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.


NaNoWriMo Journal Day 13 (delayed): It’s my birthday!

As with all blogging activities, I could be doing better at this whole journal thing. But really, its hard to write more after you’ve been busting your hump to make your word count. 

Right now, I’m a little behind since I took last night off and played StarCraft. What? I am but mortal and subject to temptation as is any man. Still, since its my birthday today I took the day off work and set about catching up.  This is a nice free weekend for me, so I intend to not only make up for my missed words but get back ahead and on schedule.

Today I wrote another 2600 words, bringing me to 20,700 total. My goal for tomorrow is to hit 25,000, and then maybe 28,000 on Sunday. We’ll see how that goes.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with the story so far. I’ve got space pirates, transforming space fighters, a la robotech, tyranical interstellar corporations, a budding war between superpowers and I haven’t even gotten to the scenes I’m really looking forward to writing.

I’ve kind of split the story into two big scenes so far: the first was our introduction to the Elusive Raptor, captained by Cassandra Trubedier and crewed by a collection of fun (I’m hoping) privateers.  I even included a rather, ahem, sexy scene in this part. Wink wink. 😉

The next part is about the other main character, Alan Cradey, who’s going to start the whole ball down the hill by being pushed just a little too far. Now, he’s going to start pushing back.  I’m just about to the part where he starts pushing, and encounters the good crew of the Raptor. 

Whew! I’m excited! Its fun to write something new and different. Not that Impervious is boring me, but a little variety every now and again is good for an author? Right. Ok, I’m out, there’s birthday shenanigans to get to. Away!


I am not my word count

… my story however… That’s a different … story … thing.  You know what I mean.  Tonight is a writing night, a night I’ve specifically set aside for the writing of words and the making of stories.   Only writing is hard some nights.

I know I’m not alone on this.  Other authors get a really good story going, only to crap out half way, either do to lack of motivation, or entirely too much self-doubt, or something else that’s shiny pops up and they just have to chase it because you always have to chase the shiny things! Uhh… what was I saying…something something shiny thing…  Ah writing!

So, in my famous last post I claimed the goal that I was going to write twenty days this month.  That goal is not off to an inspiring start.  Here we are on the eighth, and I’ve got fuck-all done so far.  As the year goes, I’m not doing so bad, but if I want to finish this bloody book, I’m going to have to start cranking out more words.  I didn’t make WordKeeper just to sit there and mock me for how bad I was doing, sticking to my goals.  I made it to motivate me to see those numbers go up, and while that was happening my story would, of course, be writing itself or something.

*sigh* No, WordKeeper is doing exactly what I wanted it to do.  And if I feel like its condemning me every time I log into it, that’s my fault.  I mean, writing is still fun, I’m still full of stories that I want to tell, but writing this second draft is becoming painful.  Its becoming like … GASP! … work!

I know, I know.  Super surprising, right?  Writing a book is actually a ton of work, like every blog I’ve ever read claimed it would be.  And writing Impervious is still fun.  I still love doing it… its just much more… “work” than it was in the first draft.  I didn’t have to worry about anything in the first draft other than putting words on the page as fast as I could type them.  I didn’t have to worry about consistant worldbuilding.  I didn’t have to worry about settings, or characters that made sense from one chapter to the next.  All I needed was a loose idea of who was going where and I was good for a night.  That is probably why NaNoWriMo works so well for me.

So, no, I am not my word count.  My word count is goingto be hard as hell to keep where I want it while I’m in the middle of the second or third draft.  My book, on the other hand, is my word count.  So, no matter how painful it is on a given night, I need to write, and I need to make those words count.  A play on words was not intended there.  Lots of people don’t like keeping track of word counts.  They say “Don’t count your words, make your words count.”  Which is fine, I guess.  But you actually have to write words to either count them, or make them count … and right now, I’m just about writing them.

Impervious is happening people.  This is a book that is going to exist in real life, and people other than me are going to read it.  I don’t care if its just those family members I can guilt into it.  That being said, my hands are now warm.  I’ve chased the shiny little thoughts down the rabbit hole and I’m ready to get back down to business tonight.  To my fellow authors, whether you’re counting your words or you’re making them count, good luck in writing that thing.  Remember Chuck Wendig’s Penmonky’s Paean.  “I am a writer and I will finish the shit that I started.”