Friday, 18 March 2005

Still writing!

I broke 11,000 words last night, and the new Crystal Tokyo flashback is done. It's a brief scene that follows Rei in the hours after the big sequence in chapter 9, as she wanders through the ruins of Crystal Tokyo. Not what you'd call a fun piece.

To be honest, it may get cut entirely in the final draft; I'm not entirely happy with the logic of having the scene there, and it really only serves to re-establish something I'd mentioned, in passing, in an earlier chapter. Or, hm, well, perhaps it serves one other purpose as well. I'll make up my mind later. It's done, in any case, so I can move on …

While browsing the message boards on the Straight Dope the other day &mdash

If you haven't met the Straight Dope, I really can't recommend it strongly enough. You can find it here. The message boards are among the best I've seen anywhere.

— I ran into some excellent writing advice — as found in this thread. The strongest point made: if you want to write, you have to do it every day. Even if you don't feel like it. Even if what you're turning out is trash. Do it anyway.

I knew that. That's how I finally managed to finish chapter 11. I sat down and wrote, no matter what.

Somehow I'd forgotten. I'll try to fix that ...

Sunday, 13 March 2005

Weekend progress

Pretty satisfactory, all things considered. Now at 10448 words. That's the size of the complete chapter 4.

I've found myself in the middle of another Crystal Tokyo flashback. As before, rather depressing writing. This one shouldn't be too long, fortunately.

I'm currently in one of those stages where I'm enjoying writing. Just have to hope it lasts. ^_^

Saturday, 12 March 2005


Spent a lot of yesterday doing a major revamp of my website. The fanfic pages haven't really changed, but the root one has been completely redesigned, with new photos, etc, and some actually-genuine personal information.

Also added a new story on the "Original fiction" page: Space Dudes, a story that I wrote years ago but for some reason never did anything with. It's (deliberately) written in a very dry, verbose sort of tone that some may find hard to swallow, but it still makes me laugh.

Okay, I admit it, I added some poetry as well. It's probably not that great. If you have to burst my bubble, be gentle...

Thursday, 10 March 2005

Me and my big mouth

It wasn't flu; it's turned out to be tonsillitis. And being stuck at home for the next few days, chugging penicillin, is giving me some writing time.   874 words yesterday. Who'd'a thought?

And, as usual, the story has started to grow. Up until now the chapter had been going pretty much along the lines I'd always intended (ignoring a spectacular number of false starts). Now, a completely unintended subplot has entered, and all because of one of those "melodramatic scene breaks" I was complaining about the other day.

(Hint: Artemis versus 'S' Division.)

I really don't know where this is going to lead. But then, I don't know…yet…where Serabi's hiring a hacker last chapter is going to lead, either, though I've worked out a few steps along the way. All I do know is that both are logical plot developments, and neither conflicts with the ultimate resolution of the story.

And thus the story remains reasonably fresh to the writer, who remains interested in telling it, despite his maudlin comments of a couple of days ago.


As a little bonus for sticking with me, here's an omake: a scene cut from the current chapter. You may recall from chapter 11 that Kin and Dhiti were plotting a sinister revenge upon Miyo. Here's Miyo arriving at school the next day:

School had started off normally enough for Miyo that day. She arrived a little early, and waited at the gate for Dhiti and Kin to show up. They arrived together a few minutes later, and the three of them walked in.

As she walked, though, Miyo began to feel a vague nagging feeling in her shoulder-blades. When she looked around, she saw that Kin and Dhiti were watching her. They wore identical smiles.

"What?" she asked.

"Oh, nothing," said Kin.

"Nothing at all," agreed Dhiti.

"Oh," Miyo said, watching them suspiciously. "Good."

Trying not to be obvious about it, she reached behind to check for humorous notes taped to her back. There was nothing.

"Whatever are you doing?" asked Kin in well-schooled surprise.

"Far too obvious, Miyo-chan," said Dhiti, shaking her head mournfully.

Miyo took a deep breath. "Okay," she said. "So, is this just a regular escalation of the persecution, or is there something in particular you're tormenting me for?"

The two glanced at each other. "Persecution?" said Kin.

"Works for me," agreed Dhiti.

"I like it, too."

"Thank you, Ma'm'selle Dhiti-chan.

And there it ends. I liked the interplay well enough; but it just isn't happening that way. Or rather, this may actually have happened; but it's going to remain off-camera. I decided that it'd just be a distraction from the rest of the action at that point, and would in any case be rendered irrelevant by later events; so, regrettably, it had to go.

Tuesday, 8 March 2005

Melodrama and SM4200

A sin to which I've occasionally been prone, alas. There are moments back in chapter 9—a chapter which, when I first finished it, I strongly believed was the best thing I'd ever done—which make me cringe now. I'm particularly thinking of the line about like the slamming of coffin lids. Purple, purple prose. Will be cleaned up someday.

The relevance? In chapter 12, I've started catching myself using scene breaks as a melodramatic way to underscore a plot point—like in a TV program, where someone says something portentious, and the music comes up and you cut to a commercial. Cheap and slightly tacky. Not sure if it comes across that way to a reader, but I'll have to keep an eye on it.

For now I'm too depressed and addled with 'flu to judge. (Note the casual play for sympathy. Don't bother responding; chances are, by the time you did I'd be feeling fine again nyway.)

Progress update: 8506 words. Six months gone since chapter 11, and that's all I've got to show for it. At this rate I'll finish the story sometime after I die of old age. If I were you, I wouldn't put up with it. Go read someone better and faster. I've just been re-reading Empire of the Sun and noticing all over again how much better a writer the author is than me.