secret_history: (NaNoWriMo)
Took Day 5 off, for reasons of mental health. Decided it was NOT worth losing all my sanity for the sake of wordcount. Seriously: GAH!

Okay, with that articulate notion out of the way, I am pleased to report further progress today. Wordcount currently stands at 35,238 words and nearly 100 pages single-spaced.

I spent a good part of today simply brainstorming in my notebook with the nifty blue Pilot pen I bought expressly for this purpose. A flash of inspiration prompted me to go and dig out my copy of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land and Other Poems and give it another read-through. After sitting with the poems and my thoughts for the better part of the afternoon, I was able to re-think the way I'd been planning to structur the novel. Instead of simply switching back and forth between "now" and the recent past, I have decided to divide the novel into three parts, inspired partly by "The Waste Land." I decided in a tongue-in-cheek moment that a fairly strong case might be made for the notion that "The Waste Land" is (at least in part) about zombies.

So I restructured my novel, and managed to churn out slightly over 5,000 words today. I made myself stop at 35,000 even though the plot bunnies are hopping around, because I refuse to burn out over this. I am about 200 words ahead of SarahJanet, so my honour is intact for now. I do not need to keep writing.

The insane part of my brain that wants me to hit 50K by Wednesday evening has been told to shut up in no uncertain terms.

If I divide my novel into three parts, each being roughly 35,000 words (I'm nearly at the end of Part I, as far as I can tell), then in order to finish by the 30th of November I'd have to write 3,000 words (and change) per day. I don't know how I feel about that. This is also not including any and all other writing projects I have going on at the same time.

For the record, I'm not setting myself that goal. Even if I could do it (and maybe I can), I don't think it's a healthy one. So I'm going to plug away at the novel at whatever pace feels comfortable on any given day. I am going to stop writing at least every 2,000 words and re-evaluate how I'm feeling. If I'm tired, then I'll stop. Under no circumstances will I stay up past midnight to work on the novel (writing LJ posts doesn't count for that).

These are my new resolutions for NaNo.

There will be no posting of new material tonight, because there are some things I want to fix (ie, wordcount that I want to add) to some of the scenes before I post them. They will go up tomorrow.

Also, tomorrow I have to find some time for the new instalment of BTP. Conflation also needs some TLC this week. Ack! So much writing to do!

Good night, gentle readers! I will see you in the morning.
secret_history: (secret history)
So I finally got around to working some more on my Swan story. I really need a title for it. :P

Spent a very quiet and productive day with [livejournal.com profile] owldaughter fixing some stuff I didn't like about the story, and ended up adding roughly 2,500 words to it, even though the story itself didn't actually progress. At least now I have a better understanding of the characters and their motivations. That ought to help considerably when I continue the narrative.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10,862 / 100,000
(10.9%)
secret_history: (Default)
Not entirely surprisingly, more writing has happened in the past few days.

I mentioned over in my main LJ that [livejournal.com profile] toughlovemuse and I had a very good writing jam last night. I am enjoying these sessions a lot, although I worry a bit that I'm a little too chatty for her liking. What can I say? I like to listen to myself talk. This should come as no surprise to any of my readers. :)

I worked on Cal's story today, which I'm halfway tempted to call "To A Discerning Eye," after the Emily Dickinson poem, but I'm vaguely worried that's a little too heavy-handed. Wrote a little over 1,150 words, which isn't bad at all. I'm still a little stuck because of this one scene that I'm dreading writing. Not because I don't want to write it, but because it's such an important scene that I don't want to muff it. Yes, I know, write it and then worry about it only if it turns out to be bad.


Last night I got 2,324 words written on the swan story, and one of the secondary characters decided that he was going to grow a personality and make life difficult for me. I wanted him to be a nice young man who'd eventually grow up into a stolid merchant. Instead, he informed me last night that he was going to be a knight errant and go in search of adventure. It made me want to smack him upside the head, the ungrateful brat. He's supposed to marry the middle daughter and then gracefully fade into the background

I don't even know what knights errant did after they got married. They had no land, right? So what did they do? Did they continue their life of errantry, leaving their wives behind? Did they settle down and figure out something else to do with themselves? Ah, the tribulations of writers... :P


Wrote two more installments of BTP yesterday at work, in between being driven crazy by the CAM and running around actually getting work done. This means I have a one-installment buffer in case something goes very very wrong and I can't write an installment one week. If all goes well I shall continue building up my buffer. Ideally, as I mentioned in a previous post, I'd like to write the next thirty or so installments ASAP, so that I can then turn my attention more fully to other writing projects. Not that I'm tired of BTP, far from it, but I've found that writing bits and pieces of each project a little willy-nilly is not always the best approach. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. There's something to be said for momentum, anyway.


