AROW80 update for 10/29/2014 + Nanowrimo Plans and Schemes

I have finished typing up the last of what I’ve got written (so far) for Defcon: Fade Out and the grand total is 145,247 words. Which blows me away but would make me a lot happier if it was one solid cohesive story. Instead, I’m pretty sure what I’m looking at is actually two separate books — or at least two separate stories that are related by a common thread.  Since the inspiration for this series is cheesy men’s adventure novels from the 1980s and those books did sometimes do “doubles” (i.e. two books in one) I might have this book be one of those.  I have to ponder the plan for this a bit more, but I’m fairly confident I can make it work.  Once again, it comes down to a question of figuring out where the gaps are and writing the bits to fill in those gaps.

Nanowrimo Plans:

I’d originally planned to use Nanowrimo to help fill in the gaps. The original plan was to have things typed up and the inventory done by the first of November. This isn’t going to happen, mainly because I don’t want to half-ass the work trying to get it done over the next two days and I want to hit the ground running come November 1st.

And, to be blunt about it, I need a break from Defcon: Fade Out. I’ve been working on it more or less steadily for a few years now and it’s time for a vacation. So, I’m taking the month of November off and working on something else.

Once again, I’m taking the Nanowrimo Rebel approach to the month. In my case, I’m not going to be working on a novel, I’m going to be working on some short stories. So, call it NaShoStoWriMo instead. The idea is still to try and write 50,000 words but instead of them being one novel, I’m hoping to get at least three or four stories out of the endeavor. I’m using the following word count categories from the SFWA as my guidelines:

  • Short story: less than 7.500 words
  • Novelette: at least 7,500 – 17,500 words
  • Novella: 17,500 – 40,000 words

I’m hoping to keep things within the novelette category. The plan is to make myself work on writing shorter pieces with an eye toward improving my writing’s tightness and my writing speed.  Toward that end and in keeping with the whole Nano-Rebel thing, I’ve actually already started working on one story. It’s an expansion on an idea that I posted a snippet of back in December of last year (it’s the second one in this post).

I have three other story ideas that I want to work on. Another one is set in the Gem City superhero universe, one in the Defcon universe and one that takes place in the Butcher’s Bill vampire hunting universe.  Going with the 50,000 total word goal, that gives me an average of about 12,500 words per story but the ultimate word count would be whatever is needed to finish the story.

Part of the reason for this interest in short stories is to work on finishing a complete story and another reason is to work on trying to get some things ready to submit for publication. One of the things I want to work on for 2015 is submitting something for publication. Toward that end, I’ve picked up a copy of the 2015 Writer’s Digest Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market as a way of encouraging/goading myself onward.

Come December, I’m going to start working on turning Defcon: Fade Out into that elusive goal: a finished piece. I’m also going to take another look at my old attempt at writing a Butcher’s Bill novel.

So, fingers crossed and here goes something!

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AROW80 Check-In for 10/15/2014 (posted on 10/16)

Current Word Count: 127,852 words (as of 10/16/2014 0102)

I signed up for Nanowrimo 2014. Once again, I’m planning on using it as a chance to fill in gaps and create a cohesive story. If y’all are looking for a writing buddy, I’m at dunmurderin.

Plans for the Week:  Just keep typing, just keep typing. I’ve got a dozen or so scenes that were written out on loose-leaf paper that I’m typing up so that I have everything in one spot and can organize from there. A goodly chunk is going to end up pared off and probably recycled into other stories set in this ‘verse.

Latest Movies Seen: On Monday, we went to see Gone Girl with the girlfriend’s mom and all I’m going to say about the movie is that it was AMAZING! Which is about all I can say about the movie for fear of spoiling. Ok, no, there’s one other thing I can say: the cat in the movie, is adorable. There’s just something about an orange marmalade cat.

Tuesday, we went and saw Dracula: Untold — and all I can say about that movie is if you want to see it, wait for it to go to the discount theaters or to show up at Redbox or on Netflix. Because while it wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t good either. On the other hand, if you like a good, cheesy movie, this is a good cheesy movie.

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AROW80 4th Quarter Check-In: 10/8/2014

Goals for this Round – which are some of my goals from last time around, rewritten and/or adapted for continued use:

  1. Finish typing up DEFCON: FADE OUT: I’ve been working on this and have managed to type up everything I had in both of my notebooks. Now, I’m working on the extra scenes that I’ve written over the last month or so. I’m expecting to finish off with a grand total of around 137,000 words (more or less).
  2. Create a cohesive manuscript:Last round, I figured I had about 3/4th of a story set down for Defcon: Fade Out. I’m still fairly confident that this is the case. The problem is, I don’t have an ending and I’m not really sure about my beginning. The middle feels fairly strong – or at least complete. I also keep running plots and motives through my head and have been jumping from idea to idea to idea to idea.

At its heart, the plot of Defcon: Fade Out focuses on a murder and I’ve been trying to figure out a good, solid motive for the murder. It’s less a question of not having an idea versus being spoiled for choice. So, once everything is typed up and printed out, my plan is to go through the extra bits of the manuscript and start trimming bits away to get to the heart of the story I want to tell. Then, it’s going to be time to outline a nice, tight outline.

One of my goals for November is to use Nanowrimo to write the missing and/or necessary scenes to fill out the manuscript and make it into a cohesive whole. It’s still going to need editing after that but at least this will put me closer to having something that is editable and not just a collection of scenes still needing to be linked together.

  1. As a secondary goal, I want to try and come up with ideas for shorter stories. Ok, this goal is more or less unchanged from last round and amounts to this: This is a blatant attempt on my part to try and produce some potentially marketable fiction with an aim toward making some money. Not a lot, just enough for me to be able to say “I wrote this and I got paid for it!”

The good news is, I’ve got an idea for a shorter piece to set in the Defcon ‘Verse and I’ve been noodling around with ideas for stories set in other story ‘verses.

  1. Be better about checking in with folks. Back at the beginning of Round Three, I lamented the fact that I let checking in with other folks fall by the wayside and intended on checking in with others with more regularity. By the end of Round Three, I’d more or less stopped checking in with my own blog so, yeah, that was one ball that was well and truly dropped. I’m going to work on being better about keeping hold of it this time around.

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Achievement Unlocked: 100,000 words!

With the secondary achievement of ‘tired and sore arms’ also reached!

Goal Achieved: 100,000 words typed as of 10/01/2014 on Defcon: Fade Out manuscript

Typing Goal of 100,000 words for Defcon: Fade Out achieved!

Seriously, I managed to make it to 100,000 words today but it was a bit of a slog. My hands were/are like, “Aren’t we there *yet*”

I’ve still got about 25-30,000 words left to type up, plus some untold number left to write to fill in the gaps but for now, I have hit a goal and I am happy!