julian_griffith: (Default)
Project: Julia and Mary (Regency lesbians)
Market: Storm Moon Press, An Improper Arrangement open anthology call
Deadline: June 30, 2013
Required length:8-12K
New words written yesterday: 827 (and another 100 today)
Present total wordcount: 10569
Mean things: Julia lashing out
Fun things: KISSING
Stimulants: Red Rose tea

So I finally decided that the way to get unstuck was to write out of sequence and jump to an emotional turning point. So I wrote Julia and Mary's first passionate kiss.

Now I have to go back and fill in the buildup from the halfway point to there, and then write the sexytimes and the happy resolution.

Yes, it's going to go over the target wordcount, by a LOT. S.L.'s already said that longer is better than shorter and she'll give a LOT of leeway to lesbian fiction, so I'm not too worried as long as I can keep it under 20K.

Tomorrow is my weekly day of being [livejournal.com profile] gehayi 's Office Manager, so I probably won't be writing until the evening, if at all.

But I plan to give Thursday and Friday over to writing. I've hit the halfway point in my medical coding coursework, and I don't have to be ready for the exam until the end of July, so I'm on target there. And the deadline for this is a lot closer.

So the next task is to give Caroline's children the measles, so she has to leave London, which gives the opening for Julia to invite Mary back to Brackley Hall, and for their friendship to get all ambiguously romantic and for Julia to keep forcing down her hopes because that's what she DOES and that's where most of the conflict comes in.

It's back underway!

julian_griffith: (Default)
 I swear, I didn't even eat that much. Well, maybe more malted milk balls than I ought. I do love them so.

I've been writing the untitled Advent calendar vignette, rather desultorily -- so I haven't been posting progress, but I do have 1178 words on it so far. I keep doing other things -- like catching up on my friendslists, and cooking/baking, and trying to finish The Age of Wonder, and hosting a special Halloween livestream of The Three Musketeers, because TheFirstChibi wondered if anyone in the group of Paul McGann fans on tumblr would, and, well, I like socializing over movies even if it's on the internet, and, of course, knitting.

Speaking of knitting:



I did two more repeats of the cable pattern since yesterday. I love cabling. Especially now that I'm using a dpn as the holder instead of a cable pin. Just slide the stitches to the other end!

I seem to have taken on more writing projects -- [personal profile] laylah pointed me at Riptide's open calls, and I think Julia-and-Mrs.-Campbell is now earmarked for them (which means it's up next, after the Advent story), and I mentioned the auction last post, and this means the Storm Moon Regency-lesbians thing will be Caroline and Julia in their Season, which is pretty much the only time frame I can have them still fooling around but past their magic 18th birthdays. Also, uh, I may have promised Chibi a brief fanfic, because in the Disney Three Musketeers, the Athos/D'Artagnan slash JUST WRITES ITSELF. Missing-scene between the tavern scene and the cannonball. Sex scenes are easy, and the Advent story hasn't got one.

My HEAD, you guys. Let me get outside of more of my coffee.

NaNoWriMo

Oct. 31st, 2012 08:15 am
julian_griffith: (Default)
 I'm not doing it. Not by the rules, anyway.

I'm not really ready to start on the sequel, yet. I just received Memoirs of a Sergeant: The 43rd Light Infantry During the Peninsular War, which is going to be critical for writing the Rockingham sections, and I need to do more research about  the Company of St. Barbara, because I SO want to include them somehow!

Also, I have other open-call things with actual submission deadlines that I want to try, before I work on a sequel to a novel that hasn't been bought yet.

One of them's the Advent calendar story, which I hope I can finish this week. Another one is Carina's Home for the Holidays military-themed one, which I know needs to be about the Rockinghams' cook-maid Polly and her soldier sweetheart, and then the next one is the call for Regency lesbian ones that Storm Moon Press is interested in.

Now, Home for the Holidays is supposed to be novella-length, and An Improper Arrangement is specified as short story, so if I knock both of those out by the end of the month, and maybe start on the sequel, I might hit 50,000 words. It just won't be all on one project.

Plus, I need to keep submitting Love Continuance and Increasing, and there's knitting.

But, if any of you are doing NaNo, I will definitely be cheering you on!

DONE!

