lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Falling From Ground: 3238

And that was it for September. (Could've sworn I'd worked on Green Ring, but apparently that was last month.) I was hoping for more, but there were a couple of week-long stretches of no writing, so I really should be glad it's as good as it is. And it ain't bad, really.

More consistency would give better results, however. Already working on that, having written at least a little bit today.

Queries sent: 4

And 4 other agents crossed off (and two more that I spent ages researching, only to go with another at the same agency). Not as much as I need to do, but it's still progress.


For October: More of the same. Work on writing more consistently, which will get the word count up. Get more queries out. And it wouldn't hurt to have another go at the short stories; most of them are back in the stable, and should go out again.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Just shy of 1100 words yesterday!

It took me something like six hours to do it, which since I was writing in bed at night means that it was about 4:30 am when I finally added the last one-more-bit and shut down the laptop. On a morning when I had to get up early, of course.

I'd figured out what order to put two things in, you see; it'd make things much harder on my character if they happened at the same time, so that's an obvious win. It didn't come out as tortuous as I'd envisioned, but it did keep him from pursuing the thing he wanted to do because of the thing he had to do. And I've got something planned for later in the scene that should mess him up nicely. ;-)

Eventually the caffeine will wear off and I will plummet like a sheep. But still, nearly 1100 words!

July Word Count

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 12:26 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
2015 new words in July, all on Falling From Ground.

Which is not as high as I would've liked, but really is pretty good for getting back in the groove again.


No submissions or queries.


What really matters, though, is that I have come up with a what's-going-on for the novel! It's not the cleverest and most cunning idea ever, but it ticks the necessary boxes and has the right sort of "feel"; my back-brain seems comfortable with it.

And yes, as soon as I came up with it and decided it might just work, I started coming up with ways to work bits of reveal into some of the scenes I know are coming up. It's a lot easier to do reveal when you know what you're revealing!

So what worked?

I did a spiderweb-map of all the characters and their interrelations. Didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, but it may have helped get my brain thinking about "who" instead of "what".

I drove around doing errands while listening to unrelated music.

And... I said last month that I had one more trick to try. Since I'm dealing with memory and conflicting memories, a writer-friend suggested that I "follow the smells". Smell is the sense most strongly tied to memory, and conveniently I already had a lot of smell-description in the text. I had envisioned this as a deep-thinking task, laying in a quiet room without interruptions (yeah, right) and immersing myself in sense-impressions, probably for hours. But I was thinking about it while puttering around with something else, contemplating what smell I would start with and how I would progress from there, and all of a sudden the smell of the safe-house connects to the smell of X's office. And damn, there it was; the connection from the memory-events to the causation, and the character that was driving it all.

So then I drove around doing errands and listening to unrelated music some more, and the basic skeleton of the thing blossomed forth into my brain as if of its own accord. I've said all along if I knew who, I'd know what (or vice versa), and yep, as soon as I had X, I had roughly what he was doing and why. I don't know X's name yet, but I know him.

A little grinding and polishing, some very minor backfills to shore up a couple of points, and I've got a workable plot.


The relief is overwhelming.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So, going forward:

Now that I've got a plot, it's time to get some words down. This book has been troublesome from the start; I looked back at my records, and the only month I topped 5K was when I was going down the wrong track entirely, headed for a train-wreck. So I'm not going to make pronouncements about high count goals. But let's see some steady progress, eh?

And, as one of my favorite founts of writing wisdom likes to say, editors do not conduct house-to-house searches. Submit, and query.

June Word Count

Monday, July 3rd, 2017 06:46 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I suspected I hadn't done any writing at all in June, and I was very nearly right. 100 words of beta-edits on Falling From Ground, and that's it.

Stories submitted: 5

Contests entered: 1

This is not a surprise. Between coming down off of one con and gearing up for another, the kerfuffle, a number of house projects that were way over schedule (and still are), and several other things which I recall being present but can't bring to mind at the moment, I basically gave myself permission to put writing on hold for the month. And clearly I did so. I'm actually fairly impressed that the sub stats are as good as they are.

This is not, however, an acceptable state of affairs to let continue.

There are two things working against me. One is that the novel is stuck, stuck, horribly stuck, and I really am at the point where I have to figure out what's going on so that my MC can start uncovering it. The other is simple fatigue.

The fatigue I can fix. It involves boring things like going to bed early and exercising regularly, and maybe even remembering to take a vitamin once in a while.

The stuck is another matter. I've tried some new brainstorming techniques recently, but I keep ending up staring at the same blank wall I've been slamming up against all along. I've got one more trick to try, but it's going to require laying still in a quiet room and turning my attention inward without falling asleep, and that's a tall order right now.

