WiP Wednesdays 10/28 — October 28, 2009

WiP Wednesdays 10/28

Did you notice my project ADD come out to play?  Which status bar moved this week?  Oh, and I redecorated.  Again.  Seriously, I have issues.  And it’s snowing as I type this.  I hate winter.
Yeah, that’s right.  I officially went back to work on Oracles Promise.  Writing Lodestar was feeling too much like a burden.  When writing the first draft, it should be fun.  It should be exciting.  You should look forward to entering the world you’re creating each time you do.

That was no longer happening with Lodestar.  I’m at roughly 12K-13K words.  I honestly have no idea how I’ll stretch that book out to being 75K, like I envision.

So it’s being tabled.  Not necessarily permanently, but still.  I’m going to finish Oracles Promise.  That is my goal.  I’ve been working on this book for 7 years or so at this point.  These characters are a part of me and they’re more enjoyable to write.

Take, for example, Saturday.  It was the second day I’d gone back to work on it.  I sat down to write, and almost before I knew it two hours had passed and 1600+ words had ended up on the page.  It was like magic.  I didn’t struggle with the words.  They just came out and things flowed.  It was a beautiful thing.

With Lodestar, it was sometimes a challenge to even get a sentence written in a day.  Now, if I’m struggling so much as a writer my readers are certainly going to struggle, right?  So, I’m putting it away for now.

I’ve officially reached past the halfway point in my book, percentage-wise.  And I think I’m a little over half done with the storyline for the first book.  I’ve got good outlines for the next two books so I think I’ll be okay as far as foreshadowing goes.  We’ll see what happens.  I may write the draft of book two while I let Oracles Promise sit and simmer.  Maybe even the final book in the trilogy.  Just so that I can then map everything out start to finish and make sure I’ve got all my ducks in a row.

But school will likely get in the way of these plans.  We’ll see what happens.  I have registered for classes.  I’m looking anxiously forward to an entirely different college experience from my last two.  This time around I’ll be taking photography, drawing, 2D design, and learning the intricate workings of InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.  And then a random health class thrown in.  It’ll be interesting.

And maybe someday I’ll be able to sketch my own characters.  I can dream, right?

In other news, the wonderful Deb over at Ranch Girl Ramblings has generously gifted me with another award.

The Best Blog Award rules are: 1) To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link. 2) Pass the award to other bloggers that you have recently discovered and think are great! Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So, I can’t choose from so many wonderful blogs.  If you’re reading this, consider yourself awarded.  There are a ton of fabulous blogs out there that I really wish I had more time each day to devote to them.  I love every blog I’m a follower of and they all bring so many wonderful things to the table.
WiP Wednesdays 9/2 — September 2, 2009

WiP Wednesdays 9/2

Wow, time flies.

So, haven’t made as much progress lately as I did the first part of the month. But Oracle’s Promise is coming along. I just really want to finish it since I’ve been writing this book for 7 years and never finished. I’m struggling to get through this draft for a variety of reasons. One of which is below the other WiP updates. The other is that I keep questioning where I’m going with this. Currently I’m contemplating eliminating the YA element of this all (names a protagonist who would be pre-teen/teen) and focusing the story where I currently am. We’ll see. But every major change my mind contemplates I shove to the side because I just want to get the dang thing written for once.

Some random facts about Oracle’s Promise:

Current draft: 39, 803 words and 85 pages

Original draft: 90, 931 words and 185 pages

OK, I’m doing good. You know why? Because the current draft covers just about everything essential from the original draft, plus some added intrigue and depth. My current draft has more chapters. And where I’m at now in the current draft is further along in the story than the original draft!

Yes, you read that correctly. I’ve cut roughly 51, 128 words! Wow!

Also, I’ve decided to aim my word count a little lower given this new fact. I was aiming for 120,000 words in order that I might be able to explore the story but have lots of wiggle room for slashing apart. Now I’m aiming more in the range of 90,000 words. So the status bar has been changed accordingly. Which is why you may have noticed a significant jump in percentage completion.

“The” appears 2, 741 times
“Was” appears 421 times
“To” appears 1,106 times

That’s according to Wordle. A fun little gadget on the web for finding those pesky repeats.

I’ve added a poem to …Futile but I still have a ways to go on it. Most of the poetry in it is complete garbage, but that’s because there are a lot of first drafts in there right now. I’m just trying to get to the page count I need before I start making major revisions to it.

