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The Jerk Store Called
They're running out of you.
25th-Nov-2010 01:47 am
travelling, stony

I finally hit the green today! Best feeling ever!

(I got sick of the plain background behind the status bar. Hence the addition of clouds.)

This margin of success was very recent in coming. For the first 22 days of November, it was pretty slow and plodding. At the end of Monday, I had successfully edited up to page 109 of 301.
Tuesday, the partner was off on a double shift -- I avoided all social/work engagements and made it a day of coffee and complete and utter isolation. At the end of the day: 182 of 307 pages.
Today, while I didn't quite achieve yesterday's success, I am ending the day with a respectable 210/312.

(The rising page count is a result of the few tiny sections throughout that hadn't been written. It's all getting written now! ALL OF IT.)

As I was locked away with the novel today a lot of things came into my head that I decided to write down. You did not ask to read these things. Here they are anyway.

-The biggest challenge with what I'm writing right this second: How do I convey the dialogue of a woman that's constantly shouting without turning my story into a Kevin Wong novel?

-And, all right, seriously. I know a lot of editors who are against the exclamation mark, but how am I going to write a heated mother-son yelling argument without it?!

-Never mind the argument excuse. Let's be honest. This whole story is fucking peppered with exclamation marks.

-So, one of the story's key characters is named London. He's missing an eye. I just edited the chapter about it.

Eye of London.

I'm a fucking idiot.

-Re: Me being a fucking idiot:
This one time, I wanted to name this crowded residential street in the poverty-stricken part of my main character's home city. I knew it had to be called "(Something) Row." I wracked my brain for a while until it spit out "Cannery." "Cannery Row." Sounds good.

It took me 3 weeks to figure out what was wrong with that.

-These people live in a world whose technological advancements probably make it equivalent to the early 1800s, by our reckoning.That said, is it super inappropriate (language-wise) if one of my characters tells another to "keep it in your pants"?

-Pretty much my main character's favourite thing to do ever is to go "PFFFFFF!!" at things that other people say. How do you describe this in words?!? I generally describe it as a snort, but it doesn't feel quite right...

-"I said enough with the tomfoolery, Darvish."
This is an old sentence made me laugh aloud when I read it. In part, because tomfoolery is a hilarious word, but especially in conjunction with the name Darvish.

It's a name that my partner once spat out when I absently asked him this girly, hypothetical question: what baby names does he think are nice?
His general response to this girly question: make up horrible names, ostensibly to discourage me from constantly thinking about babies. (For example, he keeps insisting that his first son will be named "Skrud.")
On one occasion, we had this conversation-

N: All right, fine. What else, other than Skrud?
D: Darvish.
N: ...What else?
D: Darvish!
N: ...What about for a girl?

When I had to name an unimportant background character for this story a while back, the first thing that came to mind was Darvish and I inserted it there.

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that Darvish has since developed into a crucially important and slightly sinister presence in the side characters of this book. Still, every time his name comes up I giggle. Sigh. Maybe I should change it after all.

-Part 3 chapter 6 is a total re-hash of some backstory stuff that I wrote, supposedly occurring way before the main storyline. And I totally love it. Reading it makes me smile and nod. This -- nestled amongst the many moments of total shit -- is what writing this stuff is all about! AM I RIGHT!

102 pages left to edit.
(+ what's to be written, though it will hopefully be pretty balanced by what's to be cut)

Then I do one final, master edit -- which will feature me reading the whole stupid goddamned thing to myself aloud.

Oh god.

SO OKAY HOW ABOUT YOU??? Update me, you lovely people!
25th-Nov-2010 07:51 am (UTC)
Glad that you're making it this far. Hope you'll be able to finish.
26th-Nov-2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the encouragement, Nick!

At this point, having come this far, it'd be impossible NOT to finish...
The only question now is whether the finished product will even be any good!? :|
25th-Nov-2010 09:01 pm (UTC)
ADDING CLOUDS IS CHEATING. Good work. That is an amazing burst of productivity you've got going there.

Yeah, exclamation points, yeah. I know the rules, but it is difficult to follow them sometimes. OTOH aren't you supposed to learn the rules so you can break them well? This is the excuse I choose to use, anyway.

See, possibly you are confusing "fucking idiot" with "genius." Easy to do. Granted, it's a good thing you caught "Cannery Row" in time, but "Eye of London" is one of those things that a fan can post about in a comm someday, so everyone else can go "HOLY SHIT HOW DID I MISS THAT." And I can just sit back and feel smug.

I think it is always perfectly appropriate--nay, vital--to have a character say, "Keep it in your pants." I am also probably not the person you want to ask about this, however.

