Saturday night, Dre (Andrea) hosted up a nice sex toy company-sponsored party that I attended. Hilariously enough, I think I was the most knowledgeable there, although it was my first time seeing certain kinds of vibrators in person (ones with rotating beads and swiveling heads). I disapproved of some of the products being sold–muscle relaxants, vaginal tighteners, and desensitizers–but out of safety concerns. The rest of the stuff was pretty cool.
Anyway, the party was a blast; Dre seemed worried at the small turnout, but I thought it was great, and her sister was a trip. There was that moment, though… that moment where someone was telling a story or expressing disbelief or seemed confused and I chirped up with what little I knew on the topic, where I was put in the Box. The Nerdy Girl Box. Where I’m suddenly “smart” and other people feel dumb in my presence. Where people feel the need to apologize for liking things they think I think are dumb, like music that doesn’t say much, but has a good beat. Where I’m suddenly not-human and incapable of having fun like other people do. Where people–even relative strangers–seem to feel a need to talk more “proper” in my presence.
*thuds head into wall repeatedly*
This is something I’ve fought for years, especially with cousins and often with other buddies. There are some groups with which it’s not much of a problem at all: these are usually people that know me really well. It happens most often, I think, when I’m with people who suspect I’m not a part of their culture, because I don’t quite fit in, no matter how much I believe I span multiple cultures.
If I’m not completely in or immersed in one culture, am I in it at all?
Regardless, I drank a little with Dre and S. later in the evening and learned that I’ve been drinking swill by ingesting Smirnoff. I didn’t think the word “smooth” could be applied to vodka, but the Belvedire I had last night proved me wrong. Decent stuff, as far as booze goes.
NaNoWriMo is done. I didn’t get 50k words, but I learned a hell of a lot about writing. I’m continuing the story for NaNoFiMo.
My biggest problem was not having a plan at all when I started. I dreamt up characters, kept sparse notes, and plugged away… for about 22k words. As I approached the climax of the story (too soon, at that!), I was having to devote too much mental energy to figuring out what would happen when I wanted to be devoting energy to skillfully delivering that climax.
Um… that crisis, I mean. Yeah.
To make things worse, there isn’t really a good subplot to add complexity and build tension, beyond some background romance. The story had sluggishly climbed towards its current point, and once I ran out of steam, I sort of just starting moving characters around, making the story scatter even more.
Anyway, I’ve spent a few hours today working up character sheets for my existing characters. Just articulating the personalities and traits of my few most main characters have given me ideas for a second subplot and ways to flesh out my current weak subplot. My outline’s got numerous unwritten scenes in it now, even without moving the plot itself closer to resolution.
Back to the character sheets, then I’ll probably write up a few of them before hitting the sack. Yay for writing.
I moved my story from MS Word to LyX (after moving from Google Docs to MS Word two nights ago after hours of flaky Internet), and my word count increased by 4%-ish. That’s worrying, because I can’t find what’s making it increase. In fact, it seems to be counting fewer things as words than Word did.
LyX is rather hot. The PDF output of my story (in the “book” document class) is hot. It looks like a book. 🙂 Plus, near-plain text is sexy, and there are fewer things for me to distract myself with in LyX. Fewer buttons and animated things.
If I need a distraction, though, there are always short blog posts about writing and the NaNoWriMo forums, which are hopping right about now.
In other news, I’m taking WO to the airport in a couple of hours, and then I get the house to myself until Friday. Aside from the obligatory male stripper party, what’s a woman to do at home all alone?
I just realized that I totally screwed myself over when my characters start interacting with my aliens in my story. I’ve made the aliens so different that writing dialogue is going to slow down my story progress to a crawl. Oi. (I just couldn’t resist the idea of aliens with a real sense of time, far beyond humans’ usual linear sense of it. Too bad that fucks up sentence tenses royally.)
4000 more words to go for this evening!
Oy. If I can keep this up for eight more days, I’ll win NaNoWriMo in time for classes to resume. Lessons learned today:
- Having two female protagonists in a lot of scenes together results in a problem: you can’t use pronouns as freely as you would otherwise. “She watched her…” just doesn’t work very well. Growl.
- It’s hard to know when to leave out a scene and how to properly make sure the important information gets known to the reader later. There’s a tendency to want to write out every little scene for word count purposes, but that just slows the plot down to a crawl.
- Microsoft Word’s Autosummarize feature will fuck up a conversation-heavy story. The result is hilarious. I’ve included a 500-word “summary” of my story below the fold. Emote! Emote! I suspect this is the result of a serious imbalance in my sentence structure. Too many conversations are in the format of <so-and-so emotes> <so-and-so says> “<quote>”.
Now I get to read, sleep, and start with another 5000 words in the morning. If I can get up before noon.
Continue reading 5000 words since waking