Tag Archives: patching plot holes

September Goals 2016

Since this is the last post for August (other than Wednesday Words) I thought I’d set up my goals for September, since, you know, I did so well with the August ones.

Since I didn’t meet my August goals, the logical thing to do would be to simply carry them over to September, right?

Wrong.

Well, maybe not wrong exactly, but definitely not what I’m doing. Some goals I’m keeping, some I’m tweaking, and some I’m letting ride to October. (Or beyond.)

Of the August goals, I’ve done pretty well at writing a hundred words a day.  Maybe not writing every day, but averaging that, I think. For September I’m changing the writing goal to a thousand words a week.  That’s more than August’s goal, but if I do the thousand words on a day off (or even on a work day) that frees me from that obligation for another week, which takes off a lot of pressure.

I’m relatively certain I can still get the last bit of the changes to Book 4 of The Academy of the Accord done before Thursday rolls around, even if I am still struggling to figure out what I meant with my note about the note.  I need to get it finished so I can get it printed for another round of editing before it goes to a beta reader because I’m still not sure I’ve patched all of its plot holes to my satisfaction, and since I’m really not happy with the ending and think that it needs to move to an earlier part of the book, because the scene that happens shortly before it is a much better ending. (Unfortunately, that scene leads up to the current ending so I’m not sure how I’m going to flip flop them.)

So, anyhow, since I’m almost done with that project for this round, my Academy of the Accord goal for September is to enter the changes for Book 5 and do first round paper edits of Book 6.  Maybe.  I’m really trying not to set myself up for failure by taking on more than I can possibly expect to accomplish next month.  (It would really be a nice change to meet all or at least most of my goals.)

I think I might have to set up primary and secondary goals.

The main change is going to be in regards to Onyx Sun.  I’m chugging through the paper edits with the comments of beta readers in mind, and I’m finding a lot of things that could be expanded on.  Not doing so is going to seriously short-change the book so I’m going to ease off on its goals and push back its release date to ??? Maybe October but more likely December or even January.  We’ll see how September goes but I’m not going to rush it.

(I’m not going to rush The Academy of the Accord either.  If it doesn’t see the light of an e-reader until 2020, so be it.)

I’m still going to be hammering out outlines for other books in the Song and Sword universe.  One is almost done. It’s missing… something that I can’t quite put my finger on, and it needs me to figure out what order some events happen in. (I think some index cards might be involved in that project.)  I still have two months to figure it out, though, so I’m not worried. (Much.)

The other main change I’m making for September is going to sound counter productive and counter intuitive to finishing all (or even any) of the above.

And maybe it is.

But.

I’m going to spend at least one hour a week on (gasp!) some other hobby or craft. It won’t matter if it’s crochet or counted cross stitch or a junk journal or some other paper craft or working on a doll house or other miniature project, but at least one hour a week is going to be devoted to some other creative outlet.

Why?

Because I get so frustrated because there is so much else I want to do but all my time seems to be devoted to writing, and then I end up resenting it, even though it’s my main obsession and first (and truest) love.

How is all this going to work out?

I’ll let you know as soon as the Magic 8 Ball is done laughing at me.

 

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Sew On and So Forth

I now have a sewing machine, because apparently “I got about four hours of sleep last night” translates to “Sure, Mom! I’d love to drive up to your place and go look at a sewing machine that I know nothing about.”

Anyhow, its price was right (free) and we were told it runs.  I need to oil it good and the inside probably needs cleaned – I know the outside does. (The machine survived a house fire, thus its name: Fawkes.)

And I did have a good time.  Mom fed me lunch and her dog didn’t bite me, so  I’ll count it as a successful day.

So anyhow, I haven’t used it yet.  I’ll be getting some sewing machine oil later today and gritting my teeth and attacking it on Tuesday when I’m off. (Just letting you know in advance so you aren’t overly worried when you hear a string of curse words floating out of Western Pennsylvania.)

