Tag Archives: plans

Catching Up on Accountability

This entry is part 75 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So I've been struggling with insomnia lately and other real life hecticness, like signing a lease on a new house with the family and trying to think straight in spite of said insomnia and writing only on a tablet and at work because hovering sister, which makes for a poor productivity rate, including in accountability posts.

That said.

March 11, 2014

Started a crossover short, "Justice," with thecatisacritic, in which I wrote 646 words. She initiated; I liked.

March 12, 2014

Wrote a 485-word prose poem while researching poetic techniques and Shakespearean plays for lithiumlaughter's giftfic "Blank Verse." Also 133 words on "Justice" and 66 on "Blank Verse."

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 845 words
  • Poetry: 0 lines | 485 words
  • Blog: 109 words

Continue reading

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Today's Trenches

This entry is part 55 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Publishing

So I’ve been collaborating and publishing these last few days, and my fingers are itching to get back to my cover art to get it corrected for Createspace. I’m ready to order my proofs and get it off to bed, seriously.

Blogging

In the meantime, I discovered again a deplorable lack of information out there about genre. Most of the intensive information is workshops and classes. I want a reference book. So I’ll be adding into my already over-scattered writing schedule to put together a reference work called The Indie Author Guide to Genre, where I get to cover BISAC, Amazon, cross-genre, subgenres, and examples of how broad the scope of these genres can really be.

Then I’m also going to start putting together some tutorials on the Pods CMS plugin for my own benefit due to the fact that it is deplorably underdocumented and I use it extensively here and exclusively for my new series bible setup. I don’t know PHP. I don’t know SQL. I want an awesome site. Surely that's not too much to ask. :grins:

I’ll put both of these series under cuts so you can skip them if you want.

Writing

Didn’t do so good today, but it was a busy workday and I had to run to break on lunch. I got a chapter tweaked though and it’s off to the collaborator for editing and/or general assessment.

I look at how fast other writers produce and how they do it and I find myself wondering what in the world besides overthinking is holding me back, but then I remember it’s not always overthinking but sometimes sheer ignorance that must be rectified before my thinking actually produces anything of value again. Why do I insist on writing things that require me not to be ignorant?

Scribbling snippets here and there and not big ones, but they're coming.

Series Bible

As mentioned above, I think I’ve got a decent series bible setup now. It’s sparse because I’m focusing on canonical data and current WIP and building the site before focusing on filling everything out, but it exists. This is good.

Fandom

Sign-ups for the Invisible Ficathon start tomorrow. Yay!

Word Counts

Continue reading

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Up and Down

This entry is part 49 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So over the course of the last few days, I have fixed my computer three times and it has unfixed itself. Virus scan tomorrow.

Reading

I am reading The Flood while reading other books because frankly, I'm not ready for the Fire and Water series to be over. The other books were the Queen's Thief books by Megan Whalen Turner. A very long time ago when I was fourteen years old, my writing instructor recommended The Thief. I fell promptly and wholly in love. I never picked up the other books. This year, I rectified that and wow, these are so incredibly good. I want more too. Much more. I feel new fandom coming on.

Publishing

I got through page 20 of justifying/hyphenating the updated trade paperback interior of Dowse and Bleed. This proof already comes to hand too easily. I'm so ready to publish more and update Gone Hunting and write more. Alas! Only so much time and energy.

Writing

Started at 1696 words on Tracing Trouble, wrote 211, dumped those words, then went to the end and kept writing. I wanted to get 1000 on both this story and the collaboration today, but my computer was still crazy and my aunt visited today. I expect my evenings for the rest of the week to be similarly shortchanged.

Word Counts

  • Fiction: 526 words
  • Poetry: 0 words, 0 lines
  • Blog: 215 words

Splintered Gates

  • Today: 0 words
  • Total: 2493 words

Collaboration

  • Today: 0 words
  • Total: 3409 words*

*written by me in 2014

Tracing Trouble

  • Today: 526 words
  • Total: 2011 words

January Totals

  • Fiction: 8967 words
  • Poetry: 212 words | 45 lines
  • Blog: 6924 words

Completed Pieces

  • Poem: "Before My Eyes," 220 words | 47 lines.
  • Fanfic: "Mistakes," 1397 words.
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Self-Discipline and the Scribbler (Plus Reading)

This entry is part 42 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Experiment number one: no internet reading, commenting, etc. until after I type up the morning side of this status report, then write at least a thousand words for the day. If I’m going to get my sleep cycle turned back around, I need to not write or read between eleven p.m. and one o’clock in the morning!

These posts are getting rather long-winded. Anyone want me to split out the reading from the writing? I doubt most people are interested in the writing, and I don’t really know if anyone’s interested in the reading. I just plug this stuff here for my own accountability.

