edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I am not technically doing NaNo this year, but I am attempting to use the challenge framework as a source of outside motivation to work on the story I am writing for the upcoming Narnia Big Bang... which is, of course, the sequel to "Out of Season" that I rather spectacularly failed to write last year. This year, though, I have already written the prequel ("To Every Thing There Is a Season") and thus have a better understanding of Ilgamuth, his home and family, his relationship to Rabadash, and how Rabadash's companions work.

It is a lot easier to break something if you know the shape you are shattering. :-)

Anyway, "A Change of Season" is currently at 550 words. That's not very much, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, etcetera, etcetera.

And now to bed.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
When I was a kid, I was fairly good (for a kid) at a number of things: music, sports, art, math, writing, etc. But there are only so many hours in the day, and some activities are always going to strike any given person as more interesting and desirable than others. As I got older, I focused mostly on writing and music. Those were not necessarily the things I was best at -- if you look at my art and my stories from when I was ten or eleven, I am pretty sure the art was better. (My early writing was dire. Trust me on this.) But because I put work into them, I got better. And I did not get better at, say, sports and art.

I still draw like a twelve-year-old, in other words... though admittedly, a twelve-year-old who took a figure drawing course in high school, for what little good that did me.

Which is by way of leading up to: My NBB art is now up. I drew two pictures for [livejournal.com profile] pamymex3girl's story, A Tale of Two Sisters. They are done in pencil and colored pencil and then scanned into my computer via a photo editing program, because have I mentioned that I am not an artist? And therefore do have have art or art editing programs? (That is not a thing that ever stopped being true.)

You can also see them on deviantART: Into the Dark Woods and Susan and Lucy.

The reason the sisters have no faces in the first picture is a stylistic thing I fell into doing when I had to write and draw a comic book in 8th grade English, because I cannot draw faces in profile to save my life. I like the coloring job there, though, and the picture went pretty quickly -- I did most of the background directly in colored pencil without a regular pencil outline. Pine trees are dead easy to sketch.

The picture of Lucy brushing Susan's hair was extremely annoying to draw. Hands, how do they work? Also noses. And lips. Argh. (You will notice I completely finked out on any attempt at ears.) I spent a lot of time in front of a mirror using myself as a model, so if the fabric and fingers bear any relation to reality, that's why. The hair is pretty obviously stylized, though. And the frame with the leaf design is there because... well, the frame is both meant to be a mirror and also a device so I didn't have to worry about the background of the room they're in. And then I made a leaf design because I like geometric patterns. I may not be good at most aspects of art, but I can draw some pretty nifty geometric patterns.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
My Narnia Big Bang story is up!!! (Now in more than one place! AO3 version and ff.net version)

To Every Thing There Is a Season: Ilgamuth Tarkaan was fourteen when he first rode to war. He was likewise fourteen when he pledged his life and his name to Prince Rabadash, a decision that would shape the rest of his life. Prequel to "Out of Season." Contains character death, violence, and moral dilemmas. (21,300 words)

Also! Go look at the awesome art by [livejournal.com profile] i_autumnheart and tell her how amazing it is!

Also also, thank you to [livejournal.com profile] metonomia for beta-reading. :-)
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
1. The Hinata prompt!fic for [livejournal.com profile] hungrytiger11 is now 4,000 words, WTF. All I promised was a minimum of 100. This is forty times that length and it's still not finished!

Also, I think I am writing myself into a mild blue funk every time I work on it. Seriously, this is the most depressing story I have written in ages. Even including the silly bit where Ino talks about Sai and oral sex. But I have to finish it now. I have reached a point where I need the catharsis for myself, regardless of what effect the story will have on any eventual readers.

-----

2. I did a few preliminary edits on my remix and then sent it to beta -- thank you very much, [personal profile] significantowl and [livejournal.com profile] emmee_kay! I think I will post the beta draft on AO3 tonight, just in case. At least that way nobody will have to pinch hit if catastrophe strikes.

