auronlu: (Writer's Block)
I'm sticking stubbornly to my self-imposed rule that my [community profile] getyourwordsout word count only includes creative work, even though I'm writing a ton of stuff which is not creative.

So. For the first part of the month, I was writing a lot of Let's Play, in which I've gotten bogged down now. Later I had a rash of writing reviews.

May Wordcount: 23,412
  • Creative: 1903 for somewhat-stalled novella + outline for short story contest*
  • Reviews: 10,273 words for 16 reviews (new record!)
  • Let's Play: 11,276 words for Let's Play Revenant Wings (which I need to get back to; I seem to be able to juggle two big projects at a time)
My creative wordcount for the year is 30,278. My total word count (creative writing plus audio reviews and Let's Play posts, which in theory are monetized although in practice neither blog earns much) clocks in at 122,180 so far, and that doesn't include informal fandom posts on Tumblr or DW. 

The novella was stalled for the first 3 weeks of May, but now I've been putting the finishing touches on Act One and the all-important breakpoint when status quo established in Act One explodes, heroes are catapulted into the plot whether they like it or not, and nothing will ever be the same. I'm editing as I go, so I wrote considerably more words than that word count reflects.

*Big Finish is holding a classic Who short story contest this month. The prize is getting your story picked up by its Short Trips audio series, performed by the appropriate classic Doctor Who actor (assuming they're available, but most are willing to read/act a half hour story.) Short Trips are $3 half-hour audiobooks, separate from the full cast, full-sound-effects radio plays. My mind immediately went blank when I saw the contest announcement. I am terrible at writing to spec. 

But I want to do something with the Nyssa and Tegan, the only TARDIS team in all of Doctor Who when the companions were two women BFFs.



auronlu: (Writer's Block)
I continue to be inspired by [community profile] getyourwordsout, even though technically I wrote only one tiny snippet of fic that qualifies for my official creative writing tally.

April Wordcount 521 (35,608 total)
  • Creative: 521 for one flashfic (classic Who, Five/Nyssa fluff)
  • Reviews: 5979 for seven reviews (goal for year: 100 reviews; 37 written so far)
  • Let's Play: A whopping 29,108 for seven entries, not including three nearly-ready drafts.
I'm tempted to start counting my reviews and LP towards GYWO, but I must resist: I signed up to help inspire me towards a creative writing project, so that doesn't count, even though this is a lot of words!

But I feel good about those LP posts, so I'm not gonna beat myself up over it. I just need to finish it and get back to what I was doing!

Oh, and while I'm at it, April fanart. All done in 15-30 minutes.

All Doctor Who, sorry. )
auronlu: Icon says, "Does it COUNT as a WRITING SESSION if I only touched the delete key?" (deletekey)
I'm afraid I tagged on the heels of [personal profile] vieralynn and discovered Get Your Words Out at the last possible second.

I normally shun NaNo because I don't have self-discipline (or ideas for longer fics) and do have chronic health issues. I avoid gift-work exchanges, because I'm always afraid that I'll fail and let someone down.

However, this year, I have two long-form fics I want to work on, and I have definite plans for them. So perhaps this will help me with motivation, although LHAD has foundered for so many years I don't know if I can ever revive it. But I wish I could.

Dreamwidth or OpenID: Auronlu (although my first project is on my Who fandom blog.) I'm still a little uneasy about linking up my different fandom handles, so I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that project. I'll worry bout that when I have something to post.
Livejournal: auronlu but largely moribund
Tumblr: Auronlu
Pledge: 75K Light
Statement of writing goals: 1. Write High Hierophant from start to finish, post. (Right now it's in the planning stages with about 3200 words of draft.) 2. Write and post 100 reviews on VHSWhovian. (This is one fandom project that's going along tickety-boo.) 3. Work on LHAD, using the plot structuring/organization tools I'm learning via Story Engineering.

NaNoFiMo

Oct. 31st, 2013 06:43 pm
auronlu: (Writer's Block)
[livejournal.com profile] ursulav has a nifty acronym for what I am going to try and do in November: finish LHAD (or at least get closer).

NaNoFiMo.

