sarasa_cat: (Default)
First off, things that are complex but appear to be working (perhaps?! I hope!? Please?!?!) in Even the Littlest Monsters:

Read more... )...


Read more... )
sarasa_cat: (Default)
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. I don’t need yet another WIP.

Although, this is something that can leverage some of my old unposted Balthier/Ashe plus my posted series of Ashe/Various short fiction.

Was thinking about how certain things about Makoto (P5) remind me of certain things about Ashe (FFXII) and how, in retrospect, I now realize why I actually like how FFXII ends Ashe’s story and ... it makes me want to do something ... multiple things. My growing pile of accidental P5 WIPs aside, I actually also want to briefly return to Ashe and FFXII and finally finish my Ashe series.

(why brain? why do you think of all these things when I am really busy with other stuff? why is it feast or famine? why brain? Why?)
sarasa_cat: (vincent_turk)
Okay … so the big question still remains. Do I include the prostitute mini-subplot?

The scenes aren’t written. Only somewhere in one of the outlines.

Monsters!Vincent has a complex, messy, confused, lonely sexual/relationship history prior to the bang bang, shoot shot, (un)dead.


From age 17 through 27, there is a long string of failed relationships plus one night stands (the one night stands never call him back), marked with dry periods of “purposefully not getting involved with anyone.” It’s all one long mess of bad communication in which fantasies and/or sex are substitutes for actual communication.

I have outline for a subplot where mid-20something Vincent, while working for Shinra but before the fateful assignment in Nibelheim, befriends a sex worker and those scenes (at least, in my head, as they are yet to be written so I dunno how they’ll end up) are really just … whistles … melancholic, I guess.

As in, meets a sex worker, pays for the sex worker’s time. Ends up befriending the sex worker (from his POV, possibly from her’s too but left indeterminate), falls for the sex worker despite her having a steady boy friend, thinks himself better than the boy friend, doesn’t fully accept that He Is Really Just Paying For Her Friendship+SometimesSex. (and then it just ends when he moves to Nibelheim).

Thinking that I want to keep it. Didn’t realize this until I typed this out and realized that it needs to end WHEN he moves to Nibelheim and that entire mess sort of sets up him for the bigger mess he gets himself into. (cough: Lucrecia)

sarasa_cat: (Yuffie and Vincent)
This is also on Tumblr over here


So... I have a year of on-and-off writing for Monsters. Pantsorama. Pantspalooza. Pantstastic. Pantsing Pantsy McPants. 

Don’t ask how many words. (Hint: it’s a 6 digit number). Words include drafted scenes, outlines, character notes, drabbles and other short stories that stand on their own, prompt stories (some need to be finished & posted >_<), and various research notes ... so many notes. omfg. And meta conversation notes too.


The larger problem:  I’m a tired, exhausted, doesn't-get-enough-sleep, works long hours, has a shitty commute, just doesn’t have time for nonsense, oh sooooo tired, emotionally worn out from work and just wants to write smexy prose person who really cannot schedule high energy mental time for BIG PICTURE ORGANIZATION of the epic amount of stuff in my scrivener binder unless I take a month of vacation and when I take a month of vacation, it isn’t going to be for this. (sadly).

So, I have a very non-linear story and I am trying to figure out how to just sit down and WRITE IT pronto. Note: write means all of the following:

(1)  Write fresh new scenes into the final draft

(2)  Copy-paste previously written scenes into the final draft, editing as needed

(3)  Editing the whole damn thing, as needed.

(4) Post post post post post post post. Cough. POSTING stuff. So, perhaps, whenever I have the next 5 chapters in final draft mode, put those 5 into an edit-for-posting queue which gives me some buffer to make changes as I continue to work forward but, otherwise, anything in the editing queue is almost ready for posting.

The REAL PROBLEM is this:  Sob. The story is so nonlinear. HOW TO DO THIS???  

Well, I’ve spent a year trying to put all of Monsters into my head. Yes. Into My Head. The current goal is to just barf it all out (via cut-n-paste and fresh new writing). In a professional fiction world, I’d barf first, fix later. ...but this is fanfic. ;)  Thus the goal of having a posting queue with approx 5 barf chapters at a time, which allows me to direction-correct a little bit up ahead before committing to posting. 

So, here’s the deal.  (oh, this is Monsters, FFVII, fanfic, epic. but the nonlinear problem could apply to any story, even an orig. deets behind the read more)

Read more... )
sarasa_cat: (vincent_dc)
[Originally posted on tumblr over here]

Okay. NOW I am ready to have that low-effort characterization discussion.

If anyone (plural!) is interested, just leave a reply and let me know if you have some time soon or not for a couple of weeks.


As a bunch of you know, I have a very large FFVII WIP that includes a sizable character arc for Vincent (told in 1st person POV). The WIP also includes other character/plot arcs.

