jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
This post is for Lisa, who said: While I often come across people saying that they outline, and there's definitely much discussion of the plotter/pantser dichotomy, I feel like I haven't encountered a lot about what's actually involved in outlining

I wrote a post a few years ago about the details of my writing process. My process has changed a lot since then, for two main reasons: I've written three hundred thousand words of fanfic in the interim, and learned a ton from that; and I've read a dozen or so books about writing. Those books are often frustrating to me because they overwhelmingly consist of shit I already know and shit I disagree with, and most of them are irritatingly self-satisfied about the timeless wisdom they believe themselves to be imparting... but then here and there, usually somewhere between two and ten times in one book, I'll come across something useful. It's not an efficient use of time, but oh-so-gradually it's helped a lot. (Story by Robert McKee is my favorite so far. It's about screenwriting, but most of it applies to novels too. He's kind of a dick--especially the part where he's all "race and gender have nothing to do with success! if your script is good it'll get attention!"--but there's a lot of good advice in there.)

I don't need to do much outlining for short, simple stories, which is a lot of the fic I've written. With that kind of thing, the process I previously described works fine--jot down some notes in a separate file and periodically refer back to it. But when I get into anything plotty without serious outlining, I find myself losing track of threads and messing up the pacing of my subplots just because there's so much to keep in mind.

So here's my current process:

1. Generate premise. Spend a few days rolling around in how awesome it is. Manically begin writing the first scene from the vague shape of a story in my head. Immediately stumble across a major plot hole and realize that this is going to be way harder to execute than I thought.

2. Braindump ideas--plot twists, characters, backstory, worldbuilding. Get distracted by a minor character detail that will never get more than a passing mention in the final product. Write fanfic of my own canon before there's any actual canon. Laugh at myself for being ridiculous, but nonetheless gain a better grip of the characters through the exercise.

3. Organize all the scattered notes into the chronology of the story, with chapter breaks. Freak out that the story will be too short and rushed. Add in unnecessary subplots to make it longer. Sleep on it, come back to it, shake head at myself, and remove said unnecessary subplots. Add actual plot-relevant information to chapters that seem too sparse, instead. (This step probably isn't necessary for most people; I gather excessive longwindedness is a much more common problem among writers than excessive concision.)

4. Try to articulate the theme. Undergo a crisis about whether the story even has a theme. Go for a walk. Come up with four themes. Undergo a crisis about whether they can all be incorporated at once. Undergo a crisis about whether I can even call myself a writer. Go the fuck to sleep. Come back to the outline with a fresh head and realize that the theme is obvious. Undergo a crisis about whether it is in fact too obvious.

5. Break out the corkboard.

Everything here is incredibly subjective and will not apply to every other writer, but I suspect the corkboard is a particularly individual thing. I doubt any two writers organize their index cards in quite the same way. Here's how I do it.

First I tack on an index card for the opening scene at the top left, and four cards along the right side: the final scene of Act I, the midpoint scene of Act II (commitment to the goal), the final scene of Act II (the low point), and the last scene. The top and bottom rows get filled in first; Act II is a pain in the ass but eventually, reluctantly, plods into place. The smaller cards on the far right of each row are wordcount targets; I'm not super worried about those yet.

I write the general gist of each scene directly onto the index card, and use those little colored Post-It page markers to track particular threads: one color for the main plot, one for character development, one for the progression of an important relationship, etc. TMM is action-focused, so on this board I have a color for action scenes. This is to give me a visual idea of pacing, so I can be sure I'm not abandoning any particular aspect of the story for too long. I don't really refer back to these a whole lot--I keep the detailed notes in a document. But if I do any major restructuring, I check back on the pacing.

Then I go over it all with little colored dots that represent characters. Again, I don't refer back to this much; it's just to make sure all the major characters show up in the right number of scenes. This helps me figure out which characters need more presence and which need to be cut. The card at the top right is a key to the character dots.

