Daily Writing Check-in: December 3, 2018

Words/Time: 29 minutes removing “NaNo fodder” from my 2018 NaNoNovel.

It’s not as quick as it sounds. I have to find the areas where I’d marked words for deletion during NaNoWriMo, then figure out what words exactly need deleted. I didn’t just strike through everything I didn’t want to keep, because it takes longer. I put an end bracket to mark a spot and moved on. So now I have to figure out where the bad words start so I can delete them. This is probably a confusing explanation, but the point is, it’s a lot of searching and then some reading.

I worked on the same thing yesterday, and removed 1000 words. Today I removed 356, and I’m only on pg. 37 out of 134. I did this as an early revision step to my NaNoNovel in 2014, and it seemed to go a lot faster. Then again, I didn’t track my time, but I still got it done in 3 days. Though I only removed 4000 words, and I’ve already removed more than a quarter of that in 2 days. At this rate, it will take me over a week to finish, unless I have time to fit more work in some days.

With NaNo behind me, I want to move forward with revising other works. I have left my writing sit (outside of November) for far too long now. Here are my short-term goals:

1. Remove NaNo fodder from 2018 NaNoNovel, put scenes into Scrivener while I still remember my ideas

2. Make one obvious change to “Pithea” that is not actually a huge change for that book, but will affect future books a lot. Basically, a side character dies for no real reason, and I’ve realized that future books would be much better if he lived. So he’s going to not die, but because his death did allow a minor plot point to happen that still has to happen, I have to first brainstorm how to make that plot point happen anyway.

3. Revise “Pursuit of Power” just enough to be readable by a friend who is interested. I have hefty revisions planned for the structure of that book, but it will take a long time, and they won’t affect the overall story of this world, just what goes into that book. So before I dig into the major work that was part of my recent absence from writing, I want to just make it readable.

4. Even though I did declare “Pithea” finished a few years ago and sent it off to a couple of publishers, writing that I have done since then has led me to make some changes to it already. Changes like aging most of the characters up 3 years. I think that before I can move on to revising the next book, I need to make sure I don’t need to make changes to the first one. Plus, I think it’ll help me get back into the swing of things if the book that starts it all is fresh in my mind. It’s been so dusty lately.

dec 3

Granted, it’s not as exciting as filling the chart in November, but I’m glad to have somewhere to chart my daily progress. My goal works out to an average of (approximately) 20 minutes per day during the month of December.

 

A Monday Moment: Protector

As I attempt to get back into a daily writing habit, I hope to also get back to my Monday feature, which I call Monday Moments. Short explanation: every Monday I will post a piece of writing practice from the past week. For a longer explanation, go here.

For today’s Monday Moment, in honor of NaNoWriMo, here is a short excerpt from my recently finished NaNoNovel “Protector.”


After everyone had left, Lorrin stayed in the room again. She had many notes that she wanted to go over, trying to come up with an idea for how to proceed.

“I think I have it figured out,” she heard from a man who had come back in after the others had left. It was Falin.

“How’s that?” she asked, trying to pull her brain from the thoughts that had been getting her nowhere.

“I know what we can do to solve this.”

“Do tell.” She didn’t believe for a moment that he was going to give her some brilliant plan. And sure enough…

“We should go out into the fields and stare at the grass.”

She didn’t look back up. It was exactly as she had expected.

“No, I’m serious,” he said. “We’ll all go out and lie on our bellies, pick a blade of grass each, and just stare at it for hours. I’m sure we’ll see some sign of trouble.”

She still didn’t answer him, but he was making it difficult for her to concentrate on the notes.

“Look, do you have any better ideas?” he asked. “Maybe cut off some pieces and bring them back here. Oh, I know! We’ll put some in our food and see if it affects us like it does the animals. Maybe we’ll all wake up in the morning with a double next to us.”

“Falin!” she finally stopped him, mentally chastising herself for reacting at all. “None of this is helpful. Do you find it all a joke?”

“Yes.”

“Yes? This is all a joke to you—that your village is in danger of being overrun by predators if we do not stay out there killing them first? That the ecosystem is out of control and we have no idea why?”

“No, not that. The joke is that you and your army men will be the ones to figure it out.”

“We’re all you have, so you might as well make the best of it.”

“Oh, sure, I get that. You and your soldiers will get it all solved for us, I’m sure.”

“Seriously, what is your problem? Why can’t you just realize that we’re only here to help? None of us has done anything to bother you, so why do you antagonize us so? Why do you insist on making your snarky comments during every meeting?”

He opened his mouth to speak, but she continued.

“You are making my job more difficult than it already is. If you do not want to help us solve this problem, just leave and we’ll find someone else from your village who can take your place.”

He sat down in the chair opposite the table from her. “You won’t find anyone from the village who knows the area as well as I do.”

“I don’t care. We’ve been here long enough, we’ll make do with someone who knows the area less than you do, but who is more willing to help.”

“I am helping.”

“That’s debatable.” Those words hung in the air for a moment as neither of them said anything else. Lorrin was surprised by the force with which she’d said them. She was normally quite a calm person.

“I don’t mean to make your job harder,” he finally said quietly. “I just…don’t like soldiers.”

“I’ve gathered that. Any particular reason?”

He chuckled. “None you need to hear.”