evilhippo: hippo (30 [thinking])
( Feb. 3rd, 2007 09:39 pm)
I've still got a good 8 pages to finish before tomorrow at noon. Thankfully, that feels completely doable. Especially now that things are starting to fall into place. I'm in a bit of trouble with my word count, though. What I thought would only be 5000 words of writing is going to be something like 7000-some unless I suddenly hit a lot of dialog. I'm nearly to 4000 words and I'm only on page 12. But at least I don't want to kill my main character. Even if I'm worried she's starting to sound too much like me, I'm hoping that's just a matter of my style rather than me just... writing her as me (I hope I'm not writing her as me, because, though I like her more now, I still don't agree with her on a lot of things and she still kind of annoys me). I'm thinking maybe by chapter four or five I'll be used to writing in present tense. I need to be really, really careful about how many sentences start with things like "I walk." Too narrate-y, I think.

Also, my characters, specifically my two main females right now, need to stop randomly changing their jobs. Especially Gabby. She's gone from being a photographer to a boutique-owner, and now I think she's some sort of PR person, or temp or something in Heather's office. Freaking Gabby, gives me so much trouble. But at least as a temp she'd make more sense. And could justifiably be way too immersed in pop culture. Which I will need later! (I'm rather happy with where this is going, almost to the point that I'd consider finishing the entire thing, rather than just the first movement.)

I just got comments back on my outline for my TV writing class, and the ones that aren't things I didn't already know and was already mad at myself about (plus a few I didn't notice and am mad at myself about now) make me very happy. Positive reenforcment from authority figures works so well on me it's almost sad. I'm also very glad I decided to do a script for Scrubs, because I can get away with being unnecessarily philosophical and random.

Edit [1:58]: Man, Donnie Darko is a strange and wonderful movie. Glad I'm not sleeping tonight, since this way I ought to have fewer nightmares. Also, hello BA, you are at 5056 words and still only on the 17th page. And I'm only just now nearing the end of the second chapter. This is not good, because my original draft contained three chapters. I cannot, in good conscience, turn in the next draft without that chapter. I'm hoping that, since it's mostly dialog, I can cut and paste most of it back in. In fact, I was kind of optimistically hoping I could get into the fourth chapter, but that'll only happen if I not only skip sleep entirely, but also somehow step into a time vortex for a few hours. I guess I'll save that chapter for when I meet with my preceptor next. While I'm here, though, I think I should address my characters. I'd like to thank Gabby for finally developing a personality. And Heather for finally freaking letting me write her. She does actually feel older than I had her again, which amuses me to no end. Heather, stop changing ages on me again. If you jump any closer to 40, I'm going to have to address the issue of why you don't have any relationships. And Dirk... Dirk, I'm not sure why you didn't allow for so many Hitchhiker's references in the previous draft, but thank you for allowing for it now. And BA in general, you now have a sense of humor. I have no idea where that came from, but I'm glad you no longer rely on narratorly snark for your amusement, because that didn't fit at all.
Thank you, world, for finally letting me come up with a beginning I can work with! Somehow I managed to get 4 pages done tonight. 1396 words. That means instead of having to write 5000 words tomorrow, I will only have to write 3704 words (approximately). And that? That is totally doable. In fact, it's something I've done several times. Which makes me significantly less panicked. Oh, and I freaking finally have a voice for my journalist that I can stand. Because I now have a good reason for her to be bitter, rather than her just generally being bitter, which makes a huge huge difference. So happy. Ah, and these happy moments are so rare sometimes. But yay, yay I might not die tomorrow. Yay!

