Saturday, February 19, 2011

NaNoEdMo: The Spanner RePlanner, or The Ream of Editing Notes

Sorry, fellow FAWMers, but I've been distracted. Spanner's been occupying my muse lately, even in the face of my WriMo Burnout back in JanNoWriMo.

What's been occupying me this month instead of songs? A huge new set of editing notes I'm calling the Spanner RePlanner. NaNoEdMo is coming, and the muse is determined to get a head start on it.

I've found myself unable to complete Chapters 22 and 23, leaving their first drafts still fragmentary. That's because the Spanner I've written so far has been a first draft. Sure, it's the best first draft I've ever written. But even though the writing may be awesome for a first draft, first drafts by definition still suck. And so the events of Chapters 22 and 23 remain orphans, unforeshadowed. And that's why I can't finish them until EdMo.

Here's what I did:
  1. I neglected certain very important characters.
  2. I left other characters out entirely.
  3. I neglected various important plotlines; some I left hanging.
  4. I wrote certain scenes without knowing that they were even part of important storylines at all.
  5. I left out important themes and gave others far less urgency than they deserve.
For example, here's two storylines that should be important throughout Book 1 but only got one chapter apiece:
  1. The big Corporate shindig in Chapter 1 (which I fused with the 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial), which serves as Spanner's "Spectacular Entrance". But though Spanner appears later, not a single scene follows it up in any later chapter of the first draft.
  2. The general strike during the election in Chapter 23. There's no lead-up to the strike itself, and very little to the election.

And thus the RePlanner. It includes the original writing notes I wrote for JulNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo. I'll be using it to rework the first draft's plot and put in what I left out. Of course, I'll have to kill some of my "darlings" and remove various scenes, and perhaps even entire plotlines, that are far less important. The result is that the plot will finally be the equal of the style. I'll have something publishable at last.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Our Cyberpunk World: LED Eyelashes

The article: New Beauty Product LED Eyelash

Here's the newest fad in tech-mad Japan: LED fake eyelashes! You can even use it as a weapon.

Here's a demonstration by the inventor, Soomi Park:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

NaNoEdMo: The Second Draft of Spanner Book 1

I look back at the 21 chapters of Spanner to see how it's turned out so far, and I can't help but notice that certain plotlines should be foregrounded and certain characters are more major than I've written them. I even left out a few characters (Minty Fresh, I'm looking at you).

Maybe that's why I burned out in the middle of JanNoWriMo. I didn't reach the finish line (i.e., the end of Chapter 23) before the dreaded Inner Editor overtook me.

As good as I've written it, the Spanner I've written so far is still just a first draft.

Now NaNoEdMo is coming next month, and my muse has come to life at last. Now I have a small but fast-growing stack of revision notes I'm calling the "Spanner RePlanner". Already I'm directing myself to change "Dorian" to "Charmian" in the bus scene (Dorian/Charmian's first appearance), and relocating Minty's one scene in the first draft to an earlier chapter. There will be new scenes to clarify and/or motivate important scenes and plotlines. At least one character will have a jailbroken iPhone Nano running MeeGo. (Would that be Willa or J.T.? I haven't decided.)

So far I've spent enough time on the Spanner RePlanner notes for EdMo that it's been cutting into my FAWM songwriting time. But I think I have enough notes written by now, including those RePlanner notes I wrote before last year's JulNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo, that I can rely on those, get back to songwriting while there's still time during FAWM, and then return to them once FAWM ends and EdMo begins.

Judging just from what I've written so far, including the incomplete parts of Chapters 22 and 23, it looks like it'll end up being awesome. And that's just Book 1...

Note: I have a new release schedule for Chapters 22 and 23. I'll post them the week of February 28: Chapter 22 ("There Is No Law") on the Monday the 28th, and Chapter 23 ("Black Panic in the Suites") on Friday, March 4.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WriMo Burnout Strikes Again

You may be wondering why Spanner chapters 22 and 23 never came out. I can sum up the reason in two words:

WriMo Burnout.

I've experienced this malady before. Back in 2008, starting on the first day of AugNoWriMo, I suffered it so long that I nearly failed to even start NaNoWriMo. Fortunately, this time it only lasted two weeks. What brought me back was this little keyboard I just got at Goodwill. That got me back into FAWM after skipping the first week.

I'm now recovered from my latest bout of WriMo Burnout. However, it hit me in the middle of JanNoWriMo and robbed me of the victory, even keeping me from finishing the last two chapters of Spanner Book 1 and the first draft of Book 2. I'll get that done this month and during NaNoEdMo next month.

Now to pick up where I left off last month...