The outline is expanding scene by scene (jotted down 17 yesterday - didn't write them, just noted what they would be) and last night (just before bed which is always the way) I finally figured out why Niall would have been sent on such a detail on his own - it's a punishment for not playing well with others. So I can incorporate that into the scene list/ layout.
 
My outline this time has a mongrel pedigree - I've read bits from Alexandra Sokoloff's blog on the three act structure; Lynn Viehl's (Paperback Writer) blog posts on Quantum Writing (1 and 2) as well as other bits and pieces filtered from the intarweebs and am using those pointers to help build the skeleton. We shall see!

Perhaps I should have given up at Draft 1, Attempt 3. In all probability I should really have given up by Draft 1, Attempt 7 but, last night, just as I was about to turn the light out (and isn't that always the way?) I finally realised where it should start. I wrote the paragraph before I went to bed - much to the disgruntlement of the two collies and two cats draped around the room - and nodded off relieved that I have a starting point which will hopefully lead to the end point I already had in mind.

The book is nearing the end of its seclusion period. I've got nearly two weeks off over Easter thanks to the profusion of Bank Holidays and weekends so I shall use that time to do the first set of revisions. I'll let it sit for another three weeks or so after that and then do a third pass. Hopefully it will not remain broken when I've finished with it.

Things to do this month:
Outline four shorts that I only have bare bones ideas for
Play with the notes for a couple of novels that I have and see which one's likely to be up next for writing.
Revise the (still) untitled YA Rural Fantasy
feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Oct. 2nd, 2009 03:53 pm)


I've breached the 50k barrier (woo!) and have one chapter to go before reaching the end of part one. I'm so pleased, I can't wait to get onto part two. I've slowed down a fair bit in the last few weeks as we've approached the new term. Hopefully, I can pick things up again during my lunch breaks and crack on a bit more.

Click to view daily statistics

Progress. I have it. Bwahahahahaah!


Project: Unnamed UF
New Words: 4,686 (over 2 sessions)
Present Total Word Count: 37,843
Goal: 80,000

Tilly's undergone testing on her shields and has signed a contract for more training on how to control her power - a new plot element cropped up in writing this, so Tilly's contract specifies that if she can't control her power within a set timeframe then she'll be deemed dangerous and will be dealt with by the Magister who holds her contract.

It's still messy, but I can see which things can be tightened and smoothed in revisions so it's not all bad. I'm likely to finish considerably over the word count I'm aiming for but, again, we'll see how things pan out once the revision process has been done.

All in all I'm quite pleased at the progress I've made and have to point the finger at word wars for the assistance.


Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 1,495
Present Total Word Count: 25,603
Goal: 80,000

The rogue scenes have been done and we're back onto the scheduled scenes, so the pace (of writing) has picked up a bit.

The PC chum #1 and I bought in February has finally been paid for; after pay day I have to transfer my portion of the holiday money and then I can start saving again. (Yay! Savings! What are those again?) I think people will be subjected to a lot of handmade presents between now and January. Knitting/ cross-stitch/ quilting extravaganza here I come! I think I may have to timetable my weekends. ::sigh::
Anyway, I'm off to the soggy north this afternoon to Newcastle to visit the pater. I'm still undecided as to whether I should risk the A1 (loooooong delays at Gateshead becuase of roadworks) or head up the A19, upon which I have never travelled. The magical mystery tour. Hmmm. Choices.
Ah, the glamour. Can you see it shine?

I've started to slow down in the word wars; I'm writing a couple of scenes that I hadn't planned for in the original outline so I'm picking my way through the dialogue rather than blasting ahead. I knew, going in, that there wouldn't be a clean first draft when I was done, so I'm not overly disappointed, but there will be a significant revision process in my future! Not least because I'd planned the first section (of around 10 scenes) to be between 80 and 100 pages; I am on scene seven (one of the new ones) and I'm 84 pages in, so I'm aware that during the revision process there will be the taking out of 'stuff' as well as the putting in. C'est la vie. But, slow though the progress may be, it is still progress and therefore correctable.

I'm glad that I outlined as I'm notoriously messy without one, and I do allow for deviation/ additions to the plan, but those extra scenes were a surprise I should--perhaps--have anticipated. Not that it would have been a surprise then. Anyway. On to the metrics!

Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 1,495
Present Total Word Count: 25,603
Goal: 80,000

Reason for stopping: Had to get back to day jobbery

Things accomplished in fiction: The second new scene added - again, very slowly.

Things accomplished in real life: Day jobbery - More work on presentations. More e-mail. Publications. Fiddling with e-book lists and web pages.
Non-day-jobbery - More Supernatural. Dogs out for a walk. Watched chum #1 argue with water company that directly outside our house is a Section 24 sewer--which means it's public-- and therefore their responsibility to sort out. (Never give in! Never surrender!) Read some of the new issue of Black Static.

