Saturday, November 26, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update

I have decided, after much consideration, not to post the remainder of my NaNoWriMo project here on my blog, given it is getting more mysterious foreign traffic than that of friends and family who actually knew I was doing it.  I have written over 61k words currently and still have not reached where they pick up one of my favorite characters (Andur), which is a good sign.  I hope to have him with them by the end of the month (personal goal) or get to 70k words, whichever comes first.  The novel is sitting at 105 pages!  Very exciting.
Once NaNoWriMo is over, I have to give the computer I'm borrowing back to its owner.  That means my writing will probably slow to a crawl again, but I hope not.  I'm going to see if my laptop will plug into an old monitor so I can check to see if the screen is just dead or if there's a bigger problem.  My beloved Alienware has been a trooper all these years, so it may just be time to put it to rest and attempt to save for a new one (after my emergency car purchase is paid for).
This year's NaNoWriMo worked out far differently than last year.  Last year I struggled all month with inspiration and talking to the characters, as I started a 100% brand new story.  This year I wrote the "prequel" story to one I've been working on since elementary school.  I've known the characters a long time and most of this story in my head, but realized I needed to write it down so people would understand the interactions and relationships in the part I've written more recently (Jemspur: Firstborn).  My writing style was stronger since I was already familiar with everyone and the setting, and I wasn't scrambling for ideas since I've known the generalities most of my life.  It was almost pathetically easy to reach the 50k site goal with Dragon-Child.
It was also nice to get a large chunk of something I fully intend for publication done.  It eases the anxiety about ever getting anything finished a little.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

National Novel Writing Month, November 2011

    Well, I find myself facing November and the approach of National Novel Writing Month.  My job has come to an end for the year.  Since July, I've had very little inspiration and no time or interest in writing.  My computer has a problem--the screen stopped working when my Norton Antivirus updated and apparently Vista didn't like it.  Add in some other massive unexpected expenses and problems, and I did not think I would have the time, inspiration, or capability to write this year.
     Then my sister bought me a handmade journal.  At least that way I could write, even if not officially.  I bought new pens to write in it with.  And I got the idea for a story.
     Today, I got access to a computer for the month if mine doesn't fix itself like it did the last time Norton and Vista fought.  I bought a new thumb drive to keep my story on if I need to switch computers between uploads.
    I just hope I get the support and understanding from friends and family.  National Novel Writing Month is a huge sacrifice of time and effort on my part.  I have been wondering a lot this week if the reason all of this stuff has happened and all the doors in my life have shut to allow me to focus on this month and my writing--the thing I have always felt God has called me to do.  To suddenly get inspiration after so long, let alone a renewed interest, is a sign for one.  To get access and supplies is another.
     The story I intend to do is that of Mirinia Dragon-Child, from her creation as far as I can go.  I want to at least reach where she meets Avalan, where most of the current story I have redone starts.  If I can get into that part, even better.  But the goal is to deal with the story involving her and her band of companions, a story I barely began many, many years ago.
    More details and character list to come this week while I sort out and decide for certain if this is what I am to do.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Work, work, work.

                I haven’t updated my blog in a while…guess it’s time to remedy that.

                Most of the reason for the delay is work.  The greenhouse has kept me on past two staff cuts, so now my survival is week to week instead of month to month.  I’ve stepped up the job search and applied to multiple libraries across the state, and gotten some suggestions of library-related employment from WLPL where I volunteer.

                Because of all the work, I have not been writing.  With it being summer—in all its heat and humidity glory—I have no energy when I get home at night for any sort of inspiration.  I also haven’t been reading much, as said elements make me very tired so I rest every spare moment I get.

                What I have read I haven’t been recording.  The same with some of the writing I’ve gotten down.

                Dan has been away for two weeks training for his job, which has left me a lot of time to think and evaluate.  We talk on IMer most nights to catch up on daily adventures—such as my computer crashing last night, only four days after the warranty expired; good news, it’s all backed up on the 2TB external my sister and brother-in-law bought me for my birthday.  I also copied my writing files and installed them on the external to be on the safe side.