Oct. 10th, 2012 04:55 pm
julian_griffith: (Default)
Project: Christmas Story That Needs A Title
Market: Storm Moon Press, "22 Days of Yule" open anthology call
Deadline: October 15, 2012
Required length:15-20K
Final wordcount: 16,510

I didn't even post yesterday, though I wrote about a thousand words, because I was so disgusted with myself for falling into the Google Vortex. I spent most of the morning cutting and pasting the way a Christmas Eve midnight mass would have gone if the church in question was using the 1559 Book of Common Prayer; I had figured on using the 1662 edition, which was most common then, but for some reason I cannot figure out, the 1662 reading was from the Gospel of John instead of the Luke version that even I know from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, and I wanted to use Luke. And I felt like I had to know all the words Thorne would be hearing, so I'd know what would jump out at him to think about. Guess what? I only wound up using the first and last verses from Luke. *facepalm*

That brought it up to the first sex scene. Excellent! Then the next thing to do was Christmas morning. With gifts. And, holy fuck, I got it into my head that I had to know what EVERYBODY gave EVERYONE ELSE, with like a dozen people to worry about, so I spent time looking up children's toys, and ladies' handicrafts, and books written for children that would have existed at the time. The genre was just getting started, and was really pretty didactic and awful, but one of those dull, didactic books was written by Mary Wollstonecraft, and was as full of sneaky feminist propaganda as Free To Be... You And Me, albeit without the comedy routines or charming songs. So that totally had to go in there. And all of this was to give some context to the intimacy of Rockingham and Caroline's gift to Thorne of a dressing gown. While I was at it, I put in a tiny shout-out to Rumer Godden, whose doll books I loved so much as a child: Thorne gave Sarah Pennington a(n inexpensive) wooden Dutch doll, and Sarah said she would call her Tottie.

But the part where I WROTE the Christmas gift exchange was TODAY. Yesterday was mostly dicking around on the internet -- oh, but please to call it research.

Anyway. I guess the time wasn't wasted yesterday, because today I just CRANKED along. Most of my timed bouts were between 200 and 300 words. I took one break to do the dishes, and another to eat lunch, and I had plenty of hot cups of tea, and lovely Baroque music going through my headphones the whole time... and I DID it. With wassail, and a boar's head along with the roast goose and plum pudding, and a snowball fight, and one really schmoopy scene in the hornbeam arch with a secret present and a three-way embrace. Plus they thwarted George Pennington's financial scheming, for now.

Now I'm gonna eat dinner, and treat myself to a bottle of Mexican real-sugar Coke, and look up Christmas carols to see if any of them work for titles.

 
julian_griffith: (Default)
Project: Unnamed Christmas story
Market: Storm Moon Press, "22 Days of Yule" open anthology call
Deadline: October 15, 2012
Required length:15-20K
Previous wordcount: 7918
New words written today: 1568 that are actual narrative
Present total wordcount: 10048 if you include the outline I put in
Mean things: Rockingham's Grandmama is a right bitch sometimes
Fun things: Rockingham's Grandmama is a right bitch sometimes
Stimulants: The smug glow of responsibility that comes from not neglecting laundry or dishes, and far too much tea
Reason for stopping: Brain's kinda done, and I owe lainathiel a LOT of commentary 

Most people, I am given to understand, write their outline before they write the story.

I have yet to be able to do so.

I know my characters, and I know my setting, and I generally have an idea of what needs to happen in the story as a CONCEPT, but it's certainly not scene-by-scene at that point.

If I try to write an outline at that point, I wind up concluding that I have hopeless writer's block.

What seems to work is if I wind up the characters and put them through their paces on an ordinary day, around when I think the Plot Thing will happen. And I start inching towards it, one painful 20-minute sprint after another. Or 100-word written?kitten! chunks, sometimes. But my current method is just Unfucking My Wordcount in 20/10s.

Usually, at some point when I'm vamping around like that, waiting for the plot to come 'round on the git-tar, as Arlo Guthrie would say, my id will kick in and insist on supplying me with a sex scene. Or two. In rather a lot of detail. And if I don't write it down, I get NOTHING else done.

So then I go back to inching towards the plot, now knowing that there is Plot scheduled between wherever I am then and the Sex Scene. Which is a nice incentive, because I very much want to hook the sex scene into its sequential place in the narrative.

jAnd I keep doing that, and eventually I catch the plot and start reeling it in, and the pace picks up, and all of a sudden I know What Happens Next. For all values of Next. So, when I reach a nice stopping point in my dialogue-and-narrative words for the day, I stick a whole lot of short sentences and sentence fragments in list form after where I stopped. With fully-written sex scenes interrupting them.

And that's my outline.

In the novel, it wasn't just sex scenes that I was hooking in, but Emotionally Dramatic Moments as well. My brain likes writing from the emotional centers outward.