Just because I'm completely insane, I still haven't given up on the idea of using [livejournal.com profile] rocking_thing for a weekly column. There are a number of subjects I could write about. The question is, which one do I choose? Hmm. Maybe I'll post a poll in my other LJ.

Titles

May. 9th, 2006 11:04 pm
secret_history: (Default)
I realised that I have problems with titles. I didn't have problems when I was just a fledgling writer still in my teens. I had lots and lots of great titles, and usually no stories to go with them. Now I have the opposite problem: stories with no titles.

I've been giving one-word titles to each instalment of Conflation, but I saw today that I'd forgotten to give a title to the last five that I wrote. Oops. It's actually a lot harder than I first imagined to use only one word to describe each instalment. I'm determined to continue that way: it'll force me to hone my vocabulary skills and come up with exactly what I want to say.

Wrote two more instalments of Conflation today (roughly 3,300 words) and about 850 words of the swan story. Things proceed apace, all things considered.

The only project which seems to be really stalled is Into Temptation, which is my own fault. I hate revising my own work, especially when it needs such serious re-writing as what I've already got. I'm halfway tempted to just keep going from where I left off and try to fix it all later, but I don't think it'll work. For one thing, I need to fix the timeline so that it works again. I also need to rethink the main character's motivation. I had an idea of what he was like before, byt I think I may have misunderstood him completely, and that makes for a very poor story indeed.

Ah well. Eventually I'll bite the bullet and do it. In the meantime, at least I'm writing, right?

Swan story

May. 7th, 2006 04:40 pm
secret_history: (secret history)
I don't have a proper title for this story yet, but since I've been doing some more writing on it, I thought I would post another little wordcount meter and maybe do some nattering about it to get things straightened out in my head.

So:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
3,657 / 150,000
(2.0%)



Right now I'm at the point of change. That's where the story begins every time, right? I know what the point of change is, what's going to cause the crisis, and even what that crisis will be. After that, though, things get a little hazy.


I got the idea for this story from a song. I blame [livejournal.com profile] owldaughter, [livejournal.com profile] toughlovemuse, [livejournal.com profile] ai731 and [livejournal.com profile] karine, not necessarily in that order. I don't know who suggested "Bonny Swans" as a song for my band to cover, but whoever it was, I blame them most of all. I'll post the lyrics here so that you know what I'm talking about.

The Bonny Swans )

Okay, now that that's out of the way, you know a little more about this story. See, the song raised more questions in my head than it answered. How did the sisters' father go from being a farmer to a king by the end of the song? Why did the youngest sister find a young man before the eldest? As I understand it, betrothals and so forth usually went by order of age. I'd like to know who William and Hugh are. There's no mention of a brother at the beginning of the song. How did the girl turn into a swan anyway?

Clearly there's a great deal of magic, or something, afoot in this story. So I'm going to filch the story and try to answer all the questions rattling around inside my head. The song makes no mention of what happens to the middle sister. She's not important to the story, it would seem. I beg to differ. I have often found that middle children are ignored, to the detriment of everyone.

So this book will be the story of the middle sister. Her youngest sister falls in love and then gets murdered by the eldest sister, who we must believe is in love with the same man. I am loath to think that the story is as simple as that, nor that it can simply end with the murderess being revealed in court to her doom. It doesn't entirely fit, as far as I'm concerned.

I already have a number of ideas about the facts that don't fit in the story. My main concern now is what to do with the middle sister. The book is her story, about her quest to find what happened to her younger sister and to try and save her older sister from her fate. I'm just not sure what she's going to find at the end. Sometimes, quests don't work out the way we expect them to.
secret_history: (Default)
I have come to the conclusion that I am definitely insane. Not that this is news to anyone who knows me. However, this kind of insane actually feels kind of nice. It feels good to be writing again.


