Thursday, January 21, 2016

Deciding On A Writing Challenge Goal

I still haven't really been doing too well with the “No Zero Days” commitment. Since my last post, I've written nice LONG posts over on the X-Future Play-by-Post game, so I guess that counts. But that was all on Monday night. Last Thursday, after finishing my post, I more-or-less finished up my weekly challenge from Phfylburt. We exchanged on Sunday, and Tuesday I edited it based on his notes before posting it online. I haven't really done any other writing except that.

Although this week has flown by so fast it FEELS like I've written much, much more. I was actually a little proud at how many times I've set myself aside to write, and a bit excited to write this post. Then I reflected on the week, and I realized there really wasn't much to say. How did that happen?

I haven't even read much more of the book I'm working on, although I really need to step it up a notch in order to get done before the end of the month. Recently I have been using my “reading time” to research more for my upcoming D&D campaign. Too much on my plate; not enough hours in the day to dedicate the right amount of time and effort to each project, I guess.

I've been trying to remedy that. I really have. Hence all the challenges I've been taking on – I'm still waiting for Ronoxym to send me his challenge for me – in order to add accountability to my writing. Get me doing it more frequently.

I even hopped back on to Writers’ Huddle in time to sign up for the 6 week winter writing challenge. Problem is, I don't know what to challenge myself with. Others can work on their manuscripts, or blog posts – since most others do professional, article-style blogs – or the like. Me? I have so many projects pulling me in so many directions, I don't know where to go.

Do I continue off of the summer challenge and work on the X-Future reboot some more? If so, what part of the reboot this time? I don't really have any other characters that I need to remake into original incarnations. I could attempt world building some more, or work on research so I'm set in April to keep working on the comic book script. But research seems more of an “on my own time” thing, not something to work on during a 6 week writing challenge.

Do I continue world building Gyateara? That's a strong possibility, but I've been banging my head against the wall for years now. Maybe working on the D&D campaign will really help me out, but right now I'm stuck on culture builds and pantheon creations and possibly creating my own monsters; let alone naming everything. Still suck at that.

I could take the bull by the horns and just finish off Please, Let Me Explain by myself. Then I could send it to Ron to read over and edit to more of what he was thinking. I mean, I have the outline of what he wanted to do with the story. But he hasn't even gotten back to me yet about whether or not he wants to include the new character I created – let alone get notes back to me about how he'd look – and so I don't know if moving forward without him is a good idea. Is it enough of a shove to get him back on track with the story? Or am I just stealing it completely from him? I still want this to be OUR story, not my story inspired by his.

I might have to break out some DVDs and binge-watch a bit to get back in character, but I haven't touched What Is Truly Meant To Be in YEARS. I could use the next six weeks to work on that.... Honestly, I don't have a counter against it aside from being stale when it comes to the story. This might be an actual option.

In the same regards, I went through pains to try to get myself set up to work on X-Future: The Second Generation Begins without terribly too much effort to figure out the next series of posts I'd need to look up. So, I could always work on that some more. Especially with the forum so stalled for the past year. It will still take me months, even years to catch up, but I can close that gap if I work on X-Future's story.

Speaking of. I do also have Lia and Ripley's summer in New York City from a year or two ago to write, although I honestly don't recall where I was going to go with that story. There's also the Willow and Chayse in Japan tale from the same time period. Hubby gave me a great play-by-play of how their summer went down, but it seems like such an epic undertaking, and I really don't want to start up ANOTHER chaptered story before finishing up ANY of my current ones. Finally, there's the confrontation between Trish, Devon, and Nys. I might work on that one. I haven't been able to write Trish in over a year – minus some small posts on the forum – and so that might be fun. However, I was looking forward to maybe collaborating that battle with Ron too. The only thing is that with how painfully slow PLME has been getting written, maybe working with him right now isn't the best idea – unless it's in person and we can crank it out in more-or-less one session.

