jacquelineb: (autumn cliff)
It's been a good week for doing things. Wednesday night dancing had not one but two fiddlers - live music is always wonder to dance to. Really enjoyed the warm up music particularly, got my right into the dancing mood.

One of my shoes, though, now has a hole in the toe. I vaguely wonder if this inspired me to cut back a little on the dancing. Shoes really ought to last longer than that. One of the elder statesmen of the dancing world suggested that it was because I was pointing my toes too much...;) New pair over the summer then. Actually, my favourite pair of work/kicking about town shoes has a hole in it too...an expedition on Monday I think will be required.

The weather on Friday was gloriously beautiful. I spent the morning fretting and figuring out something over two stories I'm working on. I had this grand vision of two works with the same characters, but come Friday I realised that I was forcing square pegs into round holes; the shorter one, which I want to submit to this anthology of Hotel based erotica, I realised was really meant to be fairly sweet and tender, whereas this one on gunplay is definitely much darker (should have been bleeding obvious, really, theme considering...) Glad that I separated the two, because it was really making it difficult to write the gun one in particular.

After that though I took advantage of the weather (oh man I've never appreciated good weather until living in England) and went with some books to Jesus Green to while the hours before meeting K for dinner and long conversations about everything and anything. We have grand schemes for writing afoot, which I won't talk about just yet, but suffice to say we're both very excited about it.

Got some writing done yesterday, and then trotted out with housemate to meet up with others at Strawberry Fair. It's been a while since I've been to a similar event - probably since I left home. Realised while being there how much I liked them - markets selling all manner of hippy-ish and alternative clothes, carvings, t-shirts, hot food of all varieties. Housemate and I had a coconut each and drank the juice. A lot of music acts as well; wound up in the one dance tent and caught a very good singer/band in Alice Walker and the AlicebanD (see her profile here and here on MySpace.) She's has a great jazzy voice, music you can dance to, and wonderful lyrics. The tent heaved with sweat, cigarette and pot smoke, and wild atmosphere. Afterwards we ambled about some more, found food and drink, settled on the grass near another stage - and now I'm hunting for the details of the band who was playing there, cos they sounded like the sort of music you'd want playing if you were about to board a pirate ship and go ravaging the seas dramatically.

And now it's Sunday morning. Many things I must get done today.

Over here on DW, I've let my paid account here lapse, and rather parsed back what is on here in terms of writing matters. With the planned website approaching, I've decided to just make this a personal blog, and direct the writing promotion over there. Obviously I'll still ramble about writing things, but I'm going to not worry too much about how I should structure the journal and what not. Just a place to ramble is all it will be.

And I think that's enough rambling for one day.
jacquelineb: (swing)
Bloody hell, it's been a while since I've updated here. Or really interacted with anyone on DW - I have been reading on and off, but my attention has been diverted elsewhere for the past few months. With summer approaching and dancing things (at any rate) winding down, I may have more time to be here (though I may just be outside relishing the English sun - all that you've heard about the weather in England is true!)

So, what's been happening with me? )

And that's about it I think...
jacquelineb: (lonely Lawrence)
I reread the short story over the weekend. Why yes, it does need a lot of work, but I discovered something as I was going over it and taking notes.

A lot of the struggle I had when doing the first draft was the structure of the piece. Where the scenes would lie, what would come after which part, etc. Once I found that, then the scenes came out faster.

And the great thing is that the worrying over it worked. I feel I have the bones of the story down know, and am confident that the bones will hold, but the muscles are still a bit misshapen (whole paragraphs and sections need rewriting) while the skin (the sentences) would indeed make someone's flesh crawl with how awful some of them are.

Interestingly, I didn't begin with a structure. Have tried that before; plotting everything out before setting pen to paper, and usually have floundered as I've wanted to stick too rigidly to said plan. This method of starting, getting into the story, getting a feel for what's happening and what directions it should take, and then mapping it out, seems to be working. It certainly did with my dragon novel; I started in a blaze of activity with Nanowrimo in 2006, got out 50,000 words, and discovered what the real plot was after that. A sure case of 'you can't work with a blank sheet.' Words are good. Even if they the order they are in is in fact 'bad.'

One thing I'm struggling with, and even though I know I shouldn't really be worrying about this until the story is actually ready to be sent somewhere, is the question of just what type of story is it. It could be called sci-fi; it is set some years in the future, a society that is coping with the reality of climate change but in a non-apocalyptic way. However, at it's core is a relationship that I struggle to define. It's not a romance (not enough reciprocation from one party to justify it as such) but concludes with a sex scene which I could skim over, but since the story's climax correlates with, well, the sexual one...

It occurs to me now that it is perhaps more of a bildungsroman plot (longish short story so that applies there) which kind of helps (not a romance then, which I was pretty sure of), but not quite. Well, rewrite, and have a think about it should really be the plan.

In other writing news, I found the perfect linden tree (known as a lime tree here in the UK) that would stand over the dragon cave in The Dragon of the Linden Tree. See it here.

Pity it is not actually on a hill. But trying to find a hill of any sort in East Anglia is a task doomed to failure, so this one will have to do for now.
jacquelineb: (blue figure in water)
Realised this morning that the reason I need to actually get into research for the Dragon novel for the next couple of months isn't just that I, well, need to do it, but because I'm actually up to the part in the novel where I can't fudge and write around it anymore. Because this is the part where the dragon gives Our Hero his life story, and as that spans several thousand years of human history...there is only so much I can make it on my own steam without a good knowledge of history to back it up.

It's an interesting conundrum; on the one hand, I didn't feel I could write a novel around an existing dragon myth and in an actual country (the novel was inspired by reading the story of the Polish dragon, Smok Wawelski) because of a) the obligation that a writer has when dealing with history to 'get it right', and b) the constraints that an already well-known story imposes. By that I mean that as a key conceit of the novel is an alternative 'reading' of a 'known' dragon myth, were I to use an actual as opposed to invented myth, I would have to do some very clever thinking to make what I want to say about dragons and such fit the 'real' myth.

(not sure how much sense that above paragraph makes...)

On the other hand, I am still beholden to make the history of my invented country 'true.' I need to have a good grasp on the history of the surrounding countries, and indeed the shared history of the region itself to make the invented country's history believable. In someways this is slightly trickier as I have to, along side the already known history, 'make up' my own as well, as opposed to having the ready made template of the history of real place.

Anyway, just some random thoughts on the process.

July 2015

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