Monday, October 14, 2013

"Together or not at all."

 It should be a known fact by now I'm not a detective. I like to study people, especially when things are boring at work, but detective? No, not really. I've never even solved a mystery. But this shouldn't be a problem, right? If a mystery ever shows up I might have enough of the right skills to solve it, but until then I'm an author so at least I have a profession.
 I'm starting to think it might be a huge problem, though. I watch a lot of detective shows and I've learned at least one thing from them. If you're not the detective, or at least the funny side kick, that means you have a good chance of being the random citizen who dies five minutes into the show.
 I've been practicing, you know, just in case. I never go into car garages alone. I never blackmail anyone. I avoid dark alleys. I don't give scissors to girls who come into work asking for them. Hopefully, with these staying alive skills I've acquired I will live past the first five minutes.

 Now, on a less random note.



  With NaNo only two weeks away, or three depending on how you look at it, I'm going to start a series of posts about this years NaNo book. Mostly because, if all goes well, I will be publishing this one soon. I've written it and re-written it ten or more times, if that doesn't qualify it for near publication I don't know what does.

 I'm a little nervous to begin this book. Not only because I've tried to get it completed ten times already, but because it is going to be romantic. (The girls who first read it insisted it had a romantic side to it and asked me to write at least one version that way. When I complied they fell in love with that version and when I went to write the final draft asked if I would keep the romance in, which I was ready to ditch. I told them I would - I sometimes have trouble turning down direct requests - and while I don't think they're interested in the story anymore I would feel bad chickening out when I told them I would write the romance in.)

 I like to write friendship stories more than romance ones. Apparently all of my beta readers found hints of romance in Abolished, but that was all sneaked in by my characters and I had little, if anything, to do with it. Also, the book itself isn't romantic. Its an adventure and filled with battles and lots of running and swords. The romance is in the background. (When I realized what was going on with it I told my characters we had to keep it almost hidden. Then if readers wanted it to be there they could find it and if other readers - like me - didn't want it there they could ignore it. If that makes any sense.)

 That said, my NaNo book will have a more prominent romance. It will not be hidden - but it won't be mushy. I still close my eyes when people kiss in movies, I think writing a mushy romance is beyond me. 
 And it will still have the friendship quality I like. 

 All of that said, the trouble I'm having with it is that I don't think I know enough about romances to write one, and to balance it. Writing romances are tricky because if you go too far into it the book becomes predictable and the characters borderline annoying. All they care about and talk about and think about is the person they love until that is all the book is about. And this book cannot do that because it is about the plot I've spent more than six years developing. 
 If you go too far in the other direction, however, and leave out almost all of the romantic elements, then the book is obviously not romance.

 Also, while all of that is going on, I will have a complex plot to untwist and character issues to work out. So, it really isn't the best choice for NaNo because of all the detailed work that needs to go into it. But, the thought of actually having it DONE, one completed draft I can keep and not have to re-write is too tempted to turn down. I'm hoping to just jump into it and write and see where I am at the end of the month.

 I've been preparing myself as much as possible. I have pages filled with plot outlines, and even some snippets 8-D I made early snippets! I was so happy with myself I gave myself a cookie. I now just have to talk to the characters and convince them it is in their best interest to behave during November. (I'm silently laughing my head off because I know that will never happen.)

 Is anyone else slightly nervous about their project this year or are you ready and can't wait to get started?

 I'm leaving you with a depressing Amy and Rory quote, because it is romantic, but in the tragic sense...

 Allons-y!

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13 comments :

  1. I don't participate in NaNoWrite, so can't help you with advice there. What do you want to do with the romance issue, Jack. Bottom line, you have to write what you're comfortable with and what feels right to you.

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  2. I'm nervous about my NaNo novel! I'm trying a new genre. On top of that, I have a rather complicated plot that has to do with time travel. As if time travel isn't complicated enough, I had to throw other things in there to make it harder.

    Good luck with NaNo, Jack!

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  3. But if you are not the detective, or the funny sidekick, OR the random citizen who gets killed in the first five minutes, then - *gasps*!- you're the villain!

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  4. I hope those survival skills keep you alive past the first five minutes. You seem to be off to a good start, with the not blackmailing people and not handing out scissors to whoever asks...

    I'm excited about what I'm going to write for NaNo. I've taken a break from my novels since August and have written some shorter fiction to give my brain a bit of a rest. But right now I'm in the middle of a project I am hoping to complete before Nano, so I can give my full attention to my Nano project... so right now I'm sort of in that "AHHHHHHH OCTOBER IS DISAPPEARING TOO QUICKLY!!!!!!!" category.

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  5. I'm extremely nervous about my NaNo project. Even more now that I read that "two weeks" away thing. I'm never going to be ready on time.

    But best of luck with your project.

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  6. Hey, I have no idea when it comes to writing a romance, but somehow I managed. So will you. Just think of it as a friendship on another level.

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  7. Yeah, I'm not crazy about romance, though I will admit my books tend to have an "attraction" I never expect. :)

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  8. 'ho boy, I am EXTREMELY nervous about NaNo, mostly because I'm afraid of giving up on the second day. :/
    You post here really excites me though, because I'm planning to make a sligh-bit-of-romance-but-more-adventure-intrigue-compliacated-twisty short story out of my NaNo. (I'm only aiming for 20,000 words or so, because I am a wimp.)
    I look forward to your input on how to write romance without the mushiness and cliches. I CAN'T STAND mushiness...or cliches (then again, who likes cliches? ---except for the people who watch altogether too many chick-flick).

