Amediting

Need to Scratch

I’ve been thinking a lot about TAK lately. I wasn’t satisfied where I had stopped it last time. I found myself up against a wall; unsure how to move the story forward. My next concern was how I got myself in that hole. This hasn’t ever really happened before. Usually when I hit a wall I just find some way to push through it, even if it seems weird and crummy in the story itself.

But I find I can’t do that with TAK. So the question becomes: where do I go from here?

I’ve figured out where it all went wrong. I had the main characters depart on a job in a small town which lead them to the remaining group of main characters. Only now that it’s been a few months (okay, almost a year) since I wrote that I can see that it was unnatural. I wasn’t truly in the mind of my characters and the story-line suffered for that. Of course, this made me feel like those forty pages I had written since were useless and I rejected doing anything to it.

So it sat.

And sat.

And sat like a fat cat on a chair. (I just wanted to write that)

cat

It’s not on a chair, but you get the idea

Now I can feel that itch in my fingers: the one that wants me to just sit at a desk all day and type frantically. The one that wants to get the story out of my head and into the world.

I have a few issues with that which are making this itch hard to scratch.

Issue 1: I have a Day Job. While this day job has been incredibly sloooooooow lately and I’ve been way up to date on all my work, I’ve been using the time to work on my courses.

Issue 2: I’m a crazy person working full time and taking two classes online. Both of these classes are ridiculously heavy with the classwork. I have weekly discussions, two group assignments, 2 tests and an exam. And that’s just what I remember.

Issue 3: I’m a parent. This means I have limited time and I can’t just lock myself away in my office (which is super cold all.the.time. for some stupid reason) without drowning in guilt.

So these are my issues. I need some tissues. (HA! I’m a bit delirious. I got out of bed earlier than normal today).

Those who write and somehow manage to balance a life, how do you do it? Any tips to spare? I’m usually great at self-motivation but I could use some extra support right now.

glasses

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

The Short and Long of It

Writing the shorts for TAK has been incredibly useful. I’ve been able to pick up my writing while on my lunch breaks at work and due to the fact that I had previously written some shorts about The Doctor and Kokoro I’m able to better explain their relationship in the body of TAK. I am writing the chapter where Brexton and Aldric return to the clinic where The Doctor and Kokoro work for the first time in years. It gave me an idea for a separate short I’ll write later about how Brexton and Aldric have used the clinic in the past and their relationship to The Doctor and Kokoro then. It’s quite exciting really, so I’m looking forward to it.

I haven’t written any shorts for a while and before I got to this part in the chapter I was struggling with what I wanted to happen. I have a brief map written out on how I want the story to go, but sometimes when you get right to the point it’s hard to make those words flow and have those scenes woven so nicely together.

I re-read TAK from the beginning and allowed myself to make true edits as I went through. The last time I went through it I was purely reading it; not making any edits even though some jumped out at me. It’s quite empowering to be able to make those changes and this tablet makes that all the more possible.

Sometimes when I’m writing I get really excited for the end and I want to rush right to it. I haven’t done that yet, and I’m really proud of myself. I’m the kind of writer where I find it difficult to bounce back and forth between parts of the story. I like to go from start to finish. This is where the beauty of editing comes in, though, because I can reread those parts that perhaps I wrote too quickly and I can refresh them and sort them out.

It’s almost the weekend! I’m closer to finishing my office at home now. We’re off to purchase our sofa bed at Ikea this weekend. I’m also getting a new cellphone and getting my hair cut. My workplace has determined that we need to have our photos on the site. Since all the work I do is virtual and behind the scenes, it’s quite nice for users to be able to put a face to the name.

But alas, my lunch has ended and I must return to my desk.

Stay engaged in the now, my friends.interesting

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 2 comments

My House; New Life

Still working on my office. The plan is on April 23rd to go to Ikea to pick up the sofa bed I wanted. I’m a bit conflicted because the colour I wanted is out of stock but we’ll see when we get there. We have a backup in mind in case this one doesn’t fit the bill. I won’t be the one sleeping on it, after all. Need to make sure it’s comfortable for my guests. Not that we get many guests, but when we do, it needs to be perfect.

I’ve got mental images on how I want the rest of the room to look and we’ve ordered bookshelves to finish it off. Considering hemming the blackout curtains that are currently in the room but I’m not sure if I want to yet. They’re so big and heavy!

