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)
Falling From Ground = 3969
Green Ring = 560

Total new words in August = 4529

Not bad! That's much more the sort of thing. Amazing how much easier it is to do the reveal-bits when you know what it is you're revealing.

Also: I have queried! Sent 2 queries in August, plus one agent researched and crossed off, and two researched that I would have queried if they were still open.

No short stories submitted; I only have one left out there in slush-land. So that's not great, but still, queried!


For September: Keep writing, keep querying, and perhaps fling a few shorts back out into the world.

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.
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)
November:

original short fiction: 800
Falling From Ground: 2649
Total new words in November: 3449

Decent, especially with alpha-feedback to incorporate. The 800 words was a complete short story, begun as prompt fic and completed in one sitting.


December:

original short fiction: 43
Falling From Ground: 4265
Total new words in December: 4308

Not bad for what I was kind of treating as a relax-a-month, and which is always a bit crowded with the holidays and whatnot. I'm still waffling about a plot, but I've finally got a next-bit that will lead to more next-bits, and will let me introduce several elements I've been looking forward to.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I'm not much of one for New Year's resolutions, but I do have two writing-related ones. It's time to bring back my 5000-words-a-month quota; if the novel gets stuck, I need to remember that I've got plenty of short stories to play with. And, by the end of January I should have at least one new email account set up and tested.

And that's enough to be going on with.

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: What is this work of which you speak? (Cat on briefcase.) (Work)
Has it really been since May that I've not done one of these?

Wordcount hasn't been the point of the exercise lately: first I was doing Highway of Mirrors revisions, and then I was working on getting Falling From Ground booted back up. And, indeed, on writing anything at all, which is always a frustrating horse to climb back up on.

But, just for the record, here's the counts for the last few months:

May
HoM: 13
original short fiction: 997
Total new words in May: 1010

June
HoM: 273
Total new words in June: 272

July
HoM: 645
original short fiction: 706
Total new words in July: 1351

August
HoM: 32
original short fiction: 219
FFG: 2783
Total new words in August: 3034

September
Green Ring: 1513
FFG: 2559
Total new words in September: 4072

(And yes, I deliberately held this through September to make the numbers look better.)

Mars continues to be the Franken-novel. I'll write a line here or a paragraph there, then gradually stitch them all together. Apparently I am going to write the whole damn novel that way. But at least the stitching's going well.

My time management, on the other hand, is shot to hell. I'm working just a day or so more than I want to be, and that plus the pressing house projects seems to be sucking my time away before I even see it. (I know plenty of people manage to write with full-time jobs and far more demands on their time than I have. I'm not saying it's not possible. I'm just having trouble with it atm.) Part of the problem is that right now, the writing process is taking quite a while to boot up each time, so if I can't clear about four hours at a stretch, I'm unlikely to have much to show for it. This is partly a function of Mars being obstreperous, and partly a function of being out of practice -- but of course I can't get into practice unless I can make time to write. And the only way I seem to be able to do that is to let everything else go to hell, and some of the bills for doing that previously are coming due.

But, as the counts above show, the trend's getting better. And at least I'm at the point where the rest of the ideas I originally had for FFG come in. I expect to hit a wall when I get through those, but it'll be the old ~30K wall, familiar territory. It makes an ugly splatting noise, but I know what to do about it.


October's goals: Decent progress on FFG, and at least check in with Green Ring and/or the A-Z story. Find a way to steal a day for email research, and at least get that a little farther forward.

Mostly, keep writing.

April Word Count

Friday, May 6th, 2016 04:25 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
old-mission stories: 65
original short fiction*: 2976
Total new words in April: 3041

*which includes 555 words of the Cinderella-crossed-with-Snow-White-only-not-really novel that I'm not supposed to be working on yet. But when a beginning hands itself to you, you don't argue.

All of which makes it look like the writing's coming a bit easier lately, and it is. Still not up to the productivity or ease I'd prefer, but: I've started a new story (A-to-Z) that I've given myself permission to just have fun with, rather than struggling with the "railroad" story that I was beginning to hate; the fairytale princess opening rather demanded to be written (always nice when that happens); and I got something that feels like a functional beginning to "Adrian Blissfield and the Night Train to Munich" while on the train back from DC. (Now if I can just work on that one without having to travel to another state!)


short stories submitted: 3


No querying done; email's still in limbo, and so's the final-I-hope HoM revision. (Which was supposed to be done in March. Housemate has agreed that we tackle that next weekend at the absolute latest.)


May's goals:

- get HoM finished

- move the email search along. Yes, it's tedious, but it's not that bad.

- sub more. Even if it means getting some new stories brushed up and put into rotation.

Yeah, none of that's writing. But until I get some of that taken care of, I'm too much in limbo to really dig into anything major. Which is why it needs to get taken care of, now.

I'll keep plinking away, of course.

March Word Count

Sunday, April 10th, 2016 04:07 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
So much for posting more often. ;-P

original short fiction: 2222
Total new words in March: 2222

Yeah, all right. Better than I feared, worse than I hoped, and I need to get my act in gear. (Not least because if the writing brain doesn't get exercised via writing, it takes it out in anxiety dreams. The last couple nights were doozies.)

What I hadn't realized is that I didn't submit anything in March. Bad writer. That flurry of stuff I sent out in February had mostly come back, so it's not like I didn't have inventory.

Made some progress with investigating new email services. Hushmail would be a contender except for the lack of spell-check; Inbox looks promising, but there's a couple things I can't check without a test account to play with. Must get my act in gear on that one!


April goals: Get the bloody Highway of Mirrors revision put to bed (still waiting on beta reader). Get email back to functionality. Get at least one story out, to the nice people who told me to send them something else if I had it. And get enough writing done that I can at least sleep at night.