    So. Yup. Writing.

    bleeeeehhh.

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  9. Well I hope NaNo is goes Okay for you. I will not be participating because I can't write a book in a year let alone a month. So... Yeah.

    I was very upset when I read your post title because I suddenly saw before my eyes and image of Amy and Rory falling through the air, holding on to each other and sacrificing themselves to stop the angels. Of course, they survived.... Only to be zapped 5 minutes later by a stray statue. Tragic and romantic? how about Traumatic?

    I tend to be like you. I enjoy friendship stories more than romantic ones most of the time. There is nothing wrong with romance and a romance well handled can be amazing - like Rapunzel and Flynn, or Rumpelstiltskin and Belle, or the Ponds. I like love stories but stories about friendship really hit me in a different way. I adore them. As for the romance in your book..... Peter and Darcy *Grin* That was a very much under-tone relationship. Its cute and sweet and I hope to get more of it but it definitely wasn't THE THING. that's why I loved your book. It was the perfect mix of adventure, danger, friendship, Toleration, excitement, fighting, death, thrill and shock with just a touch of cute romance on the edge. I love books like that.

    I'm really upset with myself because I have fallen in love with two brothers who are going to destroy my life. You'd think after finishing Merlin I'd avoid another attachment to two boys who would risk anything for each other. But I never learn. So I fell and am now very annoyed with myself. Its even worse when you start to notice that said brothers are a LOT like Arthur and Merlin. Then you are so overcome with feels you need to make a video for both of them - like a parallels video. And then you cry because you realized Dean is like Arthur and Merlin is like Sam - and we all know how THEIR story ends. Then you have to take a deep breath, remind yourself that the Winchester are still breathing and take faith that maybe, just maybe, this time you'll get a story with a good ending. Then you cry some more. that was me these past couple days. I'm really mad at Treskie because she got me hooked on Supernatural but because I am so far behind her she wont show me very many. I do have a best friend who is on the same episode I am and we're going to start having Winchester Days where we spend a couple hours with the boys and traumatize ourselves. I hate fandoms.

    This comment is getting too long, so I'd better go. I'll write to you soon though :)

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  10. Don't forget to turn the light on when you enter the kitchen at night. Lots of people get murdered by simply not turning on a light. Remember that E-Lock episode where the girl goes into her kitchen, doesn't turn on the light, but is still somehow reading her newspaper in the dark as she goes to get a snack from the fridge?

    Romances... What to say about them? I haven't quite decided whether I love them or hate them. On the one end of the scale there's Romeo and Juliet, which I think is totally dumb... but then on the other hand, lots of the musicals I enjoy have pretty much the same plot (minus everyone dying at the end): boy meets girl and they fall in love in three days.
    I'm reading Canterbury Tales right now and the Knight's Story is all about cousins who are in jail. They just both happen to look out of the window and see a beautiful girl outside... and they both fall in love with her instantly. They spend the next ten or so years moping about how they can't marry the girl/they try to kill each other over the girl. And when one finally wins the girl through combat, he falls off his horse and dies.
    And I'm sitting going oh, come on!
    My one piece of advice on romances is don't add kissing. Eeuugh. It makes me shudder to read kiss scenes (which is why, on this last edit, I took out all the kissing scenes in my own book. Although it's okay when it's something like "Dad kissed Mother on his way out of the house").
    And finally, I apologize for finding romance in Abolished Impracticality, I know it's not meant to be a romantic series... All my "shipping" is usually done in a more playful/jestful (is that a word? Evidently not), so don't take any notice of it. :P (Speaking of... the drawing I sent - I'm not sure if you saw it yet - wasn't meant to be shipful [that's not a word either] in anyway. It's just that when people skip, they usually are always holding hands! Although the way I drew it, it looks more like they're walking. This is why I don't draw.)

    Anyway, I think I'm coming off an editing-high or something... I've had so much nervous energy in my body because Nov. 1 (my publication date) is coming up SO quickly and it makes me all rambley and excited and scared and random and strangely happy. And forgetful too, because I forgot what my point is. I'll post this now...

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  11. P.S. I love the new design! It's super cool!

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  12. P.S. Again... I just thought of something else to add. Maybe the reason I hate certain romances (mostly romances in books) is because they are so Godless. All the characters care about are the physical things, when, in reality, relationships go so much deeper than that. The physical stuff is an added bonus to the friendship, companionship, and unity that a God-honoring relationship between a married couple brings. When writing romances, the other stuff should come first - the friendship and companionship and the willingness to die for one another.

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  13. I have very few apprehensions about my book this year. Even though I'm going over to a new genre, I've been studying up on scifi, and I think I have gathered a feel for it. I have the characters convinced that they'll be writing the book (much like I did Jen for the Ankulen), so they shouldn't put up any big issues. My plot is basically worked out. I need to figure out what happens in what order in the insanity of the second half, but that'll mostly involve just sitting down and thinking logically. So I'm really, really excited.

    Oh, and good luck on your book! Your characters seem to all be the worst in the bunch. And good luck on the romance. Tricky business, romance. I actually do enjoy writing it *sidelong glance at Clara and Andrew who just finished a rather romantic chapter* but it can be a pain in the neck if you can't get it to feel natural and flow right. I thought I wasn't going to get any in my NaNo, but one of the characters just revealed that he was a certain someone in disguise, so some will sneak in. But those two characters only get two chapters each, so it won't be the thrust of the book.

    Anyways, have fun!

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