February 2008


One NaNoWriMo novel, one incomplete screenplay, and a novel-in-progress with outlines and I suddenly no longer want to work without them. I suppose this is a good thing, since writing without is sometimes a big timesink, but I still feel like an outline junkie. I’ve never outlined short fiction before, but I craved the direction.
Not that I, you know, actually wrote on those stories, but you know.
As for the novel, I’m 33,500 words in right now. Despite the outline, which has everything that needs to happen plot-wise, I still find myself pantsing chapters to get to the plot point where I need to be. That seems to work for me. I also have the abortive stub of a chapter in a POV that I decided not to use for that chapter, but I’m not going to cut it yet because I’m trying to keep my wordcount up. Seeing my wordcount go down instead of up is too disheartening to cut things. Rewriting a scene to be someone else’s POV was bad enough; I wrote 1000 words that day but only gave myself credit for 500 because as part of the rewrite I cut 500 words. It’s silly, but the wordcount really makes me feel like I did something.
Speaking of something, I really need to write some short fiction and send it out. I’ve only got four stories in circulation right now.

Question: Do free ebooks help or hurt paper book sales?
Tor is offering free ebooks if you sign up with their newsletter here. They offer a different one each week–this week is Scalzi’s Old Man’s War. (If you want it and missed it, ask a friend–the email says “tell a friend” but I don’t know if they want me to, you know, post the links here, so I won’t.) The first one was only in PDF, but this week’s is in PDF, HTML, and Mobi version (yay, my PDA is so happy!).
If you hurry, you might still be able to get Scalzi’s book. Next week’s won a Hugo (SPIN by Robert Charles Wilson).
Yes, yes. You have to get their newsletter. But they pay you to receive it–in ebooks!
And, you know, if you really like the ebook and want to do something nice for the author, then you can buy a paper copy. If you don’t want your paper copy, you can give it to a friend you think would like it, or to a library or bookcrossing. You don’t have to, but if you do you can help provide data that contradicts the idea that ebooks are the END OF DAYS FOR AUTHORS ZOMG, and maybe publishers and authors will make more of ’em, and then we’ll live in an ebook utopia. It could happen.

I’ve been writing a lot. Well. Last weekend I was sick. Let us not speak of it.
My action chapter is still kicking my butt, because, well, it’s action. It’ll be okay, and the next chapter should have fun stuff in it. Well, there was something fun tonight–I wrote a kiss. It’s more than just a kiss, though, it’s a sexual awakening. Yay!
And, you know, just to make up for my not posting in so long, have a LOLcat. Aw, Pandora is so cute!
LOLcat

My first drafts of action chapters are about 500-1000 words. This is pitiful, and caused my outline spreadsheet to say my novel would come in short. So I sighed, and turned sentences into paragraphs. It’s now about 2000 words, which is still too short, but at least my outline spreadsheet doesn’t say my novel is going to come in short any more.
Which is good, because my stuff always gets longer in revision. So my goal is my minimum wordcount. People tell me that’s not right, because it’s easier to cut than add, but it’s more in line with the way I work, so there you go.
Current wordcount: 29387. Guesstimated final wordcount: 80288 (still a little stunted by action miniscenes). Percent complete: 36 and change.

Action scenes are hard. Let’s do math instead!

Over here we have a fellow that I assume is well-intentioned wondering why women are so gosh-darned unfriendly when strange men walk up to them at the airport. Another man in the comments relates that women sometimes cross the street to get away from him and wonders what’s up with that. Another was outraged that a woman told him, “Go away, I have a boyfriend,” when he was just trying to tell her she left her cellphone on top of her car.
I can’t speak for Australian women (the link is on an Australian server), but one out of every six American women has been the victim of sexual assault during her lifetime (source: RAINN). The usual recommendations to avoid being one of the one in six include not talking to strange men, not wandering around alone in bad parts of town, not dressing well (I have that one down pat, myself–picture jeans, a t-shirt that says, “No, I will not fix your computer,” and hooray that it’s black because then you can’t see that I spilled coffee on it this morning, and what is this makeup thing of which you speak?), etc. If you’re insulted that someone thinks you’re a “strange man” they shouldn’t talk to when you’re just trying to be friendly or helpful, consider that 38% of victims are raped by a friend or acquaintance, four in ten assaults take place in the victim’s own home, and two in ten take place at a friend or acquaintance’s home (source: RAINN). If a woman has to be afraid of that nice guy Bob in accounting, or the guy she’s going on a date with tonight, why should she trust a total stranger?
No, I’m sorry, you can’t have it both ways. Either rape is a woman’s problem and the only way to avoid it is to consider half the human race a potential assailant who is bigger and heavier than you are, or women can be friendly to strange men who walk up to them and try to sell them things or tell them they’ve left their cellphone on top of their car. Those are mutually exclusive situations, sorry. It’s very likely that you’re not a rapist, but she has no way of knowing that.
RAINN has things men can do to help here. But if you’re going to be friendly, try to be friendly in social situations where there are other people around, like your local LUG or work. Don’t corner women alone in an isolated place like a parking garage and be friendly. We have it drummed into our heads from an early age that that’s a prelude to assault.

UB_Banner.gif
This anthology contains several stories I really love, including “Big Sister/Little Sister,” “Captive Girl,” and “The Last Stand of the Elephant Man.” I’m sure I’ll love the others just as much.
Jennifer Pelland is made of awesome. Therefore, it’s only logical that her anthology will also be made of awesome. Go, click, buy. You know you want it!

Current wordcount: 25,792
Goal wordcount: 80,000
Guesstimated final wordcount: 81,203
Percent of goal done: 32.24%
Percent of guesstimate done: 31.76%
At this rate, I’ll reach my goal on: 5/12/08
At this rate, I’ll finish my first draft on: 5/14/08

I’m currently working on chapter seven. My writer’s group just critiqued chapters five and six.
I think I need to write faster.

I found a missing angle bracket in the comment table template that was conflating the “not spam” and “empty” buttons on the spam comment listing on MT 4.1. Line 24 of comment_table.tmpl should read:

title="<__trans phrase="Report Selected Comments as Not Spam and Publish (j)">"

The > near the end was missing.