This is the fourth time that I have gone to the Vampire LARP, intending to play, and then ended up being disappointed. I dressed warm enough so I wasn’t uncomfortable, and it did not rain as promised, but I went home early all the same. I did not mind; I am growing accustomed to this.
I enjoyed the evening spent at home because it gave me the opportunity to write. After spending a week and a half of my spring break more or less just killing time, I finally sat down a few days ago and started writing. I haven’t so much as looked at Desire the Night since December, so I was surprised at how easily I slipped back into the story after only glancing over a few notes. Now I am almost itching to write.
I wrote two thousands words each of the first two days, and another two thousand words this morning before work; this finished off chapter twelve finally and added chapter thirteen, and then I started on fourteen. When I came home tonight, I finished off fourteen with another two thousand words or so. I don’t know how much longer I can keep this pace up, because I have plans for this weekend and on Monday I go back to school, with classes five days a week — and although I asked to take the quarter as a break, I don’t know if my work is going to be able to let me go by Monday, since I don’t think we’ve even started training any new people yet to take my place. I want to ask my boss about this, but he hasn’t been there when I am. I guess I’ll find out on Sunday.
Even if it’s just been a few good days, I’m glad that I started writing again. I really do want to finish this thing. The end is in sight — I’m up to nearly 60K already, and I still estimate that it’ll be done around 80K. Fourteen out of eighteen chapters finished, four out of five mini-chapters, and I know what each one of those remaining will be about. Also, I’ve been nagging people, and sooner or later someone might actually sit down and read some of the novel (if they manage to get through Death Lurks Here first, most likely). I don’t want them to have to wait around forever to find out how it ends. Somebody has to be clamoring for the final part of the trilogy this November!
The main influence of this novel is supposed to be Tori Amos, but I was listening to some different music for a change today, and I realized where some of the more disturbing plot elements came from: Dir en Grey. “Embryo” could practically be Anastasiya’s theme song. It kind of bugs me that this music is affecting my writing, but really, the genre of this work is turning from occult thriller to horror anyways (must keep this in mind when I get back to revising the first novel), so why not just let it goes where it wants to? It’s not like I have to worry about what people think — only a few people have read the first one, and nobody’s even glanced at the second, and of my scant readerships the only remark that cast aspersions on my character was the allegation that I watch too much Buffy. So if I put dreadful things in my horror stories, all I’ll probably hear (if anyone ever reads long enough to get to the truly dreadful things) is the usual, “From the mouth of babes!” exclamation that I usually get when I swear, and that will be all.
Along with asking my friends if they’re interested in reading the novel (and then shoving the URL on them), I’ve also been talking to them about their writing. I’ve been reading some of my friends’ works, and now another is talking about possibly sharing a little as well, so like a good reader (especially one who wants comments on her own work) I’ve been starting the long, raving process that is Kristen discussing other people’s work — I mean, writing thoughtful, detailed comments with polite suggestions for improvement. Now one person is talking about setting up a little online writer’s community for our friends to post, view, and comment on our fiction. I like this idea so much, I offered to host & maintain the technical aspects myself so that we don’t have to go through livejournal (or some other annoying hive site).
I am enjoying talking to other people about writing. This is what I really wanted from the creative writing program: talking to people who write stories similar to my own, who take writing seriously, who I get along with, and who will give honest, useful feedback. When so many people got involved in NaNoWriMo last November, I’d hoped that something like this would start up among my friends, because as we all know NaNoWriMo is really about community-building; but it turned into a contest of who could write the most, and by the end of the month no one really seemed to care but me, who succeeded in meeting the goal but didn’t want to beat anyone, and another friend, who had run into difficulties and was jealous that I finished when he didn’t. Now all of a sudden, all of my writing friends are getting interested in pursuing fiction again, and I have a second chance at pulling something together. I’m excited.
This is more than just a selfish desire to have someone (anyone!) read my damn novel and tell me it’s good (or sucks; I’d like to know if it sucks and still might salvageable, or if I should just give up and move back to Riwenne). I want to talk to writers about writing. I want to read other people’s work and tell them what I think, and hopefully help them to improve. I want to talk about getting published, and get excited if one of my friends is accepted by a magazine, and buy five copies of the issue so I can wave it around to everyone and go, “See? I know a professional writer! I read this story before it ever came into print. Read it, it’s good!” I want to be around writers, which I technically am anyways, but around writers as writers; I want to immerse myself in the writing life. Why shouldn’t I turn to the friends I already have for this?