Welcome to this week's Novel Support Group (NSG). Anyone can join. If you're new, tell us a bit about who you are and what project you are working on. Feel free to update the NSG Work in Progress thread with your current projects. Although we can report on any number of things, here is a list of suggestions (suggestions welcomed).
What were your goals last week and did you accomplish them?
Describe what you worked on.
Set goals for next week.
Did you learn something during this week?
Here is a list of things that you can do each week as we work on our novels (suggestions welcomed).
Writing on a novel
Last Week's Goals
I focused on improving the scene details this week. I got a few of them done. Another project distracted me this week, but I made some decent progress.
My goals for next week:
Improve scene details
I need to continue organizing the scenes for the first 25% of the outline. I have many of the scenes I need but I want to put them in order so that the subplots are distributed in a decent order.
What did I learn this week?
I tried something with one of my scenes yesterday. I wrote a list of "reader questions" that I expect the reader to have after reading the scene. This I hope will help me better focus on enhancing the reader's interest on those specific question. As I go through the book and outline, I will keep those questions in mind so I can drop answers or additional clues as the book progresses. I'll have to wait and see how that works over the long run.
I am mostly trying to finish my WOTF story that I am behind on. I am rewriting it in 3rd person (which is very different than just say replacing he with I). I wrote about 4000 words on it this week. The nice thing is when I sit down and write, the words are coming. In third person, every word was a fight so I like that it is just flowing this time.
For novels, I am trying to just keep up with doing crits and final edits for what I am sending. I am planning on not doing WOTF next quarter so once this story is done, novels will be only focus again (until baby comes at least, then we'll see what happens). Luckily, I'll have a month with little girl at school so that should help.
DREAMER'S ROSE: Work on chapter exchange revisions as they come. Just finished the last batch earlier today.
THE SHAMAN'S CURSE: Let it rest for a while longer. Easy goal.
THE IGNORED PROPHECY: Continue chapter exchange for this in FPNA (Future Published Novelists Anonymous). Completed (except for the revisions of course). A lot of good stuff came out of this one. I'll probably have some more questions as I start working my way into the tougher revisions.
BLOOD WILL TELL: Send two new queries out. Only one. (And I already got the rejection. )
MAGE STORM: Write through to THE END. Yep.
OTHER: Update my blog twice a week. I've got three possible short stories I want to spend some time on. Yes to the blog and a couple of the short stories. One short story is even out on submission already.
Next Week's Goals:
DREAMER'S ROSE: Work on chapter exchange revisions as they come. I'm starting to think I may want to make some deeper revisions and make this one YA. There are some things that would definitely have to be cut, though.
THE SHAMAN'S CURSE: Let it rest for a while longer. When I've finished the chapter exchanges on its sequel, I'll take another look at it.
THE IGNORED PROPHECY: Work on the revisions that came out of the chapter exchange. I really need to find a way to work in better explanations of the world and the characters. It's harder than it sounds to do that adequately in a sequel without bogging the story down. But I really want this to work as a stand alone, so I need to do that.
BLOOD WILL TELL: Send two new queries out. Without researching more agents, I'm down to the ones who only take snail mail.
MAGE STORM: Let this sit for a short while before going back for the second draft.
OTHER: Update my blog twice a week. Work on a couple of short story possibilities.
Did I mention last week I hate typing in edits for novels? I can write all day or even do paper edits for hours on end, but typing in edits is like getting my teeth drilled. So, that's what I've been doing. Should be done this weekend though.
Was sick for part of the week so that cut into writing time. Tried to do damage control on a relationship, but what can I really do, it's hard to convince someone from the 9 to 5 world that art and writing are a passion, and are almost impossible to force into a box, because when you feel inspired you have to go with it, or lose that moment of insight.. It was a long flame out with that cold reality that there was no saving it. What was even worse is it took me two weeks to even realize she had already broken up with me and I had to ask if we were even still together.
but to writing :
UNBELIEVER'S REALM: Yeah chapter 5 is done!
THE SEEDS OF PERSEPHONE: character work, outlines of chapters about 1/3 the way through.
THE UNNORMAL LOT: NEW- came to me while I was sick. Started outlining.
