Tag Archives: creative process

One Week Left

So much for catching up! A couple so-so days of writing, plus losing most of Wednesday with cooking for Thanksgiving dinner (two nurses in the household – holidays happen when they happen) and I started yesterday 8414 below par.

I had a good writing day yesterday, though, to the tune of over 3300 words, so started today 6912 behind. Now if I can just have a few more back-to-back 3K days…

I’m not sure it’s going to happen today, though. I have about a thousand words done and lots of time yet, but I’m running just enough of a fever to feel like crap. But I will push on. I want to get at least two thousand words in for the day.

I’m liking my revision of how the story is playing out as far as Zin and Boyin meeting, but I’m really dreading revising the beginning of this thing.

I’m dreading revising the middle that I’m writing right now, too, because a lot of it is just stuff to get words flowing and is probably going to need to be cut, but there is enough good stuff popping up that I’m not ready to throw in the towel and skip ahead just yet.

Besides, if I do that then I’ll be missing the fun of getting there, not to mention that sometimes things happen that I can use later.

(No, I’m not pantsing this. Yes, I do have an outline. Yes, the outline is being followed. Sort of. Sometimes.)

And meanwhile I have a million ideas for other creative projects crowding into my head, and fingers itching to hold a crochet hook.

One more week…

I’d better get writing.

 

 

 

 

 

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NaNoWriMo Rebellion

 

No, I’m not being a rebel. I’ve started a new novel and I didn’t begin writing until the first.

No, it’s my characters that are being rebels.

In addition to the name issue, there seems to be some marital discord.

There wasn’t supposed to be. They were supposed to be in a loving relationship and she was not supposed to be a bitch.

On the other hand, her being a bitch is going to work out quite well.

Eventually.

Eventually being the last book of the main series.

*sigh*

On a brighter note I’ve managed to stay slightly above par so far. Barely, but still above par.

I just keep thinking that I should be further along because I’ve had two unexpected days off this week. The little boy that I ride the school bus with is in the hospital.

On one hand, my paycheck is going to suck. But on the other hand, more writing time. Except I don’t seem to have been doing a lot of extra writing other than staying a little over where I need to be.

In my own defense, though, I lost a couple hours on Wednesday getting my Work Box assembled. (Former landlord came and helped or it would still be in pieces on the floor of the front room.)

And today I had to do a shopping run and that ate about four hours.

And it doesn’t help that this is one of those times when words are being dragged kicking and screaming from my head to the screen.

I’m hoping that tomorrow and Sunday go better so I can get a nice cushion built up.  I’d like to be about 5k ahead of par. (I have blog hops those days, though, and have to clean the rat cage.)

But I’m pretty sure I’ll be off on Monday too, and probably Tuesday. (He’s supposed to be discharged on Tuesday but they’ve changed that before, so I’m kind of pantsing my work life right now.)

So, back to the grind. I still need to write 829 words just to hit par for today and I have a little under three hours to get it done. That’s less than five words a minute though, so I think I can make it.

Good luck to everyone else doing NaNoWriMo.

 

 

 

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The Day After Tomorrow

Less than two days until NaNoWriMo and I am…

…baking.  (Pecan pies, in case you’re wondering.)

Does that mean that I have a fully fleshed out and highly detailed outline all ready to go on November 1st?

Um…

No.

I have an outline that is… passable. Usable. It has some logic flaws yet (although it has a fewer of those every pass through).  And it’s going to cause a few minor problems for the main series as far as things to change here and there.  But, for the most part, it will work.

Names are still… in negotiation.

Will I have tomorrow to finish getting everything lined up and perfected?

Um…

No.

Tomorrow I’ll be baking pumpkin bars and a chocolate cherry upside down cake, and cooking a ham and mashed potatoes and gravy.

And finishing the assembly of my Work Box 3.0 (which I haven’t touched this evening).

And hopefully thinking up names.

Or maybe I’ll head over to Serendipity and see if their generators inspire anything.

One way or another, I will be starting writing on November 1st. I might be able to stay up until midnight, but that’s a little unlikely since I’ve reverted back to my morning person ways and am usually awake by 6:00 in the morning even on my days off.

But I will start on the first. And hopefully I’ll get 5000 words written that day because I’m not sure how my day job is going to affect my writing on work days.

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Four More Days

Not counting today (which is almost over) there are only four days left before NaNoWriMo begins.

And my characters still do not have new (easily typed) names.

Well, the warrior might. I’m not really in love with it, though.

And the wizard’s wife has a name, but she’s a minor character. Figures, doesn’t it?)

So, yeah. Four days left and I have no names.

My outline is shaping up nicely, though. I have solved a bit of a logic problem (one that has plagued me for the entire series, actually) and I think I have enough plot points to get me through November. I am still working on it, however, and will be refining and revising right up until midnight Tuesday night.

And in between now and then I have to do a lot of running on Saturday, and then work on Monday. (I took off Tuesday – and Wednesday, of course.) And somewhere in there I have to get groceries.

