uniquelyallie: (bucky writing)
And I don't know why. Well, I do. Kinda.

I spent this year (kinda) over at Dreamwidth because I hated the "new" look of LiveJournal, cringe every time I see ONTD on LJ's main page, still not crazy about the Russians, and my friends' list is basically dead. But Dreamwidth's not much better. I have like two friends over there.

I spent this past weekend reminisicing again over how cool the Internet used to be with LJ, Romance Divas, AOL's Writers Club, Genie RomEx, RWA... and how there's not places like that anymore. I know I did a similar post bitching about this (probably around this time last year). I hate how RWA is like THE thing for romance writers -- and it's not. They restructured their bylaws for tax purposes, which caused a lot of local chapters to die. Ohio Valley RWA is one of those dead chapters, and I refuse to fork out close to $150 to join National and an online chapter or two when online chapters are nothing more than promo opportunities.

Divas has changed focus from when I joined in 2005 -- and rightfully so because pretty much all of the people who were there when I joined are actively publishing. (Absolute Write's forum's too big; Harlequin's forum is too small.)

I guess I'm looking for a beginner/intermediate place a la AOL's Writers Club or Genie RomEx, where the pubbed authors hang out at, but so do the aspiring authors working on aspiringly things. And there'd be nightly writer chats.

I just can't believe with how awesome and big and endless the Internet is... there's NOTHING like that anymore? And there's NOTHING that competes with RWA?

I've spent the past 1 1/2 years surviving in college, but haven't done any fiction writing in the meantime, so I opened up another goal room for myself over on Divas this morning, even though I don't feel fiction writerly. I have a month off for Winter Break, so I'm like, "This would be the perfect time to write a draft!" I've done it for NaNoWriMo. I've even reached 50K. But the problem is... I don't know how to write a draft where all 50K words tell a complete story. In my last NaNovel I wrote in 2013, I'd sometimes rewrite a scene two or three different times, and just apply it all toward the word count. So I had a story a little over 50K -- complete with a beginning and end -- but I had to gut huge chunks, leaving me with only 12K.

So after I opened up the goalie room, I decided maybe I should get back to journaling. I need a safe space that's not a "professional" blog like what I have on my fiction writer's site or my journalist's site. That means either LiveJournal or Dreamwidth. Maybe if I'm back here on LJ, something will trigger in my brain like, "Yeah, remember when you used LJ back when you were a happy naive writer who was writing for fun? It can be that way again!"

I only wish I could wipe out pretty much all of my old entries. I tried it before, eliminating some of the ex-fiance entries, but it's just such a pain in the ass. I think I could only delete one entry at a time or something.

No promises I'll stick around, but I'll try.
uniquelyallie: (grant)
I will admit... I could feel myself falling out of the zone today. *bleh* It has nothing to do with getting back into the groove after the fiance's visit. I got back into it easily after I dropped him off at the airport yesterday morning. Spent two hours at Tim Horton's self-critiquing the first five pages. Today, at Bruegger's Bagels, I spent two hours running the first five pages through Deanna Carlisle Magical Scene Questionnaire form. And I think all this analyzing has started to pull me out of the zone. Luckily, I haven't doubted what I wrote, but I'm wondering if I really need to do all the revisions on all the issues I marked up yesterday at Timmie's. Will the story still be the same if I tear it up too much?

I think the "problem" lies with description. In my attempts at the WAW contests, I'd always get continously marked down for lack of description. Sure, like with the twin chick lit, you know that Abby is a professor and that the scene takes place in her office, but I didn't go all the way. Like, umm, I didn't establish the smell of the office. (Yep, someone wanted to know what the office smelled like.)

And I wondered today, when I knew I was falling out of the zone, what if I'm not meant to be a descriptive writer? Before, I thought maybe I was trying to take the easy way out, but now? I'm really wondering. When I read as a reader, the descriptions never stick with me. My most favoritest books (thus far) are Rosie Dunne by Cecelia Ahern, the Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella, and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. The descriptions are there, but maybe they're sprinkled throughout. All the stories are more internal/psychological. And I have a quote from Sophie Kinsella somewhere on my computer that says she purposefully doesn't describe what the hero and heroine looks like, so the reader can picture them however they want. Which I think is cool.

When I was trying to figure out how to handle description, some of the books I skimmed through... the authors tended to lay it on thick. Which is fine, I think, depending on the genre of the story.

Grant and Lauren is chick lit. I can't see how I can lay the description on thick in this story. Like the first five pages... Lauren is giving a tour around the Historical District in Philly. While on tour, she sees her fiance cheating on her *and* Grant is on the tour that she's giving. She's got a lot to deal with in the first five pages. There's no time to ponder about the sunny Philly day, the crowded streets, the clogged traffic, the big spouting fountain, and whatever the hell she's supposed to be smelling. Instead, she's needing to know if that *is* her fiance smooching on another woman across the street from her *and* how to deal with re-meeting the guy she ran away from seven years earlier. The most she may be concerned about, from a descriptive standpoint, is sweating like a pig from the colonial outfit she's wearing and almost passing out (and is that because she's just seen her fiance with another woman or that her corset is done up too tight).

And then, what if I'm just not a descriptive writer? What if I tend to focus more on the psychological?

And, also, I'm wondering if the POV usage might not play a part in it. When I write in third, description kinda comes easier because I am not these people. When I write in first, I don't know. It's a different approach to writing first, I think. It's like I become the person.

If you use me, as a first person example, the past ten or so minutes I've been typing here... the only descriptive thing I've focused on are two separate times of something sounding like a tow truck going down my street... and that's because I'm fixated on being towed tonight, because I parked in a legitimate parking spot on my street, but pissed off an obnoxious family in the process.

They have a driveway, but it's not really a driveway anymore, so the spot in front of the fake driveway is a legitimate space now for anyone. I was told this by my landlord when I moved in three years ago. I've never had an issue parking in that spot when the space was open for the entire three years. (Other people have parked there, too, BTW.) Until tonight. One of the obnoxious family members came over and rang my doorbell (they've seen me, seen me come out of my apartment building before, know what car I drive). I didn't answer the door at first, and when I did a sneak check, whoever was there was gone. Until I saw him coming from the direction of my building, give directions to a car stopped in the middle of the street, and then went back to Obnoxious Family house. So I know he came over with the intent of asking/demanding me to move my car. And I'm leaning toward demanding because...

My mom has had a run-in with Obnoxious Family before, when she came over to do cat duty, during one of my Philly trips. I've also called the cops on Obnoxious Family (anonymously) last year, because a couple of the punks got into a shouting match, which escalated into a fight, which had the potential to go worse with some guys who live in an apartment further down, all in the middle of my street.

So maybe description has to be motivated too, when dealing with first person POV? Because, if what happened tonight didn't happen, I wouldn't be paying attention to the outside sounds because I wouldn't be paranoid. I'd actually be able to tune the outside sounds out since, really, it's all just typical city and college town noises. The only sound I'd pick up on tonight would be the downstairs neighbors' howling dog--and that's because his howling always annoys me, for some reason. Again, another motivation for picking up on a sound. Or the loud blaring of bass coming from my downstairs neighbors' just now, which usually annoys me, but it was the opening music of The Office, and now I wanna go down and watch it with them.

Hmmm... I may have to sleep on this. Which bedtime is in my immediate future because it's my goal to get to Bruegger's Bagels by 7 a.m. tomorrow, so I can avoid any potential confrontation with Obnoxious Family. If I can pull this off, that means two to three hours of writing time before going off to the paper.

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uniquelyallie: (Default)
Allison Kelsey

December 2015

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