And then I reorganize it. Stare at it. Reorganize it again. Go back to my outline document, bring it up to date with the corkboard, and in the process reorganize it again. Add scenes. Remove scenes. Lie on the floor, arguing with myself about that one scene I can't remove, it won't work without it, but it's not working with it either, uuuuuugh, and eventually sit up and remove the damn scene. Merge scenes. Write new index cards to replace the ones that are all scribbled on. Eventually decide it's good enough to move on.

6. Think about the characters. Put them in random hypothetical situations and decide how they would react. Figure out which qualities of my main character each one brings out. Make sure each character challenges readers' expectations in some way. This overlaps with a lot of other steps of the process--it's a good way to keep connected to the story when I need to take a break from outlining. I once spent half an hour straight thinking about what my characters would each bring to a potluck while I was driving on the highway, and jumped out of my skin when the "get gas now, moron" alarm dinged.

7. Not!fic the thing. This is a very important step in my writing process that I never see non-fannish writers talking about, and even in fandom it seems to be going out of style. "Not!ficcing" means writing a sort of treatment of a story in a very informal conversational style, e.g. "and then she's like"... "so obvs he can't let THAT shit stand"... "they have a awk conversation about feelings and everyone is v I-love-you-bro-cough-cough about the whole business"... etc. This lets me sort through the details of scene progressions and such without focusing on getting the wording right, and it puts all my outlining in the right order within scenes.

8. Articulate goals, conflict, and emotions for each scene. (Most people probably don't need to specify emotions, but feelings aren't my strong point, so I prefer planning them out.) Check that there is either a "therefore" or a "but" relationship between each scene and the next. Plan the theme statement in Act I, and make sure it resonates throughout. Make sure the first act sets up all the characters to be the sorts of people who would react the ways they do in the next two acts. Make sure the first half of Act II is about stakes of obstacle (external conflict with the goal) and the second half is about stakes of issue (internal conflict: do I really want the thing? am I willing to give up another thing to have the thing? is the thing actually worth it? is this thing the thing I thought it was?). Make sure there are no coincidences past the midpoint of Act II, and after that point the narrative is driven primarily by the main character's actions. Make sure information is not introduced, only combined, in Act III. Make sure aspects of the main character's character development in Act II are applied during the climax. These are all guidelines, not rules, but they're the ones that usually make sense to me.

9. Get feedback on the not!fic. I'm almost at this point with TMM, and it's a little terrifying. But I want to hear opinions I trust about overarching structure and development before I waste time writing it out for real. If I'm going to do any more reorganizing, I want it to happen now.

10. Write the thing. Refer back to the not!fic constantly. Take occasional breaks to daydream character development and write scenes that won't be in the final product. Solicit cheerleading from friends. Start worrying about those wordcount targets.

11. Do a few more passes: a tension/conflict pass (at every point, either shit is going down or the reader is assured that shit is going to go down), a description/feelings pass (I tend to skimp on emotion and setting, so I need to double-check those and fill in what's missing), and a voice pass (make sure every single observation in the narrative is filtered through my main character's perspective).

12. Another round of feedback.

I'd love to see similar breakdowns of other people's processes, maybe yoink ideas, if anyone wants to link me!
jedusor: (Default)
I just posted this comment in [ profile] imagines's journal:

I always have one clean file with the actual story and then a second file with stuff like title ideas, summary ideas, outline notes in approximately the correct order, phrases/lines I want to include later on, scenes I wrote out of order (because I cannot write big chunks of new words when there is text under what I'm writing, I have to work off the end of a document, I'm OCD like that), factual details I want to research, head-sorting-out exposition on characterization/motives/backstory that's too explicit to go in the final piece, etc. etc. etc.

I never used to do this, but now it's an invaluable habit. I don't actually remember when it started. I'm fairly sure I kept some sort of notes file for my NaNo novel in 2007, but I don't think I did it for shorter pieces until more recently. Now I create the notes file before the story file more often than not, and I almost always have both files open side-by-side when I'm writing, so I can refer back to my notes and modify them as needed.

