Month: September 2015

Hate Triangle

I don’t much care for love triangles. I find them tired. Sue me.

However, there’s a lot to learn from them. Interactions between just two can quickly become boring. Interactions between three can be complicated and messy enough to warrant a reader’s attention for the length of a book. And I realized recently that love isn’t the only thing that can be turned into a triangle. In fact, a few of my favorite books have included what I’d like to call “hate triangles,” where there’s not just the vanilla Protagonist vs Antagonist struggle, there’s an extra force as well. Extra-tagonist?

There are three forces against each other in Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora. There are three forces against one another in Rachel Aaron’s Legends of Eli Monpress. There is a clear protagonist and antagonist, but there’s a third party in each which must decide whether to team up with one of the others or grind against both simultaneously. Spoiler alert! They typically decide the protagonist is the lesser of two evils to team up with and take the antagonist out. Then the protagonist slips away before the extratagonist can pin them down.

I feel called to introduce a hate triangle into my own writing, and I feel like I could learn a lot from love triangles to make it work out in an interesting, fun way.

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Balancing It All

I don’t know how common it is for writers who are hard-core plotters to be so disorganized at real life, but that’s how I am. While I plot, write, reorganize, and then plot my next move in a story, my desk fills up with odds and ends, dust piles up in the corners of my house, and laundry slowly gathers on the bathroom floor and behind the bed. I have some level of OCD, where this drives me nuts, combined with laziness that keeps me from fixing it.

Or is it laziness? Cleaning up takes time. Time is something I haven’t had enough of lately, between cultivating the nerdiness and intelligence of my children, going to school myself, working an evening job, spending time with my husband, spending enough time on the care of my bunny that I don’t end up killing it, and trying to get some consistent writing and reading done as well. It’s hard to balance it all.

That OCD I talked about? It’s just strong enough that whenever I start working on something I get really obsessed with that thing, to the exclusion of everything else. There are times I ignore my family and just write the whole day. There are times I drop everything else and spend hours planning lessons for my children. There are evenings I research and research and research for papers. Cleaning just seems…less important.

Finding some kind of balance is hard. Lately I’ve been better about reading and paying attention to my brilliant children, at the expense of paying attention to my husband and editing as much as I ought to.

Plus Twitter. Twitter makes things hard.

People think it’s weird I don’t have a Facebook account. The problem is, if I got on at all, I’d stay on for hours at a time. Twitter, at least, has such limited space for conversation that I get bored and get off. Facebook doesn’t have that limitation. Conversations can be as long as I want. And that’s dangerous.

You know what I should do? I should plot my life. I should write an outline for my days, where I say what all I want to accomplish and check things off as I go. That’s something I’m good at. I do it all the time in my stories.

How do you deal with balancing it all? How messy is your life?

Floating Dream

All the world was blue and black, save for the brilliant white of the moon and the stars. There lay before her a glowing city, sprawled out with twinkling, blurred lights. She was too far from the city to hear it; the air was hushed, the only sound that of her dress lapping against itself as it trailed behind her. She wasn’t sure how far up she was, or how far she had to go. But as she turned her eye up toward the moon, it didn’t matter. She was beyond worry.

The beauty of the moon entreated her to draw near, and she, full of anticipation, floated toward it.

I Feel Rusty

I’m not sure why, but it seems to me that my fresh writing is a lot more raw than it used to be, say a year ago. I used to spend a lot more time learning the craft. I also used to spend a lot more time trying terribly hard to get into and then put up with critique groups. But I haven’t been doing that much lately, and so I think my craft has suffered.

Today I unearthed my copy of “From First Draft to Finished Novel.” I’m going to reread it, and all the other editing books I’ve collected through the years. I’m going to re-watch Write About Dragons. I’m going to re-read Rachel Aaron’s blog posts on writing more efficiently. And I’m going to post this for the world to see to make sure I feel pressured to actually follow through on these decisions.

Also, I’m going to not spend so much time on Twitter as I have the past few weeks. Because seriously, it’s been a bit much.

New Website!

I’m not sure why I didn’t get a WordPress site earlier. I’ve been hearing about it for a while, but I just haven’t tried it out till now. It’s really cool; I’m excited.

Basically I wanted something that could mostly be static, but if I have something to say (that I don’t want to get lost in the jumble that is Twitter) I could say it. And if I decide to do a sequential-release story that I don’t intend to publish traditionally, I can do that here, too.

Welcome! Thanks for dropping by, and I hope to provide you with much entertainment as time goes on.