Tag Archives: outline

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.


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?



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?



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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Why do weekends always go by so fast? I swear, Douglas Adams was right; time really is an illusion. It was bad enough when my weekend came in the middle of the week but now that I have the same weekend as everyone else I swear I blink and it’s over before it’s begun – and long before I’ve had enough time to do all the things I wanted to do.

Fortunately, this is going to be a short week for me. I work today and tomorrow, then Wednesday is just a half day and no school on Thursday and Friday, so maybe I can actually finally get caught up on stuff.

Of course, one of those days I have to take my car to the garage. On the way to Michael’s on Saturday it started sounding like it was going to drop the muffler at any time. (Actually, it sounded like the entire back end of the car was going to fall off, but the logical part of my mind knows it’s the muffler.)

Aside from the car it was a pretty uneventful weekend. I did a lot of errand-running on Saturday (and got thoroughly peopled out) and on Sunday I got a lot of stuff done around the house. (Not all that I’d planned, but, well, time went into hyper space and came out near bedtime.)

I’m doing pretty good at keeping up with my Habitica goals, although I do find myself changing the “due date” on some of the stuff on my To Do list because I always over-schedule myself.

I haven’t worked with WordKeeperAlpha much yet (and probably won’t until December or January) but I am getting a handle on Asana and have a goal to add a project a day to it until all of my WiPs and starts and ideas are entered. Anyone want to start a pool on when that will be done? (And can I keep ahead of the plot bunnies?)

My outline for November is coming along slowly. At this point it’s probably more notes to myself than actual outline, but it’s coming along. I hope to have the first draft of it done by the end of the week. (Yes, I do drafts of outlines. Doesn’t everyone?)

And the space battle scene in Onyx Sun is starting to pick up momentum. I’m even doing more than the one sentence that I promised myself I’d do every day. (Hmm. Maybe that can get wrapped up on my days off this week too.)

So that’s the latest. I have a four (and a half) day weekend coming up that I’m really looking forward to and my writing mojo seems to be on an upswing. Can’t wait to see what the week holds…







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It Happened on Wednesday

I was at work, minding my own business, keeping an eye on the kid I’m there for, and out of nowhere came a wandering plot bunny.

And not just any wandering plot bunny.  Oh, no. Not this plot bunny.  This plot bunny is one that I really did not want to see.

It’s a prequel to the Academy of the Accord series. You know, the stand alone novel that is now a 13 book series that is making me tear my hair out.  Yeah.

This one is set way in the past, though, so won’t involve any of the current characters.  It follows the first wizard and Warder pair – starting out from the Fortress after the Wizard Wars ended.

Or maybe they left the Fortress to go to Barize to end the Wizard Wars. I’ll have to double check the history on that, to see exactly when the wizards were imprisoned in the tower at the Fortress. (Because, you know, I don’t have enough stuff to check for continuity and canon.)

Anyhow, I am not outlining that Academy of the Accord prequel. Just because I’m writing down some notes and trying to come up with names doesn’t mean I’m outlining it or planning to ever actually write it. Right?

Yeah, who am I kidding?

Certainly not me.

Or the plot bunny.

In fact, those two scenarios up there? Yeah, they’ve been blown out of the water by another one, and my notes are starting to look suspiciously like one of my outlines.

And, you know, it’s just over a month until NaNoWriMo.



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Evolution of a Novel #1

So, on Friday I mentioned that I’d started outlining my project for November.  It’s a science fiction novel that’s been kicking around in my head for a lot of years (long before I’d even heard of NaNoWriMo).

It still doesn’t have a name but for now we’ll call it The Desert Planet. (The Word doc name is my usual ever-(not)-helpful “NaNoWriMo 2017 Outline.”)

Anyhow, I thought it might be fun to explore where the idea came from and trace it from that one bit of inspiration through to the final project.

This novel started as a single scene that hit me as I walked out of an air conditioned building in downtown Pittsburgh and into a wall of city heat.

And that’s all the scene was – the main character walking out of an air conditioned building and into a wall of heat.

Then a second character came up to him. Said second character was supposed to be his guide on a rescue mission.

And for a long time that’s where the whole thing sat.

Throughout the years a couple more scenes got added inside my head, but nothing major was happening, just two characters traveling through the desert.

Then last Wednesday, years after the initial idea, it suddenly had a prologue, some background, and a plot twist. (What brought it to the forefront after all that time? Unseasonably hot weather that hit me when I stepped out of my much cooler house.)

So, I started outlining.

So far I have the prologue outlined, and the first two scenes.

Scene two used to be scene one, until I decided that there was too much telling (it was MMC1 reflecting on the mission briefing he’d just left) so I made the briefing scene one so I could show it instead.

Scene two is MMC1 meeting his guide for the mission – one of the planet’s natives.

It still doesn’t have a title, and none of the main characters have a name. One minor character does, but the main characters are MMC1, MMC2, and FMC. I also need names for the planet, the city, the natives, their tribes, and the enemy.

But, hey! I have over five months to name everything, right?



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It was an odd two days off.  Aside from being unseasonably hot (near 90F in May is not normal for my area) it was also kind of productive.

Well, not very productive. It was too hot to do much of anything.

But I did do some writing.

I wrote about 500 words. (532 to be precise.)

