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Hey it's Saturday

Ya, it's a post title :P

I'm a bit behind again with my writing. Well sort of, I signed up for 4k of world building words for the April/May dare at FM. After doing so I figured that 1k a week would be good, and decided to write 250 words a day this week (I started a little late). With life going on I ended up not writing yesterday or Thursday, and only have the 400 some words I wrote Wednesday. If I want to do the 1k a week I have some ground to make up today. But the thing is I don't need to hit 1k a week for the challenge. I would like to get a decent amount of material decided on though for my SF mystery novel because I want to start revising it in May (I figure I can still world build for the dare in May with my fantasy novel).

I've also been wanting to do more critiquing for other writers. I'm in two groups right now, both of which are on the smaller side. A group started by a friend, and another group over at FM. I keep taking forever to get through crits, which have been short stories and flash (really short stories) fiction. In looking at various novel alpha/beta read requests I got to thinking, and made a realization. The majority of the time I spend with fiction either reading or writing is with novel length work, it's a format I'm comfortable with. Said realization, maybe as I get more used to giving critiques (or even various level of feedback) that working with a format I'm more familiar with would be a good thing. Sure, short stories don't take as long to read as novels do, but I know more about novel format then I do with the short stories.

That all being said I do want to do more short story work, and have been reading more of them (finished products in various online magazines) in an effort to be more familiar with their format. Well, and because it's enjoyable to read them.

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Probably not a short story, but I'm okay with that, really.

Awhile back, I wrote about how I was working on a short story which would be history for a group of related novels I'm writing. Back in that post I had joked to myself that I didn't want it to turn into another novel. Yet now with the planning I've been doing for this short story it feels like there is enough going on so that it won't fit into the short story format.

Backing up a little bit, going forward at the same time. Last year I wrote the first draft of a science fiction mystery novel which takes place a few hundred years into the future. My main character is on a mining station in deep space somewhere. While that novel is set only on the mining station, the characters involved are part of a human race which has spread out to the stars. The time in which the novel takes place humans have been living on different planets for generations. Based on the colonization patterns and life on the planets, there are distinct cultures between them. People travel between the planets, and the planets are organized in some sort of interplanetary government. I also have other novels in mind that take place in this set up.

When I was doing some of the initial planning for the draft I had mapped out a vague time line of how humans had made it from Earth to the stars. I wasn't doing anything to detailed early on, only enough to get me to what I needed for the draft. With this time line I had decided that humans had a base on a planet just outside of our solar system from which they had a nice launching point to start exploring the planets which end up populated for the novels. With still settling on names for everything at the time, I called this the "Alpha site" since it's the first step to the stars. (Then I called the first planet settled Beta, as the next place humans moved onto from there).

Now that the first draft of the mystery is finished I've been looking at more world building to flesh things out better in preparation for revision. In the mean time I'd also been thinking it would be fun to write a short story. Inspiration hit and I thought, wouldn't the founding of the Alpha site make a great short story. So this month and last I've been writing down various scene and world ideas, figuring out the events which lead to the Alpha site being set up. Of course as I worked the more ideas generated other ideas. I've got a few different conflicts going on, and some thoughts for a decent cast of characters. People are involved with getting the mission ready to travel to Alpha, and then there is the crew of the shuttle.

Taking a step back and looking at what is involved I realized that at the current level of detail this is more than what would make for a decent short story. There are to many things happening and to many characters, if I confine it to a small space (pardon the pun) then it will feel to disjointed. This realization gave me a choice; I could take out part of the story to simplify it, or I could turn it into something longer.

While I'm not saying that this will be a novel, I have decided not to remove anything for the sake of length. The events that transpire here are all involved in a pivotal moment in history for the formation of civilization in my novel(s). My goal here is to best tell that story. If on further work it looks like it might stand as a short, fine. But if as I suspect it wont, then I'll work out the details and figure out what format will work best with the telling. I can always come up with something else if I really want to write a short story for the purposes of working in a short story format.

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Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi day to all :)

I'm going to try and be productive today, though my body feels an hour behind right now. The clock says 1pm and I'm still debating what to have for lunch. I didn't get up until 11:30 this morning and kept thinking how late I slept. But when I walked into the kitchen and looked at the clocks on the microwave and stove and saw them an hour behind still, I didn't feel quite so bad.

