mugenmine: (John Watson)
I've signed up for a screenplay challenge. My friend x0chi pinged me yesterday morning and told me about her friend who is running a 10 week screenplay challenge. The gist is this: We all buy the book The 10-Day Screenplay: How to Write a Screenplay in 10 Days and kick in 20 bucks into the pot. Instead of writing it in 10 days we have spread it to 10 weeks. Each Monday we get the reading and assignment and have to turn it in the following Sunday. There's no crits or anything, this is a workshop of folks who just want to get off their asses and accomplish something. The homework is for progress checks, nothing else.  If you miss two deadlines you lose your money. If you complete the class you get your 20 bucks back and split the remaining among the folks who completed the challenge.

I have to hand it to the organizer. This is such a smart way to motivate yourself. She basically wanted to write a screenplay and called out to other like minded people to help her keep motivated along the way. So now instead of taking this all on by yourself, there are 9 other folks who are all working towards the same goal. Deadlines and camaraderie.  Such a smart idea.

So now, I have to figure out what my damn story is. I might actually take the Sherlock crossover idea I had (which is based on a movie) and re translate that into a screenplay. Or I might try converting one of my failed original novel attempts. If anything it will help me solidify the stories.  Either way it will be fun. [livejournal.com profile] chasingriver and [livejournal.com profile] x0chipilli are doing the challenge so it will be good to have some RL friends to chat with.

I am determined to win back my $20!

It kicks off today but you still might be able to get in if you're interested. Info here: 10 Week Screenplay Challenge.
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 6
Complete @  17500


I am in beta!!  Its kind of crazy. I finished up the polish round last night at midnight after having basically dedicated all day Saturday and Sunday to editing. There were a lot of breaks and rounds of Candy Crush, and TV breaks for Doctor Who and Outlander, and True Blood and Teen Wolf, but I only left the house to get food and coffee.

I still think it needs work, but more of the noodly kind so far (pairing down overly used words, etc.). I guess the beta rounds will tell me if I've lost or not. At this point I really can't tell, which is the best time to send out for reserves. So it's currently in the hand of my technical editor friend. I apologized in advance for my comma abuse and grammar mishaps.

I think what I'm looking for is if the story fits into the string of previous ones, if motivation seems okay, if the characterization within my verse is consistent, if everything doesn't feel overly batshit crazy, and  if I have any "defies the laws of physics" type action. I don't think I do, but when you work on something for so long you tend to forget that others can't see into your head and maybe you didn't translate something as accurately as you think you had.

So now I wait for feedback, then I make changes and send it out again. This is the both nerve-wracking and good part of the editing process. Having fresh eyes on any story is so needed. I just hope I've gotten what I want to on the page. You really never know. Also I have to start on something new!  I still don't know!! I'm still at a complete loss as to the next story in this damn series. Not a clue. Hoping for inspiration.

mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 6
Chapter 5 @  18071


The final push is on! My local beta told me that next week is the optimal time for her to edit my story, and since her time is EXTREMELY limited, I told her by hell or high-water I would get her a draft by Sunday night. So today is the full on press. I edited chapter 2 yesterday and finished 3 and 4 today. (Just finished 4 a few minuted ago.) I keep telling myself that I'm going to finish 5 and 6 as well tonight, but 5 and 6 are about 50% of the damn story so I'm a little doubtful. If I can get through chapter 5 tonight then I'm looking good. It's been a good day with good food and good progress.

It seems surreal that I'll actually have this draft complete when I claimed I'd have it done! That never happens! Before the beta timeline shortening, I was content with finishing it up by the end of next week, but now, it's on. IT'S ON!!

I'm making mostly superficial changes but it's growing smoother for it so I'm so far happy with this round.  Chapter 5 is almost 3K so I might take a Doctor Who break before I dive in. gotta check out this new Capaldi guy... :-)
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 5
Complete @  18071


Finished the last big pen and paper edit!! I actually finished on Sunday, but today I finished the transcribing of my chicken scratch to Scriviner. The final chapter ended up expanding a little and so the beast is at 18K total. I have another round to do this week to see if I've gone off the deep end but I think I'm okay. Hopefully I'm okay. Fingers crossed that I'm okay... This past edit was supposed to be a lighter go, but I had zero drafted so many changes that I really had to go in and rework a lot of stuff.  And 73 pages of stuff just takes time. I know it's still a flawed story, but it more or less conveys what I'm trying to say and I'm okay with that. I need to move onto something new.

