WorldCon or bust!

Heya folks. I’ve been a little lax in posting last month. This is mostly by design, since I’m in the middle of a two month push to finish the second draft of Impervious.

I’m doing pretty good so far. I’ve gotten about five more chapters finished, with an unknown number left. But I’m coming up on the end, which means the action is really kicking in. I get to finally cut loose with all the characters and plenty of folk are gonna die before the end.

<manniacle laughter>Mwahahahahahahaha!</manniacle laughter>

Continue reading…


The Second Draft Slog

Man… 2016 has not been a good year for my writing. Four months in and I'm only at twenty thousand words, and not many of those are usable in Impervious. I know exactly where the book is going…and the next part is going to be awesome to write…but I just can't seem to get past these few chapters that are in between the middle and the end.

I'm assuming that more experienced authors have ways of dealing with this, and I've read a few, but those aren't working for me. It feels like I've been working on this second draft forever and I just want to get it done. I can only guess that the third draft will be as painful, if not more so.

Which isn't to say that I don't like writing Impervious, at the moment. I think I've got a fairly good shot at getting published with it, if I can just make it awesome… I'm just … Held up.

I figure that if I can just do sixty thousand words in two months, the draft will be done and I'll be dancing a jig. Now I just have to get a good start on that. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight now! Go! Write!

*sigh*

*headdesk*

*headdesk*

*headdesk*

Fine. Enough of that.

*headdesk*

Alright. Now I'm done. Maybe. We'll see how the next month goes. May is going to be a thirty thousand word month. I'm putting it here and you all have to hold me to it. You just read the words and that constitutes a legal and binding contract due to section 3.44.a in the Internet Responsibilities and Distractions act of '06. Look it up. And remember, everytime you break the IRaD a kitten picture is taken off the internet. You monsters.

Hmmm…Looking at the last post date I've been gone for a while. Stuff has happened… But most of it is Stardew Valley and you guys probably don't care about how my fake farm is doing.

I'd talk about politics…but no. God. No. I'm writing about a world with a morally ambiguous Empire fighting against nightmare gods. I would emigrate if I could.

I met Delilah S. Dawson last weekend, which was pretty awesome. I'm really looking forward to reading her Wake of Vultures, because it sounds kick-ass. And now I have a signed copy. I loves me a good book.

WordKeeperAlpha update coming later. I've been doing some stuff…and broken a thing or two in the last couple of days. I'll write another post about the changes I'm making in a day or so (once I've got the bugs ironed out.) If you're here looking for explanations of why things aren't working like they should… Monkies. It's because of the monkies getting in places they shouldn't. I'll have them cleaned out shortly. If you see a monkey, let me know and I will humanely transport them back to their enclosure** (where they will not be ruthlessly killed in the monkey compactor.)

**No monkies were harmed in the making of WordKeeperAlpha or the writing of Impervious. Probably. Maybe. You can't prove anything.

 


Where I will make exactly one resolution

I don’t have anything against New Year’s resolutions. I really don’t. The only one I can remember making last year was to write more than I did the year before. In that I succeeded. I had other goals: such as finishing Impervious and getting more done on WordKeeperAlpha. Well, I didn’t finish Impervious. I didn’t even finish the second draft, which is a little disappointing. WordKeeperAlpha, however saw a lot of success in 2015 as I added some new features, tightened up existing functionality and in general made it marginally better.

This year, like last, I’m not going to make a lot of resolutions. I’m going to resolve to write more than I did last year, and that’s about it. That means I need to write more than 130,000 words.  All said and done, that shouldn’t be too difficult. I did that this year and that was with buying a house.  Granted, 50,000 of those words happened in November, but I’ll take any win I can get.

What I’d really like to do, is focus much more of my energy on completing the second draft of Impervious, then finishing the third draft and so on.  I’m going to do my best to stay focused on that goal, and get the second draft done as early on in the year as possible. I just finished plotting it out through the end of the book, and I’m getting close to the point where I won’t have to completely rewrite quite so much of the content.  I’ve got a few plot snags to tighten up, but otherwise I feel really comfortable with wear its going.