Been trying to think of a way to describe "PFFFFFF!!" basically forever. "Snort" is close, except that is a nose sound, not a sharp, derisive exhalation through the lips sound. Oh, well. SOMEDAY.

"Skrud and Darvish" sounds like a British cartoon.

And I totally love it. Reading it makes me smile and nod. This -- nestled amongst the many moments of total shit -- is what writing this stuff is all about! AM I RIGHT!

I like to think so. ツb
26th-Nov-2010 03:59 pm (UTC)

2) Right? RIGHT??? That's what I think. If you don't occasionally throw down some exclamation marks... then what? You'll probably end up with young-adult-fantasy-novel-adult-syndrome instead...
("She said angrily" / "He said coldly" / "loudly" / "violently" / "ferociously" / ETC. IS THAT WHAT WE WANT?!?!)

3) Thanks for re-casting my idiocy as genius. Much appreciated! And helpful, since at this point along in the story it looks like London's eye is here to stay. Sigh..... I mean, yes. THAT WAS MY PLAN ALL ALONG.

4) That's exactly what I thought when I wrote "keep it in your pants" -- then I realized that I'm probably not the best person for me to ask, either. Oh well. Two against none! Keep it in your pants is a go!

5) Dear universe: Please make "Skrud & Darvish" the cartoon.

6) Good luck in the dash that is the rest of November! Hope your work's coming along well too.

(OH PS: I'm not doing actual NaNoWriMo this year, of course, so my profile currently sports a depressing "0 WORDS WRITTEN" slapped across the top, but..... anyway................ let's be nanobuddies???
For future years -- nothing like watching the rising stats of others to get you panicked and working! :)
26th-Nov-2010 04:07 pm (UTC)
And, oops, I missed one!

7) I also occasionally describe the "PFFT" as a scoff? But that's not quite it either. Oh well! One day technology will invent sound-novels and then all of this will be history...
27th-Nov-2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
2) Oh man, or just as bad (worse?), all those alternative dialogue tags. "He declared," "she affirmed," "retorted," "snapped," "quipped," "retaliated," etc. So yeah, I definitely prefer a few exclamation points in dialogue. Exclamation points in prose, well, that may be another thing again. (In re: the Fitzgerald quotation below, I think at this point, quotation mark abuse is the new laughing at your own joke. Besides, Maxwell Perkins needed to drag Fitzgerald through his revisions kicking and screaming just to make his novels salable, so fuck him.)

3) I didn't recast nothing. I just helped to correct your faulty perspective.

7) Yeah, scoff is another one that sounds so right, and the definition is pretty close. I think it works.

That's one of the fun things about Japanese light novels, actually--you can put just about any onomatopoetic utterance in quotation marks and no one thinks anything of it.

(Well . . . maybe? I don't have a NaNo profile yet because I am notoriously bad about registering for just about anything. We'll see next year, I guess!)
25th-Nov-2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
Always google creations to make sure you created them I guess! It's like that time in Balderdash that I created a name for a date question and it turned out to be a real famous person... Ooops. But I agree that you should only change it if it is almost exactly or exactly like something else, not if it's an indirect and maybe interesting connection.

Also, I can see why it would be considered goofy to have narration in a book full of exclamation points and non-words, but why can't dialogues have "PFFFT!" in them if it helps get the point across?
26th-Nov-2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
I don't know if it's better or worse that I already knew about Cannery Row BEFORE I "thought of" it. So, it was just my brain recycling things that it knew. DAMN IT, BRAIN! Be original!

(When I found out, I changed Cannery Row to Cobblers Close... which I just Googled and found out is an actual place in England, though at least that is more of a coincidence and not me ripping the title off a novel by an author that I profess to love...
STILL, I've also since cut the character who lived on Cannery Row/Cobblers Close out of the story entirely, so WHO CARES)

But yeah. London's been named London for about 8 years now, and I don't see myself restoring his eye at this point either. Too bad! That part is there to stay!

And, well -- there's a bit of an assumption among a lot of editors, especially the more traditional ones, that using exclamation points is just not "correct." I tend to think that a lot of rules are waived in the realm of dialogue, though. You don't have to make everyone speak with perfect grammar -- why make them speak with perfect punctuation?! RIGHT

Famous quote: "An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke."
26th-Nov-2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
I probably heard that person's name before I "thought" of it, too. And what about just writing PFFFT?
26th-Nov-2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
I ended up doing that in some places -- some "snort"s, some "scoff"s, some written "Pfft!"s. Wherever it feels appropriate :)
26th-Nov-2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
10th-Jan-2011 12:02 pm (UTC) - Post Comment
Often write emoticons, and then all the way as seriously
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