January 4th 2017

Today was a good day. I wrote the final sentence in the first draft of The Space Watch rewrite during my lunch break and have begun editing it this evening. Word count wise I’ve written 538 words for the day.

Editing has had a slow start, but after I switched to my laptop from my desktop I’ve made some good progress. I think it’s going to be harder to edit than I thought. I was hoping to get this initial edit pass done by Sunday when I’m meeting up with Owen to touch base. I’m not viewing this as a true edit as Owen hasn’t seen this completed draft yet, but it’s not in any way an acceptable shape for me to want to let Owen see it yet. I’d like it to just be a little smoother and sharpen it up before I give it to him to add his notes to.

What I’m planning on doing going forward is to edit The Space Watch in the evenings and during my lunch breaks and if I get time before work I’ll write on Penal Earth. That’s one I’m really excited about if I’m honest. It’s something I’ve put a lot of thought into since I finished working on it last year and I am cannibalising it to a degree, but what I’ll be doing with it now is really exciting. The Space Watch is one I am loving and I’m beyond happy its done now. One of the lessons I’ve learnt from The Space Watch is not to stop halfway through like I did when I done NaNoWriMo last year. I lost momentum and a feel for the story which made it a lot harder to get back into the rhythm of the story and I think it’s going to make the editing harder as I’m seeing the style at the start of the story isn’t matching up with what I’ve recently written.

I meant to write in yesterday’s post that I finished listening to vN by Madeline Ashby. Overall I liked it, it had a nice pace to it and quite a humble, down to earth feel to it. I liked where Ashby took the story and how she worked the characters. I didn’t guess the ending at all, but I really liked it. It felt very natural to the story despite being quite out there. It left a lot of questions for the next book and it’s definitely one I’ll be getting in the near future.

With Day Of Chaos: Endgame (a Judge Dredd comic) I’m nearing the halfway point and am really enjoying it. I’m going to finish it before I start on the next novel I’ll be reading.

3rd January 2017

Knowing that I might not have time to write this evening I managed to get a few words in this morning before work, then some more during my lunch break. Once I’ve gotten home and had dinner etc. I looked at my words and was pleasantly surprised to see that I’ve written 710 words for the day.

A big part of getting those words was knowing how to fix the problem that I was facing yesterday with The Space Watch. Knowing where I wanted to take it made it a lot easier when I did start writing. It also meant I didn’t sit there staring at the screen for three minutes as I tried to figure out what I was going to do. I had a bit of this while I was working on the FanFiction piece last year; I’d be writing and I’d know what I wanted to write in the next couple of scenes. I feel like I lost some of that during NaNoWriMo last year, and it hurt the story.

I was going to talk about something that I’ve been thinking about for the last few days, but I have totally forgotten what I wanted to talk about. Literally, I cannot even drum up what it might have been that  wanted to talk about. I’m taking that as a sign that I’m tired so I’m shutting down for the night.


Looking Back At 2016

I will look back at 2016 as one of the worst years of my life. Now, I am lucky because in the grand scale of things it hasn’t been as bad as some peoples, but it’s been challenging. I’ve had two close family members have life changing health problems. The complications have caused a lot of stress but I’ve just tried to crack on and something I’m trying hard to do is living each days as it comes. I used to worry a lot, and I still do a bit but after listening to Chris Hadfield’s autobiography, An Astronauts Guide To Life On Earth, I learnt that thinking things through from the worst case scenario makes problems easier to deal with. That can sound a little negative but I think it’s helped me a lot in dealing with problems as they’ve come along. One of my favourite sayings of the year has to be “We’ll deal with it when we come to it”. Another one has been “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to”.

Another, self-inflicted, problem I had this year was I decided I was ready to stop being single. This one was an epic crash and burn if I’m honest, but a few lessons were learnt and I’m not even close to being as pro-active on that front as I was. I’m back to how I was at the start of the year and quite content as I am. If I meet someone then great, but I’m not loosing sleep over it.

Writing wise, I didn’t come close to achieving any of my targets from the start of the year. I wrote 195,396 words throughout the course of the year, but didn’t really finish anything. Most of the year was spent on Penal Earth, The Space Watch, and the FanFiction piece. I did complete three short stories. Two from the same universe as The Space Watch and one that is based off a (non-writer) friends story that she wrote for an assignment years ago.

Thinking about it now, I’ve written two novellas (to a degree) this year, but only one of them is in a decent shape. The FanFic piece is all over the shop and needs a lot of work. The lesson I’m taking from this is that I need to focus better. I need to get a draft finished that is coherent and not needing a ridiculous amount of editing.

Something I learned from writing FanFiction is that I need to have better depth to my stories. I need to work on character histories, adding more depth to the settings of the stories, and to more of the plots themselves.

Reading wise I should have done much better. I read/listened to thirty books over the course of the year. I had aimed for sixty but I think as more time progressed through the year it was a seriously unrealistic target. I didn’t finish vN by Madeline Ashby, or Day of Chaos: Endgame before the end of 2016 either.

NaNoWriMo was a success in that I did my best total of 58,558 words. I ended up with a very messy draft for the second year running. Then I had a major NaNo hangover in the early part of December (part of that was hitting a speed bump in The Space Watch). So come NaNo next year I’ve got to focus on getting a decent draft done. I know I can write 50k in a month, in 2017 I need to write a story that is coherent.

My big problem of 2016 was that I felt in a rut for the majority of it. I managed to pull myself out a few times, a few times friends had to drag me out of it. I quickly fell back into that rut though. Some of the reasons were the lack of progress with dating. Other times it was because I was getting stuck with a story and instead of moving over to something else for a couple of days I’d binge watch something (I must have watched all of The Big Bang theory episodes four times during the course of the year). That didn’t help and just sucked me into a deeper hole.