February Word Count

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 01:18 pm
lizvogel: What is this work of which you speak? (Cat on briefcase.) (Work)
original short fiction: 257
Highway of Mirrors revisions: 1571

Total new words in February: 1828

Better than I expected, and not bad for a month in which word-count really wasn't the point.

I've added a little over 4k words to Highway of Mirrors in this revision pass, mostly in the form of little characterization snippets.


Short story submissions: 6, and queried on one outstanding

At one point, I had everything fit to go out in some slush pile somewhere. They've started trickling back already, of course, but goal still achieved and it was nice while it lasted.


For March: Start writing new stuff again, consistently. Also, read-through of HoM with housemate and revisions as necessary.

January Word Count

Thursday, February 4th, 2016 08:02 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Highway of Mirrors revisions: 2489
original short fiction: 16
Total new words in January: 2505

I'd have liked more, but wordcount is not the point of revision. And the revisions are going well, all things considered. I've gotten stuck into the plotty bits in the later chapters that I was afraid were a disaster; in fact, they're just... not quite there. With surprisingly small changes of actual text, I'm taking what were strands running parallel to each other and knitting them together so they converge on more or less the same point, which I think may be the difference between a handful of events and a "plot". I'd like to claim that this is what I meant all along -- I mean, the bits are all there, seemingly waiting for this -- but I can't say it with a straight face.

I've also changed one thing from being data that my characters are given, to data that they find out. It's not a big thing (just the code name of an operation), but I think it's having an impact beyond its size, making them seem much more investigate-y and clever.

The characterization tweaks I added to the earlier chapters were things I meant from the start, but now they're actually on the page for the readers to share. ;-)

I'm laughably over my mental deadline, but my deadline was laughably unrealistic -- or rather, I'd figured on a week to do the logic-fix I turned out not to need, and maybe a couple of the easier character-tweaks, and then print it out to review for plot issues and give it to the alpha-reader simultaneously. That's somehow turned into a full chapter-by-chapter review (the chapters out of order, which is an interesting focusing technique) and everything-I-can-catch overhaul, which turns out to be a lot more than I thought I could do without hard copy. Once I've got the last of the currently-handwritten bits wedged in (which have come to me variously over time), and the last of the newly-introduced brackets removed, and the knock-on changes from the above followed through, then I'll print it out for both the housemate and myself to do a full read-through. And then we'll see what we shall see.


Oh, yeah; I also got one short story submitted.


For February: Finish this revision pass and get the print-out printed out.

I'd like to get another short story finished. The idea that spun off from a library presentation on screenwriting last summer recently acquired a half-page of handwritten fix, and the main character now has an actual reason for being where she is. (That one, I think was in the back of my brain all along; it just took a while to get to the front.) That might be a good candidate.

Everything that can be in a slush pile right now, should be.

The email issue remains. I wish I could switch gears better; maybe once I get to the print-out stage of revision, I'll stop feeling like every free day has to go to that, and can catch up on some admin work.

But mainly, the revisions.

December Word Count

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 12:25 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I had meant to do some writing on the first, to start the New Year off right. Instead, I got sucked into errands and tasks, and haven't gotten unsucked yet. So it looks like the new year is carrying on true to form. ;-P


So what did December have to say for itself?

original short fiction: 1920

Total new words in December: 1920

Disappointingly low, but then I did give myself permission to go easy in December. Plus, that total represents two completed short stories, both of which were previously stuck, as well as tweaks to a third story which got it to the point that I'm willing to send it out. So actually I'm pretty darned satisfied.


No queries sent, and there won't be until I've found a new email service that doesn't randomly delete messages with the subject line "Re: Query...."


Short stories submitted: 2


So overall not bad, given the limitations and the time of year. I'll take it.




For January: The laid-back approach still seems to be working, so I'm going to carry on not stressing about word-counts for a while longer.

I did finally make a list of all the works-in-progress (credit less to willpower than to curiosity). It was not as traumatic as I'd feared; stories-started-then-stuck made up a much smaller portion of the list than I'd anticipated. And it was useful as a focusing tool. So:

January's main goal is to dig into the Highway of Mirrors revisions. At minimum, fix the logical inconsistency, and sort through the other notes I've accumulated to see what fits where. It may be worth trying to recruit fresh betas between the logic-fix and any emotion-conveying revisions. (Psst, hey, anybody wanna read an old-school-inspired spy novel with a complicated-romance sub-theme?)

Stretch goal: Finish a short story (probably "Measure", the one that needed the railroad research).


Carry on submitting stories as opportunity presents.


In a writing-related vein, get going on the email research. I've been concentrating on cleaning out my existing accounts, and not that that doesn't need to be done, but that doesn't have to happen before new accounts can be test-driven. And too much is waiting on having new accounts established.

November Word Count

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 06:47 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Gods, I need to do a wordcount post for last month. If I'm not writing anything, I can at least total up what I've already written.

original short fiction: 5721
Falling From Ground: 248

Total new words in November: 5969

Hey, that's not bad! The short fiction is entirely "Cold Day In Spells"; a chunk of it's the same chunk that's been recycling around various versions, but there's plenty of new attached to it now. The FFG bit is the solution to my extended stuck-ness (about which there'll be a proper post someday, probably), so those few words carry much weight.

No querying, because in addition to working on a new query, my email provider has decided to randomly delete emails. Or not so randomly, as all the ones I'm sure are missing have subjects starting "Re: Query: ".... I need a new email provider, obviously, and querying's on hold til I find one.


December will be taken up with baking and the usual this time of year, but I'll sneak a few words in.
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.

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)
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.

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