Daily Writing Check-in: May 15, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 13 minutes finishing the new outline of “Vin”.

Now that I have finished the new outline, I have decided that this needs a re-write, rather than revision. It will flow a lot better that way, considering how many new scenes there will be, as well as how many scenes I cut and scenes that would have needed revision…I think in the end, one scene from the original draft would have been left alone completely. And the opening. I still love the opening.

I will probably start with the opening and re-draft from there. And when I get to the other scene that doesn’t need changing, I’ll skip it. It’s fairly set apart from the rest, so it’ll be easy.

There is also a series of letters from the protagonist to the…I guess he’s technically the antagonist, that I don’t necessarily plan to rewrite. We’ll see how I feel as I go though. I do plan to add actual scenes to bolster the letters though.

So that finishes #4 on my list of long-term writing goals. Tomorrow, I will start on the 5th and final goal on this list.

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

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

3. Re-outline “The Seeger Book” – Time spent: 26 days

4. Re-outline “Vin” – Time spent: 16 days

5. Re-outline “Protector” – I originally anticipated this needing the least amount of work of everything on this list, but after seeing how little time I spent on 1 & 2, that may not be the case. Plus, I’m a little concerned about how difficult it’s going to be to make the decisions about what can stay and what needs to go. I wrote this for last year’s NaNoWriMo, and it started out as a pure romance, just something fluffy to get me back into writing, since I’d been absent from it (minus NaNoWriMo months) for a few years. But by the end, it had turned into something much more important. However, for it to take its place amongst the other Pithea books, it needs a focus change, because the first half is not driving it toward the 2nd half well enough. So I will re-outline the entire thing with this new plan in mind.

I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I started this list of goals. I really love what this story turned into. I just don’t know how I’m going to separate the original vision of the book from the true vision.

Daily Writing Check-in: May 14, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 5 minutes working on the new outline of “Vin”.

I had already put the broad outline into Scrivener from the first draft, so I’m starting with that. Some of it can definitely be kept (not necessarily the writing, but the plot), and some of it is being moved to the end and marked as “cut.” I want to wait until I have solidified the outline before I delete those.

I’m also adding in the new direction the story takes after the first act, which is where I left off today.

I haven’t completely decided yet if I will completely rewrite this story, or keep and revise the scenes that are being kept and just rewrite all of the new stuff. I’ve always struggled with rewriting, because I’m too inclined to try to write it the same way it had originally been written. But I think it’ll be more complicated to just try to make the scenes that I’m keeping flow into the new stuff. So…decisions.

Daily Writing Check-in: May 13, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour doing preliminary work for the new outline of “Vin”.

I finished the character interview with Naolin, and let me just say…wow. I can’t say that this, or any other character interview I’ve done, was 100% helpful, or that something that came out during it won’t be changed later. It’s not a perfect method of solidifying plot. But my goodness, did a huge idea come out of these last couple of pages of conversation. At least, it was a huge idea to me. It’s probably one of those things that future readers will just pass right over, but of course they won’t know what the plan was before I changed it to this. Anyway…I’m rambling a bit because I’m pretty excited. Today was a minor “Aha!” moment, but I’ll take it!

I’m ready to get to the actual outlining! Whether or not I’ll need to stop and do more brainstorming or character interviews along the way, I can’t say, but I’m looking forward to starting on the new outline tomorrow.

Daily Writing Check-in: May 12, 2019

Words/Time:  2 hours, 32 minutes doing preliminary work for the new outline of “Vin” and a good amount of free writing with prompts.

I continued the character interview with Naolin, which led me to once again question who was the actual protagonist in “Vin.” I went through this while I was planning the story in the first place, before I wrote the first draft for NaNoWriMo in 2017, and in the end, I don’t remember what I decided. Whatever I did decide, I apparently threw out the window when I wrote it, because there’s no clear protagonist or main character in the first draft. But the plot is also very thin, so really, I was just getting the word count.

When I started this character interview a few days ago, I had decided that I wanted Naolin to be the protagonist. After some insight I gained during the writing today, I think Naolin can be the main character, but that Vin is back to being the protagonist.

This decision led me to go back to do research that I also did back in October of 2017, in making sure I understood the difference between a main character and protagonist, so I had them straight in my mind. In the end…I think I do, but to be honest, people differ on which one is which. I think it’s just not that cut and dry overall, but I also think I have an idea of how to move forward.