Seeds has me thinking a lot, I know the story i want to tell but I have to admit I'm wondering how much to hold back. When I see whats out now I think the market is not as phobic about dark content. Seeds has a great story concept, but to tell it I really can't hold back on some of the taboo's, there's no getting around what life was really like in medieval to earlier times, and the main source of conflict between the protagonist and antagonist is the differences in moral compasses, which over the course of the book (Maybe books)these things will be challenged so these subjects come up as the hero's do their homework and come into conflict with the enemy. The antagonists key argument is the rest of the world lives - has lived - in a constant state of savagery, and only man pretends he's above this line until he's out to claim something he desires, and then the moral line is adjusted to suit his needs.
It's a curious line, that real history - like the holocaust, and many horrible things through out history are almost beyond imagining in the evil deeds done. It's strange that in writing dark fantasy/fantasy/scifi that it feels like you have to hide human kinds true nature. I just finished, while I was sick, reading Sophie's choice, and After reading it I came to realize that my worst imagines for my bad guys has nothing on what has already happened in human history, but this line of human dark history becomes weapon the antagonist uses against the good guys to challenge their belief in a ordered universe.
Anyways that's where I am - next weeks goals - write! write! write!
Regarding your thought process on what humans do to each other, man I hear ya. I'm scared to read or watch some of the real life stuff. I mean, the past was rough. Watch the last few minutes of Braveheart. Salem Witch trials Spanish inquisition.
The list goes on and on.
I'd be fascinated to read your take on that through a fictional character's eyes.
PREVIOUS WEEK "Agents of the Fourth Wind" (SF): I wanted to spend time identifying and adjusting any additional plot holes and inconsistencies I might find. I didn't find any. That much mean I'm ready to resume my actual writing.
Mainstream novel: I didn't spend much time on this one, but I did manage to hack out about 500 new words.
"Metzgerhund Empire" (YA): In my attempt to make my MC's actions and thoughts more consistent, the first six chapters are done!!! One more to go!
UPCOMING WEEK "Agents of the Fourth Wind" (SF): I doubt I'll do much work on this one until the YA novel is out the door.
Mainstream novel: Continue writing. A mere 500 new word output last week did not make me happy.
"Metzgerhund Empire" (YA): The literary Ball of Confusion known as Verse Seven awaits me.
NOTES (1) During this time, I am also working on two SF short stories: one is an overhaul from a story I mistakenly left of my shelf for way too long, and the other is brand new. (2) One of my current SF short stories was just sent back with a mass-produced rejection note, so I am strengthening the first thirteen before I sent it back out again.
1 - Continue brainstorming – got a whole laundry list of ideas
2 - Continue research on the world building portion of my project. – This is going take a while I’m trying to create a whole world. I realize that I don’t need to worry about every single detail, but I prefer plausibility over fantasy. Here I have the major kinks worked out. Just need some tweeking, most of that can be worked out as it comes up.
3 – Get an outline going for at least the first three chapters. – Here I only got two chapters outlined. This was difficult for me because I don’t normally outline anything.
Goals for this week:
1 – Untitled (SF): write first 1000 to 1500 words
2 – Short story: For King and Country (working title): currently at 800 words, write at least 1200 more. This one has been a real fly in the ointment for me. It’s an idea I had about 5 years ago. The first 1000 words have been written at least 3 times. I get started take a break, go back and hate it so I end up rewriting it. In hindsight I wish I would have kept all the old drafts. Oh, well I guess I just won’t make that mistake again. Also this time I’m keeping it till it’s finished, no matter how much I dislike it. Editing can be done later, and no more deleting files.
3 – Untitled (SF): Continue world building research
(Yeah, I know, four pages from the end for two months. Sigh.)
It's eighteen pages short of my original projection, but I typed THE END and it feels good.
I'm sure the page count will change on editing, but that's not relevant in the world of "I wrote a book."
This is my second complete novel.
Meaning: the first one wasn't a fluke or "Hey, I want to write a novel." and then never write another one...
Two changes me from "I wrote a book" to "I write books" or "I'm a novelist"
Two feels good.
I post this with the hopes that anyone out there who might be struggling with their first or second will see how excited I am and why and maybe it will help urge them along to a sweeet pair of words: The End