August: The month of where I guess I don’t write

Granted, its been a very mild summer, but August is still a helluva reason to keep inside. Which is good! I don’t write or code very well outside. Trust me, I’ve considered it, even tried it a time or two but it just doesn’t work out well. The glare on the iPad impairs writing, or the bugs are distracting, or the heat is soul-crushing. No no. I was made to be an indoor creature. Melding into my seat and becoming one with the machine. Beep boop beep.

So, we’re 21 days into August now and I still have yet to put finger to keyboard in any sort of writing. While normally, this would constitute a soul-crushing failure on my part, its mostly because I’ve been pouring effort onto WordKeeperAlpha to get it done and out this month. The great news is that I should be able to do just that! The bad news is that every time I look at my writing graph I see THIS:

Graph of no writing

 

Ugh… that flat line accuses me. It mocks me. Moreover, the characters from Impervious are bouncing around in my head, leading rebellions and killing each other every time I start listening to music. Once WordKeeper is out, I won’t be looking at it for a month. I’m going to set myself a nice big writing goal and go to town on it.  It’s about time to start gearing up for NaNaWriMo at any rate.  I’ve got a lot of words to write before the year is over, and I should be able to do that a lot easier with WordKeeper finished, or at least the base features done.

While I’m cleaning up the remaining code and polishing things off, I’m also identifying the next set of features that I’ll be working on and rolling out over the coming months.

  • Blog integration
  • Rewards for completing goals
  • Challenges (1k in an hour) (Don’t know how in the hell I’m going to do that one)
  • Trophies and XP (for more gamification)
  • Author pages so that you can share your progress

I’ve seen a few other projects that are doing some of the things that I’m doing, but no one is really focusing on motivation and word metrics like I am.  I really think that if I can get WordKeeper going and get it a following that I can keep it the best motivational tool for writers our there.  I suppose I have to make it that first, don’t I?  *sigh* Its back to work then, I guess.  At least, after a nice walk in this beautiful August weather.


An end of year update – Merry Christmas!

Sorry I've been quiet since my mid-NaNoWriMo update. I'd like to say that I've been super busy getting stuff done and finishing up my project from November, but the truth is that I've been super-lazy. Granted, I have been doing some work on Edge of December, but I've mostly been screwing around catching and trianing my Pokemons. Delphox will totally kick your ass, so back off.

That being said, I'm back in the game. I've got a nice long break for the rest of the year and a little into next that I'm going to (hopefully) use to get some serious work done. December was supposed to be to finish up my NaNo project and kick WordKeeper V 2.0 out, so I'm hoping that I can still get at least one of those done. I also have the added goal of figuring out how to end out the current Arc of Edge of December. Granted, a lot of work for the few days I have, and not everything is going to get done, but I'm sure I can make some serious headway.

Most of my design work is done for the new version of WKA. All that's left is a few smaller pages and finishing the design of the social aspect. That, I don't know what I'm going to do with it. It might be a little bit of trial and error until I find something that works. Version 2.0 will be significantly more fully featured than the current generation, with a bit of social built in, some Twitter and Facebook integration, a nifty little tool that counts the words you've written and a much more advanced graphing utility to track your progress. Also, I'm integrating projects so that you'll be able to set goals per project and track them independently. Once I have it done, it will be a pretty awesome way to keep track of your writing trends and hopefully inspire you to write more.

Once December is over, I'm starting work back up on Impervious, with the goal of pushing right through the second draft, at which point I'll be looking for some Beta readers. While the beta reading is in progress, I'll finish out book 2, and maybe get a start on book 3.

Though I did spend a fair amount of time screwing around this year, I've actually written more than I ever have previously. According to WordKeeper I've written some 85,000 words since I started it at the start of the year, and had a few really good months before I got it up and running. I'm guessing that I wrote at least 100,000 words this year, which isn't bad at all! I finished up Impervious, split off Unstoppable from the vast expance that was the original draft, got started on the second draft of Impervious, got WordKeeperAlpha up and running, started on the second version of WKA, got a new blog up and running (though I need to keep it better updated), made several new writer friends online and finished NaNoWriMo again with a brand new story! None of this takes into account the awesome stuff that Glenn and I have been doing over at Edge of December where we Kickstarted our first book, and put out several eBooks. We're getting really close to finishing out the current Arc of the story, which is going to be HUGE!

Granted, that's not quite the goals I had set at the beginning of the year last year. I wanted to get a few more short stories written and submitted to various venues, and have closer to 125,000 words written, but I'm still really happy with everything I've gotten done! If I can keep up this pace, I'll have my first book done and available in 2014 with a second and third following close on its heels! That's super exciting and will serve to motivate me! There's going to be a lot of awesome stuff happening next year, so make sure to stay tuned. Hopefully I'll be a lot better at maintaining the blog and putting up some more articles that are more than just status updates between my long absences.