In other happy news, Song and Sword got an awesome review on Amazon. (I should probably put the reviews on the book’s page here.  *Adds it to my ever growing list of things to do.*)

And in more happy news, out of nowhere I came up with a solution to a bit of a plot hole in the outline to Song and Stone.  (Really out of nowhere. I wasn’t even thinking about the book.)

And in scary news, it’s only two weeks until Camp!

(Actually, me owning a sewing machine is relatively scary too.)

 

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Midway

Today we are halfway through Camp NaNoWriMo, which means I should have 25000 words written by the time midnight rolls around.  I am currently 3997 words below that number, and have to work, so, um, yeah – ain’t gonna happen.

I might be able to get 2000 words written, which will at least keep me from falling a whole lot further behind.  And I’m going to try to let the weekend blog hops wait until Tuesday so I can stay semi-close to the deficit I have now.

So I’m not panicking about the 50k – yet.

I’ve had a few unexpected things pop up as I was writing but they are going to be useful later on.

And I fixed part of a timeline issue. (Unfortunately, this has the main event happening a year earlier than planned, which isn’t really a problem and makes a lot more sense than the original version.)

And I found solutions for a few other logic flaws and plot problems. Unfortunately, those solutions are going to require a bit of rewriting of the prologue.  (But then, the prologue is far too long and seriously needs a rewrite so it’s all good.)

So, all in all, I’m happy with the way things are going.

And even better, the writing is picking up as I’m getting into the heart of the story and nearing the major event and the climax.

I’m not entirely sure that finishing this book will take the entire 50k but that’s okay – I have lots of other stuff waiting for some more words to be added.

And I still have a 300 word flash fiction piece to write. Unfortunately, every time I start exploring an idea for it, it grows from Flash Fiction to New Novel.

Oh, and the poems (for NaPoWriMo) are already getting worse.

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What A Mess!

I’m finally starting to feel alive enough to start working on editing again, so last night I tackled some more of the first round paper edits of Book Five of The Academy of the Accord and…

What a mess!

I mean, I knew the end of it was a mess because that’s where I’m untangling the starts of Books Six and Seven, but I’m not nearly that far in yet and…

What a mess!

I know why it’s a mess, but that doesn’t help with fixing it.

It’s all Shander’s fault…

Shander is a character that is introduced in this book (although he’s more of a central character in Book Six) but I’m having some trouble deciding exactly how to introduce him.

The original way was kind of a plot hole, so I came up with about three alternative methods.

They aren’t much better, and using any of them will negate a scene that I totally love so…

(One of the alternative methods may get worked into Book Six next month, so they aren’t going to be wasted.)

So, I’m going back to the original method.

But I had cut all of that out of the last “final version” of this book.

All is not lost, however, because I keep all of my previous versions of everything, just in case. (No, you really do not want to know what the files on my computer look like.  Trust me on this.  Your sanity will have a better chance of surviving an encounter with Cthulhu.)

So, all I have to do is find the right file, right?

Well, yes, and no.

When I got this book ready to print I included at the end of it a bunch of stuff that had been cut, and a bunch of miscellaneous scenes that may or may not need to go into it, and the alternate versions of Shander’s rescue, and…

Yeah.

So, there I was, chugging along with edits and making pretty good progress and then I hit the spot where Shander used to be and he wasn’t there anymore.  Since I was no where near my computer at the time I started looking at the back of the print out, trying to find the missing scene.

I found it, and the alternative versions, and scenes that probably go in Book Seven and my already be there… (But they’re fairly early in Book Seven and I don’t know yet how far entwined these two books are going to be so they might need to be in this one too and…*sigh*)

What a mess!

 

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Roadblock: Construction Zone Ahead

So, I’ve been zipping along entering the changes of the first round of edits for Book One of the Academy of the Accord series, and according to the page count I’m nearly half way through.  (It really helps the motivation to know that there is someone waiting to read it.)

And then, there it was.

No warning.