And I didn't get the novel outline all at once like that, either. But I got SECTIONS of it like that, with bits I had to drag out in timed chunks until the Outline thing happened again.

This is a very weird process, I think.

But it gets me Story.
julian_griffith: (Default)
Project: Unnamed Christmas story
Market: Storm Moon Press, "22 Days of Yule" open anthology call
Deadline: October 15, 2012
Required length:15-20K
New words written: 1710
Present total wordcount: 3157
Mean things: Thorne is prone to angstbunnies
Fun things: Rockingham found an excuse to touch him too; added in baby rattle
Stimulants: ALL THE TEA, and avocado in my lunch
Reason for stopping: Wordcount achieved!

I spent far too much time on social media today. I'm trying to develop an order for how to attack them -- I have one window open for my personal accounts, and another one for the pen-name ones, and I want to do Dreamwidth first and then LJ for each of them, because if people are duplicating/crossposting (as I am) I'm trying to give preference to Dreamwidth, in case LJ goes splat, and I think my goal is to do this one first and personal second, and then there's the tumblrs and twitters... anyway, what with one thing and another, I didn't get around to writing until 2PM.

From there I proceeded to do 20/10s all the way through to 6PM and dinner, at which point I had 2500 words.

Two more and I was 15 words shy of 3K, but I wasn't entirely happy with it -- I was in the middle of an infodump, and I wanted to get back to dialogue.

One more and I had broken the infodump into two shorter paragraphs, stuck in a sentence at the beginning of the first one that had some observed physical action, which in its turn gave me a clew (yes, clew, like a string in a labyrinth) to follow out of the mopey reverie that was the infodump and INTO some damn DIALOGUE with OTHER CHARACTERS.

Who just happened to be Marcus and Alexander. And yes, the first paragraph of the infodump was That Story, YET AGAIN, and I'm getting better and better at shrinking it and stripping off all the identifying markers. And the second paragraph was Here Let's Have A Quick Recap Of The Novel's Arc, Because Nobody Will Have Read It. But now we get to have Marcus and Alexander and some secondary lovey-dovey behavior, and I swear I'm tempted to make "little girls get crushes on the dark, aloof, AND DID WE MENTION TOTALLY GAY naval officer with the curly hair and the big brown eyes" a running gag. It only got a throwaway sentence in the novel. Its other appearance isn't publishable. I could totally rework Crushy Little Girl for this one, right?

And I just remembered I only posted in the Monday Pride Thread under my personal name and not this one, so I'm going to do that now.
julian_griffith: (Default)
Project: Unnamed Christmas story
Market: Storm Moon Press, "22 Days of Yule" open anthology call
Deadline: October 15, 2012
Required length:15-20K
New words written: 1012
Present total wordcount: 1503
Mean things: Lady Sybil doesn't much like her (elder) grandchildren
Fun things: Caroline keeps finding socially acceptable ways to touch him
Stimulants: frequent breaks and tea
Reason for stopping: I hit 1500 words!

Today was not a brilliantly inspired writing day. Yesterday I don't think I got ANY writing done: it was all errands, library and Target and a HUGE grocery run and prescriptions at CVS and of COURSE they only had one of the two ready. I was very clever and got the soup set up and simmering before we left, so when we got back two hours later all I had to do was boil up the pasta that went in it, and dinner was ready. Although I discovered that if I turn the heat lower than usual, past a certain point the carrots won't soften much, even with a longer cooking time.

So anyway today I knew I needed to make words, though the story feels slow getting off its feet. So, after I got a reasonable number of chores done -- dishes, my one load of laundry, and a bit of kitchen cleanup - I sat down to a day of writing 20/10s.

I'm bracketing proper names like crazy. I can sort them out later. And I only ran into one research diversion -- I needed to look up what things babies would be doing at 11-12 weeks. [livejournal.com profile] eglantine_br , I want you to know that I'm stealing Percy Shelley's baby rattle with the bells. I have to go back tomorrow and put in Thorne waving it for Stephen, and picking it up and putting it back in his hand and stuff, while Lady Sybil is going on about her Pennington grandchildren and how ill-behaved they are.

I never managed to get over 200 words in a single 20-minute block, but I did get pretty consistently between 150 and 200, and I made words. If I can do 1500 per day, I'll likely finish it with enough time for rewrites before the deadline. [livejournal.com profile] jestana has said that her sister, who hasn't read the novel, is willing to look it over, which is important because I need to know if it makes sense on its own, and that's one thing [personal profile] mswyrr won't be as able to do.

