Wednesday, March 26, 2014

And Thus "Local Writers' Group" Is A Thing

Sorry, folks. I legitimately forgot that I didn't write an actual blog update on Sunday. So, how about I kick my butt in gear, huh?

Well, last week both nothing and a lot happened. Simply put, pretty much all of my writing advancement occurred on just one day.

Last week most of my downtime was used cleaning the apartment yet again. I sprinkled in more beta-reading for ChibiSunnie throughout the week; mostly during work breaks. I FINALLY finished reading but ONE of her stories this past Saturday and sent her the notes first thing Sunday morning after dropping Hubby off at work.

Even after roughly a nine-month wait, she was insanely grateful for the edit. The woman is mad patient. Then again, she's one of my readers, so I guess she has to be...
I did stuff in X-Future. Nothing really major to talk about, but there was slow progress with my characters there. I'm really starting to hear Crystal's snarky, insanely blunt voice in my head. So there's that. Either way, it meant non-zero day, even if it was a pathetically small amount of writing.

Then again, No More Zero Days focuses on advancing towards your end goal every day. Not only is just a little bit of writing daily a way to get non-zero days, but actually developing something more. The fact that a character whose voice has escaped me this past year is finally in my head... That's kinda big, right?

I sure and heck hope so because I hit my first zero-day this past Friday.

I was so determined to get this local writing group idea off the ground that I pushed and prodded - although, arguably there wasn't really much need of either - until we determined that this past Friday would be our inaugural meeting.

This is why I did so much cleaning this week. Dear LORD did I need to clean so we had some space to work. I was all geared up. I had the day off. I spent the whole time racing around the place organizing and mentally coming up with talking points for the group.

Then poor Ronoxym had car troubles, which meant neither he nor Cyhyr would be able to make it to the meeting. That just left Omnibladestrike, but his work day left him exhausted. We debated having our first meeting over Skype, but decided to just postpone.

Sadly, I was so fixated on the idea of having the writing group meeting and having THAT be my "something to do with writing" that I never got around to actually do any writing. Thus I went to bed with this realization and going "shoot. Zero day...."

It all worked out though. I got home from work on Saturday to discover that Ron could borrow a car for he and Cyhyr to show up, and Omni was free. It wasn't until that evening, but we managed to get our first ever Writers' Block meeting.

We focused mostly on Omni and his story. Partially because Cyhyr wasn't at a point where she felt she was really struggling - except for one component that we were able to tackle fairly easily - and Ron kept being ADHD by hopping on to Tumblr and talking to Hubby. We also focused on Omni because he seemed the most in need of the help of the group; both in actual writing advice for his story, and in encouragement to get back to writing in the first place.

I sure hope we helped. He seemed a bit bummed and unsure of himself even after our meeting, but I think this might be really good for him. Here's hoping.

We ended the meeting by having each person come up with a goal they wish to accomplish by this week's Friday Skype meeting. Yup, we're doing a monthly in-person meeting, and then the other three weeks we'll be Skyping in order to check in on everyone's weekly goal progress. I'm excited to see how this goes.

Anyway, Cyhyr is trying to create a character whose sole purpose is NOT to be killed off. Apparently she's gotten so bad with character deaths in her story that Ron started calling her "Georgette R.R.Martin". Omni is attempting the Non-Zero Days method that's been really kicking my butt in to gear. Ron is just attempting to make progress on ONE of his active Works In Progress before starting up yet another one.

I swear, Chibi and I need to show Ron how we build a Plot Bunny farm, because his are all running rampant... He started at least one new story during our meeting on Saturday! Cyhyr literally had to take his notebook away to stop him! That's when he wandered over to talk to Hubby instead...
So, here's hoping Ron is keeping up with his project, and also hoping that means he'll advance either the story he posted on his blog nearly a month ago, or he'll finally continue on with the Willow/Devon story he also hasn't updated in a month. Knowing my luck, he worked more on a story I haven't read yet... Oh well, as long as he learns that he needs to COMPLETE stories, not just start them.

Nearly every writer can tell you that STARTING stories is the easy part, it's COMPLETING THEM that's hard.

