What's up at Ravens March.

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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Posted by Dirck on 19 April, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 16 April
  • 17 April
  • 18 April
  • 19 April
  • First draft of “Stuckman’s Miracle Men.”
  • Lucky Day,” a draft-and-a-half flash.
  • 26 manuscripts pages (four of which didn’t work at all).
  • 999 typed words.

Just a little note on the pens to finish off– I found myself wondering why the Parker doesn’t get into the cycle more often when I filled it on Monday morning.  Two hours later I was reminded.  There’s a factory-original vent hole in the cap at exactly the level of the point, ensuring without fail that it will dry out before next use.  Someone at Parker UK in the mid-1960s really dropped the ball.

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Posted by Dirck on 12 April, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 2 April
  • 3 April
  • 4 April
  • 5 April
  • Second draft of “The Monster in the Cabin,” which is, despite appearances, a much better title.
  • Bag of Bones,” which is a result of a Steal-a-Title Challenge I decided I should get in on.
    • 3,627 words typed.
    • 1,040 words.

I will admit that I’ve actually spent some moments giggling and clapping at the scale of the latest story– not only being able to get to “show it to the readers” stage so quickly that I can actually remember what the weather was like when I began, but being able to hold the whole of the narrative in my head easily.  All the more giddy to find I had sufficient think-tokens left in my reserves to work on a second story at the same time!

Something else I got around to setting myself up with this:
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com
I’m not going to give it any more time on this branch of my online existence than this mention, but over at the writing preserve, it’s now an inescapable fixture in the sidebar.  I do not expect it will make me a rich person.

…but I will hope, every so slightly.

The sharp-eyed will notice that I’ve done away with the “Duration” column of the chart.  I know none of you care how long I’ve been at the task on a given day, and I’m finally convinced my own inward monitor that however long it it, it’s long enough.

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Posted by Dirck on 5 April, 2018

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 2 April
  • 3 April
  • 4 April
  • 5 April
  • First draft of “Destroying the Abomination” (very much a working title).
  • Seven manuscript pages.
  • Six pages.
  • Six pages.
  • Eight pages.
  • 50 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 50 min.

Yes, it’s the return of the previous version of the progress report form.

I… don’t hear anyone cheering.  Fair enough.  I had meant to do something of more interest this week, but I’ve honestly had hardly a moment free at home, and I need several moments to get some necessary pictures out of my camera.  The coming weekend should offer a span of minutes I can grasp, although I fear my wife’s play director may insist upon more rehearsals at inconvenient times.

I was able, last Saturday, to take this happy snap:

This close, and no closer. So far. This too is progress….

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Posted by Dirck on 29 March, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 1,481 words typed.

Say, that wasn’t much of a week, was it? Oh, but it was busy. You see, this fellow…

The darling Hercule

…has been going increasingly mad from loneliness since the death of his closest and final chum, Oberon.  It’s not that we humans neglect him, but we do not speak his language well. Last weekend, we finally found him some companions.  We had been looking for either siblings or a cat that was very friendly to other cats.  We ended up finding two of the latter:

Names TBA. We’ve just met them. Also, someone else took this picture.

They are, as far as anyone knows, not related.  But they clearly get on well with other cats.  They were, in fact, required to be adopted together by the rescue group whence we got them.  The older one is great with cats, but shy with people, and thus was hard to adopt.  After he had provided support to the younger during a phase of convalescence from the illness which took his mother and litter-mates (which sounds like Victorian melodrama, but is all too true), the idea of separating them seemed monstrous.

Of course, when brought into our house, they vanished like a dew.  I spent part of Sunday convinced that the little fellow had been killed by some unknown hazard in our basement.  By last night, though, they were both at least visible, and the big guy has apparently convinced Hercule that no one is going to get eaten by anyone else.  Progress toward a happy household.

However… none of this has a lot of bearing on the low word-count.  What brings that about is the fact that one of the words typed this week was END, all by itself at the bottom of a page.  Very nearly 90,000 words, which is a great deal more than I thought the manuscript ran to and a pretty good number for a novel.

This years-ago version of my son is SO PROUD of his dad’s persistence!

This doesn’t mean I’m done, alas.  There’s a little polishing of the whole before it gets put in the hands of feedback providers, then reacting to that feedback, then hiring a professional editor to do some horrible things to my ego… at the end of which I will start sending query letters out.  If this seems a timid and over-baked approach… well, yeah, but since it’s the first novel (bar the ones I never even tried to publish) I’d like it as shiny as possible before pestering gate-keepers with it.

It is done enough that I can get on with some other projects, though.  Hoorah, hoorah!

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Posted by Dirck on 22 March, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •    3,416 words typed.

My effort to get some work done on weekends was done in by attending a writing workshop.  Still, that’s a pretty good week, and I think it’s rather more words than are left in the first draft.  If I didn’t have a couple of {INSERT SCENE HERE} markers lurking about midway through the current draft, I would be entirely certain of having it settled by this time next week.  That marker is, by the way, how I dodge any hint of writer’s block; put the foot down on the gas and shout “I’ll deal with it later!”

It’s still looking pretty likely.  Then, I think before I give it a final skim for utter illegibilities prior to unleashing it upon my well-loved beta readers, I’m going to put in a couple of weeks of down time, leaving it to rest like a steak fresh off the fire.  I may even talk about some pens, despite the mad clamour of short stories that desire my attention.

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Posted by Dirck on 15 March, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •    4,723 words typed.