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Another fun cheezeburger site

does the pope poop in the woods
see more

Yes, scary thing is my brother and I used to say that when we were younger. Because it shocked the adults and such :) (as a cross of "does a bear poop in the woods" and "is the pope catholic")

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March Writing Goals

I posted this over at Forward Motion, and am posting it here to.

Here's what I'm aiming to accomplish this month.

4 Critiques - Seeing as how these are shorter works I'm planning on doing one crit a week.

Back to school for busy writers - get started on this. Outline the class and have the first 2 lessons done. Bonus points for all of them done. (It's an FM thing).

Magical Fantasy - Do my practice query in prep for more world building and a revision outline. I'd like to get a good start on the outline and world building as well.

2yn - Do some of the lessons for that and get closer to being caught up. (Another FM thing - my Mining Mystery)

Alpha read for a friend - I can fit this in around the other writing.

Website clean up - My poor writing website is in rough shape. Some sections need to be put together, others need cleanup, and some just need updating.

Finish organizing my writing area. I've got a good start to this, so it's mostly finding homes for the last few things on my desk then putting the mini crates up. Oh, and watching out for the cat she likes to sit on top my tower and paw at stuff on my desk. Pens are her favorite so I've gotten good at keeping them in their spot. (I have something on my desk for pens, luckily she only bothers them if they are laying on a flat surface.)

SF short - start on first draft. This is related to the 2yn world wise, but it's a stand alone plot wise.

Japan fun

Ya, I wish I was in Japan :P. My brother is in Japan visiting some friends station over there. I've been living vicariously through him via Facebook pictures of his trip. He got to see some of Tokyo in his more recently posted pictures, and he has a few pictures of the Tokyo Tower. Being the anime fan I am, I was so tempted to comment "Tokyo tower is having another bad day" (From an anime music video), though it would go over his head. Yes, there are enough anime series that show not so great things happening to/in the Tokyo tower.

I did get a chance to send him a message with my list of things that would be nice to get from Japan. Granted in this day and age I can buy some stuff online, but it'll be neat to see what souvenirs he brings home.

Ya, short post is short, but I'm getting a bit tired. I overdid it a bit shoveling out the plowed in snow from the driveway yesterday, and am feeling it today. Plus to I keep waking up around 5/5:30am (when my alarm is set for 6:30 and I crawl out of bed around 7).

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Updating LJ

Ya, I need to be better about posting here more often. I even think about things I want to post here, but end up getting distracted with everything else that I forget.

Anyways I've posted two new entries to my writing blog, one on "muse prompting" and one on my writing progress. My writing blog.

I think I'm going to concentrate on organizing my work area at home for the next few weeks, along with critiques. I've been using index cards more often, and I need to find the handy "wallets" I bought for them awhile back. Otherwise they'll be flying all over the place, which won't be very productive when I need them. Currently I'm working on a short story plot.

Also one of our cats has a urinary tract infection, it's been a bad one that didn't clear up after a round of antibiotics. We took him back to the vet and they did more tests, which came back normal. They gave him more antibiotics, which he's about halfway through, and I think he's starting to feel better. He's better about using the litter box, and he's more playful. It's something to see a 12 pound 9 year old cat fly down the hall after one of their toys.

01232010_010
Here he is, Toby. (We got him from family back in November and he's been settling in pretty good). And yes, that's a catnip toy. The cats have licked it enough to turn some of the Hello Kitty faces green.

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Another random post.

This just struck me when reading the site earlier.

facebook-fail-twitter-zombi
see more funny facebook stuff!

It's been a long week so far getting back to work after break, so don't mind some of the random posting. Though as we slowly gain more daylight it'll help.

Avatar

Via my F-list, from a comment in a thread about the movie. I thought I'd share, as I found it funny. (Even though I have yet to see the movie, which I want to).

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Main goal - sell some writing.

goal post here XDCollapse )

Other Blogs of mine

Quick post:
http://cgoverts.blogspot.com/2009/12/growing-shorter.html:
(Copy/paste from) So I had a thought today, that every time I write a first draft of a novel it ends up shorter than the last one. My first I finished at 100k (mainstream), my next just shy of 80k, then 60k or so for the next, and now my most recent draft is 54,638 words long. And it's science fiction.