(And since I don't utterly hate this version, if any of you want to read the first chapter tomorrow when I get that part completely finished, let me know and I'll pass it along. Unless, of course, I wake up tomorrow semi-rested and decide I don't like it anymore. I'm hoping my sleep-deprivation right now isn't that bad, though. And I do usually write a bit better on less sleep. Probably because my brain isn't working enough to question everything I write.)
evilhippo: hippo (41 [indescribable])
( Jan. 24th, 2007 03:55 pm)
The question I ended my critique on was "But, is it boring? Because I kind of feel like it is." Since the answer was not an immediate, or even a quick "No, no, it's not boring," (though it was fast enough to avoid awkward silence) I'm going to assume that, yes, it is. Good to know my rudimentary instincts are still intact. Freaking hated the way the style was going in the last draft. I've basically been told to rewrite the whole thing in first person. Which... is exactly what I was going to do anyway. Except I have to do it by next Wednesday. So guess who doesn't have a weekend again? Yay! It is about time I had it hammered into my head that I'm stronger in first person anyway. It's pretty much all I've written in for ages upon ages. But now I've got the question of whether I want to do it in past or present tense. I kind of really like the idea of doing it in present tense, but I have no idea how to make it not sound like... well, bad. So I imagine a few false-start drafts are ahead of me. I'll try not to force them on anyone, though. ... And I'm going to do my best not to think too much about how this will basically be one of the first times I've written a female POV in first person for fiction. I don't know how to think like a girl, darnit!

Random thought, though... I mean, suppose some of it is present-tense stream-of-consciousness or something that she somehow recorded at the time, with her future self providing the backbone. And footnotes. I kind of want to have footnotes now. I'll make this as convoluted as possible. (Dude, what is with me and splitting my characters into two separate people??)

My general writing panic was greatly reduced today, though, in my TV class when I finally hit upon an idea I can live with for my spec script. Now I have to live in fear that it actually not only exists, but will be aired this week (like last week when I decided a Scrubs musical would be a good idea approximately 24 hours before it aired... which is probably a good thing, because trying to write a spec script for a musical episode would be kind of silly. And hard). Of course, I'm going to refuse to share this idea until I have it outlined. Then you guys can all laugh at me or something.

Oh, and whatever demonfiend is responsible for the fact that the UofC has forsaken all forms of salt and vinegar and pickle-flavoured potato chips is on my blacklist now. Grrr. I don't want to have to resort to always making my own potato chips. Because I make them 500% more greasy (and delicious). But it also takes like, an hour. Because I am slow.
evilhippo: hippo (61 [escapism])
( Jan. 17th, 2007 04:38 am)
Tired. I can tell my writing's getting purple-y. I'm not entirely sure this section is undeserving because goshdarnit, it's about time things had some description, but... huh. I don't know. My characters just switched all their motivations on me again today (Heather's gone less paranoid and more bitter again, her boss is a giant mass of ambiguity, and my internet-stalker-turned-plot-device is now threatening to sneak out of the story entirely while at least two people are suddenly a lot more in line with the whole getting killed off thing, which was nearly out the window). This pretty much means I'm going to have to rewrite the entire first two chapters. As soon as I finish them. Which means I finish decorating this apartment with words, throw in a few phone calls, and... well, at that point that's pretty much that. Sleep seems so much nicer now, but I've got comments to write out and TV show ideas to write down and... rargh, so much writing. And I'm hitting the point again where my margins are full of extraneous ideas. (Like a rather bizarre fantasy based very loosely on a bit of Richard II. I've got an odd feeling my Shakespeare class is going to be my random plotting class, though the bus is equally responsible for this random short story bunny I have that has to do with a laundromat and a chatty homeless woman. Not sure what to make of that one. Oh, and there's a lot of smoking in my stories. I just noticed that yesterday. Especially with this novel-thing I have going on. Everyone's all "oh, need something to do. smoking now!" At least Heather's avoided it so far. Unless she changes on me again, I know she's not a smoker.) So, those are my random thoughts for now, as I chug along through page 16 and (hopefully before 5:00, which is honestly when I planned to be at 20) onto 17.

This world has a youtube channel. I can see now why so many people are doomed.

[6:38AM] The sun is coming up. As I looked out the window, a school bus drove by. While I was wondering whether kids had to already be on the bus this time of morning, I noticed it said "Sunrise" in large letters. Thanks, world. I needed help with figuring that out.