I have the brazen effrontery to be slightly disappointed with this week’s production.  One day was a little shy, because a change in the precise manifestation of a character’s motivations had some serious effect on a particular scene, almost of “Oh, right, Pennywise does NOT just hand each kid a loot bag and a balloon giraffe here” proportions.  That said… man, oh, man, am I ever close to the end.  It’s not impossible, if I work like a whole platoon of steam-driven digging robots, to see me done by this time next week.  More realistically, though, two weeks.  At which point I will tip over and catch fire (in the way a steam-driven digging robot might).

Also, for the purposes of 99.9993% of anyone visiting my site, I have it sorted out.  There’s some decoration on the headers that resists correction, but all the pictures, text, and links are useful… to the extent that they were before the problem started.

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Posted by Dirck on 8 March, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •   4,983 words typed.

Funnily enough, I was thinking on Monday that I’d be apologizing for the light count on the week because the weekend session was less spectacular than the one previous.  The words have been pouring out the ends of my fingers this week, mainly because unlike some earlier weeks I’ve whined about the current patch of first draft hasn’t needed quite as much polishing.  Plus I can actually see the finish line, bobbing along on the far horizon.

The completion of this draft will see a looooong hiatus of while I press a (purely notional) gun to the heads of dear friends and demand that they read it and give honest feedback regarding flaws I have grown blind to, which rather lets the meaning out of “finish line,” but I will at least be able to turn my hand to other works while they struggle through the unexpectedly deep drifts of prose I’ve emitted.

In other happy news, I’ve passed the half-way mark of fixing pages over on the site.  As of this moment, only 233 posts remain to be converted back into pages and have various \ extracted from their text… and a couple of dozen of those are actually just posts, announcing updates on the site itself.  By this time next week, things should be mostly back to normal.

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Posted by Dirck on 1 March, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •  4,685 words typed.

Why, yes, I did let writing come between me and what counts for sports in my world (which is: twiddling my thumbs in a specific way to make pixels do stuff) last weekend.  It has had a useful effect, hasn’t it?  Please don’t say “You’d be done long ago if you’d done that sooner” because I’m exquisitely aware of this.

No forward movement on the site, alas.  There’s a couple of things that I will be trying this weekend, because I need my home computer for several hours at a stretch to try it rather than stolen moments of Regular Job access.  I might have done it yesterday afternoon, which I took off after commiting very few words of novel indeed, except I did that thanks to Mr. Migraine abducting me.  Moaning and vomiting took up the whole time between lunch break and bedtime.

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Posted by Dirck on 22 February, 2018

Before getting to the usual meat of Thursday, the other sort of progress report.  I’ve fixed the thing that was broken with the site!  However, I broke some other stuff getting that accomplished.  You will get more than a blank screen now, but you won’t get the sought-for content.  Yet.  Work continues, when I’m able.

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 4,148 words typed.

Holy moly, that’s pretty good, eh?  I will dash water upon myself that pointing out that last week got exactly as much done as I reported here; absolutely nothing.  On average over the two weeks… a little scanty.

However, let be not cling to gloom.  This week’s big number is thanks to me having been at least prepared to get some work done away from The Regular Job, if the dual entertainments of decluttering and quivering in the throes of mental stress’s equivalent of the Bends allowed.  Monday was Family Day here in Saskatchewan (or, as we traditionalists call it What Do You Mean You Want An Actual Day Off In February Isn’t Valentine Chocolate Sufficient Day), and I actually found a couple of hours loose in the afternoon in which I could grapple with a keyboard.  That one session was equivalent to a full week’s working through lunch.

And so, I start to think, which is ever dangerous.  Shall I break in upon the relaxation of the weekend with this other sort of work?  Shall I take away time I might devote to baking an injurious dessert for the weekly family get-together?  Will I at last admit that time spent driving and destroying imaginary tanks, however little of it I do in a week, is not time best spent?  I think, given how long this novel is taking and how much is left, I had better give it a try.

Speaking of “how long”, my initial length estimate hilariously tells me that I have only 4,034 words left until completion.  The initial estimate is, and let me whisper where it cannot hear me, completely off its rocker. The more-likely estimate says a bit over 20,000 words yet to go. Which, at the pace of all weeks before this one, means another eight weeks of typing (curse you, groundhog!).  The idea of nearly doubling my pace begins to glow with attraction.

Which means I’d better get the site sorted out tonight.

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Posted by Dirck on 8 February, 2018

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •  2,691 words typed.

As a small indication of the sort of time I’ve been enjoying the last couple of weeks; I only just now noticed that the thing I had meant to post last Friday… isn’t. Isn’t up. Isn’t around. Isn’t available. I put the effort into writing one, but there is no trace of it whatsoever. This gives me a slight headstart on tomorrow, since I have a memory of what it was, but to not have noticed at all AND to have it vanish is disconcerting.

I will not put this down to the Mandela effect, as much fun as side-slipping through the multiverse might be, but simply to my own stress-cracked brain. To address this issue, I’m taking next week off from The Regular Job. This may see a dose of writing done, since my son will be in school and he’s the main impediment to writing at home (I love him, and he loves me; his manifests as “you must watch this Annoying Orange video with me again” and mine manifests as submission to that insistence).  However, I may also just sleep for 127 hours without a break, too.  We’ll see how that works out.

One of the minor positive elements to not having sold the novel to anyone yet, nor secured an agent; no deadline.

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