The goal is still to start poking betas on Sunday. It's been over a year since I've pinged my oldest and dearest beta so I hope she remembers who I am and has the bandwidth to take a peek. She has been with me since the start so it would feel weird if I did this one without her, but people are busy and editing takes time!  A new and very kind and talented person has also offered to look at my story so I'm going to give that a go too. (Hopefully they're still up for it.) And finally I have my local friend who has also started betaing my stuff. I edit all of her original fic so it's a good trade. Hopefully they can help beat my messy story (and all of its errant commas) into place!

(Just read through the draft... Took an hour! It's in a bit better shape than I expected. Some bits in chapter 5 are still a little squirrelly, but I can clean it up. The final moment also needs a little massaging but it's kind of there. All manageable things.)

Trust me.

Aug. 4th, 2014 04:21 pm
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 5
Chapter 5 @  18063


Managed to get through most of chapter 5 this weekend. I'm down to 3 more pages but there needs to be some serious reworking done on those three and I just grew a bit tired. Balancing the transition between hesitation and agreement is still a bit up in the air, but with each pass I grow a little closer to what I want to say.  (words you not work so good!)

I'm feeling a bit of the "have I gotten worse" syndrome that was talked about in tumblr_refuge the other week. I feel this one is weaker than the ones that came before and I'm not sure how to fix it. Everything feels a little "white room syndromey" which is the problem of not giving a sense of the space. It might be because I'm writing about 221B and that in itself is a known entity, but not having the desciption of things on the page sometimes makes me feel like everything is a bit barren.  I know my style is simple prose but it all feels a bit too simple.

The read aloud cleanup round is helping a bit. I'm adding as I go to the spaces that feel a little thin and hopefully when I'm done it will be a bit thicker. I think I've been reading a bit too much of the lush prose lately and it's making me feel significantly "un-lush". But at the same time I kinda want to call it a day and kick the fucker out the door. I think that is an official stage in the writing process.

Hopefully I can finish up chapter 5 today and jump feet first into the final chapter 6 romp. That's always been the most together of the chapters so hopefully it won't be too painful.  Must finish soon. I'm aiming for 75% good for this one. A highish middling...
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 5
Chapter 4 @  18063


Rumbling along! Moving a little slower than I would like but progress is steady. I'm back to the triple rounds cadence. Editing chapter 4, transcribing chapter 3, and polishing chapter 2. It's nice to shake it up a bit by doing different things all at once instead of doing all three to one chapter at a time.  I just finished a line edit of chapter 4 which is nice. I'll be more than happy to dig back into chapter 5 tomorrow. It is the roughest as most of it was rewritten last time round so it's still kind of zero drafty. It reads better but I still feel like the transition I need is too abrupt. (Less so than before but still there, so hopefully it only needs a wee bit more of refining. )

My word quota has dropped significantly as well... I'm not writing for writings sake anymore. I found that I was wasting my words on things I probably wasn't going to peruse just to get a quota out and that ultimately didn't seem like a good way to be spending my time. Now that I'm solely focused on finishing this story, I feel good, as now it might actually get finished.  But I know I'll be at the risk of not getting the 150K done for the year.  Slowly getting over that.

Once I start a new story then it will be all word growth but until then I'm kind of treading water.  But progress is progress. I'm at about 95K for the year.

Right now all I want to do is finish this damn thing and kick it out the door.  I'm so close to beta round, I can feeeeeeel it!








mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 5
Chapter 3 @  18063


Progress is being made. I've pushed through the first two chapters of line editing and am making decent headway on the third.  Line editing is a fun yet sometimes nerve wracking thing.  Occasionally I'll hit a paragraph that refuses to unfuck itself.  You know the ones... the action is there but the words are not in the right place or it's not quite conveying what you want to say and you shuffle words around trying to get it to read right.  I've set up a general rule. If I can't make it work in ten minutes then perhaps it really will not work. So needless to say there's been a bit of culling. Which is always good.  I'm feeling more or less okay about the story as a whole, but I'm a little worried about what will come next.

