Staying On Track

I did a bad thing this past week.  For some reason that isn’t clear even to me I started rereading some of the first drafts for the Academy of the Accord series.

Why is that bad?

It’s bad for two reasons.

One, it was time I should have spent writing.

Two, it has made me want to go back to writing Academy of the Accord books.  (I need four more to finish the series.)

But I also want to finish the unnamed trilogy, and I am so close…

But it seems like forever since I’ve spent time at the Academy.  I was starting to get really burned out on it and needed a break.   (I’ve been working on this series off and on since 2012 or maybe 2011.)

But now I’ve had my break and am eager to get back to the series.

But there is this trilogy in the way…

And plans to finish book two of The Other Mages trilogy next month during the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo.  (Book three is written but needs a major re-write.  That is more editing than writing, so it’s not really part of this year’s plans, mostly because I’m keeping large chunks but have massive changes to make and I can’t quite figure out how to figure the word count for the changes and such.)

The good news is that I am very close to the end of the current trilogy, and should have it finished before Camp starts. Maybe.  If not, then it should be finished within the first week of Camp and I can turn my attention to The Other Mages.

And then, since I’ll probably still be a long way from my word count goal, I think I’ll ease back into The Academy of the Accord by writing some side stories for it.  Things that don’t actually belong in the series, but are sort of adjacent to it, some back stories, etc.  Eventually I’ll probably publish them as a collection or maybe make them available either on my blog or at Wattpad.

Regardless, that’s a long way away yet.

For now, I’ll just pat myself on the back for having managed to stay on track with the current project and not let myself be distracted by an old love.

 

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Wednesday Words #13 3-25-15

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

 

Maybe something a little steampunkish for this one?

WW March02

(Image is from Face Book — if I recall correctly it’s supposed to be a street in Paris, but put it wherever you’d like.)

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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It’s Not a Race

So I’m nearing the end of book three of the nameless trilogy, and I am finding myself getting impatient and rushing the writing, writing summaries instead of scenes.   I know that can be fixed in the first round edits/rewrites, but why make that any harder than it already has to be?

So I’m constantly reminding myself to slow down, to show, not tell.

And I’m still not setting scenes.  *sigh*

As an example, here are a couple bits from Saturday night’s writing:

 

The others were waiting when Ta’elsin and Arrek arrived at the building they were using for their headquarters.  (Waiting where?  Outside? Inside? Lined up at the door like a receiving line? In a conference room? At the breakfast table?)

 

Once greetings were over and everyone had settled…  What “everyone”?   Is the prince there?  The warrior’s wife and son?  And, again, where are they?

 

And as I’m continuing that scene I’m discovering things that I completely either ignored, forgot about, or glossed over a few chapters back, which means I was really rushing that bit too.

The sad part is, I knew I was rushing it – I have a note back there to expand on some things.  And now I have a note to go back and add in a couple things.

The rewrite on this is going to be not fun.

How did I get into this mess?  Part of it is racing to the end.  Part of it is burning out.  And part of it is the lack of a fully detailed outline.

Yeah, I rushed the outlining too, and this is what I get.

Lesson learned.

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet March 22, 2015

Picking up from last week with another snippet from one of the books in The Academy of the Accord series.   (The series is still a work in progress and so is this scene.)

A few notes first because regardless of where this scene ends up it’s dropping you into the middle of a book in the middle of a series.

The Academy of the Accord is a school that trains both wizards and warriors.

Wellhym (and Kordelm) are in charge of the first year cadets and are the seconds in command of the school’s garrison.

Jorsen is a first year cadet – roughly 10 years old. He is… sort of a laughing stock, picked on by kids that are more coordinated.

Marsden is the commander of the garrison. Vinadi is the headmaster of the school.

A Warder is a warrior with an instinct to protect wizards. (And I need to find a different word for “Warder” because it’s kind of hard to pronounce.)

The usual rough draft and creative sentence structure warnings apply.

We pick up from last week — Wellhym has just told Jorsen that he’s a lot like he was at his age: awkward, uncoordinated, and more of a danger to himself than to others.

(The “them” that is mentioned is the school leaders — Wellhym is recounting a meeting they had about the new students.)

 

“You, sir?”  For the first time there was a spark of hope mixed with the disbelief in Jorsen’s voice. 

“Like you, I had the strength, but not the grace.  And I reminded them of that fact and assured them that you would grow into yourself.  Do you know what Marsden said?”

Jorsen shook his head.

“Make sure you keep him alive until he does.”

Jorsen managed a smile and Wellhym reached over and gave his shoulders a squeeze.  “I have faith in you, Jorsen. Don’t let me down.”

“I – I’ll try not to, sir.”

“The only way you can let me down is by quitting.  As long as you’re trying, you’re making me – making all of us – proud.”

“Y-yes, sir.”

There was a choke in the boy’s voice and this time the tears that threatened to spill from his eyes were ones of pride and determination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Diagnosis: Antifocus

 

Well, here it is, Friday again: back to work this afternoon after three days off.  Time flies when you’re having fun.

I’m beginning to wonder if I should rethink this challenge.  January was easy and February wasn’t too bad until I got that miserable cold that was making the rounds, but I haven’t been able to get rolling as much this month.

Of course, it didn’t help that the cold came back and turned into a sinus infection.  (I broke down and went to the doctor : the antibiotics kicked in and I’m feeling much better now.)

I think it’s more than that, though.  It almost feels like I’m starting to burn out already.

I’m not quitting (I’m too stubborn to give up) but I need to do something – I seem to be losing focus.

Proof?

I just had three days off, and am still barely on track for word count.