Reading

Last night I finished out Debt Collector, Season 1, by Susan Kaye Quinn. I had mixed feelings by the end. The story was very good, just like in Open Minds, and I loved the main character, but.

Lirium is twenty years old and that is well established. When dealing with men or enemies, he acts like it. Unfortunately with women and in several other situations, he is consistently portrayed with the emotional and cognitive maturity of a teenager between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. There is a cognitive shift in the brain between that age and Lirium’s stated age that makes this unbelievable for me; thus, my annoyance with the series. Also, there was some rather problematic objectifying of women and using them as rewards for the main character, something I would rather not have encountered.

In short, this read very much like a tv series, and in that respect, structurally, it was amazingly well done. It’s one I would like but not watch next year until I could buy the whole season and I wouldn’t cry my eyes out if I didn’t get to watch it for some reason. Further note to self: the first episode’s title was too iconic for the series. I keep calling the entire series Delirium instead of Debt Collector. Next season is supposed to be about a different collector. I might not buy it. The fifth season will have all the collectors that were introduced, meaning to me that there will be Lirium. I’ve got other books to read and will probably skip out on Season 2 for the time being.

A long time ago, I read an SFF writing book by Orson Scott Card that included tantalizing snippets from Octavia Butler's book, Wild Seed. I've wanted to read it since. I just did. Wow. Still processing this book. It's grappling with tough questions and ideas. I did love it.

Next on my reading docket: The Drought by thecatisacritic.

Publishing

So the formatter needs my cover file. :groans: I might not be able to get to that until Saturday night, but he did say I should get my Dowse and Bleed Kindle file around Tuesday of next week. I’m really excited about all of this, as its my first major professionally done book launch. Usually I treat it a lot like fanfic: post it and get back to writing. This time, I did categorization and metadata and careful typesetting and hired a formatter and really tweaked the cover until I was satisfied, etc. It’s a good feeling. I’m going to try and make a system of this.

Publishing Plans

I do want to publish twelve pieces this year as you might remember, but that means finishing eleven more pieces. I’m going to start trying to choose between my options for the eleven stories I want to flesh out and complete. The collaboration, fanfic, and short stories don’t count. As much as I like shorts, I was surprised by reading Debt Collector to realize how dense I pack my work. I don’t think shorts are enough to do what I want them to—I want more fiction like Rachelle’s—and I don’t think I’m going to magically start writing looser fiction either, so I suspect I’m about to get very happy in the novelette/novella word count range.

Writing Goals for the Day

Today, I want to get the antagonist side of things hammered out on the collaboration, enter my notes on Splintered Gates into my working file, then sketch or flesh out another good-sized chunk of words on it.

I’m thinking I’m going to take a break from the Laurie fic, simply because I still don’t feel equal to canon. I know the piece I want to write, and I don’t feel like I can do it justice yet.

Writing

First I wrote 755 words of brainstorming on the collaboration. It’s not fic, but it’s a start. Back to no internet until we get more written. I think we’ll do the notes on Splintered Gates before we try to write any more new stuff.

Procrastination

So that didn’t work. At all. But I stuck to The Passive Voice, Dean Wesley Smith, and one post of Hugh Howey’s, so not bad, right? Then, I screwed up and peeked on LJ for a reply from my collaborator. None, of course. I had to make myself close the browser window. Self-discipline is vital, but it’s harder than it looks.

Writing Again

Forget typing. I need to distract myself from distraction with new words, not compilation. Got 174 words on Splintered. At fifteen sentences, I’m thinking I’m technically good for the day. I can technically spend the rest of the day plotting out what I want to do for the year and how I want to do it and whether I want to go ahead and do a series or not—that is until my collaborator tells me whether I’m on the right track or barking up a tree.

Brainstormed with collaborator. We both like the same ideas for the most part, so time to get some words on page.

I sketched and tossed and will need to rewrite. Not counting them.

The Fangirl

The Giver by Lois Lowry is being made into a movie? :nearly faints: :makes grabby hands:

Word Count

  • Fiction: 174 words
  • Poetry: 0 words, 0 lines
  • Blog: 1700 words

Splintered Gates

  • Today: 174 words
  • Total: 2175 words

Collaboration

  • Today: 0 words
  • Total: 56,380 words

January Totals

  • Fiction: 5232 words
  • Poetry: 212 words | 45 lines
  • Blog: 5958 words

Completed Pieces

  • Poem: "Before My Eyes," 220 words | 47 lines.
  • Fanfic: "Mistakes," 1397 words.
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The Great Novel

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Writer, Know Thyself: Plot & Character

I had a revelation in the line of "Writer, know thyself" and decided to share.

There are several goals you hear a lot with writers. None of these goals are mutually exclusive. They often overlap in the same writer, same story, and often diverge in the same writer, different story.

