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Thu, May. 12th, 2005, 01:56 pm
Writing Progress

Wow, without this social theory paper hanging over me, I'm really making progress on other things. Finished Tabula Rasa (though it needs one more edit-through before I turn it in tomorrow) and have progressed another 1,000 words on the RPG project. By the end of the day today we'll have completed 10,000 words, which is 40% of the 25,000 we're contracted for. (30,000 turned out to be a math error. Oops!) I'm really glad we had these two extra weeks to work; there's no way we could have done this without me being able to write and edit full-time next week. By the end of the weekend, though, we should be at close to 20,000 words which means I can spend most of next week editing, polishing and re-writing instead of frantically trying to bang words down on the page.

I'm really glad that I did NaNoWriMo last year; without that experience, I don't think I would be able to do this effectively. I have an over-developed inner critic which makes me obsess about finding just the right word. Learning how to shut that critic down ("I'll edit later! I swear!") means that I can write thousands of words a day if I have to. It's not just useful for writing contracted work, it's an immensely useful academic skill too. And as long as I keep my editing promises to myself, the writing turns out just fine!

I'm going to see if I can get another 200-500 words done, then head outside. God, I love May in Central Park . . . .

Thu, May. 12th, 2005 06:24 pm (UTC)
boffo9

What exactly is Tabula Rasa besides Latin for 'blank slate'?

(And yeah, I remember from latin class that it literally means 'scraped tablet')

Thu, May. 12th, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

Sorry, right - Tabula Rasa is the new name for Wiped!, my short-form near-future dystopian sci-fi RPG about trying to remember who you are. (I occasionally refer to it as "the game of character creation," as you begin with a blank piece of paper and fill in your sheet as you play.) Gotta hand a version in for school tomorrow, though I suspect I'll continue play-testing & slowly working on it all summer . . .

Thu, May. 12th, 2005 06:46 pm (UTC)
boffo9

Is this a pen-and-paper game or a 'puter game?

If its a 'puter game, do you carry an oversized sword or what? ;)

Thu, May. 12th, 2005 06:53 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

Nope, TT RPG. Old-school, as they say.

Fri, May. 13th, 2005 02:54 pm (UTC)
boffo9

Kewl. Sounds kinda Indie-Rpg like. Is it?

Fri, May. 13th, 2005 03:27 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

Yeah, basically. I've got a crappy-ass temporary version which I submitted as my game design final; want to see?

Fri, May. 13th, 2005 04:14 pm (UTC)
boffo9

YEAH!!!

Fri, May. 13th, 2005 05:36 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

Sent. Be kind, ok?

Thu, May. 12th, 2005 06:35 pm (UTC)
theczech

It also helps to remember that no matter what words you use, if you come back a a month later it won't be at all the way you would write it now...at least for certain definitions of "helps".

Or to put it another way, someone once said that art is never finished. You just stop working on it and move on to something else.

Thu, May. 12th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

Actually, what really helps me is not thinking of it as art, but rather as trying to say something with words-on-a-page instead of words-in-my-mouth. I'll definitely keep the time-frame issue in mind, too, though. I've certainly come back to things and said "Whoa, I wrote that?" in both the good senses and the bad. :)

Thu, May. 12th, 2005 07:00 pm (UTC)
theczech

I always say that anything I wrote more than a year ago sucks by definition. It pretty much holds. If I go back and look at old stuff, I hate, hate, hate it. There have been a few exceptions, but not many. I remember one collaborative thing I did that I looked at two years later and it still seemed to sing...even the parts I wrote. It shocked me.

One of my favorite authors once said that everything he writes is perfect when he writes it, but coming back to it, even a short time later, it is always less perfect. He takes this as comfort that he is still growing as a writer.

I don't know if relating my written word to spoken word really works for me. In verbal conversation, I stammer, hesitate, and display a vast array of verbal tics. I try to make what I write better than I could ever speak. It is art to me. Whether or not it is good art is up for interpretation. ;>

Thu, May. 12th, 2005 07:46 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

Interesting! I, on the other hand, am an excellent, poised and fluent public speaker. I do a far better job of explaining things verbally than in writing; I used to be a poet so I tend to elide, allude and otherwise obfuscate what I really mean to say when I write. This may explain why I want to agonize over every word when I try to write, but when I come back to it it seems quite coherent to me. My poet-self wants the words to be perfect, but my public-speaker self figures it's better than I could improvise on the spur of the moment. :)

Thu, May. 12th, 2005 08:40 pm (UTC)
theczech

It sounds like you are pretty much fine as long as you control the "live editing" urge. :>

As if I wasn't already enough of a freak, none of what I described above is an impediment to public speaking for me. In fact, I have no problem with public speaking whatsoever as long as I am adequately prepared. If there is a stage fright gene, I just don't seem to have it. (Now put me in a big chaotic social situation full of people I don't know, that's another situation entirely...and another topic.)

When I was a TA in grad school, in fact, I specifically noticed that some of my verbal affectations out and out disappeared when I was in front of the class. Most of them seemed to be dependant on a "conversational" style of speaking. I later confirmed this by observing that in social situations, if I only spoke in a formal style to people instead of being casual, I got similar results, much less "uh" and other verbal tics.

This all led me to believe that in spite of everything, I might have been able to make it in the radio business. I actually have a rather nice voice once you strip away all the verbal disfunction...even if I do say so myself. Of course, I have some in-laws who have been or are in radio, and I wouldn't touch that business with a ten foot microphone anyway.

Thu, May. 12th, 2005 09:38 pm (UTC)
kleenestar

Big chaotic social situation with strangers? Yeah, serious ugh. I'm told I do pretty well in those situations, but it feels like torture to me to do it. I tend to be exhausted after an hour of socializing, even if I can read, write, hike or teach all day.

Fri, May. 13th, 2005 01:32 pm (UTC)
theczech

Someone once said to me that the true test of whether or not you are an introvert is whether or not being in a room full of strangers is relaxing or draining. I guess we know the answer for you don't we?