Right now I’m feeling very energised and pumped. I’m trying to be pro-active and get work done. For the first time in quite some time I feel like the stories are talking to me and ideas are coming quite easily. What I’ve got to master is not letting myself get stuck into a rut. I’ve got to become more consistent and get work finished.

Good Morning, Sunday

I don’t feel like I’ve written one of these for a while (I probably wrote one last week and this is an example of my flaky memory), but here’s a brief update on how things are going.

I finished NaNoWriMo with 58,558, but it’s a very disjointed draft. This is the second year that I’ve finished NaNo with a draft that’s in this shape. I know I can do 50k in a month, third year that I’ve hit it, so come next year I’m not going to look to best my word count from this year. I’m going to aim to hit the 50k but have a coherent story at the end of it, or at least the best part of a story. I will also be much better prepared for NaNoWriMo in 2017. I’ve seen where I made a lot of mistakes this NaNoWriMo, and I’m going to try my best not to repeat those mistakes.

As I’ve said a few times, this year has been a tough one for me on many fronts, and writing has been one of those. I’m determined not to repeat that next year, and I’m going to start preparing for the year now. I know a couple of projects I’d like to work on, one in particular, and I’m going to try and look at figuring out what sort of timescales I’m going to be looking at. I’ve got to speak to both Owen and Chrystalyn in the next few weeks about scheduling the projects we’re working on and see where we are with them.

I do need to sit down and figure out where I am with a few projects and see what I’ve got to do for research etc. on the ones I’d like to do next.

But before I do any writing stuff today I’ve got to do a few bits at home. So I’m off to get cracking on that and will be knocking out some words this afternoon.

Have a good Sunday, everyone!


NaNoWriMo 2016: Day Thirty

I’ve ended NaNoWriMo with 2180 words for the day which gives me a total of 58,558 words for the month. The Write-In I was at tonight was a lot of fun, one of the attendees passed the 50k during the Write-In.

This year was my most successful NaNo when it comes to words written. But for the second yeah running I’ve got a story that will require a lot of editing and come next year I’ve got to really put myself in a much better prepared position before starting NaNo.

I am looking forward to the TGIO (Thank God Its Over) party tomorrow. It’ll be nice to have an evening of chilling out. For now though, I’m wiped. So I’m going to bed.

NaNoWriMo 2016: Day Twenty-Nine

706 words for today. I’d like to think I’d have done more but between having a chat with Owen and setting up an Instagram account I was a little distracted.

I was adding some fluff to this story to keep writing but I’ve gone back and started working on a scene that I think could be a lot of fun to work on and let loose a little darkness into the story.

Tomorrow I’ll be wrapping up NaNo by going to a Write-In which I’m really looking forward to. I think it’s going to have a good energy to it.

NaNoWriMo 2016: Day Twenty-Eight

So, after twenty-eight days, and 55,672 words this year’s NaNoWriMo has caught up with me. Last night I wasn’t feeling great and throughout today my brain has felt like mush all day. I’ve only written 552 words for the day and I’m honestly not too worried about not having hit more. After yesterdays 4700 words I feel like I’ve got words in the bank. With today’s words I’ve passed my best NaNoWriMo total now.

I do feel like I’m loosing a little momentum, but I think that’s because my brain is as mush  as it is. I’ve also pretty much wrapped the story as much as I can do without starting a big edit.

The lesson I’ve learnt this year is that I need to know what I’m writing. This is the third year I’ve written the 50k, so I know I can do it. But the story is all over the place, and it will take a bit of work to sort out. What I’ve got to learn is to go into a story knowing what story I want to tell.

With a couple of days left I’ve got one last Write-In to go to, and I do have scenes I want to work on with this story. So a good couple days work to go.

NaNoWriMo 2016: Day Twenty-Seven

I’ve had a monster word count today, 4,777 words for an overall total of 55,120 for the month so far. I’ve had such a good day because I was at an all day Write-In with a couple members of my local NaNoWriMo group (thank you ladies, it was a lot of fun 🙂 ).

This story is seriously all over the place, I’ve made a bit of a mess of it if I’m honest but that’s whats editing is for. I will admit it’ll take a lot of work to get it right, but I’ve got the layout in my head now and I’ll just need to spend some time on getting it how I want it so I can find out where the gaps are and fill them in.

I have been looking to the next projects I want to be working on. I don’t think Owen and I will be ready to resume The Space Watch on the 1st of December (my NaNo story is near complete and I’m kind of adding some fluff at the moment). I’ve got edits on a novella to work on and I’d like to have them done by the end of the year. I do want to be ready to start my next story early next year. To do that I need to up my game and get some more prep work done. I’ve got a lot of notes and I need to put them together and write a few of my thoughts down.

But those 4,777 words have left my brain little more than mush, so no more work today. In the next few days I’ll have a better idea of what I want to be working on in the next few weeks and what I’ll need to be doing to get to where I want to be.

NaNoWriMo 2016: Day Twenty-Five

Today I’ve written 1,861 words which puts me on 48,322 words for the month. I am so very close to hitting 50k now it’s almost a little surreal. Another member of my local NaNo had encouraged me to go hammer and tongs and hit the 50k today. He was on a similar word count and has passed the 50k today, but with work and feeling a little wiped out this evening I just don’t think it was ever on the cards. As I think about it I think this Saturday was always going to be when I crossed that line.

I’ll admit the draft I’ve got is all over the place and it’ll need some serious editing to pull it into a cohesive storyline, but the direction I’m taking it in I’m finding quite exciting and hopefully the editing won’t be too painful. That’s for the near future though, first I have to get a draft done.