AROW80 Check-In for August 21, 2014

I’ve got Good News and I’ve got Bad News (the bad news goes on for a bit, but the good news IS there!)…

Bad News First: I’ve, uh, missed a couple posts and I wish I could say it was because I was just sooooo busy typing that I couldn’t spare a moment to post but, uh…ohhh, no, that is not the case. That is sooo not the case. Light from what the case should be would take about a hundred years to reach the case as it stands right now.

As of August 6th, I’d written 25,188 words.  As of tonight, I’ve written 27,232 words. I am soooo far behind at this point that I’m not sure I’ll be able to catch up before the end of this Round. I’m still going to try because miracles can happen and even if I don’t reach 100,000 words I can at least get as close to it as I can, right?

The reason the typing has fallen off is because I’ve fallen into a slump and it worries me. More to the point, it scares me because I know how easy it is to just keep sliding into the slump and to let NOT doing things come easier and easier — especially because the work is becoming harder and harder. The more I type things up, the more I find that I’m not happy with what I have, that I’m afraid the ideas don’t make sense and that I just don’t have the skills necessary to pay the bills on this particular idea.

It also doesn’t help that there’s some non-writing related stuff going on that’s likewise sapping my will to write and making it hard for me to put my butt in the seat and do the damned typing. Which needs to be done so I can get to the work of making things make sense. The little obnoxious voice that keeps telling me that I’m spinning my wheels and wasting my time and kidding myself is getting louder and harder to ignore and shout down.

Tie that into the fact that, as I’ve stated before, I’m writing the LAST book in a series so even once I finish this one, I have four other books to write before I can really do anything with this work because — as it stands right now — I don’t want to try and put the series out in reverse and remove all the suspense.

But even those worries pale in comparison to the problem I’m having in writing THIS book. Problems which I think I might actually have an inkling of a handle on — namely that I need to tell two interlocking stories (actually, it’s going to be three with a short interlude piece in between).

Ok, now for the Good News:

I finally got Chapter Five typed up and I figured out what to do with a scene that I didn’t want to leave stranded in Notebook Limbo (i.e. not typed up) but that no longer fit with the ideas I have for the chapter it was originally part of: I creased a Miscellaneous Scenes section in my current Scrivener binder!  I typed the scene up, labeled and color-coded it accordingly and now I can move on.

also sat down and worked out some of the structural problems that I’ve been having with Defcon: Fade Out.  Namely, I realized that the story I’ve been working on is only half of the novel.  Some of the stuff I’ve already written feels like it would better suit an earlier part of the story that leads into the main chunk that I have plotted out in my head. So, I’m going to tell that story.  The structure I’ve got in my mind now is as follows:

  • Book One: Takes place in July 2022, introduces characters and their world, sets up events, etc.
  • Interlude: a short novella/novelette that will be linked to the first and second halves of the story and will serve as a palette cleanser.
  • Book Two: Takes place in October/November 2022, follows characters/events set up in first book and interlude to their conclusions.

The good news is, Book Two is largely written and bits of Book One and the Interlude are also written. The bad news…well, a lot of the entire thing ISN’T but still, once the bits that exist are typed up, I’m hoping the holes will become easier to see. So far, so good.

I’m scared and I’m nervous but, well, I have a place where I can come and talk about being scared and nervous. And I have a girlfriend who loves me and listens to me when I ramble about being nervous and scared (and puts up with my being an insecure blob sometimes).  So, I am ever so grateful to you guys and to her.

(Amy, if you’re reading this, I love you! You are awesome! You are the Groot to my Rocket!)

Miscellaneous Musings on the TV I’ve Been Watching:

To go off on a silly note.

Dear Vampire Hunters on The Strain: For the love of Bela Lugosi, would you guys PLEASE start wearing face masks when you go out and kill vampires? You’ve set up the conceit that vampirism is spread by a parasite  that just has to land on you and one of you is a big-shot epidemiologist for the CDC. Plus, you can get face masks at CVS.  Gloves would also be a wise idea. Ok, so you can’t inconspicuously run around in biohazard suits but, dudes, bare hands and faces just are dumb.