Just a sudden stop.

Nothing all that major, just enough of a snag to make me lose momentum.

(And it’s extra annoying because it’s one of those things that I should have fixed in the paper edit and didn’t so now I have to.)

What kind of snag?

Vinadi’s last name.

(I’ll need one for Marsden, too, before this is done, but for now, I need Vinadi’s for the note they found.)

I mean, I can’t send this mess to my beta reader:

Members of the House of [*V] must be destroyed. If you are loyal to the House of [*BB] you will not rest until all traces of them have been removed from the world.  Destroy House [*V] and all that it has built and you will be rewarded beyond measure.”

[*V] refers to Vinadi, of course, and [*BB] refers to “Big Bad” (the villain behind it all).

Actually, the whole thing really needs to be redone, based on events in later books that changed a few things.

Come to think of it, there are other large chunks coming up that are also going to be headache-inducing.

But that’s a later worry.

Today’s “editing” project is going to be rewriting that note so that it fits with reality.  Who would have thought that fifty words could cause so much trouble?

Pass the Excedrin…

And buy stock in it.

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A Writer…

… is always thinking about writing.

It’s been… a week.

I’m relatively certain that my gallbladder is dying and is going to take me with it.  It started last Thursday; I had an ultrasound this morning and should know the results sometime Monday.  Meanwhile, my list of foods that don’t hurt is small and dull.

And, of course, being a nurse I’m taking note of the symptoms and being a writer I’m taking note of the sensations, like the fact that my stomach is always on the verge of rejecting food.  (It’s true that writers never seem to not be writing or thinking about writing.)

Last night we went to see the new Star Wars movie (which is why this post is late – I had to get up for the ultrasound this morning and am running on three and a half to four hours of sleep as it is).  I loved it.  I’m not giving any spoilers but if you are subject to motion sickness, take something for it before you go.  The special effects and camera work are… dizzying.

I really want to say more about the movie, but I don’t want to give even a hint of a spoiler.  There was something I noticed, though – maybe because I’m so attuned to looking for logic flaws in my own writing.  It was a minor glitch, and the explanation became apparent later, and I may have missed something earlier that would have explained it, but it jumped out at me.  I’m curious to know if anyone else catches/caught it.

 

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A Quick Update

YES!

No, I’m not caught up (not by a long shot) but this is just as exciting.

Well, almost as exciting.

At least, it’s exciting to me.

I had a bathtub breakthrough yesterday morning that solved a whole lot of problems with the back story, which in turn is going to solve a whole lot of logic flaws going forward.  (Although there is still going to be trouble with one logic flaw – maybe. This may also have solved that.  We’ll see.)

I’m so glad that I just kept writing and letting the characters do things, even though I’m going to have to cut a whole lot of stuff.  Like Cara packing for her move.  No one wants to read through a blow by blow of that, but it served its purpose – it kept me writing and gave me time to think – and spawned the ideas that led to the eureka moment.

And now Cara is finally starting to get some answers, the action is going to be picking up soon, and I’m really excited to be writing.

Sadly, there’s a day job that is getting in my way…

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“But First…”

Yes, this post is late today.

Part of the reason is that I totally flaked yesterday and forgot to do it, even though it was on my list of things to do.  (I didn’t look at my list of things to do much yesterday, though — I was kind of busy trying to keep food in my stomach.  Stupid virus.)

Anyhow…

I really need to get some writing done today, but first…

First I had to go meet someone I was selling my extra rat cages to, but first I threw a load of laundry in the washer.

Then I needed to go to Sam’s Club but first we had to get some lunch.

Then it was head for home, but first I had to stop at Michael’s.

We got home and unloaded the car and I was ready to write but first I had to get the laundry out of the washer.

But first…

But first is the reason nothing ever seems to get done, even though (sometimes) a lot gets accomplished that way.

Like tomorrow…

Tomorrow I want to rearrange three pieces of furniture in my room, but first I have to move stuff off of and out of said furniture.

