Four days to prove myself

on Friday, April 29, 2011
Ok, here's the plan.

Effulgent Corruption is about 6-8 chapters away from the end of Part 3. Then we get back to Drake. That is going to be amazing.

I wanted to be done by May with Part 3. But it looks like that might be...troublesome. Especially with Persona 3 FES sitting in my PS3's disc drive. And the fact I'm hanging with Chuck tomorrow night (and eating CULVERS! AW YEAH.)

However, I have a three day weekend since I don't work next Monday (replaced with working next Saturday, but w/e). That means I have a decent amount of time to write a lot.

So I'm going to try it. I will also report when I write a lot up here.

I'd bribe myself with presents, but I already bought myself a bunch of crap for other stuff (Kinect, new Netbook, new...tire for my car. Ok that one doesn't count) and my tax return is rapidly disappearing, so...I'll just have to go with a feeling of competent self-satisfaction for a job well done.

Because that's always worked before.



Anyway, I will post QUOTES and UPDATES periodically. Goal tonight is to write a chapter and a half. Yesterday I wrote an entire chapter in an hour and a half, so it certainly would be possible if I remain focused.

Also my wife pointed out an important edit in the chapter before last that I probably should address before I forget it. So I have that to do as well.

LIFE. Isn't mine exciting?

And here's a massive quote from what I wrote yesterday, because I've been lazy about that.

Rook withheld stepping from the wagon until one of Vandel’s friends took him by the hand and lead him to the ground. One handed him a small cane, to which Rook smiled and thanked the man. He stood patiently as they unloaded the Marked from the back of the wagon, trying his best to not think of them.
“You want to kill them, just embrace it,” Grax leapt down from his perch to land next to Rook. He wore Vandel’s attire now: a dark brown cloak with light leather armor beneath, though Rook noted the gangrene necklace was absent from the outfit. “It’ll be easier than claiming you don’t have the desire at all, and will make you quicker to the killing should the need arise.”
“I am not risking it,” Rook whispered, careful the Saints couldn’t hear him over the clatter the Marked were making. “You have enough control as it is.”
“Ah yes, your adorable story,” Grax gave a long hack, spitting into the Marked’s cage. “I never knew you thought of me as a friend, Rook. I guess I’ve been treating you too softly these past several years.”
“You died in my story, if you recall,” Rook responded, watching the last of the Marked as they lurched from their cage. “Perhaps that will better your understanding of my opinion of you.”
Grax shrugged. “I’ve been dead for over two centuries. This is hardly a startling revelation.”

- Effulgent Corruption, "Blind"

Flat Tire, Kinect, Persona 3, Slowly but Surely

on Thursday, April 28, 2011
Daily updates have failed because I only have time to update from work. But here is what's been going on in my life (this also might not be writing related. You'll survive).

- Got a massively bad flat tire on the way to work today, where after driving just about a mile on it without knowing the tire shredded. So it needs to be replaced. There was a nail embedded in the side of it which wasn't there when I pulled out of the driveway. Weird. At least it isn't too expensive to swap one tire on a small care.

- We bought a Kinect for atrociously cheap, cheap enough that it would be a "let's see if this thing is cool" buy rather than a "I really want this product so badly!" buy. Yep, we are masters of finance. Hey, our tax return was...large and in charge, so we can splurge a little.

- I'm playing Persona 3: FES, which is basically just a better version of Persona 3. This is all GiantBomb (my favorite gaming website)'s fault, because they did an "Endurance Run" of Persona 4 (meaning they recorded themselves playing every minute of this 100 hour game with commentary), and I the game looked really awesome, so I played 3. It' crack. It's extremely Japanese (and those who know me know I can be a bit jaded towards Japanese culture...though I do know a considerable amount about it from my "otaku" phase pre-mission) but is quite well crafted. Basically it's a mix between a grind-fest RPG, pokemon creature collection and breeding, and a high school management/dating sim. Really. And it all integrates together very well, making it...very addicting. If you have a PS2, I recommend checking it out; you can grab it off amazon for only $20.