Also, stop ending the show just as things get good! That’s just mean!

Dear Rizzoli & Isles:  A belated thank you for writing a braniac character (Dr. Isles) who doesn’t annoy the hell out of me. Double points for making them female and all the points and a chocolate croissant for making her socially awkward, super smart, female and still a believable human being.

Also, kudos for handling a couple of seriously touchy subjects in ways that were true to the show, true to the characters and (at least IMO) respectful to the feelings of real people.

Dear Amazon Prime: Thank you for making it possible for me to watch all of the Cadfael mysteries as well as the seasons of Red vs. Blue that I’ve missed. Also for making it possible for me to find out that there was/is a TENTH season of Red Dwarf! OMG! Oh, and the 2006 Robin Hood which is just goofy, cheesy fun.

Cool Links:

A Guide to Naming and Naming Practices — a guide to names and naming practices in around 30 different countries/regions worldwide. Not just a list of names, this guide provides information about how names are structured in different cultures and countries.

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AROW80 Check-In: 8/6/2014

It’s been a slow week as far as writing/typing goes. I am still mired down in Chapter Four, though I’m closer to the end than I was and I’m hoping to have the blasted thing done by the time I go to bed tonight.

Probably doesn’t help that I took part of the night off last night to go see Guardians of the Galaxy with the girlfriend, but it was soooooo-oooo-oooo worth it.  It was one of those things that just hit all my yummy buttons and is the kind of science fiction that has humor and energy and good characters and really wild things that I want to write.

It’s also not helping that I’m in a part of the story that needs some serious rewriting and that is making it slower going — though I am proud of the fact that I did actually sit down and write out some changes.  I’m likely going to have to do the same thing in the next chapter too, but I’m hoping it will go more quickly.

On the reading front, I read The Strain trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (because the TV show is not moving fast enough for me; though I’m glad to see that the series is departing from the books enough that I’m probably not going to know what’s going to happen next). The books were good, but part of me likes the series better.

Also I discovered the Save The Cat series of books on screenwriting by the late Blake Snyder. I’ve read a lot of books and articles on writing and laying out of scenes, but Mr. Snyder’s books make things that I’ve read other places feel a lot clearer and easier to follow. Highly recommended.

Typing Goals: I’m still working my way through Chapter Four and am at 23.478 words right now. It’s a slow slog, but it is a slog I am still slogging away at.  Not even going to think about how far behind I am because that will change and I know it will go up as I get to areas that I’m happier with and that will be easier to charge through.

Final Edit of the Night: Chapter Four is DONE! Word count is now 25,188 words! I’m going to bed! WHOO!

Goals for this Week: Finish typing up Chapter Four before I go to bed. Start on Chapter Five, ASAP and get my word count back up to more respectable levels.

Edited to add: Found this article over at Charles Yu’s Insanely Helpful Advice On “Getting Stuck” While Writing

[When I get stuck and start telling myself “You suck”] sometimes I will read to myself something that I have liked that I wrote, to remind myself, “Once in a while, you do it.” Like, it’s usually a paragraph or two, that I’m like, “I remember how I did that.”

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Why NOT cookie Rocket?

Why NOT cookie Rocket?

Based on a conversation me and the girlfriend had after leaving Guardians of the Galaxy last night. 

The sources of the images in this gif are at the following links: Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Rocket Raccoon.  

Non-spoiler review of Guardians of the Galaxy: OHMYGOD! GO SEE THIS MOVIE NOW! Or as soon as you most conveniently can because this movie is just…this movie is Sensawunder science fiction at its finest.  It’s funny, it’s clever, and I don’t care what the guy behind me at the theatre says, the stinger at the end was totally worth sitting through the credits for. And I REALLY had to pee so, y’know…yeah.