The notes file usually starts out as a single vague stream-of-consciousness paragraph consisting of one or more horrifically run-on sentences, sometimes c&p'd from an e-mail or comment conversation, that outline the general idea of the story. This is not always grammatically correct and usually involves a lot of handwaving and swearing and injudicious capitalization, e.g. "and then Character A is all 'fuck that noise, I want some cake' and rushes the bakery and Character B is all like OH NO YOU DON'T YOU LITTLE SNOTRAG and whips out her katana and they have a karate duel (katanas/martial arts historical connection? research this) and while they're beating the shit out of each other they hash out the misunderstanding with the shoelace from earlier. and B realizes that with the shoelace thing out of the way there's no actual reason to deny A cake but by this point it's about PRINCIPLES and shit, except I think it'll prob be A's POV so this will have to be revealed all subtly through dialogue. So then B has A pinned down with the katana at his throat and the sweet old baker dude sticks his head out the door all 'why hello there B, would you and your friend like some cake' and B is like 'fuck it' and internally resolves her shoelace issues (hm, maybe it should be B's POV after all) and shares the cake with A, and cuts it with the katana, and that should be metaphorical but for pete's sake don't overdo it like you did with those motherfucking trees. close with them hanging out together by the pool later in the afternoon and baker dude coming out and asking why there's a shoelace in the oven."

Then I pick this apart into an outline, bulleted by scene, with notes separated at the bottom and potential titles at the top, like so:

Cake Or Death? Torte Liability?

-opening scene: baking cake, shoelace gets lost, argument, B stomps off
-epic hunt for shoelace (introduce baker dude during this scene)
-confrontation, fight, shoelace revelation, baker dude offers cake, B cuts it with katana
-pool scene, baker dude comes out and asks about shoelace

baker dude's relationship to B? family?

look up katana info

first line of last scene, before baker dude shows up: "It's called an aglet. Everyone knows that. It's the most widely known little-known fact in the history of pointless trivia."

Sometime during this process, or shortly after, I usually get an idea for a first sentence. I occasionally write a line or a snippet of a scene out of order, but those go in the notes file--the actual story is created from beginning to end, and I need a solid first line before I can get down to the business of producing words. I also need white space--not only do I have to write from the end of the document, but if I'm at the bottom of my screen, I have to add in a bunch of blank line breaks to give myself some room. If I need to go back and add in a chunk of words in a scene I'm already past, I do the same thing with the line breaks.

From there, it's a constant back-and-forth between writing from the outline and modifying the outline to fit what I'm writing. I delete scene summaries from the outline once they're written, and I delete notes as they become irrelevant, so my notes file shrinks toward the end of the story. When I'm done writing, I delete the empty notes file. I usually let the story sit for a few days before coming back to edit, but I rarely do a large-scale rewrite--as I said, I do the bulk of my rewriting before the first draft is fully complete. Most of the stories I've been writing lately are fanfic, so once I've gone over the final product a few times (and sometimes sent it to a beta-reader for comments), I post it on my fandom journal.
jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
I'm pretty happy right now. Today was a good day. I didn't actually do any writing, but I did a lot of pre-writing thinking, and that always makes me feel like I've accomplished something. I like accomplishing things in my own head. It's like when I used to cozy up with a friend for a sleepover and share secrets late at night, except without the complications of social interaction.

I talked to Gerry on the phone for a while. Life has been hurling giant balls of manure at his head, as usual--seriously, the guy has just about the worst luck of anyone I've ever known--but he was just as cheerful and wisecracking as always. I don't tend to spend much time missing people because my friends are so widespread that it would result in a lot of misery if I did, but I actually miss the hell out of Gerry, so it was great to connect with him.

I got stopped by two different groups of religious folks on the way to the grocery store, which was weird since I've only ever seen that happen downtown since I moved here. The first group was the standard "hey, how you doing, ever heard of Jesus?" type, but the other guys were awesome. They weren't spreading the word, they were accosting people on the street for a trivia quiz about Aurora Avenue, which they asked permission to film and put on their website as part of an effort to clean up the neighborhood. I only missed one question (I guessed that "aurora" meant "light," not "dawn") and won four dollars and fifty cents in quarters. Yay, bus money.