Yes, yes, all you What Is Truly Meant To Be fans, I feel your death glares and hear your mutters of "EXACTLY!"
So, now we are up to me. I have been doing a lot of Non-Zero days lately, but it's all "little bit here and a little bit there". I write on the forum. I research. I plot out. I have writing meetings. I beta read. I even started up a dossier of my characters.

It has their basics: name, height, age, weight, eye/hair color, etc. It also has very detailed physical descriptions, complete with exact locations of scarring and the like. The descriptions even include the character's normal wardrobe. The dossier pages are completed with mini-backstories and personality overviews. All of these components are important in knowing how the character looks, right down to how they hold themselves. I'm going to then give the dossier to a friend who is an art student. That way the next time she wants to just doodle she can flip to a character and draw. No pressure for her, just a handy way for her to break through creative blocks and a sly way for me to get "free commissions" of my characters.
I'm off track here... what I was getting at was that I was advancing my writing in just enough of a way for me to claim "Non-Zero day" but not to the point of actually completing any form of prose. So, that is my goal for this week: Write out some prose.

I already did that yesterday. I spent a great deal of time working on a few solo-sessions on the forum. I might turn the one in to yet another in-canon snippet. However, I do have another prose that I've been plotting out in my head. One that won't show up on FanFiction because it's actually original work.


One of the things I've been working on since last week is coming up with the Creation Story of Gyateara. The trick here is to write out what actually happened and then determine how much of that "fact" is stated in the tale that humans know. Do they know the truth? Do they only have the key parts correct? Are they completely wrong about how their world was created? The gods are very much real in their world; they have relics and avatars to prove the existence of the gods. So does that mean the Creation Story is more than simple allegory for them?

Be it the "Actual Story" or a more simplistic "What Humans Know", I'll have the Creation Story done - at least a first draft of it - by this Friday's meeting. THAT is my true goal for the week. If I accomplish my goal I should have something new for you folks to read come this Sunday.

Well, maybe next Wednesday... I'm having a harder and harder time completing my Sunday blog posts when I have to work on Sunday. Wednesdays I'm up first thing in the morning to bring Hubby to work and then I have tons of hours to kill before having to pick him up again. I also seem to be in my highest writing energy first thing in the morning or late at night.

We'll see how many more Sunday posts get bumped to Wednesday. If it becomes a trend more then the exception I'll just change my update days....

Either way, stay tuned.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Super Quick Update

Things happened. It is late. I am sleepy. I am again working close on Sundays. The likelihood of a blog post prior to Tuesday is sadly slim.

Good news:
Accomplished first ever Writers' Group (Apparently we're calling ourselves "Writer's Block"?). More details later. Just know that we all have vowed on "Non-Zero Days" and I have the added goal of actually finishing at least ONE work of prose before the week is out....

Until I have time to write more, lovelies. ^_^

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Week of Win

Alright, this has been a friggen awesome week!

This past Wednesday I posted an update that explained the first two reasons why this was an amazing week:
1- Monday my best friend since childhood gave birth to her first born; a son.
2- Tuesday was a GORGEOUS day after a super crappy and frigid winter. Plus, my sister got to enjoy the beautiful weather while shopping on her birthday. Her 25th birthday. My kid sister is 25!

Both Monday and Tuesday were awesome for writing reasons too, but I wanted to wait until today to let you guys know this. Group it all together and whatnot.

So, Monday I saw celestialTyrant at the grocery store I work in, and asked him if he wanted to hang out when I got out at about noon. I hadn't seen him in what felt like forever, and so I was excited to find out that he was going to swing by after Hubby got off of work that afternoon.

The downside was that he ended up more-or-less just playing Magic: The Gathering with Hubby, Omnibladestrike, and another one of their friends. As a non-player I was sort of self-isolated at my desktop. It turned out for the better though. Granted, I didn't really socialize with the three guests I had in my house, but I did spend the evening chatting with Ronoxym and Cyhyr via IMs.

We talked about generic writing, and I playfully harassed Ron for not updating either of the stories I'm collabing with him on: the Willow/Devon and now Nys/Willow stories. I also sent the Nys/Willow story to Cyhyr at this point.