There are a bunch of things itching my brain regarding how I want to handle and interpret certain aspects of Vincent’s canonical presentation, specifically:

Read more... )
sarasa_cat: (Default)
I made a note in a friend-locked post about working on Even the Littlest Monsters (ffvii fanfic novel, Lucrecia/Vincent, Vincent/Yuffie) has been an interesting experience because it mirrors some of the problems I wrestle with when writing original fiction -- namely the issue of how to write complex female characters.  I decided to unpack this further with more of my thinking while planning/structuring Monsters, although I need to state upfront that this is a bit of a rambling info dump. The act of writing this helped me think but editing it heavily so it is readably by anyone passing through isn't gonna happen. ;)


So, another episode of writing about writing --- Writing Unapologetic Female Characters.  (Mostly about Lucrecia, but Yuffie is in this too)

Well -- this dumps a lot of headcanon and analysis and a few plot points for Monsters but, really, it is about writing unapologetic female characters )
sarasa_cat: (Default)
There is a flip-flop challenge for GYWO members -- write what you normally DO NOT write. So, if you write fanfic, do 1500 words of original. If you write romance, try (for instance) horror. Etc


What do I NOT write that I never knew I needed to try?

i write contemporary lit, espionage, SF, fantasy, fanfic romance, horror, comedy, crack, het, slash, multi, angst, fluff, historical, historiographical, straight genre, twisted meta fiction, slice of life, pastiche, mashup, xovers, pr0n.... 

tell me what you have never seen me write or heard me mention.  Help me flip flop with something DIFFERENT. Promise I will borrow or create haracyers I have never written before.

Track all the time

Tuesday, 2 February 2016 08:41 am
sarasa_cat: (Default)
Added a bunch of columns to my word/project tracking spreadsheet.

For each individual writing project I have 3 extra columns (per project, not aggregate!) for:
-- time writing new words
-- time editing (replacing words & punctuation with different words & punctuation)
-- time proofing, formatting, posting/submitting/etc.

I still need to add all the summation to my summary table...

Last month all time for all projects was in one column "time" that wasn't even formatted for time (it was pure numbers and it rounded). I made gross estimates of time across all writing and I can't tell when I over or under estimated for the day.

well. No more of that!

Yesterday was something like 800 words in 30 or 35 minutes and it is marked as such on my spreadsheet (exact numbers, not these from my phone random estimate memories). This is important. I have so little time to write that if I miss my daily writing window, it is gone. I really need to squeeze words out of an overly tight schedule and this is the only way I can make sense of it.

Yay data!  curious to see what more accurate time tracking will reveal.

sarasa_cat: (Cullen2)
Writing is hard. Fanfic is hard. Orig fic is ridiculously hard.

Was reading about an organic approach for growing and structuring a novel-length plot in a manner that mixes aspects of pantsing with aspects of planning/outlining. The approach spoke to me because it was an inside-out (actually, middle-out) approach that structures itself around key scenes. This is naturally how I write. But it had a few twists. 

Rather than risk diving in with one of my annoying orig projects, my first thought was "test drive this method by backfitting it to an existing half-planned fanfic WIP."  Was busy and away from my computer for the past day so the exercise was mostly mental: give actual structure to a flagging subplot that runs the length of one of my DA WIPs. 

80% of a breakthrough occurred (just noting that a specific subplot *was* flagging and needed structure was 50% of that breakthrough), and now I just want to fast draft that entire subplot.


And that realization reminded me of why I drifted away from fanfic when AO3 became the of fanfic-land. 

I despise writing long fiction in chapter-by-chapter order. My very unpopular opinion is that unless you are a rare talent, this is a recipe for stale fiction.

AO3 is an archive. ARCHIVE of our own. It's a place to post fiction once you are ready to forget about it and move on to a new project.


Thinking right now about an onion-skin layered model for pulling together well structured long-form fiction that remains fully character-driven yet is still tightly structured (dare I say plotted? except the goal is not plot-driven genre fiction). Thinking about giving this method a test drive with one of my DA WIPs and growing it organically, which means posting scenes radically out of order until the entire draft is "done" and then doing a fast "bake-and-edit" pass from beginning to end.

Also looking at the clock/calendar. 

Trying to figure out how little time I can given this such that it doesn't eat too much into my primary writing commitments (not fanfic) for 2016. 

The most obvious risk is that once I learn everything I need to learn from this exercise, I just plain stop. ;)    (something I have done many times before because fanfic is primarily my writing workshop).


Also, yet again I have abandoned reading of another tall pile of bookmarked fanfics on AO3. I just ... could not. when skimming become speed-scrolling I know i'm done. Which, in turn, grudgingly pushes me to write fic.
sarasa_cat: (cursormocksme)
I have many reclaimable 5-minute periods during my 9-5 that are perfect for (micro)editing fiction. Add in carpool/commute time assuming I also feel like editing then. That adds up to a lot of editing time. 

Editing by phone in Google Docs appears to favor a certain style of editing. My space-limited phone screen causes me to dwell on each sentence, one at a time, and micro-edit for style: change a word, move a comma, delete a superfluous phrase, sharpen an image. And then reread a couple of sentences immediately above and below. Does it flow? If no, wash-rinse-repeat. If yes, move on.

While using my laptop to look at the bits I edited earlier via phone, I notice how I gravitated to shorter sentences. Crisp, clean, punch. Not certain what I think of this because it could become monotonous if I am not careful, but I suspect that the majority of readers read on phones, kindles, or tablets so...  *shrug*


Have been thinking about the stories that I queued into neatly organized GoogleDocs files. All have stuck with me over the years. My brain refuses to forget them and, trust me, I have forgotten most of stories that I have written (either stuck in draft hell or posted). 

Thinking about why certain kinds of fiction stick with me, and why other kinds fade )


sarasa_cat: (Default)

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