Reviewing the Situation (again)

So the (metaphorical) shoe has dropped in the Land of Exposition – an unexpected hurricane of quasi-epic proportions, leaving (almost) everything in a state of disarray, disorientation and disbelief.

The recent bout of instability and uncertainty stemming from the influence/presence of the Real Life Brigade has led to another prolonged session of contemplation, plotting and pondering what will happen next and how to restore things back to normal (or as close to normal). It might seem as if the perpetual cycle of plotting and pondering is a product of procrastination (and acute alliteration) – I will admit sometimes it is, and sometimes it’s not; the overabundance of plot ideas, character studies and narrative arcs is overly overwhelming (and that’s only taking into consideration the sprawling epic saga that is the MASC Chronicles, which remains a vague fog of mystery for various reasons). The skirmishes from the Real Life Brigade, and dealing with the fallout has its toll on the morale of the Plot Bunnies and Muses and diverts their attention and ability to focus on the task at hand.

Then again, transcribing the Reports from the Land of Exposition and extracting the quasi-rambling musings counts as a kind of storytelling (even though they aren’t exactly the stories I formulated all those years ago) and maybe in a way I’m writing a quasi-cohesive narrative in real time). After all, the objective of this blog is to chronicle the journey of writing the Story, and thus far, I’ve adhered to the self-imposed task of writing something on a weekly basis, even if it’s quasi-rambling musings written with a host of (near) run-on sentences and geeky pop culture references. I know I’ve mention this numerous times in other entries – it still remains a [hollow?] point of pride that I’ve rambled on (and rarely edited) what has been written within this blog every week, usually written within an hour (or so).

Containing the chaos and confusion created by the Real Life Brigade is (almost) a full time job for the Muses and Plot Bunnies, leaving little time (if any) to concentrate and contemplate the existing narrative and notes contained the Mainframe Database and the Vault

Eventually actual!writing, plotting and pondering about the MASC Chronicles and the other (non-meta) works in progress will make a triumphant comeback return.

Updates on the State of the Land of Exposition

  • The aroma of bacon still lingers in the air, while the smell of maple syrup has vanished completely. Bouts of confusion ensue; nothing makes sense anymore.
  • The remaining relatively sane plot bunnies have issued color coded messages to the wayward Muses asking for help. The conga-infected plot bunnies have been quarantined to a sound proof room.
  • The Real Life Brigade delegates remain hidden in their Ivory-colored tower, reveling in their handiwork and contemplating their next nefarious notion of nonsense.

It seems bursts of alliteration are a symptom of the singular sensation of the simple yet sinister situation within the Land of Exposition.

That’s about all for now.

Onward and… something.

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Camp NaNoWritMo [Summer 2015] Update #4

It’s down to the final few days for this Camp NaNoWritMo session, and (not surprisingly) I’m nowhere near reaching the (self-assigned) word count to “win”. Real Life things have cropped up, which (in the grand scheme of things) take precedence, and will definitely require my full attention – though that doesn’t necessarily mean that the plotting, pondering and (gasp!) actual!writing will cease. In the immediate future, there will (most likely) be intermittent hiatuses with the actual!writing, and the plotting and pondering will always be a never-ending, complex occurrence. As for 50 Shades of Sunset, the odds of the story leaving my (cluttered) brain space and onto a Word document are most certainly not in my favor, but compared to my previous Camp NaNoWritMo efforts, I’ve actually!written (with little to no editing) more this time ’round.

So that’s a quasi-victory in and of itself.

While this month’s efforts have been sporadic, and prone to unexpected giggle fits, it’s also been quasi refreshing to focus the Muses, plot bunnies and other writing entities on a story unrelated to my various works in progress. It’s afforded me some distance from those works, though I’m sure a few of the aforementioned Muses have secluded themselves in an undisclosed location within the Land of Exposition to plot and ponder about the various narrative arcs within the MASC Chronicles. Considering all the moving parts (narrative arc, characters, etc.) within that series saga, it’s a wonder how my mind hasn’t wandered to that part of the forest this month. I suppose it’s a testament to my (quasi) promise to my fellow Camp NaNoWritMo participant (who has already “won”) to adhere to some of the “rules” set forth shortly before this Camp NaNoWritMo session, one of which was to actually!write an original story unrelated to the various works in progress (a “rule” she almost immediately “broke”, though I failed to adhere to the subsequent “rules” of not keeping up with the recommended daily word count quota and refraining from editing whilst I write).

Anyway.

Six days left until month’s end and a good portion of the narrative is quasi-written in my head, stuck somewhere between there and my fingertips. What’s been written thus far has been rambling and expository, which will undoubtedly be relegated to the “deleted scenes” portion of the story (if I ever get around to actually!writing this fan fiction quasi-parody.

Whether or not I will continue to work on this story beyond these next six days is questionable, as my works in progress have been on their (partial) summer hiatus and no doubt would want my full attention. Then again, I can easily add this to the (ever increasing) list of works in progress and figure out how to juggle all these stories.

Total Word Count (thus far): 1,242 (out of 10,086).