However, this research led me to have a strong desire to go through all of the Pithea books and make sure that I could identify a “story goal” in each book, as well as the main character, protagonist, and antagonist. So I did just that. It turned out to be very difficult for at least 1 book that I have planned, but maybe that means I need to do a little more work on the structure of that book before I draft it.

I also used 3 different prompts for some writing practice, trying to drum up something for tomorrow’s Monday Moment. I’ve done a lot of writing practice over the last week, comparatively, but it had all been too spoiler-filled. The first two that I did also couldn’t be shared (though to be fair, one of them is because I don’t think it turned out very good, rather than because of spoilers). One last one tonight at 11:30 finally gave me something I can use.

Also, I have learned in the last few months or so that I am what is called an “external processor.” That’s probably the reason that I include so much detail in these posts sometimes.

Daily Writing Check-in: May 11, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 3 minutes doing preliminary work for the new outline of “Vin.”

I continued the character interview with Naolin, which was no less insightful than character interviews ever are for me. Then something that was said led me to decide that it’s finally time to put “Protector” into my timeline of all of the Pithea Books, so I started on that. I am not going to put in every event, since the more solid outlining of that story is still ahead of me, but just the parts that connect to “Vin.”

Daily Writing Check-in: May 9, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 17 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 50 minutes. I may have to try to write shorter bits for the writing practice, if I want to keep starting my writing time with it every day, because while writing practice is always good, it doesn’t help as much with the actual moving forward toward producing books as the real work does. And this one was a doozy. I didn’t even really write that much. I haven’t counted it, but it didn’t look like 50 minutes-worth of writing. Granted, it was handwritten, but still.

It’s possible that the lengthy free writing lately is just a reflection of how much I miss the actual writing when I’m doing a lot of work in other phases of writing, like now. Today’s prompt was almost too easy though–“The first time falling in love, years after the death of your soulmate.” It allowed me to explore the beginnings of a relationship that I have really only so far written about after the couple is established. Maybe that’s also why it went so long.

The rest of the time was spent starting a new character interview in the hopes of understanding some of the main plot of “Vin.” This one should be interesting, as I will be talking with Naolin, one of the main characters in “Pithea.” The very first time I ever thought about trying to talk with my characters, it was with Naolin, discussing “Pithea.” But it was all in my head while I worked in my dad’s blacksmith shop. It produced some brilliant insight, but when I tried to re-create the conversation on paper later, it just wasn’t the same. Then I didn’t really try anything like this again for about 3 years.

I’ve brought him into character interview since then, but there were always other characters. As strange as it might be for me to say this (I’m aware this is all a bit strange), I’m looking forward to a one-on-one conversation with him after all this time.

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: May 7, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 17 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 25 minutes. I find it interesting that for the last 4 days, the prompts I’m pulling are leading me to write about events that are more related to “Protector” or its aftermath than anything else. Maybe that’s only because “Protector” is at the end of the books, chronologically, at least in terms of what I have much planned for, so what happens past that is still a lot more open. Maybe it’s just because I like “Protector” so much. Or maybe it’s just the prompts.

The majority of the time was spent putting broad scenes into Scrivener and marking some that will likely be cut completely, or just partially cut. I finished putting in the rest of the story today, and tomorrow will start to look at what I need to do next.

With how close I was to losing Camp NaNoWriMo last month, I’m really surprised I’ve picked up the pace so much this month. I set a goal at the beginning of the month to work for an average of 30 minutes per day this month, and I’ve far exceeded that. I hope a crash isn’t coming, and that this is just a great month!

goal tracker 19-5-7

Daily Writing Check-in: May 6, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 16 minutes doing preliminary work for the new outline of “Vin” as well as some free writing with a prompt.

I started out with the writing practice, a practice that I used to try to keep up with, so I could not get so bogged down by revision (or in this case planning work) that I lost the joy of the actual writing. I have found myself really wanting to do a little free writing, rather than having to push myself to do it, so that’s a good thing. And the ideas it can generate for the stories I still need to outline are pretty surprising.

The majority of the time was spent putting broad scenes into Scrivener and marking some that will likely be cut completely, or just partially cut. I also added in a couple of new scenes I already know I want to include, but I’m trying not to start making big changes like that until the current draft is at least outlined. I’m less concerned than I was even a week ago that it will be difficult to come up with new ideas to flesh out the plot.