Don’t worry, anyone who’s reading this for the WordKeeperAlpha update. I also plan on putting a lot of effort into that. I’m going to have an update sometime in the next two months that will add some much requested features (which I’ll explain in another blog post) and hopefully give a visual refresh to several pages.   I gotten a lot of work done on WordKeeperAlpha already this year.

I’ll also try to keep my blog updated with relevant information, and maybe I’ll even get around to writing a few more interesting posts. *sigh* I need to keep my social media more updated anyway. I’ve been letting Twitter and Facebook slide lately. Part of that is because Facebook is just lousy with politics and if I see exactly one more person come out in support of Trump or Cruz I’m going to get a little stabby.

 

A knife holder that signifies my feelings about certain presidential candidates.

You get stabbed! And you get stabbed! Everyone gets stabbed!

 

Anyway. Here’s to writing, coding and staying sane this year amidst the storm of politics that is going to descend on the land.

Oh…and any of my friends abroad…you guys got a place to crash? No reason…just … Ugh… Trump. *shiver*


2015: Excuses and Explanations

Ok, so, as years go, 2015 was actually pretty good from a writing perspective. Granted, I didn’t accomplish several goals that I set for myself, but I did make significant progress on many goals, and accomplished others that I hadn’t set. One goal that I did accomplish was writing more in 2015 than I wrote in 2014. I’ve got graphs to prove it too! Still, the title of the blog post has more to do with my love of alliteration than of anything else. Now, onward!

In 2014 I wrote a little more than 100,000 words. There are significant periods where I wasn’t writing much, which was primarily due to working on WordKeeperAlpha.

wka2014

In 2015 I wrote around 135,000 words, which, while not the 180,000 I was aiming for, is a significant improvement. This year, too, there were significant dry spells, having to do entirely with buying a house.  That was a pretty huge thing.

wka2015

While I wanted the second draft of Impervious done by November, that just didn’t happen. I did make really excellent progress with it though, the story going through several changes and revisions for the better. I’m roughly half way done with the draft two rewrite at the moment, with a pretty clear path of how to finish it out.  Draft three will have some significant work involved, but thankfully not a full rewrite. But, that’s for my “2016: Some clever title” post (coming soon.)

I spent a fair amount of time working on WordKeeperAlpha this year as well. Not too many new features, but mostly because I’m saving them all for one large update in the first half of this year. I’ve made significant changes to the graphing system that will let users choose their own goal graphs and graphs based on projects, too. I’ve also got the beginnings of an API that will let users post their progress on their blogs.

I ironed out a lot of bugs over the course of the year. Thanks to all my users who let me know about them when they crop up. I try my best to correct issues you guys have as soon as I hear about them, so please, keep letting me know.

Other things that happened in 2015:

  • We bought a house and moved! It’s completely awesome, and my office is sweet.
  • I got glasses and became that much older.
  • I won NaNoWriMo, which felt good after not completing it last year.
  • I built more IKEA furniture than I knew existed.
  • I replaced a faucet, earning my Homeowner merit badge!
  • Played perhaps too many video games and didn’t read enough books.
  • More stuff I’m forgetting about, because it’s lost in the pre-history of ‘last year’.

Well, that’s another year done. A new one is already under way, but as I said, I’m leaving goals and projects for another blog post. November – December were kind of non-months in terms of blogging, and that means I’m going to overcompensate by stretching out my ‘life-update’ posts as much as possible. That being said, I’m going to check out and try to get a head start on this year’s goals.


National Novel Writing Month in Perspective

Phew! So that was a thing that happened. In case it wasn’t obvious from the title I participated in NaNoWriMo this month, and unlike last year, I won! I won in the sense that I wrote 50,200 words, rather than finished an actual novel. I don’t think anything I ever write is going to be finished in a paltry fifty thousand words: Such is the fate of the genre author. I am including short fiction in that by the way. I’m absolutely awful at writing anything under ten thousand words, which is why I don’t submit to many magazines. More’s the pity.

