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... )

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)


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
Total @  19,283


I was hoping that [livejournal.com profile] percygranger's prediction that the draft would be better than I expected would be a reality, but unfortunately it's actually the opposite. Holy crap there's so much work that needs to be done. My first read through left me a bit numb. That kind of numb you get when you suddenly realize that you are light years behind where you hoped to be. My second idea was to shelve it and call it a loss. I just don't know if the story is strong enough to want to plough through it. My third idea was that I was a hack and really shouldn't be doing this kind of thing, but that faded after sleeping on it, and sleeping through 4 alarms and being late to work this morning.

Idea 4 is that I think I'm going to keep on working it.

Read more... )
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Chapters: 6 (draft 2)
Total @  19,283


I FINISHED THE FUCKING DRAFT!  This might have been one of my most difficult draft rounds. Way more rewriting than I wanted, but it was needed so it has been done. Now the story is vaguely story shaped, and some of the really hilarious non sentences, transposed words and confusing prose that happened during the fugue state that was my zero draft have been fixed.

Honestly I really don't have any idea how this draft is either. I plowed ahead and didn't look back once, I just made edits, rewrote where needed, tried to slash and moved on.  I didn't want to dig in any deeper than I had to. I'm saving that for round... 4?  The one after the part where I add in all of the parts I didn't know I needed when I started this thing.

The end is still REALLY rough. I cut about 1000 words from it today, after realizing that I had rambled past the interesting bits and was choking in the weeds of conversation and feelings talk. That shit can be spread out through the story I think. I don't really need/want a epilogue on this beast and that's what it felt like.

So now I print out this 85 page behemoth of wordy words and force myself to read it without editing it (I may have to remove the pens from the room), and then I will see what it really looks like. But that can happen tomorrow.

I'm a little nervous. I really hope it's okay. That said, I'm still very happy I am done with this round and somehow made my deadline.
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck: Day who knows-
Chapters: 6 (draft 2)
Total @  19.5


This chapter feels like I'm running towards a receding finish line... I have 13 pages (out of 47) left to edit and then I'm done with the hardest part. This chapter has taken AGES, mainly because I rewrote the first half. But now as I get towards the final third I've been editing more and rewriting less. Unfortunately,  I never really had a solid ending for this story, so as I tack on the final discussion that adds on pages. I'm kind of vomiting their big talk right now because I really don't know how they're exactly sorting things out. Well I know the end, but not exactly the route they take.

So my goal is to finish the edit of this final chapter by Sunday. That's 3 days for 13 pages. I feel like there is some momentum that is happening so the weight is slowly being lifted.  There is still soooo much work to be done on this thing to make it palatable. But yes, there is a light at that far end... I'm actually looking forward to the next round of edits. Plot pointst/foreshadowing, time setting, spackle time!

I might have to break up the final chapter into 2... it's pushing 8K now and I can't seem to figure out how to deal with this massive imbalance...  Might be cheating.. I don't know yet. I've added another 1000 words on this thing!!! Revoke my pen privileges! Somebody please!!
mugenmine: (John Watson)
mugen v words 2013
42,384/150,000 (28.26%)

mugen v words 2014
42,894/150,000 (28.60%)

So with today's 500 words I've written more this year than I wrote in the entirety of 2013. This is kind of a big deal for me.

When I signed up for GYWO this year my one main goal was to just write more than I did last year. I figured if I could hit that goal then this year would technically be better than last year and that would amount to a not fail.

It has been hard to both slow it down (not binge write for 6 hour stretches) and to be consistent (write every day.) Everyday has felt like I have been crawling along at a snail's pace as I watch countless stories get posted, and I continue to chip away at my lone story. But then I look at the total I have cobbled together so far and well, maybe it's not so slow.  42K is a drop in the bucket among most writers around here. I truly admire everyone's prolificness (<--is this really a word?) and impressive word counts, but I've also have had to tell myself that by being modest with my count and hours spent in the chair, I will ultimately allow my body to last the long haul. (spine bad, sit, not good...)

This 42K has not all been thrown on my current story. It covers various word counts across eight stories. Five Sub!John's and three original short stories. I'm really not sure what I'll do with any of these, but the diversity of projects helps and hopefully the fragments of fics will blossom into completed works.

So yes, this goal kind of crept up on me, much like my word count. I think doing GYWO this year was a good idea. So, I guess onto the next goal. Don't break the chain. 
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck: Day who knows-
Chapters: 6 (draft 2)
Total @  17.6


I'm officially in  novella territory!  I looked it up. According to wikipedia at least 17.5K puts me at novella. Not sure what I think about that. I was joking with my friend about how many words we throw at strange things. Then I promised her a tentacle fic for her birthday. More strange things! I'm fitting it into the New!Sub verse! somehow... I have some ideas.

I am down to my final chapter of rewrites! I finished chapters 4 and 5 and only have 6 now. Forty-four more pages to edit (double spaced). I'm kind of reeling. But each day it gets a tiny bit closer to done-ness. So much wholesale rewrites, so much has changed. I FINALLY figured out Sherlock's motivation so I have to go back and change things, tone some shit down. But I'm hoping that after the chapter 6 rewrite it will be about plot tightening, adding in some missed character development and then word polishing. The verdict is still out on whether the story sucks. It could go either way... Okay getting ahead of myself again, but it's nice to be moving forward, albeit slowly.
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck: Day 4?-
Chapters: 3 (draft 2)
Total @14.7K


The placeholder title of this story is ringing true. Today I'm feeling stuck. Terribly so. I've been attempting to edit and hitting the "pointless" wall. I'm going to chalk it up to a monkey mood though. Which is my shorthand for irrational angst. I think it's a little bit of the "wait, what am I doing? how much time are you spending on this thing" feelings that creep up on occasion. Also chalking those up to part of the process. So instead of beating myself over my head with my pen and tearing my draft into confetti (which would be awkward as I'm at work right now) I'm blogging. Working it out.