(With thanks to Minty for encouraging me!)
auronlu: Icon says, "Does it COUNT as a WRITING SESSION if I only touched the delete key?" (deletekey)
Heh. Here I'd given up posting a word count, since my progress is measured in posted chapters not words written, but I wish to celebrate a minor victory. The logjam chapter from hell is finally starting to untangle itself.

New words for the week of Nov 15-21: 2519. That's not including deleted/edited words, just positive word count.

And now for something completely different. So that this is not entirely a boring post, here's Haruno Sumire doing what she does so well. Just in case you need smexy company during the late shift, Sissy.


translation here

Note to self so I can find it later: 2002 Flower Troupe Elisabeth. (Does that DVD play in U.S. video players?)
auronlu: (Fangsmirk)
Was feeling low, but fandom has not let me down.


Sazh Katzroy - Sunleth Waterscape
by ~shinyspikes on deviantART


In other news, while I've given up the pointless exercise of a wordcount since I'm not actually aiming for a particular wordcount, 900 words of epic battle-description spewed out last night, giving me high hopes for the next chapter of LHAD. Unlike most other key scenes that I had anticipated for years, it came out fairly effortlessly and was even better than the scribbled notes of five years ago. 

Now if I can just breathe life into the LINK chapter that leads to it. I keep massaging it like over-stimulated pie dough, and it's not working. Come on, everybody, how hard is it to sort yourselves into an adventure party and stay-behind party and pick up your traps and get MOVING already?! The Muster of Horse Stinking Rohan did not take this long. (At least it's not as bad as that chapter in FOTR where they all hop in the boats and start paddling away from Lorien only to realize — WHOOPS, FORGOT A POIGNANT FAREWELL SCENE! — so they turn back and have a picnic with Galadriel.)
auronlu: Icon says, "Does it COUNT as a WRITING SESSION if I only touched the delete key?" (deletekey)
A bit silly to be posting word counts when I so clearly am NOT going to get 50K out of this month...I'll be lucky to manage two chapters. But some progress is occurring despite being dreadfully sick, so I'll call this good. (As usual, I delete about twice as many words as I write each day.)



4022 / 50000 words. 8% done!

In other news, grade B movies like Stardust* are sooooo much better when one is sick and laid abed. The land of Counterpane has been updated with an iPad and noise cancelling headphones.

*The film is so much better than the book. Which admittedly isn't saying much, as it's Gaiman's first Gary Stu fantasy novel, with gender dynamics only slightly more mature than Eye of Argon.
auronlu: Icon says, "Does it COUNT as a WRITING SESSION if I only touched the delete key?" (deletekey)
So, daily bash at Love Her and Despair for NaNoMo once again is resembling Tolkien in all the wrong ways. Have you ever seen his early drafts for LOTR?

Chapter 50 of LHAD consists of 15 pages of overlapping, contradicting and alternative character interactions, as I attempt to pare down the cast list, tie up plot threads and jettison NPCs. I just printed out everything, cut the overlapping bits into puzzle pieces and arranged them on my desk. Gaaah. Too. Many. Pieces. Which to use, which to cut? *pokity pokity poke*

 
3028 / 50000 words. 6% done!

I've been following FFX's real story structure very loosely so far (shamelessly spliced with bits of plot structure borrowed from LOTR). This is that messy bit after Zanarkand when you get the airship, but instead of going after the Really Ultimate Endgame sequence you're tempted by a gazillion sidequests.

Or, according to the Lord of the Rings timeline, we just finished the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and everyone's meeting up in Aragorn's tent for a strategy session (except Sam and Frodo, who are regrouping in a ditch on the other side of the pass of Cirith Ungol). Based on FFX's structure, that scene should go something like...

 

The pre-endgame of ROTK, Final Fantasy style...
 