And in my free time I need to finish assembling the Work Box 3.0 that I finally took the plunge and bought. It’s not all that hard to assemble, actually, but the pieces are heavy so I can only do a little bit at a time and then have to stop and rest my back.

And I need more floor space because the whole thing is assembled on the floor and when it’s all put together you stand it up.  (Me and what army? The individual pieces are heavy. The shipping weight was a little under 700 pounds.  This is going to be… interesting.)

So, I have the weekend and Monday evening and Tuesday to finish putting the Work Box together and get it upright. (And put the front room back together too because Jazzy would really love to have access to her couch.)

If I can just clear enough space to work, assembly is doable.

Naming characters, however…

 

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Where Did The Weekend Go?

In preparation for NaNoWriMo I re-read Book One of the Academy of the Accord series and it turns out that the characters that I’m trying to name already have names.

It also turns out that the names need to be changed because they are way too long. I refuse to use names with 10 letters as main characters.

I also decided that Book One reads like a bad soap opera in places so it’s going to need another thorough going over before it’s ready for a second round of beta readers. (It’s too mushy. Seriously. It looks like a bad fan fiction romance written by a 15 year old.)

I sincerely hope that the others aren’t that bad… I don’t remember them being that bad, but then, I didn’t remember this one being that bad either.

And that is why you take a few months from finishing the first draft to doing the first round of edits – so you can come at it with fresh eyes and mind.

And before anyone jumps on my case about the “bad fan fiction romance written by a 15 year old” line:
yes, 15 year olds can write some pretty amazing stuff
yes, not all romances (gay or straight) are mushy
yes, fan fiction it not a bad thing – I’m actually highly in favor of it, especially for young writers (Maybe I should do a blog post about fan fiction.)

The important word in that phrase is “bad.”

Anyhow, that’s mostly where my weekend went. And with just over a week left until NaNoWriMo I should have spent it working on the outline. Still, the outline is in okay shape (not as detailed as I would like, but not too bad) and the refresher was good. I kinda wish I had time to read the other books between now and the first of November too.

 

 

 

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Goal Tracking App Update

On Monday I talked about a couple apps I was going to try out to help with productivity: Habitica and Asana  . Since then I’ve come across another one (WordKeeperAlpha which I found via Rachel Poli’s blog (and she found it via Skye Hegyes’ blog).

Anyhow, I promised you an update on what I thought of them.

Mostly I’ve played with Habitica because it’s fun and addictive. Is it the time sink I feared it would be? Not quite. Yes, I spend time there that I probably shouldn’t, but it is productive time. I’m already up to level 4 and halfway to level 5 and it’s keeping me on task for habits, daily (also weekly) goals, and to do lists. However, I find that I’m using it more for mundane things than for writing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and I really enjoy using it so I’m going to keep on using it, and maybe find a way to revamp my writing goals to put into it. (Right now the only writing things it has are daily goals to work on Onyx Sun and The Academy of the Accord (which currently means my outline for November) and I’m not sure exactly what (if anything) I should change for it. I think I’ll let it go as is at least for now and rethink the writing aspect of it after NaNoWriMo.

(Fun notes: you can get “pets” in the game. The first one I hatched is a red wolf. Red Wolf Inn plays a key role in some of the Academy of the Accord novels. The second one is a purple tiger. Purple Tiger is one of the things that “P.T.” is rumored to stand for.)

I haven’t fooled with Asana much but hope to do more with it over the weekend. Right now it looks most useful for tracking progress on several different WiPs. With Asana you create a project and then set tasks under it.

For instance, Onyx Sun is a project. Tasks under it include:
Finish Space Battle Scene
Add scene where Soraine “pays back” her rescue
Change “More Araxians” scene to passengers
Put additional scenes into main manuscript
Print for paper edits and revisions
etc

Academy of the Accord hasn’t been entered into it yet because I’m not sure if I should make it one project or make each book of the series a project.

But what I really want to do with Asana is create a project for each Work in Progress, even if it’s just a “story start” (sort of an advanced plot bunny), that takes it from outlining through writing and editing and into publication. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now but wasn’t sure how, and Asana looks like it might be the solution I need. Hopefully I’ll have time to play with it more this weekend.

Then there’s the newest discovery, WordKeeperAlpha. I just registered on the site so I don’t have much in the way of first hand feedback for you yet, but I love the fact that it has graphs to track your progress and if you set goals it will tell you how many words you need per day to reach it. (Yeah, some of the stuff I miss having in non-NaNoWriMo months.) And it lets you post your progress directly to FB if you want.

I’m still trying to find my way around the site (it seems to have eaten the project I entered to test it out for this post) but it’s kind of cool and I see it becoming really useful in the future – probably in December.

So there you have it. All three are pretty cool and have (at least in my mind) different uses, all of which are things that I’m finding helpful.

Now, if I just knew how to code I’d create a website that combines all three.

