Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My story never writes itself

It's so annoying. I'm jealous of all those people out there who seem able to go into the "zone" and feel that their stories are flowing freely...just about writing themselves!

For me, it's like pulling teeth. Every single time. I wrote a bit this morning, but only got about 300 words done. I mean, I like to have written stuff, it's cool, and keeps me motivated (if I keep at this, I'll have some stories to show for it). But now, NOW I am hating having to think of what words to type next. "Now" may not actually exist and be purely an illusion, but that's how our minds work, so it's "now" that I am wasting words on this blog and not putting them in my novel. Hrmph.

Maybe it's just me trying too hard to write a "wuxia anime" fantasy thing. The Doctor Who stories were so much easier to do. (I just don't really WANT to write a ton of DW stuff. Come on. I'm American. Of course, you could say the same about the "wuxia anime", but hey, at least I don't have to worry about trying to sound British!) On second thoughts, the non-"wuxia anime" non-DW stories aren't any easier. I'm just grasping at straws.

Here's one of my "wuxia anime" confrontations. Can you count the cliches? Also, yes, I am very literal-minded.

A cold fog lay draped over the folds of the hidden Shambhalan mountains. Chola could smell the wet green of new leaves. Somewhere in the fog, he could hear a creek trickling past.

Somewhere in the mud and the fog, he knew he would meet those he had come to meet.

Somewhere in the fog, he heard the soft pip-pip of frogs. The sound echoed in his mind, shaped a name, a name he had tasted many long years ago. Chola stopped walking. He unsheathed his deathblade and held it before him.

"So the Blind Frogmaker walks this world still!" Chola sent his challenge into the fog.

The frogs fell silent.

A shape formed in the fog: gray and hairless, long-limbed, stooped. It was naked except for a ragged white loincloth. Eyeless sockets turned towards Chola. "The Carrion Bear. Fancy meeting you here."

"It's not you I've come to meet," said Chola.

"Of course not," hissed the other. "No one ever wants to see the Blind Frogmaker. Not this ugly thing, when there are so many more pleasant things to rest your eyes on. Oh no. But it's me here, nevertheless. Here to tell you: don't look for a welcome. You will find none."

"Where is she?" asked Chola. He had no patience to waste on the Frogmaker's self-pity or resentment.

"She doesn't need you," said the gray figure. "She doesn't need you, and she doesn't want you. Go away while you can!"

"Let her tell me that herself," said Chola. He sensed the shift of energy around him, but made no response. Not yet.

"You don't deserve even a single word from her lips!" The chorus of frogs had started up again, louder than before. To Chola's ears, they seemed to be shouting curses.

"That's for her to decide," said Chola. "Lady Bloodless! Call off your pet before he ends up skewered over an open fire!"

"You think it's so easy?" sneered the other.

"I already know," said Chola. "Guard yourself!" He leaped upwards, slashing all around him with the deathblade. Gray strands fell away in every direction.

His trap dismantled, the Blind Frogmaker grunted and flew back, using a hand and a foot to catapult himself into a tree. From his other hand, a shower of fist-sized frogs shot towards Chola.

Chola reacted instantly, severing each frog before it could reach him, taking care not to let the venomous blood drip on him. Just as he was about to launch his counterattack, he heard slow applause from behind him.

"The Carrion Bear is the Carrion Bear," said a woman's voice.

"My lady!" The Blind Frogmaker dropped from the tree and went down on one knee, lifting his hands and cupping them in respectful greeting. "The Frogmaker has offended you."

Chola lowered the falchion and turned, careful to keep the Frogmaker in his field of view.

The woman was a stranger to him, yet he recognized the mind behind the face. "Lady Bloodless."

She smiled. Without taking her eyes off Chola, she said, "There's no need for hostility. We're all friends here."

"Friends?" said Chola.

"Frogmaker, aren't you going to thank our friend for destroying Heartless Killer Achamo and avenging your son?" said the woman, not bothering to even look at the kneeling figure.

Chola's jaw tightened. You have no proof, he thought. Though he kept the thought to himself, she clearly read it in his expression.

"Who else could it be?" The woman laughed lightly. "How could anyone else have killed her if you had chosen to guard her? You would not be standing here today. There would have been two dead bodies on Stone Monkey Mountain."

Chola had no answer for her.

"So you killed her, or you abandoned her," spat the Frogmaker. "Faithless or gutless, I name you."

"Yet you owe him," said the woman. "Whatever the circumstance."

"So be it," said the Frogmaker. He lifted his face towards Chola. "This debt I will repay!"


  1. My stories don't really write themselves either - with the odd exception. NaNo 2009 was an exception, my fingers flew on the keyboard and I was always desperate to get to the next bit because it was going to be even more awesome than the bit I just wrote. :P

    Usually though, it's not that easy for me.

  2. My stories usually don't write themselves... except for the first week of NaNo '10 where I banged out 20K without a plot in mind. I reached 50K by the end of November...unfortunately I haven't had any time to work on it, and now I'm kinda scared to go back toit.

  3. I guess NaNo can do that to you. :)

    Go back to it, APN, go back to it! We all gotta finish our novels! The next best thing to the story writing itself is you writing it. Or something.