Writing Update: February 16, 2018.

writingupdateChapters: 13

Word count: 77,552

First Draft Deadline: March 31/2018

Well, so far so good. I’ve managed to keep to my schedule and have written at least 1k every day. Some days it’s less, other days it’s more. Days I have long work shifts I rarely write as I’m in no mood to by the time I get home. This isn’t a problem for me as my shifts are far between and I get more than enough time to make up for the days I work.

I’ve focused on one novel; SURVIVAL RULES. I want this done by spring so I can revise and get it ready for pitches come summer. I’m still having difficulty finding a beta reader. I think it’s the whole zombie thing that puts people off. I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (so to speak), and I did find one person, but it’s still early and most times the understanding of swapping manuscripts ends by the second chapter. Apart from finding a paid beta (if you know of any who can handle this genre, let me know) I’m stuck. I’m told I’m a strong writer, but I need that second pair of eyes.

I’m about 2/3 through the story. Everyone understands what’s going on and their main goal is to survive. I’ve killed off one of the original characters; original as in the first group the MC was a part of. I plan on killing off another in this chapter and a third later on. As for secondary kills, just one so far and there have been about four secondary character kills. Overall, I don’t think that’s too bad. I changed who I would kill off for this chapter. I wanted this death to not only reveal a key element about the zombies (which I can carry over into the other novels), but it has to have an impact, and not done just for shock value. The first death brought up that no-one is safe. The other two secondary character deaths will drive the MC on her journey. This death will set her on a quest; a journey that won’t be resolved until the last book.

Looking at that word count-it’s scary. This could easily be a 100k novel. I’ll probably lose words during revisions, but not by much. Maybe 10k or so.  I *am* a strong writer. I don’t add paragraphs of info dump or backstory. I also don’t go on and on about their day or describe things to no end. Maybe the reason I’m so worked up about this number is because of the other zombie novels I’ve read. They’ve all been the first book of a series so if it was a long novel, naturally they break them up. It follows that whole more content=more money bullshit (there’s a blog post idea). Personally, I HATE it when I’m left hanging, especially when the main plot hasn’t come to a resolved or satisfactory ending, which happened in most of the novels I read. I’ll probably complain about this in future updates, but just bear with me.

Until next month . . .

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Writing Update: January 19, 2018.

writingupdateWow, it’s been six months since my last update. I seriously didn’t think I’d let it go that long. Ouch.

Okay, so it’s been a little hectic since then. Sithboy started college again and it all went downhill from there. No excuse, right? Except that if I don’t feel like writing, I don’t and that’s what happened.

I tried to do NaNoWriMo last year and didn’t get as far as I thought I would. Meh, I haven’t been able to keep up with that for a few years now. No big sweat and I don’t ever see my not completing it as a failure either. I got words done-check. I got into a schedule of writing every day-check. Those two things alone made what little I wrote for NaNo an accomplishment.

So, what do I have to update? Well . . .

 

WIP Novel #6: Down Finnegan’s Hollow (thriller)

This is a bust. I trunked this novel because I couldn’t get into the revisions. Whether it was removing excess characters (I took out several) or trying to mesh a new line of events, every time I thought I had it worked out, something would mess up. I finally threw up my hands and said fuck it. I’ve messed with this story for a good three years and each time I pick it up, I screw it up even more. All writers have those kinds of novels, and this is one of them for me. The other is The Possession of Mercy Moreau. Such a clusterfuck. I don’t even want to talk about it.

I have worked more on my plague zombie novel, SURVIVAL RULES. I keep coming back to this one. Maybe because it’s more of a dark story than the others. I am about 2/3 the way through at sitting at just over 50k. I know there are two other stories that go with this, but I’ll be happy if I can get just the first one done.

I’ve also poked at my Steampunk Detective novel, ARLINGTON CREED AND THE CASE OF THE MARINATED MARINER. Again, another one that keeps poking at me. I did come up with four other novels with these characters. Each a stand-alone, but together making up a larger story. Again me=procrastination Queen.

One thing that is exciting, I came up with a new four book series that is, get this-YA. I’m not even kidding. The MC is fourteen and starting high school during the 80’s and each book will be one year of school. Kinda like Harry Potter. The exciting thing about this is that I can connect this group of stories to my magical realism story I worked on earlier this year. Also, I can connect to another group of stories I started last year. Ugh, this never ends.

Anyway, I’m going to (try) and focus on the zombie plague and Steampunk for now.

What are your writing plans for 2018?

Of Writers and Prose: Looking Back at 2017 & Goals for 2018.

Quill-And-Ink-Line-Art-300pxIt’s that time of year, folks! Time to look back and see what we wished we’d accomplished, and how it ranked up against what we actually did.