Maybe having all day to write isn’t a good thing.  I tend to put it off, thinking I have lots of time, and before I know it, it’s midnight and I haven’t written a single word.   (Christmas sneaks up on me the same way.)

Or maybe I need to cut some distractions.  Take a notebook and go to the library and handwrite for an hour or two and then come home and type it up.  Or even take a notebook and just go where my computer isn’t.

Whatever the problem is, I need to find a cure for it – and soon.

April is less than two weeks away, and April is Camp NaNoWriMo which means I’ll be aiming for two thousand words a day.  (My official goal will be 50,000 words, but why not push it, hmmm?)

And April is also NaPoWriMo, which means that I’ll also be writing a poem a day all month.

So, yeah, I really need to find a cure for this non-writing thing.

Too bad I can’t just go to a doctor and get a prescription.

Or at least a diagnosis.

 

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Wednesday Words #12 3-18-15

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a rainbow
a cluttered room
an old man (or woman) with a bicycle

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Just Keep Writing

While in the midst of writing the other night, I realized that pretty much all of the thousand words I was churning out were going to either have to be cut or completely rewritten.  Talk about discouraging!

It made me want to quit.

I mean, why keep going when you know it’s all going to get slashed out later?

I’ll tell you why.

Because, as much as it sucks to know that you’re writing garbage as you’re writing it (as opposed to finding out how bad it is when you go back later to edit) if you keep going you will eventually wade through the muck and get a clear flow again.

I know this from experience.

And sure enough, eventually the sloggy, awkward, stilted, “I don’t want to be writing this” scenes were behind me and what I was writing began to pick up momentum, moving toward something that was much more fun to write.

That part isn’t perfect yet either (it’s a first draft – it’s not supposed to be perfect) but it’s a lot better than what had preceded it.

And it might still end up getting cut – I’m pretty sure that it’s too much detail that the reader doesn’t need.

But that doesn’t matter either, because 1) it’s better than what I had been writing and 2) it has me moving back into the flow of the story.

And soon now things will be going along swimmingly…

 

 

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Sunday Snippet March 15, 2015

Picking up from last week with another snippet from one of the books in The Academy of the Accord series.   (The series is still a work in progress and so is this scene.)

A few notes first because regardless of where this scene ends up it’s dropping you into the middle of a book in the middle of a series.

The Academy of the Accord is a school that trains both wizards and warriors.

Wellhym (and Kordelm) are in charge of the first year cadets and are the seconds in command of the school’s garrison.

Jorsen is a first year cadet – roughly 10 years old. He is… sort of a laughing stock, picked on by kids that are more coordinated.

Marsden is the commander of the garrison. Vinadi is the headmaster of the school.

A Warder is a warrior with an instinct to protect wizards. (And I need to find a different word for “Warder” because it’s kind of hard to pronounce.)

The usual rough draft and creative sentence structure warnings apply.

We pick up from last week — Wellhym has just told Jorsen that he couldn’t hear what the other cadets said to him, but he has a pretty good idea what it was.

 

“They’re right,” Jorsen burst out, his voice choked. “I don’t belong here.  I should just go back home and…”

“No.”

The quiet authority in Wellhym’s voice silenced him.

“You’re a Warder, Jorsen, we need you. The wizards need you.”

“No.  I’m no good and I never will be. I’m awkward and clumsy and trip over my own feet and I’m more of a danger to myself than any enemy ever could be.”

The boy was shaking and Wellhym resisted the urge to reach for him, knowing that was not what he needed. Instead, he held the boy’s gaze with his own.

“Maybe you are,” he agreed.  “Now.  But you’ll grow into yourself and you will be a force to be reckoned with.  Do you know how I know?”

Jorsen shook his head, struggling to calm his breathing.

 “I know, because the day all of you arrived, we – the school leaders – had a meeting to discuss the new recruits, and it was decided that, yes, you did look like you were apt to trip, fall on your sword, and do yourself in. But it was also decided that you were a lot like me at that age – awkward, not sure how to use your body, and, as you said, more of a danger to yourself than anyone else.”

 

(I’m really unsure of that last line.  I don’t know if it should read the way it does or if it it should be “not sure how to use my body, and, as you said, more of a danger to myself than anyone else.”)

 

 

 

 

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Want To Have A Party!

Okay, so I’m maybe (definitely) getting a little bit ahead of myself here, but in a year or two, when The Academy of the Accord series is finally written and has gone through a rewrite and an edit and another edit and finding beta readers crazy enough to stick through the whole mess and more edits and…

Ahem.

In another year or two, when The Academy of the Accord series is finally ready to be unveiled to the world I want to have a party for it.

I’m not really ready to issue “save the date” announcements yet, considering that it’s probably not going to happen until at least 2017, but I can start planning, yes?

I’m not much of a partier, or party giver, so I have a steep learning curve ahead of me.  (Learning curve? More like learning mountain!)

But I have ideas… Not so much for the party but for giveaways, goody bags, whatever you want to call them.  And some of those ideas are going to take some research and planning and…

And I have no clue what I’m doing.

So…

I guess I had better start making a list or three or forty.

But first, of course, I have to get the books written.

But before that I have to finish the two trilogies that are in process. I’m on the last book of one and the other… The other needs book two finished and book three rewritten, and then I can tackle the four unwritten novels in the series, along with sequels to the two already published novels…

All while fending off other plot bunnies, one of which has grown very persistent lately.

So, yes, I’m planning too far ahead.

Or maybe I’m giving myself a dream to work toward.

Who knows?

All I know is I want to have a party!

 

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Wednesday Words #11 3-11-15

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

WW March01
(
Click picture to make it bigger.)

There’s a story in that bicycle, I think…

(Picture from Face Book)

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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