katiefoolery: (Your life or your freedom)
This shall be a week of LorF.  Thus I have decreed and thus it shall be.  This may, in some small degree, be inspired by spending the last two days with LorFers and by reading over the last few episodes I wrote for said project.

Monday, I said last night, you and I are going to sort out some priorities in my life.  Shortly after saying this, I realised I'd be needing focus to join the party at some point, as I'd probably be needing to direct towards some of said priorities in the near future.  And yet, LorF's already a priority, even before I've reached the pivotal point of actually listing some.  Or any.  Why?

Because it's writing.

Because I'm doing this whole GYWO thing and it would be kinda nice if my word count moved to five digits soon.

Because it's awesomely fun.

Because it's a project shared with likewise awesomely fun people.

Because, because, because.

In aid of that, this week's fivedotnerds video will be dedicated to LorF.  But before that, I shall be inflicting upon you some of my favourite recent passages and lines from my own LorF with you here.

For those of you who have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL THIS LORF THING IS, here's a precis of sorts: it's a collaborative writing project, shared by over twenty writers (although based around a core of seven).  We asked the question: if your country was invaded and taken over by a powerful, foreign force, would you choose to live under their rule or to fight for your freedom?  Essentially, life or freedom?  Or, for the sake of laziness, LorF.  We choose a character and write their story.  Sometimes, they cross over.  There's so much information and history and characters and events and locations that we need a wiki to hold it all together.

We have fun.  We blow things up.  We write cliffhangers.  We create irritating mysteries around our characters.  It's incredibly fun.

Unfortunately, things like study and full-time work like to get in the way of it, so it's fallen off a bit lately.  I intend to pick my bit up again.

In aid of this, I read over some of my recent entries last night and just wanted to share some of my favourite pieces with you all.

First we have what I guess I'll the one-liners:
The air was hot; full of smoke and yet empty at the same time.  Oxygen was busily writing notes to the postman and preparing to be absent for a little while.

I find a friend in darkness, says my mind, which is just great. Darkness, I feel like saying. It’s been so long.  What have you been up to?

But I don’t, because I can see how some people might construe that as the early signs of madness.

I love my brain.  I don't know what I'd do if I found out it was lying to me.

“I just suck at lighting fires,” I mutter.

Rowan says nothing to this.  After all, proof of this is sitting behind us, not burning brightly.

So, you're fleeing from a bushfire and you go to someone's aid... you're going to stall by irritating the guy nominally in charge, right?
Rowan’s coughs died to strangled splutters as we reached the body.  It was a man, his clothing covered in a fine dusting of ash.

“Roll him over,” Rowan said.

“What if his back’s broken?” I asked.  “Or his neck?  Shouldn’t we...”

“Shouldn’t we what?” Rowan demanded.  “Call triple 0?  Get the flying doctors in?  Do you think they’d reach us before the front does?”

“Gods you’re tetchy today.”

“Tetchy?  Who are you calling tetchy?”

“And now you’re just stalling for time.”

I shouldn’t do this, but I just can’t help it.  It’s so funny to prod at him this way.  One day he’s going to explode and I’ll either be laughing ’til my sides ache or regretting it dearly.



“Please...  Let’s just roll him over before he dies of frustration.”

And sometimes, you drop massive, great big, neon-arrow-pointing-here hints that are subsequently overlooked completely:
“Why don’t you go to your parents’ place?  I thought you said AIRO told you it was still legally theirs.”

“They did.”  After several months or so, at least.  Never do anything quickly when you can drag it out as long as possible: that’s the AIRO motto.

“So?  I’m sure your parents would appreciate someone looking after it for them.”

“That’s why I came home in the first place,” I said.  The idea of my parents’ home, that they’d worked so hard on, being left vulnerable and open to those grasping bastards... How could I not go back for that?

Wait, that’s not quite right.  For a minute or so, I feel as though I’m sitting right next to a skittish memory that will startle and vanish if I move too quickly.  If I just turn slowly, like this...

I think my favourite episode to date is Don't You Know I Hate Him?.  I pretty much love all of it, but I'm just going to share the intro:
I really hate him.  I hate him more than sleeping in a tent.  I hate him more than eating the icky gristly bits of meat.  I hate him more than anything and the worst bit is that I know exactly why.

Because he reminds me of how lazy I am; how cowardly I can be about stupid things like spiders crawling over me at night or having to find the loo in the pitch-dark; how pampered my life really was before, although I never truly appreciated it.

And he has no right to do that, with his pointy black hair and his good aim with a rifle.  Curse him.

So he can drive the ute really quickly along ridiculously dangerous roads without killing anyone.  So what?  So he can keep his head when everything else is falling apart.  Well, what’s so great about that, Rowan bloody Connell?