Well, neither have gotten back to me about the story, and so I posted the Nys/Willow snippet this morning. Fair warning, the whole tale is a spoiler revealing how the two girls could talk in the first place. If you still want to read my original version you can here:
"It Is So On!"

Okay, back to Monday. Well, while I was teasing Ron about him not working on any writing, he interrupted by asking me what I thought about his blog.

His WHAT!? I knew he had a Tumblr, and I just assumed he meant his blog there. But no... he has one right here on Blogger! He started it up a little over two weeks ago! HOW DID I MISS THIS!? Apparently even Cyhyr didn't have the link to the blog until about a week ago....

Anyway... now I can do this when talking about him:

Now - fair warning - he has a Mature Content notification for his blog. The posts he currently has up aren't really all that bad, and so I'm guessing he only has that warning in order to cover his butt in case future posts get out of hand.

Ron didn't get around to updating the blog this past week, which saddens me a little. At the same time, I had to pick on him for starting up a blog instead of updating our stories. Oh well, I can kill time by doing research.

Yeah. Research. Cyhyr has this large folder in GoogleDocs that has lots of writing How-To's and research material. She offered to share it with me while we were talking on Monday. How could I say no!? So, reading those can add to my Non-Zero days.


Well, back to Ron's blog and my Non-Zero week.

His first post was just a generic "Hey, I have a blog now and this is why." The second post was a drabble. Yup, he posted a narrative. He had meant to anyway, but what he ended up with was apparently completely different than the tale he was originally going to post.

I loved the concept. I teased him as I was reading through it that it felt like a fanfic of three different source materials. The first sentence described the protagonist, and I INSTANTLY thought he was talking about Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. Considering when he first described Devon on the forum he had a lot of the same characteristics as another Fullmetal Alchemist character - Roy Mustang - without realizing that he did so, I wouldn't have put it past him to create a lead heavily influenced by some fandom source material without picking up on it. That's besides the point. A few sentences down the protagonist is described more as having curly black hair and a desperate need to get to a ship; he'd be safe if he could just get to the ship. Now my mind shifted over to the Heroes of Olympus character Leo Valdez.

Then came the feral teens. The rest of the story I was wondering if it was supposed to be some sort of Lord of the Flies type of society. I was intrigued, but I was also thrown for a loop. Turns out I was right about it being a fanfic, but I would have never guessed the ACTUAL source material. I was a bit flabbergasted when I got to the reveal at the end of the story.

Yes, the writing is a bit rough here and there because he clearly didn't bother to proofread before posting, but I swear to you that the story is worth it. It doesn't even take all that long to read. So do it! Go to Ron's blog and read his drabble. Then demand for more.

Help me get this guy in to a writing kick by having multiple people beg for him to update.
*Waves to Ronoxym*

Well, this finally brings us to Tuesday.

I got to work bright and early at 7am. I almost instantly started thinking about Ron's drabble. I was intrigued. It gripped hard on to me, and my mind raced with possibilities, as well as how I could do something similar with another fandom.

A Writer's High was sparked within me. All I wanted was to race home - literally, I had THAT much energy - and start writing.... ANYTHING. Of COURSE this was my full day shift. I was stuck at work for eight hours when all I wanted was to write! Figures....
I was this ball of energy the whole shift. I would bounce while standing still. I talked faster than usual. I nearly sprinted across the floor whenever I need to get across the department. I had this urge to just do suicide runs up and down my work area. I felt like I was about to burst.

If this is what it's like to have ADHD, I have no clue how anyone handles it. I'm usually such a focused and still person. I felt like I was going to explode and just become this entity of pure energy floating around in the ether. Craziness!

The fact that it was a gorgeous day outside - one where I wanted to spend every minute in the sun - didn't help matters.

I was able to do something I haven't in a while thanks to that energy: Beta read Omnibladestrike's chapter that he sent me back in the summer!!! Geez! Sadly, I had unknowingly lost the ACTUAL chapter that he wanted me to beta read, and so I accidentally re-edited the previous chapter. Whoops.

Well, he resent me the second chapter of his story - yeah, he actually moved on to the second chapter! Go him! - and I beta read that within 24hrs. He got the proper chapter edited and sent back to him on Wednesday.