I always know way in advance what the next story in the series will be. I have a line of them all queued up and more or less ready to start. But this one has thrown everything into a spin. I have no idea what I'm going to do next. I know what has to be done, but not the story that will get them through that arc. This is both exciting and worrisome.  I suppose that's the nature of stories. Sometimes they shift slightly and knock down your foundation... well no. I guess I just thought I was a bit more rigid in my planning. But the motivation, no matter how much I think I've planned  has a way of changing out from under me.  For the better I believe, but I kind of wish I'd give myself a heads up somehow instead of bumbling through a reset each time... :-)

So anywho, I'm out there looking for a story spark that doesn't make me roll my eyes, or cry foul.  I suppose like my AU Sherlock who has to figure out what he will do next to sort things out, I have to figure out what to do next to sort things out.  After I post this current story I might have to pick people's brains...  brains....
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 5
Chapter 1 @  18063


Finally the noodley work can proceed! Fun things!  I did the draft 4 read through the other week and it was okay. As usual, there are some bits that flow and most of the freshly rewritten parts are hella rough. But thankfully it's the right shape, although it's deflated in some bits. This week I ended up adding about 1K to chapter five as the big decision part was so abrupt that it was laughable. It went something like this:

John: Nope.
John: Okay.

Yeah I had thought I had fleshed out the whole eventual transition but it still needed some buffer inbetween to not feel so damn rushed so I took a few days padding that one out.
Read more... )

mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 4
Complete



I've finished my rewrite!!! It kind of felt like it would never happen, but one word at a time does eventually get you to the end.  (Go figure!) I'm happy to put draft 4 to bed. From here I refine and cull. I'm at 17.5 but I really hope to be at a smaller number when I'm done. I've included all of the feedback and changes I received from my first beta and tomorrow after I get all my hair cut off again, I'll read all 17.5K words. At this point I have no idea if it works or not or if the changes will fit, but I hope they work. So much has and hasn't changed, and hopefully it's a cleaner story for it. It's at least a simpler story.

The rules for the read are as follows. Don't pick up the pen, no matter how hard you want to strike through that extraneous word, no pens. Just reading. And perhaps coffee. And there's this lovely apple pull apart cake thing I like... I might go for that to help the words go down easier.

This is still the longest one yet by 2.5K. Not much but they do continue to grow. It will be lovely to continue the story. I really have no idea what folks will think about this one. Well I suppose you never really do.
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 4
Chapter 2 @  ?/17,827


After another day of not writing due to presentation rehearsal, I've finally gotten back to the story. Making headway, however small, is a good feeling.  I've finished the initial rewrite of chapter 5 which was to basically extend the emotional arc of the scene, so hopefully I've been able to do that. I've not gone back to see my results as I'm plowing ahead in the goal of getting this round of rewrites done and then I will go back and start adding the spackle. So today is the chapter 2 rewrites (which are significantly smaller.) That chapter is more or less okay, there's just one bit of melodrama that needs to be toned down and I know what needs to go.

More rambling below... )
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 4
Chapter 5 @  ?/17,827


So my draft has lost about 2K words over the last two months. This is at least something. I've never had a fic so completely kick my ass before. It feels like I'm treading water at the moment, inching forward with tiny edits, and I'm still not convinced that it's good. A while ago, I finished(ish) my third draft and sent it off to my beta and then we both decided, yeah, this needs work. So I mapped out the chapters and sections where I needed to clarify and simplify intent and stretch emotional arcs that felt rushed and cut internal moments that went on for far too long and what about that non ending?  Well, that's a lot of stuff.

And more stuff... )
mugenmine: (John Watson)



  • work on zero draft of next fic

  • +3000 words

  • do not look at current fic. (FAIL!)