I spent the afternoon curled up under a blanket making icons, which I haven't spent much time doing lately. Seashore is not as awesome as Photoshop (sadly, Dr. K resisted my attempts to persuade her to put the copy she bought for the lab on my laptop instead of her desktop) but it's good enough for most of the basics. [ profile] lisaecksteincom linked to this three-part series on characterization, and that led to more pre-writing thoughts. I have this crazy notion in my head to write a screenplay for a musical based on Jonathan Coulton songs. It's been a while since any original characters have grabbed my attention like this. I'm not at all sure it will go anywhere, not least because I have zero experience with playwriting, but I'm having fun with it.

I've been working on making my sleep schedule more sane, and I have commitments outside the house every day this week. I think both of those things are contributing to my good mood. I always forget how much of a difference the sun makes, even though I hate it while I'm out in it.
jedusor: (Default)
I've been writing a lot more recently than I have in years, probably because I now actually have the time to get ideas down when they pop into my head. I mentioned in my end-of-year meme that I wrote over 60,000 words in 2010--probably about half of that was written during the last three months of the year. (Most of it was fanfic, although NaNoWriMo, while it didn't work out for me, did yield several original ideas I've been poking at.)

I was thinking today about the writing process, or rather my writing process, and how mentality and environment affect my ability to write. For me, there are two main aspects of writing: idea generation and first drafts. I prefer to write from the beginning to the end of a piece rather than jumping around between scenes, and I do a lot of restructuring and editing in between chunks of new words, so my first drafts tend to be pretty close to the final product. I know you're not Supposed to do that, and the whole point of NaNoWriMo is to get out of that habit, but I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that it's how I work best. Especially when I look at my '07 NaNoWriMo novel, which I have tried to revise several times without much success. So instead of fighting my urge to rewrite while writing, I'm trying to embrace it and work with it, and it's resulted in several pieces I'm pretty happy with.

Idea generation, unsurprisingly, seems to happen mostly when I'm letting my mind wander. I'm not sure why, but my best fiction ideas usually come to me while I'm falling asleep and my best academic ideas usually come to me when I'm doing boring, repetitive tasks. Several times, I've tried to generate fiction ideas while stocking merchandise at Williams-Sonoma by thinking about fanfic, and accidentally ended up writing treatises in my head on things like the neurological motivation for RPS and the connection between accuracy in social judgment and psychological health in celebrity-fan relationships.

Getting down the actual words requires different circumstances, and I'm still figuring out exactly what the right circumstances for me are. If I'm at home, I need silence for any kind of writing, and I usually need to be alone for fiction writing, although having people around can actually make academic writing easier as long as they're quiet. Considering this, it's weird that the most productive place for me to write right now is the bus. I discovered this a few months ago, when I needed to go to work right in the middle of a thought. I pulled up a notepad application on my phone, just to finish the paragraph before the right phrasing went out of my head, and wrote several hundred words during the twenty-minute ride downtown. I picked it back up on the way home, and ended up riding all the way to the end of the line and then catching another bus back to my stop because my writing was flowing so well that I didn't want to get off. I think I wrote 1300 words that day in just a couple of hours. The majority of the 10,300-word fic I spent the end of December on was written on the bus, using my Sidekick's thumb keyboard. (Which, let me tell you, ow. I tried using my laptop, but it's hard to see the screen and I get paranoid that people are looking, and I'm also wary about leaving it in the break room.)

I'm not sure why the bus is so inspirational for me. I think it's partially that the internet is available but not easy to use--cutting myself off from the web entirely doesn't work well for me because I'm the sort of person who stubbornly resists authority even when it's in my own head, but I'll happily choose not to dick around on the internet because it takes forever to load and scrolling is a pain in the ass. It also may have something to do with thalamic response to the white noise and vibrations on a bus. Maybe I should buy a massage chair.