So, quick detour back to Tuesday.

I was set to write when I got home. I started up the blog post I updated on Wednesday. I wrote some on the forum. I worked on the Ripley/Lia as well as Trish snippets I've been struggling with lately.

Then I got in to a mildly-heated discussion with CelestialTyrant. Personal things I won't air out here, but I think in the end I helped him figure some stuff out. So sacrificing my writing energy to help him out was well worth it. I also chatted with Cyhyr a little, and she was in an equally odd mood: she was excited about wedding planning!

Now, Cyhyr obviously loves Ronoxym. No doubt there. But she's more of the "I want to be married" type than the "I want a wedding" type. Fantastic for in the long run - the girl always has her priorities straight - but kind of crappy when she has to plan the wedding with no desire to.

Anyway, I used my left-over Writing High to ride her Wedding High, and we just girl-talked for a while. Again, I didn't get as much writing done as I would have thought that morning, but I had fantastic talks with two good friends. Fair trade.

Wednesday I managed to finally finish up that blog post that kept getting delayed: first by work cutting my Sunday posting hours short, and then by talking to Ron, Cy, and CT over the next two days. I didn't just write that post though. I also started this one. Got a decent chunk of it done too before I had to pick up Hubby from work.

I might have gotten farther, but I felt so guilty about making poor Omni wait for so long for me to edit his chapter - and then ending up editing the wrong one - that I started out the day bright and early and reading his work. After I sent him my edits I quickly told ChibiSunnie to send me her stories again. Just like Omni, I had neglected to read the three Hey Arnold stories that she had sent me while participating in a writing challenge.

Sadly, the rest of the week was a bit tight in regards to free time. It was still awesome with things such as Hubby making me awesome meals, and getting to smother my niece in kisses and hugs. It wasn't as awesome with regards to writing, though. So, I haven't sent Chibi anything yet, but I've been whittling away at one of her stories whenever I have a moment. Beta reading for her has helped me avoid Zero-Days on Thursday, Friday, and yesterday. In fact, the only writing-related thing I did yesterday was beta read more of her one story.
In fact, aside from beta reading, the only other writing I did throughout the rest of the week was:
  • Periodically work on this blog post; concluding today.
  • Updating on the forum, and getting further in to Crystal's head; finally starting to hear her.
  • Coming up with that project I teased about in my Wednesday update.
So, what is this project? Well, nothing is finalized yet - in fact, silly Ron hasn't even chimed in about it - but it hit me during my antsy work shift on Tuesday.

I'm going to once more complain about my pathetic eyesight, my broken netbook, and my inability to really see my desktop monitor too well. When I do things like write my snippets I tend to just let my eyes unfocus a little as I type. I'm one of those people who doesn't need to look at the keyboard - or even the screen for that matter - in order to type something. This is how I can marathon my writing, even with the vision issue. I then go back and read in shifts. I'll read for x-minutes, and then take a break. I'll come back and read more, and repeat. That's how I read posts people put up, or edit both my writing and others, or read the 100+ Facebook notifications waiting for me each day.

Not the most efficient way to write or beta read; although, even if I could properly see, it IS a good practice to stop from ruining my eyesight even more. Anyway, to help with the turnaround time of my beta reading - as well as helping me read even when not home - I've started to print out the stories and make notes there. I later type these notes up and pass them along.

I do a bit better this way. I also had a better time actually talking to people about writing when I was able to do so in real time: in person and/or IM. It really bubbled over that energy, and got me super excited to get back in to writing. It's also faster to bounce off ideas. Plus, I didn't have to wait a week or so before hearing feedback - yes, I'm looking at you Ron. Likewise, people didn't have to wait MONTHS to hear feedback from me - yup, I know you are looking at ME, Omni and Chibi.

As much as I enjoy being part of Writers’ Huddle, it is far from being in real-time. It is a great deal of reading; something I have troubles with. So I haven't been as active in the community as I would have liked. I do love the concept though. I also noticed how great it is to talk to my local fellow writers: Cyhyr, Ronoxym, and Omnibladestrike. We truly encourage each other, give each other differing views on how to take the story - views that tend to better the tale, and excite each other in to writing more. It's just such a good energy.

