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Infinite homework report

June 30, 2015
infinite homework report

Current WIP

I have 3 chapters left in this first editing pass of Rukan. Eeeesh, I am so close! It almost feels like a real story now!

This pass has been a real tough slog. A lot of rewriting. Very slow going. A lot of angst. It has taken me so much longer than I wanted it to.

Next steps are:

  • Another pass with more rewriting (minimal) & updates as per notes I’ve made so far & continuity edits that haven’t been done yet. I’m feeling a bit stuck on those 3 chapters so I might do this first, then come back to fix those guys up all proper-like.
  • A read-through pass. To make sure it flows. Read & then edit, or edit as I go? Not sure yet.
  • (Possibly another massive rewrite if I decide that the beginning does, in fact, need to be drastically changed. Ugh. Save me.)
  • A printed out read-through. By now I hope to be down to line edits & nitpicks. Spellcheck time. Red pen time. (YESSS.)
  • TA DA. We have 1 finished manuscript and 1 utterly over it writer. Goal: October. 3 months to get here!

Future WIP(s)

Because I feel like I’m getting down to the pointy end of Rukan, I’ve been daydreaming about what I’ll write next. It’s like a treat. Shiny new ideas! They sparkle, all tempting & fresh & unsullied by actual work. The total opposite of how I feel about the current WIP. Will I do a post apocalyptic story? Urban fantasy set in London? Or perhaps the sci fi that I started writing years ago & didn’t know how to finish. Well. I know how to finish a book now. I could dust that off & start version bajillion-point-oh. Can’t wait!

writing

A quote on writing

June 13, 2015
eugene ionesco writing quote

I found this quote by Eugene Ionesco recently, and it speaks to me.

It’s sort of what I mean when I refer to my writing as my ‘infinite homework’.

It means I can never switch it off.

Yep, when I am not writing, I am still thinking about it. But also: I am feeling guilty because I am not writing!

the guilt monkey

the guilt monkey

I may not get a vacation, but the stewing over of ideas is definitely a lot more pleasant than the hard graft of actually creating & editing words. It’s easy to think. Wander about with stories in your brain… and never put them down.

I have to write, no matter what. Even when I hate it – when I stare at the screen and want to poke my eyeballs out with forks rather than write – I have to do it.

Otherwise I’m just thinking about being a writer…

writing

Wednesday writing update

January 22, 2015

Oh dear, poor blog *pats blog*

OK so where was I?

I finished the draft of Rukan. That felt pretty amazing even though I was instantly suffused with fear over how much editing will be required. I was only 10 days over my self-imposed-schedule & that was just down to the story needing more words than I’d scheduled to write. My mini Nanowrimo was a resounding success & it was pleasing to finish the month on target. I can write more words a day if I put my mind to it. And if I know what I’m writing…

Then I started the aforementioned editing. I have a PLOT document which lists each chapter & what happens & whose POV & blahblah. I spent a month going through the plot, chapter one to chapter twenty-nine-ish, shuffling stuff around & deleting crap & making notes about what needs to change. Inventing lots of new words & names that had placeholders.

And now I am back at the beginning & rewriting.

I am up to chapter two.

This is going to be a very long ride.

It doesn’t help that sproglet is transitioning down to one nap a day instead of two. That means I have less opportunities to write. Evenings, argh, are so difficult for this work. Editing requires such different brainpower. Fresh-morning-coffee’d-up brainpower, it seems.

But I’ll get there. This bloody book will be done.

writing

Wednesday writing: mini Nanowrimo

November 5, 2014

OK, I’m doing my own mini version of Nanowrimo this year. I decided on 1st November. Hey, that’s better than deciding on 2nd November.

There is no way I could manage 1,667 words a day right now – snatching writing during naptimes is hard enough, particularly with the currently disturbed naptimes that require a lot of help with this crazy sleep thing. (So hard! learning how to go to sleep!)

So my goal is 580 words a day for November. That will mean writing every evening as well as naptimes. (I shouldn’t be blogging right now…)

That’ll bring me to ~90,000 words and my big goal: end of a zero draft.

I’m excited about that reaching that goal. Also kind of terrified. See, vomiting new words can be done mindlessly. You can deathmarch a story into existence. But the fixing of those words? That comes next and that is difficult. That requires actual mental effort. Sheesh.

I have a huuuuuuge amount of [square brackets] in my zero draft so far. Places where things must be explained. Historical events and persons that must be conjured. Pretty setting that must come to life. Names that must be invented. NAMES FOR EVERYTHING. (Fantasy. The making up of shit is both fun and tiring.) And I want those names to be consistent. I want names in other languages to seem like they fit together. I want a nice selection of names that have different beats and rolls and patterns – names that aren’t all double-syllable-ending-in-A (I do that.)

The naming of things takes me a long time. I flit and ponder. Bang my head on the desk. Drink coffee. Pootle around thesaurus.com and etymonline.com. This is why I shove stuff in square brackets as I write: rather than stop & think, I can keep the flow of words alive and come back to it later.

As well as my story file, I have a separate doc where I have every single made-up name listed, including the yet-to-be-determined square bracketed names…

[Blahblah] bazaar

Lake [Name]

[Somethinghouse]

[Wifey]

[Suspectosuspect]

[2ndnortherncountry]

etc…

So when my zero draft is complete, one of the things I have to do to turn it into a first draft is invent a LOT of things. En passant, my distinction is that nobody can read a zero draft – it wouldn’t make sense, there are too many holes & things missing – but a first draft could be read from start to finish. (Although still requires a lot of editing & fixing.)

I feel like it could take me another year just to move from zero to first.

It’s daunting.

But I just gotta get on with it.