In the end, I think writing, for me, can be broken down into creativity and focus. Idea generation requires creativity without focus, whereas pounding out the actual words requires creativity and focus. Sometimes I get focus without creativity, which usually means a lot of rereading, minor editing, and staring at my outlines. It doesn't feel productive while I'm doing it, but I actually think those periods are a helpful and even necessary part of the process, letting the work I've done sink in and looking at it like a reader would.
jedusor: (writing)
[ profile] selinker came up with this awesome idea: write a novel in a minute. I gave it a shot, and here's what I came up with:

Napping With The Fishes

“I’d like to be your friend, Billy, but friends don’t do this to one another.” Madison eyed her terrified victim coolly. “Friends don’t promise each other fruit snacks they can’t deliver. I’m sorry, Billy.” She gestured to her henchmen. “Boys… tickle him.”

A minute, it turns out, is not very long! (I watched "Brick" a few days ago, which might explain a lot here.) If you want to participate, check out [ profile] selinker's Wired Decode post.
jedusor: (pintsize duct-taped)
Most of you know that someone who was very important to me, Ava Garcia, died in 2008. Ava was a writer, in my opinion an excellent one. Although she was only eighteen, she was fairly prolific, and I have a good-sized store of her writing on my computer.

Back in October, just after what would have been her twentieth birthday, I made an LJ with the intention of posting her writing for others to read. It stayed there untouched for a few months, and now I think I'm going to start updating it.

So, if you'd like to read: [ profile] what_ava_wrote

I've posted a few things already: a piece she wrote about herself as an introduction, an original short story, a Harry Potter fanfic, and a poem. I don't know how often I'll update it, but it shouldn't be too spammy--not more often than once a week, I expect.
jedusor: (write and i understand)
Holy shit.

*"book" being here defined as "50,000-word**, 71-page first draft of a story that may or may not ever become something publishable."

**Yes, it's exactly 50,000 words. What can I say? I love drabbles.
jedusor: (riverdancing)
Yesterday, I went to San Rafael for Thanksgiving dinner with Jeffrey's family. I brought "Wordplay" and got them all to watch it. ([ profile] rpipuzzleguy, my paternal grandfather's reaction to the shot of your fingers pounding away at the keyboard was, "He's a MAN!") I got to see Tessie, which was awesome. She's really growing up.

Between hackeysacking in the street and eating Tofurky, I did manage to get my daily wordcount written for NaNoWriMo. I'm a few hundred behind target, but I'll catch up after Amanda and Ken leave next week; right now, I'm just trying not to fall further behind than I already am. The last words I wrote last night, bringing me up to 36,000 even, were: "The Office of Admission explodes." Bitterness from last year's rejections, perhaps? It must have been subconscious, because I didn't think of it like that until after I'd written the scene. Amusing, nonetheless.

Also, and this is the most important part of this entry, I am writing this on my laptop in my room. Yes, we have wireless! Actual, working wireless!

But I am going to be good, and leave the web-surfing alone until I've written my 1667 words for today.


Aug. 30th, 2007 03:15 pm
jedusor: (write and i understand)
There's this novel I've had in my head since I was fourteen. I've tried writing bits and pieces of it since then, and I've got lots of various fragments and ideas sitting in my brain and in Word documents on various computers. I tried to do NaNoWriMo in June last year and get it finished, but that didn't work very well; the words came out just fine, but they didn't tie together all that well.

Now I'm trying a different tack. Yesterday, I spent several hours mapping out a detailed outline on paper and started again at the beginning. I got 2560 words written, and I'm feeling fairly optimistic about continuing.

Speaking of NaNoWriMo, I'm doing it this year. I've never been able to before, due to November being right before finals. I was thinking about it the other night, and about the concept of writing what you know, and came up with an idea: a murder mystery set at a juggling festival. Problem is, I don't know the murder mystery genre well enough to mock it. Any recommendations for classic murder mysteries with which I should familiarize myself?
jedusor: (riverdancing)
Yesterday, I spent the entire afternoon and evening working on an editorial about HB 213, a ridiculous bill about "intellectual diversity" that does not bode well for college professors and academic freedom. Sharai was sitting next to me, writing her editorial about Virginia Tech and the Target shooting and how America loves to lap up violence. One of the examples she used was a halter top with a picture of Charles Manson printed on it.