Okay, three things. Lack of focus is another obstacle. The house projects and various other undertakings do all need to be done, and they will happily eat every minute of every day without so much as a burp. I need to get back to making writing the top priority, at least some of the time. Which would be a lot easier if I felt like I was getting anywhere with it.

May Word Count

Friday, June 2nd, 2017 03:15 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
May was a wash as far as word productivity was concerned. The load of stuff needing to be done around the house was just too heavy, and I pretty much wrote off writing in favor of getting some other things done. (Which mostly still aren't done, but that's another post.)

So, words for May:

Falling From Ground = 114

And that's it. That's net; there was some negative-word-count editing in there, but not enough to make the gross any less embarrassing.


I was not a complete slug all month, however:

stories submitted = 6

Which meant that more than half the available works were out there making their case. So the business side made a decent showing, even if the production side didn't.


June may be another fustercluck, what with a con that may be fraught, and a home improvement project that I'm thoroughly fed up with. On the other hand, I've already started applying the alpha-reader's feedback to the mega-chapter conglomeration, and I think I know where to break it up into reasonable chapter-sized chunks. I really do need to figure out what's going on behind the scenes in FFG, though.

So, goals:

- Let's say 3000 words. Some of which had better be on getting FFG moving, though don't forget that Green Ring and short stories exist.

- Keep subbing stories.

- Get HoM querying happening again. I've already started this, with finalizing the new query, setting up the new email address, etc. Now to put them to use.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
February:
original short fiction = 3 (just a title, really)
Green Ring = 2942
Falling From Ground = 4457
Total new words in February = 7402

March:
Falling From Ground = 79

April:
Falling From Ground = 2620

Okay, so March was a fustercluck of a month. I knew that. April was supposed to be the month I went back to the A-Z mystery short story that's been languishing, but instead it got bogged down in this expletive-deleted novel, which I swear I just need to finish one conversation to get to the end of the chapter (actually a 4-chapter-length conglomeration, but this would definitely be the end of *a* chapter), and I just cannot get it to go. If I'm more than 500 words from the break I'd be surprised, but no, the alpha reader's getting another stops-in-mid-scene chunk. Argh.

(February kind of rocked, though.)


In other goals, I did get a new email account set up in February, and by mid-March had tested it enough to be satisfied in paying for a year. It's not perfect, but it does the things that are deal-breakers for me, and the things it doesn't do I mostly don't mind working around. Final clean-out of the old email accounts is in progress.

With that done, I haven't gotten back to querying, but I have at least been sending out some short stories:

February: 1 submission sent

March: 3 subs sent

April: 5 subs sent

I currently have four stories out there in slush land. My game plan is to send out two for every one rejection; eventually that should lead to everything being out there, though it gets trickier with the things that have been making the rounds for a while.


For May: Words, dammit. Keep stories out. At least glance at agents lists and query.

January Word Count

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 02:44 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
original short fiction: 577
Falling From Ground: 2542

Total new words in January: 3119

Not quota, but not bad for a month that got eaten by the home improvement project from hell. I can't blame myself for not writing after a day of being up on a ladder with a sander until midnight. But in future, I need to manage projects so they don't consume time & energy that needs to be spent on writing.

I will note that the FFG progress was all in the first half of the month, and reasonably steady. If I'd kept that up, I'd have made quota no problem.

The short fiction was another chunk of Adrian Blissfield and the Night Train to Munich, which I apparently really can only write while on a train.


I totally failed on January's other goal, which was getting a new email account set up and tested. It was present in my mind a lot, but nowhere under my fingers.

(On the incentive side, the rat-bastards at my current email provider are discontinuing my account level. Given the way they've been taking away features and their general attitude, I didn't really expect them to honor what I bought as a "lifetime" account much longer, but it's not the sort of thing that would encourage me to give them more money even if I didn't already want to leave. To their credit, they are at least giving several months notice; to their shifty-eyed not-credit, my two different accounts have gotten two different offers to buy up, sent some weeks apart. Yeah, 'cause that looks like a company I can trust with my cash and my data. Not.)


For February: 5000 words, which is eminently do-able if writing is the priority it is supposed to be. And get the email going.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I have come up with a "what the hell's going on" for the Mars novel that is just evil, evil, eeeevil. I probably won't use it -- it's not quite the kind of story I thought I was writing, and it's got its own "what's going on" that would need to be solved -- but it is so far the only idea I've come up with that connects all the dots.

There are things I want to do with this novel that I can't do if I do that (probably... hmm.), but it does put a happy evil writer grin on my face. My main character is staring at me in appalled disbelief.