So, on Tuesday I sent the proposal out to those three: Create a local writing group. Why haven't we thought of this before? I suggested that we meet in person at least once a month, if not once every other week. I know with Ron's schedule the every-other-week option might be a bit rough, but if he can manage it I think keeping each other so accountable on such short periods of time will be truly beneficial to all of us.

Like I stated before, nothing is finalized. We don't have a first meeting planned. We haven't agreed on how frequently to meet. We haven't decided if we're always meeting at my place, or if we are going to rotate where we'll meet so everyone gets to host. We haven't even figured out what day of the week we want to hold these meetings. But the idea is out there, as well as the excitement to make it happen.

I'll be sure to keep everyone posted, but I'm super excited at where this is heading. If I can get this writing group off the ground and couple it with my new Non-Zero Days philosophy, I may actually FINALLY have a semblance of a writing habit.

Be on the look out for great things on the horizon!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lent Gives Me Non-Zeros (And Other Awesome Happenings)

I want to start out by saying a huge congratulations to my best friend.
My friend since way back in elementary school gave birth to her first born on Monday. He's absolutely adorable and I can't wait to meet him in person. She and her husband did good.
I'd like to follow that up with a nod to my kid sister.
She celebrated her 25th yesterday! My best friend is a mom and my sister is a quarter-century old. When did that happen!? When did I get old enough for this!?

Well, aside from those two awesome bits of news, I have some of my own. Partially thanks to Lent, I managed to accomplish a Non-Zero week! That's right, kiddies, a full week!

Okay, so, for those who still don't know, I got the idea of the Non-Zero day from an old classmate of mine when she found the idea on Reddit and posted about it on her blog. This has been my philosophy ever since. I now live my life aiming to do SOMETHING daily - even if it's just writing a quick sentence or do five minutes of research - that will advance me towards the goal of becoming a professional writer.

It may not seem like it too much with the Non-Zero days I've done this week. None of them really push me towards writing that masterful manuscript that will be my break-out hit. However, it does get me in to a writing routine, which is something I'm desperately lacking. It gets me practicing and learning daily. It may still be another five years before I have a manuscript ready for print, but these Non-Zero days get me better prepared for that day than how I was previously living.

First up, as I mentioned, this new boost in writing is partially thanks to Lent. See, I've noticed lately that I spent pretty much all day on Facebook. I have at least twenty people on my list for getting notification, and I check those notifications as soon as I get them. I then putz around on the site while waiting for someone to do something on it. I also stay practically shackled to the desktop - since I don't have a data plan on my phone - in case someone hops on and wants to talk to me through Facebook Messenger. I crave human interaction, and so those IMs and notifications are like a drug to me.

I was truly addicted.

I noticed how unhealthy that habit is - on more than one level - and so I decided to cut down my use of Facebook. I now more-or-less stick to roughly and hour or two a day. Still a bit much, but I need at least that in order to catch up with all those notifications. Anyway, now that I'm not spending my day latched to Facebook I need to kill time; keep me occupied so I'm not tempted to open up the website in order to fill that social void. Thankfully, that's what writing is for!

So, how did that work out in to a week of Non-Zero days? Well, the first two days were kind of minimalist in that regards. I worked more on the snippet I have in the works with Nys and Willow talking to each other. Well, it's more of an argument between the two. Anyway, I got maybe half way through the story last Monday before I hit a brick wall. I just couldn't get things flowing. It's the same reason I haven't finished the Lia and Ripley snippet. I just don't really know either Nys or Ripley well enough to have them in my head. Since I'm not Cyhyr - the "Director" writer - I have difficulties just writing what I want them to say and have it still sound natural; unscripted. I need to have the characters in my head and "talking" to me so I can feel the natural flow of the conversation.

I mean, I have Ripley SORT OF in my head since I do know him at least a little bit. Hubby kept him sort of simple since Ripley hasn't really developed in his head yet. He's a laid back surfer who struggled to live on the streets for three years; causing him to become violent. He then had his anger channeled by becoming one of the security guards of the campus. He learned discipline and realized he enjoyed helping people, so much so that he's going to school to become a psychologist. He's easy for people to talk to and quite lovable. However, this tends to result in people taking him for granted as someone there to help them through their troubles; ignoring that he has troubles too. I already have a Lia/Ripley snippet up where Ripley drops the "psychologist" persona and becomes a lovesick teen. The current snippet I'm working on is kind of similar, but I can't find the trigger to get him to drop his facade. It was so much easier the first go....