Once the room is done, furniture wise, it’ll be time to finish it off with the right accents and accessories. I want to go for a zen/buddha/chill kind of theme and I’ve seen a few pieces I might like to put in there. It really all depends on which sofabed we get. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get side tables. I’ve been keeping my eyes on the classified in my area in case I see something I could repurpose.

I’m also hoping to get a few planters to grow some veggies in my back yard; cut down on the grocery bill and get the kids to help out. This will also be a good reason to get outside more often with the kids because I’ll  have something to do!

We recently bought a new patio set for the back yard that just needs to be put together.

AND! Because I am the coolest mum ever, I bought concert tickets to take my (soon-to-be) 6-year-old to see Weird Al! My kid loves his songs and even if we just stay for half an hour I think it will be worth it! I’ve already got the time off work and I’m trying to convince my husband to come out as well with our other son. The concert takes place in another city so I’ll have to drive out and most likely stay overnight. Even if my husband doesn’t come I think it will be good bonding for me and my older one. We don’t get to spend a lot of time together, just the two of us. Each kid needs special time with their parents. I also want to get a nice tent and go camping in the backyard when then weather gets nice. My husband wants to get a new fire pit too so it will be great!

All these plans, so little time. It really hinges on what job my husband is doing for work. Hopefully he gets one of the full-time jobs he applied for.

In other news, I’m continuing to write and edit TAK. I hate editing lol I’ve been adding a bit and detracting things that don’t matter. I realized I’m not very descriptive of the scenery when I write, but for what I’ve read so far I’m not sure if that’s an issue or not. I’ll see how I feel when I do the next edit.

Enjoy your Tuesday! I’m a bit sick so I’m trying not to breathe on people. Keeping my germs to myself.

funny-ecard-im-not-a-smart-ass

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 1 comment

Character Record

I never used to do this, but for the last four or five stories I’ve written I started keeping a booklet of information for each story. I mentioned this a bit in my previous post about resources.

For TAK, I’ve got more than that. Right now I have a booklet with character descriptions for all my major and sometimes minor characters. Basics like eye colour, skin tone, hair colour and length, body type and height are recorded for each character. Their name and age heads the top of the description. That used to be it. As I’ve been writing and honing my craft my resources have grown with me. Now my character descriptions have more information. They contain the types of clothes the character may wear on a regular basis; do they wear boots or shoes? Leggings? Tunics or shirts? Colour preferences? A character in TAK wears glasses. So I’ve recorded the shape and colour of his glasses. Sometimes I’ll put in some information about their background or little blips about their personality. A character in TAK, Gideon, doesn’t speak much. Read that as hardly ever. I made a note of that in his record.

Sometimes when I’m writing if I bring up a character I haven’t used in a while I might forget what they look like. Usually the little details like hair and eye colour. I find these records helpful in that they are separate and keep me from searching back through hundreds of pages just to find the information I’m looking for.

When I would write when I was younger, it was common for characters to change eye colour or hair colour. I would reread what I had written and realize the character had changed personalities somewhere along the line. This is obviously not good.

The book for TAK is way more involved than any other before. Not only do I have character descriptions, I’ve started writing the background of the world within it. In TAK there are four countries: Byrnan, Hieros, Haima and Allos. Each country has a ‘speciality’ and the people from each country are slightly different in terms of mentality, skin colour and talents. For example, Hieros is a country steeped in art. It is one of the southern countries and it’s people have an olive skin tone. They produce magnificent pieces of art such as paintings, fabrics, architecture, music and so on. I’ve also drawn a suuuuuper crude map in my booklet. I am not a cartographer and this will most likely not make it into the book itself. It’s for personal reference so I can remember where the countries are located, where the major cities that are mentioned in the story are located and what the terrain looks like. In keeping with Hieros, it’s very flat. Lots of grass and open plains. Hieros is also known for it’s food production.

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Don’t judge my lack of mapping skills

As you can see, it’s not professional, but it serves it’s purpose.

The problem I sometimes run into is running out of book before I’m done with everything. This means I have to transfer all the information into another book. I write everything by hand in this book and I’m not in the mood to switch to digital. The story itself is being typed on a computer, but I just can’t get behind the idea of writing this information in a word document as well.

What things do you do to keep your writing on track?

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments