I'm Hailey and this is my blog. I'm an American dancer/singer living in Hong Kong. This is where I talk about the excitement & adjustments of living in a completely different culture. Everybody's welcome to come along for the ride.
Don't forget to buy my books. There's bound to be some holiday coming up.
I've started writing, but it occurred to me that I don't know all of the character's names yet. I was going to name all of the female characters after Shakespearean women, but that doesn't work. I don't want to use Juliet or Ophelia. That leaves a few good names – Rosalind, Viola, Beatrice, Katherina – a few names that you can't help but think of something else – Regan, Titania, Hermione, Portia – and a lot of names that just don't sound right – Goneril, Volumnia, Hippolyta, Gertrude.
I came up with a system for naming some of the interconnected characters. It's either clever or stupid. We'll have to wait and see.
The first step in Untitled 2017 Novel is research. This book will require some. Maybe a lot. It takes place in Los Angeles. I've been there, but I don't know the city backward and forward. The easiest way around that is to have a character that doesn't know the city. The stranger in a strange land is common for a reason. But I still have to know what I'm talking about.
Today, I looked up parks. Specifically, Griffith Park, Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, Malibu Creek State Park, Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park and Stoney Point. It's amazing how much green space is in Los Angeles. I can't say that they'll all end up in the book, but at least one of them will play an important role.
Before I even face the blank page, I like to know what the story's about. I'm not Jack Kerouac. I can't just start typing random words and something comes out in the end. I want to know that I'm dealing with a complete story.
A woman walks into a grocery store and something happens.
That's not a story. You could easily get into a chapter or two and then get stuck.
A woman walks into a grocery store and finds a time portal in the wine aisle. She travels back in time, fixes the biggest mistakes of her life and becomes happy and successful. On a visit to her old home town, she stops into the local grocery store where she meets her former self, causing the universe to tear apart.
That could be a story. It doesn't sound like something I'd write, but a science fiction writer could probably work with that.
Before I start typing, I want to know where the story goes and what happens. Does it have an ending and, more importantly, does it have a middle? Why does that thing happen? What were those people thinking? When she says this does it mean that? I won't start until I can answer a few basic questions. I've written myself into corners before. It's annoying.
More than a few people have asked me, “How do you write a book?” My standard reply is, “With a computer.”
I'm starting a new book. It's a novel, pure fiction, and I'm trying something new. Since I'm writing the book in a different way, I thought I'd jot down a few notes about what I'm doing while I write it. That might sound highly egotistical, but what about blogs and Facebook and Twitter isn't egotistical? The whole point of this blog is for me to look back in the future on what I was thinking about in the past. There might come a day when I look back on this book and wonder what I was thinking.
I'm not doing it for posterity. I'm not expecting historians to pour over these words in two hundred years while analyzing one of the great works of world literature. I fully expect to be completely forgotten by then. Books can easily last a few centuries, but most are only remembered for a few years, if that. And no matter what happens with this book, I have no doubt that no one will have the faintest idea what a blog was 200 years from now.
I suppose a few caveats are in order. Since we're talking about a novel that has not been written, there is the very real possibility that it will never be completed. I try to finish what I start. That's just one of those remnants of my upbringing. But sometimes you do something that maybe you shouldn't do. Some things were never meant to be finished.
Equally possible is that I will finish it, but it will never be published. There are a few people who can write absolutely anything and it's guaranteed to be published by someone somewhere. Those people have names you recognize. Even if you've never read any of their books, you've probably seen a movie based on one. I'm not one of those people. I'm not contractually guaranteed anything.
I could write a big chunk of the book and then change it. Maybe drastically. When you read the finished product, you never know what happened in between drafts. By documenting this book as it happens, I'm opening myself to a world of embarrassment. Fortunately, most of the world will never know that this blog exists. Anyone who reads both this blog and the novel, should it ever exist, might know how it all started out versus how it ended up. I don't have a problem with that.
The point of this little experiment isn't to serialize the novel. I probably won't even talk much about the story. This is supposed to be a diary of sorts about the writing process. I can't say how successful it will be. I might be too busy to update it often enough, or I might just give up entirely. It's an experiment. It might be interesting, mildly amusing or completely pointless.
I tried to upload some videos from Disneyland. There seems to be some kind of bug with Blogger. It's definitely not the first time. As soon as Google bought them out, pictures became more difficult. It only makes sense that videos would also be a problem.
Sometimes the videos are up, sometimes they aren't. Sometimes they play, sometimes they don't. I don't know why they all have the Youtube stamp. None of them were uploaded to Youtube – unless Blogger uploads them to Youtube without my permission. I know Google wants everyone to use Google Chrome, but I'm not going to. It's like signing into a website with Facebook. If I have to join them or else, I'll just go somewhere else. It may be a small world, but it's a pretty big internet.