So I'm halfway through chapter 2! I spent today setting up a scene that made me realize that I needed to rewrite setting up the scene (sigh). Gotta switch up the motivations of my baddies. It's interesting. My first story in this 'verse feels fandom tropetastic, but it also feels like I’m learning the new speak. It kind of makes me think of that CS Lewis quote that was going about a few days ago:
"Even in literature in art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”
I’ve been reading a lot of Sherlock and Captain America fic as of late and though I do see similar themes and premises quite often, I try to think of them as alternate timelines, no two exactly alike. So perhaps no matter how many times elements of my story have been done before, and believe me they've been done before, I can just try to do them my way, tell my own truth, and hopefully create another alternate timeline of my own. (my timelines will always involve the kissing...)
On a good note my weekly writing tally is slowly increasing. Thank you again @antidiogenes.
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.
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... )
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... )
Chapters: 6 (draft 2)
Total @ 18.5
She grows! Right now my first 5 chapters average about 2.7K words each and the last one is pushing 6.5K. 6.5K!! It seems that I suffer from an affliction called, end of fic porn/scene-itis. It makes me feel like the thing is rather off balance. I mean 1/3rd of it is their scene. It is an extended scene, with lots of things to do. Many rounds of things, like the Olympics... But yikes, yeah. This was kind of meant to be a two chapter fic and it's gone batshit crazy. Not sure what's to be done about that. I'm still about 1/4th of the way through the chapter edit so it's still growing, but at least it's the last one! I think the other chapters will probably grow a little as I continue to flesh things out. Man, if this is the way I write 6 chapters then the novel length thing I have planned is going to be War and Peace... *crazy sounds*. After this is a one shot! (maybe a two shot). But I have to do something smaller or I'll never manage my quarterly goal... But on the upside, I am making progress. I have a 4-day weekend coming up so I hope to make a dent in this paper mess. (and play FFX. FFX!!)
Chapters: 4 (draft 2)
Total @ 16
Soundly into chapter 4. Been procrastinating a bit on the thing. Writing more other stuff than putting my efforts on editing so I'm going to change that. From now until the end of this draft my 500 daily words will be edited ones. If I don't do this then my current snails pace is going to kill me. But progress is being made. Currently at 16K, so it's the longest to date, but I see lots of chopping happening as I get to these final three scenes. WooT final three! Must lie down now.
Chapters: 1-5 (draft 1)
I've got draft. Draft 1 at last. I've carved out a crude thru-line and padded the gaps and put it aside until Saturday. It's weird, usually I take a break between finishing a draft and starting an edit, but since I've got my word habit I just plunged right into the next story. Technically it's still a break. I've scribbled on two new stories. One fic, one not, just to get my words out.I figure I'll just write random crap until Saturday then go back to the edit. I'm a little scared to read it from end to end. But there will be cake to soften the blow. I know it's going to need epic amounts of reworking to make it palatable. All I've got is my bones... I suppose it's something though, a 13.7k, 77 page framework... but yikes, this shit is weak right now. I really hope I can pull it together. There is always the fear that this will be the story that kicks my ass. Will definitely have to buy more red pens to start the bleed.
(It seems I am in first draft pre-read anxiety mode, right on schedule)( Read more... )
Chapters: 2-3 (draft 1)
So today I did this. 30 unbroken days of at least 500 words. My GYWO total is 16,414 and I am 11K into my first fic in 10 months. So these are some good things.
The squirmy story is still in progress, soundly into chapter 3 (slog) and 4 (lesser slog) filling in gaps and blanks and putting down the bones and removing other bones. Not yet ready to be edited, still taking shape. Still very much a hot mess.
I've been impatient the past few days. After working on this thing for 30 days I just want it to be done, but it's so very not done, and wont be for awhile. Not ready for human consumption. Still needing so much work. So... I have to work. I think maybe my impatience lies in that the last thing I posted was back in April 2013 and well it's Feb 2014 and I feel as if I've abandoned the whole thing. Time flies and crawls. And I want to write faster but not fall over doing so. So 500 a day, that's it. It kind of feels like little, but if I keep it up I will be 4X over my work count for last year and perhaps 4 more stories into this thing... That would be good. The next one is at the forefront of my mind. So maybe it will come out next.
So maybe in 28 days I'll have another month of pink x's. I will try. And be soundly into many rounds of edits.
This thing is still coming together. I'm trying a lot of different story construction methods this time. Writing against my natural routine. I'm usually a very linear writer. I start at "Once Upon" and end when I hit "The End." Sometimes that causes slogging as I hit a wall, and the fun stuff stays stuck on the other side waiting to get done but blocked by my linear impasse. This time I'm writing whatever flows first, so all of the chapters are happening at once. I knew the last two chapters so I wrote them first. Then I wrote the second halves of chapters 1-4. Today I worked on the first half of chapter 4. It seems to keep the words coming, but I'm left with having to stitch continuity
I thought I knew the story pretty well, and parts of it I do, but it's taken me weeks to find a through line. The actions I've had down for months, the physicality of things, but the arc and the point of things and the motivations and the beats have proven to be more elusive. So now I have random bits in each chapter. Chapter 2 is only 400ish, Chapter 6 is pushing 3.5K. As I slowly fill in the blanks this thing is fattening up. Though I'm really looking forward to a point where I can dig in and start slicing and stitching and make a story out of it. I have a feeling I'm going to have to write over a lot of it. But hell, 10K of any draft is a nice thing :-) Even a zero draft. The new ChromeBook is helping. I've been dragging it everywhere and typing like a fiend. It's like my digital notebook. Just what I needed.
