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

The short story is in the mail so I can forget about that for a bit and get back to the novel which nearly had a fatal pause last November. I'm 72,000 words in and only half-way along which means that there will be a significant amount of hack 'n' slash revising it from Draft One to Draft 2. I'm aiming for a draft one completion date of no later than mid-September - the new semester starts then and I'll barely have time to sleep, let alone do anything else for a month/ six weeks. Revisions have a tentative date of the start of December, but we'll see how the day jobbe workload goes - it may be possible to start a bit earlier than that.

In other news...it's raining! Yes! Actual water FROM THE SKY. I am (no doubt temporarily) free from the tyranny of the watering can. This is good; the garden is not large but even so it takes a lot of watering cans to get round it because I seem to have cleverly planted lots of water hungry plants and trees in pots. ::sigh::

In other other news: I am listening to Rasputina. This came about as a recommendation (and I can't remember who that was - sorry) and then in a burst of synchronicity [personal profile] matociqualablogged that she was just off to one of their concerts so I decided to check them out and downloaded a couple of tracks from iTunes: Sweet Sister Temperance; Holocaust of Giants; Snow-Hen of Austerlitz. I may go back and get the rest of the album though because I like what I hear.

Linkage

Jeff Vandermeer's blog is being updated regularly by rachel_swirsky with news from Launchpad 2010

via sartorias Co-evolution and speculation about ways and means, by Judith Tarr - like sartorias, I communicate with the collies and the cat all the time so this makes very interesting reading.

Mike Brotherton has a list of online astronomy resources for writers



It's almost Christmas Eve and there is snow on the ground! It was a bit dodgy trying to leave my street this morning as we are not blessed with gritters (being unworthy dwellers of a dead-end road) but once the ice of two and a half streets was navigated it was plain sailing.

Although I don't enjoy driving in snow (driving back from Newcastle on Sunday was exciting for all the wrong reasons), I do love snow itself. Chum #1 and I took the dogs out for a walk before bed, as is our wont, and we decided to extend it because the snow was fantastic, the collies were hyper, and it was just a brilliant, cold, and shiny night. I hope that the snow stays until the 24th at least - I've taken the day off work and it would be nice to get a long walk in -- through snow -- before the madness begins! (I have a ham to bake, among other things - oh, God, the WRAPPING!!!)

I have bought a number of books in advance of the holiday, so at some point I will have to structure some kind of reading list otherwise I'll dither and end up re-reading books while I try to decide which new ones I want to read. I also need to get back on the wagon with the unnamed one as that ground to a halt with illness and work being busy. (I am trying to resist my brain's idea of getting back into the flow by writing a short on a mad galvanist that I had a brain-tickle for. Although, amazingly, I did manage to get some articles from the 1800s about galvanism that will help the research. But still, resist.)

I need to clear the workspace downstairs again so that there's room to work, and I also need to update everything on the laptop as that hasn't been done since the 29th of October, just before I went on holiday. Jobs, jobs, jobs. ::sigh::

I've got editing planned for this week; I'm at work on Monday, and then it's writing for the rest of the week and into January. Cobbling together bits from pbackwriter and Jeff Vandermeer's Booklife I've fleshed out a business plan for 2010 as well as looked at breaking things into weekly tasks, and creating a five year plan. I have to say that I found the mission statement idea (from Booklife) *really* difficult to do. Interesting, but difficult, and it still needs work.

So, what about you? Do you do a business plan every year? Do you break things down into small tasks to make them more manageable and trackable? Do you have a different method for organising your life, or do you just go with the flow? Inquiring minds want to know.
Just over a week ago I finished part one of the current WiP, full of glee at getting a good 53K words and eager to start on part two. But I found that, having finished a distinct part without making an immediate effort to start the next section, it was difficult to set hands to keyboard again. First I had to re-read my outline and make sure that it fit with the changes I'd made to the outline of part one as I wrote it. Then I had to make a few more notes about things to include, stuff I needed to know. After that I had to add more worldbuilding to my guidebook for future reference. And so a week went by without any new words being written on the actual book itself.

Now, I know that this was all procrastination station.

(a) I've done part one. Yay! [Euphoria]
(b) What if it sucks? [Gloom]
(c) I need to start part two! [Confidence]
(d) What if it sucks? [Gloom]
(e) Oh, crap. I know where part one should have started (and it's not where I did start it). [Gloom]
(f) Maybe I should just tweak... [Gloomy indecision]

Yesterday, I finally broke the deadlock and tapped out 339 words. Not a lot, but a damn sight more than zero, and today I tapped out some more.

On a personal level, I think one of the causes of the inadvertent hiatus was the fact that when I got to the end of part one I just stopped. What I should have done was write something, anything, even just one sentence of part two - just to get the ball rolling so that I wasn't staring at the Chapter 15 heading and a blank page.

How do you deal with coming to the end of one section and picking up another? Do you stop dead at the end of a chapter and start a new one with ease? Do you tease out a few lines of the new section so that when you come back to it you've got a thread to hang the rest on, or do you face down the blank page with ease and bash out the 1812 Overture on your keyboard without a backward glance at your notes?

Have you ever stopped at Procrastination Station? Enquiring minds want to know.

Holiday over - back to the grindstone. (The updating of publications...oh, the glamour)
I had a nice relaxing time off; read a lot, wrote a bit, went and saw Harry Potter (not bad, but it lacked the zoom zoom pace of Order of the Phoenix - bit of a filler, I think.)

Fiona Glass
has been doing posts on people's desks up on her blog. Mine went up on Friday and you can take a look at it here.

meta_writer are starting a new series of Back to Basics (of writing) posts today, and these will run until the 28th of July, so go along and check them out/ comment.

The as yet untitled YA urban fantasy is jogging along (although, as ever, it's started in the wrong place, but that's what revisions are for, eh?)



I'm aiming for a first draft finish date of 7th October. We shall see.

Interesting post (complete with diagrams) from Brad Torgersen (via jay lake) comparing a writer's persistence and practice with the (slow) filling of a bath.
Good stuff.

.

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