It’s not much, but progress is progress, right?

It wasn’t toward any of my stated goals for the month, though; it was for a scene to be added to Onyx Sun.

As for my goals for the month. *sigh*

I think I’m not going to be submitting to the anthology after all. I have two ideas for it but neither one seems to want to write itself – or tell me to write it.  There’s still time, I suppose. We’ll see.

And I haven’t even opened the Elven Bard novel.

But I started outlining another novel, one that’s been kicking around in my head for years. It’s science fiction and it’s going to be my NaNoWriMo novel this November.  (Hey! Only five and a half months to go! Of course I’m outlining!)

So at least I’m doing something, even if it’s not what I’m supposed to be doing.



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Crunch Time!

That noise you hear is the sound of panic coming from hundreds of thousands of writers who are realizing that there are only three days (not counting today) before NaNoWriMo.

I may or may not be one of those writers.

Actually, I’m in pretty good shape as far as the novel itself goes.  I have one pretty thorough outline that I’m still tweaking a bit (I’m having trouble with the sequence of events in a few places but if that’s not settled by the time I get to that part of the story I can fix it in the rewrite) and I have two more outlines waiting in the wings.  I’m not going to need them, but I can always finish them and use them for Camp sessions next year.  (Or work on them around the editing projects that I’ve been ignoring.)

(Yes, that means that I’ve decided which of the Elven Bard books I’m going to work on.)

My panic comes from the list of things that I need to finish before the end of the month.  It’s a very long list and it refuses to get any shorter no matter what I do. (I swear my lists are the spawn of hydras. I cross one thing off and two others grow in its place.)

I did get the stock up shopping done, so there is that.  I still need to get groceries – I’m hoping to do that Sunday night after work.  (I was going to go after work last night but it was raining and I’m already fighting off some sort of respiratory crud so I just came home instead.)

(I don’t have time to get sick.  NaNoWriMo is coming!)

Mostly my list consists of things to do.

Some of it is stuff to get done and out of the way around the house (like get the rat food out of the big 40 pound bag and into smaller containers).

The rest is stuff to get done online so I don’t have to deal with it next month (finish setting up snippets for the blog hops, for instance, and ordering more meds for the brat rats).

How much will get done before November first?


I’m hoping that the rat food and the online and computer stuff will be done before then, along with at least one major assault on the clutter that has accumulated while I wasn’t looking. (I need to finish a craft project first, too. Oh, dear.)

And I’m working today, tomorrow, and Sunday.

And Monday I’ll be busy baking and cooking and getting ready to start writing at midnight.

Sleep may be something I only dream of…


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Catching Up vs Staying Caught Up

If you’ve been following my blog (and paying attention) you’ll know that I participate in two weekly blog hops: the LGBT-oriented Rainbow Snippets on Saturday and the more general Snippet Sunday on… well, on Sunday, obviously. (Although the thread is started on Saturday, just because I don’t have enough trouble knowing what day of the week it is.)

Both are through Face Book and between the two of them there are probably forty to fifty posts each week.

The Rainbow Snippet thread usually starts around noon my time and I post my link and then read and comment until time to go to work, and by the time I get home (I work 3 to 11) the Snippet Sunday thread is up.

Once I’m home from work, the first order of business (after I post the link to my Sunday snippet) is to finish the Rainbow Snippet blog hop.  Then, depending how tired I am I either go to bed or start the Sunday Snippets.

I try to stay on top of the posts as best I can while working on weekends, my goal being to have all snippets done either Sunday night or Monday before work at the latest.

I’m usually pretty successful.


Sometimes, like last week, for whatever reason, the above plan falls through and just doesn’t happen.  (I think I finished last weekend’s blog hops on Friday, just in time to start all over on Saturday.)

Every time I let myself fall behind (thinking I’ll do both hops on my days off) I am reminded of how much easier it is to stay caught up than it is to get caught up.

Why is that?

I don’t know.

I’m thinking it might be because seeing 20+ comments per thread waiting for you to click and read is kind of overwhelming and makes you feel like you’ll never get through all of them so you may as well just throw in the towel before you even start.

All I know for sure is that it seems to be a lot easier if I don’t wait to do it on my days off.

It’s like that with NaNoWriMo, too.  It’s much easier to get a good lead and try not to fall too far below par than it is to say “I’ll make up the deficit on my days off.”

Sadly, I seem to have spent a large portion of the last few NaNo events scrambling to get caught up, but I’m hoping this time will be different.

This time I’ll have a detailed outline.  (It’s currently at 1800 or so words and still has two weeks to grow and deepen and add layers.)  That will help a lot.  I know me, and I know that my writing (and later, editing) goes a lot smoother if I am working from an outline – and the more in-depth the better.

Also working in my favor for NaNoWriMo is that I’m taking the 31st off, so I’ll have a nice relaxing day and will be caught up on social media and ready to start writing at midnight.  (That’s kind of become my tradition – start writing at midnight and get at least a thousand words in before I go to bed.)

I’m also off the first two days of November, so I’m hoping to be able to get a good jump on my word count.  I’d love to hit at least 10K before I go back to work on the third.

And then I need to stay not just caught up, but ahead on word count, because I’m planning on going to the midnight showing of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on the 18th.

Because, you know, I’m sure it won’t stir any more plot bunnies…

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