Still, if you did National Novel Writing Month, good on you! Doesn’t matter if you finished or not. If you wrote one thousand words then that’s a thousand more words you have written now than you did in October. Since I wrote a big ol’ web app for the sole purpose of graphing my progress, I thought I’d show them off here. And since there’s nothing you can do to stop me… Well I don’t know where I was going with that, but here’s the graphs.

november2015

As you can see, I kind of rely on a few big pushes to get myself through the month. I also take more days off than I should. I think my goal for next year is going to be to write every day during the month, no matter how few words I log.  This is what my progress looks like through the lens of the NaNoWriMo bar graph:

Graph of writing in November 2015

I spent a good portion of the latter half of the month behind schedule, but I don’t think I ever got more than two days behind.  I’ve had months where I got really discouraged being just a day behind, figuring I’d have to load all that extra writing into one writing session or I’d never get caught up. Key lesson here is that if you miss a day, just make it up over several days and don’t let that bog you down.

Something that those of you who actually follow the blog might have noticed that I started off with very noble intentions of writing a NaNoWriMo journal that I wanted to use to kind of map my progress. That didn’t even last half way through the month. Oh well. Maybe next year? Yeah, probably won’t happen, but I’m always game to try!

So, what did I actually write? Up till now I’ve been a big fan of fantasy. I decided that this year I’d stretch myself a little bit and write some science fiction. I got the idea a while ago for a group of space pirates (think Firefly meets Honor Harrington) manages to acquire a fully equipped, brand new, colony vessel. The universe’s situation is kind of shitty, being pretty much a space dystopia. Companies have a method of colonizing new worlds via indentured servants, using them to build the base of the new world, then just keeping them there indefinitely. Two of the major powers are on the edge of war and things are just generally shitty. So, the pirates decide to keep the ship, and use it to basically start their own world. They grab a bunch of other colonists, and other people fed up with the way the universe works and bugger off.

I got a decent start on a first draft and not all of it I’m happy with. One of the things is that I have to really crank up the challenges the crew faces, but I have to do it in such a way that it doesn’t make their task impossible. For instance, just getting the colony ship in the first place required a LOT to go coincidently right that even I was having trouble buying it.  Of course, that was largely because I was making it up as I went.

I tried experimenting with just about every science fiction trope that I know and love, seeing what worked and what didn’t. I was setting up a pretty big universe, so I don’t know exactly how much I wanted to just dump on the reader, but I had fun trying things out. I had some aliens, had transforming space fighters a la Super Dimensional Fortress Macross (because if I’m going to write a sci fi it’s going to have giant robots), space battles, and I ended up tossing in an Artificial Intelligence.  I also, ahem, wrote a couple sex scenes.

What?! I was experimenting… Phrasing… Trying new things… damn … Look, everyone has their first try at something. I don’t know if any of those will see the light of day, but I figure it’s something I probably need to learn how to do at least decently well. And let’s face it. It is a little bit fun to write people boning.

This story easily had my biggest cast of characters to date and it was more than a little difficulty to keep them all straight. My evil businessman who is going to be the main protagonist ended up being mostly just competent and kind of amoral as opposed to cackling madly in front of a storm. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I ended up spending less time than I should have focusing on the Captain of my pirate ship… I just wasn’t really sure what made her interesting quite yet. In short, that story needs a LOT of work before its ever going to end up on bookshelves, if it ever does.

If anyone wants to read it, I’d be happy to share, but you probably shouldn’t be expecting anything great.

Anyway! It’s December now so I’m going to be getting back to work on WordKeeperAlpha.com and back to work on Impervious. I’ve had a little break and its time to take some of the lessons I learned in November and finish out the year strong. Be expecting more news about WordKeeperAlpha.com in the near future and hopefully an update on the status of Impervious. In the meantime, you’ve had a couple days, get back to writing! Show me those word counts, right down there in the comments. I want to see them!