Aragorn: We are now marshalling our forces for the last battle of Middle Earth. Who's with me?
Gandalf: But first...
Everybody: SIDEQUESTS!
Faramir and Eowyn: Secondary characters need their plot arcs tied up, stat!
Sam and Frodo: We gotta do some level grinding before we cross that volcanic plain. It looks scary.
Gandalf: I think I need to go acquire a Valefor Eagle Summons. You never know when wings could come in handy.
Imrahil: We've got one of those tactics-style field battles coming up. Better replenish the various kinds of troops. Cavalry, infantry...
Aragorn: Er... I finished my ultimate weapon quest ages ago. C'mon, guys, we don't have time for this!
*Everyone scatters to do sidequests*
*Aragorn and Eomer look at each other, shrug, and wander off for a slash scene*

Er, uh, yeah. So anyway. I will firmly resist sidequests, but it's taking a bit of cat herding -- once again -- to shuffle a great many Faramirs & Eowyns off the stage so that I can get on with the Really Ultimate Dungeon. (Also, I'm still waffling about who gets to be in the ultimate dungeon party. And then there's Rikku and Wakka's sprogs. Can't I just tuck them away in the portable hole where Lucas stashed the Imperial Battlefleet at the end of Return of the Jedi?) 
auronlu: (Writer's Block)
Rggggh.

So tired. Meant to get more today, but I just utterly crashed. Stress buildup from past week was worse than I realized, for all my clever self-distraction and news avoidance exercises.

Still, a bit of progress is progress.


 
2713 / 50000 words. 5% done!
auronlu: (Blitzball)
So I was just pecking at a heated argument for my next chapter, and was once again reminded about one of the perpetual tropes in Final Fantasy X:

In the time I spent on Babylon 5, I learned about choices and consequences and responsibility. I learned that we all have choices, even when we don’t recognize them, and that those choices have consequences, not just for ourselves, but for others. We must assume responsibility for those consequences. I and my fellow officers had to choose between what we were told was right and what we believed was right.

Er, yeah. John Sheridan is Tidus (a.k.a. "Hey You" or "You-Know-Who" in game dialogue, which means he's actually Voldemort. Nevermind.)

Anyway, my point: the "choices" trope.

How the Choices Trope plays out in FFX )
auronlu: Icon says, "Does it COUNT as a WRITING SESSION if I only touched the delete key?" (deletekey)
Word count at the start of the day for LHAD Ch. 49: 5071
Word count at the end of the day for the same chapter, when I actually posted it: 4986
Total words produced today: -115.

As I noted on [livejournal.com profile] wrisomifu, "I'm pretty sure I created some new words today, too. They are now huddled in the corner trembling and awaiting tomorrow's pruning shears."

Now I remember why I used to call my dissertation the Zeno's Paradox PhD Paper.

But you know what? I am going to pretend that those negative words are PROGRESS.



2333 / 50000 words. 5% done!

(In fact, I should simply post a total published word count at month's end, but I need a visual motivator.)
auronlu: (Lulu Elegant)
824 words today, nearly the same output as the last two days.



1718 / 50000 words. 3% done!

Continuing to be amused by the [livejournal.com profile] wrisomifu, although I fear I'm not participating enough in the feedback threads.

Today's writing session, in sum: "Ye gods, I've just written an entire scene describing a fricking DRESS. And MAKE-UP. WTF?"

However, Lulu is clearly more of a clothes horse than yours truly, and I can't leave her stuck in a Yevonite nun's habit for the rest of the story. That's just not right. I don't think she can conjure up a corset, leather and lace just by snapping her fingers, so some "girding of the hero" business is required.

Lace. I knew I'd forgotten something. Nevermind.

Which reminds me:


A Better World - Ice Goddess
by *Lillyxandra on deviantART

Thankfully, I only saw this after I'd already written a rough draft of the description of Lulu's new duds and had a mental image of what she was wearing; otherwise I might've been tempted to stuff her into it. (The colors are all wrong, however; much too pale for her. Also, too easy to get the drape snagged in battle. I am fairly certain that Lulu's insanely high evasion stat derives from learning how to fight in an evening gown, perhaps using the skirt like a bullfighter's cape, but still, there's limits.)
auronlu: (Writer's Block)
A.K.A: "Does It Count As a Writing Session, If You Only Touched the Delete Key?"

I'm not officially participating in NaNoWriMo, because REASONS. However, I'm shamelessly stealing their progress bar.

764 / 50000 words. 2% done!

This is misleading, as I began today's writing session by deleting/editing/trimming about 200 words from a partially-finished chapter. Also, my goal isn't really to write 50,000 words in November, but rather, to devote most of November to finishing Love Her and Despair or at least getting it as far along as I possibly can.

To that end, thanks to [personal profile] owlmoose , I have officially joined the [livejournal.com profile] wrisomifu challenge, aka "Write Something, You Miserable F***." Ten minutes a day is all the challenge requires.

