AROW80 Check-in for December 1, 2013

First things first, did not win Nanowrimo this year.  I got close-ish; last I counted I was at over 33,000 words so I’m happy about that.  I could have worked harder than I did, but since I’m focusing more on writing a complete draft than getting words on paper, I’m kind of glad I didn’t try to bull through to 50K.

My plan is to try and finish at least a chapter a week until I have all of Defcon: Fade Out finished. I’m planning on at least 20 chapters and I’m currently on chapter six, so hopefully by the end of January I’ll have a draft finished (a couple chapters are more or less fully written and need to be integrated into the manuscript).

As for the rest of my goals:

  • Keep track of the plot holes and research questions that have popped up while I’m writing: Need to be working harder on this; ideas will come to me while I’m writing and I need to start writing them down. I’ve made a few sticky notes but I need to be better about writing ideas down since I know that I won’t necessarily remember my ideas a few months from now when I get around to typing up my writing. Heck, I have a hard enough time remembering things from the beginning of a work shift to the end.
  • Put some (more) work into detailing the plots for the first three books, since they have an impact on the events in Defcon: Fade Out.  Not gotten to this one yet either, due to a variety of things, mainly work-related.
  • Put some work into figuring out ideas for the three other projects that have been on the back burner/recently come up thanks to some weird dreams. — toward this end, I’ve gotten myself a composition notebook (a graph paper composition notebook because graph paper is my thing!) so that I can record ideas and snippets.  
    • These ideas include:
      • A book about 3rd shift vampire hunters — henceforth to be known as the Butcher’s Bill ‘verse: No work done on this one.
      • A story about a Reverse Batman-type character — henceforth to be known as the Gem City ‘verse — Oh, wow, have I worked on this idea! Over the weekend, which to my currently addled mind started sometime around Thursday, I made a real start on this world. I’ve named the reverse-Batman character (Will O. Cartwright) and made a stab at creating my own versions of superheroes and villains. More on them on Wednesday.
      • A story about a scruffy space pirate-type guy who helps fight Cthulu-like aliens and who annoys the other space pirates by flaunting one of the basic rules of their society — Nothing concrete on this, though I have an idea about what the basic rule he flaunts is.  And a name for the universe it’s set in: Kinstealer ‘verse.

Goals for this Go-‘Round:

  • Finish Chapter Six of Defcon: Fade Out
  • Finish writing the ‘serving divorce papers to the Thing-Expy’ for Gem City ‘verse
  • Organize/Plan My Research for Butcher’s Bill and Gem City ‘verses.
    • For Butcher’s Bill: I’m reading (well, listening to the audiobook of)  Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus. There’s a theory that rabies may be the inspiration for our myths of vampires and werewolves, so that’s the reasoning behind that.
    • For Gem City: mostly reading articles on TVTropes and Wikipedia.   Going to be hitting up the library for some comics for inspiration.  I’m also going to be going through the books I’ve got. Not to mention rewatching some of my animated Marvel and DC videos.  If this is torture, chain me to the wall!

So, that’s the state of the me for today. Hope everybody else is doing well and if you’ve got a favorite superhero/villain, feel free to drop the name/s in the comments. So far, I’ve come up with Gem City versions of the Fantastic Four, Sabretooth, Wolverine, Cyclops, and the Punisher.

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10 thoughts on “AROW80 Check-in for December 1, 2013

  1. I hear you on the note-making thing. My desk is littered with bright pink post-its that say things like “go back- make sure she’s wearing a skirt” and a LOT of “check time-line: did they just cross the country in THREE DAYS?”

    I should really organize them better. Maybe I need a graph paper notebook. 🙂

    • I am telling you, they are awesome! They make my handwriting look good and they’re useful for making tables. Also, there are graph paper sticky notes.

      Other than sticky notes, tables are my second weakness. I’ve got a huge master list/table of characters’ birth years, ages at various points in the story timeline, ethnicities, genders, etc. Being able to sort those things is helpful.

  2. No worries on the NaNo thing. Just getting words out at all is a big accomplishment. 🙂

    Also, I like your notebook idea. I had to curb my enthusiasm as I’ve promised myself not to start new projects. So, I jot and jot away, but save for another day. I do love the sound of your ideas, though, and can’t wait to see where they go. (Eeps. I just realized how much this paragraph rhymed. haha)

    In the meantime, any plotting, mindmapping, checklists, or usual brain spillage goes onto my mirrored closet doors. Such fun using dry erase markers to fill every available space with notes on my current projects. It’s a patchwork of multi-colored creative sparks–and also potentially the wall of one of those conspiracy theorists. Go fig.

    Here’s to an awesome round!



    • Oooh, I wish I had mirrored closet doors because being able to write on them sounds like a heck of a lot of fun! In part because, it would be fun to have a conspiracy theorist wall. As close as I’ve come is my girlfriend teasing me that I’m probably on a watchlist due to the subject matter of some of the books I’ve bought for research purposes *grins*.

  3. Even though I outline, I invariably come up with ideas as I’m writing that require changes to stuff I’ve already written. I put those in either Word comments, or in a separate Revision Notes file – don’t know what I’d do without them! Wait, yes I do – end up with crap that has loose threads, logistical inconsistencies, and plot holes you could fly a C-5 through! Your Gem City ‘verse sounds very interesting – looking forward to hearing more about that! 😀

    • I’ve come up with ideas that change the plot while I’ve been doing the @!#$ outline. It drives me nuts! But usually when the idea shifts during the plotting I end up coming up with something I like better so I guess there’s a method to my mind’s madness.

      And thank you! I’m hoping to post some more about Gem City soon (as in later today). Hope you’ll like!

  4. So many shiny ideas! I look forward to hearing more about them. I’m gonna have to go with Thor as my favorite superhero at the moment, since I’ve just seen the new movie twice. 🙂

    I need to get better about taking notes as I go, too. During last year’s NaNo, I took a lot of notes in the little notes section of Scrivener as I went. This year I wrote in Word, so I didn’t do that (I suppose I could have used the comment function, but I was too into the writing to stop and make notes. C’est la vie.). I do love sticky notes – especially colored ones – but I tend to lose them. Notebooks are awesome too. I’ve never tried a graph paper one.

    Best of luck with all your goals!

    • Thank you! Oooh, you read my mind. I was thinking about doing a Gem City version of Thor earlier today.

      I came up with a secondary system to make sure I didn’t lose track of my sticky notes: here’s an attempt at the short-hand version of the system:

      I use sticky notes, in large part, to add to the writing I’ve done without having to go back and white out a large section of text (I write mostly by hand while I’m at work, then type it up later). I put a number for the addition at the point where it needs to be added, usually in a different color ink — green, currently with a red circle around it.

      I put that number on the sticky note in the upper right hand corner and then the page number of the notebook on the lower right hand corner. Then I keep a list of all the places where the sticky notes go so that way, if they get removed from the notebook, I can figure out where they were supposed to be.

      ‘Course, it now occurs to me that I don’t mark down what notebook the stickies go in but then I don’t usually have more than one notebook active at a time. Might have to alter my system if I start working on multiple projects at once.

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