Here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, however you celebrate them. I should be putting out one more update before the new year with some updates on WKA, but if that doesn't happen then everyone have a good rest of the year!


Impervious: Book 1 of The Iron Principles

Happy Saturday, everybody! I managed to drag myself out of my warm and supremely comfortable bed so that I could make it to Panera Bread and do some writing today. Unfortunately, I forgot my headphones, which means the buzz of conversation that I normally find comforting and focussing is more of a dull roar. Still, I will persist and do my best to transform thought into words. As always, caffeine doesn't help so much as keep my shambling shell moving.

Still, its Saturday and I promised a few details on the book I'm working on, Impervious. I've been working on it for about a year now and a half now, and managed to actually finish the first draft a few months ago. I was a little distracted for a bit, but have managed to start getting some real work done on the second draft. Some of you may know that I entered it in a contest for winners of National Novel Writing Month (when I wrote the majority of the first draft, some 50,000 words last November) held by the awesome Ravven and Rabia Gale.

That resulted in not only a fantastic cover for Impervious (thanks Ravven!) but also some terrific feedback on the first draft. Because of that feedback, I've done some major reworking of the plot, characters and world. What this means is that the second draft is likely to be a bigger undertaking than the first draft was since I not only need to rewrite almost everything, but also add another 40k – 60k words. Which, isn't as bad as it sounds, since doing that will make Impervious an awesome story.

Impervious was never going to be a stand alone novel though, and I needed to come up with a series name, and while I was at it, names for the next two books. So, here they are!

The Iron Principles: Impervious, Unstoppable, and Immovable

So, that's the scoop. Now, here's my plan.

In 2016, Worldcon, a global gathering for science fiction and fantasy writers, as well as agents and editors, is going to be in Kansas City. According to many other authors, this is THE place to go for making contacts, meeting people and potentially kickstarting a career. Its also going to be a ton of fun. Unfortunately, approaching editors and agents and telling them that you're “working” on a novel won't make them dance with glee and throw money at you. Being able to say that you've completed your first three book series, on the other hand, might be enough to garner some interest.

Therefore, my goal is to have Impervious, Unstoppable and Immovable finished by 2016. I'm sure that I've posted this somewhere or other a couple weeks ago when I learned about Worldcon. That's my goal. Which means I'm really going to have to buckle down and WORK. I'm just getting warmed up now, with at least a respectable word count in August. WordKeeperAlpha is going to help keep me honest and I'll probably get in some updates, but I'm going to be really buckling down on these books.

The 2nd draft of Impervious is underway, the 1st draft of Unstoppable is about 80% done, so I've got a good start. This November, I'm going to drop off the face of the earth for a month or so as I put some major effort into Immovable and after that, its back to the 2nd draft of Impervious. Then the 3rd, then 4th and so on. Its going to be exciting! So, back to work! There's a lot to do!

 


Stalling out

Well, the 25k month in February isn’t going quite as well as I’d hoped. My wheels are doing a lot of spinning, but my fingers aren’t managing to type the words. Bother. I did get a good bit of writing done for Edge last week, but that doesn’t get me much closer to my goal of finishing the first draft of Impervious. I have been going over the story a bit more to get the ol’ creative juices flowing again and that’s given me a lot of good ideas on what I need to do in the next draft, but not much about what I’m going to do with the ending.

Or rather, I know exactly what I want to do, just not how I’m going to go about doing it. I think that my story to this point has been a little ill defined in its theme and certainly in what powers I’ve assigned to the protagonists and the antagonists and now I’ve written myself into something of a corner. Oh, the set up is great, the ending should be good, I’ve just got to figure out how I’m going to pull everything together at the climax to solve all my problems in a way that’ll make sense.

Granted, this is the first draft, and if any other human being were to read it they’d be completely lost. I’m not sure what other author’s first drafts look like. In my imagination, Brandon Sanderson sits down at his computer, breathes onto the keyboard forming a link between it and the divine word vault, allowing flawless prose to flow between the two points. In fact, given the level of what he does, I’m pretty sure that’s how it works. I’m just about ready to let my cats have a go at it. But, they’re far too lazy to do any real work for me, so I suppose I’d better just shut it and get back to writing.

Will a 25k month happen? Probably not. Will I finish Impervious this month like I wanted to? Also, all signs point to ‘No’. Will there be enough progress to get things done by next month and start in on the next phase? I certainly hope so. And if that’s going to happen, it means that tonight, I need to get some actual work done and see where it leads me. So, here’s me, signing off to get some work done and kill some characters…or maim them. I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet.


25k month update

Wish I had better news for you guys this time around, but we're at July 24th now, with seven days left and I'm only at 12k words. I officially have 1 week left to get 13k words done….which means writing 2,000 words a day, consistently for the next seven days. The odds aren't exactly in my favor, but I think I still chance of making it.

That being said, my words for tonight are better spent on Impervious and Edge than on a blog no one is actually following. Thus, away I go to return next week and tell you how it all worked out. Later!