Making Progress

After a very difficult week on a personal level Owen and I made some serious progress with the Space Watch yesterday. We’d batted a few emails to and throw this last week and wasn’t getting anywhere and made more progress in a twenty minute phone call on Friday night than we had done with a dozen emails. We arraigned that Owen would come to my house and we’d go through the draft, which we did. It took us about five hours (with a few interruptions here and there) but we got through it. I read it allowed and made red-pen notes for alterations as and when I saw them and Owen weighed in with plot problems, character details, and world building. All the disagreements we had on the story we’ve resolved and the only heavy lifting that is needed now is to re-write the final scene, and make the final edits. Owen wrote his version of the ending and we’ve realised that if we merge the one I wrote and his then we should have a stronger ending. I’m going to do that today and get it emailed off to him. Then once he’s okay’d it I’ll get it into the text of the story and then go through and make the edits we made yesterday.

The week as a whole has been a loss. As I said at the start of the post it’s been a bad week on a personal level, there has been a couple of good points to the week but I didn’t get much writing done at all. I did get some more work done on an outline for a story that Owen and I will be working on. The story itself is outlined, and now I’ve just got to work on character profiles, some world building details, and go through it and tweak a few things that have changed due to world building and character details that I’ll be adding. I did have a really good conversation with a few of my writer friends on Facebook about character gender in reference to one of the characters in the story and it really opened up some ideas that I’d never thought about and I’m going to run with one of them because I think it’s going to work really well for the character in question and give an insight to a species that is in this universe we’re creating. That said I haven’t ran the idea by Owen yet, so he may totally veto it. I think he’ll like it though.

I’m back in a period where I haven’t written anything for a few weeks again, and I’m getting twitchy about it. I’m actually thinking about moving this years NaNoWriMo idea to next month and start getting stuck into that once I’ve finished the edits on The Space Watch. It feels like a long time since I’ve just got cracking with something. Aside from the short story for an anthology submission I’ve not really written anything for quite some time which wasn’t working on already written drafts that needed work. I know all this prep work that I’m doing will pay off, and the editing is all part of the process but I’d like to just get some writing done. Hopefully I’m doing the right thing with working on outlines and when I have a first draft done it’ll be cleaner and more coherent and not need extensive editing.

That all said, time to get cracking on with my ‘to-do’ list for the day.

 

2-5-17

Today has been okay, writing wise. I did some work on an outline during my lunch break, then this evening I’ve got through a couple of scenes on the fanfic adding 211 words to it. I would have liked to of added a few more words but the scenes in question needed tweaking more than rewriting. One of the scenes I think I might expand on a little more but I think that’s something that I’ll look at once I’ve got a cohesive draft completed.

I have been thinking about Owen’s notes on The Space Watch, and I’ve got a solution for one of Owen’s concerns that I think will work very well, and Owen agrees.

I’m now just trying to figure out what I’m doing when. Tomorrow I’m going to do a digital edit on the short story I’ll be sending off for submission soon.  I need to get that done and dusted in good time, and I’d really like to see if a couple of my beta readers have time to have a look at it before I send it off too. I do also want to get stuck into Owen’s notes on The Space Watch and get that done. It’s been a long time in the making this story and I’m eager to get it wrapped up by the end of this year.

It’s time for me to stop being so inconsistent and up my game.

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, Sunday

I’ve had another slow week, but as it came to an end I started feeling more myself than I have done in quite a few weeks. Thursday evening I was feeling a lot better and when I woke up Friday I actually felt energised.

So since then I’ve typed up my notes and order for my FanFiction piece. I’ve got a lot of organising to do with this project. I’m going to put it all into a Scrivener file and see what I need to add to connect the scenes together. I think I’ve got a good foundation, and a lot of what I need to be doing is connecting those scenes and expanding some of the scenes I’ve already written.

I have done some more outlining work on a zombie piece, but I’ve got to the point where I’m not sure what else I need to add to the outline that will be useful, so I’ve not done any work on it for a few days and see if anything shakes loose while I’m working on other pieces.

These last few weeks, okay more like two months now, I haven’t written a single word of fiction. As I said at the start of the post, I’m finally beginning to feel like myself again, and I don’t think I’d realised how unwell I was feeling. It was nothing major, but I think it was just a combination of loosing my Grandad at the end of January and some minor, albeit painful health problems. The last few months I’ve just not been myself. I do think how I crashed and burned on the Penal Earth rewrite I was working on at the start of the year hasn’t helped. About this time last week I thought about writing a short story, just a few thousand words, but I need to get some words down. Now I’m feeling pretty good again I’m going to try and get something done in the next couple of days. I’d just like to get some fresh words written, it’s been far too long since I have done that.