She finished her editorial first. I didn't get mine done until about 7:30 PM. Before I left, I proofread hers and, on a whim, added the headline, "They're Dead. They're All Dead. Wanna Buy A Halter Top?" I figured it was too crass and Craig would probably change it, but eh, why not leave it for now?

Today, Craig told me that it's one of the best headlines he's ever seen. Man, that made me feel good.

Incidentally, Craig and I agree that this is going to be the best issue we've had since the spring of 2006. I'm especially glad about this issue being a good one because it'll be my last. It'll be available here on Friday.

EDIT: Also, I'm getting an award for "excellence in journalism" and another for my participation in the Student Ambassadors at honors convocation. It's tomorrow, Thursday, at 6pm in the gym at Penn Valley. If anybody wants to come, there'll be free food. You need to let me know, though, so I can get you an invitation.
jedusor: (write and i understand)
I really need to control this crossword puzzle thing. It's getting out of hand. I've been doing it for hours every day since Wednesday or so, and I'm enjoying myself immensely, but I really should be doing other things.

[ profile] hannahrorlove and I are writing a screenplay for NaNoWriMo. I don't know if it will be 50k words, but the energy in the writing community during November should help us move forward. It stemmed from a discussion of homosexuality in the media, during which Hannah said she'd like to see a burly, bisexual biker guy as a character in a movie. So we created the character, and his boyfriend, and a few more characters, and a vague idea of a plotline. The working title is "Catching Summer," and I'm sure I'll be writing more about it here.

No Rain this weekend, which made me sad, but Ethan spent the night. We went to Domo because he'd never had sushi, and I taught him to juggle. Also, he had the shit scared out of him by a vacuum cleaner, which was the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.

I need to figure out how the heck I'm going to eat tomorrow, because my time is scheduled too tightly to walk anywhere to get food. I wish the PV cafeteria was open in the late afternoon.
jedusor: (is elijah blue?)
Yesterday morning: ACT testing. I actually finished my essay, which is an improvement over the SAT.

Yesterday afternoon: cleaning and baby-watching.

Yesterday evening: Mom's yoga teacher and her family came over for dinner. Also, writing group, and golf-ball-sized hail that dented the van. The windshield survived, though, surprisingly.

This morning: Church. We were going to see "The Da Vinci Code," but everyone had already seen it, so we sat around watching Elise clean the carpet and rant about how awesome our YRUU group used to be when her dad ran it.

This afternoon: Heartland Men's Chorus twentieth anniversary concert. They did the most awesome rendition of "Razzle Dazzle" ever, and there was a really funny song with a guy in drag pulling things out of his dress (no, seriously, it was funny), and I cried several times. Actually burst out sobbing during "Letter to Michael," which was partly sung solo, partly spoken, and partly sung by the entire 140-man chorus. I went out to the lobby to see if they had it on one of their CDs. If they had, I would have bought it, but they didn't.

This evening:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
14,604 / 50,000

I'm still behind, but I'm about the same number of words behind that I've been for a few days, so at least I'm not falling further behind. And I really like some of the stuff I'm coming up with. This NaNoWriMo thing is really a great idea. I'm enjoying it a lot.

Chuck Palahniuk on Tuesday! *can't wait* I need to get over to Rainy Day Books tomorrow and pick up my copy of his new book so I can get it signed.

(Kudos, by the way, if you get the reference in my icon.)
jedusor: (write and i understand)
Today was day one of [ profile] sweaty_nano! I posted about it, complete with an excerpt of the day's writing, here. I exceeded my goal by almost a thousand words, which makes me happy.

