May, June, July Progress

I am a horrible human being.

Here I was, planning on making monthly posts (if not more) about my writing progress. Then I blink and three months pass without an update. So … uh … oops? Let’s rectify that.

May

May
May

Total Words: 6,500

Not a terrible month with a strong finish. I stumbled across some good ideas and revelations that made the words flow.

June

June
June

Total Words: 3,750

Ouch. Not a fun month at all. Work threw a couple of big writing/editing projects at me that were due on short timeline. As a result, the creativity and energy that I normally used for my ‘fun’ stuff was sucked away into a pit of withering Corp-speak and frustration. Even when the projects were done, it took some time to get the words back up and flowing again.

Oh yeah, I moved to Stars instead of Dots. Because I ran out of Dots and Stars look better.

July

July
July

Total Words: 4,250

Better but still not there. Work was still annoying and then I had a four day vacation in the middle in which I did no writing whatsoever. Still, I’ll celebrate the upward trend.

So that’s three months. Let’s see if I can do August in September instead of December, shall we?

March & April Progress

Well I feel like a schmuck. I was positive I’d posted about my March progress but a quick look this morning told me that I was wrong. D’oh! To make up for that, here’s a picture of Cici acting as referee for a grunge match between Skye and Bee.

Rumble in the Kitchen
Rumble in the Kitchen

March

Click to embiggen.
Click to embiggen.

A total of 7,750 words written during March which makes it a good, solid month. It also marked the rough end of Act One. Not much else to say about that one.

April

Click to embiggen.
Click to embiggen.

Not nearly as good but better than I expected. A mere 5,500 words for the month. You’ll also note that I switched to Pink dots … that’s cuz I ran out of Green. A few things to note:

1) Following the end of Act One in March, I spent 7 – 10 days working out the path that Act Two would be taking. It ended up taking longer than I expected, though in the process, I figured out a lot more about my characters and made some much larger changes.

2) Solved a potentially major plot hole. Good but that took up a lot of time as well.

3) Grand Theft Auto 5 came out in the middle of April. I knew that was going to eat into my time so I’m not too disappointed. In fact, I’m surprised I was only 2,000 words off.

Guaranteed Self Destruction

My last blog post was something cryptic about fun. At the time I posted that, I was contemplating this grand post about writing, fun, and the lack thereof. Well, honestly, trying to come up with that has been downright depressing and I’m not too interested in doing that. So this will be short and to the point :

The past three years, I just haven’t had any fun writing. I came closer to giving up the whole thing than I ever have in my life.

Asymonte was the first time I ever tried writing a novel and I had fun. I don’t just mean ‘This is a pleasurable experience’. I mean ‘This is a goddamn blast and I’m loving these characters and let’s see what awesome things we can do today’. I talked with Steph about it all the time, teasing her with plot twists, relishing in finding new ways to get my characters into (and out of ) trouble, and listening to loud music as I pounded out vivid fight scenes.

When I finished Asymonte, I tried to write something different – Sci Fi since I’d been so immersed in Fantasy (Asymonte took 7+ years and 4 drafts to complete). That book was Genie Memories which led me to Viable Paradise. And thus, my problems began.

First things first – Viable Paradise is not to blame for this. Nope. Not a chance. I met a ton of great people there, got to hang out and learn with some of the best, and had a wonderful time. I’d do it again in a heart beat.

The failure came on this end – me, myself, and that ass known as I.

I applied every lesson I learned at VP wrong. Every paragraph and sentence needed a purpose. The story’s theme had to resonate in everything. Each word had to be perfect or it wasn’t worth moving on.  Was I using too many adjectives? Can I use an exclamation point here? What about [INSERT NONSENSICAL THING HERE]?

In short – I paralyzed myself. (Ironically, there was a lecture at VP that mentioned this very thing. One more lesson I forgot.)

The long and short of it though was that I wasn’t having any fun. Writing became a business and a chore. Yes, there is a business aspect to it but that’s for another time. That part doesn’t matter if you can’t get the words on the page and you can’t get the words on the page if you aren’t having any fun.

So that’s what I’m aiming for. I want to have fun. I’ve started a new novel, a stand alone fantasy that so far has no title. It’s been on my radar for a while so I had a go at it. I don’t know how it’ll turn out. Don’t know if it’ll ever be read outside of my house. But who cares?

The characters are surprising me. The scenes are vivid again.  I’m feeling some of that old flow back in the fingers again. And I’m having fun writing again.

 

February Word Count (+ January Revision)

The official word count of February … plus a revision on January.

Turns out that I was using my progress spreadsheet all wrong.You’d think being a computer guy, I’d know how to work a spreadsheet, right? Nope.

TL;DR version – I should have been entering the total word count rather than my daily word count. Fixing that makes my progress look a lot better and shows that I actually am making some headway toward my goal of 100,000 words.

February Word Count
February Word Count

 

Toward the end of the month, I vanquished the red and started making some positive progress. A few good days helps quite a bit with that. Unfortunately most of that has been eaten up in March already but I hope to get a gap again.

And for the record, the revised January Word Count:

January Word Count
January Word Count

 

The Word Count : January

Here be the official Word Count report of January.

January Word Count
(Click to embiggen)

In a perfect world, the Word Count column (first one to the right of the date) would have 250 or in each. And there wouldn’t be any red blocks either (which indicate how far I am behind where I should be). So this ain’t good.

Let’s start off by saying that I knew January would be rough. Trying to shrug off the shackles of writers block and embarking on something like this is always a challenge. It’s not uncommon for me to stumble out of the starting gate and pick up steam later. Then, the marathon, of course, which would take me away from my computer for a week (and to be honest, I rarely write on vacations anyway).

What I did not expect was whatever illness descended upon me and left me too exhausted to spell my own name, let alone contemplate a fantasy novel. After two weeks, I’m getting better but I lost a *lot* of writing time in there. Not a lot I can really say or do about that.

Here it is again in graphical format. The blue line should be even or above the red line. Er … yeah, not good.  February is already shaping up better but there’s going to be a lot of long nights ahead.

January Word Count Graph
(Click to embiggen)

 

* I’m using the Spreadsheet of Shame from Daryl Gregory, a very handy tool that someone whose name I regretfully cannot recall linked off Twitter.

Rejection – Writing and Body

Writing

Back on May 13th, I got a request from Angry Robot for the full manuscript of my novel Asymonte.

Today I got notice that they were going to pass on it.  The reason given was that it was too similar in plot and style to something else that is being released this November.  That’s how publishing goes sometimes.  I’ll figure out the next step in the upcoming days.

Body

My cold (5 weeks old today!) that was diagnosed as ‘allergies’ last week has been re-diagnosed as bronchitis with a touch of pneumonia.  Medication will fix it and hopefully I’ll be back to normal by the end of the week.  Or at least what counts for normal around here.