Daily Writing Check-in: April 19, 2019

Words/Time:  43 minutes doing preliminary work for finishing the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

I’m still working through this character interview with the book’s antagonist. In the past, I have not been above pulling a ret-con in my conversations when my thoughts on something change part way through the conversation. But this one has been long enough, several things have changed, including some comments at the beginning of the conversation. As long as I don’t let it confuse me later when I re-read this, it’s okay.

But then there was one whole section that I realized needed to be different than we’d discussed, and different enough that I had to go back and make some changes. It’s a good thing I use erasable pens. I’m very excited that I’m really starting to get an understanding of the underlying forces at work in this story. I think the empty late-middle of the story is finally starting to get filled in with actual tellable story now too.

I’m hoping to still hit my Camp NaNoWriMo goal by the end of the month. That’s why I wrote exactly 43 minutes today (the amount the site says I have to write every day in order to win). We’ll see how well I continue to do with that.

Daily Writing Check-in: April 18, 2019

Words/Time:  44 minutes doing preliminary work for finishing the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

I don’t have a lot to say about today’s work. I continued my conversation with the antagonist of the book, which I think is now the longest character interview I’ve ever had. And it’s not over yet–I’m really starting to get more of a handle on this story, thanks to this conversation, so I’m not stopping ’til I’m satisfied.

According to the Camp NaNoWriMo site, I only have to work 43 minutes per day in order to still meet my goal this month. But that’s if I do it every day. And I’ve been struggling with working on writing every day. Because I work every day, and it’s soul-sucking work.

Daily Writing Check-in: April 16, 2019

Words/Time:  37 minutes doing preliminary work for finishing the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

And this is why it’s better to do at least a little writing work every day. The last time I posted, I said that in my conversation with one of the antagonists of the book, I had one more bit of information to get out of the character before moving on to lay out the plot points and see where we hit questions. But today…I had no idea what the bit of information was. Because I missed 3 days of writing, I read over the conversation so far, and read some other thoughts I’d written out on Friday when I last worked on this.

Doing this did lead me to some more solid ideas for the mystery-solving side of the story, so I’m glad for that. And then I decided to just go ahead and start talking to the antagonist about the events leading up to the climax. Hopefully if there really is something else I need to ask her outside of this, I’ll remember it along the way. Also hopefully I won’t keep taking days off.

Not surprisingly, I’m about 2 hours behind par for the goal I set for Camp NaNoWriMo. I may not win this month, but if I can keep coming back to the writing without letting this turn into another month-long break (or worse), it’ll still be something.

Daily Writing Check-in: April 12, 2019

Words/Time:  55 minutes doing preliminary work for finishing the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

I continued the character interview with the antagonist of the book. There’s just one more bit of information I want to get from this person, and then we will lay out the things that happen “behind the scenes” in the book, so I can see if any of it will actually be seen in the book in some way. I can’t quite remember why I thought this was an answer to my missing later section of the book, because most of it is really just lending itself toward a better climax. I can only think of one scene it adds, so it’s not exactly a huge filler. But we’ll see what the rest of the conversation brings.

I didn’t write for the last 2 days, so I’m about 50 minutes behind in the goal I set for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m so over this work I’m doing–this work that leaves me wanting to do nothing more than play games in the evening. It will eventually end, but not soon enough. I’m glad to be making progress though, however sporadic.

Daily Writing Check-in: April 9, 2019

Words/Time:  33 minutes doing preliminary work for finishing the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

I continued the character interview with the antagonist of the book. I want to make sure I’m not just dragging this out to avoid going back to the harder work of the outline, but I can tell there are some more details to the new idea I just came up with yesterday that I still need to know. So I won’t stop until I feel I’ve exhausted the topic.

I’m only about 15 minutes behind par in the goal I set for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m excited to have the thoughts flowing again, even if I am stopping earlier in the night than I normally do because I just want to go do something mindless to prepare for another day of mind-numbingly boring and aggravating work.

Daily Writing Check-in: April 8, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour working on the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

I have been struggling hard with this outline. In my last post, I suggested that more character interviews might help, even though I had still come up short of how to fill out the middle of the book by the end of a long interview with Jonathan, the main character of the book. I thought about who might be good to interview, and decided to just start with the character who has the greatest antagonistic influence on the story.