For me, I've added two additional stipulations:
  • Writing for work doesn't count. I write TONS for work, but that's all copywriting, writing for the general public, the sort of stuff you find posted on editorials, blogs, and how-to pages. It's missing my creative/poetic spark. Instead, for WriSoMiFu, my ten minutes must be dedicated to LHAD, or at the very least, something lyrical, poetic and creative, just for fun.
  • Editing/trimming/fiddling doesn't count. That's how I fail to make progress: I keep polishing existing bits instead of moving forward. So the word count is for new words, never-before-written words, and that's the only kinds of writing that counts for WriSoMiFu.



This entry was originally posted at http://auronlu.dreamwidth.org/210865.html, where it has comment count unavailablecomments.
auronlu: (Lady)
I'm not entering official NaNoWriMo, but I am planning to devote November to Finishing LHAD, Dangit!

I posted the first chapter in December 2007, and I'd love to finish it five years later. I see some hopes, although it will take a big push, as I just posted chapter 48 and anticipate that it may run to chapter 60. (49 is finished in draft, and is currently being polished; 50 is in early stages.)

i need a word counter thingumbob to track daily progress. Suggestions?

As a side note, I am sad. "Soldier of Spira" starts out so well that it is useful to me for getting into Auron headspace, but once again I've hit a point in the saga where it's difficult to keep reading.

On the one hand, I'm afraid that my writing is the same way. On the other hand, I believe that my writing is better, and I feel a twinge of jealous-writerdom. (SoS gets the fame, the recs, the tvtropes entry, the all-over-the-web fan following.) Then again, there are many other excellent fanfics that don't get the acclaim they deserve. Not that I don't (Clarion by justira) keep trying (CLARION OMFG) to correct that.

I still think Auron's mental monologue in Soldier of Spira regarding Seymour's in-game introduction is a fun bit of meta:

excerpt from Soldier of Spira )
auronlu: (Lucil)
Two of the remaining 10(ish) LHAD chapters finished, the third proceding along nicely thanks to the fact that I've given in and started letting the cat wake me up at 6:30 AM when my muse is still in dream-mode. The iPad helps tremendously; the creative writing side of my brain prefers a small portable medium that reminds me of a blank book or journal.

I'm so tempted to put up the next chapter, but I'm trying to hold off until everything's finished, then do a once-every-two-weeks serial posting so people can follow along. (The first chapter in the batch reestablishes the Story So Far since I know readers will have forgotten most of it by now.)

Anyway, I was just listening to a rough draft while doing housecleaning -- It's one of my favorite ways of proofreading and getting back into the zone to write the next chunk -- and my iPad did one of those silly computer things which are probably only amusing to me. Imagine the Victoria computer voice declaiming under a full head of steam:

"Isaaru was there, of course, but Auron had declined the graciously-worded invitation to join Bevelle's new icon in the maesters' box. He could just discern three wavering forms on the far side of the sphere pool: the high summoner arrayed in Yevon's vestments with no concern for hypocrisy, a stumpy warrior monk in splendid dress armor, and the new Grand Maester wearing an Alert Battery Low, Power at 10%."

(Er, Lucil? The little voice says you're wearing a machina. Might wanna get that checked out.)

If you've got an iPad, Text-to-Speech is hidden away under the Accessibility section of iPad Settings. The very last setting lets you turn a triple-click on the Home button (the iPad's belly button) into an on/off switch for Text-to-Speech, called Voiceover. It's a bit clunky, but these two Voiceover-only gestures are fairly easy to master: two finger swipe down means "start reading here and keep going," and three finger swipe scrolls up or down a page.
auronlu: (Writer's Block)
After much whittling -- although one chapter needs a bit of touch up at the end --

LHAD ch. 48 -- 4300 words
LHAD ch. 49 -- 4400 words, written mostly in the past four days

Think I'll actually get this puppy finished by the second week of December, 5 years after I started it?

I wish, I wish.

Also, I wonder if Squeenix really is going to issue a remaster of FFX for the PS3. That was the plan, but I haven't seen any news on that front in ages. It would help; replaying a game, rewatching a show, or rereading a book until I have it memorized tends to make it harder for me to hang onto the parts that first sparked my imagination. I'm suffering a little bit of canon drift.
auronlu: (Writer's Block)
Anonymous Review of Love Her and Despair, currently jammed at the "Houses of Healing" phase of the story arc...