Owen is working his way through The Space Watch, I haven’t had any in-depth feedback so far, aside from a technical query, but I’m not expecting anything too detailed until he’s finished and we sit down and have a look at his notes.

I did finally get a Patreon going, and I’ve supported some podcasters and writers I’ve been following for a few years now. I’m a strong believer in supporting creative people, especially in this day and age when it seems like the arts aren’t being taken seriously, and I’m in a position where I can put a little bit of cash to people I like and respect.

Hopefully this coming week I’ll start moving forward again.

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 Forward At 2017

Not to start on a negative note, but I am already behind where I was hoping to be. I’d wanted The Space Watch done by now so I can get onto the next project but that’s not how it’s gone. I don’t think I’m going to be setting dates to be done by just yet. I think it’ll be a case of once one is done then I’ll move onto the next one. If I set targets by date and I don’t hit them then I’ll get demoralised and that can lead into falling into a rut easily.

I’m trying to be realistic with my expectations for the year. I’m going to try and have The Space Watch done by November, and one other novella length piece. That’ll probably be something with Penal Earth (NaNoWriMo 2015). I’m not happy with what I’ve got right now, but I know what I want to do with it now. I can see turning the book I’ve gotten written at the moment into two and then add a third which will make up a trilogy. Then I’ve got a few ideas of where I want to go forward with stories in the world I’ve created there after the trilogy has been wrapped.

I’m not sure what I want to work on for NaNoWriMo just yet, and I know it’s quite sometime off but I want to be ready for it this year. I thought I was ready last year but not even close. I’m tempted to write on an idea I’ve got that’s been inspired by war children. That’s the piece I was planning to work on at the start of this year but I’m not nearly ready for it. I’ve got a lot of research and building work to do to be ready for it. This is something that I’ve learnt from FanFiction (and spoken a lot about) but having much more depth in my work and I need to lay groundwork before I start writing.

I am going to work on a few short stories and novelettes during the course of the year, but I don’t want to set myself targets that I’m not going to be able to achieve.

This year I just want to keep some focus on what I’m writing, and not to loose momentum. I spoke in my post Looking Back At 2016 about getting into ruts, and I’m going to try and keep alert to it and if I see it coming I’ll do what I can to stop myself falling into it.

Reading wise I’ve set my Goodreads challenge and I’ve gone for sixty books again and intend to hit it and not just get halfway like I did in 2016.

Now, it’s time to start writing!

Monday 26th December 2016 (Boxing Day)

Okay, so I’ve been struggling with writing these last few weeks. Since NaNo ended I just seemed to have hurdle after hurdle. Before today I’d only had one day where I passed the thousand word mark in the entire month. I’ve had plot holes, tech related communication failures with Owen, and a few other daft writing hurdles. As well as non-writing related concerns that have had their little say in my time and energy this month. I’ve had a couple of days off from writing though, gave myself a little time to breath and to recharge my batteries a little and I knocked out 1500 words today and done a little work on this years NaNo story. I printed the story off a few weeks ago and tonight I got my guillotine out and cut the manuscript up into its scenes and figured out I need and what I don’t. I’ve still got to go through it and put it in the order that I want it in, but the order it’s in now isn’t far off where it needs to be. Some of it I’ve re-written scenes and I’ve got to decide which ones I like more for the 2nd draft. Then I’ve got to go through and figure out what I need to add to get the story to make sense. At the moment the story doesn’t have any real direction (much like last years NaNo story), but I think I know where I want to take the story. I’ve just got to get stuck into it again and figure out what those pieces are that I need to put into it.

Before that though I’ve got to finish The Space Watch. Those 1500 words today have helped. I did a quick read through this morning and got stuck in this afternoon. I’ve got a pretty good feel for where I need to take the story now. I’ve totally left the outline by the wayside now. The story has moved away from that and I think I’d be trying to shoehorn it into place otherwise. I am still sticking to the same story, hitting the key points that we’ve held in it since day one.

I do feel like I’m nearing a conclusion to it now, either that or subconsciously I’m sick of it now and I just want to get it done. Either way it does feel like the end is in sight.

(I haven’t proof read this cause it’s getting late and I’m wiped out)