But the more I got to thinking I realized that I should look past the numbers. I write really rough first drafts, that 100k one I know has plenty of "fluff" in it like my characters cleaning house (yes, my first novel). Compare that to my 50k draft where all the scenes are directly related to the main conflict, even if the dialogue does get way to wordy in places. There is even a spot in my outline where I jumped ahead, and when I revise there will be more events happening in the next draft.

I also realized another important thought. I know where to take this novel next. I know how the main characters grow, what events happen in the novel, what things I need to figure out yet in revision. I have a plan to take this rough bunch of 50k words into a more fleshed out novel. I can't say the same thing for that 100k draft. Yes, I could easily delete out the extra useless bits, but it lacks the basic building blocks of a novel. While the characters have some conflict, I hadn't done much with it.

So even with the shorter word counts, I'm pleased to see that my writing is growing in such a way that I can still keep working on a novel after the first draft. And know what I need to do next to boot.

And as a general FYI, I do also have a bead/jewelry related blog, with cameos from other crafts from time to time. http://justanotherbead.blogspot.com/

Draft finished.

Shamelessly cross-posted (well copy/pasted) from my writing blog:

Well I typed the words "The end" on my novel draft today. Yes, I actually finished the draft, I didn't simply type "the end" because I was sick of the draft. I had been tempted to do that thanks to a gap in my outline, but I stuck with it.

Now the next step I have planned is to take notes on what I know needs fixing, then to set the draft aside. I'll prep for revision early next year, maybe in February or so. My draft wrapped up with a fight scene with two characters, and I'm wondering if I've shown the one character's physical strength enough earlier in the novel for her fight action to be believable. She's a mechanic and lugs around heavy parts at times, but she spent enough time sleuthing in the draft that there might not be enough build up. And I still have to work on the whole villain arc. And the technology and layout of the station.

New Blog and Twitter change

Quick post of FYI:

I have a new blog: http://cgoverts.blogspot.com/
I thought it might be nice to have a more professional blog for my writing, and I'm planning to update it once a week with my writing progress. I am still planning on posting here on LJ as well, and there may be a bit of time of figuring out what to post where, along with some cross posting :P

I changed my username on twitter: http://twitter.com/ClaireGoverts
Again I want to have more of a professional writing presence. Seeing as how most of my tweets are writing related and I'm following/being followed by other writers it seamed more logical to rename that account instead of creating a new one. I do have some fellow handmade craft people on twitter, and I'm debating about setting up a second account devoted to my jewelry/craft stuff. But until I start photographing my work more I'm not going to set one up just yet. (If I do post more hand-craft tweets/re-tweets I don't want to flood my writing stream with them.)

http://twig7998.deviantart.com/ - me on DeviantArt .I've had that account awhile, but figured I'd include the link here with mentioning my non-writing art. Because I want to publish someday, I don't really have anything written up there, aside from a few poetry pieces. (I'm saving first publication rights for anything longer).

Feeling Bleh

Ya, I'm home sick today, and distracting myself on the computer. I got out of bed to e-mail work, so I'm awake right now, but will probably crawl back into bed later. Or perhaps curl up on the sofa and watch some TV. At least we stocked up at the grocery store so there is something to have here for lunch. With my stomach bothering me I'll probably warm up one of the cans of chicken soup stock. Maybe with rice even if I have the energy to cook said rice. We don't own a rice cooker, or buy minute rice, it's regular rice on the stove - which is time consuming, and I have to watch out for boiling it over. I tend to have bad luck with anything starchy, like boiling potatoes, rice, and sometimes pasta. Though if I'm making regular pasta (as opposed to one of those Lipton sides) I have better luck - I don't lid pasta.

Either way I'll make sure to take it easy and eat stuff to help my stomach feel better. Hopefully this is only a one day thing and I can get back to work tomorrow. (It's bad enough to stay home, but at least it's not as bad as a stomach flu I had a few years ago, maybe whatever I have this time is something a bit more tame.)

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I win! Or: Epic win is epic

Yes, I won Nano, I just hadn't gotten around to posting here yet. I haven't been on the computer much the past few days, so this is a bit delayed.

http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/52804 - my nano profile for all the official numbers and such.

I'm planning on finishing the last few scenes this month, then taking some notes on what I'll want to keep in mind come revision time next year.