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3. Narnia Big Bang fics have started going up on [livejournal.com profile] narniaexchange! Do go read them -- the three that have been posted so far are all excellent, and all very different from each other.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
The Hinata prompt!fic for [livejournal.com profile] hungrytiger11 is at 1,700 words. Bleh. I don't even know where it's going, really -- it started out as politics and then veered into a random lunch gathering of the Leaf Shadow summer camp women's survivor club. Attendees include Hinata, Sakura, Ino, Tenten, and Karin. I am not sure why Karin is there, as I am quite certain she did not attend the camp and only met the others much later via Sasuke. (She's in the army, like he is.) I have no idea how I'm going to haul it back to politics, or even exactly what Hinata is "moving on" from. I mean, I have some ideas -- there's set-up for at least two things already -- but it's all very fuzzy. But at least I've fulfilled the "+ any of the girls" part of the prompt!

[ETA, midnight: 2,700 words now, and I veered back to politics via an angst-filled flashback-ish thing. *hands* I don't even know anymore.]

I also started the trollstuck AU for [livejournal.com profile] explodingfrogs, because I figured out the opening paragraph as I woke up this morning and I wanted to get that written down before I forgot. So that's at 200 words. (...It wants to be illustrated. WTF, seriously, I am not an artist. *attempts to subdue plot bunny*)

And I copy-pasted the fic I am remixing to my hard drive for convenience. I should probably get started on that soon, considering it's due a week from tomorrow. :-/

...

In slightly tangential news, apparently the NBB fics and art will start going up tomorrow! I cannot wait to read them all, and also, it will be a relief to finally hear from other people whether I did a good job on my own fic or whether I completely blew it. I have been kind of twitchy and "but when will they go up? is it now? okay, how about now? or maybe now?" since I sent in my final draft. I freely admit I am not very good with delayed gratification. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Okay, that is the last time I sign up to do art for anything. Period. I can write under ridiculous time pressure. I can edit under ridiculous time pressure. But I am NOT a fast artist, and also? I do not have art programs on my computer, which means I just spent a couple hours fighting to A) scan things with reasonable visual fidelity, B) crop and tweak them in a photo editing program, which is what my scanner automatically dumps them into (it came with the computer, okay?), and C) go back and redo the line art and coloring manually and then repeat steps A and B until I got a usable result.

ARGH.

(I am also not a very good artist, but that's an entirely separate issue. And on that note, I preemptively apologize to my writer. I did the best I could, and while the results are not great, I think they are at least passable. :-/ If the NBB runs again next year, I hope you get a better artist!)

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I sent in my NBB fic last night (thank you for the beta, [livejournal.com profile] metonomia!) which means tomorrow I can get to work on my two remaining prompt!fics... after which it will be time to dive straight into my remix.

...

I think I should go to bed. I write a lot faster when I get enough sleep.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
After my second editing pass-through, my NBB is now 21,200 words, give or take. I fixed several egregious problems that occurred to me with the grace of a day's perspective, and also tidied the beginning so it matches the middle. That had become nearly as much of a problem as the end matching the middle, since the middle is where I refined my characterization and figured out my themes.

...

You know, I really have one story I write over and over in variations. It goes like this: Under pressure from circumstance, a person chooses a way (whether good or bad) to balance their personal morals/needs/goals against the needs and structures of their family/community/society/culture.

Very often this is paired with a secondary storyline: A young person is thrown into a situation with which they are not quite prepared to cope, and develops as a person in the process of learning to metaphorically swim. (Or, occasionally, sink.)

Put those two together and you have pretty much every long story I've ever written. Shorter stuff and challenge fics are of course more variable, but those basic plot structures -- along with the themes of (mis)communication, social awkwardness, and found/chosen family, and a deep obsession with ethics and the cultural aspects of world-building -- seem to be what ping me where I live.

My NBB fic is no exception.

...

Okay, now that that project is out of the way until next weekend, I will most likely return to being all Homestuck all the time. Sorry to any of you who are here for other fandoms!
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
At 20,283 words in beta draft. *headdesk* And I always add more words when I go back to edit, because I am of the, "Whoops, I completely forgot to mention this very important bit of connective logic, and also that entire scene is happening in front of a blank white sheet of paper, better fix that," school of drafts, rather than the, "Throw everything and the kitchen sink in the first time and then yank out the irrelevant bits," school of drafts.

So yeah, sure, this is only a 10,000 word mini-bang, not a full big bang, obviously I'm not doing the proper challenge, just the reduced version, don't worry, it can't possibly take that long to write.

My. Left. Foot.

Why did I think this would be the short, easy story? Why? It's not a short, easy story! It's about war and ethics and politics and religion and growing up and deciding who you are and what you want to do with your life at far too young an age. It's also about horses, and random descriptions of cities, and far too much grass and general topography and stuff, but mostly it's about Ilgamuth Tarkaan thrust into situations beyond his control that he would not necessarily have chosen to be in had he known what they would entail, and making the best of the resulting choices.

But anyway, it's done. I got through the politics, and then I did a second sweep through the closing scenes to hook them even more tightly into the new preceding material. I think you can still tell where the seams are if you're looking, but at least they're now hidden from a casual glance.

...

And now I am going to bed, because I agreed to cover my coworker PB's shift on Friday and that means I can't sleep in. Sometimes I am too helpful for my own good. :-\
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
NBB = 17,800 words now. That means I just wrote approximately 1,700 words of aftermath, since I have not even begun the politics and related stuff. And those scenes are kind of complicated and thus cannot be skimped or skimmed.

Gnrgh.

I cannot estimate wordcounts; I always run long. I cannot estimate wordcounts; I always run long. I cannot estimate wordcounts; I always run long.

...

If I repeat that enough, do you think I might get the message and allot myself more writing time earlier in my assignment windows??? (Hint: the answer is almost certainly NO. *sigh*)

ETA 1:15am: 18,500 words, and I am still not quite at the politics. Almost, though! Just another hundred words or so and I will achieve politics! *crosses fingers*
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
I called in sick to work on Monday. PM was pissed off, but I figure that if all I was able to manage was about four hours of being awake, then a four hour nap, then two and a half hours being awake, then falling asleep for the night -- and most of those waking hours were spent sitting down -- it's probably good I wasn't at work. (Aside from the whole snot machine effect, plus the low grade fever, plus the sore throat, plus the killer headache, plus the joint aches and lack of balance, of course.)

Tuesday was not a lot of fun, since I was still recovering and shaky, and BW was not much better, but we survived. We also both forgot to punch out at the end of our shifts, but whatever. And today I am more or less okay again -- still a bit stuffy and a little watery around the knees, but functional. And I am back on caffeine, which, after three days forcibly unhooked from my wonderful, wonderful chemical best friend, made me ever so slightly WIRED!!! while at work. Which I am sure was fun for everyone around me. *bright smile*

On my way home from work, I bought an ice cream cone, because it was just that hot. I mean, the magnolias outside the court house are blooming. In March. IN ITHACA. WHICH IS NOT GEORGIA, SO WHY ARE WE GETTING GEORGIA'S WEATHER?!?!?

Anyway. Moving on!

Tonight I have been successfully fighting my NBB! Wordcount is now 15,000-ish. I am assymptotically approaching the battle -- first there are pursuit scenes I need to get through. I also took half an hour and cleaned up the closing scenes a bit, to bring them more in line with character development that has occurred in the front sections of the story. So a couple of Ilgamuth's exchanges with Rabadash make more sense now, his horse has a name, and his reactions to Tashbaan are shaded by his previous reactions to Azim Balda and Had Ordjah rather than being all "country boy sees a city for the first time, wow!!!" which doesn't quite work when he's been in two large cities already. (This is why I don't like writing stories out of order. I always end up creating glitches like that.) My goal is to finish the battle tonight, write the aftermath and politics tomorrow, and dump the whole mess on an unsuspecting beta on Friday.

...I think that would be [livejournal.com profile] metonomia? But if anyone else is willing to tell me where I'm being stupid, please feel free! I promise I do not bite! (Actually, if anyone wants to read what I have now, complete with the gaping hole in the middle that is basically two paragaphs of italics to the effect of "stuff goes here eventually," I am more than willing to send it to you! The sooner I know what scenes I am missing, the more time I have to write them, after all!)

...And suddenly I realize there are a scary number of exclamation points in this post, so I think I had better stop typing before they breed. *wry*

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ETA 11:15pm: 15,500, yay! Some of that is digressions on local topography, but that is totally relevant to the mechanics of the chase scene, so whatever.

ETA 12:30am: 16,000! I ended up eliding the battle for perfectly reasonable reasons, but hopefully the chase scene makes up for that. Also horse stuff. Lots of random horse stuff. (Why are there so many horses in this story???) Anyway, tomorrow I will write the aftermath and politics and stuff, which will include at least one more female character in a speaking role of any note, bringing my grand total to... three. *headdesk* Such a male-centric story.

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edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

August 2017

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