rustydragonfly: Drawing of a dinosaur drinking tea, captioned "tea rex" (tea rex)
Random and Pilcrowe's investigations bring them to a staple of Novembers past and present. Meanwhile. Tildeworth has some advice for the oncoming storm that is Week Two.

"This is literally the worst pirates versus ninjas scene ever," whined Steve the Ninja, in the background.

The hardest thing with Random is balancing the cracky silliness with the serious side of things. I think that's an issue with a lot of these types of story. You don't want to be all grimdark because you're dealing with a silly concept, but nor do you want the silly to overload the fact that you're dealing with what are hopefully rounded characters with fears and hopes.

Semi related I took a trip out last night to see a late showing of Inside Out. So many feels. Sniff. But it's exactly the sort of movie I hope Random is as good as, if that makes sense. The sort of genre that inspired it. Take a weird idea, and make a damn fine story.
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)
I gotta announce these things when they go up. Anyway! Before I go to bed, have another part of a thing, what I wrote.

Chapter summary: Random gets to doing some more science (of the highly scientific sort, of course), and Pilcrowe investigates. Meanwhile, the Personification of Communications is bad at... well, communicating. Also, there's a cat.

"I know it looks like phone jammed into a pile of chopped up kitchen appliances, but that's because it is. But it's also a lot more scientific than that!"


Apr. 8th, 2015 08:30 pm
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)
So about this time last year I was so hyped up for my 2014 NaNo idea that I made a post on the boards where I was all "hey is it November yet? how about now?"

I came back now to find that the thread was still going and on its third iteration.

How did this happen? Aww but it makes me feel good to see people being all happy and communityfull on a thing I made. Also communityfull is a word. Shut up Semagic.

Camp etc

Apr. 5th, 2015 07:12 pm
rustydragonfly: Photo of a black cat wearing a tux/bowtie collar (tuxedo cat)

Camp is going really well! I'm doing 20K this month. I find it odd that I can't commit to the full 50K outside of November. Maybe that sort of thing was only meant to happen once a year.

I've done a lot of writing in the coffeeshops in town, and I don't give a toss if you think it's cliche or pretentious, because it works!

Today was pretty good. I made a cake! Except for some reason my cakes seem to turn out underdone in the middle and I'm not sure why. I don't think it's just temperature, because turning it down doesn't seem to help. At least they're still tasty.

I also dug out my printed copy of Random, assigned a first chapter, and attacked it with a red pen. I'm excited! I'm not very good at editing, if I'm honest, but I feel good about this story. I'm actually pretty pleased with the first draft, so I at least feel like I have a good beginning to work from. Hoping to get it posted soon. Might put it on RaTs/RF, not sure yet. I'll see! It'll definitely go on AO3 at least. I wonder if they'll understand if I put "NaNoWriMo" as a fandom...
rustydragonfly: Photo of a black horse, rearing dramatically (a lovely horse (quixotic-crush))

I like bats, you should like bats too. And I wanted to break out of all quadrupeds all the time.

I spent a while in the coffeeshop again today as well, that always gets me writing. It might sound pretentious, but it works, and I'm not going to dispute what works. It feels kind of weird to be working on MFS, because of how long it's been going on for - four years now, and still only about halfway through. I don't think I've held onto a storyline and group of characters for that long, and it's a lot different to jumping in on a new concept. The characters still manage to surprise me - I don't think they'll ever stop doing that - but it's less about discovering who they are and finding things out, and more about getting in to the meat of the story. Parts of this are scary, I'm going to hurt them over and over, but that's what writing's all about. Being awful to fictional people. Yeah.

Also thinking I'll run a printoff of my NaNo novel and do an edit of it. I want to get that thing up and posted.
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a dinosaur drinking tea, captioned "tea rex" (tea rex)
There is a tradition amongst the ideas in my head that every November, as the current story winds down, they will pick one of their number to walk into my head and say "Hello. You're writing me next year. Don't argue." This time around, it's that weird half autobiographical, half inspired by a random Tumblr thingy, idea about the princess who runs away with a dragon because her family are all poopyheads.

I can't write this, I protested. This is a children's story. I don't do children's stories. Once upon a time I wanted to be a children's author, but I was about twelve at the time and didn't have much experience outside of children's fantasy novels anyway. Then I just wanted to be an author. Then I realised that no way was I going near the publishing industry and that I was happy to have a day job, sew things, and throw words at the internet. The concept of those words being for kids didn't cross my mind.

Because well, kid's writing is a totally different creature. You're writing it for people with a mindset you haven't had for half a lifetime and you're struggling through all these advice books on what children want and what concepts different ages are able to grasp. Okay, princesses are definitely in, if movies are anything to go by, that's not a problem. Dragons too, for the same reason. But what age group are we talking about? If this is going to be for NaNo, it's going to be 50,000 words. At what age can kids handle a 50K novel? Once they've hit that age, do they still like dragons and princesses, or would they rather read about preteens having crushes in school?

