Sunday 25th June

This last week I had a good start to the week. On Sunday I did only write 605 words, but I got 1204 on Monday, Tuesday was 1057. Then it went out of the window a little. Wednesday was only 350, Thursday 426, Friday 265, and yesterday was 476. That’s a total of 4383 words for the week.

I’ve been working on this first draft for thirteen days (not including today) and I’ve written 11123 words of it. I think part of the reason I’ve had a slow up is I’ve almost got to the end of the story. I was aiming/guessing this story to be around 30k and at the moment if I keep writing as I am then I’ll be lucky to get to 20k. I think the reason I’m in this position is that I’ve been sticking to the barest of elements with my outline. I’ve not explored much of the characters, despite having a fair amount of character details for them written down. That I am changing, and I’m getting a better feel for the characters as I’m going. It does mean I’ll have to go back and add to the earlier sections but I’ll cover that on the second draft. I don’t want to stop where I am, and then work through those early chapters now because I do feel I’m getting into the swing of the story. I also think I’ll find it easy enough to flesh out the earlier sections.

I do think I was too stuck on the outline. I have only just let myself loose with this story. The scene I’m writing at the moment isn’t in the outline, and neither are three or four other scenes I’ve got in mind. They’ll fit into the story well, and expand it and I hope will make it a more tense ending. It does mean I’m going to have to do some chopping and changing with the outline’s order but it’s going to make it a stronger story and hopefully more satisfying.

I did submit a story to one of the anthologies I was looking at. I won’t know whether it got in for a few weeks yet. The other anthology, I still have no idea for and I’m not going to try. I’ve not got enough time now before the submission deadline to get a story done.

Last week Owen and I discussed the final tweaks to The Space Watch, or tweak I should say. The one last detail that Owen felt needed changing is a minor point in The Space Watch, and is something that I think will be more relevant when we explore certain elements of this universe more.

I will be making that tweak today, as well as doing a very quick skim through of The Space Watch and then it’ll be off to Beta readers. This story is about five years in the making and has had various drafts and versions of it. I am so very pleased we’ve done all we can and I’m looking forward to seeing what our fantastic beta readers have to say on it.

Once that is done I’m back onto the zombie story. I’d like to get caught up on it, I’m a couple of thousand words behind where I want to be so hopefully I can do a 2k day and get close to being back on track.

18-5-17

I’ve had a couple of busy days this week so I haven’t got much done, but I did get stuck into The Space Watch again last night and I’ve now got two chapters fully edited. I’m hoping I can get into this now a little bit because I haven’t got much planned socially in the next week, so there’s no reason for me not to.

I had some really good little ideas yesterday which I quickly wrote down before I forgot them. I’ve been working in the mornings, during my lunch breaks, and then in the evenings at the moment. If I can get into the habit of doing this each day I’ll be a very happy man. I am feeling more productive although it’s a little frustrating that I’m not writing fresh words at the moment but I understand all of this prep work is aimed at helping me when I’m getting stuck into future first drafts.

Short story submission-wise, I’ll be sending the first of the two I was told about off to my Beta readers next week. The other story, I still don’t have a solid idea for. I’m going to have a look at the guidelines for it again in the next couple of days to see if it shakes anything loose.

4-5-17

323 words this evening on the fan fiction piece and something I’ve really got to do is stop second guessing myself when I’m writing! Especially on a first draft. I’ve just got to go with my gut, and if what has made me second guess myself still jumps out when I’m editing it, then I look at it. Over-analysing is seriously hindering my pace and my self-confidence with what I’m writing. I know some of it is lack of knowledge but when it comes to these things I just need to write it and then do any additional research when I come to the second draft. I do want to get to the point where I’m doing the research before I do the writing but there’s always going to be those times when the writing goes off in a direction that I hadn’t expected and that’ll quite often lead to having to do research after the words have been written.

I am not picking up the pace as I would have liked to, I’m distracted and am struggling to get stuck into a piece. Everything I seem to be writing at the moment seems to be in small instalments, normally around the 300 words mark. I need to pick that up.

1st of May 2017

Just a quick post to wrap up the day. I wrote 828 on the short story I’ve been working on, and I wrapped it up this morning. Boy did it end darkly. I got 446 words on the fanfic piece. That gave me a total of 1274 for the day.

Despite the ending of the short story being quite dark I’m pleased with it and will get on with editing tomorrow. I’m reserving judgement on the fanfic piece until I’m getting closer to the end of it as I’m still in the early stages of it really.

Not a great day, but a good one I think.

Good Morning 1-5-17

It’s a bank holiday here in the UK so that means we get an extra day off. So instead of rushing around getting ready for work I’m sitting in my pjs and dressing gown drinking tea and faffing about on the internet.

What am I going to do with my extra day off? I am going to do a little writing, and then play some video games. I want to get back in the habit of doing about a 1000 words a day and as I’m working on a short story at the moment and this fanfic edit I think I’ll be able to do that.