- Effulgent Corruption is plodding along, and I mean plodding. I haven't been exceptionally motivated to write a lot since I started work, meaning about 2k a day is all. At this rate I'll never finish it, which is bad (note: "never finish" in that sentence actually means "not finish until like June"). I have Part 3 completely plotted (about 6-7 chapters left), I just need to actually sit down and churn it out. It's just been more "pulling teeth" writing recently rather than "I CAN'T STOP" writing, which is too bad. I'm going to try and avoid Persona 3 and write tons tonight and tomorrow in an attempt to get into the final phases of Part 3, then on Saturday I can finish the damn part 3 and then move on.

That's it from over here. Maybe I need a new batch of writing music...any recommendations? I usually listen to video game soundtracks as they tend to 1. Not have words/singing 2. Be exciting enough without being overwhelming. Specifically I enjoy The Witcher, Rise of the Argonauts, and the Trine soundtrack. If anybody has any other ideas, throw 'em over (usually RPG soundtracks work best as well)

Daily Blog Updates: I told you they'd suck

on Friday, April 22, 2011
Didn't write last night, had an Xbox/Halo party with friends. Whoops!

So your blog post is this: there is no blog post.

Proceed to party/rage accordingly.

Effulgent Corruption and Daily Blog Updates

on Thursday, April 21, 2011
I'm going to try and do better blog updating, if only to say "here's your dumb post." So now you have more of me in your life, except the more of me might be crap.

Hey, you win some you lose some.

Effulgent Corruption is still going at a reasonable clip. I am forcing myself a minimum of 2k a day, but I'm hoping that'll jump up once I get into a better plotted section of Part 3. I'm also going to try to finish Part 3 by the end of April at the very latest (end of the week might be a better goal, but it has a lot left), and then the rest of the parts will be May and (maybe) June.

After that I'll go back and do minor plot error edits (nothing substantial) and a trim edit, which I'm actually looking forward to. Then it'll go out to whoever wants it and then sit for a while while I write Steelgods or something to relax.

This book is totally ruining my "5 books in 2011" goal, but I'm still shooting for it. Now it's more a "3 books before Worldcon" goal, which seems much more doable.

Aside from that, not much. My magical present was indeed a Dell Mini 10v Netbook, which I Hackentoshed (it only took like four reformats before I got it working) to get Snow Leopard running. It's a great machine; if you are looking for a writing netbook I highly recommend it. Unlike most netbooks, this one's keyboard is 90% the size of a regular keyboard, meaning it's very comfortable to type on. It is also small but not tiny and has a big HDD. I'm really digging it, and write on it even more than my regular computer. The fact I got it for like 50% off the already super-cheap "used" price is just icing.

I'll post pictures with it eventually, maybe with some EC on it to prove the point.

Not having writing group anymore is killing my motivation, but I'll survive. Stupid seasonal friends. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. :P

Keep it real.

Effulgent Corruption - Present is in production

on Thursday, April 14, 2011
So I know you are all wondering about what my mystery present was from last post. All like...four of you.
Well I got it but it unfortunately isn't photogenic yet; I managed to "break" it twice last night and so I'm running a third attempt. Just know it is totally writing related and (when I get it to work) will be totally amazing.
I have been failing hard at writing a lot. I'm actually not really in a rut, more that I'm out of the habit, which is just as bad. The combination of work and a sudden influx of Xbox game sales (yes, that is the actual reason) basically ate away all my evening time. The good news is that I beat a bunch of games! Yay!
Yeah, that's not anything to celebrate. Hush.
On a more writing/positive note, walks with my wife to plot things have once again resumed (yay!). I actually had to get a general idea of this section before writing, which is weird because usually I can just bludgeon my way through. I think I'm finally finding a balance of planning and discovery that works well for me, because more often than not before I'd plan chunks, then when I hit the transitions to the next chunk things...sucked.
So I have literally no excuses now to not churn out 5-6k a day save laziness and incompetence. So I'd better get on that (I did get 4k out Tuesday, though).
Expect pictures of the thing I bought hopefully tonight in full working condition. Or expect more cussing from me when the thing inexplicably stops working and I have to start over again.

