Daily Writing Check-in: May 8, 2019

Words/Time:  57 minutes doing preliminary work for the new outline of “Vin” as well as some free writing with a prompt.

I again started out with the writing practice, which took about 35 minutes. The writing practice I’ve been doing lately have been really interesting, bringing up some brand new ideas for a book I know is past the 7 I already have planned, but haven’t thought much about yet. Today’s prompt led me to write a little scene from near the end of “Unexpectedly” though, and it just solidified one of my plans for that book, because it was incredible. I know there is so much work ahead of me, but I just can’t wait until these books are done and can be read by others.

The rest of the time was spent making some broad notes on how I want to proceed with the outline for “Vin.” I’m struggling a bit with where to go from here though, and from past experience, that usually means it’s time to have a talk with one or more of my characters. It’s just a matter of figuring out who that should be. I do have an idea though, so I’ll start with that tomorrow.

Daily Writing Check-in: March 11, 2019

Words/Time:  50 minutes doing preliminary work for the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

I continued my conversation with Jonathan, and we started to talk about the events of the story. We cleared up at least one mess caused by a terrible first draft, and then I realized I had a huge question about when a pivotal event should happen in this new, hopefully much better outline.

I also spent a little time tracking down a backup to my outline for “Unexpectedly” because I thought I had lost a lot of information somehow. It turned out it was just a setting in Scrivener that I didn’t realize I had triggered. Boy, did I panic though, because the info that I thought I was missing wasn’t in the backup either. But it’s all safe, so I’m good.

Daily Writing Check-in: March 4, 2019

Words/Time:  53 minutes doing preliminary work for the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

For now, this work entails reading the first draft of the book that was written during NaNoWriMo in 2015. So far, I’m not particularly enjoying it, which is sad, but not surprising. In fact, of all of the 7 books I have planned, all of which have at least some version of a draft written, this is my least favorite. Not the story idea itself, but what has been written for it.

I think the main reason for this is that I wasn’t as prepared in advance of writing this as I prefer to be, so it’s very disjointed. (I’ve said this before and will say it again–I am not a pantser.) But as I’m reading, I’m realizing something else–my long-time two favorite characters, who play a secondary role in this book, are just…annoying. She keeps whining and he’s not really helping much either.

I am now 100% certain this book needs a complete rewrite, rather than a revision, and I fully expect to come out way ahead after doing that. I have literally just this moment decided that I am definitely going to write the new draft for this for Camp NaNoWriMo that starts in April. As long as the outline is done and I feel confident in the mystery set-up. So maybe this. This or “Unexpectedly.” Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just use Camp NaNo to push the amount of the same writing work that I do in a day. Wow, I just talked myself out of writing the first draft of this book over the course of writing this paragraph.

Daily Writing Check-in: March 3, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 36 minutes finishing item #2 in my current writing goals list, and starting on #3.

Finishing #2 entailed finishing the outline for “Unexpectedly.” There are 4 character arcs for this book that I am outlining individually from each other:

Today I finished Evan’s section, and completely outlined Acronis’s and Rusalki’s. I also hit on an idea for how to start the entire novel, showing the connection between all 4 characters right away, before the narrator, Drear, splits off their stories. I still don’t know for sure if I want the stories to be told simultaneously or linearly, but I’m pretty excited to have the starting point.

Upon realizing that I’m progressing through my list of long-term writing goals much more quickly than I anticipated, I decided to start keeping track of how long each one took as I move on to #3. (This is a count of actual days worked, so not counting days where I skipped working on writing, or worked on something else.)

1. Outline “Outcast” – Time spent: 12 days

2. Outline “Unexpectedly” – Time spent: 7 days

3. Re-outline “The Seeger Book” – I wrote the first draft of this for NaNoWriMo in 2015. It was the 2nd book I wrote that month, and came in at 43,672 words. It is a murder-mystery, and only the 2nd one I have ever attempted (the 1st murder-mystery I ever wrote was earlier that month, and it really fell flat). It needs some overhauling and almost an entire mid-section, because I jumped from somewhere in the middle to the climax when the end of the month neared and I realized I was out of time to figure out the rest of the plot. I also think I need to re-think the suspects, clues, etc. of the mystery aspect.

4. Re-outline “Vin”

5. Re-outline “Protector”

I do expect #3 to take considerably longer than the other 2. The first draft was not very well planned, so I have a lot of work ahead of me to figure out how the story even needs to go. I’m starting with reading the first draft to remember all of my ideas. Unfortunately, it is still in full NaNo-form, because I didn’t touch it at all afterwards.

Sometimes I’ll spend the first few weeks after November ends doing a quick clean-up of what I wrote–mostly removing things I marked as NaNo fodder and at least doing a quick spell check. This is usually better to do while the story is still fresh, and then it’s good to let it sit for some time.

So I’ve already done a quick spell-check, and I’ll remove the NaNo fodder as I read.

Daily Writing Check-in: March 2, 2019

Words/Time: 1 hour, 18 minutes working on the outline of “Unexpectedly.”

There are 4 character arcs for this book that I am outlining individually from each other:

Today, I completed the outline for Juris and created more than half of the outline for Evan.

For Juris’s arc, Juris is actually not the main character. The story is mostly about a developing relationship, and is shown more from his love interest’s perspective. I wasn’t sure if that was the right way to go at first, because the idea of this book is to show the lives of 4 people who are on 2 different sides of the same war, and I’m really showing someone else’s life more than the life of the person who’s actually in the war. However, I like the way we learn who Juris is through the eyes of his love interest, and frankly, the drama is better this way.

