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Something About Mary (My New Thing I Am Doing)
eliot
catvalente
So! I am doing a thing!

Mary Robinette Kowal is, as she often is, the source of awesomeness. She does a thing where she posts her rough drafts as she writes them, under lock and key, and people comment and give her feedback and speculate about where the story is going and it's a part of her process and when I heard that, O Reader, I had the envies. Because that's how I used to write, back in the day, when it was just a dream that I'd ever have a book, and I miss it. I miss the feeling of other people on the road with me. I tend to huddle and disappear and become Cave Buffy when I write, and that's not really healthy

So I am going and doing likewise.

Essentially, over on this site, I will be posting chapters of my current wip under password lock. All you have to do to get a password is fill out the form at the bottom of the first post--for now I'm not going to cap the number, but if it gets overwhelming, I reserve the right to do that. 

It is important to note: the point of this is not to sneak out work before publication--not just a way for you to read the new book sooner. These will be rough drafts, pre-editing of any kind beyond spellcheck, and I'm relying on you guys to actually comment and interact, otherwise there's not much purpose in me posting. Also, if I find a chapter on a pirate site? I will not be happy. Part of the reason that I can be as open online as I am is that y'all have never made me sorry. I am so grateful for that and want it to stay that way. Lots more about the rules on the actual site.

So. What's the current wip, you ask? Well, starting today or tomorrow, chapters of the Fairyland sequel will appear there--The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. As I said, it's under password lock, but this is a way to re-experience the halcyon days of Fairyland without running smack into first rights issues. A secret space for me to whisper stories to you--and for us all to learn. Because you'll be able to see what a rough draft is like, and how it changes as it slouches toward publication, and I'll be able to beta test my code on your brains.

It is my hope that this will become a permanent part of my process, as it is with Mary. As always, I hope for Awesome.

I'm so excited! I hope you guys are too! I'll leave you with the little Yeatsy trifle I wrote to launch the Thing, which I call either my drafting table or Rough Beasts. Head over and get your password! (OMG look how perfect an icon I have for this!)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The writer cannot hear the reader;
Chapters fall apart; the structure cannot hold;
Mere postmodernism is loosed upon the world,
The deadline-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of the literary life is drowned;
The industry lacks all conviction, while the authors
Are full of passionate intensity. Surely so
the last line is at hand;
Surely publication is at hand.
Publication! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with hardback body and a head of many pages,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert critics.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty months of weary work were vexed to print by this rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Manhattan to be born?


On the internet
I saw an editor, wrathful, mocking,
who, sitting behind their keyboard,
a red pen clasped in a shaking talon,
brandished it.

I asked, "What is it, friend?"
"It is horrible, horrible," she answered;
"But I loathe it
because it is dog-fuckingly awful,
and it's not being written for me."

I agree with this comment.

your icon perplexes me... mostly because i am used to hearing "blood and thunder" said by orcs in WoW.

It's from oglaf.com (NSFW)

"twitchy made a dust angel!"

OH MY GOD YOU WIN THE WHOLE INTERNET.

where the hell am i going to put it? i live in a small house!

It is far bigger on the inside than the outside.

Like the TARDIS? OMG, this explains so much!

Sometimes you make me laugh so hard I just have to shout out loud!

I am so excited! I AM SO EXCITED.

I got my password but probably won't start reading till the end of the week, after I finish Fairyland #1

Ezra Pound humour. Wow I feel erudite. Can't wait to start.

Just got my password. It is so very, very cool!

*password request Emailed* I am squeeing like mad that you're doing this :)

I have my shiny new password! Will there be a special login page later?

The posts will be password-protected, individually. (tho it'll be the same password for them all)

I am hoping that some part of the posts will appear in an RSS feed so that my aggregator can tell me that something new has been posted, even though I'll have to log into to see exactly what that something is?

I do believe that's how it works, yes. (We'll test the RSS-friendliness shortly)

Kewl. The first post did show up in my feed for confirmation on that.

Ok, tested. The posts do appear on the RSS feed, so you'll see entries like:
Protected: Chapter 1
with links to the actual posts (which then make you put in a password). So, it behaves well with RSS readers.
We also put in a 'Subscriptions' sidebar on the right, which also lets you put in your email, to be notified when new posts appear.

Thanks! That's very decent of you.

I miss reading your 'rough' work- I remember reading parts of Labyrinth before it was ever real flesh and paper- that exciting thing of words that are real yet not real, the feeling of creation at it's most raw

I wish you nothing but the best in this Cat- I hope no one ever breaks your trust :)

1) I adore this idea
2) I freaking love my password

So excited to read and start thinking of writing in a workshop way again. Hope this gets my writing going again.

huzzah!

Life is exciting! And it will be good to flex my editorial/writer's workshoppy skills on something fictional, since I'm currently working in educational publishing.

Hooray!

I'd love to follow along but do I need to have read the first book for any of this to make sense to me?

I'm certainly hoping not.

In fact, please do follow along - you can provide valuable perspective, of somebody who hasn't read the first book!

Then I look forward to it!

I am so there they had to build there around me. :D

Oh. Man. I am there!

Awesome poem.

And I applied even though I didn't finish the first Fairyland yet. Maybe I can contribute something meaningful anyway.

great idea! I'll certainly sign up :)

~facepalm~ It would probably help if I could remember my own e-mail address, for the up-signing.

Looking forward to seeing the progression between drafts and final. Hoping I might be of use. Learning *all* the blessed time. Thank you for tossing this invitation wide. :)