2017:

First off, I didn’t make a New Year’s Resolution in January because I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to keep it. I was right. Between work and real life, I couldn’t guarantee that I would get any writing done, and when I set a goal and then don’t accomplish it, I feel like crap. Plus, I have other interests outside of writing that I want to explore and there’s only so many hours in a day. Anyway, those are my reasons for not getting as much done, writing wise. One thing I did do good on was blogging. Hell, right up until September I was on FIRE! Blogging takes a lot out of me, especially when the topic is writing. What the hell can I say that hasn’t been said a thousand times over? Not a lot, but I did explore some of my other hobbies a bit more and I want to keep doing that.

I wanted to get two WIP’s finished and maybe an episode or two of my tv series, and while I did get a few of the scripts done, I ended up trunking the two WIP’s. I was on the fence about them from the very beginning, and I was having a difficult time ‘finding’ their story. These problems cause me to distance myself from them, and once that happens, it’s all over. Maybe in a few years I might come back to them, but for now they’re better off left alone.

That doesn’t mean I stopped writing. I don’t think I could ever do that.

 

2018:

I resurrected two WIP’s that I’ve played with on and off for the last couple years. The first is my plague/zombie novel SURVIVAL RULES (which is the first book of a trilogy), and it sparked my interest again when I came up with a new t.v. show. The show (Malice) is set in the future world of the zombie novel with a new twist on some old monsters. There are all these shows about the end of the world, but very few on what happens afterward. I originally wrote MALICE as a novel, but found it worked better in script form.

The second novel I’m working on is my Steampunk detective novel. Again, it’s the first book of a series. The think I like the most about these books have to be the names (yes, I have the names down already). I have a general idea of what each book is about, and have linked them all together.

The third WIP, and the newest, is a YA witchy book that is set in the 80’s. The main reason I don’t write YA is because I’ve never been able to identify with the characters. I can’t. I’m not that age anymore, but when I think back to what it was like to be a teenager in the 80’s, this idea came to me.

For 2018 I want to focus more on the first two. Dare I might say that I want to make a resolution to complete them by 2019? I also want to do some vlogs. If I have to set a goal it would be to do at least one vlog a month.

I don’t know. It feels too much like tempting the Fates, and that’s the last thing I want to do.

What about you? How did you fair this year?

Writing Update: June 23rd, 2017

writingupdateThis week we usher in summer and I’d like to say that I stuck to my timetable and have some of these WIPs complete, but that would be lying. I keep jumping back and forth between projects, or create new ones. The way I write, I’m surprised I have six books published, but I have been writing, so that’s a good thing. I have cut back on how many projects I’m working on. Just two for now; one novel and one script.

Okay, so here we go . . .

 

WIP Novel #6: Down Finnegan’s Hollow (thriller)

Work on this novel is gradual. I have managed to revise the first three chapters, incorporating the new plot idea that I live tweeted about. I cut out several characters and switched the protagonist to one of the others, but nothing’s set in stone. Even as I write this, I’m wondering if it’s too ‘predictable’. I have an alternative idea that won’t take up too many revisions, but I want to get this run-through done first before I see if the alternative would work better. Will probably need to send it to a beta reader.

 

3# Malice (supernatural tv series)

This month, I worked on some script writing too. As some of you know, I have a zombie-plague series that I poke at. It’s gone through as many revisions and plot twists as DFH. A while back I wondered what the lives would be like for the descendants of that same plague. Rebuilding the new world from the ruins of the old one, and what would happen to the plague zombies that I created. As I explored this idea, it occurred to me that maybe new creatures would pop up, a direct result of the plague. So many new and interesting things could happen, and it would have an old west feel with some surviving modern world tech. Not Steampunk either. This idea captured my imagination and I started writing it as a novel, but then realised that it’s more of a script sort of thing. I’m taking the seven chapters that I wrote and turning each into an episode. So far I have part of the first two episodes written, but this way I can explore the characters more in depth, which is what I was hoping to do through the novels.

I like script writing, and I’m getting better at it. Like all other forms of writing, practise makes perfect, right?

 

Anyhoo . . . this is all I’ve accomplished in the last month.

How about you? How has your writing been progressing? Anything exciting you want to spill?

Writing Update: May 26th, 2017.

writingupdateOne thing I never hear from fellow writers is, they never run out of ideas. As it is with me. If you look at all the WIPs I have, you could say I’m working on six at any given time. That doesn’t include scripts either.

WIP Novel #1: EarthenStone

I haven’t worked on this story since last month, so no update for it.

WIP Novel #2: Survival Rules (plaque/zombie)

No update.

WIP Novel #3: Cashe (cyberpunk)

No update.

WIP Novel #4: Untitled Alternate Reality

No update.