I don't know. But what the hell, it's NaNo. I don't know what sort of kids I'm writing this for, but I can always say I'm writing this for my own preteen self, who lived in a world insisting she read about crushes and school, but would have been all over a 50,000 word novel about princesses and dragons. Or a longer one. I can't say I was exactly average, but kids who aren't average need stories too, even if those stories aren't what the critics say they want. Possibly even more. Who knows more about what children want to read than your own child self?

Besides, kids are smarter than people give them credit for. And kids can understand concepts such as abusive families, even the subtle, emotional side of things. Look at Tangled, which might well be a cute fairytale adaptation but is also the most painfully accurate depiction of emotional abuse I have ever seen. Kids might never run into evil witches or wizards, but there must be plenty of them out there who have a Mother Gothel in their family.

I don't know what I'd do with the idea if I wrote this. It did occur to me that it would be the first thing I'd write that I could potentially sell. Anything Sena related (MFS and its attached stuff) is out for personal reasons, that's my baby-verse and it's not for sale ever. And I can't sell Random for legal reasons, because it's essentially NaNoWriMo fanfic and really wants to be on the internet alongside its progenitor, not in a bookshop, even if I could sell it. I'm not sure if it would be marketable, because the whole what kids want nonsense aside, basically the whole concept is "Hey kids, it's totally okay to run off with strangers who are better than your family!" and people might get a little upset at that. Maybe I'd do a POD run. I know, I know. But that's a long way off. This thing is just an idea. I'll work out what to do with it later.

But the shy, frightened princess who runs off with a dragon, finds her confidence, and stands up to her father, the evil king? Come on. It's got to happen somehow.

(And if it doesn't hit 50K, well, I can always double up. I've been thinking for a while that there also needs to be a kid's book out there called Spy Granny...)

82, 749

Nov. 28th, 2014 06:11 pm
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)
Wrapped up and finally validated, just in time for the European ORAS release. Thankyou, whichever kind person decided to postpone it for a week. Many will indeed have hated you, but I am grateful.

I'm also glad this thing is over. Not so long ago I was thinking it'd be nice if I could match my personal 72K best, but it probably woudn't happen. Then I went on and smashed it by 10,000 words. I still don't know how that happened. I don't know how a lot of this happened.

There's a lot to say about this novel. It's crack, but it's good crack. It's crack I want to polish and make public sometime. It's also... not half bad for a first draft, if I say so myself. But I'm saving it for later, because I have done more than enough typing lately.

So I'm off now to become a Pokemon master. I'll see you in the spring.


Nov. 26th, 2014 09:41 pm
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)
Look at all those beautiful words. Look at them. I've officially broken my NaNo record of 72K from a few years ago. I sometimes dreamed of doing a 75K novel, but I never got the guts to set out and do it. It just happened, by accident. This is so cool. I feel really ill today, I have all sort of pain and fatigue issues, but this is epic shit.

And it's still not done. I might squeeze into the 80K mark, so I'll call that a goal for now, but I don't think I'll go much higher than that. I'm about to hit the final confrontation, and after that things will start to wind down. I think the days of stating a goal and smashing it and the next one are done. Finally starting to see the end.

Very pleased overall. Loving the story, loving the characters, loving the whole damn thing!
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)
Some people do it by accident. Some people, and these are the ones with no sense of self preservation, do it on purpose, with 39 other people, and don't bother to get any sleeping done while they're at it, because there is writing to do.

You already know which one I am.

So! I will be spending the night here from 7 tonight until 7 tomorrow, and there will be much writing to do. I don't know how much exactly. I would love to finish the story during the event, but I would also like it to reach at least 70K. At the moment it's at 60, which was my original "okay let's shoot for this then" goal, once I passed 50K with story left to tell. So all bets are off. I think 70K is a good estimate of this story's end, but can I hit it tonight? Time's not an issue, at least.

Packing now. Got the travel mug, got the Alphasmart, got the magical Vaporeon scarf of writing power. I've done this before, so I'm not nervous... not too nervous. To be fair, the last time I did this, I'd finished the novel and had moved on to some advance work on MFS. This is a really different situation just for that. But it's going to be cool. Things will get done. Much fun will be had.

I've been waiting all month for this!


Nov. 20th, 2014 09:39 pm
rustydragonfly: Photo of a penguin standing in a snowy landscape (penguin)
Yeah I don't think this one is going to be done at 60K after all. Let's see if I can manage 70K. 75K would be nice, but I'm still not sure how far this thing is going to go, and I'm staring down the ending here. There's a whole lot of running back and forth at the moment, but pretty soon the characters are going to converge, and when they do, the end is close.

My other possible goal is to finish on Saturday night/Sunday morning at the overnight write-in for London. But that all depends on if I can stay coherent until 7AM, although... I'm pretty sure I can. Whatever happens I'm holding off validation until I'm done. I was surprised when I woke up and saw that it was open already, but I need something to keep aiming for. So no purple bar just yet. Green's pretty cool too.