Currently reading: C.L.Wilson's King of Sword & Sky

Bookmark is stuck in: Testament of Youth - Vera Brittain (I'm working on it, but it's slow going)

Staring at me from the sofa: NF book on Georgette Heyer's Regency world

Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 2,542 (this is not all from the same day, but I'm not doing separate posts for it)
Present Total Word Count: 24,108 (up to chapter six)
Goal: 80,000

Reason for stopping: Had to get back to day jobbery

Things accomplished in fiction:
The very slow writing of a scene I hadn't planned at all. Not quite at the gouging each word out with a blunt spoon, but it was getting there.

Things accomplished in real life: Day jobbery - More work on presentations. More e-mail. Meetings with colleagues. Non-day-jobbery - Watched more of season four of Supernatural (I'm catching up). Unpacked a delivery from Tesco (yay! we have cous cous! and soup!)

Currently reading:
C.L.Wilson's Tairen Soul series (book four is out later this year)

Bookmark is stuck in:
Testament of Youth - Vera Brittain (I'm working on it, but it's slow going)

24108 / 80000
feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Aug. 14th, 2009 09:26 am)
Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 1,416
Present Total Word Count: 21,566
Goal: 80,000


Things accomplished in fiction: Caleb's finally giving Tilly the information she wanted and I'm trying to avoid info-dumpage at this point.

Things accomplished in real life: Finished a powerpoint presentation for work; started planning a tour & presentation; dealt with e-mails &c.
Took Bear on a training walk, as he's still willful, which knackered us both; tested some more home made Welsh cakes (Chum #1 did a good job, but I'll have to test a few more to make *absolutely* certain.) :oP
Cleared part of the patio so that the sewerage chappy can get to the drain today. Oh, yes. Hot, muggy weather and the Victorian drains are playing up. Lovely.

Anyway. Progress.

21566 / 80000

feed_your_muse: Red, Welsh Border Collie (Bran)
( Aug. 13th, 2009 09:06 am)

I've finally cracked the first 25% (although I can already spot the broken bits that will need extra attention ::sigh::) but progress is good, and anything that's on the page should be fixable, technically. Or at the very least illustrate what not to do next time around.

Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 1,786
Present Total Word Count: 20,150
Goal: 80,000

20150 / 80000


Things accomplished in fiction:
Got Tilly home safe and sound, although not as freaked as she should be, and stopped at the point where Caleb's explaining what's going on and why the foliage went crazy.

Things accomplished in real life:
Almost finished a powerpoint presentation for work, answered some phone enquiries, dealt with work e-mail. Took the dogs out for ball-on-a-rope chucking (although collie #1 isn't allowed off the lead until Friday), went to bed having not seen the Perseid meteor shower. Hopefully next year I'll either not be as tired, or it will be at the weekend.
feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Aug. 11th, 2009 04:25 pm)

All is joy! Collie #1 had her stitches out yesterday (2 cysts removed and a spaying) and the vetinry is pleased with the way everything's healing. Histology on the cysts came back clear as well - they were just fatty lumps so she's had the all clear. Much relief in our household, although she's still sulking because even though the cone of misery has now been removed, she still has to wear the sock of humiliation (to stop her from scratching the patch of skin where the vet shaved all the fur off) and she has to go for walks on the lead until Friday-ish. So she's not as Eeyore-ish as before, but she hasn't achieved full collie perkiness yet either.

In other news, the un-named one is galloping apace. I admit ::hangs head:: that I did no writing at the weekend. The sun came out y'see, and there was this giant brolly in the garden that completely covered the sun lounger so that I could be in the sun and not in the sun, and well, there went the weekend really. (Although I did labour over spaghetti bolognese at one point.) I also read the Accidental Sorcerer by K.E. Mills (aka Karen Miller) and enjoyed that to the point that I didn't want to do anything else until I'd finished it. So I didn't. Basically it was a weekend of sloth. It was good sloth. Even the cat thought so - she sat on the other chair. However, even though I did bog all at the weekend, I did lots yesterday and some today...

Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 3,869
Present Total Word Count: 18,364
Goal: 80,000

18364 / 80000
feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Aug. 7th, 2009 04:17 pm)
Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 1,239
Present Total Word Count: 14,495
Goal: 80,000

I managed to get the boys' ritual planned out yesterday - I'd left that as a gap in the MS while I thought about it, but now I'm reasonably happy with what I have. (As a first draft, anyway.) I'm aiming to crack 20k by the end of the weekend and as I have the house to myself until about 16:30hrs tomorrow, I should be able to manage that. (Interspersed with dog walking and familial visitations and the like.)

In other news, we have been quite frugal and healthy of late. Wednesday we had tuna pasta bake for tea, and there was enough left to take to work on Thursday. Thursday I made prawn risotto, and again there was enough to bring in to work today (add some pickled chilis to it for a little kick - lovely!) And tonight it is sausage and bean chowder. All cheap, cheerful, and healthy (apart from the cheese on the tuna pasta bake - but there wasn't a lot of that, I swear.) :-P


14495 / 80000

feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Aug. 4th, 2009 02:13 pm)
Word wars rock! I feel very accomplished today.

Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 1,143
Present Total Word Count: 13,256
Goal: 80,000

Brice: got the ritual he wanted and his friend 'officially' on his side
Caleb: gave up some blood and had a moment
Tilly: Her boredom is about to come to an abrupt end
Things that got beat up today: Nothing yet, but it's coming.

Random sampling of text:
“You know,” Brice said slowly, “in the old days the allegiance ceremony was done in a more traditional way.”
Caleb smirked. “In the dark, you mean?”
“Very funny.” Brice mock frowned, curling his lip to expose his teeth. “Actually, I was referring to the fact that the blood exchange wasn’t done with a chalice.” He looked at Caleb, unable to hide his hopeful expression. “It was a direct exchange. Some people still believe that any alliances forged in that way are stronger.”

13256 / 80000
feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Aug. 3rd, 2009 01:25 pm)


Had another word war yesterday evening and managed to jiggle out another 2K or so and I'm into chapter four so we're ticking along nicely.

Project: Unnamed UF (I have no idea what this is going to be called - Tilly's Tribulations?)
New words: 2,706
Present Total Word Count: 12,113
Goal: 80,000


12113 / 80000

My two presentations went well last week. They were preceded by a colleague who did a very interactive, upbeat session - nonetheless, no-one was bored to tears/ unconsciousness, nor was there a mad rush to the coffee afterwards (it was more of a dignified amble) so joy-joy feelings on that one!

My re-telling of Beauty & the Beast is standing at 3,668 words so far. I've been 'paused' for the last week  or so for downtime. My brain needed a rest, so I fed it music for a while. (The soundtrack to Channel 4's dramatisation Shackleton is fantastic btw)

In progress
Beauty & the Beast (which will not be called that in the final version) - futuristic fairy tale -- 3,668 words and counting --
Model of Perfection - Georgian romance -- 17, 439 words and counting --

On the edits roster
Sokoll's Hawks - contemporary, military m/m -- 13,212 words at the first draft --
Wish Child - dark fantasy --9,316 words at the first draft--
Does Old Earth Dream of Green, Green Things? - futuristic -- 6,176 words at the first draft --
Three's Company - erotic romance -- 37,068 words at the second draft --

To edit or to write? That is the question.


Progress was made yesterday! Minimal amount of extra wordage on DOEDoGGT, but this has brought the first draft to a (very) rough and ready close. I shall sit on that for a bit while I do revisions on Wish Child and then attack it.


Does Old Earth Dream of Green, Green Things?
6176 / 6000


So yes, pleased with that.


Busy day today as I'm covering a desk for a colleague, and then interviewing all afternoon but it will bring me another day closer to my six day bank holiday weekend (what? why have one extra day when you can have three?) And it will be good to have that time off (and the house to myself (and the border collies and the cat)) as Amazon UK delivered! Waiting for my undivided attention are:

Transgressions by Erastes

False Colors by Alex Beecroft

The Turning Tide by Diana Pharoah Francis

The Trouble with Demons by Lisa Shearin


And on top of that, the latest issue of Interzone (222) has arrived so there are joy, joy feelings all 'round, basically.


No writing over the weekend, although Friday's wordcount was good, so I'm pleased with that as I got another 2,207 words on the short which brings it up to:

Does Old Earth Dream of Green, Green Things?
5948 / 6000

It's also rather obvious that I'm going to have to revise the first draft wordcount up (again) so I think I'll take it up to 10K and if it's done before then that's fine.


Saturday I read The Black Ship by Diana Pharoah Francis - really enjoyed it; Thorn is a great character and I liked the fact that he hung onto his integrity no matter what people did to him. I also liked the fact that the Captain and Thorn's crimpers didn't turn on him once they found out how Pilot's are made. I'm looking forward to reading the Turning Tide (Amazon UK I am looking at you. And tapping my fingers.)
It was my turn to cook, so I did cold weather food (it had been wazzing with rain on and off all day): sausage (cumberland), mash, peas, and gravy. Lovely! I then had a retro moment and watched the first two Star Trek films - it'd been years since I'd seen them and it was interesting to watch them when I'd just seen the new Star Trek film last weekend.

Sunday I was up early to go swimming with Chum #1, her brother, his wife, and their four children. Mayhem ensued, naturally and lots of pool water was swallowed by over-excited children. We all repaired home for a cup of tea and then cleaning was done, which involved the donation of a lot of my books that I'd shoved in boxes and forgotten about being given to our local RSPCA shop to sell. (It also meant that I found some books I'd forgotten about that I wanted to hang on to, so they've now made their way upstairs to 'rest' on the landing for a bit while I decide where to put them.

So, properly exhausted, I went to bed like a good librarian and now the week has started again. BUT! The second bank holiday of the month is approaching and I will be off for SIX days! Yay!

How did your weekend go?
.

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