2017 – A Writing Plan!

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So, I don’t have a clever image for this one so here’s a picture of that robot thing from Lost in Space. What I DO have is a plan. A writing plan, and here it is. I’ve got 1 book done, and going nowhere (not I didn’t actually burn every copy in existence.), I’ve got two more than 1/4 of the way through and at least reasonably well plotted, and another 2 that have strong concepts, but perhaps aren’t far down the road in the plotting and writing department. In any case. Here is my writing plan for the year, when I finally get on the Stick:

  1. Finish Deep Space Helpdesk – Priority!
  2. Add a chapter to the burned book and shop it to a publisher or two.
  3. Write The Dark Queen of Darkness
  4. Finish book #2 of the book that shall not here be named, because we’re looking forward, remember?
  5. Work on the book with Thittlebod and Penny Adventure.
  6. Write one recipe box per week for the Seward Journal Newspaper, and one Baked Goods & Bourbon post per week.
  7. READ MORE – I made it through a pitifully small number of books last year owing largely to the existence of audiobooks. I want to fix that this year.
  8. Also, LOADS of editing.

So, there it is, my forward-looking writing plan, yes it includes actually finishing like 3 books, super aggressive, and quite possibly a stupid idea t even attempt, but there it is, at least I have a plan!


photo credit: Sky Noir Robot via photopin (license)

Progress report

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The summer is moving by so quickly, I think I might have missed it. Temperatures have been hanging out in the low 60s and cracking into the mid-40s at night giving a very distinct late summer vibe. I mean, except for the 21 hours of daylight.

I’ve been doing a bit of work on my current project, and last week I even tore through a rewrite of a few chapters that I’d been putting off. These chapters are a distinct sub-plot with a different lead character (in cliché fantasy tradition). They make up something like 1/4th of the book.

As I was going through these particular chapters, I noticed two major things. The first is that they needed (probably still need) quite a bit of editorial massaging. The second is that these particular chapters are, even with final polishing necessary, arguably the best chapters of the book. On one hand this is cool. I’ve got a few chapters that generally work. Unless a beta reader notes a major problem, these are good to go until editing! On the other hand, this is ¼ of the book. That means the other 3/4s still need a tremendous amount of work to be up to scratch. I think I’m making major progress on that score, but it’s hard to tell until I sit down and attempt another full re-write.

One theory of why this sub-plot is working better is that I don’t really care about the characters as much, and so as things start going to hell for them, I really don’t mind and just sort of let it happen. My main characters (the heroes, if you will), however, I care too much about. As a writer I’m not effectively putting their backs against the wall (more clearly stated: The MC should have a simple goal ‘right now’, simple goal right now is being blocked by a clear and present antagonist). I can’t say that this is THE problem I’m working through, but it’s definitely a contributing factor. The characters aren’t being driven from place to place so much as they are going from place to place. It seems to me that this isn’t doing any favors on the overall conflict and rising action.

So then what am I going to do about that?

I’ve already started tackling some of the problem bits. The first four or five chapters actually weren’t awful as far as this is concerned. The eleventh chapter, however, is a different story. The night before last, I completely rewrote it. It took the immediate conflict in a different direction that still managed to land the main character in almost the right situation to start chapter 12. The change also did good things for the conflict in chapter 12, which becomes something of a pivotal chapter (it always has been, but it just doesn’t have that feel or flavor yet). In any case, chapter 11 feels vastly improved from what it was, but I won’t know how much better this strategy is until I get to the end and look at the story as a whole.

So, anyhow, that’s where I am. The wife is out on the town tonight, so I’ll probably get a full chapter re-write in and if I’m lucky, tomorrow will be mostly a writing day and I’ll see if I can hammer out a few more chapter rewrites.


Photo credit: Me (don’t judge)