Been slow too, but I blame that on the post 50K cooldown and wanting some calm days before I start up again. I also had a few moments of looking back and going "well, this is shit" but I blame that on the fact that the plot is getting serious, and I'm trying to write darker scenes while remembering these are fictional characters and they're hunting down the Traveling Shovel of Death... and i have to again remember that this doesn't stop them from having real feelings and emotions. And just... never, ever let anyone tell you crackfic is cheap. It is not. It is very, very difficult to pull off well and I'm struggling with that balance. But it's going to be cool. This is one of the hardest stories I've written, but it's also turning out to be one of my favourites. I love the characters, I love their weird adventures, and I just want to do them all justice, that's all.

I need sleep. I need to horde it while I can.
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)

Though wow does it feel weird not posting Rough Draft's wordcount screen.

Got to keep going. The villain's walked on stage, shit is going down with a vengeance, and we're entering the last big plot points, but there's a way to go yet.


Nov. 15th, 2014 11:11 pm
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)
Almost had a 10K day, but I'll take a 7K day any time. Just back from NaNoRilla. I'd love to do the last sprint now, but I'm just too knackered from all that walking.

This year's route: St Pancras station - British Library - Tavistock Square - Starbucks just opposite Tavistock Square (hey, we need fuel ok?) - Russell Square - British Museum - the pub because after all that you have to.

Some highlights before I collapse (the local Twitter account has some good stuff):

-Writing in front of the Eurostar terminal, and Eurostar tweeting back to ask what our wordcount was. As you do. Sadly they did not get back to us about the free tickets to Paris.

-The British Library. All of it. I have never been there before but I now want to believe this is where good writers go when they die.

-Encountering sudden drizzle whilst writing in Tavistock Square and not giving a crap because the sprint must go on.

-The Aphasmart getting a lot of curious comments and people wondering where they can buy one (if you want to know, they are sadly discontinued but pretty plentiful and cheap on Ebay, so knock yourself out). Incidentally, this is not my typing speed. More's the pity.

-The Vaporeon scarf also getting a lot of curious comments. I put it together a few weeks ago, but have yet to get and upload any good shots. But you can see it here - I'm the fatarse on the far left with the xkcd shirt and NaNo hoodie for maximum geek. May have someone interested in a custom Umbreon. (AAAAAAAAA)

-Potentially recruiting an entire family into NaNo when a kid at the British Museum asked about the Alphasmart. (And the stickers. Kids love stickers!) Turned out one of the family had been writing a book, and was at 20K and was really curious to hear about NaNo. I told her the WIP rule change this year and also there was a kid's version. ONE OF US.

-Weird looks. Lots of weird looks. Including one passer by stopping to take photos at St Pancras because wtf why are there all these people with laptops sitting there.

So I failed at my goal of hitting 50K at the event, but bring on tomorrow.

And the piles of plot that are still left to come.


Nov. 13th, 2014 08:53 pm
rustydragonfly: Photo of a starfield (SPACE)
Completed after an evening write in, looking good. 35's a magical number. When you hit the mid 30s or thereabout, you start to have a feeling of how far this story's going to stretch. I don't have a lot of control over this. Usually I slip in a few hundred words over 50K, but sometimes it just keeps on going.

I think I'm dealing with the latter. There's just too much plot going on to condense into the remaining 15,000 words. Starting to estimate a roughly 60K run this year, but at this rate it's still hazy. Definitely passing the 50K mark with plot to spare, no doubt about that.

I'm pleased with this! I failed to beat my best time to 50K record (12 days, set last year) so this is a nice surprise to make up for all that. Let's see where the journey goes.

(Also I'm still not over this comet thing. Hang on in there, little lander.)
rustydragonfly: Photo of a crested gecko (crestie)
The NaNo site has reset. This means new novel time!


My icon is playing halo frisbee. I didn't mean for that to happen but it looks cool, huh?


Oct. 6th, 2014 07:28 pm
rustydragonfly: Photo of a lizard behind a leaf with light shining through (lizard leaf)
I have not been well all weekend. Half braih fog, half intense back muscle pain. I have a feeling sleeping on my back would help things but I've never felt secure doing that. But Netflix has some good movies in lately so it's not as if I did nothing. (Dammit Dreamworks. Do some better advertising because I hate it when I skip out on seeing your stuff in the cinema because I think it's wacky kid comedy, because I can never tell with you. PS: HTTYD is awesome!)

But I have licorice tea, and QI is back, and the leaves are falling and it's dark and rainy outside but warm inside. The season has arrived. It's funny how your calender can end up revolving around the oddest of events, but after ten years, NaNo is part of life for me. And given that the idea for this year has been banging around since December, it's about time.


rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (Default)
evil northern overlord

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