So he can sneak up on me and scare the living daylights out of me.  Is that anything to be proud of?  “Argh!”

“What are you doing out here, Ryn?”


“Oh good.  For a minute there, I was worried you were doing something un-productive.”

The re-reading was very handy, because it reminded me of three interesting things:
  1. Rowan plays the piano.  Who knew?  Well, apparently I used to.

  2. I have a red herring and I like it.

  3. It's only when Ryn cries "I can't!" that Andy recognises her voice.  I have no idea why this is the case, but I think I'd like to work it out.

Of course, there are one or two other things planned for the week, but provided there is LorF in it, it shall be good.

If you're not a LorF reader and you'd like to be, please talk to us about it.  We need to make sure you're real before we subject you to our horrendous intiation ceremony.  You know the saying: What happens in LorF club...
katiefoolery: (Default)
Well, I wasn’t expecting it, but it appears I have finally beaten this story into submission.  It still wants to be part of Black Fiddle but it’s willing to let me write it as a short story first, just to test that it works.  I definitely think it will be a great addition to Black Fiddle but it seems to have gathered some characters of its own who aren’t in that manuscript.  It also has guest appearances from some characters who are in Black Fiddle and I’m delighted by their interaction.  You never really see them interact with each other in Black Fiddle and even though I created them, they’ve surprised me with some aspects of their relationship.

So, while I’m still being dictated to by a story - a story that hasn’t even been written yet, no less - at least I can delude myself with the belief that it’s now doing what I wanted it to do in the first place.  And yet, I still have the feeling that I’m being bossed around.

But this leads me to a question: does anyone else talk out details of their stories to thin air?  Or is that just me?  Because I was carrying on a quite detailed conversation with absolutely nobody the other night, talking over some of the details and the rules of the characters in this story.  I always find it to be a very beneficial experience - concepts and ideas appear where nothing existed before and characters’ motivations become clearer.  On the down side, I probably look like a bit of a nut; sitting there, carrying on a conversation under my breath.

At one point, I found myself involved in a rather intense scene with one of the characters and it was just so good that I had to go and fetch a notebook so I could write the details down.

But, as I said, I must look like a total freak and I was just hoping I wasn’t alone in behaving like this.  Usually, I find myself talking to one of the characters or an outsider who’s observing the behaviour of the people in the story.  As a result of this, I now have quite a few notes and plenty of fascinating facts about this story of mine... and I wouldn’t have them if I didn’t have this strange habit.

Is it just me?  Or should I be joining the club for People Who Have Conversations With Imaginary Characters?  If it is just me, then how does everyone else develop a story before they start writing it?  I’d certainly be keen to hear any concepts that don’t involve sitting around like a loon, talking under my breath to someone who isn’t there...
katiefoolery: (Girl writing in cap)
I have until midnight tonight to produce one thousand words, or my “Ten thousand words in Ten Weeks” fails after only two successful weeks.  Should this happen, I know in exactly which direction to look in order to cast blame.  It will rest squarely at the feet of that the story that was bugging me the other day, as it has suddenly developed an obsessive interest in Black Fiddle and keeps telling me it’d rather be part of that than stand on its own.

Damned co-dependent stories.  Why can’t you just stand on your own and serve my purposes?  Also, when did stories get the idea that they could dictate the way things go?

I don’t approve.

On the editing front, things are looking a lot more promising (I don’t know what particular part of my brain wanted to type “confusing” instead of “promising” there, but I don’t appreciate it.  I shall now glare at said part of brain.  This, I am sure you will all appreciate, is Not Easy.).  But, as I was saying, before my brain so maliciously interrupted me, the editing is going well.  At the moment, I’m involved in writing a scene breakdown of the novel, which is slowly turning my brain to mush.  The other night, I managed to condense a chapter of three and a half thousand words into a summary of 136 words.  This was hailed as both a miraculous achievement and a event little short of sacrilege.  How can the essence of three thousands words be boiled down to little over one hundred?  It’s a bit depressing, really.

But I’m a quarter of the way through it and it’s giving me a real sense of purpose.  Instead of sitting around, vaguely thinking I should work on that second draft, I’m actually doing something about it!  It feels weirdly empowering, to be honest.  I’m still retaining that sense of glee that I felt the other night and even though the Scene Breakdown of Brain Mushening is hard work, I know that it’ll be worth it when I’m finally done.

Before I go, I’d like to thank everyone for responding so favourably to the excerpts I posted the other night.  Your responses are the encouragement I need to keep going forward with this second draft.  Thank-you muchly.

April 2011

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