Tag Archives: outline

Night Shift

In a moment of insanity I agreed to work a night shift tonight, and, as usual, as the time to work it draws nearer I am regretting my decision. (Although I do have to admit that it was kind of worth it just to hear the confusion in the voice of the person from my agency who called to ask if I’d pick it up as the client had requested me. It was quite obvious that she had expected me to say no and she was kind of fumbling for a response when I said yes.)

Anyhow, it’s an easy assignment; most of my work is done by midnight at the latest and then there’s basically nothing to do (except check on the residents a time or two) until 6:00 in the morning.

Which begs the question: what should I take along with me tonight to work on to stay awake?

I can’t take counted cross stitch because the lighting in the nurse’s office sucks. (I’ve tried before; it just doesn’t work.)

I could maybe take yarn and a crochet hook and make a scarf, especially since I’m behind on that goal.

I should take something to edit but I don’t feel like lugging my laptop along and working on Onyx Sun and I don’t think I have any current print outs of The Academy of the Accord to swear, cry, and pull my hair out over.

Maybe I could take a note book and work on the outline of Song and Shadow? That won’t take all night, though. At least, not in a solid stream of working on it. (I tend to do outlines in fits and starts: write some stuff up, let it sit for a while, ask/answer some more questions about the story, add to the outline, repeat… And it’s even worse for this book because it’s started, and I know pretty much how it ends, but it’s getting from one point to the other that is giving me problems.)

Part of me wants to take my portable DVD player and the complete series of Fraggle Rock DVDs that I got for my birthday and have a Fraggle Rock night.

But on the other hand, I should do something productive…

*sigh*

In brighter(ish) news, I’m still chugging through fixing the spacing in that Academy of the Accord book, paragraph by paragraph. And I have another book ready to print for editing. (And might get another one ready before I go to work tonight. The Word doc is open and ready to work on at any rate.)

But I really just want to go to bed.

 

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February Goals

I’m still working my way through re-reading the Academy of the Accord series, and am up Book Six. Er… Book Seven. (I have to renumber them.)

Books Five, 5.5 (Six) and now this one are… a mess. Book Five is the one that I pulled a lot of stuff from to create Book 5.5 (because it didn’t really belong in Book Five).

The result is that Book 5.5 is a hodgepodge of stuff that needs to be tied together and finished. It has also somehow lost its plotline.

The one I’m currently reading through has a sequence of events that fail to fall into any semblance of a workable timeline. It should also win an award for the most plot holes in a single draft: two sets of wizards Warders in the same tower, one of whom is too young to have gotten her Master’s robes yet; one antagonist who has had something like three different names (and I still have forty pages to go); and a cadet who is there and then not there. (An overall timeline for the series would probably help a lot with that last issue.)

Anyhow, by the end of the month I hope to finished reading through them and have them either printed for editing or at least ready to print. I’m pretty sure they get easier after this one. (The next book might still be slightly problematic because of the timeline, but I don’t think it’s as much of a chaotic mess as this one is. At least, I sincerely hope it isn’t.)

I also need to get back to work on a concordance so I can pick up some dropped threads. (Book One has a couple dozen things that never got picked up again.)

Other goals are to get the changes done to Onyx Sun and figure out where I need to reinsert a scene that I cut and need to put back. (No, I don’t know why I cut it to begin with.)

And keep chugging away at Song and Shadow, although I may put that on hold until I work out an outline and start a concordance.

That sounds like an awful lot of stuff for four weeks

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Over Booked

No, this has nothing to do with the overcrowding on my bookshelves. (Although it would be appropriate…)

It also has nothing to do with my ever-growing list of Works In Progress and Plot Bunnies. (Although it would probably be even more appropriate…)

No, this time it has to do with scheduling.

I know I always give myself a bigger list of things to do than any thirteen people could accomplish, but now I’ve gone and overbooked myself for Friday.

I had made (tentative) plans to go to my mother’s to get help with that damned waffle stitch scarf (that looks more like a lumpy pancake than a waffle), but then I realized that the month is almost over and I have to get my car inspected. No problem. Inspection, trip to my mother’s, done.

But when I was entering the inspection appointment into the calendar on my phone I realized that Friday is also the day of my second Covid vaccine and now I need to be in three places at once.

Meanwhile, as far as writing and such goes, I am making progress. Slow progress, but progress nonetheless. I fixed up the scene that I thought I’d already put into Book One of the Academy of the Accord series and hope to get it inserted before the week is out.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that I make my goals too big sometimes, and then they feel overwhelming and don’t happen. Like “Enter changes to Onyx Sun.” That’s a big project. I think I need to reword it to “Enter changes to one chapter of Onyx Sun every day.” That’s a lot less scary.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that I really need to stop and make an outline of some sort for Song and Shadow. I have no idea what’s going to happen and only a vague idea of who the Big Bad is and even less of an idea about how the reveal is going to go.