And Nys? Well, Ronoxym doesn't really do much with Nys, and so I don't really know her too much. I do know that she's a lot more like his fiance Cyhyr than Ron will admit. That made things a touch easier. I just sort of pictured how Cyhyr would react in a similar situation. I basically wrote fanfic about my friend.
That being said, I did advance the snippet some more last Tuesday, and then went in to a writing sprint last Wednesday. I finished and managed to send it Ron to review. He let me know that he does have some rewrites, but he never got around to writing them.... It's been an official week now. I'm giving him until the next blog post to send me revisions. Otherwise, I'm posting it as-is in X-Future: Snippets, dropping the link in this week's update on Sunday, and then the revision/collaboration version we write will be its own thing.

I might do that anyway. It would be cool to see the differing versions. Ronoxym needs to do the same thing with the Devon/Willow story we're working on. I'm sure people would get a kick out of his solo version of the story versus the one we end up with once done. Especially since my derailing his story easily added ten pages to the tale... whoops....
Anyway, as of Monday I also sent the Nys/Willow story over to Cyhyr to betaread. Who better to let me know if Nys is in character than her inspiration?
No updates from her either.... So, no updates on the Nys/Willow or the Devon/Willow stories as of yet. Bumming me out, but once those two aren't so busy I should get something. It gave me time to work on other things while waiting. However, I'm still in that mentality that I can't really focus on any other stories until the Willow ones are done and posted. I guess it's the idea of closure. I need one story completed before I can move on. Odd, considering poor What Is Truly Meant To Be hasn't been updated in about a year... oof....
Anyway, after sending Ron the snippet on Wednesday I spent the rest of the week working on and off with yet another Trish snippet. Yup, the one I commented on last week about her getting off injured reserves. I have the whole thing played out in my head, but I also now realize that it's a bit visual heavy. Definitely would be more entertaining if I could film it. So I have the basic skeleton of all the action and everything written out, but I still need to figure out how to write it so it's entertaining in a written media.

Once I hit THAT wall I moved on to another project yet again. I wanted to have SOMETHING up for you guys this week, and so I decided that I'd convert more solo-role-play-sessions in to Snippets. This most recent one was Willow doing a private training simulation out in the woods of Mount X. Though it doesn't necessarily push the overall story forward, it will probably still end up as its own chapter in X-Future: The Second Generation Begins. However, the role play only happened three months ago, therefore it will easily be another year or so before I get to the point where the chapter will fit in the story. In the meantime, I decided to drop it in to the Snippets anthology. I'll probably remove it once it's a chapter in TSGB, but I'll cross that bridge and all that. Until that time I can try to get some reads where its at now.

I'm not entirely sure who would read it though. It is just overflowing with spoilers. And so those who are reading TSGB might not want to read it in order to avoid getting slapped with the results of a LOT of plot twists. Those that don't care about the spoilers because they're players on the forum - and therefore already know everything - already read it as the original posts. I didn't really change much when I switched it over to narrative due to how I write on the forum in the first place. Then there's the group that aren't players - meaning the story is new to them - but they also don't care about spoilers. Out of that small group I have to now weed out the ones who are offended by foul language since the story has a bunch of it.

In other words: I'm not expecting a lot of reads for this snippet.
Still, if YOU wish to read it, you can here:
"Training with a Mind of Its Own"

I actually had everything all set to have this up on Saturday, and then work on this blog post on Sunday. However, I was missing talking to people online now that I had cut back my daily Facebook intake. I decided to try out using Skype as my go-to messenger over the weekend. It didn't work as well as I had hoped, and so I'm now on Trillian. I highly recommend. I've been super happy with it over the past few days.

Anyway, while I was trying out Skype on Saturday AngelBlood666 actually tracked me down. We proceeded to IM each other for the next TEN HOURS or so. It was awesome talking to him about just normal life stuff as well as touching a bit on writing. I feel like I've connected him on a new level now.