[10:57AM] I am so tired I hurt. Also, the "if you can't say anything nice" rule is severely impeding my ability to write decent comments. They'd eventually get nice, because I'm that way, but right now I can't get past the initial "oh dear goodness please don't do this again" enough to start with something nice that doesn't sound... fake. I should also be in class now. Oops.
I'm not sure how I feel about today. I actually got myself out of bed this morning and made it downtown to get photo paper (I spent over a hundred dollars! Someone owes me 20 for the stuff I picked up for them but still, omg, another $80 at the end of the quarter... I'm gonna die). I'm liking the fiber-based paper a whole lot, though. It's so much nicer to work with. I'm kind of looking forward to working out the giant 11x14 prints for my final portfolio. Though I'm thinking I could save myself about $40 if I return the larger paper and just finish on 8x10. I'm trying to gauge whether that sort of sucking up would get me an A... Crits went really well tonight (there were actually three prints that were deemed to be good, and there would've been a fourth had I been paying enough attention to put the right print up). People were amused by my strange action figures. I promised my mom I'd scan them, so I'll probably put them up sometime tomorrow.

Working backwards from there, though, there was the three hours in the darkroom. Could've been worse (and has been), but my back is hurting me so much now from being on my feet all the time in there. And the fixer gives me a headache. I think I need new shoes. And to not have been overexposed to nasty fixer fumes for a good part of my childhood. I've also started getting songs stuck in my head based on random numbers I have to remember. I'll be standing there going "all right, another minute in the developer" and random DDR songs will pop into my head. I also spent a good chunk of last night with Ben Gibbard's "Plans Get Complex" in my head because I was exposing the print for 17 seconds.

But I also had a meeting with my BA preceptor today. I realize now part of the bad impression I must've given her involves me forgetting to send her a paragraph description of what I'm doing. I've also discovered that I'm utterly horrible at describing what I want to do. Mostly because I still don't know. I just want to follow these characters and see where I end up, but that's not really an acceptable way of going about things. (Honestly, I'm surprised writing what sounds like a mystery this point is going to be acceptable.) But since I didn't have anything written to show her, I got the impression my preceptor didn't have much faith in me. She also sneered a bit at the fact that I've only taken one writing class here, which, dude, is not my fault. I suppose I could've mentioned the screenwriting class. And when it came to listing my favourite mysteries (which was a lost cause, since I don't read them. I'm just attracted to writing them), I probably should've elaborated on my slight obsession with Sherlock Holmes and the expansion of his character type into others. Though this mystery doesn't really involve a Sherlock Holmes, because goshdarnit I need to get away from writing that stereotype, as much as I love it. It's going to have a freaking female protagonist and... you know, I'm so self-conscious about the concept right now, because I'm trying to keep it away from bordering on fanfic or whatever I'd rather be writing, in an attempt to make it sound like what I should be writing. I'd like to write a female protagonist that didn't suck, but I know what'll happen first is that I'll get frustrated and tired of her, and I'll ditch her literary stalker along with her (even though right now, he's a more interesting character to me since he's got a bit more complexity to him). And then I'll have no protagonist at all, and probably run off to the military and readopt Shadow from the outskirts I've tossed him to. But he works so well as a side-character that I really don't want to do that to him. I know he's going to be around, though... because I want him to be. I just... need a way to justify it. Um. I also need to get away from the military/government. I need a good conspiracy, regardless, though. Unless Shadow sticks around where he is so he can be the conspiracy. Homunculus doesn't carry over, though, and I was going to go sci-fi and do a sort of cyborg thing, but... argh. Cyborgs. Androids. Meh. And if I go sci-fi, I can't keep things as... blind-to-technology as I prefer. It can't be all "oh ho ho, my journalist girl is writing everything by hand, nobody watches TV and oops, here's a cyborg." Maybe brainwashing. Brainwashing would be cool. Brainwashing of clones. I want clones... clones are so much fun. Probably haven't been done to death like cyborgs, either. Much. Maybe just short of dead, or on the more recent side of dead. Sigh. I'm suddenly so incredibly terrified of this whole thing.

I think I'm going to really need someone to talk at about this for quite a while sometime in the nearish future. Gah. I think I've gotten way too used to writing collaboratively, yet somehow managed to completely avoid the bit where I'm even the slightest bit less disgustingly self-conscious of my ideas and writing.
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