 

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Revising Goals

On Monday, I wrote “I think I may switch to daily goals. Every day I have to do something related to either Onyx Sun or The Academy of the Accord, even if it’s only writing one line or adding one plot point to the prequel’s outline.”

And so far I’ve done a pretty good job at that, despite having spent most of the week battling the cold from hell.

Unfortunately, all of it has been for the prequel to The Academy of the Accord (current working title: Creating Accord) and it’s been nothing more than a few notes jotted down in the traveler’s notebook that I carry with me at work. Some of the notes are things to check (or possibly change) in the other books and some are notes for this one.

So, it’s been some progress, but not much. (The lack of productivity is mostly courtesy of the cold from hell and the evil day job, but mostly the cold from hell.)

Since the cold seems to be breaking up and I’m starting to get some energy back, I think I’m going to have to revamp my goals a little bit, by changing just one little word.

No more “or.”

“Or” is now “and.”

I need to do one small thing daily for both The Academy of the Accord (either the series or the prequel – probably the prequel this month since it’s looking like it’s going to be my NaNoWriMo project) and Onyx Sun.

Otherwise, Onyx Sun will continue to be ignored, and I’ve already missed several “I want to release this by” dates, which is only adding to the frustration with it and the feeling that it will never be done.

Will this work any better?

I have no idea.  Monday will be too soon to tell so I’ll give it until next Friday to see how it’s working.

 

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Grecian Formula for Plot Bunnies

It’s been a fairly productive weekend. Not so much where writing is concerned, but with taking care of other stuff that I’ve been procrastinating on.  It’s been too hot to do much, though, which means that I still have a couple swaps to finish up tonight so I can get them in the mail after work tomorrow. (On the other hand, glue is drying pretty fast.)

Back to work today, and it was a fairly low key day. We’ve kind of started a pool as to how many days he’ll be in school this week. (The world of nursing is strange. Almost as strange as the world of a writer.)

Writing-wise, nothing’s been written except blog posts. The journaling challenge that I’ve been doing on my other (Pagan) blog only has a few more entries to go, and I’m both happy and sad about that. It’s been nice to be kind of “forced” (even if it was voluntarily) back into the groove, but a post a day in addition to everything else gets to be a little much.

That’s not to say I’ve neglected novels.

Part of my mind is working out stuff for The Academy of the Accord and another part is busy trying to hide from old (ancient) plot bunnies.

Seriously old plot bunnies.

One wandered in the other day and I thought, “I should ask Danielle what this term makes her think of.” Then I started thinking and… OMG, I felt old! Danielle is one of my best friends and I have plot bunnies that are older than she is. (This one originated during the first Star Wars movie.)

(Do they make Grecian Formula for Plot Bunnies?)

And on that note I think I’ll go sit in a corner and melt…

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Already?

Why didn’t someone tell me?

Seriously, I’m having a major issue with the day of the week today. On the one hand, I know it’s Friday because I have an appointment to get my car inspected tomorrow (Saturday).  But on the other hand, I had stuff to mail today and almost panicked thinking it was Saturday and I had to get to the post office before noon.

Work being weird isn’t helping. The kid I ride the van with was supposed to be back in school on Thursday, but then they called and said he’d be back on Wednesday.  So, yay for a three day pay instead of a two day.

But Thursday morning I got a phone call telling me he was back in the hospital until the 29th. A few hours later I got a phone call telling me he’d be released on the 22nd instead, and would be going back to school on the 25th. (Could someone please make up my mind?)

So, that’s where work stands, at least for now.

Despite the lack of structure with my job I have managed to get a little more writing done, but we’re coming up on a space battle and I’m dragging my feet (fingers?) because I really hate writing fight scenes.

So, inspire me, folks. Or at least let me know I’m not alone.

What kind of scene do you find the most difficult to write?

 

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Happy End of Un-Labor Days to Me

Tomorrow I start my new job.

It’s been two months since I worked at my last one, and I am… nervous? anxious?

Part of that is because…

Well, because it’s been two months since I put on a set of scrubs and dealt with people.

So there’s the “hermit doesn’t want to leave her cave” anxiety. The longer I’m away from people the happier I am and the harder it is to go out among them again.

And then the fact that it’s kids and I’m… not a fan. (Yes, I know I was one once, but that was a long time ago and I didn’t really like them then, either.)

Add to that the fact that I still don’t know anything about the kid I’m to be riding with, (and as far as I know the agency still doesn’t have any doctor’s orders on him either), and the fact that the logistics of what I’m doing have changed four times since this all started, (not to mention the fact that this was supposed to have started last Thursday) and I’m really not looking forward to my first day.

I am (kind of) looking forward to getting back into a routine, though. I’m hoping that it will give me the chance to get more done than what I have been doing (which is basically nothing so anything will be an improvement).

It will, however, probably take a week or so to find a rhythm. Keep your fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping to write at least a hundred words this week. (Low goal? Yeah, but it’s a hundred more than I’ve been writing.)  And I’m going to post them on Friday so watch this space…

 

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