As for the rest of the WiPs, “A Rose by any Other Name” is being critiqued bit by bit. Which I may or may not be fully prepared for. Sigh. We’ll see what comes of this story once the entire thing has been through the critiquing process. My poetry collections that are in-progress are stalled. Mostly because I seem to have misplaced my mojo and lack inspiration for any poetry at the moment. Shattered Secrets, the other fantasy series I’ve got percolating, is totally backburner right now because I’m devoting so much time to Sunstone and to Oracle’s Promise.

So, where does this week leave me? Oh, yeah, with a murder-mystery novel screaming in my head to be developed and written. I’m making sure to note down everything that comes to mind for it so that when I actually can devote the time and energy to it, I can remember everything that I’ve thought up for it. Problem is, I haven’t read any decent number of murder mysteries or any related genre in a long time. I went through a Tony Hillerman phase senior year into freshman of college. But it faded. The man wrote too many books to catch up on them all. I did read a Hillerman novel last semester for one of my classes. So I’m going to have to go get a library card and force myself to read a library book. I hate library books. I don’t know why, but I do. But I need to read a lot of mysteries if I’m going to write one of my own.

WiP Wednesdays 8/26 — August 26, 2009

WiP Wednesdays 8/26

Holy carp where did the month go?

It’s the last Wednesday in August?! And I’m not moved off to a new apartment and/or a new school. First time since I started kindergarten that I am not a currently enrolled student somewhere. It’s a little weird.

Maybe that’s why I feel like such a failure all around, but especially in the writing. I mean, I had days this last week where I didn’t write a single word! Not one!

And it was those days I felt most like a failure. Because I didn’t do anything important that took time away from being able to write. (Actually I just wasted a lot of time. Sigh.)

But I did get writing done. And I’m happy to report that I’m close to halfway through the novel, at least chapterwise. My current outline has Oracle’s Promise at 19 chapters plus an epilogue and a prologue. I have the prologue and 8 chapters written. So that’s nearly halfway. Right? Sigh again.

It’s all bollocks though and will ultimately be scrapped.

But the chapter I just finished writing on Monday has always been the hardest for me to write. This is the second time I’ve written it. But it doesn’t make me cry like it did the first time I wrote it. Maybe it will when I come back to re-reading it months from now. I don’t know.

One more chapter and I’m in uncharted territory. None of the rest of the novel has ever been written in its entirety before. There are two chapters that I wrote but scrapped before completion when going through the writing process the last time. I predict things will slow down considerably once I reach that point.

My biggest struggle right now? The one that’s making me have thoughts of abandoning writing fiction all-together and returning to poetry, which is not really my first love, though I do enjoy it?

Getting my stupid characters to speak real and sound different from one another. They all sound alike and it’s total suckage. Sucktacular to borrow from a friend. My one story that I wrote, I really felt like the characters each had their own way of speaking and it was easy to write their dialogue in unique ways. I still felt the need for the occasional dialogue tag, but not so much in large groups. Unlike in Oracle’s Promise where I really have to put those in or risk my reader getting lost with who is talking.

Gah!

Oh, other news:

Book 2 in the Sunstone Trilogy is tentatively, and I mean tentatively, titled Oracle’s Veil.

Subject to change of course.

As for all my other WiPs, like my poetry collections that I have going:

I haven’t really been working on them. They’re all back-burner at the moment. “…Futile” is the most complete of the poetry WiPs. I only need a handful of poems more before draft 1 is complete. Then I can move in to revisions. But I always struggle to revise my own poetry. I need to find a crit group for that. Triple sigh.

My Own Personal Hades, or Outlining — July 28, 2009

My Own Personal Hades, or Outlining

Now begins the part of this process that is making me depressed and making my brain hurt. I’m outlining. Hopefully I’ll get through the entire Sunstone outline, all 3 or 4 books (whichever I decide upon though 3 is appealing more at the moment), but it’s unlikely. I just need to get through the outline for book 1 by the end of the day Friday.

Here’s where I’ve put myself into depression mode: I’m outlining in detail what I’ve already written, scene by scene (sort of) and I really get it affirmed to me more and more that I need to just basically cut 6 of the 9 or 10 chapters I’ve written so far. I really should just start over from scratch on Saturday when I kick into 2,000 words a day mode, but I can’t do it. I want to get this book written, no matter how crappy and horrible it is, and starting over makes me feel like I won’t get it done in the month of August like I’ve allotted. (I’ve been working on this for 7 or 8 years now and I’d like to feel some sort of sense of accomplishment.)

