Friday, January 13, 2006

On worlds, pen and paper

Got some background work done at lunch. Printed out a few character profiles to work on, so some good progress today. Of course, my brain couldn't help run amok asking all sorts of questions like what is the native fauna in my fantasy world? Why is it the same? Or not? What about languages? etc, etc, etc...

It brings up the question of whether those who write SF/F prefer to keep the creatures and such the same as Earth or different. Of course, if Earth is involved (and it is in my tale) then the question of why becomes trickier. I've seen both, in my readings, and both seem to work in those given books. It's a sticky dilemma, and I'm trying to determine the best way. Since Earth is present as a setting, as is my fantasy world, I'm not certain which way to go. On the one hand moving certain elements into the background (i.e. keep them the same/similar) should put the focus back onto the story, where it should be. On the other hand, it may take away from that 'suspension of disbelief' as a contrast of the new world to Earth. Hmmm. (Or, I could be worrying too much, I think I'll go back to the story/characters and just add this question to the 'open ideas' list.)

On another note, I find some of my best composing is done with nothing more interesting than a good pen/pencil and a nice, thick pad of paper. There's something about the unlimited possibilities of that paper and a pen wholly under my control that is... hard to describe. Then later I usually re-read and distill my notes for working up into a story, but there's still that magic of the pen. There's just something about that brain-to-hand that works for me. As teasing as all the new devices and software are, I always come back to the pen and paper. What does anyone else think?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Happy 2006

Happy New Year, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hannukah, and best wishes to whichever holiday you prefer. What the hell, happy all of them! I hope your holidays, however much you had, were wonderful.

For ourselves, we loaded up the truck and stayed with my parents from the 24th to the 26th and had a blast. Whenever you have a kid around at Christmas, it's infectuous. That and I got some really good warhammer in with my brother. Only appropriate, as his gift from me was a 4'x4' set of gaming boards.
(4pcs 2'x2' that fit together). The joys of styrofoam, glue and paint.

Granted, he kicked my butt across the scenery, but that's only appropriate as two years ago he made scenery boards for me, and I kicked his army across the table. Much fun.

So in the end, I haven't really disappeared. Between lurching from one crisis to another at work and the general madness of the holidays, my writing (and blogging about it) kind of ground to an almost-halt. *sigh*

Wah, wah, wah. Suck it up, bucko!

So, on the writing front, I'm still working through characters, though lately I've stopped obsessing about it and just 'done it.' While the details may get more or less sketchy, I've been attempting to get it done, and I can revise and tweak them as I have good ideas through the story. I've refocused on the real goal, which is to lay the foundation for the story. Just have to leave my perfectionist tendencies behind and allow that foundation to evolve, otherwise I'll never get started. Now I'm really feeling like Tina K. (one of my faithful readers - both of them! :-) ) did some time ago, as if I'll never get out of the gate.

Nevertheless, 2006 is the year of the Novel! Specifically, my novel, finished (first draft), and start the editing process. Beyond that, I'm not going to bite off more than I can chew, especially with the requirement of a day job (mortgage and all that).

On a side note, I have been gradually filing my stack of scene bits, ideas for the next book, and other tidbits, so at least I'm not totally idle. Just a bit unfocused. Now if only I wouldn't always be inspired in the truck, because attempting to take notes and driving does NOT work. I haven't tried, except to call my voicemail at work and leave my idea as a message. Otherwise I'll forget by the time I'm there.

On a second side note, many in the writing blogosphere have posted photos of their workspace. I must do this, as I'm happy to show off. Not so much the workspace, which is decent. More the library it sits in, as I'm awfully proud of that. One of the conditions for our new house was a library for me and a dining room/living room for my wife. Now I have a library, which has my office, reading chair and painting table all in one room. My sanctum against the madness of work and life. That and we painted it soon after moving in (new house = blank canvas!) because I was NOT going to put all the shelves together, fill them up, and then move them out again to paint. Not since I moved 24 boxes of my books up three floors (no elevator, 'cause I'm insane) moving into an apartment years ago do I want to needlessly move my book collection.

Now that I've rambled on and on (it does say 'ravings' at the top, so you were warned), I'll sign off and get back to the day job.