Short week of decompressing and putting space between me and the other draft. Just plan to throw words on the page for 6 days. This should be interesting as I’ve attempted this story 5 times and bailed. But I am determined this round.


Got feedback on my fic on Friday, so the whole not looking thing went out the window. I managed 1500 on my next fic, then spent the next two days re outlining draft 4, and creating a huge checklist of things that need to be dealth with. Started in on draft 4 today. :-)



    50.29%

    May. 26th, 2014 03:46 pm
    mugenmine: (John Watson)

    Last night I hit the 50% mark on my 2014 GYWO challenge. I'm currently at 75,442 words out of 150,000 which means that from now until the end the remaining count is less than the accumulated.

    I'm not sure if I've learned anything from this other than, sometimes it's good to take on a challenge even if you are quite certain you will fail and have failed spectacularly attempting the same thing in the past.

    For about three months I was absolutely certain that my progress was some kind of "excitement of starting anomaly" or just a fluke that would end soon. Now the whole thing is kind of "meh". Which I imagine makes it all that much easier. I've still not missed a day and still plan to keep on, but the fear in failing has dissipated.

    Oddly enough I'm using this "meh" to motivate me in other things I want to tackle. The reasoning is, hrm if I can do this thing, then certainly I can do that thing.  We'll see how it goes. But in the meantime, the words keep coming.

    (Now back to editing.)

    mugenmine: (John Watson)

    • read-through edit of chapter 4

    • Transcribe last week's edits on chapter 5

    • Map out major changes for chapter 6

    • revised action outline for chapter 6

    • 10 pages of edit for chapter 6

    • +3500 words

    Chapter 6 is almost three times the size of my other chapters @7K. So I'm taking it in chunks.I already have a good idea where 1K of it is going to be culled.  I'm really hoping that I don't have to do much heavy lifting with this one, I think it's kind of okay, but changes in chapter 5 have to be carried over into 6... so I'll see when I get there. It feel nice to be on the downward slope of this hellacious round of edits.

    mugenmine: (John Watson)
    Stuck
    Draft 5
    Chapter 3 @  ?/19,430


    I'm a bit overwhelmed by this thing and the thought of rewriting the end half of chapter 5 is kind of daunting right now. I didn't have the energy to tackle it today, I opened it up, gave it one look and closed it back up again. But I will haul myself up and spend Saturday in a coffee shop trying to make a dent in it. I've not really hit any of my writing goals this week, but I suppose I still have two days.  It feels like I'm wading waist deep through mud and words. I think this story has shown me that I am at the very least persistent. At least there is that.
    mugenmine: (John Watson)


    So as of today I've written 500+ words for 119 days straight and have accrued 62,530 words. I started on Jan 2 with the GYWO challenge and somehow managed to keep the momentum up. I had read once that it took 21 days to form a habit or some such thing. (Turns out according to this article it takes 66 days for something to become automatic.) So I figured that if I kept up with writing daily that the act of it would somehow become effortless or that it would at least become easier. But it didn't work out that way. Just nope....

    The whole habit thing is bullshit (for me). Biting my nails is a habit. To write or not to write is a decision that I have to make every day. It's gotten to the point where I just know that I'm going to get it done though, but it's not a habit. It's more like... something that gets done. I've learned that if I'm really in a mood where writing is the last thing I want to do, I take a look at what is driving it. Once I figure the true cause then I rank it on my "legitimate" excuses list and then decide. (Have you lost a limb? No? Are you vomiting right now? No? Zombies? Then do your words!) Also having a streak has kind of made the excuse ranking harder because it's grown into a "do you reeeealy want to break the chain because you feel lazy today?" kind of thing and then I  drag myself to the computer.

    Setting a reasonable word limit also helps.  500 words a day has gradually become easier because it's only 500. I don't tend to go over it by more than 100 words. It's strange but somehow it makes the whole routine easier... Maybe that's what it is... Not a habit but a routine. Man how is it that I've just figured this out now... I have a routine.

