Archive for the ‘status report’ Tag

Stuck But Not Blocked

Writer problems.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been stuck at about 29,000 words on Kindness of Strangers. I’m not blocked, because I know what I need to write, but I open the file, read a few pages before where I need to start writing, and then stare at the page. After a heavy sigh and a sentence or two that will probably be removed the next day, I shut the file.

Usually this means there’s something wrong with the story—wrong point of view, bad plot turn, female protagonist is too passive/reactive…something that my subconscious (that woman in the basement) hasn’t chosen to share yet. Maybe it hasn’t quite got it figured out.

A lot of the time I get just beyond the halfway mark of a story where it stalls out. After hitting my head against a metaphorical wall for a while, I realize I’m trying to write the male protagonist as the hero. In my core story, the female protagonists are the heroes. And…OMG, it just clicked. Chandra isn’t active enough—she’s taking the initiative with the colonel, but not with the [blocked due to plot spoiler].

Ha! Now I can open the file without that sinking feeling. Some days it’s good to be a writer (and some weeks, well, it’s not).

With luck, I’ll have a lot of progress to report in a few days.

Quick update – still alive here, just busy writing

Just wanted to put up a quick note to mention that I’m still alive (although temporarily short a breast that was thinking about killing me again—I’ll tell you about it later).

I’m deep into the middle of the story of Tasha Ocasek’s half-brother Stephan, who—ten years after The Valmont Contingency—is busy saving the universe from an Ancient Horror (yes, that’s their official name) while trying not to fall for the intriguing Ekaterina Avondale. And failing, at least in the not-falling-for Kat department.

Kat was raised in a society of dragons. In this particular instance, “dragon” is the slang term for an alien species formally known as Saurians because they come from a parallel line of evolution where the “dinosaurs” became sentient rather than extinct. So they are part velociraptoroid, part parrotoid, and, like T-Rex, the girls are bigger and stronger than the boys.

So Kat scares the bejeebers out of most men, but Stephan is a little different from most men. His big problem is that she’s the result of a union between to major cartel families, and after the way his father died, he’s extremely allergic to cartel families.

It’s going to take both of them to destroy the group-mind insectoidal colony ship that uses carbon-based life forms to incubate its eggs and larvae. I know, right? It creeps me right out, so Stephan and Kat had better get it together and destroy these things for good, and they only have another 30,000-40,000 words to do it.

For anyone waiting impatiently for Talyn’s story, I’ll be doing the final edit on it just as soon as I get this first draft finished. My goal is to get it published by the end of the summer.

Back to the story now,
Val

Status Report

Last week I had a vacation (and I didn’t blog, oh the guilt!), but after approximately 3.5 days of slughood, coping beans became available for creative pursuits.

I have almost all of the major points of “Talyn Unique” plotted. Opening line, “Have you figured out yet why it was such a bad idea to try to kill your sister again?” Guess who asks it (snicker).

I like this working title, but it’s intimately tied to the world-building so it probably won’t make it through the submission process. Evil twin Talyn ends up in a society of clones, where naturally created people are called “uniques” and considered a lower class.

She finds herself a fish very far out of water–she’s both a clone and a unique, she has no status in a place where status is everything, and her archaic skills are suddenly in demand because the sudden fad for all things antique throughout the Dozen Worlds (because of a certain political marriage she prefers not to think about? Maybe).

I know she was an evil person in Blade’s Edge, but she gets better. Really, she does.

And then I got to thinking about the Samhain call for submissions for the cyberpunk anthology. I can’t write steampunk (too many years of trying to accurately recreate historical stuff, I think–I twitch when I even contemplate tweaking it), but I can write cyberpunk. Oh, yes indeedy, I can do that.

“Open Mike at the Bebop” is a romance about a jazz singer/songwriter who is tone-deaf outside the net and a crypotologist who is dyslexic outside the net. They’re perfect for each other, and it’s going to take both of them to face down the Blue Dragon Tong and keep the Bebop from being torn down for yet another crooked zero-g casino.

That’s me, always with the technology and sex. It’s a personal issue.

I also had my breast cancer 6 month follow up appointment. I’m no officially fine. Geez, I could have phoned that one in.

More later….

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