Tag Archive: plot

Endings and such

I don’t know if it’s aftereffects of the blarg or numbing effects of too many hours of chippercheery Christmas music or dulling effects from too many hours saying the same things over and over and over, but I keep thinking of things I should write or desperately want to write only to sit down at my computer hours later and think “fuck it. I’m tired. Imma read instead.” So I do.

My brain, meanwhile, goes wheeling off in weird directions at the worst times. Question: when is a good time to come up with a fun backstory idea for one of the worlds in the novel? Answer: not while in the middle of cutting dividers to stick between wine bottles so that they don’t clink. And not when in the car driving (though this is inevitable, I think), nor when some customer is regaling me for twenty minutes about why education is important (though that was a fun character study), nor when I’m in the shower (again, probably inevitable), nor when I’m attempting to fall asleep (*definitely* inevitable). I’d be fine with all of this if I could just remember it when I got the computer so that I could scribble notes down. I have three files open at all times: the main novel file, a file of notes on the world/characters, and a file of plot notes – theoretically, all I have to do is click to the write file and start babbling. So if I could just get the timing better, I feel like things would be working out a little more than they are.

I have figured out that I have a problem with endings. Like, I’m not really sure how to get them to function correctly. It’s basically like this (I should stop using the word like!): I’m all ready and raring to send the characters off on Final Rollicking Adventure, but I got to thinking about it. What, exactly, is the point of Main Character finding out the information she finds out at the journey’s end? And I’ve thought through it and thought through it and thought through it, and I’m not sure. Like, I’m not sure exactly why what she’ll find out is a big deal to anyone but her – it would certainly change her, but it wouldn’t drive a plot so much.

The result of my angsting over endings is that I’ve decided to complicate a whole bunch of stuff to see what happens. Like MC is the subject of a prophecy at the moment, which makes her Object of Interest to the Powers That Be. But prophecies and Chosen Ones only work if done right (seriously, I just mistyped that as “write” – I NEED SLEEP) and I don’t think I figured out enough backstory on that before plunging into NaNo. I’ve been thinking through it and thinking through it and I know I’ve had all kinds of glimmers of ideas but no idea if I’ve gotten to the right one yet. And I’ve let things be way too easy for MC – she’s generally been able to find people when needed, had no problem getting around to find info, whatever, which is unacceptable. It’s not that I think she needs an unmanageable level of hell to deal with, just that I’ve let her deal with some situations far too easily.

And I think that writing in First Person Present Tense really works beautifully for one major scene. The rest of the time, anything that’s happening could just as easily happen in past, so I need to flip tenses on the rewrite.

To sum up: I need to figure out a bunch of stuff so that I can finish the draft so that I can tear it apart and rewrite the vast majority of it. However, I refuse to rewrite (edit, dare I call it?) until I’ve finished a draft all the way through. I think I need to have a completed draft so that I can remind myself, when in the middle of rewriting and all that, that I really can get through it.

Need title

Self, I thought, it’s time to update your blog. Even if you have no idea what the hell to write.

So I’m updating. This will be a NaNo post since NaNo is eating up most/all of my brain meats right now. See, it’s day 15 of NaNo, being the 15th day of the month, and the official wordcount says that participants should be at the halfway point in their noveling endeavors as well.

I’m tentatively titling my NaNo novel “Daydreams.”

I am in fact at the halfway point in the word count, so that part of the goal is going well.

However, I have no clue if I’m actually at the halfway part of the story, because I can’t convince myself that anything has actually happened. In order to see if I can figure out what the holy hell I’ve actually written this month, I’ll attempt a brief run-down.

Main Character: Aurora, resident of Overbrook, PA (unless there actually *is* an Overbrook, PA, at which point the name will change)
Love Interest: Calon, who lives in another world, made by/for alchemists
Main Ancillary Character: Neil (who seems to be trying to be a Love Interest)
Other characters: Aunt Margie, Uncle Glenn, Margot (who needs a name change) – the school resident choir bitch, Alison – Aurora’s BFF, Kurt – guy that both Alison and Aurora have a crush on who goes for Alison

So. Let’s see.

*insert a long-ish pause here*

So. I wrote out a more or less point-by-point list of what happens and decided that I’d rather not go there – looking at things scene by scene isn’t exactly helping me make this sound like a worthwhile writing experiment. So I’ll try another version.

Aurora has been able to hear a voice in the mist since she was 7, when her parents died in a car wreck. The voice belongs to Calon, an apprentice alchemist who lives in a world rather like our own. Even though they’ve never met, Aurora trusts Calon with everything in her life. Meanwhile at school, Aurora is trying to deal with the new relationship between her best friend Alison and their mutual crush, Kurt. She finds herself relying more and more on the company of Neil, the snarky new guy who has appeared in five of her classes this year.

Then Aurora finds a ring of her mother’s which helps her gain entrance to Calon’s world, and finds her own world turning upside down. She finds herself falling for Calon, but he seems to be hiding things from her, Neil becomes more and more mysterious, and her once-solid friendship with Alison has hit an all-time low.

