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Notes from the Labyrinth
Unobtainium and Dragons' Bones
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ws: hamlet
Greetings!

This is the blog of Sarah Monette/Katherine Addison, a professional writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Sarah Monette is my real name; Katherine Addison is a pen name, intended to be transparent.

If you've found me here, odds are pretty good you're looking for something to read, so the following is--to the best of my knowledge--a complete list of everything I've written that's available online:

STORIESCollapse )
ESSAYSCollapse )

If you know of anything I've missed, please leave a comment!
writing: hippopotamus
80,053 words. 29,947 to go.

Sometimes, when I don't know how a scene goes or what it's doing, and I keep writing, I end up getting stuck because the words wander into a dead-end, or onto a path that the book doesn't want to follow. That happened to me last week, and it took me several days to regroup.

Sometimes, when I don't know how a scene goes or what it's doing, and I keep writing, after some blundering through the underbrush, I come out onto the path, and it's the right path, the place where the book wants to go. That happened to me tonight.

Trouble is, you can never tell which one it's going to be until afterwards.
ws: hamlet
words since last report: 315
words total: 4,094
tyop du jour: n/a
darling: n/a
mean things: Roommates who forget to buy toilet paper.
quirks: The only quirks today were mine.
reason for stopping: There was some retrograde motion today, as I realized that I was trying my favorite trick of introducing a new complication three-quarters of the way through the story. So burning that out and getting back on track is actually not bad as a day's work. Also, time for bed.
exercise: Wii.
work outside the box: Storytellers Unplugged column. That may be it.
the internet is full of things: This is, bar none, the CREEPIEST flash game I have ever seen. (Also a brilliant literalization of the solipsistic fallacy.) I didn't get very far in it, but the experience lingers.
ws: hamlet
words since last report: 558
words total: 3,833
word goal: unchanged at 5-7 k, looking more like 7 than 5
tyop du jour: n/a
darling: The half-elf pushed her blue dreadlocks back behind her shoulder and flicked her ears to make her earrings chime. "You can do better than a werewolf, sweetie."
mean things: Misinformation and pornography on the internet.
quirks: Quentin keeps getting propositioned by girls he isn't interested in.
reason for stopping: Bedtime!
exercise: I rowed. See previous rock.
work outside the box: Laundry.
the internet is full of things: This article is absolutely true.
ws: hamlet
words since last report: 820, plus structural conceptualizing so as to retrofit the plot into the story.
word total: 3275
word goal: cruising for 5-7k
tyop du jour: n/a
darling: Her grip was strong but not painful, and her palm was furry.
mean things: Unwanted attention of the lycanthropic persuasion. Plus, that lecture on Wordsworth has fallout in discussion sections.
quirks: Werewolves are not nice people.
reason for stopping: Time to start going to bed. (Yes, it is a lengthy process.)
exercise: Wii, for the first time since we left for Minneapolis. The worst thing was the excruciating foot cramps.
work outside the box: The which with the who?
feline assistance: Catzilla has spent much of the day sleeping behind the aquarium.
the internet is full of things: Bear has good advice for aspiring writers.
ws: hamlet
afternoon = doldrums of creativity

words since last report: 1875
word total: 2455
word goal Still 5-7k, looking pretty good.
tyop du jour: n/a
darling: n/a
mean things: A lecture on Wordsworth first thing in the morning.
quirks: This werewolf, who still looks not unlike Claudia Black, wears t-shirts that say things like MY DOGMA ATE YOUR KARMA.
reason for stopping: Like I said, doldrums. Also, I think it's time to take a cool bath.
exercise: Walkies!
work outside the box: Provender provided.
feline assistance: None, although mirrorthaw is being assisted by the Inspector of Saucepans.
26th-Sep-2008 09:19 pm - onward, plus Q&A 20
writing: fennec
The Marriage of True Minds, Part 3 (of 10): 900 words
Running total: 6,000 words
Comments:This section may get longer, if it turns out there's more Traumatic Backstory to exposit. My protagonist consoles himself with the excellent beer I've invented for him to drink.

