Notes from a Drama Queen

The Twelve (more or less) Days of Reno

Monday, September 24, 2007

I know, I'm impossibly evil, but I'm on a deadline, and I want you all to suffer along with me. So I'm bringing my initial post over from Storybroads ad then I'll continue on, blow by excruciating blow, until Reno finally triumphs.

I'm in the throes of deadline dementia -- that state of insanity that takes over your life when you're finishing a book, whether it's overdue or not. And this one is definitely overdue.
It's Reno's fault, not mine. He just didn't want to cooperate. I should have known when I made a Yakuza punk samurai as my hero that he'd give me nothing but trouble. It's his style, along with waist-length bright red hair and tattooed blood teardrops on his cheeks.
Yeah, I know what you're saying. Anne Stuart, are you out of your bloody mind?
But the problem is, I love him. Just freaking adore him -- he's naughty and mean and funny and honorable and gentle and rough and an absolute hoot. So sue me.
So here's my tally: Tuesday 13 pages, Wednesday 16 pages, Thursday 13 pages, Friday 15 pages, Saturday 25 pages, Sunday 15 pages. I'm a goddess of speed.
I'm on a private e-mail loop, and while I've been speeding through this book I surface every now and then to send a cry out into the wilderness. Here are some of my observations:

First day:
So, okay, I'm working non-stop, and you remember what I'm like when I
work non-stop. I have to chatter to my fellow typists as I zip along.
My thought for this hour -- my hero, Reno, is a yakuza samurai
punkster. And his language is atrocious. His favorite saying
(already established in earlier books) is "holy motherfucker." And
his language would be sprinkled with four letter words.
However, four letter words get really old, really fast. So my
challenge for today is to make his dialogue believable without od'ing
on the cursing. I imagine it's kind of like writing a character with
a dialect or a speech impediment. Less is definitely more.

next day:

This is unfolding in such an interesting way. The sex in particular. My hero is young and wicked -- and he's suddenly developed a conscience. Interesting. He's the most overt bad boy of all the ICE books, and yet he's turning out to be the sweetest.

next day:
16 pages so far. My hero has just become the nastiest a hero has ever been, after being one of the most honorable. The boy is messed up. I may have to tone it down -- he's just too cruel (verbally). I also used fuck three times in two sentence. I'm using it too much, but that's exactly what he'd say.

Ewwww! I just wrote something really gross. Well, it's the yakuza, after all. What do you call fingers and parts of fingers? Do you call them digits? Or is that just a slang term?

and finally:

Shit. I think I need one more twist in the plot, but right now I don't know what it would be. It just seems to come up a little short. Maybe stretch the third act. Yup, that's probably it. The hero just appears, attempting to be deus ex machina (the heroine has to rescue him) but it makes it less interesting. I'll have to rethink that.

Krissie, talking to herself but she doesn't care because she's gone stark, staring mad, mad I tell you

And I've got miles to go before I sleep.

You writers out there (and non-writers as well). Anybody have any tips for getting a huge amount of work done in a very short time?


Blogger inkgrrl said...

Binge writing is fun! Sustaining 5-10K words a day over more than a weekend has usually been thanks to a massive amount of coffee, a dedicated minion to fetch and carry protein as necessary, and when the glowy tingle of "damn this is good I love this character!" momentarily splashes up against the hedgerow of "fuck what happens next?", sheer mulish stubbornness to get that next word on the page. Emergency reggae jams and plot ninjas are also helpful.

PS - Love Reno! That hair, those tats...

10:46 AM  
Blogger Anne Stuart said...

Emergency reggae jams? Now that sounds like an excellent idea!

6:38 PM  
Blogger inkgrrl said...

I usually start with "Get Up, Stand Up" ;-)

11:19 AM  
Blogger DownUnderGirl said...

Ahh interesting to see the workings of the mind of an evil genius - or chanelling one anyway.

Forget coffee and music - sounds like you need Speed.


7:34 PM  
Blogger Mary Stella said...

Given the number of pages you're producing each day, I don't think you need any advice on how to get a great amount of work done in a little bit of time.

Ok, that's a cop out on my part, but all of the suggestions I can think of are illegal. *g*

9:30 PM  

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