Yay, Another Week Over!

This week was a bit tougher than previous weeks, though it wasn’t as awful as that one week in October, when I did little writing at all. Instead of not writing, I managed to write later than usual. On more than one day this week, I didn’t start working on my tasks, including writing, until after 18:00. I still managed to be productive pretty much every day, but It was a challenge.

Unwritten Letters is still going strong. I wrote on it five days this week, adding at least 300 words most days, if not more. Also, I had to do a plot card on it, and tomorrow may have me doing another. I haven’t looked at the project at all today, so I’m not sure if my thinking that the most recent plot card is all done being written from. Before I make that decision, I need to review it.

My next project, Masters of the Schism 1: “This Book Needs a Title” started off well this week, with me getting two plot cards on it. I’ve also started working on the character list for this as well, as it’ll be slightly different than what I had before. This is because I’m touching on different periods and aspects of my MCs’ lives and there are different people in at least two of their lives in this version of the book.

So that’s where things stand this week!

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Going Quite Well!

This week, things went quite well! I’ve made steady progress on Unwritten Letters with writing 5 out of 7 days, and I’ve decided what to work on next.

My next step with UL is to write up a plot card. I’ve been doing these as one-ahead of the one I’m writing from, and it seems to be a good system. This has allowed me to backbrain things on the Scapple notes I have for these closing scenes of UL, which has been a good thing. I’ve cut some notes, added others, and combined still more. This is not, mind you, to make a more concise ending for UL, but to make it better overall. I’ll be opening the Scapple file tomorrow to look the notes over and make any changes necessary before writing up Plot Card #83 on UL, and I’m looking forward to that. As I have been pretty much since I started writing in October, I’ll be counting what I type up for the plot card as my writing for the day, since such entries typically surpass 250 words anyway. Why not count it, right?

The next project I’ll be working on for my Fool’s Errand is Masters of the Schism 1. As all my projects, this is a story of the heart, but more so than others. I don’t know how far I’ll get with this series, or if it’s even possible for me to complete it. Suffice it to say, I’m writing this mostly for my benefit, but I want to do a for-fun project before I decide on my next Going To Publish project. If I had any idea how long this series was going to be, I’d happily slate it for future publishing, but I won’t publish anything that doesn’t close major plot threads, and I think MOTS1 is just going to open a bunch of things. Really, I probably wouldn’t have decided to write on MOTS1 except that I adore all three POV characters, and I’ve wanted to work with them all again since I gave up on making the original version of this book go anywhere.

What does that mean, you ask? Back in October of 2016, I stopped writing on the original version of MOTS1, titled The Sovereign Elect, because it was getting long-winded. It had meandered somewhat because I didn’t know its ending. There were three plot threads, and only two of them had any detail; #3 was much briefer. So I set it aside and said I wouldn’t work on it again until I figured out how to end book 1.

And that happened earlier this week. Or perhaps late last week. I’m not sure. Things are a little hazy. Anyway, I figured out the endings to all three plot threads for the 3 primary MCs. Over the course of two days this week, I read through what I had of the original version of MOTS1 and copied out the scenes I wanted to keep for the new version (1.2) of MOTS1. In doing this, I discovered that none of the three storylines were really complete, which means I have a lot more writing to do. I really expect this version to go up to at least 90k, and I won’t be at all surprised if it surpasses 100k.

Part of the reason why I chose this project is because I’m feeling enthusiastic about it. Not just because I know how it ends, but also because now I know what to bloody well do with it. As I said, I adore the three MCs, and it’s a series I’ve always wanted to work on. Who knows. If I complete this and a couple more books in this series, I may post them to Wattpad. Not making any promises about it, but it’s a distinct possibility. If not, this will probably end up some epic series. I’m hoping to keep this to 6-9 books, but can’t tell just how that’ll happen from this end. This is a case where I’m sort of writing blind with a project, hence the fact this is currently at the status of a Story of the Heart.

So that’s where things stand now. Looking forward to the next week of writing!

Better Weeks

I knew I’d forgotten to do something last Saturday. Just tonight looked to see that I’d missed last week’s post here. My apologies. Here’s a combined report on the last two weeks instead.

Both have been better than the second week of this month. I’ve managed to write most days of both weeks, though it looks like I’ll be taking my second writing break tonight, though we’ll see. Still working on convincing myself it’s going to be a writing night for me. Either way, I did a plot card on UL on the 21st or 22nd this week, and those come out to anywhere about 250-500 words depending on how detailed I get with them, so I generally count plot cards as writing days.

Unwritten Letters is progressing nicely. So far, it’s taken anywhere from 5-8 writing sessions to complete a scene, and I’ve completed two since starting. I’m not stopping right on the 250th word every time. Sometimes I want to complete a thought, so I write until I reach that point. But I always go over my wordcount goal. And I don’t go back to write more until the next day.