And while I’m working on the outline I should start a series bible.

*sigh* Here I go. Overbooking myself again…

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I’m Building a World!

(Man, if those words don’t give you a god complex I don’t know what will!)

So, anyhow, I did some world-building this weekend. (See what this series of blog posts is doing to me?)

Not for my Camp NaNoWriMo project, mind you, (although I did work on its outline a little) but for an idea that’s been kind of kicking around on a back burner for a while now.

Settings are usually my weak point, but that’s what this one started as – just a setting. No people, no plot, just a place.

The place now has some people (well, two named people) and a history and a (main) religion. And the start of a story line. (There are people in the story line, too, but they don’t have names yet.)

Unfortunately, the story line probably isn’t enough for a novel so I’m still not sure what’s happening with the whole idea, but at least it’s a start.

And even more unfortunately I think there are two novels set there – one back when the place was new and one later, after things got codified a bit more. And, actually, it would lend itself well to a series of short stories.

(No, it doesn’t have a name. The working title is Sanctuary. (Or Haven or Refuge or Oasis. Apparently I can’t make up my mind.)

As much as I want to start working on this story (because it’s shiny and sparkly and oh, look, a squirrel!) I don’t think I’ll start writing it yet. It needs some pretty intense world building.

The city (or whatever it is) is a melting pot of different races and nationalities and cultures and religions and what-have-you, and I need to know about all of them.

Will the reader know about all of them? Probably not. At least, not all at once.

But I need to know.

And for once I would like to have everything settled and sorted before I start writing.

Just to see what it’s like.

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World Building, Sort Of

Since I touched on world building on Friday I thought I’d write a bit more about it for today.

There’s just one small problem…

I don’t know what to say about it.

When I write something that is science fiction or strictly fantasy I tend to make things up as I go, which leads to some interesting problems, so it’s a bad habit that I should probably try to break.

When I’m writing something that is more along the lines of paranormal or urban fantasy I actually do a lot more research than I do for SF&F.

Why?

Because people can fact-check it and I don’t want to look like I was making it up as I went.

So, anyhow, there are some questions I want to tackle on this subject:

Why is world building important?

How much is too much?

How little is not enough?

But I’m not going to tackle them today. It’s way too hot and my brain has melted and my body is in process of doing the same.

I’m on night shift this week so I’ll write about them when I’m in air conditioning.

 

 

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Whyyyyyyyy?

The month is a third over and I haven’t touched the edits of Book 5. Why do I do this to myself? (Of course, I have a very good reason for not touching it – it’s a mess and I’m avoiding dealing with it.)

And then this afternoon, while trying to mentally sort out the opening sequence (yes, it is still giving me trouble!) and telling myself for the umpteen thousandth time that I really need to draw a map, an idea wandered in, plopped itself down, and said, “Make me happen.”

That wouldn’t be so bad (it’s a good idea, even a great one) but it doesn’t belong in this book. (It does belong to the series, though. I’m just not quite sure where.)

Why? *sob* Why me?

I have scribbled the idea down and now I just have to figure out where it goes. Some of it probably goes in Book 4 but I have no idea where the second half of it goes, but it needs to be before Book 8.

And now I have a headache.

I did make some progress (sort of) on the outline for next month. I need to make the changes in the Word doc and print it out again before I do too much more because it’s getting to the point that I won’t be able to tell what’s what if I don’t. (I ended up color coding the current print out.)

I’m also thinking I should maybe go get the current incomplete manuscript printed out so I can insert stuff where it belongs (and take out stuff that’s being changed) before it gets any more convoluted. That just might happen this Friday.

So, I’m working on stuff. And thinking about stuff.

If only it was the right stuff…

 

 

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The Glamorous Life of a Writer

It’s been… a week.

I worked Monday, was off Tuesday (and was surprisingly productive).

I was supposed to work on Wednesday but woke up about 7:30 in the morning with a pulse of 165, bilateral jaw pain, and a heavy feeling in my chest. It went away and since I’d only been in bed for about four hours I went back to sleep. (I’ve had these symptoms before so wasn’t too worried.)

So a couple hours later the dogs (who think that I am the only two legged member of the household who can properly open a door) got me up to let them out. I still wasn’t feeling right, but, stubborn person that I am, I ignored it for a while and got ready for work.