October Word Count

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 04:00 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Falling From Ground: 4717
Total new words in October: 4717

Hey, not bad! I was worried it was going to be lower (did I really not work on anything else all month?), but possibly-too-much coffee seems to have paid off.

More importantly, the first five-and-some chapters are with the alpha reader. (It was my unspoken goal to make that happen by the end of the month: check, with most of a week to spare.) She's given it a first read-through, and reports that it's not boring! So my worries about the pacing are soothed.

November will be going over the alpha's detailed feedback, fixing anything that needs it, and brainstorming where the heck to go next.

In the meantime, I've given myself permission to mess around with some fanfic if that's what's taking my fancy, which it is. (Might actually have figured out a fix for an old DW story I stalled out on, which pleases me.) It's really quite nice to just play with something for a change, no wordcount quotas or considerations of publishability.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I realized the other day that not having a novel I'm actively working on was making me sad. The whole point of saying I'd finish some short stories first was to get some easy wins under my belt, which since everything I tried turned into a horrible sucking mire was not serving its purpose.

So, I pulled up the Mars novel and am gradually getting reacquainted with it. Not much word-count level progress, though I tweaked a word here and there, but I'm feeling better already.

Also feeling better about the currently-in-progress short story, now that I'm not forcing myself to work on it when I'd rather be looking at something else. ;-)

New In, New Out

Monday, December 21st, 2015 02:54 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
About a month and a half ago, I started a new job. It's nothing glamorous, just a part-time gig at the local hardware store, but it's a little steady money coming in, and it's a little me getting out of the house. No question that both of those needed to happen, but I was concerned what the effect on my writing would be.

Well, within the last few weeks, I've gotten un-stuck on the current short story (figured out what the thing my characters were investigating was meant to do, figured out how it tied together with some other things I wanted to include, and worked out how it all gets resolved). I've also, and here's the bit that needs a fanfare playing in the background, gotten un-stuck on the Mars novel! It's been stalled for months because I needed my character to discover a Thing, and while I knew the general parameters and what kind of effect it needed to have, I had no idea what the Thing actually was. And now I do! It fits nicely, it has possible implications for later, and it will really mess with his head.

And I do think the job is why this inspiration is finally happening, or at least a part of it. The amelioration of a certain amount of financial stress is probably a factor (I love doing freelance/contract work, and it's great when the clients are there, but it's a fiscal crap shoot). However, I suspect most of the credit goes to simply getting new input for the brain. It's a lot easier to have new thoughts when the neurons have new things to process, even if it's only where the mouse traps are or what kind of pipe to use for gas vs. water. Like any other part of the body, the brain works better when it's exercised regularly.

On the other hand, having come up with the new idea for the Mars novel, I haven't had a chance to do anything with it beyond the 250 or so words of jotting down the main concept.

The down side is the time management issue. I know lots of writers manage to write around full-time jobs, and I don't pretend my couple of days a week ought to be a major obstacle. But I'm still having trouble finding my footing. I'm not an every-day writer anyway, so the days when I've been on my feet for seven hours are obvious choices for no-writing days. But it seems like all the other demands of life are ganging up and overwhelming the remaining time even more than they already did, and if I do manage to beat them off and declare a writing day, I come up for air to find rubble and chaos everywhere. ;-) Trying to fit in writing in less than all-day chunks hasn't been working at all. Or at least not very well; I'm getting better, but I still need a lot of boot-up time before staring at the screen turns into putting words on it.

So as far as writing is concerned, the job is a net good, because all the writing time in the world won't help if your brain is mired in stale sludge. But all the new ideas in the world won't help if you don't make time to put them to use, either.

I need to be very careful about taking on any new demands on my time (especially this time of year, when baking and crafts will Eat My Life if given half a chance). And I need to establish a better balance of life maintenance and writing.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I have no idea how to count the story that I ended up with four different partial versions of, all of which are cannibalized off of each other to a considerable extent. And none of which are, I think, the keeper version, though major pieces are likely to be salvaged. For sanity's sake, I guess I'll go with the totals, but understand that about 3K of this isn't "real".

original short fiction: 4510 (or not, as the case may be)
Falling From Ground: 1145

Total new words (more or less) in October: 5655

Pretty sad, or quite decent, depending on how you look at it. At least it reflects the amount of effort I've put in, even if a lot of that effort involved applying forehead to brick wall repeatedly.


Queries sent: Let's not talk about that, eh?


Short story submissions: 5



For November: Keep the short stories out there. Figure out what the bleep to do with "A Cold Day In Spells" and do it. Figure out what's next with the Mars novel, and at least start doing it. And, um, queries, yeah.

lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
original short stories = 62
Green Ring = 2720
Falling From Ground = 2901

Total new words in September = 5683

Oh, nice! I really wasn't sure what I was going to have to show for this month. Turns out there was more nice, steady plodding than I'd realized.

