Progress Tracker on Thread (3)

This week, I ripped into actual writing, with a limit of 300 words per weekday and 500 per weekend day. The broad writing goal for this week was to get scene 1 and 2 finished (there are 7 scenes in total for this chapter and I’ve written the ending scene already way back when it was just going into the epub as a serial short story). At first I was going to work a straight 7-day week but I had been skimming through self-help books and the advice of leaving a day out of the week for yourself resonates with me so I decided to leave Monday out. Besides, Monday is ever my game-show watching day so I can’t really count on any work being done on Mondays anyway. *big grin with teeth showing*

The day to day break down is as follows:
Monday 19th September 2016: I actually got 236 words down straight after dinner on my home PC which also coincided with the end of the recorded episode of the game-show. This proved decisively to me the virtue of making this a day-off. I can sneak in extra words in case I have a slow day for a specific week.

Tuesday 20th Sept – Guess what? I really needed the sneaky Monday because today I only wrote on the train into work with pen and paper and also uncertainty kicked in from where the story leaves off from Monday. Word count was 184 words exactly.

Wednesday 21th Sept – Met the word count and outdone it by 10 words writing, on home PC a while after dinner. I finished scene 2 already! I had also had tracking my Words per Hour (WPH) and somehow Monday was actually the best speed for me possibly because it was the start of the Chapter and a complete blank slate for me to work on and plus it was supposed to be my day off. My WPH was 516 for Wed which isn’t bad for my standards but then I still had uncertainty dragging down my pace and also I got interrupted half way by Mum. Oh, I also started doing 5 minutes or less pre-writing straight before my writing session (yes, I can always expand my own pre-writings, I’m a bit of a planning freak but truth is I still under-plan always. I think I’m a hybrid planner-pantser in reality even though I self-classify myself as a planner, in that I cannot survive without planning but my planning can always do with more comprehensiveness.)

Thursday 22th Sept – I decided that one bit in scene 2 regarding the sidecast’s reactions didn’t ring true of his feelings at that point and his personality in previous Chapters. So I went back and expanded scene 2 and then I continued writing scene 3. Pre-writing was done at work before I left for the day. Actual writing was done around same time on Wed, just met daily word count and WPH was back on par with Monday at around 675.

Friday 23th Sept- Similar as Thurs in all circumstances but I had now gone up to the first real action scene in the story and I always procrastinate over them so WPH dropped to 463 but daily word count met. At the end of this session, I finally just decided to scrap out the action bits in scene 3 and replaced it with an alternative resolution for the conflict. When I was brainstorming for this chapter at the start, I didn’t know how the characters were going to get out of the fix and the resolution through action scene was actually what someone gave me when I asked for a brainstorming session which I accepted because I was so short of ideas but I knew it was going to be trouble for me in write up. As it turned out, being in the flow of the story this session told me that I could do without the resolution through action so of course I jumped this offer *smiles contendedly*.

Saturday 24th Sept- I wanted to trial a different time of the day to see how it affects my WPH but many things coincided such that I decided to take the day off to go back to planning instead. These things included: the 5 jigsaw puzzles I ordered arrived yesterday (I’m trying to reconnect with childhood passions just for the fun of it but also doing jigsaws increases my intuition skill and I want to further hone it), I had difficulty writing the current events for this session due to lack of personal knowledge, I just had procrastination urges setting in because scene 4 coming up is another action scene AND I told myself that I did well enough for the first week of writing to have gone up to scene 3 already which effectively reinforced my procrastination urge. But at least I stayed true to the commitment of planning out the remainder of scene 3 in further details. I didn’t touch scene 4 because I thought it was pre-written out to enough details and I couldn’t improve on it but maybe it would be different when it comes time. But one step at a time.

Sunday 25th Sept- I did start and stops but in between three sessions I got my requisite 500 word count done.  

