Monday, November 30, 2009

...and now I'm finished.

Raised the "ding" last night when I crossed the 50k finish line of NaNoWriMo. However, the story itself kept on going. (Final count is 53,700)

I've just finished the rough draft. (It's fantastic to type those words.) The story, I think, will polish up nicely, but I'm now going to let it sit for a month or two. I'm way too close to it to start carving and molding. Plus, I've lived this book for the last 30 days. Coming on the heels of six months of nothing but flash, it was a hell of a shock to the system.

I'm going to try and finish up a shortie I started for the "Bacon-ology" antho, and then do some more flashing to get me into January where I'll be back in novel mode.

In other news - notified today that a non-Horror piece will be up on Every Day Fiction this month - Dec. 21. (One day away from another piece by the incomparable Oonah V. Joslin.) So there's that to look forward to.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home Stretch - 40,000

I'm getting very, very close to the end of NaNoWriMo, and I'm starting to think I might get there. The draft is going to be one ugly SOB, but it'll be a novel and that is certainly something.

If nothing else, I've also picked up some great habits, turning out about 1,200 words a day. This will be really important in January when I head back to (Correspondence) School, and start working on "Big Top" over a 30 week period. I'll be expected to turn out 10 pages a week. Right now I'm doing 20 per. So there's that.

I'm overall happy with how it's turning out, but I'll be rewriting for quite some time to get this where it has to be.

OTHER NEWS TODAY - Check out "Kittens for Sale" which is up on Flashes in the Dark today. This one appeared on MicroHorror back in April, but I always felt like there was a couple places where it could be tighter. Unfortunately, I couldn't do that and keep it under 666. Not to say I didn't like the finished product, but the version at FitD is just a little cleaner.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Over the Peak and Down the Hill

Well, 30,000 words in. Now what?

I suppose there'll have to be a climax of some sort, but I'm damned if I know what that's going to be. I know what I'd like it to be, but I've been trying to keep everything within the realm of possibility here.

Here's a question to any and all - Antagonist is about to be convicted of assault, somehow is not behind bars (being tried as a minor), decides to kill protagonist who actually has nothing to do with the court case, shows up and fight ensues. The antagonist is decidedly unstable.

It's the plausibility that the ant. would be free to do all this that's worrying me. The motivations are my job, but I feel like by involving the law in this, I kind of have to play by some of the rules now.

Thoughts / comments would be greatly appreciated!



UPDATE - ACK. Possibly lost half a sub-chapter in translation. Suddenly there are more pressing issues than the continuation of the plot... where's the stuff I just wrote??? ARGHH!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Halfway there.

Well, just crossed the 25,000 word mark. This is officially the longest thing I've ever written.

We now have a love interest, and some horrible acts perpetrated by peers. I've just finished putting down the entire arc of events that had occurred to me at about the 10,000 word mark. I'm now back to "Your guess is as good as mine."

However, I've got some characters now, and I'm far enough in that maybe if I let them talk, the story will keep coming.

Fingers crossed,

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Progress - progress?

Rounding the bend on 18,000 words in the novel and I've discovered something. My earlier angst about it "going nowhere" is a direct side-effect of writing so much flash. I'd become completely accustomed to wrapping things up in a neat little package (which I'd have done 9 times over by now ...) Instead, it seems to be rolling along quite well under its own steam.

That said, just wrote a horrifying scene of assault. I always feel like an asshole when women get hurt in my stories (non-horror -- in the horror, everyone's fair game). Like someone's going to jump out of the bushes and say "Aha - I KNEW you were an evil misogynistic dick!"

But - the story is what it is, and more than one writer that I respect has passed along the wisdom that if you cheat the story, you cheat the reader. Another one says you know that you're on to something when you start making yourself feel uncomfortable. We'll see. Right now I've managed to write myself sombre.

So - change of subject quickly. Had the reading last night, it was great. I read "Ronnie Wilkins", "Make 'em Cheer" and "Something Different." (That last is a BLAST to read out loud.)

Back to the book. Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cheers for "Make 'em Cheer" !!

The MicroHorror Halloween Contest winners were announced today. "Make 'Em Cheer" is a winner! (see the official release here)

I'm thrilled. MH has quickly become one of my favourite sites, and not just because they occasionally publish my stuff. It's such a great collection of work by so many talented authors, all working within the constraints of 666 words. I'm happy to count myself as a loyal reader.

To have one of my stories (I entered about 6 times ...) win is just awesome.

Congratulations to all the other winners:

Kevin G. Bufton for A Letter From the Trenches
Oonah V Joslin for Smolensk–The Second Time
Brian Laing for The King’s Grave
Caroline Robinson for Samhain
Chris Yodice for First Train to Deadman

I thought all these stories were amazing, and was blown away by many of the other entries too. If you haven't yet, check them out, you won't be disappointed.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Public Reading - November 10

If anyone's in the Toronto, Ontario Area, I'll be doing a reading of my short story, "The Dirt on Ronnie Wilkins" (check it out online here), which won the 2008 Toronto Star Short Story contest. It's going to be at the Ralph Thornton Centre, located at 765 Queen St. East, Toronto, ON, M4M 1H3.

It begins at 7 p.m. and is hosted by "The Joy of Writing," which is the writing group I've been a part of for 2 years now, and it's where the story originated.

In other news - past the 8,000 word mark in "the book with no plot."

So far I've got a pretty good fight scene and rousing game of D & D. (really.)

... well, back at 'er.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"Troll" Update - 6,800 words and counting

So, I've been lucky that the well hasn't run dry yet. I've got some characters, and they're doing stuff, but I would say at this point that there is not yet a single plot thread that's going to carry this bugger through. There's a fun conceit I've got working, but we'll see what happens.

In other news - Rejection notice today on a humour piece called "Fire at the Mad-Lib Factory". If I can't find another home for it, I may make this my first piece to be self-published on this site.

Finally, I've placed my first "reprint", coming up online at the end of this month. "Kittens for Sale", currently up on Micro Horror, will be popping up elsewhere.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNoWriMo? Am I Crazy?

Today is the second of November. This makes it day 2 of "National Novel Writing Month" (NaNoWriMo).

As I've been finding at least 1/2 an hour to an hour a day to actually write - it's no joke that I've pretty much stopped watching TV, even when it's on - I've decided to give it a shot. 50,000 words in one month.

What this means in real terms is also a month-long hiatus from flash-writing as I push this big'un through. At last count (according to my invaluable submission-tracker over at Duotrope) I still have about 8 stories out in the ether, that may or may not find homes. If I hear anything on those, I'll pass on the where and what.

In the meantime, I'm just over 2,100 words in. The book is called "Troll." (so far.)

By the way, if anyone out there is also in on the fun, look me up. I've come up with the incredibly creative handle "chrisallinotte".

Wish me luck.

(Update - procrastinating already. And then, when I heard Nathan was extending the MH contest one more day ... we now have "Something Different." And now BACK to the book, really.)