"I'm glad this story is over,"

I wonder if the comma is commentary.

I will try and be an optimist and assume they meant, "Good story," but I couldn't help interpreting it at first glance as, "I'm glad you've stopped posting this; I was tired of seeing it show up on the front page of the archive." I have received some hostility to the main pairing, since fandom consensus is, for reasons I will never fathom, dead set on Aurikku as the OTP for Mr. Grouchypants. (Why not Auron/Braska? With all the m/m shipping out there, I am surprised that isn't the favored fandom OTP.)

To Anon: LHAD is not over, dangit. It's stuck. Every time I go to write the link between the Fields of Pelennor and the last leg, my writing is flat, flat, flat.

(Obviously, not really Pelennor, but I'm using that story structure. Final Fantasy games tend to have a Final Boss Battle sequence that turns out NOT to be the finale, because the final confrontation the game's been building towards almost always turns out to be Not the End. So then there's a Really Truly Final Boss. I am finding it surprisingly difficult to transition from the Not the End climax to the Last Battle.)

Very frustrating. And I know at this point, I had better write ALL the final chapters before posting so I can release them weeks apart, making them easier to follow. And this linking chapter has to double as an introduction, or rather a reintroduction, as it's been so long that readers will have forgotten the story.
auronlu: (Lucil)
 
Rereading all the lovely concrit from my DW / LJ readers and all the chapters of LHAD, I find myself once again blessed and humbled by everyone who took time to give me feedback long or short and help me keep going. Reader comments shaped that story fundamentally, despite the fact the it's the one long story I've written with an outline and plotting before I'd even started. So many problems were solved, new ideas proposed, and depth added as I pondered reader questions and observations. I know I still haven't written the Scouring of the Shire, but I couldn't have gotten as far as I did without all that help. Thank you, friends.

Nevertheless, in the midst of all the great and insightful comments, when I finally remembered to go back to the ff.net version (no pictures, noooooooooo!!!)  and reread the comments there, this is the one that made me spit granola on my iPad:

Holy shoopuff theyre lezbian

(mind you this was feedback for chapter 34, when the relationship was established back in chapter EIGHT, or, if one wasn't paying attention, 16/17.)

This is why I never know how subtle to be with foreshadowing and hints.

Okay. Writing. Zuke, help me out here...
auronlu: (Writer's Block)
I gave you a vacation because I realized you were burnt out. I've been employing your evil twin Skippy in copywriting, which is not great literature, but which puts kitty grit in the box.

I realize that you may be sulking in the corner wondering if and when I'm ever going to pay attention to you again. Well, wakey wakey! I've been trying for a couple weeks now to rouse you out of hibernation.

Look. See that novella? The one I started in 2007? The one that I'd really like to finish? With the bits and pieces of final chapters waiting for me to catch up to them, and a detailed story outline that's been settled for years? Do you think you might come out of your sulk long enough for me to write the next chapter-- heck, the next scene -- without it sounding lifeless, mechanical, and poorly written?

This is what the last chapter of my dissertation felt like before I decided to hang up the quill. However, I am not giving up on you. We've been together too long. We were an item back when I was writing godawful Trek, Blake's 7 and Doctor Who Mary Sues by flashlight under the covers. You're stuck with me. So snap out of it and work with me here. Let's dance. I don't care if I only get one die-hard reader who's willing to wait for you; I will NOT leave this thing unfinished.

It's a good story, and it deserves to be told in full, Scouring of the Shire and all.
auronlu: (Plot Device)
...I posted the first official chapter of Love Her and Despair.

Words: ~115,000
Chapters: 46
Named characters adapted from FFX: 38
Original characters: 4
Fanarts: 5 by others (thank YOU, especially the framed one which hangs over my desk), 5 by moi plus photomanips.

Readers? Priceless.

P.S. Mugs, thanks so much for feedback; that definitely is helping untangle the latest logjam.

Dare I hope I'll get the next chapter done today? Probably not; if I do post it, it'll be half-assed. But I'm tempted to stay up and try.

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