Plotting A Fine Romance

So by this time next week, the annual writing challenge that is NaNoWritMo (National Novel Writing Month) will have started, and tens of thousands (maybe I’m exaggerating that number, or maybe not) of writers – newbies, seasoned veterans and everyone else in between – will spend their time working toward the daily word count quota, determined to extract 50,000 word novel within 30 days. I’ve attempted NaNoWritMo twice, and have spectacularly failed both times (though a good amount of plot bunnies and other ideas have emerged from both experiences). I’ve documented my (lack of) progress in this blog, and I will continue to do so, with the hope of officially logging in a higher word count than before [I’ve quasi-given up on the notion of actually “winning” – writing the mandatory 50,000 words – as the odds of that happening have been, and won’t be in my favor].

This year, however, I’ve added (of my own free will) an additional challenge to this year’s attempt, as a way to think inside the box (as, everyone knows, it’s always bigger on the inside) and to (hopefully) improve my writing craft. I’ve mentioned this in previous blog entries, but I’ll repeat it again – the [optional] challenge is to write a story in a genre that is outside the writer’s comfort zone. Two other writers, both NaNoWritMo participants, (so far) have agreed to this challenge, so it should prove to be an interesting month of writing. Interestingly, the out-of-comfort-zone genre for the two aforementioned writers is the genre in which I’m most comfortable writing – mystery – and my out-of-comfort-zone genre is the genre in which they predominantly write:

Romance.

I’m not particularly fond of the romance genre, whether it be in literature, film, TV or other media – I’ve always found them to be formulaic, cliché, and ultimately, predictable. Moreover, I get annoyed when a love subplot (or worse yet, a love angle) is quasi-randomly inserted into or unnecessarily emphasized, ruining the plot – the film Pearl Harbor would have been better without the love story (but that’s only my opinion). I kinda get that romance is a highly profitable and popular genre with the general public, but it’s never been my cup of coffee (or tea, depending on my mood). Having said that, there are exceptions to my apparent aversion to romantic tales (namely if there are British actors involved in the film or TV show, or if the literary series has a romance that is not super saccharine or contrived).

I suppose I’ve become overly cynical about love and romance, though there is not particular reason why this is the case, as I haven’t suffered a heartbreak or anything of that sort – love and romance just haven’t been a top priority for me (if anything, I’ve been oblivious to any kind of romantic signals, so odds are I may have just missed out on the possibility of love and romance in my life).

Anyway.

Last week (I think), I quasi-vaguely listed possible options for this free form romance novel, and my plot bunnies have been sequestered in their own Mind Palace (which resembles a Hobbit hole) to see what they can do to help the process along. I suppose I have the next few days to figure out whether this [Untitled Love Story] will fit somewhere in my series saga or end up as a stand alone novel.

Either way, it’ll be an interesting NaNoWritMo. I’m curious how this twist will turn out.

TTFN!

Writing Dialogue

Throughout this blog, I’ve touched upon several aspects of my writing process – from creating characters and developing narrative arcs to discussing influences and inspiration (and distractions). It has occurred to me that I have yet to expound on one of the most critical components to a story, regardless of genre or length.

Dialogue.

I’m rather an introverted person (as anyone who knows me can attest)  – if I’m ever among a crowd of people (and that’s a rare occasion in and of itself) I’m often the one standing off to the side listening to other people’s conversations and generally observing those around me – I don’t really like to talk too much and usually feel awkward in social settings.

[Brief disclaimer to those who do know me well – a huge exception to the aforementioned reticence to interact and converse with others is whenever I am at theatre-related occasions, whether it be waiting at the lobby or the stage door of a theater or waiting in line at a CD signing. Those are the times when I will strike up a conversation with whomever is around me – I’ve met a good deal of friends that way, discussing similar interests and shared experiences. ]

Anyway.

Writing dialogue has never been my strong suit, as I tend to be more comfortable describing locations and situations, and conveying inner monologues for my characters. I’m not so sure why this is the case, though it might stem from my introverted nature (I’m not a psychiatrist) and my reticence to speak out loud; I have little problem “conversing” via email or Facebook messaging, or (for that matter) blogging, which is somewhat akin to dialogue albeit written and not spoken, so it’s more like narration than actual conversation. Though this is not to say that I have not ever written any dialogue – after all, I have in my archives an unfinished novel (which is soon to be revised and inserted somewhere in the MASC Chronicles) and several short stories (both on paper and in Word documents) that contain some dialogue, as well as my current works in progress.

It’s just that much of the dialogue that I had written comes across (at least to me) as being highly melodramatic (and almost Victorian) and somewhat unbelievable [I “blame” my years of watching General Hospital for my apparent tendency to have my characters recite such melodramatic conversations, and some of my more outlandish plot ideas].

In an attempt to (sort of ) remedy this situation, I’ve decided to participate in a writing exercise posted in one of the Facebook writing groups, and write my entry using only dialogue. I’m not sure how this will turn out, but it’ll test my ability to write more plausible dialogue; also, as an added challenge to myself, I’m just going to write whatever comes to mind, without plotting out the narrative or the characters beforehand (though I have caught myself being “distracted” into casting some of my existing characters into this writing exercise).

This should be interesting – perhaps one of these days I’ll post an excerpt here, though (introverted as I am) I’m not quite at that stage yet.

One day.

Someday.