind of sick, twisted future in which we read soulless books because of the lack of dead trees? Maybe some publishing houses don’t publish print books because they can’t afford it. And maybe some people don’t buy print books because they can’t afford them.

It doesn’t matter how people read books, it only matters that they do.

Sir, you were impolite. I tried to joke with you but clearly you are a being far superior to I. I’m sure you will pen the next bestseller and go on to revolutionise the world with your vision.

NaNoWriMo

So NaNo is almost here again! How exciting.

This year I completed Camp NaNo in August and wrote 70k (plus 58 words!) and had a ball. I didn’t plan it at all, which is something I now realise I should never ever do because everything goes to shit and I’m left scrambling about for any kind of direction. It was terribly fun, but not something I want to repeat any time soon.

For November’s NaNo I’m going to redraft last year’s NaNo. Which is kind of cheating but I am super hardcore like that, yo.

My story features parallel universes and lesbians! It’s pretty fun to write but there are some spooky things in there. When I write at night time I get too scared to go to the toilet because I will clearly be eaten by DEMONS.

Here’s my profile. We should probably be friends!

I also took the liberty of making a super-terrific cover for this year’s novel. I was thinking maybe desktop publishing could be my back-up career.

Adventures in science fiction

I’ve been writing a “proper” science fiction story lately, one filled with gadgets!!1! (Well, just one gadget that is particularly sciencey.)

I watch, read and play a lot of science fiction; it’s one of my favourite genres. Space ships, seemingly magical technology and super heroes are among my favourite things. When characters rant on about calibrations and chameleon circuits everything seems effortless, the words wash over my head and I’m left with a general feeling of Ah, yes. Science. but how to write it well has eluded me.

(One of the main reasons I won’t ever write Doctor Who fan fiction is because it would just be too difficult for me to get right.)

There must be some kind of formula. I’m sure I will crack it one day, many lollies, movies, TV shows and friends later on. But for now I guess I will just have to resort to calling things “gadgets” and other sciencey words.

This is also a little bit related and a lot amusing: If all stories were written like science fiction stories by Mark Rosenfelder. It’s definitely something I’m keeping in mind when writing my super sciencey story.