                On Dan’s suggestion, I’ve started focusing on my rather hefty A New Breed of Warrior rework off my “goals” list.   Originally it was just supposed to be a slight retouching of the sections I’ve already written, but since my writing style has improved and changed  so much in the time since the last rework was started, I need to do a full overhaul.  That puts a lot more pressure on me this year, and Dan thought it best I start whittling away at it.  I went with his suggestion because I was tossing ideas around as to what to throw my focus on—I only have to do about half a chapter to get to my Sunfall goal for the year, and have absolutely no idea how long it would take me to reach Brink’s given I can’t get the characters to talk to me.  I asked Dan which story off my goals list he would be interested in reading, and he suggested New Breed.

                Because I don’t take my computer with me to work, but I have an hour lunch break, I dropped by the back-to-school aisle at the grocery store while getting lunch late last week and bought a couple college-rule notebooks, a pair of my favorite pens, and set myself to brainstorm.  Since I can’t seem to get ideas to finish the first chapter (Dix’s creation and beginning of training), I started thinking about the start of the second (Wolfsong’s nightmare and the status of the mercenaries).

                While I liked the premise of the original chapter I’d written, it just seemed to be too slow at the start, with too much information and not as engaged as I would prefer.  It needed to be more visceral.  I needed to feel Wolfsong’s confusion, terror, and loss better than how I’d written it before.  There’s a lot of information in that chapter I still want, but more compact and integral rather than stated.

                Fresh notebooks and pens have always been one of the best ways to stir inspiration for me, so I wound up getting a considerably better start on the chapter than its original.  Dan is reading both the original and the rework.

                I’m debating  about using my National Novel Writing Month time this year to focus on New Breed’s rework instead of coming up with something new or different.  The intensive span would be good.  Unfortunately, one of the official requirements is that you’re not writing something you’ve already written (translation: you can’t use it for rework).  So I don’t know if I’ll just unofficially use NaNoWriMo, or if I’ll get my rework material done and then focus on the sections in between for the month.  November’s still a ways away, though, so I’ll have a better idea in time.

Monday, June 6, 2011

May 2011 Read List

            Forgotten Realms: Legend of Drizzt Anthology: The Collected Stories
                        (by R.A. Salvatore; novel; anthology)

            Halo: Evolutions volume II
                        (anthology; novel)

            Among Thieves
                        (by Douglas Hulick; novel)

            Bleach, volume 1: Strawberry and the Soul Reapers
                        (by Tite Kubo; manga)

            Bleach, volume 2: Goodbye Parakeet, Good Night my Sista
                        (by Tite Kubo; manga)

            G.I. Joe Volume 1
                        (by IDW publishing; new series; re-read)

            G.I. Joe Volume 2
                        (by IDW publishing; new series; re-read)

            G.I. Joe Volume 3
                        (by IDW publishing; new series; re-read)
            BattleTech: Angry Voices in the Dark
                        (by Loren L. Coleman; revived series; Kindle)

            BattleTech: Trial Under Fire
                        (by Loren L. Coleman; revived series; Kindle)

            BattleTech: A Face Full of Blades
                        (by Loren L. Coleman; revived series; Kindle)

            G.I. Joe: Disavowed Volume 3
                        (by IDW Publishing; graphic novel) 

            The Warded Man
                        (by Peter V. Brett; novel)

            Bleach, volume 3: Memories in the Rain
                        (by Tite Kubo; manga)

            Bleach, volume 4: Quincy Archer Hates You
                        (by Tite Kubo; manga)

            Bleach, volume 5: Right Arm of the Giant
                        (by Tite Kubo; manga)

            Bleach, volume 6: The Death Trilogy Overture
                        (by Tite Kubo; manga)

            Bleach, volume 7: The Broken Coda
                        (by Tite Kubo; manga)

            Bleach, volume 8: The Blade and Me
                        (by Tite Kubo; manga)
            Bleach, volume 9: Fourteen Days for Conspiracy
                        (by Tite Kubo; manga)
            Bleach, volume 10: Tattoo on the Sky
                        (by Tite Kubo; manga)

            Bleach, volume 11: A Star and a Stray Dog
                        (by Tite Kubo; manga)

            Simon’s Cat
                        (by Simon Tofield; comic)
            Simon’s Cat: Beyond the Fence
                        (by Simon Tofield; comic)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Struggles of Inspiration.

            I find it rather ironic…I used to be able to write anywhere, anytime.  I got a lot of writing done in classes in both college and while getting my Masters; my mind liked to be running at full-tilt and simply sitting and listening to instructors and professors lecture apparently didn’t occupy enough of my thought processes.  Instead of chewing gum or playing with my pen or texting on my phone or browsing non-relevant web pages like many of my fellow scholars did, I wrote.  Some of it was taking notes, sure, but most was my own work.

            Don’t get me wrong, writing didn’t keep me from paying attention.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

            I wrote a lot at work, too.  I would jot ideas down, write on my (very scare) breaks.  I would utilize any scrap of time I had to get just that little bit more down on paper.

            Now though…now I can’t seem to write even with long spans of unoccupied time to utilize.  I sit and stare at my computer screen, or at a piece of paper.  I’m tired all the time from working, volunteering, and maintaining my relationships, both with friends over the internet and family, local friends, and my boyfriend.  It’s like the creative part of my brain has shut off.

            This happens to writers.  It’s one of the causes of writer’s block.  It’s frustrating and depressing.

            When it hits, I wonder if I’ve lost the ability I had back in school to tap my creativity.  I get so bogged down in work and life I can’t properly focus on my passion for the craft.  I neglect characters (which honks some off, and causes others to fade out in disappointment or sulk and not talk to me).

            I discovered through National Novel Writing Month I can actually force inspiration out of pure desperation.  I don’t like to do that; it doesn’t feel like I write as well.

            It’s also hard to maintain the creativity and inspiration you need when you’re a chronic worrywart like I am.  With my job situation, the economy, and a multitude of other life worries at my age, it tends to suck the interest and creativity right out of me.

            It helps that I’ve been reading, but it doesn’t help that most of my to-read list is now at Grandma’s, further away than my overpriced storage locker.  I don’t know if the price of gas driving out there is worse than what I was paying.

            I have a little more time next week, which is both good and bad.  Good for me to try to focus on my writing and getting another goal checked off on my list for the year, but bad as it lowers my next paycheck.

            Everything combined keeps hitting me over the head with a huge faith lesson.  God and I have had trust issues for the past five years, due to the loss of a very precious relationship.  I know I’m being held back because of these trust issues.  God wants to make a huge point before we move on.

            I just hope we get it sorted out before I run out of job, funds, or places to live.

Monday, May 2, 2011

2011 Book Read List: April

            Dragon Age Volume 1
                        (by IDW, Orson Scott Card; graphic novel)

            G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds
                        (by IDW, Max Brooks; graphic novel)

            Star Wars: Crosscurrent
                        (by Paul S. Kemp; novel)

            Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx
                        (by Max McCoy; novel)

  So much for the 12 novels a month idea!  April saw the start of my greenhouse job, so I’ve had very little reading time.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Books Read List for March 2011

            Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean
                        (by Justin Somper; young adult novel)

            Shadows of the Apt: Empire in Black and Gold
                        (by Adrian Tchaikovsky; novel)

                        (by M.T. Anderson; young adult novel; One Great Read summer program pick)

            Tomb Raider Volume 1
                        (by Bandai/Topcow; tankobon; re-read)

            Tomb Raider Volume 2
                        (by Bandai Entertainment; tankobon; re-read)

            Tomb Raider Volume 3
                        (by Bandai Entertainment; tankobon; re-read)

            Tomb Raider Volume 4
                        (by Bandai Entertainment; tankobon; re-read)

