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Shopping Sprees and Other Bad Habits

October 12, 2010

I went to the used bookstore yesterday.  I love that place, but it’s not quite what it used to be.  Not sure why, but their SF section seems like they washed it in hot water.  I used to be able to find lots of Writers of the Future volumes there, but this time I found only volume 3 and a best-of edition.  I bought both despite their not-quite-reduced-enough prices.  I also picked up the third Star Wars short story collection in Kevin J. Anderson’s brilliant idea series (listen to him talk sometime — like at the Superstars of Writing Seminar in Utah — and he’ll tell you all about how they happened), Tales of the Bounty Hunters.  I’ve been curious about his Mos Eisley/Jabba’s Palace/Bounty Hunter collection, so I was pleased to find one.  I also nabbed Neil Gaiman’s Stardust (cute movie, better than anticipated), the newest copy of Analog I could find (this past May)…and I think that’s it.  Maybe one other I can’t recall.  Nothing I was dying to own, but all stuff I was happy to add to my collection.  Just don’t tell my wife.

In other news, I finished my Codex Halloween Contest story in time to compete for no prize whatsoever.  I’m fairly pleased with it, even if it does meander a bit.  I’m hoping to get some insight from other members on how to tighten things up.  I can’t read their comments until I vote, however, and I still have 7 or 8 left to read.

As I was recently asked in a comment, “How is the novel going?”  The status bar has been telling the whole story…nowhere.  I’ve come to the realization that my characters are the type my daughter plays with, with the clothing you put on them by folding down the little tabs.  Remember those?  Yeah, they were made out of cardboard, too.  Thin cardboard.  I need to do some serious character discovery before going further.  

So now I’m going to take part in my favorite writer-hobby: novel jumping.  I’m much happier with the development in my Naked Man story which has recently revealed to me it must be novel length.  It’s a stand-alone novel set on another planet and focusing on a bizarre religious custom based on an actual Japanese custom.  I’ve decided to work on this one as opposed to the YA SF novel…or the old YA fantasy novel…or the military SF novel…or the SF sports novel…or the other fantasy novel…(wow, lots of irons in the mental fire)…because it’s the most like my WotF winner.  That’s pretty much it.  But the similarities are good.  Well-developed (at least mentally) milieu: society, planet, religion, and colony infrastructure are all pretty clear to me.  The story centers on a few multi-facetted characters while the stereotypes get pulled in as minor players.  The conflict grows in stages and builds to a very significant size, all while building the internal conflict in the protagonist.  The conflict will affect multiple areas of the protag’s life: job, girlfriend, mother, brother, religious beliefs, self-image, view of society, and all in different ways.  It’s a deep story that says a lot about my personal view of religion and health care in America while extrapolating it enough that even I have a hard time recognizing it.  It’s ambitious in a way that will stand out from other novels.  Whatever novel I finish first, I suspect this one will be my first sale.  So it gets my attention.  No more switching until it’s done.  Maybe.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2010 9:13 pm

    Write a novel already, geez 😉
    Hugs! Keep writing!

  2. Scott W. Baker permalink
    October 15, 2010 9:24 pm

    It’s like that is it? You picked up a new day job I don’t know about? *returns the same evil smile* Hugs back.

    • October 16, 2010 12:44 am

      well, been selling magic cards on ebay for a friend, which is sort of like a day job 😉

      a page a day will get you a novel in a year. Think about the elephant in small bites and you’ll be able to eat it 🙂
      (or go read someone like Jay Lake’s blog and feel lazy, that’s what I do. He has a day job AND cancer and still writes more than both of us combined…)

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