Meantime, I sit here outlining, still not really knowing where my plot is going. I’m outlining it in this way:

Chapter
…..Scene
……..Events
……..Characters
…..Scene
……..Events
……..Characters

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Scene by scene, chapter by chapter. It’s going to get really rough when I get into the portions I haven’t written yet.

Reading all of The Plot Thickens really drives home that I do need to start in a different spot and get rid of 80,000 words (maybe that’s an exaggeration). But there are so many characters I love in those first six chapters and there are so many little things that I think I meant to be important, little subplots that will be crucial in later volumes, etc., that I’m struggling right not to figure out where they’ll fit in should I eliminate all that pretext, that isn’t really pretext but important plot setup that should be covered.

Now to go and make sense of al my Sunstone notes that I’ve garnered over the years and try to nail down the rest of my plot and finish the outline. New deadline for outlining: TODAY.

There are some other things that I have to write that are precursor to what I’ll be writing in the novel, but will show up in the novel.

Time is slowly dripping away from me. I feel like the clocks in Dali’s The Persistence of Memory.

WIPs — July 17, 2009

WIPs

In an effort to make this blog more personable, I’ve decided to discuss my WIPs a bit more in-depth. These WIPs range from poetry collections to novels and are in all stages of development. I’ll begin with the poetry collections.

1- “Painted Silence”: A chapbook collection of ekphrastic poetry inspired by some of my favorite works of art. It’s in the mail for a competition to be judged by poet Mark Doty. (Sent it out yesterday.) The deadline for entries is August 15th and the winner will be announced in November. Prize is $1,000 and publication. This is my only “finished” collection of poetry, but still a WIP because it’s only in submission stage.

2- “…Futile”: A book-length collection of poetry about family, love, and loss. This project is in rough draft stage, with about two dozen more pages to be added to it. Mostly I need to add to the section on family as I’ve pretty much exhausted my store of stories regarding love and loss. WIP status earned because it will need lots more work before it hits submission/query stage.

3- “Musings”: A chapbook collection of haiku and tanka form poetry. Still in rough draft stage with probably a dozen or so (at least) pages to go. This one’s tougher than my other collections because each poem only takes a single page so I have to write more of them. WIP status earned because it needs more pages.

4- “Migrations”: A poetry collection of yet-undetermined length. This work needs many more pages of poetry before I can decide whether it will be a chapbook or book-length collection. This collection will be location-based revolving around the four areas of the world that I’ve lived in. I’m unsure of whether to give this full WIP status since I’ve only got 2 or 3 poems written for it at the moment.

5- “Milepost”: A chapbook collection of poetry about the big events in my life– first kiss, first date, losing my dad, finding out I have a sister who was still-born, etc. With 8 pages so far, this is definitely in rough draft stage. Will need at least 16 more poems, assuming they all come in at 1 poem per page. WIP status earned.

Novels/series:

1- I have the tentatively titled “Sunstone Saga” series that I’ve been working on since high school. I scrapped the project a couple of years ago after meeting Jasper Fforde (or slightly before then perhaps). But a few months ago I struck on an idea to save the manuscript and have now been working on detailed world-building. It’s WIP on backburner at the moment. I’ve written roughly 140+ pages so far and that’s only about half the manuscript for the first book, which doesn’t have a title. I’ve learned a lot about pacing and such since I began the book many years ago and so I am realizing that much of what I’ve written will have to be scrapped. Like, 100 pages of that. I have six chapters of set up that may or may not be crucial to the storyline and in which my main character does not feature. Major problems with pacing and design, I know. But I was trying to show too much of how the other six supplementary characters get to the point of exhaustion that leads to the collective dream they can’t remember that is the impetus for what follows in the chapters after. I’m still going to have to figure out how to work in some of the details from those first six chapters, but I’m going to leave that be until after I finish the stupid book. When I start writing in August at my 2000 words-a-day pace I’m simply going to pick up where I left off when I abandoned the project and let it go from there. Then I’ll rewrite and revise to my heart’s content. WIP status: late end of development stage

2- A new world, a new novel. This series has no title yet. But it will someday. This is the project which I concocted when I abandoned Sunstone. I’ve not done much with it since then. A little world-building, a passage of writing that struck the inspiration chord when I was showering one day. (Isn’t it so weird how that happens? You’re doing something completely mundane and routine and you get that brilliant flash?) Anyways, back on track here. It’s in a much earlier stage than Sunstone is but it will get written eventually. (Hopefully in September. See same post as above link.) WIP status: early end of development stage