500 words EXACTLY

And I did it all in about half an hour before running off to an Arabic speaking appointment.  But that’s not the half of it.

I’ve been feeling these past few weeks that the plot in my story has been advancing very slowly.  I’ve only written maybe 5,000 words in that time, but it seems like everything has been dragging on really slowly.  I haven’t really been bringing in any new ideas to move the story much.

But now, in the scene I’m working in, I decided to start moving on.  At first, I had no idea what this scene would be like.  But then, I just grabbed at something that made sense and ran with it, and other ideas came from that idea for a scene.  And then, more ideas, from that as well.

Then, as I was working on the dialogue in this scene, I started getting really excited about it because the stuff they were speaking about was actually surprising me, and giving me even more ideas for how the story could go!  If I didn’t have a writing appointment right then, I probably would have written for another hour or so, just to run with it!  It was pretty cool!

So, yeah, you could say that I’m still at that stage where I’m always coming up with cool new ideas for the story.  In fact, I really don’t have that much of an outline–just a general idea of what I want to happen up to about the midway point (maybe a little bit after), and then this vague nebulous idea of the huge twist that happens around then.  I have a good idea of the world where this all happens, and a general pattern for each character, but not too much more than that.  The result is that this story surprises me even when I’m in the very act of writing it.  And then I come up with cool ideas, and it gets even more exciting, and I just have a very fun time with the whole thing in general.

I suppose, though, that I shouldn’t just run with every idea that pops into my head first.  I need to think about it (and, what with so may interruptions from writing, I definitely have enough time to do that).  The other thing is that I need to keep a good idea of what is going on in the story globally.  If all the stuff that’s happened in the last 20 pages from where I left off isn’t present in my mind, there is going to be a disconnect.  I don’t want to be so focused on one particular page that I lose the sense of what it’s like to read the story as a whole.

Other than that…am I missing anything?  I’m just an amateur at this, and though this isn’t my first novel attempt, if I’m successful it will be the first one that I finish.  Any suggestions that will save me headaches, trouble, and my personal sense of self worth in the future?

Favorite Overclocked Remixes

So, Drek and I were having a chat the other day online, and we started sharing favorite songs from this website called ocremix. It’s a really awesome site for free fan-made arrangements and remixes of video game music, and it’s really cool because so much of the music comes from REALLY old games–I mean, games that me and my friends grew up playing! In some ways, they have the same appeal to video gamers as soundtracks from movies and musicals have to other people–it can really bring you back to the game, bring back memories and good times…it’s just generally very awesome. And even if you haven’t played the game before, the music is still usually of such a good quality that it’s fun to listen anyways. I mean, most of the music I listen to on OCR is not from games that I’ve actually played, but I still like it anyways.

So, without any delay, here is my top ten:

  • 10: Bluelightning (Mega Man 3) by Disco Dan. I found this one just yesterday, and I’ve been listening to it ever since! I especially love the beat and the subtle yet awesome sound of the electronic organ!
  • 9: The Dark World (Crystal Abyss Mix) (Final Fantasy III) by Ubik. This one is a little bit dark, but I like how the soft melody and the harp transposes over the electronic beats. It just seems to give this feeling of yearning for something. Also, I have some good memories of this, because I listened to it constantly during my first playthrough of FF Tactics.
  • 8: Guile’s Mile Long…yeah (Super Street Fighter II Turbo) by Trenthian. (let me know if the link doesn’t work) I really like this one, because it seems to really give the sense of someone on a quest, and how that quest is such a struggle.
  • 7: Clash at the Mountains (Zelda: Link’s Awakening) by Zircon. Zircon is just such an awesome remixer on the OCR website. He’s got a lot of good stuff. This one is just a way cool electronic interpretation of the classic Zelda theme! It really energizes me to just get up and do something!
  • 6: JENOVA Celestial (Final Fantasy VII) by bLiNd. bLiNd is another really amazing remixer in the OCR community! I think that his techno is some of the best on the site. He contributed a lot to the recent Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream project, and this has got to be my favorite remix from that album (and I have copies of all four cds in my car). The JENOVA theme is one of the best pieces of music from Final Fantasy VII, and this is imo an excellent interpretation of it.
  • 5: Before Time (Jurassic Park) by Daniel Baranowsky. I love the guitar on this one! Also, just how everything seems to be so well balanced. This is one of the first songs that I discovered on the OCR site, and I still really like it!
  • 4: Thirty-Plus Mix (Tetris) by R3FORG3D. Man, this is some really hard techno! It zones you out from everything and just hits you over and over again like an electric surge to your brain! Just makes me want to move!
  • 3: Dream of Zeal (Chrono Trigger) by bLiNd. The time circuits song from Chrono Trigger just took me to another world when I first heard it! I remember playing Chrono Trigger and getting to the part right before you go to the magical world in the sky, when you travel forwards in time to the ancient age, and the whole world is nothing but an icy wasteland. You think to yourself, “hey, what’s going on here?” and then you find this really strange looking ancient building, which opens up a conduit and takes you up above the clouds to the magical floating kingdom of Zeal, and you just think “whoa!” for, like, the next five minutes! And this song was definitely a big part of that! This is the best interpretation of time circuits that I found on the OCR site, and I definitely believe that it does it justice!
  • 2: Flying Heaven (Super Street Fighter II Turbo) by Zircon. Another impressive one by Zircon! This has got to be one of the best martial arts-ish songs that I’ve heard, on or off of OCR! Man, it really makes me want to get up and do some jujitsu! And I really like the whole Eastern feel to it!
  • 1: White Skies (club mix) (Final Fantasy X) by bLiNd. This one has got to be my favorite. I think that the defining characteristic of good techno is that it gets you really excited and calms you down at the same time. The result is music that zones you out and lets you focus intensely on the task that’s right in front of you–and if you don’t have anything in particular to do, it just makes you want to move and dance without caring about what’s going on around you. Awesome stuff! And this has got to be one of the best techno pieces on the OCR site. Man, good job! This is AWESOME!