Moonlake’s Book Discoveries- September 2016

I didn’t read much between the last Book Discovery post and this one because first I was engaged with the epub and now I am contemplating a slow transition towards being a FT writer on my own. So fiction has been pushed out of the way as you can see below.

Third Girl by Agatha Christie
As per usual, I was tricked and I must say I’m one of the ones who like being tricked by a mystery and that’s part of the reason why I personally think Christie mysteries are purer than contemporary mystery. While they tend to be more character driven than Christie’s, I at least feel that the flatness in some of the plots I’ve encountered goes directly counter to what I really enjoy about a mystery. Then again, that’s just me.

The Courage to Be Creative: How to Believe in Yourself, Your Dreams and Ideas, and Your Creative Career Path by Doreen Virtue
Absolutely what I need if my doubts ever kick in about being a writer, highly inspirational despite the fact that I don’t have any spiritual beliefs and have a need to translate all the author’s references to divineness into something else but that doesn’t harm the value I took out from this book. I gave this 5 stars on Amazon ultimately because this book made me realise that I actually have far more courage than I gave myself credit for.

2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron
I’m yet to test all the advice contained here but they speak of common sense to me and I think the overall book has good utility value. I didn’t get this book entertaining notions that it would contain ground breaking advice so I wasn’t disillusioned as one review I read on Amazon seemed to indicate the reader was. Also, I think I share with Rachel a tendency towards planning as opposed to winging it (but I do some winging in my writing, it’s just that I never actually start writing one word on MS word without some planning first no matter how rudimentary) so some of her approach are already part of my own modus operandi but I did pick up procedures that seem more safe-proof against dead corners.

Write The Fight Right by Alan Baxter
This is actually a reference given to me by my friend Darcy Conroy when I was going insane with the revision of the fight scene in Thread part 2 that was published in issue 2 of Excursions. I flipped through it quickly and I think it’s actually more useful for empty-handed combat which wasn’t what I needed but I still took away some useful things about writing fight scenes from this book. Plus, it’s a quick read, contains a list of important points aka cheat sheets at the end and contains an example written by the author.

Angels Astrology 101: Discover the Angles connected with your Birth Chart by Doreen Virtue
I flipped through this and took down descriptions for myself, family and friends on an idle night. It seems pretty interesting to compare what this books says about particular people and my own perception of them. I bought this from Amazon Kindle thinking that it could potentially be useful for characterisation and I think it will be when I’m stuck which I often am for making up characters.

Shared post about Patreon

Thought this may be useful information for all writers and bloggers (upon further research, apparently this is only profitable for those with an established following like most Internet based ventures but it will be a good side project for developing an additional relatively stable income stream if you do):

Making a living as a writer is not easy. In fact, for the vast majority of people, earning their keep with nothing but words is nigh impossible … a pipe dream … a long shot. Even so, we writers are a hardy (read: “stubborn”) lot who tend to dig our heels in when it comes […]

via Patreon for Writers – A Fascinating and Evolving Space — Live to Write – Write to Live

Moonlake’s Spotlight (2): Man’s Damnation by Christopher Lee!

This week I have another work that I’m excited to share with you all, Man’s Damnation- Lore of the Aos Si, also taking pre-orders on Inkshares by Christopher Lee, the founder of the Indie Authors Collective! Here’s the synopsis or back cover blurb of Man’s Damnation:

Our ancestors once lived in harmony with the creator. It was a Golden Age, where man lived in the fabled Garden of Eden where none suffered and all needs were fulfilled. The Primordial Goddess was their mother and her first child was Adam.

Adam, the first man, and father of mankind was charged with the protection of her sacred creation. The power bestowed upon him proved too great for Adam thus was born the folly of man. The Goddess rested for the act of creation had drained her of her power. Adam was filled with hubris and named himself God among men.

His pride corrupted the creation of the Goddess and perverted mankind. War between Adam and the Goddess raged in the heavens. The Fae, the siblings of mankind, waged war on their rebellious brothers and sisters. The Goddess claimed victory over Adam and mankind was banished from Eden and stripped of their ability to wield the gift of magic.