And run the vacuum.

And two pieces have to be moved before the other one can.

It’s kind of like editing.

I’m doing first round edits on Book One of the Academy of the Accord series and there’s a house that needs to be moved to later in the book.  (The characters need it for a retreat.)

But first I have to do something with the fact that there are people living there, and I can’t just write them out because they provide information that the main characters need.

And there’s a character that they meet that they’re going to need again in a later book but first I have to figure out what happens to him in between.

Actually, there are two characters like that.

And since in later books I completely changed some of the things that happened in Book One (to solve some logic flaws) I also need to completely redo Vinadi going home to check to see if his family is all right.

As in, change the cast of characters that are there when they arrive.

Maybe.

*ponders*

I can maybe keep them… just make a couple changes…

But first I should probably do something with the changes I’ve already made and get it printed again and start over because my notes are getting far too confusing.

But first I need to get my word count built up and work on finishing Book Seven and outlining my NaNoWriMo novel and…

But first…

First I think I need more caffeine.

And maybe some chocolate.

Definitely some chocolate.

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It Wasn’t a Plot Hole!

At least, it wasn’t much of a plot hole.

More like a speed bump, actually.

On Friday I wrote about coming to a screeching halt on the edge of a plot hole that was going to swallow the entire Academy of the Accord series.

About 3:00 or 3:30 Sunday morning as I was getting ready for bed the solution jumped up, bit me on the nose, slapped me with a wet trout, and called me a first class idiot.

There wasn’t a plot hole.  There was just me over-thinking things.

I’m currently writing book 10, in which two students – an apprentice (Calef) and a cadet (Rarian) – leave Arcane Academy and come to The Academy of the Accord, because… reasons.

Book 11 is done (well, the first draft is) and the events and timing in it were interfering with this book.

Except they aren’t.

Let this be a lesson to me:

Never write a series out of order again!

Seriously, Self, it’s not worth the headache.

And, while we’re at it, Self, timelines are awesome tools.  If I’d had a timeline (or a series outline) I wouldn’t be trying to dig myself out of non-existent plot holes and retconning half a novel or two.

So, with the timing sorted out, a nifty little twist has shown up.  I’m not quite sure what it is, but it’s important:  I need it to make book 11 work.  And now I can’t wait to get to that point in this novel and see what it is.  (Sometimes you just have to trust your muse to get you there.)

In the meantime, I need to make sense of the notes I wrote last night – and make them legible.

And happy dance.

Definitely I need to happy dance!

 

 

 

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Plot Hole

I was zipping along doing my thousand words for today before I went to bed this morning and feeling pretty good about the draft and where the story was going.

And then I came to a screeching halt at the brink of a plot hole.

A huge plot hole.

One that could swallow the planet hole and not even notice.

Here is the note that I left myself – yes, it’s in all caps. I leave myself notes in all caps so I can find them quickly.

[DAMN. I THINK THIS IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE MOVED TO BOOK 12. HOW IN THE HELL CAN I DELAY THIS SHOWDOWN FOR TWO BOOKS? I NEED SOMETHING TO KEEP THEM FROM GOING TO ARCANE IN THE SUMMER SO ORI AND ANDREK CAN GET THERE IN THE FALL FOR BOOK 11. *SIGH* IN THE MEANTIME, JUST WRITE… MAYBE HAVE THE GUILD SHOW UP AT THE END OF SPRING TERM? ARNESSA COMES FIRST TO WARN THEM.]

And then I kept writing.

That’s my trick for getting past the sticky parts. I leave myself a note and keep going.

For one thing, short of going back and rewriting a whole lot of stuff – basically scrapping most of the draft – there’s not a whole lot I can do about it right now.

And for another thing, sometimes the answer presents itself as you go along.  I’m pretty sure I hit on the answer in my rant note to myself, but that doesn’t always happen, and when it doesn’t the solution is to just keep on going and see what appears out of the muddled mess.

 

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