    These kind of things are definitely not for everyone. Many folks are binge writers or start and stoppers, or just don't need that kind of structure or challenge and will put out hundreds of thousands of words this year, but for me it's been an interesting personal challenge and it's heartening to know that somehow I'm still at it.
    mugenmine: (John Watson)
    Stuck
    Draft 3
    Chapter 3 @  ?/19,771


    Somehow I'm still managing to keep up with my one chapter a week editing pace.  This usually ends up with me throwing hours at it over the weekend and I fall behind during the week, but making slow and steady progress has felt soooo good!  I just finished chapter 3 and am killing an hour before I wander down the hill to watch Video Games Live at the Paramout. Yay videogame music! So far my thought that I would have to rewrite less hasn't really come true. I'm still axing about 40% of all words and still writing the story out from under the story. We'll see with chapter 4! Fingers crossed, though I already have a few ideas of some shit that needs to get excised... But I am 33% finished! Yay and yikes...

    I've started trying to be more strategic about writing outside of my current story. I had been just throwing words onto the page and writing blind on my next stories, but it began to feel like I was doing more harm than good. These zero drafts are becoming unwieldy, so I've changed tactics and have been throwing my extra words on doing scene outlines for future stories instead. This way I can lay out the basic idea of the story and  can start thinking about it as a whole. I had re-started the next sub!john story on my list  6 times because I didn't know where it was going. But since I went and took the time to do a two page overview of the story I think I can now go back with some success. That is the plan at least. I'm excited about the next story which is a good feeling. Now if I can just keep the momentum up with this one.
    mugenmine: (John Watson)
    Stuck
    Draft 3
    Chapter 2 @  3,468/19,771


    Still slow going but progress is being made. Work has been distracting and awful enough to get in the way of the focus I need to edit properly so well, things slowed down. On the up side, I spent the weekend editing/rewriting chapter 2 and it's finally taking shape. For me there's nothing more enjoyable than walking for miles then editing, and I got to do both. :-) Finishing up chapter 2 got me over the hump of "is this entire thing a loss" to "oh hey, this is starting to resemble something. I kind of like some of these words..." which is both relief-making and happy-making.

    Read more... )
    mugenmine: (John Watson)

    Stuck
    Draft 3
    Chapter 1 @  1555


    Finally! I'm getting there! I've hit the editing sweet spot. I've been waiting forever for this! For me the best part of writing is after a few rounds of edits and the story is pretty nailed down(ish) and you get to start looking at things on a line level and focus on word choice and the fun stuff.

    I'm attempting a kind of a hybrid version of this. I'm still doing quite a bit of rewrites, while also massaging the text. I'm hoping to combine draft 3 and 4 in a way. This round will probably take a bit longer, as I'm doing two large steps at once, but I think this might work better then doing two rounds. I've gotten it to the point where I can start to read it out loud as I edit, as it's finally useful. The goal is that when I get out of this MEGADRAFT I'll be close to beta time.

    Read more... )
    mugenmine: (John Watson)
    Tighter
    Draft 0
    Chapter 2 @  538


    I hit 50.1K tonight, which means I'm 33% of goal and given myself a 30 buffer in case I fall off a cliff. Crazy!

     I've taken a week long break from Stuck, mainly to give me some distance so when I go back in, I might have some objectivity. In the mean time though, words must be had so I've been noodling on the two next Sub!John stories. One is about 3 chapters and over 8K and the other is much smaller, a 4ish K 2-shot that I hope to finish soon. It's only two chapters for fuck's sake but I've got 5 versions of it already and keep trashing them... I need to step back from all of these and do some mapping because I'm basically writing blind.


    So this week I'm doing the plan/edit thing for v3 of Stuck. Here's the game plan.


    • Draft new outline with updated plot/motivation

    • Flag outline inconsistencies on text

    • rewrite to updated outline

    • read through and general story flow


    This is a bit more than I usually do in a single draft pass and I might wait on #4, but then I'll run the risk of what happened last time, plowing through while not looking back and ending up with a disappointing final read through. This way I'm at least making sure I leave the chapter in a half-decent state before I move on.

    I'm looking forward to digging back in again. Hoping to make some headway on this giant mess of a thing.

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