So, AB666, feel free to hit me up whenever.
The only downside was that I was pleasantly distracted from my converting of the Willow snippet. I did do some role playing on the forum and very slowly converted the snippet; it just took me too long to finish the story for me to also have time to write a blog post. Add in the craziness of Monday and Tuesday, and that explains this mid-week posting.

Well, the Non-Zero Days continue on, and I have a project in the works to help even more with this goal. I'll let you know more about that in Sunday's post.

Until then!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

So Many Plot Bunnies!

Well, it figures that the last week of Writers’ Huddle's Winter Writing Challenge would be the ONE week I actually hit my goals: A weekly blog post AND at least 8hrs of writing.

Oh well, at least I got there eventually.
While it is usually advised to figure out one writing project, and then stick to just that one until it's done - otherwise you run the risk of twenty started projects, but no completed ones - I have to credit my heavy writing week to having a sort of Writer's ADD.

I have multiple writing projects in the mix that I kept jumping between. My two big ones involving Gyateara - A Race for Destiny and Amara's future tales - are mostly research and brainstorming while I world-build. The converting of X-Future in to its own world is similar. So, those are large projects I keep bouncing back to, but they don't involve actual writing yet. Therefore, I need other smaller projects that allow me to write.

Thanks to the X-Future girls I was able to do just that. I currently have five snippets in the works; at least one of which will eventually become canon. First up is a conversation between Ripley and Lia. As I was falling asleep a week ago this interaction popped in to my head; something that has been happening frequently as I pass out, but more on that in a minute.

The tale - once done - will be sort of filled with spoilers, and so I might as well throw one out now.


The tale - although not originally birthed from the song - is highly influenced by the song "Say Something" by A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera.
Here's the song for anyone who doesn't know it, but would like to:
Heartbreaking, right? Sorry about that.... Queen of Emotional Angst and all that...


Another project I have in the works is one that will become canon. To avoid another spoiler I won't give any names, but an X-Future couple is going to "get away" for the summer break. A much needed vacation. So I was given the task to just write it all out, and then we'll post it as part of a "summer time skip" on the forums.

The third tale may also become canon as another solo-roleplay. Hearing that, I'm sure you know who it's for: Trish. Who else do I solo-play so frequently? Although, that does remind me that I have a Willow solo-play that I might convert in to a Snippet. So keep your eyes open for that.

Back to Trish. Yes, once more Trish is in my head. I haven't played her since early January and the girl is going stir-crazy in my mind. Her story is simply her FINALLY recovered from her injuries. She was just as stir-crazy on Injured Reserves as she is in my head, and so she wants to stretch and push her powers. She had a bit of a creative project while she wasn't able to move too well, and now she's going to put it to some use in the cold locker The Brotherhood has for when she wants to practice her fire control.

A fourth project actually just came up Friday night, and so I'm not sure I should really count it... As with the Lia/Ripley conversation, this interaction also happened upon me as I was falling asleep. It's like my half-awake state is perfect for channeling these characters as I witness their arguments. This time a character you guys don't really know to well: Nys. Devon stumbled upon her on the streets, rescued her - so to speak - and she became his traveling companion. Although Ronoxym will swear up and down that there is nothing between Nys and Devon, anyone who ISN'T Ron can see that there clearly is, at least on Nys' side of things.

Anyway, the fourth project I'm currently working on is Nys getting in Willow's face about Devon. It's kind of cute seeing Nys trying to be all intimidating. However, Ron hasn't really written Nys too much, and so it's a bit tough for me to know her well enough to write her. I know she can go from meek to protective, from serious to mischievous, and from easily intimidated to the one doing the intimidation. She's complex like that. She's actually a lot like Cyhyr like that; another thing Ron will deny to his grave.

So, I'm sure once I'm done with the interaction between Nys and Willow and I show it to Ron he'll have some rewrites of his own. He'll have the same "that's not how she talks/reacts" comments that I had about Willow in his interaction between her and Devon. He'll most likely derail my story as much as I derailed his. And then we'll have another collab in the works.

