Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Procrastinating...

...is harder work than you might think.

My kids went to their dad's on Sunday and, Monday being Victoria Day here in Canuckyland, they stayed there overnight. This meant I had the entire house to myself for over 24 hours. My boss, realizing the rareness of this occurrance (on par with a planetary alignment or the day my daughter says no to cake), offered me the night off work, too, so I had nowhere to go, nothing to do.

Woot! So what's a writer to do with 24 uninterrupted hours but sink into the La-Z-Boy with the laptop and write some blammo smut?

Apparently plenty.

I spent all day Sunday cleaning my house. Living room, kitchen, family room, bathroom, a week's worth of clean laundry finally folded (but not put away yet--baby steps, people). Oddly, I'm a little disappointed in myself. I take a certain pride in my ability to maintain the stereotypical facade of the absent-minded, slovenly, obsessive writer. On any normal day, my house could be falling down around me, and I'd rather be bloghopping, writing or engaging in lengthy email discussions about books.



But never fear. I haven't quite gone over to the dark side yet.

In between these uncustomary bursts of domestic activity, I managed to read the entirety of Ann Aguirre's Grimspace (yes, I'm the last person on the planet to read it, but I've now remedied that), and enjoyed it so much I purchased the second in the series from Sony before I went to bed so I could start it first thing Monday morning. Monday, I did nothing but sit on my ass and gobble up all of Wanderlust in one orgy of sci-fi gluttony before the kids walked back in the door at 3:00. And I had pizza delivered for dinner because the last thing I felt like doing was cooking.

After dinner, smut time, right? Uh, no.

Despite the fact that Lianon and Rhianna have been trying everything short of semaphore to get my attention back where it belongs, I spent the evening tinkering with the beginning of my giant, huge, epic fantasy WIP from ages long past (ten years ago, to be exact), the wellspring of all my current books. I'd originally written it in MSWorks, and saved it in individual chapter files, and I'd been dreading the Herculean task of taking each one and going through them, paragraph by paragraph, to modify the formatting and copy them into one file. As I went, I began to read, and got sucked in.

Not by the awesomeness, but by the suckage.

Much as I love the story itself, some of those scenes... *shudder* Oh, the horrors of my then-newbie mistakes! POV inconsistencies galore. Clunky dialogue riddled with "As you know, Bob" exchanges and a dismaying lack of contractions. Infodumping that would shame even Robert Jordan. Redundant redundancies that are appallingly redundant.

"What was I thinking with those funky dialogue tags?" I expostulated to myself. "And the redundancies? And what's with all the telling? Where's the subtext? Do my readers need to have every little thing explained to them? Are they idiots? And the fade-to-black sex scenes? Sheesh, is one orgasm too much to ask? Also, the redundancies, what's up with them?"

In desperation, I opened some of the later chapters and was much reassured that my writing has improved over time. But damn, that thing is going to need some work.

One day, I'll be up to performing the radical surgery that will make that puppy ready for submission. One day, I will conquer it. But not today.

Today, my friends, is for smut. Hot girl-on-girl smut. Nothing will stand in my way, dammit.

Lianon and Rhianna, here I come...

7 comments:

MB (Leah) said...

Ha! I live to procrastinate. It gets easier and easier, I tell you. :D

Grimspace--- You aren't the only one jump the train's caboose. I just finally read it not too long ago and I agree totally with your opinion. I don't have the second book yet, but picked up Blue Diablo, which is waiting to be read. Although it's a different series, I hear it's the bee's knees.

About looking at your earlier attempts at writing... you entertain me muchly in your sharing of it.

"As you know, Bob" ???? LOL

Word veri- Obillec

kirsten saell said...

"As you know, Bob" is a common mistake among newbs trying to avoid infodumping--it's when you have information to impart to the reader, and you do it through unnatural dialogue. You end up with something like this:

"As you know, Bob, you'll need to collect all four gemstones before you will be able to break the security grid."

"Yes, Bill. I'll need to put all four of them in their proper settings in the matrix, otherwise, as we both know, a burst of laser fire will fry me."

Oh, how sad to see that kind of thing in my own writing, although in my defense, it was less obvious than in my above example. Thank god I've improved.

BTW, LVLM looks all snazzy. You must have had some real work to avoid, too. LOL

sylvia said...

Haha - I was going through an old story of mine to see if it could be revived and rewritten into something interesting. I remembered the overall plot line but I had no idea how badly written it was! Talking Heads and As You Know Bob and hey, could we maybe get some ACTION here?

I've filed it away again. It's sort of nice to have - the writing equivalent of the pencil marks on the wall when I was a kid, proof that I really was growing!

Tiah said...

"Today, my friends, is for smut. Hot girl-on-girl smut. Nothing will stand in my way, dammit." LOL! I appreciate how determined you are to bring us quality girlie love action. Can't wait!

kirsten saell said...

Hey, Sylvia. Yeah, I'm tempted to shove this one under the bed again, but I've promised myself I'm going to rewrite it. All my writing (other than the odd short) is set in this world, and this big fat fantasy is the springboard for all my other books. It needs to be written.

But yeah, it's nice to have a reminder of how much I've improved over the last several years. :)

Tiah: I actually didn't write any smut that day--I wrote 2500 words of a meeting with a crime boss and a chase/fight scene. Should have said "Today is for threats, death and dismemberment." Oh well. I'm only about 2000 words from the next hot girl-on-girl scene. *will not skip ahead, will not skip ahead* :)

Cathy in AK said...

I can totally relate to "avoid the WIP/get a clean(ish) house". If it gets to the point where beds are made and dust is dusted I know I've hit some major writer's block.

I, too, have gone back to an old MS with thoughts of reviving it (is there something in the air?). And cringed a bit. OK, more than a bit. Good bones, but man oh man...Time to apply a chainsaw to some sections and a whole lotta spackle to others.

Having just finished "Crossing Swords"--and enjoying it, I might add :)--I can only imagine what your hot girl-on-girl action will be like. Imagine and wait impatiently.

MB (Leah) said...

I can only imagine what your hot girl-on-girl action will be like. Imagine and wait impatiently.Cathy, Crossing Swords is only a taste of what Kirsten writes as far as f/f umm...interacting goes.

Healer's Touch and Bound by Steel have so much more in them. I hope you get to those as well.