            Tomb Raider Volume 5
                        (by Bandai Entertainment; tankobon; re-read)

            Return to the Labyrinth Volume 1
                        (by Tokyopop; manga; re-read)

            Return to the Labyrinth Volume 2
                        (by Tokyopop; manga; re-read)

            Return to the Labyrinth Volume 3
                        (by Tokyopop; manga; re-read)

            Return to the Labyrinth Volume 4
                        (by Tokyopop; manga; re-read)

            Green Rider: First Rider’s Call
                        (by Kristen Britain; novel)

            Drenai: The King Beyond the Gate
                        (by David Gemmell)

            Medusa (Kurt Austin Adventures)
                        (by Clive Cussler and Paul Kemprecos)

            Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith Book Six: Sentinel
                        (by John Jackson Miller; Kindle)

            Star Wars: Boba Fett: A Practical Man
                        (by Karen Traviss; Kindle)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Inconvenience of Inspiration.

            If there’s one thing I’ve learned about writing, it’s that inspiration is a fickle creature.  You cannot force it without consequences (usually detrimental).  You can beg, plead, and try every manner of trick to get it going, only for it to blatantly ignore you.  Then, at the most possibly inconvenient moment, it slams into you like a Mack truck—you won’t have a pen and paper or computer ready, you won’t have the time…
            It’s quite possibly the most frustrating thing about being a writer.  That or a very close second to listening to all your characters argue and squabble in your head.  I haven’t decided which.
            Case in point: I’ll give you a play-by-play of my latest run-in with my temperamental muse, which took place yesterday.
            Mondays are my barn-cleaning days at my job.  I muck stalls, pick the arena, rake the aisle and breezeway, sweep the walkways, pick up stuff left out: lead lines, muck boots, helmets, trash, and grooming supplies.  This is all on top of my usual feeding and turn-out.  It takes quite a while.  I’m usually left alone with the normal barn noises and my thoughts, which makes it feel a lot longer.  I used to take my iPod with me, but all winter it was too cold since I needed my ear warmer and can’t fit my headphones under it (I don’t use earbuds; they don’t fit and they’re uncomfortable; I have a pair of ear-only ones that fasten over my ear with glasses-like earpieces; they look silly, but the sound is much better and they’re comfortable).  Monday was the first day I’d remembered to bring my headphones with me—I listen to my iPod through my car stereo all the time, but the headphones had disappeared for about two months.
            I didn’t start listening to the music until I got feeding and turn-out done, so I could distract myself while mucking.  Raking up horse manure is probably one of the most inconvenient places for inspiration to strike.  There’s nowhere you can go (no place clean and/or dry, anyway), and usually I’ve forgotten to keep a pen and notepad in the car; they’re usually at home where I took them in the last time to transfer my handwritten work into the computer.  I don’t take breaks often, anyway.  Work comes first.
            So there I was, cleaning out the arena, listening to my iPod on shuffle, thinking about one of the scenes I’ve been wanting to write out for a while now.  It’s the new scene of how Dix Osis winds up with Wolfsong’s Warriors—he stows away on the ship and is discovered by the youngest pilot Wolfsong hires: Paul.  I got some images and dialogue as to how the scene would work, as well as multiple battle stands among the Immortal (of which my infamous Kett is part) thanks mostly to the fact that I listen to a lot of military-beat-esque music from movie and game scores.
            I figured when I got home I’d sit down and work on the Dix scene.  I sat down at about 3:30, having wrapped work up sooner than anticipated, and wound up staring at a blank Word document for hours.  I did a little work for my Cicada Creek Stables stories, but nothing I was happy with.  I felt depressed and frustrated and tired.
            I talked to Dan online for a while, but he was multitasking and not very chatty, so we said goodnight.  I went upstairs and took a shower, then figured the shower had woken me up enough (it was now about midnight) that I’d read for a little bit.
            My mistake was listening to the iPod again.  I got no enthusiasm to read, and I didn’t want to go back downstairs and turn my computer on again, so I got out a notebook and one of my favorite gel pens and sat down at the “art desk” my sister built this winter (I’m still housesitting).
            Nothing.  I couldn’t even get a start down for the Dix scene with the music.  So I thought I’d give it up for the night.  I’d listen to the iPod a while to help me relax enough to sleep.
            I walked into the guest bedroom where I’m staying and was hit over the head with images and dialogue for the ending of Brink, the story I began thanks to National Novel Writing Month.
            So I wound up sitting on the floor at the doorway to the closet on a pillow, my Brink binder on my lap as a makeshift desk, scrabbling to write as fast as I could to get the scenes out.  The reason for the location?  I’d taken the tall lamp and the desk lamp out for more lighting in the “art room” at night, so there was no light except in the closet.
            My handwriting is far slower than my typing, but I was writing fast for that.  I cannibalized three or four short scenes I’d started to write for other stories and added new elements to suit Brink.  When I heard the clock downstairs again, it was two am.  And here I sat, wide awake, racing to get everything I’d seen and heard in my head down on paper, despite the early morning feeding to come.
            I finally made myself put it down and go to bed, knowing I’d have to get up in a few hours to get out to the barn.
            Why doesn’t inspiration ever come when it’s convenient?!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Know How You Think. Know What You Like. Use Them.

