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Tue, Nov. 8th, 2005, 01:08 pm
altoidsaddict: Day 8: In Which I Enter Sobbing And Rending Garments

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I know I'm behind. Shaddup.

The plot is creeping along, I guess. People are getting Disappeared, possibly eaten, and there is certainly a high absentee rate. Graphic art is sullied in the name of corporate logos. Answering machines do evil bidding. In other words, a normal day.

Fri, Nov. 4th, 2005, 11:43 am
altoidsaddict: Day 3: Nothing Happens.

Took the day off from writing - you know you're sick when you can't even work with the words.

Thu, Nov. 3rd, 2005, 01:25 am
altoidsaddict: Day 2: In Which There Is An Existential Crisis

... and such things don't usually happen until Week 2, so I'm ahead of schedule.

I still managed to get some progress made on the NaNo, even though I've had the suckiest day that ever sucked. Seriously crappy. But I have great professors who made things a lot better and gave me a lot of leeway and moved a couple of things around. It may have been obvious that I was very upset by a lot of things. I just hope my existential crisis doesn't work its way into my story, because that would be boring.

I'm writing my novel pieces at a time, and then I'll fill everything else in with description and theme after I look over how all the major plot points have been addressed. I did get to write a death scene today. Spoiler! One of the main characters disappears. Poof. Gone. So there are a lot of implied deaths, but I have to be very understated because I just hope to lead the reader to unimaginable oblivion and not outright take her there.

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Tue, Nov. 1st, 2005, 06:56 pm
altoidsaddict: Writing Dialogue Without Making Me Twitch

Teh crossposted.

This was a comment in listersgirl's journal somewhere, but since dialogue is so hard to write for some people, I thought others might appreciate it...

A few helpful tips I've gotten on writing dialogue:

1. People rarely, if ever, speak in paragraph form. If you have a character who must give a long speech, try to anticipate where interruptions might be. This not only makes the dialogue seem more natural, it allows the reader to process what's being said piece by piece.
2. Don't use exclamation points. Instead, it should be obvious by the language used and/or the gestures or circumstances that the speaker is being emphatic. An exclamation point is a tell - and, as Stephen King said, "If I have to tell you, I lose." In the example you've given, there are easy ways to show excitement without the exclamation.
3. In characters with conflicts, they're going to converse like a poker game - misleading each other perhaps, bluffing, showing only some of what they'd like to say. Even characters that get along won't share everything. Try to imagine what they're withholding. What someone doesn't say is usually more important than what they do say.
4. Make sure your characters have different voices. This helps with the X said this and then Y said this and then X said this again syndrome, especially if you have a patch of fast-moving dialogue; reminding the reader of who said what slows it down too much.

If you have tips of your own on dialogue or need to throw down with me over any of the tips and need to get into a West Side Story-style knifefight only with quill pens and DEADLY POISON INK or something (goes without saying that I'm really drunk at the moment), comment ici. *hic*

Tue, Nov. 1st, 2005, 11:40 am
altoidsaddict: Day 1: In Which Our Heroine Wonders What The Hell She's Gotten Herself Into.

Cross-posted to the regular journal.

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Going swimmingly. I'm not putting any pressure on myself to succeed at all costs; that didn't work the past two years, and the first year (when I won) I took the laid-back approach. We'll see.

I have a beginning and an ending, and a great, plot-fitting word-inflating gimmick. My characters haven't even met face-to-face yet except at the ending. The idea - without getting too much into plot - comes from a challenge someone gave me to write a believable, un-hackneyed happy ending, and it's a lot harder than just letting everyone kill each other with flamethrowers or descending into cannibalism like I usually do.

Mon, Apr. 25th, 2005, 08:30 pm
altoidsaddict: (no subject)

Half a Pint of One and Ten Ounces of the Other

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate …

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
T. S. Eliot

It was cold and rainy and gloomy and her hands were cold but whether it was her nervousness or the feel of the cold beer in her hands she could not say. She smoothed her tweed jacket and looked around at the pub’s patrons to see if anyone had noticed that she had been in slight disarray. What had it been like for Polly Nichols and Dark Annie and Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes and poor Mary Kelly? They didn’t scream or fight or anything, they just went through the day to day drudgery of their lives and when it ended they didn’t scream or fight or anything. She sat there in the Ten Bells Pub where they’d taken the building after the murders and let it run down. They took it from the tourists, morbid sexually-repressed Victorians, people who wouldn’t ever come down to Whitechapel unless they could make sport of the misfortunes of others less fortunate and think How glad, how glad that it will never happen in our coy pensions and villas, and then they go home and find that the stablemaster’s gone and taken an axe to the scullery maid, cluck cluck, at least it will never happen to people like us, care for a tea?

The Ten Bells was rundown because of all the bad reputation but then somebody bought it and in the 1970s they turned it into a strip club, and sexually-repressed Oxbridge graduates went down to where the pub used to be and said How sad, how sad that a place where something interesting happened almost a hundred years ago has been turned into a place of sexuality and violence, where people who aren’t like us do things that aren’t talked about in polite company.

Then somebody invented venture capital and bought it and turned it into a place where sexually-liberated Americans go and say How mad, how mad we are that the new owners believe in that nonsense theory that upper-class people anywhere, much less the royal family, might have borne any responsibility for what goes on in places where uncivilized people tend to congregate. And she looked at the pictures of Martha Tabram who didn’t belong there and sipped her ale and through the bottom of the class she saw poor Mary Kelly who did.

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
T. S. Eliot

Thu, Apr. 14th, 2005, 06:55 am
altoidsaddict: (no subject)

Note: This was based on the last known words of Polly Nichols, the first alleged victim of Jack the Ripper.

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Fri, Apr. 1st, 2005, 11:21 am
altoidsaddict: (no subject)

Until further notice... or I find out what I did with my hands, as mashing the keys with stumps is inefficient to say the least... or until the Michael Jackson trial is over...

Well, I'm not supposed to talk about it, but let's just say I'll have to stop writing thanks to a court order and various physical anomalies that have cropped up as a result of my ill-fated willingness to try new things. How I got sucked into this Neverland Ranch business is a mystery to me, but when a group of oddly-dressed, vaguely-accented foreigners shove you into a van and tell you they've been "tracking your movements," you don't question.

Fri, Dec. 10th, 2004, 09:12 pm
altoidsaddict: AWJ Chapter Nine

Auraria, William, John

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Fri, Dec. 10th, 2004, 09:11 pm
altoidsaddict: AWJ Chapter Eight

Auraria, William, John

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