Furry Peach and Mango Otter

Under and Overwhelmed: Writing in the new year

So it’s been a while since the last post and much has happened since i left all of my three faithful readers. The novel continues, very, very, slowly. It’s actually been a while since i’ve worked on it because i’ve run headlong into a series of problems that my earlier devil may care fortitude hasn’t cared to slam headlong through. In fact my devil may care attitude appears to care a little too much for my liking and shrinks away from it. But have no fear! I’m sure something will happen to get it all working again.

I lost my job. Again. Working in mortgages is not a very stable environment, as i’m sure you’re all aware. I’m actually fairly used to this process which is not the same as saying i like it in any way. In fact i think it sucks and i would really really really like to get on with a life independent of mortgages. So if you happen to know of anyone who is looking for an amazingly talented but inexperienced writer direct them here and have them contact me.

I am trying to get my first screenplay back together to send out for another contest. Yes, folks, i know contests aren’t exactly where it’s at but unless someone also knows of an incredible writing agent that can get me in the front door on the basis of a few scripts that have a lot of promise while also having a lot of problems. Well… you know what to do. Go forth, minions, spread your wings and bring me back an agent in your capable clutches!

or not. That’s a bit of a tall order for my minions.

Hopefully my new found freedom will allow me a little more time to write and bemoan the fact that when employment job boards are looking for writers they don’t seem to mean looking for people who write, but rather people who have business degrees and had to pass English 101 in order to get them. That is, of course, if they are looking for writers at all and you don’t type in ‘writer’ only to be maddeningly redirected to a job posting to teach ballet in Arkansas.

Somehow i don’t think i’m qualified for that. He says as he stubs his toe on a loose piece of tile.

So now you’re up to date on my latest. Exciting wasn’t it? Aren’t you glad you tuned in for my witticisms? Carry on then, my Minions. Go do the voodoo that you do so well.

Categories: Fiction, Furry Peach and Mango Otter, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

NaNoWriMo Day 24: The Finish Line

I crossed the finish line of 50000 words and listened to We Are The Champions as a celebratory exercise. I have decided to forgo the usual libation to the muses, or rather postponed it until the thing is well and truly finished. But let me tell you, hitting a goal like that is worth it. I’m not exactly giddy but i am content and that will do for now.

Sorry i haven’t been making my regular post for the last few days. I was getting behind in sleep again but still managed to post the word count, for the most part though some of the days had a little less than usual.

I have been skipping around a lot in the story, getting things done where and when the inspiration strikes the hardest. Tonight it was Part 4 – the deepest i have gotten into it and in fact it’s the denoument. I have to say i am proud of the end i have made of it. It may be some of the best writing i have ever done and i even made myself sniffle once or twice. It sounds strange to say ‘made myself sniffle’. I didn’t actually. Tom did. He’s got a really good heart and i’m really quite fond of him. And then there’s Violet. She’s such a beauty. I really hope and intend for her to have a better and more poignant part of the final draft as i have really come to love her.

Emmie, of course, is still giving me some trouble. A few days ago i bought her a truck – or rather she bought it. She lightened up considerably at that and then she had a nice scene at a food pantry that was comical and interesting. The food Pantry is more or less integral to the plot but the truck isn’t and i have a feeling it will either have to be dramatically shorter in the final version or not exist at all.

While i say she’s giving me trouble i think it’s more fair to say that she’s not all that certain of the direction this whole thing is going. There are parts of it she’s completely onboard with but as i mentioned a blog or two ago, she has yet to really warm to Tom (who is pretty enamored of her) Clearly some things will have to be worked on on his end to melt the ice as it were. Seeing as that’s always been one of my troubles with relationships we’ll see how well i can write it out for him.

Other than that things have been moving very nicely. Some of the scenes are harder than others of course. Sometimes the plot just doesn’t want to do what you want it to do. You try to explain to the screen that this is the way it has to be in order for things to work but the screen just looks at you with a ‘hmph. Maybe.” sort of expression. You really have to take that maybe to heart. You could be wrong. The maybe is very important as i have discovered while i am sitting at my desk at work, Moleskine open and jotting notes as they fire off in my head.

I am really looking forward to, having now written the very end, dropping Nick back into the story. I don’t know what place he holds or what he’s going to do but he’s there at the close and his initial scenes with Emmie’s mother were so good.

Anyway. The thing really is a hairy mess at present. It’s like a really comfortable shirt that has fallen into some disrepair and is in need of some thread cutting and some patching. Before i get to that i really want to fill in the gaps and pull all the spots together into a nice picture. Then the real work begins.

Stay tuned to this bat channel for more details and more anguish. There will be plenty of both to be had.

Categories: Fiction, Furry Peach and Mango Otter, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NaNoWriMo: Day 21 – Skipping around

Well today was a bit different. Instead of proceeding in lock step with the outline i had mapped out (which has been variable at best as things have been proceeding mostly in a linear fashion but that linear fashion has a strange tendency to be chopped up to bits and strewn around) i have decided to skip around a little in the plot and sketch out a few scenes later in the story.

In addition i have really started thinking about the revisions. The chapter that was formerly Chapter 4: which was initially the introduction of the senator, now comes well after the (interminably long) banquet and his meeting with Emmie. Chapters 1 and 2 respectively which detail the birth of both main characters and deliver sort of a thread of continuity to the stuff taking place way back in 1892, may end up being jettisoned entirely. They only seem to serve the purpose of extending the introduction of the main characters and preventing the story from starting.