            As a writer, it’s important to understand how you think.  If you know your thought process and what stimulates your creativity, the easier it is to harness inspiration and generate ideas.  That’s why it’s also good to know what you like in general.  Sometimes the smallest thing you like can be used, whether as something in your story, or as the start of inspiration for it.
            Since this has been a very rough week for me (in more ways than one), I tried over the last couple of days to rediscover little things I like and trace my way back over the way I think; I won’t spend time on my thought process because it’s different for everyone and, as a pessimistic introvert, mine’s really different from most.
            As for the little things…
            Perfume bottles have made an appearance in my stories.  Favorite foods, favorite places (such as Big Sur and Grand Tetons), even favorite books—such as Treasure Island—have made it in, whether altered slightly so the feel of a location is there, to having the book on a coffee table in a scene.  My white-and-black cat, Cassiopeia, made a cameo.  I like plants—especially orchids—animals—especially horses, cats, and dragons—and semiprecious stones like hematite, tiger’s eye, seraphenite, and moss agate.  I like gel pens in multiple colors, and to use a variety of fonts in a variety of colors on a variety of colored backgrounds, depending on the story I’m writing and the mood I’m in.  I like the delicate detail of dollhouses and their furniture.  I love the contained, fragile world aquariums contain.  I love the smell of old books, the feel of them.
            I like the feel of the solid presence of a cat snuggled up against or on me when I sleep or read.  I like the feel of the wind in my hair and the freedom—the outright euphoria—I can only experience when I canter or gallop a horse across open pasture, something I haven’t done in far too long.  I like the weight and balance of holding a blade in my hand, or the tension drawing my bow.  I like the feel of embroidered Chinese silk, the color with which it glows in the sunlight—colors that can’t be duplicated by any other fabric.
            I love the smell of a forest in summer—the cool of its depths surrounded by a radiating warmth from the sun mixed with the dappled shadows.
            Each of these things can be utilized in my writing.  As I’ve said before, I try to incorporate real things from my own life as a way for people to know me better, if they know what to look for.  It’s like my secret code to people I know and love, saying: this is who I am…can you see me?  Can you understand?  Can you accept?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

When in doubt, interested, or curious, research!

