Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You Want My Honest Opinion, Huh?

Today, I spent some time getting down some thoughts about somebody else's writing.

In the writer's group that I'm part of, two members (there are five of us) get our work critiqued at each of our monthly meet-ups. Thursday, my screenplay outline is up at bat, and so is a chapter of Charles's novel. So today was all about organizing my thoughts about his work.

As I've mentioned before, this is my first writer's group, so I'm still finding my way to a degree - I have some comfort zone issues, not about being criticized, but about feeling free to criticize.

People who know me well are probably staring at their monitors right now, laughing uncontrollably. I have a bit of a reputation for being a downright bloodthirsty critic.

But here's the thing: that's among my nearest and dearest. I really do have comfort zone issues with critiquing. It's funny, but the better I know and the more I love someone, the more likely I am to hold nothing back when I respond to their work.

It's a trust issue, and it's something I have to work on, while making sure that I don't overcompensate in any direction. I need to strike a balance, one that respects Charles as a colleague who has requested my honest opinion, and myself as someone with an opinion that's worth expressing honestly, even if I'm sometimes a little reserved about doing so.

I'll post some thoughts about how writer's group went tomorrow, after I get home. Right now, it's later than I wanted to be up. My honest opinion: It's time for bed.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

No Mo' NaNoWriMo, Yo!

Sorry, was that oblique?

("Oblique" is the "literary" term for something that "makes no sense.")

What I meant to say was, I won't be participating in National Novel Writing Month this year.

I thought about it, but it's not like my life is a whole lot saner than this time last year, when I boldly decided to NaNo, and barely scratched the 50,000-word target. Confidence-building exercises are only beneficial to the degree that one is successful enough at them to build one's confidence, I find.

And it's not like I'm short of ideas or need additional motivation to park my keister and write.

Right now, I've got the New Comics Project on the go - very exciting, the writing is moving forward nicely, and details will follow as the situation develops. I've also got the writer's group, with the New Screenplay I've been outlining. And then there's the Other Screenplay, which I finished a while ago, and need to circulate to some interested parties for feedback that will then need to be incorporated into a second draft.

I don't need the arbitrary structure of NaNoWriMo to get me writing - I am writing. I don't need it to jump-start my creativity. And, as nice as the built-in socializing is, and as much as that sort of thing does facilitate my writing, I have that already too - via the writer's group, and the "studio days" that I've been taking with my friend and former Xeno's Arrow co-creator, Greg.

NaNo is a great idea, and I wish nothing but fun, success and the total absence of writers block to everyone participating this year. But I'll be taking a pass. I'm too busy.

With, among other things, my writing.

"More Frequent Updates" I Said. Ha.

Hmm. I'm not all that great at this "blogging" thing, am I? Anytime I'm doing something interesting enough to blog about, I'm too busy doing it to blog about it.

But other people are interesting and blog about it at the same time. How do you do it, interesting people who blog? How, I ask? HOW?!

In other news, I turned 36 yesterday. I'm working on a neat new comics project with an old friend who also happens to be a great artist, so that's exciting - more on that later, since he doesn't want me to post any samples yet. (There's no finished art, only designs.)

Oh, and the writer's group meets on Thursday. I circulated my submission, an outline for a new screenplay, to the others at the meeting in late September. I haven't thought about it much since - I've been busy with the aforementioned New Project. I should re-read it before I have to defend it, huh? :)