Quote of the Day

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 03:47 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
"If everything reminds us of our past burdens, then we lose the future, no? All this victimization makes us beggars."
    - Elvira Meliksetyan, Armenian women's rights activist, as quoted in National Geographic April 2016

*bash* *bash* ...oh

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 01:54 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Writing: The process of banging your head against a brick wall until one of you falls down, and the blood drops fall in such a way as to form words.


I have figured out that one of the problems with the fighting-me-every-step-of-the-way final chapter is that I didn't know the antagonist's motivation. Specifically, there's an action X that's been bandied about in earlier chapters as a possibility, an action that she does not ultimately take. I know that she doesn't take action X; it would be wrong for the story, and it would be wrong for her character. But why doesn't she take action X? Why doesn't she take action X?

Five minutes after recognizing this question, I had the answer. And shortly after that, I had a small chunk of new dialog, and the necessary bit to make all the other bits of the scene fall into the order they should obviously be in. And not long after that, there was the opening scene of the chapter, neatly done.

As always, it helps a lot to ask the right questions.

The next bit that's being sticky involves two characters having an awkward conversation, which is difficult because awkward conversations are. I already suspect that I will not manage to imply certain characterization-related things as gracefully as I had hoped, but oh well. Forward momentum.

The next sticky bit after that is going to bring me back to the antagonist's motivation again. I know what happens and what kind of scene it's going to be; I know what she does and why. But I don't know what she thinks about it, and I'm going to have to, even if only a fraction of that comes through in the actual writing.

The last time I got stuck like this on an end scene, I tried writing it from the POV of a different character and then re-wrote it to match the POV of the rest of the book, and it helped a lot. I'm not going quite that far this time, but I did run some lines through the brain to clarify how the antagonist is seeing the scene.

And I discovered something interesting, which the end of that last sentence hints at.

The Haley novel is written from the single POV of the protagonist, in close-ish third person past tense. I like it that way, I'm comfortable with it. But if I were to write a scene from the POV of the antagonist, it would have to be in present tense. Because that's the way she thinks. Even though the entire book, as written, is in past tense. Even though I'm generally not keen on present tense, and certainly don't generally write in it. Huh.

There's a wealth of information about the antagonist's mind-set, in this. How she thinks of her role in the world, how she looks at the past and the future and her place in them. How, perhaps, she maintains herself in a very contradictory set of circumstances.

And hopefully, how she's going to get through this last scene, because it needs to get written, dammit.

Today's Quote

Friday, April 11th, 2014 10:29 am
lizvogel: Run and find out, with cute kitten. (Run and Find Out)
Or maybe last night's? However you count the 2+ a.m. when I was up reading.

"We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one.' We forget that we have still to make a study of 'and.'"
    - A. S. Eddington, as quoted in James Blish's They Shall Have Stars

Today's Quote

Friday, January 3rd, 2014 01:30 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
"If you’re honest about the ashes, you can plant flowers in them."
    - Myke Cole

Today's Quote

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 05:43 pm
lizvogel: A jar of almonds that warns that it contains almonds. (Stupid Planet)
"...the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."
    - H. L. Mencken

Today's Quote

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 09:48 am
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
"You'll see me dead before you see me quit."
    - The Wallflowers, "If You Never Got Sick"

And now, back to work on that plot. ;-)
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Messing around with Random Oblique Strategies again:

What is the reality of the situation?

and
Just carry on


Very meaningful to me today, for various reasons.

Today's Quote

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 05:26 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Not building a wall but making a brick
    from Random Oblique Strategies


This strikes me as deeply meaningful, today.

Today's Quote

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 12:50 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
On cliffhanger endings and the flinging across the room thereof:

"I’m a reader, not a hostage."
     -"Christine", in the comments on the Dystel & Goderich blog

I am clutching this phrase to my heart and keeping it at the ready for the next book that jerks me around at the ending. Writer, if you want me to read your second book, tell me a good story in the first one. That's all it takes.

Today's Quote

Saturday, June 8th, 2013 11:39 am
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
"A book makes intimate friends with people its author will never meet."
   - Emma Bull, from the introduction to War For The Oaks

Today's quote

Sunday, April 28th, 2013 12:37 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
"...a feel for language, an intuitive understanding of how to arrange words in their best order..."
     - Lawrence Block on writing success, as quoted at Make Mine Mystery

This, yes, totally this. That's what writing is, as far as I'm concerned.

Today's quote

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 01:59 pm
lizvogel: lizvogel's fandoms.  The short list. (Fandom Epilepsy)


    My story is a cardboard box that could be anything. - Chuck Wendig, Battle Song of the Storyteller

Today's quote

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 02:40 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)

Books you love are like a flashlight in dark times. - Chuck Wendig

Today's quote

Monday, August 20th, 2012 11:33 am
lizvogel: lizvogel's fandoms.  The short list. (Fandom Epilepsy)


Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters."
    - Neil Gaiman

Sheepdogs

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 08:59 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
This would be today's quote, except that I'd wind up citing half the article. Just go read it for yourself.

On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Today's quote

Friday, August 10th, 2012 03:34 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)


"The world is full of bastards; don't let them in your house or in your head."

This and more profanely useful advice courtesy of Chuck Wendig.


It's interesting how often advice on the writing life includes some version of culling your acquaintance of bad influences. Keeping them out of the house is simple enough; keeping them out of the head is more challenging. Working on it.

A little inspiration

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 02:40 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Today's quote, a little too apropos at the moment:

"Never doubt in the darkness what you once knew to be true in the light."
    (Stephen Lawhead, Byzantium, as quoted by C. N. Nevets)

lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I was reading query critique sites last week, as one does when procrastinating one's own submission work. A couple of random comments pinged in my brain, and I decided to try writing a pretend query for an entirely imaginary book, just for the practice.

...I seem to have come up with a new novel idea.

After several days, I'm still quite taken with it. It's a traditional mystery, a little too gritty for a cozy but still fun without being gimmicky. It's even got series potential! I've got a solid grasp of the main character and a significant secondary character (including names), I've already solved a couple of major setting issues, and it gives me an entirely legitimate excuse for thinking about kittens. And best of all, the query's already done!

(Mind you, the query as stands includes a fix-it-later bracket of "[other plot elements]", but that's okay; my ideas usually come like that. I generally subscribe to the E.L. Doctorow approach: "Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.")

Of course, I can't start on it until I finish the current novel-in-progress -- or at least, knowing me, it would be unwise. Which means I'd better get cracking on it, eh? If I finish that on schedule, I might try this for NaNo. Assuming I am sufficiently suicidal or concussed as to sign up for NaNo, that is.

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