There is a lot of character work that still needs to be done. Emmie is now more of the problem than Tom. She doesn’t really have much of a hook – i don’t generally like characters that have ‘hooks’ or stereotypical archetypes but i do like characters that have a certain perspective or standpoint. I think she certainly has it but its a little more muted than i would like. She shows up really well in the scenes with Alex where she is comfortable but she’s very wary of Tom. She can spar with him well enough -which is good- but i think she’s still trying to figure out what to make of him.

I think, in order to tamp that down a little bit, i may devote a few solo chapters to her. I think it’s important sometimes to give people plenty of space to do their own thing – it tells you a lot about them when the actual plot stuff happens and though it is inefficient work it can be much fun. So for all of you writers out there who actually have stumbled upon this strange little blog in the backwaters of the blogosphere – my advice to you is always be prepared to write junk you never intend to use. It may feel like a waste of time and effort but in my opinion it will really make the focused work time that much quicker and useful and precise.

Well that’s it for now. I’m a little over five thousand words remaining. If i keep up the present pace i will be done with the 50000 by tuesday.

Categories: Fiction, Furry Peach and Mango Otter, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

NaNoWriMo Day 20: Last Milestone Before 50000

So i’m currently at 41,000 or so having cleared the last 10,000 mark before the end. I’m a little umm…anxious at being so close to the end of the 50,000 goal. It’s been fun and exhilarating and obnoxious and painful and oh so very rewarding. The novel isn’t even close to being finished. Not by a long shot but it’s nice to be this far and have a lot more to go. It gives me something to look forwards to.

The Senator is becoming a pretty good character. I was genuinely worried about him with the first few pages i put together. He was very plain and didn’t have much to like about him, but add a few nuances here and there, find a way to make them work, and there you go.

I seem to be having some difficulty still with descriptions. They just aren’t evolving in a way that i find colorful enough but that’s going to have to be tweaked and hammered down in the second draft which should be a mind numbing terror. But i feel like it’s getting to be a good story and i like the way the two leads have very different methods when they are alone as opposed together – it’s a strange dynamic the way they are slowly and very cautiously discovering the necessary admiration for each other.

My subplot characters have finally met – i am doing my best to keep them very close to the vest, i don’t want to show too much – just step by step build to the pay off but i think it’s a little too clear right now. Again that will have to be clouded over and given a nice muddy wash in the second draft. That will be difficult because it’s easy to overdo a plot like that when you know how it ends up but you don’t want the reader to know. You want it to be a surprise. So it’s a lot of fine and patient detail and obfuscation.

As far as plot goes – it’s glacial. I’m not sure how to fix that but i’m not too worried about it. I do wish there was a way to see it as a novel WHILE i’m writing it – with perfect page format. That way, visually at least, i can mark the benchmarks of the plot with what needs to be where and so forth. That would make editing much much easier.

Anyway. I must be off to a birthday party so i just thought i would drop this off and give you a little hint of what’s in store. I hope it was tantalizing enough.


Categories: Fiction, Furry Peach and Mango Otter, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

NaNoWriMo Day 18: Slacker!

Well i cut the word count short. I’ve been grinding under a serious lack of sleep so i’m trying to get to bed. I know – same story from the last few days. But seriously i don’t like having to work for 9 hours while feeling worse than the walking dead.

Anyway. I finally FINALLY pushed through the grand banquet scene and am ready to move on. I think it’s got all the raw elements i’m looking for but it should develop a little more slowly as far as the relationship is concerned. I positively love the character of the daughter who popped up in yesterday’s writing. I think she’s going to truly be a great addition to the story.

Finally i think i have lightened up a bit. This whole thing is supposed to be more romantic comedyesque than dreary slice of life. Well… There’s absolutely no way it could be a slice of life. But in any case i think the lightheartedness i wanted is finally coming across. There’s a lot of work to be done but the bones are there.

Must go sleep. Friday should be a heavy work day – TV sucks on friday.

Categories: Fiction, Furry Peach and Mango Otter, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

NaNoWriMo Day 17: Umm… Yeah… Realizing there’s more story than what’s left in word count…

Well this is going to have to be quick again. Just finished for the night. I should say i just cut myself off. Thing’s went well and i have decided to post this under the current title of the project: Furry Peach and Mango Otter. Oddly enough i know exactly why this is why this is the title and yet it has not yet come up in the course of writing it. But that’s writing for you. You should know more about things than the reader.

I’m getting down to the home stretch now, continuing with my metaphors of the past the land is just over the horizon. There is no longer any doubt that i will finish the 50000 words, the question then becomes will the novel be finished with it? I’m going to say – not a chance. There are leagues to go yet – much much more story than the 50000 will allow for the present, and though i am aware that i can be overly wordy at times i can honestly say the number of events remaining precludes the idea of a total finish. That’s alright though. I’ve decided i am not going to let up this pace until the thing is finished. I don’t really trust myself to give it time off. It’s all or nothing.

So. If you’re with me, i will continue this Blog until the draft is finished at which point i’ll happily take a break before going back into it and getting it trimmed down and in shape. In the mean time i will try to be a little more specific and timely with these.

Must go sleep.

Categories: Fiction, Furry Peach and Mango Otter, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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