Speaking of which, the last project I have in the works is still that collaborative effort with Ronoxym. He added a little bit, but this week was mostly me going back through the whole thing and beta-reading/adjusting a few things. He would then respond, add them in, tweak some himself, and the back and forth would continue.

Right now I believe we're up to 14pgs and over 8100 words. So much for this being a Snippet. Companion story, here we go! Considering we're FINALLY in Devon's head I have to wait completely for Ron to continue with his story, and then just adjust Willow's reactions. I have no clue how much longer this story is going to be or where it's going to go.

The problem there is that I'm so invested in Ron's story that I can't really focus on any of the above ones I have in the works. Probably why I have so many of them. I try to work on something to keep my mind off of this story, can't focus, and try a different story instead.


I've actually gotten moderately good at deciphering what he's trying to say when he mistypes in his pseudo-sleeping state.

So, yeah. I'm obsessed with finding out where Ron's story is going to go next. I try to do other things, but I can't distract my mind from that tale. The more I try to refocus my mind on something else the more I write, but no projects are done quite yet. We'll see if I do better in the upcoming week.

Now, for the final mini-challenge of the Winter Writing Challenge. We actually finished on a rewarding high note. We were supposed to treat ourselves; whatever that means.

I did something different, however. Last week was a week where I finally got back in to video/computer games, TV shows, and finishing books I've had in queue for months. I'd like to think I treated myself a LOT last week. Because of that I felt silly doing so again this week. So I considered this week's mini-challenge completed last week and I tried again to do last week's task as this week's mini-challenge.

In other words, I tried something different with my writing.

First of all, I did start up a whole bunch of projects all at once. I never do that. I write until I'm done with one story before moving on to the next. The exception being my chaptered stories; obviously, otherwise What Is Truly Meant To Be and A Race for Destiny would both be done by now...
The other thing I tried was to ignore actions while writing. I didn't write any scene description or any action blocking for the characters. I just wrote dialogue. I didn't even stop to write who was talking. It was just back and forth like listening in on a radio drama or a phone argument.

Once I was done with the dialogue I was planning on going back and filling in all the extra stuff: setting, action, reaction, who said what and how. I hadn't tried writing like that since high school. That's over 10yrs ago already, kiddies!

What tale did I give this treatment to? Ripley and Lia. I feel that in most cases writing out the "blocking" helps with the story. I better picture how the characters are interacting with each other that way. I know where they're standing/sitting in relation to each other. I know if they're throwing things or are standing with a cocked hip. I know if they're snuggling or ignoring each other. I know if they are pleading, yelling, laughing, or rolling their eyes. The way something is said is just as important as the words themselves; sometimes more important.

However, in some cases pausing long enough to write out how the characters are acting within their environment slows me down too much and the argument fizzles out. The reaction from the opposing character comes too slowly and the passion dies off. That's why I tried this tactic with Ripley and Lia.

I had tried writing the argument out the way I heard it in my head, but after three tries of the argument dying half way through I decided to try one last time where it was literally just their dialogue. Ripley came off a bit harsh, and so I have to go back and rework that, but for the most part the argument worked beautifully. Out of the above projects this is the closest to completion. I just need to go back and put in the action and setting and whatnot.

I also need to figure out how to get them in to the argument. It's almost as if they got through the argument once as I was falling asleep, aired out their grievances, and refuse to relive the fight. No matter what I try they just won't get back in to the argument. So the dialogue I have is already mid-fight. Eh, I'll figure it out.

So, for this upcoming week, keep your eyes open for the possibility of the following Snippets:
 - Willow Solo-Play of her doing a private training session on Mount X. Angst ensues....
 - Ripley and Lia having an argument about where her commitment is and whether or not she'll give up on The Institute.
 - Trish Solo-Play of her doing a private training session in the Cold Locker with her new craft piece.
 - Nys telling Willow to step off in regards to Devon. Although, this one might be severely delayed depending on the rewrites Ron has.

Writing out a full summer vacation will be a bit of a task. I'm not sure how long that will take. I'm also foreseeing the Willow/Devon story to be another few weeks before it's done. However, I'm going to try to push Ron to finish before the end of March. We'll see how that goes.