Restricting myself to one writing session of a relatively small amount is helping me keep up with the goal. This pleases me, and was what I hoped would happen. Before, I think I burnt myself out on writing gads of words over brief periods of a few days to a week. Also, I was writing mostly due to feeling inspired, and the thought of adding another 1500-2500 words a day got daunting, so I didn’t bother trying. Now I’ve been saying to myself, “It’s only 250 words—10-15 minutes of writing max. I can squeeze that in right now.” Makes it really easy to get my goal in most days.

I spent a few days the past week taking notes on a brand new thing. This too was one of my goals—that I’d take notes and tell the idea to wait its turn in line. It helped, I think, that I also told myself repeatedly that I didn’t know where to begin the story. Not that I didn’t have ideas for the opening, which I did, but I didn’t let myself decide on one. This new thing has 3 MCs, triplet sisters, and no visible ending, so I’ve told it to wait.

Though I’ve got about 5 or 6 or so more notes in Scapple for UL’s plot cards, I’m going to spend next week or so figuring out what I want to work on next. No, I still haven’t finalized that decision. I definitely want to do that before I finish UL though. I may work on 2 projects, one with an outline, and one without.

Oh, I’ve had some important epiphanies about DH04-06 the past couple weeks. Spent about 30-45 mins rambling stuff to one of my long-distance writing friends one morning. I’ve also got more notes to add, once I remember them. Haven’t really forgotten them as much as I’ve just shunted them into a spot in my memory that’s going to require some focused time coaxing to release the ideas again. Years ago, I used to do this all the time, but I’ve fallen out of practice, so it takes a little longer than usual. Reading through the notes I have already should help too. Right now, DH04-06’s playlist has all of one song, and I’m debating adding a couple of those from DH01-03’s playlist. Not sure I’m ready to hear those on a regular basis again though.

So that’s where things stand on my Fool’s Errand. Next week, I’ll try to remember to post on Saturday—November 3rd. After I call and wish my sister a happy birthday, of course.

A Bit Disappointing

Considering where I was on the 10th when I posted my last blog here, I had hope of getting more done over the remainder of the week. That, unfortunately, didn’t happen.

I’d really hoped to get a bit more writing in from the 10th-13th, but I think the only days I managed were Thursday and Saturday. Not really sure, I just know I didn’t meet my own expectations over the past few days. Because of a nap I took late Thursday afternoon (starting around 17:00), that lasted a little about 2.75 hours, I didn’t sleep that night. As a result of this, I had an exhaustion day on Friday, and was not productive at all. Beyond going to the VA to pick up a medication I needed a refill on in the morning, nothing really productive got done.

The most productive I actually got was in reading through what I had of TPOV2 and trying to make progress on it. I think I also managed to get some more ideas for DH04, which was good. Aside from those things, nothing else.

So, a disappointing week overall.

I intend to make some progress this next week, which is going to be a bit busier than last week. The difference is that I’m feeling motivated about the week, and when I feel motivated, things tend to get done. Honestly, I wasn’t feeling motivated last week, and I can’t really explain why, outside of possibly a bit of depression. Instead of writing, I did more houseworky things, which is odd in and of itself, but I felt then and feel now it was just procrastination on what the writing. The houseworky stuff would have gotten done anyway, but for some reason, when I wasn’t suffering exhaustion, I was in cleaning mode, and I let that distract me from my writing.

One thing I intend to do this week is take my laptop with me to Demolition Games so if people don’t show up to play Magic: The Gathering, I can work on my writing goal that day if I don’t get it done before going. Another thing I plan on is getting to bed by 01:00 each night; that’s an hour past my preferred bedtime, but I’m giving myself some time to argue myself into taking my night meds and hit the sack. Week after this, I intend to cut that hour out and go to bed by midnight—and No More Naps! Also, if I’m still awake after 2 hours, I’ll be taking one of my Trazodone to help knock myself out. I don’t want to sleep past 10:00 any morning this week.

So that’s where things stand, and the plans I have to get myself back into my writing goals.

Nine Days In

The first 7+ days of actual writing have gone very well. Better, actually, than I expected. I seriously thought I’d let myself get distracted 3 or 4 days into October and move on to something else (if I was lucky), or simply give up. Instead, of the past 9 days, I’ve added words on 5 and actually brainstormed for another story on another day, so that makes a total of 6 days with some sort of writing task done. Much better than I expected out of the first 9 days of my Fool’s Errand.

In these first 9 days, I’ve added one scene of 1,647 words to Unwritten Letters. I’ve averaged about 330 words per day of writing, with October 2nd having the lowest count (247) and October 1st having the highest count (399). Writing time took about 10-15 minutes, but I round down my start times (if I start at :12 after the hour, I record it as :10 after the hour) and round up my end times (if I end at :12 after after the hour I record it as :15 after the hour).

