Posts from the ‘Writing Diary’ Category

Writing Diary

I’ve not been working on my novel recently. My brain has been piling up problems inside my head – to the point where I have difficulty having any confidence in the project. I know that writing is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, and anyone who can be discouraged from writing, should be, and writing is the application of the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair, and all that, and I haven’t officially abandoned it, but it’s definitely on hiatus.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on short stories. I’ve written one recently, and today I started work on another. I’ve also incorporated all the comments I got from reviewers on Critters.org into an fresh rewrite of my story, ‘The Green Marble’. A couple of days ago I submitted it to Fantasy Magazine. I had some problems with their on-line submissions form – the web page didn’t work at all for me – but the staff responded very quickly to my messages and allowed me to e-mail them the story. They almost as quickly rejected it, too. Now, I’ve just submitted it to Weird Tales.

Writing diary

Yesterday, after weeks of slow preparation – preparation which is by no means complete … not by a long chalk – I started work on the actual text of my novel. Version two of my novel, in fact (the first version was started in November for National Novel Writing Month – I got 16,000 done before I realised I wasn’t accomplishing what I wanted to and needed much more planning).

I wrote a couple of hundred words yesterday and a couple of thousand today. Seems to be going well. I have a better understanding of structure, now, and a good idea of what this story is supposed to achieve, both in terms of plot and theme.

Look forward to more updates in the future.

Writing diary

Honestly, I haven’t been doing too much writing recently, what with illness and rearranging my blogs. That is all nearly over with now, so I just have to press on with each my projects.

These projects now include this blog – an exploration of fantasy themes. today I’ve been working on an essay about dragons that will be posted on Monday for the Monday Masterclass. I’ve got three other blogs on the go, as well. One of those is for my roleplaying game system and campaign – and that’s a whole load of other work. Then there’s the novel – still in the planning phase, still utterly intimidating in scale. Finally, there are my short stories.

On this latter front, I just got through reading comments from reviewers on Critters about my story ‘Jump’. I got twelve critiques back, mostly useful and positive in tone. I’m pretty behind on doing critiques for Critters, so I need to catch up on that in the next few days. Rewriting ‘Jump’ is also on the cards for the near future.

Ugh – so much work, so little time.

Writing diary

The manuscript that I began at the start of the month as part of National Novel Writing Month has pretty much ground to a halt at a touch under 17,000 words. My first week back from China saw me writing every day and producing around 2,000 words a day. But on Friday I reached a bit of a crisis, as I could no longer see where the writing was going. Since then I’ve been going back to the (now legendary) drawing board to lay the foundations that should have been laid earlier. Today I mostly completed a kind of potted history of the world up until the point at which my story starts. In the next few days, I plan to brainstorm more of the details that will go into the story’s background – and which I will then sweep away with the first words of actual story.

What I wrote up until Friday had definite merit. In particular, I created four characters with diverse personalities and personal problems. Unfortunately, the whole work just wasn’t quite what I’d intended to write. It happens sometimes that your imagination takes you on tangents that may or may not work out. Also, I think the first character I made – and therefore the first viewpoint character – was a little too YA for my taste.

I now have a firmer basis to continue writing – or, more properly to start writing again, this time on version 2. I have plenty of ideas about the plot, but they’re all either vague or disconnected at the moment. Setting down a real plot, a series of causes and effects slowly building in intensity to the story’s climax will be another important task I have to undertake soon. It’s vital, because I need to know what I’m writing towards in order to write. It’s also incredibly difficult.

I think that conceiving a short story is like trying to visualise a small group of objects, like five apples, or a moment from a film. Trying to conceive a novel, or, worse, a series of novels, is like trying to visualise a million apples or every moment in a film simultaneously. Caveat scriptor, indeed.

NaNoWriMo update

I haven’t been writing much lately – the demands of travel in China and of simply being in China (Charlie told me that the pollution makes you tired) have drained my energy and taken up my time. I had a day of rest today and wrote about 1,800 words, which is my average daily target – but that does nothing to make up for lost time. I finished the first chapter and now need to think about the second, and my second viewpoint character.

Target word count: 12,600. Actual word count: 5,000.

NaNoWriMo update

Yesterday, the first day of National Novel Writing Month, I only wrote 600 words of my 1,800 target. Today, however, I made up some ground by writing 2,000 words – 700 in the morning, 1300 in the evening, after dinner and sightseeing in the Forbidden City in Beijing. What I’ve been writing has flowed quite smoothly. My first character has turned out to be a resentful, but spirited coward. The story has a natural opening, although I’m not too sure of exactly what’s going to happen next. I think I’ve made a good start.

Target word count: 3,600. Actual word count: 2,600.

Writing Diary

Last night I had a bumper writing session. I had dinner at a place near work and then went to Starbucks for about three hours. I wrote nearly 2,000 words on the ghost story I started earlier in the month. After a coffee and a tea, I didn’t sleep too well, but I’m very proud of the work I got done and its quantity.

At lunchtime today I got another 400 words done, bringing the total up to 2,600 or so.