Green Ring and FFG are definitely good counterpoints to have going in tandem, allowing me to switch moods when I need to.

Queries sent = 3 (plus two researched & crossed off)

Not bad! I am, if not getting back on the wagon, at least trotting along in its wheel-ruts, thanks to a little light butt-kicking from assorted quarters.

Short stories submitted = 2

For the trifecta!


Goals: More of the same. Get the other stories that are ready for it out there somewhere. Keep on with the writing.

For querying, I would really like to get through the entire list of possibles (AAR trawl + misc. bookmarks) by the end of this year. That will require a rather higher rate than I've yet done, but with that goal in mind, it seems like it should be feasible. Even if it will then leave me with a quandary for the new year. But that's next year's trouble.

Onward.


Edited because the post that gets posted in October isn't October's word count as this originally said, it's September's. I knew there was something about this one that was bugging me; I'm just embarrassed it took me until nearly November to figure out what.

lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
So, I've finally figured out why the latest bit of Falling From Ground is going so hard (as opposed to all the other bits that've been hard). I've worked more or less up to the last scene of the Post-It noted, franken-noveled, wouldn't-it-have-been-nice-if-I'd-done-this-right-the-first-time section, in which my character researches some old records. This lets me work in a nice bit of character backstory, which I have. And then....?

That's right; I have no idea where this is going next. (I know stuff farther down the road, but not next-scene next.) Which means I have no idea what this scene should do, other than make way for the backstory. And it does need to do something. Given the way I've built up to it, it feels like my MC needs to discover something new in his research. Probably something that'll pull the rug out from under him, because he's made the mistake of being in one of my novels.

So now I have to figure out what that is. Which means brainstorming. And planning, ugh. Or trying to coax my back-brain into telling me it's had this all along, which amounts to the same thing.

August Word Count

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 03:04 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I almost don't want to look....

Falling From Ground = 2458
original short fiction = 660
Total new words in August = 3118

Hey, whattaya know! Soft target achieved after all. Pretty good; and with the obstreperous plotlines, computer problems, and other obstactles, actually very good indeed!

No short stories sent out, which is only mostly my fault: the market which I was holding one for has failed to reopen for submissions as anticipated.

There will be progress on querying in September; I have already sent a nudge.

I'm not setting goals otherwise, because the wordcount-pressure has been causing me problems more than it's been helping. There will just be words. Also queries and submissions. Onward.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Didn't realize I'd skipped this last month, but then, June had other things going on. So, another double header!

June:

Green Ring = 201

Short stories submitted = 2


July:

original short fiction = 435
Falling From Ground = 2522
Total new words in July = 2957

Short stories submitted = 3

A decent show at getting back on the horse, I think. Also, FFG has now topped the 10K line again, which is nice. Hopefully it's with words that'll stay this time.


For August, I don't want to get too hard-core yet for fear that upping the pressure will shut down the flow, but a soft target of 3000 words should be feasible. And I really should get back to querying.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I've come up with two new novel ideas in the past few days. Saturday, full of pierogi and sunburn, I got an idea for the early Department novel I've been wanting to write, with one of the tertiary characters from Highway of Mirrors. It's maybe not the most stunningly original plot-line ever, but it will allow me to do lots of stuff with the early formation of the Department and bring in lots of backstory on this character, which is what the book's actually about; the plot is just to hang all that on. ;-) Then a couple days ago, a song that I've been listening to rather a lot, thinking there's a story in there somewhere, suddenly clicked, and a whole new scenario+plot grabbed my neurons. It's a sort-of fairytale retelling, except it's several fairy tales thrown into a blender and by the time I'm done messing about with the results, I doubt the sources will be recognizable beyond a couple of scenes. And it's still trying to take over my brain, most reluctant to wait its turn.

Meanwhile, I feel like I'm getting some traction on Falling From Ground again. Frustrated with not being able to keep the flow of the chapters-so-far in my head, I sat down and did a paragraph-by-paragraph outline of what I'd written. It's incredibly tedious, but if anything'll get the details of a piece into one's head, that will. And it made clear that the reason the text felt like an incoherent mess was that it was flopping from one thing to another and back again; my character established that he had to know X to be able to figure out Y and Z, then proceeded to spend pages speculation about Y and Z without yet knowing X. Luckily, once the problem was identified and pinned down, it was easy to fix; I moved a chunk, tweaked a couple of sentences, and voila, relatively coherent flow. I also finally yielded and tried the post-it note method for organizing what happens next in what order and what needs to go along with it. It didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know, but somehow it made it all seem much more logical and coherent. So I'm still doing the same thing I planned on, but I feel a lot better about it now. ;-) I think the story is more focused now, both on paper and in my head, and that's something it badly needed.