            I’ve neglected my blog a little in the last couple of weeks due to being ill.  What I find amazing about that span of time—and a bit creepy—is the wild trails my mind went on while I was sick.  I got a clogged ear and sinuses, and that seemed to spur my brain to contemplate things I don’t normally.
            These included a lot of aging thoughts, such as marriage, pregnancy, kids, balancing job and home life, retirement, and the health issues that run in my family along with older age.  The older we get, the more potential issues show up.
            As I’m nearing 30, there are a lot of things changing.  Most people I know my age are engaged, getting married, or considering/having kids.  The younger siblings of the friends I grew up with are in late high school or college.  Since I’m getting older, my chances of marriage and kids narrows; after 30, apparently, the chances of having a child without birth defects grows, as does risk of complication.  I’m starting to feel old.
            Granted, the unlike-me contemplations provide  good opportunity for writing research.  Sometimes a glimpse at mortality, too, will do that.  In the last two weeks, I had to watch one of the horses I’ve known for years be humanely euthanized due to old age and colic.  Daddy turns 60 this year.  I had a strange “interview” by an insurance agency wanting to recruit me to tell its services to senior citizens, and some of the information they gave us about the aging populace was a bit…intimidating.
            So, as with many things that pique my interest, I spent a good deal of time researching them.  Marriage and kids are two things that are a possibility in the future, and growing older definitely is.  I’ve dealt with animals and breeding, and taken physical health classes in school, so though reproduction isn’t foreign to me, there are still little things everyone is expected to know but no one really talks about.  Guess that’s one good thing about the internet.  It makes “uncomfortable” subjects accessible.
            One of the reasons I looked into the topic of pregnancy, too, is the fact that one of my main science-fiction characters was born due to a one-night between Kett and her mother.  I was curious how good the chances for this were, given it seems like a lot of people who want kids can’t have them, and others who don’t want them have them.
            This brings me to the tip of this entry—when in doubt, research!  If you’re interested in something and want to use the topic in your writing, research!  I’ve read many authors who didn’t research something in their work that had parallels in real-life, such as the author who thought the horse colors bay, chestnut, roan, and dun were the same.  Granted, some authors love to show just how much they know and researched, which leads to information overload on a reader.  You don’t have to put all the stuff you know on a topic into your work, just enough that it fits the story and if people look it up for themselves, they can see you’re correct.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Books Read in 2011: February

            G.I. Joe: Origins, volume 4
                        (by IDW Publishing; graphic novel)

            Transformers: Drift
                        (by IDW Publishing; graphic novel)

            20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
                        (by Jules Verne; Kindle)

            Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 24
                        (by Hiromu Arakawa; manga)

            Halo: Evolutions volume I
                        (anthology; novel)

            Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne
                        (David Gaider; novel)

            Dragon Age: The Calling
                        (David Gaider; novel)

            Transformers: Bumblebee
                        (by IDW Publishing; graphic novel)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Evil Editor.