  • Some seek to write literature, stories that mean something, that will be remembered because of their richness or their scope or their significance, etc.
  • Some seek to tell a good story, one that people can relate to and enjoy and want more like it.
  • Some seek to work out their own ideas, questions, or feelings on the page through the means of fiction. (Think Aldous Huxley.)
  • Some seek to give the characters in their mind an outlet and gain themselves some peace.

And you know what?

Any time I tried to write literature, I never could. I've tried. I really, really want to write something that means something and lasts and is worthy of being remembered.

Any time I tried to tell a good story, I got bored before I get through with it. I wrote a sketch and got complaints from my beta—if I was uncomplaining enough to even ship it to her.

Any time I start with a theme or idea, the story dies so quickly on the vine, I might as well have outlined. (I'm one of those writers for whom an outline is a gun—or a nuclear bomb. Outlines for me are storykillers of the first degree.)

I have never been able to do it. I have written many different ways, but the more I consider my issues with plot, the more I realize how absolutely my muse eschews it as a viable factor to be intentional about, which also perfectly explains why I'm always frustrating my beta who as a reader, loves my ideas and wishes I wouldn't skim them instead of dive headlong in.

In fact, almost anyone reading this will remember what I have stated before seems to be my story method, the one which allows me to start with a sentence and reach the end or do a whole write and revise morass that was thoroughly planned.

If you know your premise, your characters, and the rules of your world, then the rest is inevitable but unpredictable, even to you.

Characters are not plot. They aren't even stories—they have them, but exploring characters seems to be the only way I know how to write.

Premise is not plot. Premise is the big idea—or two actually, in my case. I have always had to have two factors to the premise before it's interesting enough to start me scribbling. The world is merely parameters I can use to dig deep into my characters. The premise is merely parameters I can use to dig deep into ideas.

Many of my premises are metaphor and symbology, which is why I don't mind using fictional elements like personality-shaping, conjoined minds, mindreading, soul-based powers, etc. Because I'm commenting through the use of these elements on what we actually do in the real world with our personalities, thoughts, souls.

Plot is "the rest" referred to in that paragraph. As my wonderful beta pointed out recently, all the story elements are tied together and grow out of each other and affect each other, even the ones I tend to ignore until they need weeding.

My method of plotting is beyond risky and I don't recommend it. I generally let it emerge in the same way I let theme emerge because if I pre-plan it too soon, I can't write the story. The story for me is the character. The character arc defines the story. But it's messy. It's literary. Sometimes I vignette a snapshot instead of an arc. Sometimes I show an arc but forget to show the world that makes it make sense. Sometimes I write a novel/ette and am required to stop, drop, and plot in the middle because I finally know enough to do it without killing my creative impulse, but it takes me forever because I don't really plot all that often.

This usually happens when, at the time I start writing, I have too many characters I don't know or too many rules of my world I don't know.

This is my weakness, and it's good to be able to put a face on it at last because I've always wanted to write that great novel and I've always wanted to tell that awesome story and I've always wanted to explore the ideas that pound on the inside of my skull, begging to be let out but sniffing at essays in disdain. The only way I've ever been able to do it was by digging into character.

It gives me a different perspective and one that may help me start pushing myself into plot and finished works if I can view plot through that lens and find a way to connect with it.

What do you know, learn something new every day.

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Here, Have a Snippet

I've got a handful of stories that are on the table right now:

  • belated Yuletide gifts (1 or 2 will do, she's not picky)
  • the collaboration (she's patient, which is good because I'm deep in revision/formatting wonderland)
  • Splintered Gates (which is my learning how to write on a tablet book)
  • Collateral Damage (the follow-up to Dowse and Bleed)

I've had an 4100+ word opening to Collateral Damage from before that phrase appeared in Dowse and Bleed, but I didn't know which direction to turn after that because it starts out from the perspective of Andre and Shift instead of a direct head-on with Rachelle. Which meant I hadn't the foggiest idea whose story it was and why. I only knew what was going on: the crisis.

Today, I went for the dubious option of just pick one. Here's the snippet:

Breathe. This was not supposed to happen now, not so soon, and not like this.

It was an effort to breathe, to shift gears from the world as Rachelle had always known it. Cycling was survival. She had to move the flood of genetic entries through her vascular system and into archive as soon as possible, or the backup would overwhelm her veins, which could only handle so much. But this day had been coming a long time, and it hit her hard when she incorporated one more entry into her own permanent genetic makeup and then felt that harsh inability to breathe that it was the archive out of space.

Don't cycle. Don't cycle. Back up, spin the paddles, find a shield and stop her own genetic flow. How can you deny your very bones?

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A New Year's Scribbler: January 1, 2014

This entry is part 31 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

The daily scribble posts are back. On New Year's Day, I didn't actually expect to be productive. I expected laid back holiday, wherein we ate a scrumptious meal, spent time with family, and kept our four-year-old tradition of a treasure hunt, albeit a week late due to my sister and I having been sick heading into Christmas.