Sometimes I wonder why I try to tell these particular stories. They seem to me as very narrow in scope and noodley.  Certainly you must too? Wonder why you pick the things you write about? What drives you to your choices, in character, place, subject matter. Especially in this shared universe that many of us work in. It's really interesting. Is it RTYI? Do they just pop randomly in your head? A theme that interests you?  Why do you noodle on what you do?
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stay: Day 1
Chapters: 1
Total: 500


I'm kind of in the middle of three fics now.  Since editing takes more brain power and concentration (for me) I've been just zero drafting new stories when I've run out of editing steam.   I have most of the ideas down but the order of things seems to be fluid. I thought I had the next story mapped out and had been plugging away at that, but then I grew exhausted at the idea of tacking two kind of long stories one after another so I've moved up a later one that is a series of very short chapters that cover  a 15 to 30 day span of time. (Which I would post over a 15 - 30 day stretch. Which might be crazy making.) Though, It's kind of fun to write and not a style I've tried yet so I'm giving it a go.

Hopefully this will mean a better fic finishing cadence, as I'm not putting all the eggs into the one at a time basket. (Is that even a saying?) I imagine by the time I'm done editing my current story I might have a good portion of the next fic drafted.... Yikes, this forward momentum is very strange to me.
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck: Day 3?-
Chapters: 1-5 (draft 2)
Total @13.7K


I started the edit today, well I started it yesterday, after holing up in a Starbucks and reading the first draft from end to end while not piking up a pen. Then I walked for an hour to think more on the draft. Then I edited a bit of chapter one. The draft as a whole is not bad, it's not very good either, it's kind of fair to middling. I feel secure in that the story is okay, but my telling of it is still lacking. And the start of it was not good.  So I've done some more scene shuffling, and realized that I have an entire scene to redraft. It's an important one so it can't suck. (I suppose the goal is for none of it to suck!)Read more... )
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck: Day 24
Chapters: 1-5 (draft 1)
Total @10K


Draft 0 has come as far as it can. I managed about 11K of writing from all possible angles before I hit the "you really should pull this shit together before this just becomes a bag of words" realization kicked in. So now I'm trying to do just that. The attempt to get a proper, linear, first draft is on. The game is on! (It's so not on...)  I've excised a chapter, written a proper story/action outline, played musical chairs with all of the scenes,  and pasted them back into some sort of order, so now... now...

Now I have to start from the top and just write it through from start to finish. There is about 10K of content in there, but I still have to just do it over and try to keep/paste/salvage as much as I can. Not going to worry too much about proper close John third right now. Just managing a draft that I can really start digging into. At least it's starting to feel like something coherent, if not still weird. But I guess writing this series will always kind of feel weird.

So now I'm just procrastinating and writing this, as the thought of starting this overhaul kinda gives me the hives and makes me feel like napping. Napping... But only 500 words must be made today. I can at least do that... The chairs in Bauhaus are like wood covered bricks. I think I need lunch... and a nap. And maybe a cookie. 
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck: Day 7
Chapter: ?
Total 3,196

The words are flowing. 500 a day.  Limiting myself to about 500 a day is helping with knowing I have a reserve for tomorrow, and not overdoing it on my back (in the chair). The thing is that they're not really good words. Those will hopefully come later when I'm all out of crappy words. I'm purposefully (attempting to) not look back for fear of disappointment and the gnashing of the teeth. I believe I'm right on schedule with my early onset pre-first draft angst.
Read more... )
mugenmine: (Default)
Still not near the beach: Day 7?
Total: 828

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...
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Nowhere Near the Beach: Day 4
Total: ?


After four attempts at a beginning with three completely different changes of setting, I finally realized that I AM AN IDIOT. Sometimes you really don't need a set up, sometimes it's better to just dive right in to the heart of the matter. Again, parachuting blindfolded onto a moving train, starting a story is. At least for me.

Well, It's good to know that it still takes me multiple times of slamming into a wall before I stumble through the door shaped part. Consistency! So yes, now to tackle the main part.  *shakes fist at self*

On nice news, I bought a new hat to cover my freezing head... It's cute and shall keep me warm. I will wear it until spring...
mugenmine: (John Watson)
A Day Not at the Beach: Day 2
Total: 367


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.

Read more... )
mugenmine: (John Watson)
A Day at the Beach: Day 1

...And then I pivoted. After a day of working on the story, another idea wiggled in-between.  Something that would make a better one-shot and set up some motivation for the one I've been meaning to write. So I've put the former aside for something newish. Of course the moment I start writing again, I have house guests which puts a kind of a damper on things, but I suppose more time to ruminate. I have my space to myself again starting Tuesday, quitting my writers group on Wednesday, and should be back to my noodling self on Thursday... Yay!
Read more... )
mugenmine: (John Watson)
The Escape Artist: Day 1 (again! again!)
Chapter 1
Total: 307


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.
mugenmine: (John Watson)

The Escape Artist: Day 2
Chapter 1
Total: 200


Found my way back to writing again. I’ve been working on a short story for a long while and making not as much headway as I would have liked due to health things, but today I figured out a way to make things go a bit more smoothly.

The first time was the hardest.  )

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