WIP Novel #5: Arlington Creed, Detective (Steampunk)

No update.

WIP Novel #6: Down Finnegan’s Hollow (Thriller)

Oh yeah, all over this one again. I haven’t touched it since my little incident with the bus stop sign, but it’s one of two that is complete (the other is my Gothic story that I put on hold because I’m not sure what to do with it). I’ve been working a lot the last month at ‘job that pays’, so I’m only able to revise a few pages at a time. I’ve also come up with a more plausible ‘death’ element. I’m also trying to make it more creepy. I want the reader’s mind to play tricks on them when the put the book down, or maybe jump a little when they hear a strange sound. I’m half way through the manuscript. If I keep working on it, two pages per day (as that seems to be all I have time for) I could have this revised by the end of June. I’ll have to go over it once more, to make sure the old ‘death element’ is not mentioned and that the new plot idea merges with the rest of the story. I’d be looking at the end of September as a deadline for both revisions.

Not even looking at my scripts. I am so behind on those.

Blogs:

I’m getting better with my blog post. I have idea’s marked out for the rest of the year. I don’t try to push myself. If I don’t have an idea, I won’t force it. I just let that post go and hope I can find something else to write about. I missed a few last month, but I think I got them all done for May and June looks pretty complete too.

How about you? How has your writing been progressing? Anything exciting you want to spill?

Writing Update: April 28th, 2017

writingupdateWhat a month! Between work and other thing (dental, ugh) I’m surprised I got any writing done at all, but I did.

So here we go . . .

WIP Novel #1:

Okay, this story is messing with me. First I thought it was magical realism, now I think it’s just plain urban fantasy. I don’t know. I had to go back and revise certain parts to make the story sound plausible (plot-wise) and I’m almost caught up to where I left off. I still have chapter five to go over, and less that 1k on chapter six written.  I have a working title for it too – EarthenStone. For now.

WIP Novel #2: Survival Rules

Again, another plot revision and I’m up to where I left off, but because the story has changed so dramatically most of what I have written from before won’t be salvageable. I may be able to use some of it, but not much. I mean, I’m talking about the very, first, draft when my character was a whiney twenty-something and I’ve turned her into a recovering addict, and mother with military background. I’m on chapter eight and I have fifteen written. I’m also wondering if I can hold to my promise that this story will be told in one book, and not spread out over several. I’m close to fifty-thousand words now and only half-way through the story. It was the one thing that drove me nuts when I read other zombie novels; I’d have to buy three or four more books before the characters were in a safe place. I have two other stories planned for this series and I’ve made them all stand-alone for that reason, but who will buy a zombie novel that’s close to a hundred-thousand words?

WIP Novel #3:

Have I mentioned that I’m back into my cyberpunk novel? I’m just not happy unless I’m torturing myself? I don’t know why this starting poking at me again, but it did. I’m close to finishing the second chapter.

 

I got a few less blog post written during the last month. A few were due to lack of material or time. I have to make the time to write out posts and take pictures. It takes a while to get into a habit of doing things. Maybe a bit more time.

 

How has your writing been going?

Writing Update: March 17th, 2017

Work has picked up again and so I’m getting more shifts. This has cut into my writing time, but mostly I’ve procrastinated because on my days off I just don’t feel like it. Some days my brain is just a blank and I hate the idea of forcing myself to write something, but I’ve still managed to get some done in the last month.

I think I’ve come up with a good title for my MagicalRealism/UrbanFantasy novel; EARTHENSTONE. I’m about seven chapters in and then I realised an important plot point (the conflict of how the MC enters this magical world) wasn’t as strong or as detailed as I thought it was. It also didn’t make much sense and it veered me off from the original outline I had. I went back through the first few chapters and tightened it up so hopefully I’m back on track.

I’ve been poking at another project that I will call AltHistory/ Epistolary novel. Epistolary means written as a series of documents. Think Frankenstein or Dracula. It’s based during WWI Canada, and will have an interesting twist to the outcome/duration of the war. It’ll still take four years, but things will not go as our history did. I’m especially interested to write out how the Suffrage Movement will be affected. WWI advanced it faster than any other event. I know this because I did my short thesis paper on it. The best thing about this story is that I’ve based it in Kingston and I want to include real events from that era. I plan on doing some research and reading over microfilm of newspapers at one of the university libraries. I actually get giddy when I think about it. I have about 1,500 words done and had to top as I needed some historical events to include and I still haven’t done any research.

I haven’t looked at SURVIVAL RULES since last month. Right now I’m more focused on the other two. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on it, but Earthenstone and the other WIP are a priority right now. If I had more time I could work on it, but as I still need to do a serious re-write on the rest of the chapters I already have, I’ll need a lot more time and energy to work on it.

 

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