Effulgent Corruption - Getting beaten over the face

on Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I'm still struggling with writing, not because it is bad or not plotted, but rather because work and life have been exceptionally busy of late. Because of this I actually missed writing yesterday (is kicking self over this) but I'll make up for it tonight.
I have planned basically the rest of this part, however. For those wanting a deeper look into my head: I have three viewpoint characters, each with two parts. During these parts the viewpoint never shifts, and until the end the three characters never really meet (though they are in the same world and some of their choices/actions affect the others).
My goal with each part is to tell a self-contained story that is both interesting in and of itself, rather than simply a device to move the plot for another, "more interesting" character. For example, Ciara's story, while directly tied with Drake's, needs to have its own interesting points that merit her being a viewpoint character while still supporting the overarching novel. I don't want any part to be weaker than the other, because then the character will be weaker and will be seen more as a plot device than a legitimate person.

I am wary of this for two reasons.

1. Many books that have the "three viewpoint split" often have one that is throwaway. Not to pick on Elantris because I love the book to death, but Sarene ended up seeming completely unimportant to the huge, overarching adventure that happened. She had influence and was interesting, but looking back nothing she did dramatically affected the main plot like the other two viewpoint characters (Hrathen and Raoden). Elantris isn't the exception either; most stories that split viewpoints over two usually use the others only to advance the plot for others, the "third wheel" so frequently spoken of. I am trying to avoid this at all costs.

2. Every character is a hero in their own story. Everyone always says this, but sometimes I don't see it applied as much as I would like. I want every character, even the ones who are horrible, awful people (aka Rook) to be sympathetic, interesting, and the reader to want their goals accomplished. In many book we focus on one character who is the hero; this isn't how it is in real life. Heroes of often supported by others just as heroic, and rarely do people do things "just because" to advance the "plot" of their life (or for someone else's life to be more interesting). All three of these characters need to have interesting stories, and these stories just so happen to intersect perfectly to work and make a compelling plot.

I have this issue because I started the book with only Drake's story. It wasn't until I decided on this "three VPs, two parts per VP, no crossing" that I realized that the other two need to actually be interesting and compelling. I feel it a duty as a writer to have each part be compelling and interesting in its own way, enough so that if I ask which is a favorite they'll have to pause and think a moment. For example, Drake's is a prison break story and a tale of revenge. Ciara's could be a mixture between coming of age and politics. Rook's is a bounty hunter who might also be totally insane trying to unravel an underground organization.

I really, really like this book. I know I'm tooting my own horn here, but the fact that there is so much gray and everything intersects so well just tickles me pink. I'm a huge fan of books that 1. Pull all the twists and ideas together in clever ways 2. Don't have an obvious "good" and "bad." Effulgent Corruption, in my eyes, is where my books are finally growing up. Everything up until this point has been nice, but it hasn't really...knit together in the exceptional level I find in the best fantasy novels. My goal with EC is to do just that: make everything work, fit perfectly together, and still provide a compelling and interesting story.

This is a ramble, so I apologize for forcing you to partake in my self-loving indulgences. I just need to be more excited about writing, and stop worrying about messing it up. :P

Lastly, I'm almost certain Effulgent Corruption will merit a sequel, or even a series of novels (assuming someone decides to buy it). The ending (well, the planned one) both closes the current threads and opens up new cans of worms that need to be addressed later. We'll see.

That's all from me for now. Expect more writing and less whining in the future.

P.S. I bought a special present for myself that might also motivate writing, but I'm not going to say what it is. I'll take pictures, though, once I have it all straightened out. :P

Effulgent Corruption: Part 3 won't behave

on Monday, April 4, 2011
I'm struggling with Part 3. Despite being excited about it, I'm having the same issue I had with Part 1 way back last July: I'm not identifying with the viewpoint character. It's a common problem, one I often have because I discovery write and therefore don't know the intricacies of my characters until after a passage of time, but leads to frustration.
Aside from that, I'm managing a measly 1k a day, which is something but hardly enough to suit me. I've brainstormed well with my wife and pretty much have this whole section in my head, it just comes to writing it and making so it isn't awful.
This is also the last week of Sanderson writing group, which is too bad. Here's hoping the group will continue submitting/reading instead of falling off the face of the planet. :P
Once I finish Part 3 I'm technically going to be over half way done. I'm doing some basic plotting of the next parts, but it will be substantially shorter than the first couple. I'm excited for both all the reveals and all the crazy stuff that will happen, put in to intentionally piss my readers off. We'll see how that goes.
Steelgods edit has been sluggish, but I'm considering submitting it to a variety of people while still editing. Can't hurt, right?
That's all from over here. Playing Pokemon. My team is the destroyer of worlds.