What does not make me happy is the service Kat and I got at the Barnes & Noble cafe. I know, it's Starbucks, which ought to tell me something, but still. After I'd paid for my soy latte, they discovered they were out of soy milk. So I got a cranberry juice instead, which cost about half the price of the latte, and it took them 10-15 minutes to get together the authority to give me my money back (?!). I asked if there was an electrical outlet Kat and I could use for our laptops, and the guy behind the counter pointed me to one just outside the cafe. We plugged in and had been typing away quietly for about half an hour when a manager came up to us and told us that we were doing THREE things wrong: sitting on the floor, though we weren't in anyone's way or blocking any books; using the outlet, which apparently is for store use only, even when they aren't actually using it; and drinking outside the cafe, which we were only feet away from.

So we went to the library instead, which was much more pleasant, but the change in plans resulted in someone from the KC NaNo group showing up to B&N and not finding us where we'd said we would be. Sigh.

But aside from that, the day went well. I also joined Mom's yoga class this morning. That yoga business is no joke! O.o
jedusor: (sad world)
I wrote an article for the Spectrum about HIV/AIDS. My original focus was its emotional effects on people, but when I started gathering quotes, I changed my mind. I let the quotes guide the article, and tried to keep myself out of it as much as possible. I would really appreciate comments on it. It's due today, but I should be able to change it until Wednesday. Please be brutal. I want this article to be good.

It's under the cut. )
jedusor: (whassat?)
An article I wrote about the National Puzzlers' League, and a companion article about "Wordplay".

I'm trying to convince Craig to include me in the editing process, because the proofreading skills of our editors leave much to be desired. Those two should be okay, though. If you spot anything I missed, let me know (aside from the italicized "crossword editor" in the Wordplay article, which wasn't my fault and should be corrected by Friday).

EDIT: Sorry about the unoriginal headlines. I'm not in charge of those.

EDIT II: Ahhh, crap! [ profile] ennienyc is the NYT proofreader, not editor! How on earth did I do that? *runs off to pound out more e-mails*
jedusor: (Default)
I always will remember,
'Twas a year ago November,
I went out to hunt some deer
On a morning bright and clear.
I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow,
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow.

I was in no mood to trifle,
I took down my trusty rifle
And went out to stalk my prey.
What a haul I made that day.
I tied them to my fender, and I drove them home somehow,
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow.

The law was very firm, it
Took away my permit,
The worst punishment I ever endured.
It turned out there was a reason,
Cows were out of season,
And one of the hunters wasn't insured...

People ask me how I do it
And I say there's nothing to it
You just stand there looking cute,
And when something moves, you shoot!
And there's ten stuffed heads in my trophy room right now,
Two game wardens, seven hunters, an a pure-bred Guernsey cow.

-"The Hunting Song" by Tom Lehrer

Today was okay, aside from mouthing off to my French teacher. She told us to close our books, then a minute later asked, "Is that how it says it in the book?" and I answered, "We don't know, our books are closed." She didn't like that. I downloaded the Common Application last night, and it had two teacher evaluation forms, so I asked Ms. Harrington to fill one out today. I was going to have Madame Brandt do the other one, but I decided today wasn't the best day to ask. There was also a Statement of Good Standing for the dean of students to send, and I took that up to the fifth floor. My SAT scores are up on the website, but the score report isn't yet, so I have no idea what the numbers mean. I did some Google searching, but everything I found was for the SAT I, not the Subject Tests. I'll get the score report on the 18th, though.

I'm doing better. Everything still reminds me of Evan (that song- he liked hunting) but I'm not randomly bursting out crying at inopportune moments anymore. Mom decided to stay in New York for a few more days, which means she'll miss Valentine's Day and the Casablanca/Korma Sutra date she and Bill had planned. He's pretty bummed about that, but he understands why she needs to stay and support her sister.

Anybody want to get together tomorrow to celebrate being single? We could rent Down With Love or something, although I suspect that one ends with Renee Zellweger's character discovering that love isn't so bad after all.