My goal was to write, or do some writing-related task, 5 days a week, and I managed that the first week. Monday of this week (the 8th), I didn’t actually work at all on UL, but I did do some writing-related task. This was brainstorming on another project I’ve not made much progress on the past couple of years, Discordant Harmonies 4-6, whose titles are now up in the air. I got stuck on this project after DH03 because I had no idea where the next three books would go, and I’ve been waiting for some major epiphanies on them for at least a couple of years. Glad to finally have gotten those epiphanies, so I’m not going to complain about them coming “out of order” so to speak.

One of my other goals in this Fool’s Errand was to be flexible with my writing goals, but not too flexible. What I mean is, I wanted to allow myself some leeway in changing my mind on what projects to focus on, so if something popped up I’d allow myself to switch to it if it wasn’t too out of line. Since I haven’t actually decided on projects #2 and #3, I’ve got a bit more leeway than originally intended, but I’m comfortable with this. UL is going well enough that I should be able to finish it before I move on, so I’ve got plenty of time to figure out what I’m doing next. Being too flexible would mean I was allowing whim to direct my writing habit to the point of either dropping out of my 5-days-a-week writing habit, adjusting my minimum goal above 250 (because I’m consistently doing more, when the low goal is actually enabling me to look forward to writing, as opposed to dreading it), or hopping from one project to another according to whatever strikes my fancy.

Part of my goal with this has been to reestablish some discipline in my writing habit. That means I’m doing my best to hold myself to my 5-days-a-week goal, and that I’m going to make myself tell projects that start jumping up and down to wait their turn. For a while after 2003, I was able to firmly tell new ideas to wait their turn in line. One of the things that has broken down in the past decade and more is that ability to control my own creative urges well enough to focus on one project at a time. It used to work pretty well, and then, well, I sort of lost my ability to do that as time wore on. Well, I gave up on it, I guess is more to the point. DH01 held my attention firmly enough I was able to complete it within a few months of starting with very little distraction, but after that, I again gave up on that discipline. I think to make any progress on anything in the future, I need to reestablish that important little personal limit.

I’ve actually got more stuff in my head for DH04-06 right now. Need to sort through all my notes on the project and start organizing things, which I’ll probably do in Scapple. Right now, I’d really like to make the first of these books my next goal in my Fool’s Errand, because I’ve missed the characters who star in the series. I want to see how they’ll grow and develop over the next three books, and I’ve never, ever forgotten how important their stories are to me. DH01 got me back into writing speculative fiction after a year of hell with the gay romances I’d learned to hate, and I’ve always wanted to complete the series. DH04-09 have never been very far from my mind, no matter how little I actually did with them. It feels good to get back to them, and I’m sure I’ll love working on the next set of books in this series as much as I enjoyed writing books 1-3.

So that’s where things stand on my Fool’s Errand. I’m pleased with my progress so far, and I’m looking forward to making more.

I Remembered Something

It’s been a mildly frustrating evening for me. The past few hours, I’ve been restless and unfocused, trying to find something to distract myself with. Finally, I’ve chosen my top pick—the first project—I had for my Fool’s Errand project, Unwritten Letters. I originally intended to do a bit of a read through on it, but I remembered something about it.

Not only do I have a number of handwritten one-liners for the last scenes, but I actually have a Scapple file with the last several scenes listed. See, the last time I worked on UL, I buckled down and got these last dozen or so scenes very briefly sketched out in preparation for fully plotting them. Then I moved away from the project and abandoned it again when I couldn’t figure out an essential bit in the first scene listed in this way.

So now I have a clear idea of the ending of UL, and reading through these listed scenes is giving me ideas for plotting them. I’ve shuffled one or two to better fit in the chronology. For instance, I thought an engagement announcement a couple characters make later on in this lineup would be better positioned earlier in the lineup. Stuff like that.

What I have to do now is figure out what the prophetic dream Merolén has is in the first listed scene, and then I can finish plotting this story out. It feels good to be working on this again, and I feel enthusiastic about it. This project may well be finished in a timely manner now.

Issues with AEP and Progress

For those of you who found this site through the link on my main site, you’ve probably noticed the issues I’ve been having with it this week, beginning with being hacked by some dirtbag. I’ve spent most of the past week since then trying to figure out a way into my site to recover it. Yes, I contacted my web host. Yes, they provided answers. No, I haven’t been able to implement them because of my anxiety. Suffice it to say, it’s been a major stress for me, so I’ve not gotten a lot done. Some writing, but that was pure escape. No reading of stalled WIPs.

But!

I did manage to finish reading through a couple-three more projects over the past week or so before this mess came down on my main site. Honestly, I’m still pretty much decided on Unwritten Letters as a definite project to work on. I’ve gone over the list in my earlier post and counted what I’ve read, and it’s actually all the way down through “Pipperelle 1” at this point. That leaves five, I think, excluding BEBK, which I read near the end of last month. Completely doable in the next two weeks.

So, as it stands, UL is a definite project. I’ll be picking 3 others, one to take UL’s place when I’m done with it.