Print Story Dos Equis
By ana (Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 03:37:47 PM EST) FFC, Fun Fun Challenge, WTFC, Summer Fun Challenge (all tags)
I have no idea what this is about, but it's a damn fine beer. That said, if I were the Mexicans, I'd keep the good stuff for myself and ship the rest to the gringos.

Content unrelated.

So a long time ago from this very keyboard, i called a Fun Challenge that came to be known (at least to me) as the WTFC.

The intention, at least for myself, was to motivate me (and perhaps a few others) to do something creative that was in some way or another related to previous fun challenges; for example, something you'd kinda thought about doing but didn't get done (or started) before a deadline.

One thing I kinda wanted to do for the Tom Waits thing was a cover of Poor Edward (note: Youtube link with music, duh) with a different commentary on the obvious transgender themes. In the immortal words of Over the Rhine, at least when it comes to how to think about gender dysphoria, "Don't wait for Tom."

But, well, it never happened.

So, what else? On a recent trip to NC, toxicfur and I spent two long days in a car with a dog and an iPod containing most of the Diskworld series as audiobooks. We read (well, listened to) Hogfather and Thud in their entirety; I've also listened to The Colour of Magic. Anyway, featured in Thud is the character of Sam Vimes, who is Chief of the Watch, reading a children's book called Where's my Cow? to his young son. I was tickled to learn that Pratchett has in fact released this story of Sam reading a kids' book to his son as, you guessed it, an illustrated children's book. So, as time was expiring (yet again), and in the spirit of the Spoken Word Fun Challenge, I read Where's my Cow? aloud, recorded it in one take, and posted it (with a little much welcomed help form ad hoc).

Of course, the one most creative thing I did this summer and fall was rewriting my novel, yet again. Well, kinda sorta. In 2007, I wrote a nano called But Before That (BBT). It clocked in at 50,000 words plus about six, and wrapped up very hurriedly at the end, coming out even on more or less the last day. It felt truncated and anything but roomy.

So in August of  2008 I started over, rewriting it from the beginning, making extensive use of a marked-up copy a friend of mine who's an English teacher had made for me, and a few other comments. I spent a couple months of regular writing sessions, and by all accounts the results were a substantial improvement over the first draft. This second draft I had bound at (as I had the first, before it) with a cover illustration from toxicfur. I then circulated about 40 copies for people to read. This resulted in significant commentary and suggestions from a half dozen people, and less substantial comments from many others, including one or two here.

One of those comments was that the narrator sounded a lot like me, with snide asides that distract from the story line. With some fear and trembling, A, my English teacher friend, suggested I try rewriting it in the first person. There are two major characters whose stories are as intertwined as their bodies, so it was necessary to do it from two points of view, and to develop two distinct voices for telling the story.

I had about 4 chapters done when it came November. So, what the hell, I started doing it full speed ahead. The first dozen chapters or so are pretty nice, if I may say so myself. After that, it gets kind of flat and rushed and doesn't really work that well. I'm thinking in due course I'll hack off, or at least rewrite with not that much reference to this draft, the last 3/4 or so of what I wrote this November.

Oh, and at 70 kwords, it's noplace near the end of the story. If I continued at the present level of verbosity, the story would clock in over 90,000 words. If it goes more or less the same way it has so far. I was kind of hoping the characters would decide to go someplace else this time, which would be fine with me. And I don't know yet if they did/will; we were just getting to the jumping-off point when November ended and I decided I really needed to re-read the whole thing and see what I thought, and whether it makes sense to have these people telling this story; whether the characters learn things before they make use of the knowledge, etc.

Anyway. What with the WTFC deadline falling, I posted the PDF of that 3/4 draft of my novel. You may read it or not; comments are welcome, and the more critical they are the more useful they'll be in the rewrite.

I guess the moral of the story is that NaNoWriMo is designed to demonstrate to the participants that they can, in fact, write a more or less coherent story that's really fucking long, and survive to tell about it. In order to make that into a book people will actually be interested in reading, you either have to give a copy to your mother (mine hasn't read her copy, I'm pretty sure) or rewrite it, much more slowly, and possibly more than once or twice. But the pacing and the emphasis on wordcount uber alles that is NaNoWriMo is counterproductive for the latter process.

As I told Kellnerin once, if you write 2,000 words a weekend for a year, you have 100,000, which is a respectable sized book. I'm not sure that pace is for me, either (I do some of my work that way, and it suffers from my forgetfulness). Something between would probably be good.

Also, lemme say that Scrivener is really wonderful, if you have a mac, and you're trying to write a significant chunk of wordage.
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Dos Equis | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)
If memory serves... by atreides (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 07:22:36 PM EST
...doesn't Dos Equis mean "XX"?

Why is this not in the Hole?!?!?

He sails from world to world in a flying tomb, serving gods who eat hope.

Actually, they do by notafurry (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 12:37:01 AM EST
XX is not the good stuff, neither is Pacifico.

I was into Dos Equis by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:33:21 AM EST
before everybody else.

There was XX by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 06:29:45 AM EST
And then there is "Cerveza Clara XXX"

I kid you not:

Dos Equis | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)