I didn't realize how much I'd missed working with [personal profile] mswyrr ! She knows my characters and their backgrounds and where I'm going with the story, and can tell me whether my words are bringing the important stuff out without being either too opaque or too obvious. And when I'm writing in tiny chunks like that, the story always feels AGONIZINGLY slow to me -- I mean, the wedding scene in the novel took four or five hours to write, and it felt while I was writing it as if I were attending the reception in real time, or, worse, sitting through that much unedited wedding video, and today was a lot like that. And when it feels like that, I have NO sense of the pacing as a reader might experience it. She tells me whether it's okay, and that alone is a godsend.

So. Goal tomorrow, 1500 words or more. And I will not try to figure out the difference between a facebook account and a facebook public figure page until I'm DONE with this thing. Meanwhile I have a tumblr (juliangriffith.tumblr.com) and a twitter (JulianxGriffith) and I've set up another Gmail account. Please DO feel free to add me there! I'm trying to keep the tumblr focused on Things Of Historical Interest Relevant To The Novel and not all dedicated to fangirling -- although Downton Abbey fan-stuff has crept in. But Hornblower fan-stuff other than photo reblogs, the bulk of the Doctor Who fan-stuff, and all of the actor-crushy fanstuff I'm trying to keep on punkrockmuffinatrix, so I don't look like a total dweeb.

I didn't get out of my pajamas today -- but my kitchen floor is clean and my laundry is done. I'm calling that a win.




julian_griffith: (Default)
 Project: Unnamed Christmas story
Market: Storm Moon Press, "22 Days of Yule" open anthology call
Deadline: October 15, 2012
Required length:15-20K
New words written: 171
Present total wordcount: 491
Mean things: Thorne decided not to ask for milk
Fun things: remembering sexytimes
Stimulants: rice porridge and Zantac
Reason for stopping: distracted by setting up social media

My stomach's still playing up, but not as badly it was the day before. I meant to do more than one 20-minute writing sprint, but I started playing with Duotrope, and setting up a tumblr for Julian Griffith, which required setting up a new Gmail account, juliangriffith1801@gmail.com, which is set to forward to my main Gmail address, plus I was trying to get my shredder functioning again (no luck), and what it boils down to is, I didn't write much.

Today, along with writing and housework, I intend to set up a Julian Griffith Twitter and a novel-themed Pinterest, and maybe even, God help us, a Facebook. I use my real-name Facebook as little as possible, but maybe a writing-focused one will be less godawful.
julian_griffith: (Default)
 Cheyenne's website DOESN'T say anything about simultaneous submissions, and they want just a query letter. I emailed them to ask about simultaneous submissions. Haven't heard back yet but it's early Monday.

Storm Moon wants a "marketing plan" in the query letter along with the attached synopsis, partial manuscript, yadda yadda. I emailed them over the weekend to ask if there was a particular format they expected for a marketing plan. I got a very prompt response from them explaining that they just needed an informal paragraph going over what social media you planned to use, and if you were willing to do stuff like blog tours, and how much time you had to devote to such things. Not nearly as intimidating as I thought.

Storm Moon also has some open calls out, including one for winter holiday short stories, 15-20K. WELL HEY. Love Continuance and Increasing ends about a month before Christmas, and the happy triad intends to keep Christmas together. I bet I can write that between now and the October 15 deadline! Spent a couple hours last night developing an arc for it with [personal profile] mswyrr , who is still the Best Beta In The World. It makes the most sense for it to be from Lt. Thorne's POV all the way through. I'll be building it around the question of his belonging to the family -- class tensions, no legal recognition, breaking quite a few laws as well as being scandalous -- and how they resolve that, because resolve it they do! And I can take it through a Georgian Christmas and end with first-footing (they are not Scottish, but friend of the family is and encourages them to incorporate the tradition) and New Year's kisses (I don't know if that's an anachronism, but I bet they can do it anyway)! So that will give me something to write while I'm still researching the sequel.

Speaking of researching, I racked up some serious overdue fines at the library for my current research books, because my car went kablooie (transmission, clutch, GAAAH) and it sort of slipped off my radar to WALK to the library. The car should be ready this week, but I'm walking over today.

Wondering if I should set up a Facebook for this name (I hate Facebook, BUT), maybe an auxiliary tumblr, a separately named Twitter? I have followings under my current names, but I feel like I should have a coherent and consistent presence (God, that sounds pretentious) for the writing stuff. Oh yeah. And I nabbed a Pinterest thing and I'll definitely be setting it up as Julian Griffith because it'll be all the pretty pictures of houses and dresses and landscapes and carriages that I found for inspiration!


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