Life in progress


#SoCS – Might be a Light at the End of the Tunnel

What was supposed to be a light little story (comedic, at that) about two people who fall in love has taken on so many complications, I haven’t been able to add to my NaNoWriMo word count today. Which sucks, because this was supposed to be the first novella of two I planned to complete for this month’s challenge.

But that’s me and my writing: no story is ever without its twist. I’m incapable, it seems, of writing a straightforward boy-meets-girl-boy-loses-girl-boy-gets-girl-back tale. There are always other forces involved, and intricate ones at that. I think it’s the villains. They worm their way into my stories whether I want them to or not. There’s never just a circumstance. There has to be a physical villain.

As the title of this post implies, though, there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve spent hours brainstorming–done everything short of actually getting in the shower, which is where my best ideas usually come to light. (I’m saving that for when I really get stuck … and saving unnecessary water-usage at the same time.) And I think I’ve got the plot sorted out. The bare bones of it, at least. That’s something I never do, and honestly, I worry that overthinking it will ruin my usual pantsing (flying by the seat of my pants) style. But we’ll see.

In case you’re curious about the book, it’s the prequel to the novel I wrote last year for NaNo, about an office romance between a female manager and a male temp who’s also a stripper. The story isn’t nearly as tawdry as it could have been. IT managed to be light (despite a menagerie of villains working in the office) and funny. I’ve already written the sequel to that one. They all revolve around the bar where the strippers perform. The second novella I still hope to write for this year’s NaNo will be the third in the series. The one I’m writing now will be free with sign-ups to my mailing list.

Wow. I never self-promote in my SoCS posts. I hope you’ll forgive me. But that’s what comes of just writing off the top of my head.

Anyway, time’s tight, so back to work. Hopefully the words will start flowing now that I’ve started writing. For me, writing a story is much like this stream of consciousness stuff. I start writing with a character’s mindset in my head, and it just comes out. It’s not the characters that give me problems. It’s the sticky situations I put them in.

Right! Back to work.

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley!

This post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Click the following link to see all the other posts in the comment section, and join in. It’s fun!


#SoCS – Optimism

Normally, I’m a very positive human being. I like to find the bright side in everything, if there’s a bright side to find. Most of the time when I find something good out of something very very bad, I keep my mouth shut, because whatever it is I’ve found would seem insensitive. I remember once making the mistake of saying to someone whose car had been damaged in an accident that at least the guy in the body shop made some money … You can see by this how far I stretch.

But, in contrast, sometimes my imagination takes me to worst-case scenarios where even I can’t find something good. And that’s actually where my stories come from.

Imagine, for instance, something terrible happening (no one dies!) that affects everyone. All the banks close just before Christmas, for example. No one can do their shopping, and only those with cash can buy groceries. No good can possibly come of this, except, maybe for a villain!

I often write dark stories, and the strangest thing about it is that they’re driven by my optimism. I’ve wondered for years where my odd tendency for writing horror comes from. I think I just figured it out.

Thanks, Stream of Consciousness Saturday Sunday. 😛

Oh, and speaking of SoCS, I did write something on my fiction blog last night, for the first time in ages. Click here to read it.

This very very late post is brought to you by SoCS. Click the link to find all the other amazing entries!


#SoCS – Giving birth to characters

Being a writer, I’ve read thousands of articles and opinions on how we typically come up with the characters who appear in our fiction. Is there a typical way? Probably not, but being as this is stream of consciousness and I stuck that damned rule in there to say we can’t edit, … that’s all she wrote.

Anyhoo, back to the topic of characters. One of the phrases I read a lot is “giving birth to characters.” I can’t say that I do that. “Giving birth,” to me, implies that they’re brand new shells of people who rely on me to fill them up with experiences, emotions, ways of speaking, and things they’re likely to do and ways they’re likely to react at any given moment. For me, characters appear as already-formed beings. I don’t give birth to them as much as I discover them.

One of the ways I know this–one of the main ways I know this–is when they show me their accents. In this alone I can tell where they come from, whether or not they have a lot of money, their age, their demeanor. I suppose it’s not necessarily as much “accent” as way of talking. Inflection, grammar, whether or not they use a lot of cliches. That sort of stuff.

It’s not as though I have them hanging around in my head all the time. If they did, I wouldn’t get a thought to myself. Nah, they come and go. You’ll see them in my “Second Seat” series. Come to think of it, it’s almost as though I have a bus inside my head …

Hmmm… Now there’s a thought.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is a weekly prompt that anyone can participate in. Click the following link to find out how, and see all the other posts in the comment section. 🙂 Give it a try!