Friday, November 4, 2011

"Once upon a time, ain't always a happy ever after."

It's been a funny day for NaNo -- for a while there I was pretty much convinced I wasn't going to do any writing at all. I've spent most of the day exhausted, and certainly when I finally stopped writing just after ten I was barely able to look at my computer screen. But here I am, updating. Whoo.

I think it doesn't help that I've been reading a lot too; I've gone through three Karin Slaughters, one Robin Cook and one and a half Lynda la Plantes in the last week and I am so sick of crime novels. I realised that, actually, while watching Contagion earlier today. There was something of an unnecessary scene involving the whole pull-the-face-down-and-make-a-skull-cap, and I was all OH GOD WTF. Not that I'm necessarily hugely squeamish, I'm just done with this. I suppose when I finish my current novel I'll go onto that George R. R. Martin I picked up yesterday. I've always been wary of reading his work, but I saw the first three episodes of the Game of Thrones adaptation on the flight between Heathrow and Changi, and as I can't find the rest of it here I suppose I might as well read the damn thing.

Speaking of Contagion, that movie was an interesting exercise in pacing. It felt tremendously long, but I don't think it even clocked in at a full two hours. I'm kind of curious how they managed it, as the pacing seemed far more suited to a series than a movie, yet it wasn't really that long at all (it reminded me of the difference between the movie and series versions of State of Play; trust me when I say the UK original blows the hollow US adaptation out of the water). Actually, the pace of Contagion almost seemed to slow, but I'm starting to wonder if it was a deliberate choice as a good deal of time passes in the movie -- four to five months, I suppose? And rather than being an apocalyptic imagining of our world brought to its knees by a global pandemic, it wanted to show everything in a realistic light -- which meant Hollywood staples looking almost like normal people, and letting the action not be compressed into an action-packed three days. So, it was interesting, I suppose, but I still can't decide if I liked it or not.

This evening, though, I cracked on with the writing. Here's the update on that.

NaNo progress notes, 03.11.11

Number of words committed:
Total words: 17,727
Total goal for the day: I'm just glad to have written anything, considering how exhausted I feel.
Reason for stopping: I hit the end of a chapter, and decided that enough was enough.
Favorite line: Because there are two main protagonists, I decided to pull a couple extracts. I didn't write one today; I came across it as I was reading the tale end of the fully-constructed scene before the first fragmented one, and it reminded me why I love this story so much:

“He knows too much about you, Aleksandr.”

“What does that mean?”

The doctor shook his head again at Aleksandr’s bare whisper. “He wouldn’t waste all that time for no reason,” he explained, and there was something very much like pity in his words. “However, that is between you and him. I’ll tell your sister to let you rest, shall I?”

The door clicked close in his wake, and Aleksandr looked down to the velvet in his lap. His hands shook as he unfolded the intricate bundle. Inside, two twisted glass vials were locked into a single configuration; one held a silver translucent liquid, the other a dense golden suspension. Beneath them rested a small scroll, held closed by a small golden ring. He snapped it open, and unfolded the papyrus to find it covered with a sprawling, ornate hand that nonetheless yielded only awkwardly to the Sarinian alphabet.

The second was written today, and it just makes me both happy and sad at the same time:

The simple statement only made Cassya stare at her all the more. When she finally looked away, Luchandra thought she caught the barest look of hopelessness there, fleeting and pained. But her fingers had relaxed somewhat, and Luchandra might have smiled had the houselights not dimmed even further. The concert was about to begin.

Though she had long wished to be able to play some sort of instrument, Luchandra had never had opportunity to attend such a grand performance. Orchestras did not come to tiny villages like Lygale. Only travelling quartets or single musicians would bother with so small a place, and even then it was rare to see them outside a time of festival or celebration. As the auditorium slipped ever deeper into the darkness she felt her heart skip a beat. A creature was lurking in that darkness, only waiting to be born.

A split second later she realised too late she had heard something like this before. Only a night ago such a being had been brought to life in the conservatory, under the prince’s careful birthing hands. Sharp breath caught in her throat, digging painfully into soft flesh, and she could not speak for the sudden fear that stole away her sound.

Then the hand curled about hers. Startled, she looked to her side and found Kavaan’s pale eyes glittering like stars in the dark. Even though the pupils had been dilated by that darkness he still smiled, and somehow remained a perfect personification of the sun so sacred to his people.

“It will be so beautiful,” he whispered. “Don’t be afraid.” 
She had wanted him to go. And even as she tightened her grip, so glad to have him there, she wished with all her heart that he had left her here alone.

Surprises, pleasant and un-: Cassya changed the spelling of her name on me, wtf. She's been spelling it "Cassia" for years. And this was particularly odd as I went into this knowing I was probably going to be changing the spelling of the names of Nylurean characters, thanks to Greywater. Gah, I don't even.
Character I most want to slap right now: Hmm. Maybe Amanita, the crazy bitch.
Mean things committed: Valeria is a woobie.
Unexpected research: I mentioned a ring in one scribble from months ago, and to be honest I had no idea what I had been wittering on about at the time. I had to read back in the manuscript quite a ways to jog that memory.
iTunes reads my mind: Again it can't, really, as I have playlists for my stories. But while writing the concert scene I had Emma and Loreena for company. One song of Loreena's matched so well what I was trying to write; you can listen to it here. But Emma Shapplin has always been the voice of Valeria to me. She's gorgeous under any circumstance, vocally and physically, but this Turkish (?) interview is particularly demonstrative because Emma's singing without accompaniment. And her voice...god, that woman's VOICE.

Now, I do believe I really need some sleep. I just wish it would cool off a bit here; even though it rained today, I am still overheated in my little office, and when I try to sleep at night or take my walks. Boo.

1 comment:

  1. Eek! I owe comments on half your blog posts of late. Trying to concentrate on NaNo... You've been doing darn well!
    Will be back soon with more coherent comments, I hope :-)