GYWO still seems to be holding steady. I've written at least 500 words every day since 1/2, and am about 1400 words ahead of schedule. Don' break the chain! The Writing While Blocked workshop was really great after all, and I did 1395 words during the workshop alone, including getting my daily 500 fic quota in as well. (I was the only one there writing in a notebook. I felt very analog... ) I've always taken my blocks at face value. I am either in a state of block or not-blocked. But I've never really thought much past that. This workshop asked a lot of questions, gave a lot of techniques and actually made me look at the possible reasons for stopping writing. We were given the following questions:
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Remarkably, a combo of GYWO and Don't Break the Chain has actually got me writing with regularity. I scrapped my last story. It didn't work or fit and I needed to start something that would keep me excited as I tried to work out my atrophied writing muscles. The most I had done in December was the occasional 300 word day, somewhere in the 200s on average. But GYWO says 411 to make target and so I've been hitting 500 to try to stay ahead. So now I'm note-booking like crazy, at work, when I'm waiting for anything, at lunch, anything to get a large chunk of the 500 done before I get home.
The story is starting to come together. Right now it's all detail gear noodling and headspace. Gear trainspotting. Disjointed scenes and actions. Singular John. Way too internal right now, but that's alright. Best to get all on the page and strip from there. Season three has sparked me again, even though my wee AU is so far left of canon it's ridiculous, but just seeing Sherlock and John together and watching the dynamic has been good. I can see the threads coming together maybe, I think I'll take this one to the end. It's kind of weird. I have a tiny goal to write four more in the series this year. Lofty? Most likely, as two of the four are long and all are crazytown, but I'd really like to make some progress this year.
Ah well, by January 15th I may be singing a different tune, but I swear I'll get this one done.
Crossed the 2K mark! Currently the story is beginning-less, in a horrid rambley present tense and makes little to no sense and is full of non sentences and word repetition. My zero drafts really only consist of five adjectives and three verbs. My noun is John.
I'm still looking for a character arc, and a start, aaaaaand a point. I've written 10 out of 18 days this month, a wee over 50%. I keep on telling myself that I wont let this one get the better of me. None have so far. I've also been working hard on the not prejudging my story. Pushing down the little person at the back of my mind yelling "CRAP!" Well though if you were to look at it in this state it IS crap, but that's draft zeros are for. Putting down the shit. Pick axes and spackle come later. I've been writing three times a day, before I go to bed, longhand, at lunch, longhand and then after TV at my computer, transcribing what I've done the night the night before and that day. It's easier than one giant bout of sitting and composing. Coming to the computer with something in hand is good thing and less daunting.
But yes, yikes, not really sure what I'm doing here with this one. I imagine red pens and weeping down the line! (Well not really weeping...) No actually that's the part where the fun begins... Must buy more pens!
Continuing at a snails pace, but I wrote every day this week, albeit some days I couldn't get 100 words out of me, but the routine is the thing that I'm going for. Spent a week in Atlanta with the family doing what I usually do in Atlanta which is absolutely nothing! Which is lovely, but I always go thinking wow, I have a week off I'm going to write and it ends up being, me and my nieces staring at our Nintendo DSs all day and surfing the web and eating and cuddling with dogs and relaxing/slacking like there's no tomorrow. Pure loveliness, and I made it through three dungeons in Etrian Odyssey, but alas no writing.
But now that I'm back in Seattle, writing has been had, skipped ahead to the crux of the situation and am working on pounding out the details more or less. I've thrown away more than I've committed to the page. And this is my third doc (with the same title) but this one is still sticking. I have no idea how I'm going to get all of the underlying things I want John to think, the imagery to represent and the conclusion I want to get to from the vague ball it currently exists as in my head. It's more of cloud of I know what I want to do but no idea how I'm going to translate it. But I suppose in the end at least I'll be able to tell if I DON'T have it... I guess that's something.
So inching along, adding more words to the pile each day. I feel this will be pretty short, no more than 5K (I say now) but it really has no business being more than that (I say now) I haven't even gotten to the mildly R rated bits. I swear the impending season 3 has gotten me revved up again. Counting the days. Never did a version of Reichenbach, not sure how that would even fit in my tiny AU 'verse. Don't think it ever will now...Looking forward to the new villains...
At last, my home is my own again, I had my last writers group meeting and now I'm writing again. IRONY! Still working on the same story, though the setting has pivoted. I think I have a setting issue/problem. Thankfully the story will work almost wherever, I just need to find the right setting for me to fall into a groove. I might have found one. Trying to get back to writing an hour a night, as my back has been cooperating. (Yay bones!) I also learned that suddenly trying to drink 66 oz of water in a day takes some adjusting to! Holy crap! I'm going to float away.
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Starting again. For the first time since what June, I find my back in a state where I can sit and write, only for an hour, but that is something. So the blog will be wee. Third attempt at starting a Sherlock fic. The trip to London and all the season 3 goodness has stoked the flames. So a small fic is in order. This is my wee one between Switch and the other epic thing I wanted to write but then I took a six month hiatus, so is this really a valid palette cleanser? AH well, start small yo. We'll see how far I get. Mini blog is mini.
My head is spinning, I just did the final round of edits and have sent the story off to my first reader…
Somehow the story is now 15,050. I have shaved this llama down by 6k. I think that is my record, slashing 1/3rd of my story… I have no idea how it got so bloated!! WIN!
Why is it 1:00 AM? I’m taking tomorrow off.