This is distinctly going to be a novella or a very short novel. And, no, I have no idea what I'll do with it when it's done. But if it isn't broken any longer--or at least not as badly broken--that'll be a damn good start. It's certainly going to be a very different story.

[Per my interlocutor's request, I've cleaned up the English of these questions--let me say right here that I am both awed by and very grateful for my readers who are not native English speakers. That's going the extra mile for a story, and I appreciate it.]

Q: You had the idea in your head for 15 years, does that mean you had it written for that long and just couldn't get a publisher to take it? Or did it take that long to work the idea out in your head?

A: I started writing Mélusine in very late 1993/early 1994. I finished the draft that actually sold to Ace in early 2003--and it was bought in October '03. It took me ten years, in other words, to become a competent enough writer to tell the story I was trying to tell. And of course, during those same ten years, I was getting my B.A., my M.A., and my Ph.D., getting married, all those other growing up type things.

Q: spoilers for The MiradorCollapse )

Q: spoilers for Melusine and everything thereafterCollapse )
24th-Sep-2008 12:33 pm - progress, and then again not so much
ws: hamlet
The Marriage of True Minds, Part 2 (of 10): 3,100 words
Running total: 5,100 words

Monday night: Have same stupid anxiety dream about passing high school calculus yet again.
Tuesday: Wake up feeling like I spent the night being beaten with sticks. Bitch about anxiety dream to all and sundry.
Tuesday night: Have nightmares. Notice the plural. One involved evil magic spiders and the other involved serial killers and furnaces.
Wednesday: Wake up feeling like I spent the night being beaten with BIG sticks.

Score: Subconscious 1, Mole 0
20th-Sep-2008 03:16 pm - Q&A 19, with bonus updatery
writing: fennec
Q: Would you say that Cymellune is more equivalent to Atlantis, the Minoan Empire, or the Roman Empire?

A: I like this question.

Cymellune of the Waters is a lot Atlantis and a little bit Venice and maybe a smidgen of Sodom & Gomorrah. The labyrinths thing, yes, loops over to Minoan Crete, and there's a good deal of the Byzantine Empire in some places, and certainly the way Marathat and Tibernia relate to it is a lot like the way later nations related to the Roman Empire.

In other words, yes.

(As a bonus answer, the fall of the empire of Lucrèce is the fall of Troy, only I reversed things so it's the Trojans bringing the Achaians down.)

Q: Do you "outlining" your books? If so, what does that entail? A thesis-like outline (I. 1. a. i. that sort of thing) or is your method more organic? When do you consider an outline "finished" and do you then feel the book is ready to begin, or do you revise the outline?

A: No, I don't outline my books--at least, not before I write them. Part of my revision process is doing what's called a reverse outline, where you take a finished piece of writing and make an outline of what you've written. Incredibly helpful in both fiction and non-fiction for catching redundancy and continuity gaps.

I may sometimes know things about where a story is going, and I certainly do write those things down. (Because otherwise I will forget them, and nothing drives me more bonkers than knowing there's something I used to know about a story that I am now completely unable to dredge up out of the murk.)

The Marriage of True Minds, Part 1 (of 10): 2,000 words

This story is the exception to the rule I claimed above, as I'm using the International Spy Museum's version of the Moscow Rules (from a postcard matociquala has on her fridge) to structure it. So it has ten parts, and in each of the ten parts, I know roughly what happens. In a structural sense, anyway. The actual plot is still largely a mystery. I don't know if this is going to work, but the previous version of the story most certainly does NOT, so it can't hurt anything to experiment. Also, I am writing again for the first time since I turned in Corambis, and it does, in fact, feel pretty darn good.

jaylake said two important things on Monday: "writing a book is like exercising — it feels terrific when I’m doing it, but vaguely intimidating and overwhelming when I’m not doing it" and "the best cure for writing angst is writing." With the new flat panel, I can't use my monitor as a bulletin board any longer, but if I could, you bet those would be going up.
19th-Oct-2007 09:38 pm - ta-da!
writing: bone key
New story!

"White Charles," 7,000 words. The second short story I have completed this year (the other, "The Yellow Dressing Gown," also a Booth story, is going to be in Weird Tales sometime soon).

At least the short story writing engine isn't completely broken.
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