I hope I'm not jinxing it by saying all this. There's still plenty of work to do, and I'm still at the stage of cutting up salvage text and stitching it in where it'll be more use. (I've got a great scene of my character being followed that no longer makes any sense whatsoever in the early part of the book; I'll have to see if I can fit it in later.) I'm beginning to want a dedicated writing space just so I can pin things to the walls, though I suspect that wouldn't work out well long term.

I hate revising

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 02:28 pm
lizvogel: What is this work of which you speak? (Cat on briefcase.) (Work)
Am revising the first couple chapters of Falling From Ground per feedback from the 4th Street Workshop. Primarily, I've moved the "big punch" scene from the end of Chapter 1 to about a third of the way in; both the people who liked the chapter overall and the people who didn't thought that bit could come earlier, and since I'd been tempted to put it earlier in the first place, that seems like a reasonable change. It made a heckuva chapter ender, but I think it'll grab more folks here, and some other things will be stronger for having it happen first. Once I get everything adjusted to accommodate the change, of course, and also fix the really screwed-up stuff that the workshop didn't see because it's in Chapter 2, and get the focus properly focused, and....

I hate revising. I particularly hate this revision, and I know why: I'm stopping each time not because I'm done with a particular bit, not because I've written a satisfactory number of words, but because my brain is full to overflowing and the story-so-far is turning to gibberish inside my head. Which means I'm walking away from each session feeling like the story is an incoherent mess and I've just been pushing text around in circles.

(Even if, in reality, it's getting better. I hope it's getting better. I'm at the point where I've had to give what I've got so far to the alpha-reader, to get a perspective check if I'm on the right track at all.)
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
This is just here for the record; not much to show for the past couple months.

April:

Haley novel = 38 (I managed to work in a line I really liked and hadn't previously been able to find a place for.)
original short stories = 15
Total new words in April = 53

Queries sent = 1

Looking back at goals, I did get my taxes done. And the flu is gone, though there is a trace of a lingering cough that I'll be very glad to see the back of.


May:

Falling From Ground = 40
original short stories = 184 (incl. more clown history!)
Total new words in May = 224

There were also a couple quick edits on ...And The Kitchen Sink that didn't actually change the word count.

Short stories submitted = 2


What can I say? I've rather had my mind on other matters lately.


I'm not setting targets for June, either; still getting my feet under me from real-life matters. I've an unaccustomed amount of critiquing to do; got the stuff for the library group done just in time, and now there's the 4th Street workshop coming up. I have been fiddling with some living-room fanfic lately, which is a nice low-demand way to ease back into writing. And I poked at Green Ring a little the other night.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat as necessary.

March Word Count

Friday, April 10th, 2015 04:28 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Getting a meaningful total for March is complicated. The first thing I did that month was scrap Chapter 2 of Falling From Ground in its entirety, which put me down -4567 words right from the get-go. Despite some fairly Herculean outputs here and there, that would give me a net total of 1361 words -- which seems a poor reward for a hard decision that really did need to be made and that will make the book sooo much better.

So instead, I'm going to reset to zero after that point, and just look at new production.

Green Ring: 1382
Falling From Ground: 1013
The Kitten Case: 3533

Total new words in March: 5928

That sounds better than it was; a graphical representation of my output would look like an inverted Bell curve. And The Kitten Case is definitely anomalous data: I attempted a NaNo-style ass-kicking and produced a for-me impressive 3500 words in seven days (six, really, there was a day off in there), but I'm not sure I'm happy with any of it. It may end up going the way of FFG's second chapter, and for much the same reason: For all that I'm a fan of wordcount as a metric, pushing for wordcount when the story's not there just leaves a mess to be cleaned up before the real writing can be done.

Still, it's good to know I can push out that kind of wordcount if I set my mind to it. And while I'm sick, to boot. In fact, all of March's stats get the "while I'm sick" bonus, because while the ugly-cousin flu moved in right at the beginning of April, I wasn't exactly feeling spry and healthy for any of the month leading up to it.


Querying: Queried 2 agents, researched and decided against 4. Mostly from the AAR database trawl.


Submitted 1 story.



There are no goals for April, other than to get my taxes done and to shake this rotten flu.

Profile

lizvogel

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Tags

October 2017

S M T W T F S
1 234567
891011 121314
1516 17 18192021
22232425262728
293031    

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags