Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Finally getting into my groove, or at least the start of my groove. Haven't managed daily writing quite yet, but I did FINALLY get a week where I didn't have more than three zero-days.
And they're all smiles this time! If I wasn't writing this blog
I was working on narratives all week. Yay!
Unfortunately, where I did slack this week was in the realm of editing. Everything is still a raw first draft, so I don't have my writing to share with you. I'll have to focus on that next. At least I know I have three things to share when I'm done with the editing.

I started writing in my "Do what you love" journal, going back to the January 1st writing prompt in "A Writer's Book of Days," and working my way forward. At the rate I'm going, though, I'm never going to catch up. I'm still only working on one prompt per day, and I did miss Saturday and Sunday. Still, I'm writing semi-daily, so it's a start.

I also started reading my fiction narrative: "The Serpent's Shadow" by Rick Riordan. It's my book to complete a series: The Kane Chronicles.

I've had a lot of downtime at work, but I was also feeling a bit under the weather. This prevented me from thinking clear enough to use that downtime to write more frequently so I could make up some ground with the daily prompts. However, I was well enough to use that time to focus on something I didn't need to create: e.g. - reading.

I'm about half way through the book thus far, and I might actually finish it before the end of the month, dependent on customer frequency.

I've read the "January" portion of WBoD, and I'm working through the first chapter of "Ready. Set. Novel!" although, I have been slacking on THAT daily work. I'm also within reasonable reach of finishing "The Serpent's Shadow" by the end of the month. Not too shabby in the reading department this month.

I've also had some interesting developments with regards to the writing practice.

The first came with RSN! I was doing a "What if..." workshop. You pick one of the three basic story concepts you created in the previous exercise, and you fill the pages with "What if..." questions about that concept. Some examples that the book gave were "What if a woman finally met Mr. Right... on her honeymoon?" or "What if every inhabitant in a small town woke up one morning and discovered they'd all had the same dream about dancing the tango?"

Well, the journal I'm using for this run through of RSN! is purple. I picked purple at first because it's one of the few colors I don't have in a journal cover yet, so it would stand out. Now, it occurred to me that each of my characters more-or-less have a color "assigned" to them. I believe I addressed this last week. So, I unintentionally chose purple in order to use RSN! to help me come up with Jolene's story beyond "Lost Loves and Paramours." I tried to not have that influence me as I did the exercises, but the broad story concept I came up with was High-fantasy, Magic, and Broken Characters.

A lot of the What Ifs were definitely based on questions I already had for Jolene. However, I did surprise myself with this one: "What if a character used magic to create artificial companionship, because they are too afraid of genuine connections?" I then followed up with "What if a man was using magic to establish artificial companionship in an increasingly disturbing manner: originally just using magic to become a famous mage for the false companionship of adoring fans, and then using magic to create animated puppets as companions, and then using summoning spells to create slave companions, then perhaps escalating into necromancy for human-like companionship, and peaking at using his magic to brainwash citizens to be his human puppet companions?" I was liking where I was going, and surprised myself with this next question: "What if the man who was making artificial companionship was originally the romantic interest of the protagonist, and goes to the Forced Will extreme instead of being 'saved' by the protagonist; forcing a terrible conflict between the two, and revealing the mage as the 'true' antagonist of the story, instead of the red herring villain they were going after up to that point?"

It would be a very tricky story concept to work masterfully so the audience wouldn't see it happening too far ahead. I'd have to definitely become very skilled in doing this plot. However, I may never have even thought of it if I didn't let my mind wander into the world of "What if..." for this exercise. Precisely why it was presented, I'd wager. I'm loving the twist. I'm excited what I could do with it.

In the meantime, I still have "Lost Loves and Paramours" to finish. Which is why I'm using it for my winter challenge over at Writers’ Huddle. I'll get back to that in a moment. First, I want to talk about the other interesting development I had this week, before I get side-tracked.

I wrote something about Amara yesterday. It was the first time I've written something formally for her in years. I'm talking close to a decade. It's been so long, I've forgotten the names I came up with for her traveling companions. I remember the races they were, the classes they were, and roughly the dynamic they had among themselves. Their names were completely gone from my head, though. So I grabbed at the first ones I could while working on my writing prompt yesterday.

It was for January 3rd: "You are in a courtyard." Instantly, I was flashed back to a scene that used to play in my head all the time for Amara, and I knew I had to run with it. The scene takes place about half-way through her story, and shortly after the leader of their little band confesses he loves Amara. She basically blows him off, calling him a moron who has no clue what he feels, and tells him that no one has ever loved her. It's the first real sign of vulnerability that Amara shows, the first time she lets her guard down enough to confess a truth of hers; even if it's not the ACTUAL truth.

She and Jolene have that in common: what they perceive as true to their very core, isn't necessarily factually true. In both cases, this bastardization of the truth is about the concept of love, and the legitimacy of it. For Jolene, it's due to far more broken hearts than anyone her age should have gone through. For Amara, it's due to never witnessing kindness throughout her equally young life; only violence and manipulation.

Anyway, the courtyard scene is Amara reflecting on how drastically different she is compared to those around her. She studies the high stone walls surrounding the courtyard of a noble's estate they are currently recovering at. Instead of focusing on the friends around her, the man who loves her, the kind noble woman who is keeping them safe, or the beautiful surroundings they have to help them relax while they heal, she's focused on the wall, and how it's trapping her in.

I'm so glad I was able to finally articulate this scene. Now I just need to edit it and post it online.

I also need to see if any of the journal entries I wrote this week actually have 1000 words or less for Ronoxym's challenge. He's been slacking in harassing me about sending him the shorts each week. I've been slacking in actively attempting to write them. I've also followed Judy Reeves' advice via WBoD: Write long-hand; pen to paper instead of typing on a computer. So, unless I want to take the time to sit and physically count my words, I don't know how much I write until I transfer it onto the computer: the step I hate doing, which is one of many reasons I try to avoid writing on paper.

I think I did manage to hit his challenge this past week, even if I didn't send it to him. I'll have to check how short my one entry was.

Well, along with doing the daily writing practices from WBoD, and slowly moving through RSN!, and making sure I have at least one 1000-words-or-less story for Ron, I've also signed up for the WH winter challenge yet again. As per usual, you complete weekly tasks you set up for yourself in order to reach the six-week goal you created when you joined the challenge.

For me? I've spent enough time trying to avoid the sorrow of Jolene's next chapter. So, I'm forcing myself to work through it, and beyond it. During NaNo I managed close to a chapter each day. I'm now asking myself to write one per week. This should finish up Jolene's time at the brothel, go through her time of being a sort of free-agent prostitute, and at least get her into the thieves' guild.

A LOT of little writing projects going on. For a year whose theme was suppose to be "Focus," I seem to be doing the exact opposite. We'll see how it treats me. I may have to put the daily writing practice and RSN! away until after the challenge is done, but I'm going to at least start off trying for all of them. They each only take about an hour or so. I could start off my writing sessions with the daily prompt, and then get myself back into focus for Jolene once I've already gotten over the hurtle of sitting down to write. Start off with something fun to get me in the mood. Or finish my Jolene sessions with RSN! to do a fun exercise as a reward.

I'll figure something out.

No comments:

Post a Comment