But since I was still feeling light-headed and “off” I left early and detoured to the Emergency Room, thinking they’d pat me on the head and tell me I’m fine and come back when it’s actually happening next time.

Nope.

They plopped my ass into a wheelchair (never mind that I drove myself there, apparently I was now unable to walk) and then into a bed where I was hooked up to an EKG and then a monitor, and then was sent for a chest x-ray.

After much stabbing (blood draw, two tries for an IV), and a CT scan, it was determined that all the cardiac tests were normal, it looks like I’m getting my third round of bronchitis for the year (this is getting really old!), and there were no blood clots in my lungs.

Diagnosis?

Probably SVT (Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). Not life-threatening, not heart-damaging, so they sent me home with orders to follow up with my primary care physician in three to five days and to not do anything too strenuous.

Anyhow…

I came home, changed clothes, and began a serious hunt for my thumb drive that I could have sworn was on my computer hutch.

It wasn’t.

It also wasn’t downstairs with the stuff I dump from my pockets when I get home from work. (Never ask a nurse what’s in her pockets.)

(This is the thumb drive that has the latest version of edits of Book Five. Losing it would probably make me cry. A lot.)

I had a sickening feeling that it might have fallen into the garbage bag by my computer hutch so I got a second bag and began transferring garbage from one bag to the other.

Ah, the glamorous life of a writer!

I found it, though.

Anyhow, I was still feeling “not right” the next morning so called off again. (My boss said the whole department is falling apart this week.)

Symptoms eased up in the afternoon so, since I don’t consider painting to be an overly strenuous activity, I painted the second side of a lattice board panel and three 1×6 plank (8, 10, and 12 feet).

This morning I cut the grass, got the planks and panel nailed up, and planted a yellow rose bush that’s been on my back porch for a month. Oh, and did laundry.

Writing-wise I haven’t done too much (other than a panicked search through garbage for my thumb drive). I have done some work on pulling notes from the manuscript and pasting them into the outline doc so I can work on the outline for Camp next month. I’ll be saving it onto my rescued thumb drive before I go to work tonight. (I created my project and opened a cabin, too, so other than the outline I’m all ready to go.)

And how was your week?

 

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June Goals On Track

So far my month is off to a great start as far as goals are concerned. (Yes, I know it’s only the fourth. Little wins are important!)

I managed to do both blog hops this weekend, and I have posts scheduled for one of them for the rest of the month. (My next day off is Tuesday so I’ll set up and schedule the other snippet posts then.) I have the Wednesday Words posts scheduled too.

And I decided on my project for Camp NaNoWriMo next month. I’ll be trying to finish the first draft of Hedge House, an urban fantasy (paranormal?) novel I’ve been working on (or not working on as the case may be) for a while now.

I just finished reading through it (and will be posting snippets on Sundays for the foreseeable future) and I’m pretty sure that I can wrap up the story next month. I need an outline, though.

Rather, I need a new outline.

See, I had an outline. I had a really nice outline with lots of details and…

And any chance of getting back to it lies somewhere between “nonexistent” and “a snowball’s chance in hell.”

So I’ll be working on some sort of outline that picks up from where the story currently leaves off. Not that I expect it will be followed (I still can’t quite figure out where the old one got derailed. I mean, everything in the previous outline happened, just not quite where and when planned.) but just so I have some idea of where I’m going.

 

 

 

 

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Three Days to Go

And whatever is left of this one.

And I’m back to catching up!  I started today only 4630 below par, with 9630 words left to write for the month.  Currently I’ve only written 1075 words today because it seems that every time I start getting into the flow I get interrupted.

My phone rings. (Work called me twice (about something that I thought I had resolved with them a week ago) because one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing. And there are too many hands.)
The dogs want out.
I have to go to the bathroom.
I need to eat.
My computer freezes up/Word decides to be non responsive.
My open Word docs rearrange themselves.

You get the picture.

(To give you an idea of the freeze up, it’s taken me ten minutes to type those last two lines.)

I really want to have a 2k day today – 2500 words would be better – but so far it just doesn’t seem to be happening.  But it still might.

Anyhow…

I took a look at my outline just to see how far I’d strayed from it and I think I’m going to cry now.  I really liked the outline and the way Zin was supposed to meet his Warder. It was nice and neat and advanced the plot at a good pace and this version is none of those things and I have no idea how to get it back on track.

I think it’s going to end up being like the (still) nameless trilogy where I end up writing two versions just to see which one I like better. Only there’s more of this one to rewrite.

But this one still might redeem itself.

If my computer cooperates.

 

 

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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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