I could put a LOT more up here, and I’m sure that if I thought on it a lot harder I’d say to myself “no, wait! Number 8 should be this remix, not this one!” or “what about this really cool one? I really like this one! Which number should it be?” But I hold by my choice for number one; that one has got to be my favorite piece on the OCR site, hands down. bLiNd just makes awesome music!

272 words

It will have to do for tonight. I really should get some sleep.

I’ve got three tests this week: Book of Mormon, Political Science 357, and Philosophy 202. I’m not anticipating any unpleasant surprises, but I will have to study fairly hard over the next few days. However, this is good, because it will leave more time next week for the two Quark meetings (on Tuesday and Saturday).

I’m at a critical juncture in the novel and I think I need to reread the last 50 pages in order to figure out exactly how to tell what happens in the next 50 pages of the story. I’ll probably do that between classes, while hanging out at the LRC.

Drek and I were chatting today on gchat about OCR and the awesome free music they put out. We decided to blog on our top pics from the website. His post is already up, but I need a little more time to put mine up.

Book of Mormon test tomorrow. Should be a breeze. Wish me luck with the others.

Call for readers

Hey, if I know you from real life (ie from Quark or we’re friends in person in some other way) and you want to read what I’ve got so far, shoot me an email or a comment on this post, and I’ll send you what I’ve got!  The Lost Colony is currently at about 36,600 words, and if you’ve got the stomach for it, I’d love for you to read it and just give me your general impressions so far!  I’m not going to be making any major revisions yet, but I really do love sharing what I write with people, so if you would like a copy, by all means I’ll send you one!

In fact, I probably am a little bit too eager to share my stories.  I remember sharing The Clearest Vision with a few casual friends and acquaintances before I edited it to tone down the more controversial stuff.  It made things slightly weird in those relationships.  Yeah.  I definitely wasn’t expecting the two page letter questioning my priesthood worthiness (but then again, that was more psycho on her part than on mine).

Hence, it’s probably safer to ask for people to come to me than for me to go out to everybody I know.  So yeah, if you want a copy, and you’re a good enough friend that I know you won’t do something stupid like plagiarize me, let me know!  I would be very interested to get some initial impressions!

717 words

Today, around midnight, I just had this urge to escape reality and jump into my novel. That, so far, has proven to be the most effective way to escape the strange sense of procrastination that keeps me from writing when I can. I stopped caring about sleep and just dove in. Now, I’m 717 words in, and the story is progressing very nicely. Yay!

Also, I decided to change the font from Courier New to Times New Roman.  The idea was that I’d write the novel in the format of the manuscript that I’d actually send out to get published, and the publishers I’ve submitted too all have Courier as the required font.  However, from talking with some of the members of the writing group in last week’s meeting, and also with Locke (the leading editor of The Leading Edge), I figure it’s better to write in Times New Roman.  This is because 1) it’s easier to read, 2) TLE prefers Times New Roman, and 3) some of the writing group members (Xen!) really have a thing against Courier new.  So meh.  It reduces my page count from about 170 to about 130, but I can handle the blow to my ego.

Thank goodness we got an extra hour of sleep this weekend! I can tell you I’ve already spent it!