We did that, but I was also productive.

Reading

Read through some Yuletide reveals and one of the two new stories at Beneath Ceaseless Skies. I also 'accidentally' stayed up to 2 o'clock in the morning reading Lynn Austin's Return to Me.

Note: I am extremely picky about historical and non-Old Testamental Biblical fiction. Most of it bores me unless it's written extraordinarily well. I tend to like Old Testament stories and I like classics that were written in historical periods, but not ones written about said historical periods. That said, I liked Lynn Austin's Gods and Kings series about Hezekiah. This book is set during a period of Biblical history that fascinates me (and is Old Testament): the interval between Daniel and Esther wherein there was Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah, and Haggai. So I figured I'd like this book.

It had issues. Overall, I liked it. Can't say I loved it because the prologue was fabulous and then the first ten chapters were so tedious that I skipped five of them and probably never will read them. The middle was driven by a bad promise the main character kept despite knowing better on so many counts it wasn't even funny. The ending was fabulous. So... mixed feelings. Probably won't reread.

I've been reading The Drought and Quartz as well and am hoping to catch up within the next month.

Publishing

Hammered away at "Dowse and Bleed" by tweaking four or five lines that were bothering me (apparently I'm one of those artists who won't stop editing until you pry her work right out of her hands), laying out the interior less hyphenation, and figuring out whether to add chronology to the cover. Also categorized it as a science fiction procedural per BISAC. Thank you, lithiumlaughter and in_the_blue, for helping me figure that one out. I haven't decided whether I want to add an excerpt for a forthcoming story in there, but am leaning strongly toward not.

To publish this baby in January, I particularly need to finalize the cover and finish pounding away at the summary, which I was doing yesterday. I thought it was perfect than realized it really didn't have a strong enough emphasis on what a special-type human was or that this was superhuman fiction. :headdesk: Back to the drawing board.

I'm tempted to work on Kingdoms and Thorn for the February story, but then it might be waaay better to do one of the other storyworlds for lots of reasons, so leaving certainty on the back burner.

Writing

Wrote 12 sentences instead of seven on book I should not be writing but is pestering me anyway.

Did some percolating research for fanfics in progress. I've got a particular scene I want to write for Finding the Ground and am still mulling over exactly where I want to check into Laurie. I think I know, but I keep waffling.

Also reread a bunch of Divergent series stuff. Is it awful to say I want a serious romance fic on the level of short story like what I write for Rogue/Gambit? Tris and Four have this serious fade to black moment and I'm pretty sure it was the standard fade to black and I wanted more. Additionally, I've got other serious Divergent plot-bunnies. I'd like to make them wait until I update some of my older fics so many people are waiting on, but no promises. Never those.

Collaboration

Discovered the joys of Scrivener for collaboration. I can add status notes about who worked on which part last, setting keywords, folders for our alternate chapter/scene orders and compiled files, etc., etc., etc. And we're sort of writing multiple timelines, so the brain went crazy with ideas yesterday. For collaboration, Scrivener is awesome.

Which brings me to...

New Arrivals

Scrivener: I officially love you, thecatisacritic. Thank you!

Duotrope: I thought about submitting "Dowse and Bleed" before I changed my mind, but now have a trial of Duotrope. I should do Heinlein's challenge in light of it, but I don't need the pressure, so probably won't.

Word Count

  • Fiction: 49 words
  • Poetry: 0 words
  • Blog: 81 words
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More on Goals

7 Sentence Challenge

Each day, I am challenging myself to write seven sentences on my tablet in my odd time. This should stick to the same story until complete.

Collaboration Challenge

I'm challenging myself to produce roughly 5000 words a week, in the recognition of reality that my 1K daily average goal will doubtless include missed days.

Publish 12 Challenge

I'd like to publish one new title a month on average. I have no idea how I intend to do this.

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Meme: December Ramblings

Gacked from likeadeuce:

Pick a date below and give me a topic and I'll ramble on. I'm good at talking. It can be anything from fandom related (specific characters, actors, storylines, episodes, etc) to life related to pizza preferences to whatever you want.

They will probably be brief, or not, depending on the subject.

Also, I reserve the right to decline prompts that I don't feel equipped to meet.

Topics: you can get an idea from my tags/from the stuff I usually ramble about/from things you maybe wish I talked about more but don't.

December 1 - The perfect cup of tea, thecatisacritic
December 2 - rant/opinion/whatever you prefer on use of first person POV, in_the_blue
December 3 -
December 4 -
December 5 - five things you love love love about Colorado, in_the_blue
December 6 -
December 7 - can you tell me a bit about where you're at with fandom? How you got there?, stormkpr
December 8 - what would you as a writer tell you the writer of five or ten years ago, thecatisacritic
December 9 -
December 10 -
December 11 -
December 12 -
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