The final countdown

Yes, I've been plugging away at nano still, and am now up to 49k! So I have less than 1k to write, which should be easy to do today. I'm hoping to get it done before going out to lunch with friends back in town. (And I'll catch up on comments and such once I get my word count it. I've been wanting to use this title for a post this week, and it won't work after I hit 50k.)

Nano Catch up!

Quick post time, but I wanted to mention it here as well.

I am all caught up for Nano! I have the word count I need for today, which is over 40k. I wrote 3,299 words tonight to get there (having done over 2k yesterday, and 5.5k Sunday). I'm a lean mean writing machine :)

Ya, I'm all kinds of excited to be caught up.

25k halfway

The title rhymes, sort of (k and way).

Anyways I reached 25k on my nano novel, and am all excited now. I'm still behind on the word count, but I'm making progress. Plus I'm also happy with the scene I just wrote tonight. While I'll have to edit the extra dialogue out come revision time, there is a nice amount of tension in the scene.

Day 15 of Nano

I keep forgetting to post over here, I usually update my word count over at Twitter. Mostly because it's nice to write something more here, which makes it quicker to post just the word counts at twitter.

Anyways, I've fallen a bit behind with nano. This past week has been busy, not giving me as much time to write. I did get some time to myself today, and spent a few hours writing. I ended up with 4094 words today, for a total of 21,472 on my draft (33 pages single spaced). It's not the 25k I should have as of today, but I'm not as far behind as I was before. I was just under 4k while finishing up the last scene for the day, when I decided to add some extra thoughts for the character, so I could get to the 4k (it was my aim for today).

Behind or not, I am really liking how the story is going so far. I made it to the point where my main character has put the pieces in place so she can fall for the red-herring. (Yes, SF mystery). I've also gotten another scene in from the perp's point of view. It's kind of fun writing from his POV, to set the stage for what my MC is going to be in for, and putting up a smoke screen around real clues. I haven't read much science fiction, but I've read lots of mystery novels, so I feel comfortable with the mystery aspects of the novel. (I am planning on reading more SF after getting through this draft. I just finished Ursula Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness, and have Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land next on my short list).

When it comes to the SF area of the novel, I want to have the reader feel like it's a different setting then our present day Earth, but I don't want it to seam artificial with extra "sciency" sounding words thrown in for the sake of being there because they sound SF. I want to create an environment that supports the story and characters, without distracting from it. I'm hoping future readers (ha) will have a feel for the novel's time and place without it being to in the foreground. I'm aiming for "reader following my MC around the station as she solves the mystery" rather than "oh look, yet another shiny piece of high technology that a random character happens to be using". When reading Le Guin's novel, the characters were interesting, and I kept reading to see what happened to them. There was enough world building so that the actions of the aliens made sense, and I could almost feel the cold of the world they were on. But it didn't detract from the story at all, the action moved forward and the characters could stand on their own.

On the first day of Nano

I got 4,085 words on my draft, and that's even with taking time out from writing to add more to my outline. I still need to work more clues into my outline, but I've gotten the basic story elements flowing pretty well, and characters are starting to assert themselves. Conflict is brewing nicely as well. In the 4k my MC already has had words with two characters, one someone who reports to her, and the other char is another manager. She called him an ass :) Well he kind of is, and said ass character just totally stuck his head in and declared himself as such. It was a "spot" that needed to be filled anyways, that it's a char with an attitude like that is just bonus.

Here's the blurb for my novel, which I posted to nano's site the other day. It's a bit tongue and cheek, but I had fun writing it.
Federated Planetary year 309, our intrepid heroine finds herself on a distant hostile planetoid keeping the mining machinery running. A few malfunctions she can chalk up to machine wear, but when things start breaking more frequently and not on their own she can’t ignore that someone is determined to stop the machines from running. In the confines of the platform, can she find the saboteur before it’s to late?

Anyways, to the outline, I'm really happy with the level of detail I have for the scenes. I have a few sentences or so for each, including the random line of dialogue or two. But it's not so detailed that it feels like the scene is "locked in" so to speak. There is still very much wiggle room to explore what else is going on without getting to lost from where the novel is supposed to end up (I hope at least). There was a time or two today I was like "what now" in the middle of a scene, and a note from my outline got me back into the flow pretty well.

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