Then there's still that story that DFL sent me, as well as the result of the last prompt. She couldn't attend on Tuesday, and so she emailed all of us her story to read. That's a little more than 100pgs to read. I could have myself read about 17pgs each week in order to chip away through the beta read. However, much like the researching issue, is this really appropriate for a WRITING challenge? I mean, I get people who are putting editing as their goal, but they're at least editing their own stuff. Which means they are still being creative by coming up with how to alter what they already have on the page. I can't do that. It's DFL's story. I can give her notes, but I'm not doing anything actively creative....

I could always go for the age-old challenge of writing x-amount of words per day or week, excluding what I write for this blog. Possibly excluding what I write for the X-Future forum as well, although that IS fiction writing... The only snag there is that I'm not sure what is a reasonable amount of words for me to aim for, since I generally don't write daily, as much as I'd like to. I could focus more on that 4-5 writing hour, perhaps. My goal being to not get distracted during my daily writing hour, and to not skip any. That's a thought.

Gaaah! I don't know which one to pick. I'm going to have to harass Hubby a bit to see which he thinks is the most do-able for me, or the one that would best benefit me at this time. I could also send a call out to ANY of my writing groups to see which one they think I should do....

I can't even make a decision on what my writing challenge is going to be. This is a promising start to the year.

Alright, well, forget about what I'm failing at. How about some positives? Such as the story I wrote using Phfyl's prompt, for instance? His challenge for me last week was to take a song and write a news article based off of it. I had to listen to a lot of songs last week before I finally heard one that really clicked with me.

I ended up going with Iggy Azalea's song "Black Widow" featuring Rita Ora.

Based on the song, I had this inspiration of a news report of her ACTUALLY loving him like a black widow spider. Namely, consuming the head after sex. It was twisted, but I haven't written something like that in YEARS; pretty much since college, or even high school. It was fun to tap into that dark side of myself again.

I was a bit concerned, though, because I haven't attempted to write any sort of article, even a mock one, since I dropped off of the college newspaper in 2003. I needed to shake a lot of rust off, and I know I didn't get it quite right. For one, Keaton brought up a good point that based on the time I established the article coming out - namely, the next morning - I have too much information. The reporter had about two hours tops after catching wind of the incident to write something up before the paper went to press for morning delivery. There was no way the reporter could have gotten so many quotes from the next door neighbor and a local barista at about 3am. On the flipside, if I were to change the article's opening to the murderer being sentenced, there would be plenty of time for the reporter to get the information, but now the article "feels too short." Keaton suggested turning it into a sort of expose about the black widow killer, similar to the Serial podcast series. I don't know if I want to put that much effort into this quick project though. It might be fun, but I have enough open projects to start up another one.

Anyway, with that critic in mind, for those who wish to still read the story, I have it posted on DeviantArt and FictionPress, as per usual.

"Gonna Love Ya Like A Black Widow, Baby"

Now, I do want to add that I did put a mature filter on the story on DeviantArt, and a trigger warning on both versions of the story. There is some suggested sex, semi-descriptive gore, and implied violence towards a dog. I know some people are sensitive to that stuff, and I have recently learned how important trigger warnings are to such things; as ways to prevent people from reading or seeing something that would greatly affect and upset them.

To be honest, though, unless it's blatant stuff such as the above, it's unlikely I'm ever going to use trigger warnings again. I am sorry for people who are deeply affected by things and need trigger warnings to know what to avoid, but in truth, something greatly affects SOMEBODY. You can't figure out what is an emotional trigger for everyone. I don't mean to be insensitive about it, it's just the fact that I hold true.

On that pleasant note....

I still need to get to writing the challenge Phfyl gave me for this week, however I think I'm overthinking it. I have about five different scenarios on how to go with the concept, and I'm not sure which to go with. I do know that I don't have the time to write all five...

I also have both the newest writing prompt from the writing group as well as the one I lost from last time - they informed me what it was. So, I have a BUNCH of writing to get to still, as well as the reading I've been avoiding for whatever reason.

I guess I should get started then. I'll have Phfyl's prompt for me up next week, and I might attempt to have at least two of the local group's prompts done for next week too. Should be interesting to see what I can crank out. Finally, I'll have to have my goal figured out by Monday, and so I'll let you guys know what I decided on.

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