I’ve got a quick update on The Space Watch: Owen has been through it, and we sat down yesterday and went through his points. His two biggest are things I don’t necessarily agree with, one being the ending. He’s working on rewriting that and the other is a world building detail for an alien species that he has created and done a lot of work on developing. This species is kind of his baby and he’s got very specific concepts for how this species is. So once I’ve finished this short story I’m going to get into making the changes and then hopefully we’ll be nearing a point where we can get it off to Beta readers. That said, Owen did bring up a few continuity issues. This mainly stems from where we’ve changed characters ranks to suit their positions in the story better. As Owen brought this up I’m going to be a little more fine toothed when I go through it with these changes and hopefully I’ll catch most of those irregularities.

Right, my laptop battery is down to 5% so I’m wrapping this and firing up my desktop. I’ll check back in this evening. I’m going to try and get back in the habit of blogging daily with my progress.

Good Morning, Good Sunday! 16/4/17

Good morning! Well, it’s another Sunday morning, the dog is snoring at my feet, and the cat is nowhere to be seen (probably stretched out on a bed somewhere). I can hear the birds singing in the garden but that is all the sound I can hear right now. I live in a rural area and this time of the morning on a Sunday is quite often very peaceful (as I said that a car went pelting up the road at a silly speed). Anyway, this last week has felt somewhat slow, writing wise. I’ve not written a huge amount of words but I have written everyday and have averaged about 300 words a day (I’m not including yesterdays words in that). So I’m pretty chuffed with that. It’s felt like an odd week where I haven’t got much work done, but I was quite pleased when I saw that I’d done that much this week.

This last week has seemed to have gone by in a flash, but aside from Wednesday when I had a Write-In, I’ve not had an especially busy one outside of the day job. That said though, I only really had Monday and Tuesday night’s to write. I did do a few words at the Write-In, but not many. My brother and his family have just moved house, so on Thursday night I helped him move a lovely sofa they have, which wasn’t easy but we got it out the old house and into the new one. That took a bit of doing. And then on Friday we moved the bulk of his furniture. So Thursday and Friday I didn’t get a lot written, but I wasn’t expecting to because of helping my brother out. Last night I just flaked out, but I did write 600+ words in the morning before I went to work.

This week I’ve got today to get some work done, and tomorrow is a bonus day. As it’s Easter Monday we get a Bank Holiday (same with Good Friday), so no day job. I’d like to have put a big dent into my FanFic piece. I’ve barely touched that this week and would like to make some serious progress with it. ย The majority of the work I’ve done this week has been on the short story I’ve been playing with. It’s over 3000 words now and I like a lot of it, although I’m not sure about how strong it is. It’s a story in Owen and my Assembly universe and at worst it’s a great character piece which is letting me flesh out a character we’ve got plans for in the future, and at best something we’ll put out one day, probably in a collection.

I am thinking through to NaNoWriMo a little. I know November is a long way off but it’ll be with us sooner than we know, and I’m seriously considering writing the zombie piece I’ve just done the primary outline for. I’m thinking of this story because I always assume I’m going to be able to do more than I can during a year. It’s about seven months till November and I’m not sure we’ll be able to get The Space Watch locked down by then, I’m also going to try and submit to some anthologies this year so I’d like a little time to be writing for them as well. I’ve also got one Assembly story I’m working on the outline for, and I’d like to get another couple of outlines done for next year. I’m also thinking like this as a way to start planning what I’m writing. I’ve tried to do that a couple of times but it doesn’t play out like that. Partly because I wasn’t outlining at all, or anywhere close to the depth of outline that I need to have. So, if I decide to do this zombie story for NaNo this year then I know I’ve got over six months to spend more time on the outline, I don’t think I need that amount of time but I’ll know what I’m doing and what time frames I’ve got to work with.

Having that amount of time will also give me time to work on any submission calls I come across, as well as some short stories I want to work on in addition to outlining and planning future pieces.

I’d love to be smashing out a thousand words a day and writing where the wind takes me, but I’ve been doing that for many years and it’s not working for me. I’m hoping this steadier, more prepared, approach will prove fruitful.

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Snoring like a steam train!

10th April 2017

A slow day today. I wrote 273 on the short story during my lunch break, and 197 on the fanfic piece. I probably wrote another couple of hundred words on the fanfic piece but I think I was over-writing the scene I was working on. It’s a scene that is in the 1100+ word region and I think if I add more then its going to not only drag the scene out but I think anything else I added would feel like I’m shoe-horning in details just for the sake of it. Details I could probably add in at a later time and make them feel far more natural.

I was hoping for a few more words tonight, but the scene I was on wasn’t a straightforward scene and I’d like to think the next couple scenes will be a little easier to write and I’ll get some momentum going.