For Evan’s arc, I am struggling with a psychological component near the end of his arc that I have to make sure to pull off correctly, to avoid leaving the reader guessing about something that I don’t intend to be confusing. I’ll tackle this fresh tomorrow.

Daily Writing Check-in: February 28, 2019

Words/Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes doing preliminary work for the outline of “Unexpectedly.”

Most of this time was spent continuing the character interview that I started yesterday, and the rest was spent reading through most of the original, unfinished version of “Unexpectedly.” This particular conversation has reached its conclusion, and I am ready to proceed with the outline.

goal tracker 19-2-28
My writing-time goal in February was to average 30 minutes per day. I surpassed, even making up for several days here and there of not writing at all. I probably won’t set my daily goal higher for March, but with April comes Camp NaNoWriMo, so I may push myself more then. It’ll depend on what’s going on at work by then.


Daily Writing Check-in: February 27, 2019

Words/Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes doing preliminary work for the outline of “Unexpectedly.”

I started out going over the broad plot points from the original version of “Unexpectedly,” marking out things I knew I wouldn’t keep. At that point, I realized that there were some things that happened that weren’t supported in the new world in which this story takes place. So I wrote out questions and brainstormed answers.

With those new answers in mind, I felt a little uncertain about the timeline of the first half of the story, so I decided it might be a good time to talk to the 2 leads in this section of the book. I didn’t go into this character interview with specific questions, like I normally do, but the discussion so far has cleared up some questions I didn’t even know I had, which is what I suspected would happen. I will continue the interview tomorrow.

Daily Writing Check-in: February 26, 2019

Words/Time: 37 minutes doing preliminary work for the outline of “Unexpectedly.”

In many ways, as I realized today, I have been already working on the outline for this book. It started with just listing thoughts for each of the 4 main characters that were going to be in the book, but I wrote out those notes in a very similar format to how I usually write my outlines. So now it’s a matter of putting them into Scrivener, scene by scene.

Actually, I realized at the end of my time today that before I do that, I need to go back to the original writing of “Unexpectedly” and figure out what of that story is worth keeping and what isn’t helpful to this book.

See, originally, this story was written as fanfiction for an MMORPG I used to play called Ragnarok Online. It was one of the last stories I was working on when I decided to stop writing fanfiction and either write something original or stop writing. It was the only story I never finished in that format. It was basically pure romance.

The secondary main character in that story will be one of the 4 main characters in the new book. And the focus is on the lives of all 4 people, who are all involved in a small-scale civil war. So his story will only be (approximately) 1/4 of the entire thing. Add to that the fact that the original version was told mostly from the PoV of his romantic partner, and a lot of the original story is going to be extemporaneous. So tomorrow, I need to go through the original story and decide what to keep and what to cut.

Daily Writing Check-in: February 25, 2019

Words/Time: 46 minutes doing preliminary work for the outline of “Unexpectedly.”

The structure I’m tentatively going with for this story is that there are 4 characters whose lives will be shown, mostly before and leading up to the war that they are all involved in, and a little after. Two of these characters are on the “good guys” side, and two are on the “bad guys” side.

I truly thought that I would have a lot more story for the good guys than for the bad guys, and wasn’t sure if that was okay or not. But I have so far written out the very broad plot points for 3 of the 4 characters, one of the being one of the bad guys, and so far, I have more written down for one of the bad guys than the 2 good guys. I have to keep in mind, though, that one of the good guys’ notes may be deceptively short, because I know his story better than the others already, so I don’t think I wrote as much detail for his, because I figured I knew it all already.

Either way, I’m pleased with the ideas I’ve come up with for the bad guys, and tomorrow will try to finish my notes for the 4th bad guy (the leader of all of the bad guys, in fact). Though she’s one of my oldest characters, her life outside of how she villainizes some of my main characters is very shallow. So it will take some work to come up with just the right story for her.

I also still need to figure out how I want to structure this story. I know I don’t want to just tell the entire story of 1 person, then the entire story of another, etc. But how do I intermix them? I don’t have any clue yet.

Daily Writing Check-in: February 24, 2019

Words/Time: 50 minutes mostly doing preliminary work for the outline of “Unexpectedly,” after finishing some free writing I started yesterday.

On Friday, I finished #1 in my current list of writing goals. After taking a day to do some free writing before going on to #2, I dove right in today.

1. Outline “Outcast”

2. Outline “Unexpectedly” – I have a lot less of a plot in mind for this story, but I think it will be easier to outline than Outcast, because there’s not as much there to start with—not as much that needs broken down and rebuilt. While considering where this book could go, I’ve already hit on some new ideas that I’m really excited about.

3. Re-outline “The Seeger Book”

4. Re-outline “Vin”

5. Re-outline “Protector”

I am not 100% certain about the plot for “Unexpectedly,” but I do have some solid ideas. I just don’t know what the structure will be like, or if a couple of sub-plots are strong enough. I have to sort through the ideas before starting the actual outline.

My work on this today involved first outlining what will likely become the main plot, which is a plot line I’ve had planned for a long time, and have partially wrote. Then I went on to the largest sub-plot, writing out thoughts about what should be included and how. This involved research into what term would most likely make sense for a character to call his great-grandfather, that would be a twisting of a real term in use today, in this region of the world. I’m actually really surprised I came up with something, considering how obscure my preference seemed to be.