            There is something a writer must do that I both love and dread.  That is: unleash the evil editor.  I love this part of my writing because it allows me to strengthen my work and enhance its impact.  It lets me evaluate the quality, adjust where I need to, and often get a fresh perspective and new ideas for other scenes.
            I hate it because oftentimes I can’t seem to get anything further done in a piece.  I edit the heck out of things and get depressed over how worthless I’ve made myself feel by hacking into a beloved work, or—as is the case with most of my older stuff—I don’t know where to begin to edit to give it the best facelift.  There are many older scenes in things I dearly love and want to keep, but they feel…silly…either because of the structure or dialogue or some other minor something I’d be embarrassed to show the world.  I’m always anxious about sharing my work publicly, because I don’t know what people will think—of it, or me for writing it.  I already know many people think I’m crazy since I talk to my characters.
            My best friend of nearly 20 years, Ian, told me a few months ago he wants to read Brink.  The man doesn’t have a computer or internet so I can’t easily get it to him, but what he said while we were talking on the phone reminds me of my biggest anxiety—and of how well he knows me.  He told me he wanted to read Brink in part because my writing always has a bit of me in it: something I’ve experienced, something I’m currently going through, people I know in alter-ego form, stuff I’m struggling to cope with, animals I know, something that has “me” in it.  He said growing up he could always tell what I was dealing with, how people or life were treating me, and my outlook on things simply by reading.  Of everyone I know (yes, boyfriend included), Ian possibly understands me the best.  And I think his determination and willingness to read my work has a great deal to do with it.
            That may be why my “evil editor” side is so fierce.  I keep going back over things to try to hide the stuff that, if someone knew me, would stand out as obvious truth about me.  Unintentionally, a lot of my writing turned out to be subliminal therapy.  I grew up hearing from teachers “write what you know.”  I did, and incorporated it into a bit of everything I wrote.
            Because of my tight connections to my work, I hate cutting things out.  But it must be done for the good of the entire piece.  Few people (and I can’t actually think of any off the top of my head) enjoy rambling piece of work.  They want to escape, or be entertained, or both.  To do that, you have to let the editor out.
            I’ve been editing pretty much as long as I’ve been writing.  I do most of it in my head before I ever write anything down; even in college writing classes I rarely went back and changed things once it was put down on paper.  I mulled it over, adjusted it, readjusted, scrapped, spliced, and tweaked everything over and over and over until I was satisfied it was good enough to be written out.  In high school, friends would actually give me their creative writing papers to edit before they were handed in to the teacher for critique.  I was nominated head editor of the book my Novel Writing class published in college, and actually copy edited an international veterinary magazine published by the vet school at Purdue during that time as well.  For me, editing doesn’t take a lot of thought; I literally do it in my sleep with my own stories.  I’m good at it.  I enjoy it.
            Problem is, I’m so hard on my own work I don’t get very far very fast.  I have a lot of partially-done stuff I’m frustrated with because the evil editor side won’t leave well enough alone.
            Enter Brink.  Participating in National Novel Writing Month in November forced me to write and forced me to lock the evil editor in its cage for the span of thirty days (actually, about twenty-eight, in my case; I finished early).  There was so little time to write I couldn’t afford to waste it on editing.  It averaged about seventeen hundred words a day, approximately 6 pages.  I had to do that every day or fall behind.  Fortunately for me, I’m paranoid and a perfectionist, so I averaged about thirty-four hundred a day four or five days a week and took weekends off.  I was overwhelmed by the amount of work I did, and, above that, the quality.  It wasn’t the best I think I can do, but it was far, far above the worst.
            Now that I have a set of goals laid out, the evil editor has reared its head again.  I desperately love my Kavalren story, A New Breed of Warrior, but, given its age, the quality is well below my current ability.  After a good deal of deliberation, I’ve decided I’m scrapping at least one large section in favor of starting over with a stronger point of view.  I like the way it’s going.  The overall storyline will not change, but a lot of other things will to bring it up to preferred quality.  This puts a lot of strain on my one-year goal for it, but there’s still ten months left so it could happen.  It would certainly be rewarding.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A little late for New Year's resolutions, but goals just the same.

Writing Goals:

          Next year (2011):
Finish rework on written parts of A New Breed of Warrior.

Get outline written up for the remainder of A New Breed of Warrior.

Get second part of Brink written.

Participate in National Novel Writing Month, preferably with completion.

Get at least one chapter further written in Sunfall.

          Next two years (2011 and 2012):
                        Finish Brink.

Finish rework on written parts of Kett and Nayisa’s story Immortal: Legends (Immortal Born, Immortal Beginnings, Immortal Blood).

Plot out remaining sections of Immortal: Legends.

Participate in and complete National Novel Writing Month 2011 and 2012.

          Next five years (end of 2015):
                        Finish Immortal: Legends for publication.

Finish A New Breed of Warrior for publication.

Finish Brink for publication.

Finish Sunfall.

Complete 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 National Novel Writing Month challenges (successfully).

Complete some more sections of various other stories (namely Jemspur among the Dragonsword Saga).

Finish off the 100words list.

            They say (whoever “they” are…) that you should try to have short-term and long-term goals.  I sat down today after much thought (I do far too much thinking when I work at the barn and brainstorm while trying to write or convince sleep to come) and wrote out 1, 2, and 5 year goals.  They really look almost overambitious at this point, but I have to start somewhere.