>Revising and Procrastination

>So I still haven’t started writing yet. I think I’ve learned to take procrastination to all new heights, these days. I’ll pick strawberries with the kids, play farmville, warhammer, go to the grocery store, but write? Heck no.

But a recent blog by Chris Baty has me wondering. What sort of revision efforts could NaNoWriMo help me with? He’s asking for input on the kinds of revision tools you’d like to see.
Right now, we have the barest minimum. A couple of forums, the Critiques forum, and the Novel Draft Aftercare forum. Critiques is great, but only if you have something ready to critique. Aftercare is nice, but I’m not done yet.
I had a dream the other night. Apparently, my subconscious doesn’t set its sights very high. I dreamed that I went to the mailbox, and my novel was in there. It was a paperback proof, had been retitled “Off the Shoulder” (I have no idea why) and was printed by the “Del Rey Discount Books” division. There was a contract in there… with a $1,500 advance written in. I remember the cover art being pretty cool, though.
I mean… really? My brain couldn’t come up with NYT bestseller list, or a million dollar advance, or even a fully priced paperback? Oh dear.
I’m going to take it as encouragement, though. While I don’t think Del Rey has a discount books division, I like the attainability of that dream. Million dollar advances are very rare– but what I’m aiming for isn’t a certain advance, or even the NYT list. It’s purely, and simply, publication. My book, available in a bookstore near you, where I can go and front my books, and smile like an idiot while I point to it to the other customers and say “MINE!” while they back away slowly. I’ve thought (hard) about publishing some ebooks, but I still want the real thing.
So what are your writing plans? Are you writing for you? Are you revising something to be published? Going the self-publishing or ebook routes? Trying to convince the aliens in the back of your head that they can’t destroy the planet because of your literary prowess?

>Plot bunny!

>Last night, I had a dream, and it gave me an idea for my NaNo!

I’d talked with a friend about maybe doing a sort of fairy-tale retelling. I want to do a male protagonist this time (I always do females), and I thought the story of the Firebird would be something fun to use as a plot framework. I may still incporate some elements of it.

Last night, I had the COOLEST dream… and I think I’m going to incorporate some of it into my story.

There will be a Truthsayer… someone who is capable of absolute recall (think eidetic memory) and who is considered absolutely trustworthy… you don’t call a Truthsayer a liar. The punishment for a Truthsayer lying is immediate execution. So they walk a fine line… they get conditioning that eliminates the ability to lie, but they can’t just go around telling absolute truth, so they learn to omit. Talking to one is like talking to the ultimate politician. 😉 Only a court of law can force them to answer questions, though.

There will be an enforcer… the law-enforcing counterpart to a truthsayer. Based on a truthsayer’s word, an enforcer can enact judgment and sentence in one person for some crimes… again, there’s a lot of conditioning going on, etc.

There will be a conspiracy to eliminate a large portion of the poor/”useless” population, and it will involve a large spaceship. The captain of this ship has to get rid of the enforcer and the truthsayer, because if they report back, then his life/fortune is forfeit.

At some point, the enforcer will say or do something illegal… which the truthsayer will have to report.

But through their trials, they become friends/trust each other, that sort of thing. The enforcer will ask the truthsayer to not report. The truthsayer may or may not… but if he does, he will have to actually wipe the action/conversation from his memory. Because if he remembers, and is asked, he will have to report it.

I love dreams. I get all my best ideas from it.

>What Dreams May Come

>Had a fascinating dream last night that gave me the change in story direction I needed to get Hacker Dragon back on track. I was writing, but it was slow as molasses… and then I came up with the next twist to get it moving again.

I get a lot of material from dreams. I have very brilliant, colorful, vivid dreams. Sometimes very strange ones, at that. I’ve got another tale in the works, a seed of an idea that is germinating as we speak. It came straight out of a very bizarre dream involving a blue dragon, hiding in a mudslide, and a strange post-war environment of refugees. I’ve now got a tale in my head that tells the story of an amnesiac sniper who must discover his identity… all the while he is now working against the people he used to work for.

I don’t know where it’s going, but I do know what the final confrontation will look like.

Dreams are a fertile source of ideas for me. I was trained very early in life to remember my dreams, and I’ve gotten quite good at it. I usually lose a little of the “feel” of a dream, but I do remember most of them. Enough to build my stories on. I also tend to work out nasty plot knots as I lie in bed, trying to fall asleep. Given that it generally takes me at least an hour to fall asleep (sometimes longer), that’s usually a lot of very focused concentration. Which usually leads to more dreams, more ideas, and I literally work out my novel’s problems while I dream.

It’s a good system, and works for me.