Tuesday, December 15, 2009
More or less...
I finished NANO, and then went through a week of nought - meaning I did absolutely nothing worth mentioning in a literal and writing sense. I've been going over my budget and writing up Christmas lists - and checking both twice.
Then starting this past weekend, I started my Christmas shopping. First it is window shopping, and now I have money to spend, it's buying presents. And happily I'm staying within my budget. Squee!
Ahem. On a less mundane front!
I picked up a new writing project. This is a supersecret one that I've been thinking about for a while. It's based in the same world of another supersecret project, both which will shy away from the real world until summer I think. At least I hope to have them done by then. These are both YA fantasy novels of the same type as my NSAM and MQTRTDTP projects (two old favorites), except they are a bit more between the urban fantasy world and epic fantasy world. I realized that some agents may be looking for something like Harry Potter or Twilight - not the plot, but the semi-real world setting - and I took that tip and picked up this new world.
I'm also working a little bit on Marbles, though I'm treading very carefully on that one. I really don't want to mess it up. It needs a lot of editing and revision work still, but I know it has the right feel.
My nano - I put aside until I have time to pick it up. I want to gather more ideas before starting again. It needs to simmer on the backburner for a while.
Christmas vacation is coming up in three days. HURRAY. If I don't get too buried by baking, shopping, visiting, sleeping, eating - heh, I may take one of the above projects (not nano) and surge ahead. I hope.
I was going to describe some people as villain or Wormtongue type fodder inspiration, but realized that it wouldn't be very kind or polite - even if I'm confident that the two characters I wanted to mock were not very likely to find my blog (they think novels and novel-writing is the work of the devil).
Instead I'm going to broadbrush this and say something that I know we have all heard: if you are at a loss when it comes to building a believable bad guy without resorting to cliches and borrowed traits, open your eyes and watch and listen to people around you.
Even the best of people show their faulty side on occasion - and they are all the more dangerous, because they have the trust and good opinion of people around them. People would find it most difficult to believe that 'wonderful x' could be capable of such VILE behavior. The wormtongue types too, whatever else you feel (disgust, annoyance), you feel somewhat guilty picking on them, because you wonder if they are 'children' or have a mental problem which causes them to behave in such an odd or paranoid way.
The best characters in the world are those that have a human base - whether they are based on somebody the author knows personally or somebody the author imagined based on research into the character (bios of Marie Antoinette, for example), people in the news (criminals like Knox out in Italy, the girl who murdered her roommate), even people that the author only knows a bit about (like people you meet on online forums).
Keep in mind I heard about a case somewhere about a woman who sued an author for writing her into one of his/her books - and she won!
While you borrow from real life people that you may know, for goodness sakes! Don't put those people in any recognizable fashion into your books.
When writing accents and such, be aware of the thin line between gimick and worldbuilding.
A proper accent can definitely put a reader right there in a setting and help them see and hear everything.
Too much of a proper accent can also make a book unreadable for somebody who doesn't want to muddle through pages and pages of mangled words.
As noted by the pic way above, that is about all I'm MAINLY thinking about this moment, when I'm not thinking about writing. :P
I may do more posts during the next couple weeks, or it might be as skimpy as it has been the last month and a half.
If you are following the blog or peeking in - thank you and welcome!!!
If you follow me, I'll be sure to follow you back (as long as your blog isn't something... ooky or creepy), and I'll keep an eye on you - in a nicest way possible, of course.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays <- I should post before then, but you never know in case I get VERY BUSY.
I hope and pray the holidays find you safe, warm, and happy with your loved ones at home. If this has been a bad year for you, ah, you are not alone. I'm sure I'm not going to be the only one gleefully cheering the banishment and death of 2010. Horrible year that it's been. Speaking to friends at work and on the road, everyone has high hopes for the year to come. May it be.