My thinking was that even if the conversation came up flat and cliche, I could always give up and move on. It took me a full page of my half-size notebook to get past her annoyance at me even making her talk to me, but by the end of that page, I had already had my first niggle of a break-through. The next few lines came slowly as I began to realize that this idea could be exactly what I needed…and then began to question if what I was thinking was even possible. I started following that thread, and now…I’m sold!

After a couple of weeks (of days with actual writing work, not real time) of just having no clue what I was missing in a story that was  already in desperate need of an interesting middle and lead-up to the climax when I wrote it 3 1/2 years ago, this kind of eureka moment is just amazing! I’ve said it before, and I will never stop saying it–discovery is my absolute favorite thing about writing!

I didn’t write the last 2 days, so I’m a little behind for Camp NaNoWriMo. But I have a feeling it’ll be easier to get back to it now that I am excited about this story again. That doesn’t mean I won’t still skip days this month, because of the difficult and draining “end game” work I’m doing before I leave my job, but I doubt I’ll be dreading getting to the writing anymore for a while.

Daily Writing Check-in: April 5, 2019

Words/Time:  37 minutes working on the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

Today involved mental brainstorming again. I eked out a few more ideas for the dead zone of this story, but am still missing what pulls everything together. I keep telling myself that I can just write out the plot points that I do know and leave some spaces to fill it in later, but I just can’t quite seem to move on.

I’m wondering if character interviews might help me, because they have gotten me through some serious blocks in the past, but even while interviewing Jonathan, the main character of this story, I was left with this hole. Maybe I need to talk to a different character, but I’m not sure who.

I’m on par for Camp NaNoWriMo. I suppose that since my daily goal is the same as it has been, this isn’t terribly exciting, but I still like having somewhere else to hold myself accountable.

Daily Writing Check-in: April 4, 2019

Words/Time:  30 minutes working on the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

I did less outlining and more thinking today. A little bit of writing out some broad notes as I try to still figure out what I’m missing in the big empty end of act 2/beginning of act 3. I don’t know why this is giving me so much trouble. Maybe because I don’t really have a sub-plot. Maybe because a murder-mystery is just so outside of my wheel house. I just don’t know.

I made a decision to lighten the load for Camp NaNoWriMo. I wanted to set my daily time goal higher than what it’s been outside of camp, but I don’t think I can remotely keep up with my planned pace of an hour a day. Considering that I have only hit that 1 day so far, and it was very difficult to do, this just isn’t the month to push myself. The last few days, I told myself that surely things with my job will get better later in the month and it’ll be easier to get the writing in, and even get caught up. But if by then, I’m 10 hours (or more) behind, I just don’t see it happening. And frankly, it might still get harder before it gets better. I don’t want to burn myself out. And though winning Camp NaNo isn’t even as big of a deal to me as winning NaNoWriMo proper, I at least want to have a chance. So I decided that even just hitting the same 30 minutes per day that I was hitting before the work saga began would be a win for me this month, and I cut my goal in half.

Daily Writing Check-in: April 2, 2019

Words/Time:  60 minutes starting on the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

It’s still not going as smoothly as the outlines I created for the first 2 items on my current writing goals list. I still feel like I’m missing some big parts to the story. I am hoping more will reveal itself, if not during the outlining, then during the re-drafting. I think the story is still important, and still worth telling (though I have questioned whether I should just scrap it, with how difficult it has been), and I do think I have made some great strides toward making it a stronger and more interesting story than the first draft. But it’s been a battle.

I am still a little behind for Camp NaNoWriMo, but I also hit par for my goal today, so I’m not too bothered by being a little behind. I’m pretty proud of myself for hitting an hour today, considering that my work saga is still ongoing.

Daily Writing Check-in: April 1, 2019

Words/Time:  35 minutes doing preliminary work for the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

I continued my conversation with Jonathan about the events of this story, and read over my brainstorming from when I wrote the first draft. I think I might just have a more solid grasp on this story now. In any event, I’m ready to start laying out the plot points and see what it looks like.

Camp NaNoWriMo started today. I set my goal at 30 hours for the month, which I’m already behind on. But I am okay with that. I take Camp NaNo seriously, but not quite as seriously as NaNo proper. It will help me push myself, and that’s all that matters.