Let's make a list of current projects:

Behind a cut tag, to spare the friends pages )

Well, it will be something to aim for. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? I likely won't be able to sustain that rate of production, but giving myself an idea of where I'd like each story to be in six months' time is a good start, I think.
secret_history: (Default)
So it's the beginning of May Madness, and I ended up getting a fair bit of writing done today. BTP goes up tomorrow, and Conflation on Thursday, so there won't be any writing content in this post. Just wordcount and ramblings on progress. :)

Beyond the Pale: still on schedule. 142,222 words. Like I said, post goes up tomorrow. The current story arc is coming to an end, and so now I have to think about how I want the next story arc to work. At my current rate of writing, the new story arc should last until the end of the summer, I should think.

Conflation: I've got a buffer now. 11,810 words. I've got almost seven complete installments, and I have a better idea where I want the current story arc to go, at the very least. No idea what will happen after that, but I'll burn that bridge once I cross it.

Cal's Book: 4,107 words. Did some writing on this, but I'd still like to write a proper outline. I've been taking a few notes, and in the process I forgot that I actually got a notebook specifically for this. I'll have to dig it out and use it. :)

Into Temptation: 48,021 words. This needs a lot of work. Managed to get a copy back from my mother's computer and have sent it to myself at work. I'll take a look at it there in my spare time. Hopefully I'll be able to whip it into the shape I want.

That's it for now, folks.
secret_history: (Default)
As I mentioned, I have a number of projects that I want to work on over the next few months. Before the end of summer, anyway. [livejournal.com profile] talyesin has already declared May to be his writing month, wherein he gets to go crazy and do all sorts of writing and post about it all the time in his LJ.

I don't post much about my writing in my regular LJ, so I have no qualms writing a lot about it in here. :)

So, here's what I have either on the go or as a near-future plan:

1- Beyond the Pale: so far, so good. I'm on schedule, I know where the story is going, and I have enough material there for a very, very long time to come. I'm going to continue posting it weekly on Tuesdays until further notice.

Status: up to date and ongoing


2- Conflation: as mentioned, this will be going up every two weeks on Thursdays (possibly Wednesdays if that turns out to be a better day for more people) after May 18th. I have no idea where the story is going, except for the next two installments, possibly three. I'm basically winging it, but so far it's turning out to be pretty fun.

Status: four installments behind and catching up

3- Into Temptation: this is my NaNoWriMo novel that I basically have to rewrite in large chunks. I wrote myself into a corner, pretty much, and I don't like where the story was ending up. I also misunderstood my main character in a major way, and now that I have a better handle on his motivation, it means a lot of establishing scenes have to be changed.

I've been avoiding the novel since December 1st, but it's time I got back to it. I'm thinking of doing the same thing I did in February, and write every day in May (that's 31 days of writing), concentrating on the novel. I'll still have to work on both my serials, so I might not hit 50,000 words, but that's okay. I really don't want to abandon that novel. I think it has the potential to really be good. It needs some more character development, a better subplot or two, and some tweaking of the plot.

Status: on hold since December 1st.

4- Untitled: as you can tell, this project doesn't have a title right now. I think of it as "Cal's Book," but that's not what it's going to be called. I have a little less than 2,000 words written, but it needs a little help. It's supposed to be a YA novel, but as I've never written anything like that before, my tone and register are a little off.

I think this might end up being my summer project. I have to write an outline for it, figure out some subplots, and write up my secondary characters so that they're not as one-dimensional as they feel right now.

Status: on hold since Feburary.

5- Also Untitled: this is a more recent idea, to write a collection of short stories. I'm thinking of asking all my friends to give me a spark of some kind from which I'd write a story, and hopefully that would give me enough material for an entire book's worth.

I'm considering doing this as my [livejournal.com profile] august_writing community project this summer.

Status: percolating



Anyway, that's what I've got on the go for now. I may be posting word counts and random musings as the time goes by. Just a friendly warning. :)

As a start:

Beyond the Pale: 140,613 words

Conflation: 8,657 words

Into Temptation: ... huh, I just realized that I don't have a full copy on my computer. It's still on my mother's computer. Hope she hasn't deleted it. That would suck. Rough word count is a little over 50,000

Cal's Book: 1,980 words


More at a later date.

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