Thursday, July 30, 2009

Slow but steady progress

There is a part of me that is tempted to ramp up the starting time for this, but I think the extra month will be good for its development (5th novel.) I have missed some of my self imposed deadlines, but I'm doing important work in my head. I'm starting to get clearer ideas about the characters, and I'm hoping to do the actual formal profiles tomorrow, the arc next week and the chapter by chapter summary the week after that. I'll probably use the remaining two weeks to bang out some finishing touches on setting details, which I will share on here (for all two or three of you that care at the moment.)

Chapter 34 has been finished in the pre-cyber novel.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Some progress

The historical map is done. The map of Glashause is done. I have started the profiles. I'm more or less on track on the new schedule but I need to still write my part of Chapter 34 in the Precyber novel.

No word on Grenademan Vs. the Zombies or Micronation.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Had to take a mental health day yesterday and only got two hours of sleep last night. Things are better though, but I'm going to have to use something older for the writing group, which I hate, but it will do me some good if they can help me figure out how to polish the thing.

Chapter 33 done in Precyber. Historical maps finished. Fail on the Glashause map. I'll do it over the weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Plan

Same as the old plan. But better.

My father is an engineer and has an MBA. I, conversely, as a child was a royal, not in the cool burn things down at random breaking things kind of way, but more of a supreme dork attention getting nerd's nerd kind of way. Perhaps Essence of Dork is a better way of putting it....

But my father kept trying to come up with systems to solve the problem. Most of them never really worked. Some did, and those stuck in my mind. I learned two lessons...plans can be useful but you have to stick to them over time. And I also learned that too many plans can be worse than no plans at all.

But since I'm the one making the plan for myself, I know that I worked better in an organized environment, but that my plans have to have enough flexibility to meet the real world, and be something I'm actually willing to do. Setting specific time windows for myself to do something tends to work really well...such as mentally preparing to sit down and write 1000 words a day from September 8th through Jan 8th until I have 120000 words is pretty easy. At least for me. I know because I've written before, I've set quotes for myself before and it works.

Conversely, saying "I'm going to write a story a week" is a lot harder, because the only real audience I have is either editors who often reject it, or a writing group who meets once a month whose capacity of which I can far exceed. The other primary difference is that I plan to write at least seven novels before I 'give up' and self publish (which isn't necessarily giving up anyway) whereas with the short stories I already reached my goal of 25 stories a while ago, so coming up with new ones takes an angle. For me, it takes a tangible, enjoyable accomplishment that's independent of the writing itself.

Its just what I have to do to make myself write.

But coming up with a plan to do something I've never done before isn't quite as easy, so the lesson I've learned is start vague and get more specific. I've never architected a novel before. I've made meta settings before, lots of them, but my novels were really chiseled out of stone rather than built one step at a time, but I really want to try and do it this way.

So, here is the new new new revised schedule.

July 11th - Finish historical world maps.
July 14th - Create map of Glashause
July 17th - Finish historical map of Glashause
July 20th - Create written profiles for the Giant, the Girl, the Poison, Protagonist X and Y, as well as Antagonist X....(I'm looking at this and thinking I may already be too complicated again.)
July 24th - Finish character profiles.
July 27th - Write basic plot Arc.
July 31rst - Finish plot Arc with one or two sentence summaries for each chapter.

I don't even know what I'll spend August doing, but I'll track progress here even if I don't yet fill in the details.

Chapter 32 of the Pre cyber novel is complete. Chapter 33 will be finished by or on Sunday.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A peice of advice

Do not accidentally use the same email twice on a carefully crafted query letter to an agent when you are selling your book. I submitted "Micronation" to five agents today, but accidentally sent one agent's email to another. That probably won't go over very well. :/

Should finish with Chapter 32 of the precyber novel tonight.

We had the writing group meeting this last Saturday. Rita and Julie's stories were quite interesting but in the interest of confidentiality, I'm not going to mention much detail. Julie is very good at writing texture and characterization and Rita is very good at detail and narration. I managed to finish Air, but in retrospect I'm not so sure that I'm going to use it as an independent story.

But it was very helpful in drilling down the details on the elves for the Fantasy novel.