EDIT: If anybody reads Metanoia, I wrote an entry for the Valentine's Day contest. (Don't bother reading it if you don't read the comic, it won't make any sense at all.)
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It is also very short and in a style I don't think I've ever tried before. It was supposed to end up purple, but that didn't happen for some reason. I actually kind of like it this way. I may add some purple and blue streaks at some point in the future. Two pics. The most notable comments I got today at school were, "Looks like a cross between Flock of Seagulls and a bull dyke" and "Wow, my stoner friends in New York would love it!"

I computed my math grade, and I can scrape a B if I become Shining Golden Algebra Student for the last week of class. Given my track record, that's not likely, but I shall do my absolute best.

[ profile] kat_nano and I went to a NaNoWriMo TGIO party last night, even though I didn't do it this year. We got there half an hour early and people didn't really come together for a while after it was supposed to start, so I got in some nice one-on-one chatting over coffee with Kat. Then we met the other NaNoers. I ended up describing to Kat, at great length, the plot of one of the two novels on my To-Write list. She had the best reaction I could possibly have hoped for- "That's brilliant!" when I told her the basic idea for the book, and "I want to buy this!" when I went into more detail. Later, on the way home, I talked to Mom about it, and she offered a wonderful solution to a problem that's been bugging me. I'm feeling pretty optimistic about that one- maybe I'll do it next summer (I'm doing NaNo in either June or August, because I had too much homework this last month).

Human Resources is, true to Dogbert's dire predictions, ruining everything job-wise. Well, I shouldn't say everything, but things will be more complicated. And Judith found somebody else for the church job (fie!) so I won't be doing that anymore. And it's bloody freezing, contributing to my overall gloom. Things aren't that bad, though. I just feel like complaining.

That's all my sleep-deprived brain has to say for now. 'Night.
jedusor: (Default)
Yeah, no more weekly babysitting job. Long and short of it, Dorothy was screwing the government, and while I wholeheartedly approve of government-screwing, I am not cool with the fact that I've been participating in this for over two years and she never thought to tell me what was going on. Eh, it's not like she was paying me anyway, and it looks like this childcare job at church may become a permanent thing (and Judith does pay me consistently). Cross your fingers for that.

Okay, now here's something I wrote the other night, one of those brain-dump pieces. 216 words.

The Day After )

I read "See Spot Die" at the open mic thing the other day, and a lady came up to me afterward and said I should read it for the talent show in December. I'm thinking I might.

Oh, and I told a guy on the bus today that he looked like Christopher Walken, only younger and more badass. He replied, "Funny you should say that- someone said yesterday that I look like Christopher Walken. Usually I get Kevin Bacon." That totally made my day, for reasons I cannot fully explain.

Two Weeks

Sep. 12th, 2005 09:56 pm
jedusor: (angsty lij)
Let me know what you think (and I don't mean "loved it, good job, ttyl"- I want criticism).

Warning: some graphic images, death, may be slightly disturbing to those of weak stomach. )
jedusor: (Default)
I'm rereading The God Eaters (and no, I will never stop pimping it), and I just came across this gem:

Morning hit him between the eyes like a hammer.

This, to me, is utter perfection, writing-wise. It's concise, well-worded, and an excellent use of simile. More importantly, though, I noticed it. I first read this maybe six months ago, and when I came to that part, I thought, "Oh yeah, that line!" It stuck in my mind. That, to me, is good writing. It's also why I love Chuck Palahniuk so dearly- his books are absolutely filled with lines like that, lines that stick in my memory and jump up when my thoughts wander.

BTW, I did start writing my HP6 review, and spent about half an hour on it, but my stepdad logged me out before I'd saved it and it was completely lost. That's what I get for writing in an update box instead of Word, I guess. Anyway, boo hiss, but he makes good pizza so I forgive him.

Saw a baby onesie at Hot Topic today of that Family Guy kid glaring at his mom and saying something like, "Woman, you've been foiling my plans since I escaped from your womb," but I forgot to mention it to Mom when she came back. Le sigh.


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