THEN MORE THINGS HAPPEN BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE BECAUSE I HAVEN’T WRITTEN THEM YET. ARGHHHHHHHHHH. Like, I have vague clues of about half of what needs to happen, but then unplanned things happen (like Neil asking Aurora out for a cup of tea, because Neil is the type of dork who would prefer tea over coffee, and Aurora agrees despite some misgivings and they have this intensely awkward date because they kind of want to spend time together but neither one of them has told me the point of going out, so they mostly meeble about homework awkwardly until Neil tells Aurora she’s pretty and Aurora tells Neil she has to get home for dinner, and I sit there asking both of them what the hell the point of the whole exercise was, and Aurora tells me that she went because he asked, and Neil just smirks and tells me “I have my reasons” and WON’T TELL ME WHAT THOSE REASONS MIGHT BE, so that even *I* don’t know if he actually *likes* Aurora or if he’s trying to play her for his own purposes)(Seriously, people, the things flying through my head right now, it’s like I’m a total schizophrenic).

The Calon-is-an-alchemist thing is fun, at least, because when I get really stuck on something I can go play with google searches on “alchemical symbols antimony” etc.

Cups of coffee consumed: lots at this point, but only about three cups more than normal for the month, to be honest
Number of meals forgotten about/eaten late: at least 7
Glasses of booze consumed: roughly normal, actually. I’ve been drinking enough to keep up with my beer blog and my homework wine, but haven’t had anything else, and haven’t tried any booze-fueled writing.
Words written: 25743 as of roughly 6pm on day 15. I don’t have the count for midnight on day 14 because the internet was down and I just kept writing.
Weirdest Google Search since the last update: “philosopical alchemy meaning sulfur”

Edit space for the nightly word count totals:
– Midnight, Day 15: 26556 words
– Midnight, Day 16: 27353 words, but I spent most of the day at work and haven’t had time to write at all since last night. F—-. This is why I like trying to stay a day or two ahead.
– Midnight, Day 17: same as last night because I barely had time to write and when I did, I basically stared at the screen blankly. Now I’ll have to scramble to catch up tomorrow.
– Midnight, Day 18: 30320 words. *barely* caught up to the day’s total.

– Midnight, Day 19: 32342 words.
– Midnight, Day 20, 32951 words – spent most of the day at work, so I’m glad I got *something* done. I suspect Monday will need to be a catch up day, because I doubt I’ll be at 35K by tomorrow night.
– Midnight, Day 21, no change at all. Like zero.

– Midnight, Day 22 aka CATCH UP DAY: 37333 words, bitches. BACK ON TRACK.
– Midnight, Day 23: 38438 words.
– Midnight, Day 24: 40300 words.
– Midnight, Day 25: no change – Turkey Day, bitches!
– Midnight, Day 26: 42012 words, but up to 43626 before going to bed at 2-something.
– Midnight, Day 27: at the same 43626 words from last night.

Hollywood Strikes Again


Paul W.S. Anderson is filming The Three Musketeers (the link is to the imdb page).  This particular Mr. Anderson is the director of the Resident Evil films.  Which, you know, fine.  I’m not a fan of the Resident Evil films, but I don’t have to be.  But the concept of the person who directed those movies having anything whatsoever to do with yet another attempt to create a film of the Three Musketeers flat pisses me off.  The book deserves better than this.

And yet, sadly, I don’t think they (you know, the amorphous “they/them” who get so much blame) will every manage to make a decent film of this book.  There’s just too much there.  And it isn’t the “too much” that often happens in the novel —> film adaptation that there’s too much going on with the characters to make them seem realistic and fully fleshed out on screen.  The characters in the Three Musketeers are practically archetypal – their characters can be illustrated adequately in a matter of moments – maybe a scene or two.  And it’s not that the characters are busy thinking lots of untranslatable-to-screen deep thoughts, because Dumas in general doesn’t seem to have had much truck with all that (except in the dragging ‘deep thoughts on revenge’ parts of the Count of Monte Cristo).

The problem with the Three Musketeers is simply plot: there’s far, far too much of it to fit into a single film (and it’s all far, far too awesome to want to cut).  A trilogy, perhaps – the first film being d’Artagnan’s entry into the Guards, the second being the flirtation with Milady and discovery of her treachery, and the third being the Milady/Felton craziness and giant finale.  Or it could be sliced up to have a film dealing with just the romantic angles, or one that deals primarily with the politics, or one that deals primarily with the friendship between the four.  I’d love a version that attempted to take on the political backdrop, personally, because Dumas had a keen sense of what made people fascinating, and he captures that fascination beautifully in the political intrigues.  The point, however, is that what does make it into the film will have to be carefully chosen and flawlessly executed, else the whole thing will be a mess.  There’s just too much there to make a coherent film, and even the cutting would be difficult, since every element is so tightly interwoven with every other element. 

I love and adore bad movies.  I gleefully watched this year’s version of Robin Hood, near-collapsing into paroxysms of hysterics at the idea that Robin’s uneducated philosopher Freemason father wrote the rough draft of the Magna Carta.  My husband and I throw parties whenever a particularly promising gem of awfulness shows up on the Saturday night SyFy lineup.  I went and saw Prince of Persia in the theaters, FFS. 

This, however, is different.  This feels personal.  The Three Musketeers has been one of my favorite books since I was 12 and first read it.  It’s been destroyed before – see the 1993 Disneyfied Chris O’Donnell production, which seems to have stolen only the title and character names from the original.  It was painful watching it (that film was my Chris O’Donnell crushkiller), and I have zero hope for this version.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to steel myself to sit through it because I’m already worried that the director will turn it into some sort of blockbuster-y gorefest. 

This is the type of thing that makes me question having given up thumbsucking.  It’s.  Just.  WHY.

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