It is the year 3002 B.C.E. in the Silver Age. The Fae King Dagda rules over the four houses of the Seeley Court of Tír na nÓg. Mankind is scattered across the realms of Tír na nÓg and Tír nam Beo. Tensions between the Fae and Man are reaching a breaking point. As the Silver Age draws to a close the world will be thrown into chaos by the return of the Usurper Adam. Four young souls will rise as the ancient forces of the world continue their age-old feud. As MidSummer’s Eve approaches, the first and greatest world war will erupt once more between Man and the Fae.

mansdamnation

Also, here’s the art trailer which shows the mind-scattering amount of world-building work that had gone into this particular series:

If all of the above still don’t convince you to get into this series, then let’s hear about what others have to say on Inkshares:

review-1

~Mark A. Mix, author seeking pre-orders with The Darkholme Chronicles: Cruxfire

review-2

~ Jane-Holly Meissner, author seeking pre-orders with Fae Child

review-3

~ Audrey T. Carroll, author of Queen of Pentacles

review-4

~ Tahani Nelson, author seeking pre-orders with The Last Faoii

 

And last but not least, an endorsement from Moonlake herself:

If you are a die-hard fan of lore like me, you would be hooked as I am now!”

Overall, I think this series has large potential. It reminds me of LoR in the immensity and complexity of the underlying world, the large cast and rich lores woven into the tapestry of the world itself. Get behind this series on Inkshares now if you appreciate any of these elements.

Progress Tracker on Thread (2)

Again, I finished my set broad goal for this week ahead by one day! Technically I’m still in planning stage (my pre-writing is just blotting out how events occur in the story on a fine level plus notes to myself about key aspects to watch out for) so it’s to be expected but I’m learning to celebrate all of the small victories where possible. And actually, it’s not so small a victory this week as you will read in the breakdown below. So hurray!

The day to day break down is as follows:

Monday 12th September 2016: I got scene 1 partially done, was stuck with the reaction of the side cast

Tuesday 13th Sept – signal failure on my train line and I had to catch alternative transport, arrived at home just after 8p.m. and finished dinner by 9p.m. Cannot get any work done.

Wednesday 14th Sept – crossing accident that resulted in tragic death of two old ladies and another service disruption. This time got home almost an hour later than Tuesday (finished dinner and it’s almost 10 p.m.!) so again no work can get done.

Thursday 15th Sept – Pre-wrote up to scene 4 out of 6 scenes

Friday 16th Sept- got up to scene 5 where the hole I dug myself was and still couldn’t fill it up yet

Saturday 17th Sept- Filled up the hole and finished with pre-writing the final Chapter of the novella! Yay!

 

Forgiving and Closed Doors

To an event experienced yesterday and the one who sent me the email:

Forget and forgive,

I’m not ready for you.

Fully aware of my own faults,

I was nevertheless hurt.

I’m applying the best cure for my wounds:

Time and Distance Away.

 

On a more uplifting note, concurrent to the above event I remembered the following from when I first got my graduate job after being one of the latest of my Honours cohort to get an offer:

Don’t lament Closed Doors,

They are often the wrong ones for you.

The Right Door will open

If you are Patient and Persistent.

 

 

Moonlake’s Spotlight (1): The War of Wind and Moon by Darcy Conroy!

I’m finally excited to do my post today which is the start of a brand new post series called Moonlake’s Spotlight! This will happen in conjunction with a brand new section that I’m opening on my blog as noted on the About page.

So, in this grand opening, I would like to share with you all a high quality work, The War of Wind and Moon , now taking pre-orders on Inkshares by Darcy Conroy who also wrote As Long as She Lives! Here’s the synopsis or back cover blurb of the War of Wind and Moon:

Seventeen-year-old Mia trusts no-one. She wants to – she’d give almost anything to be able to – but when your physical and emotional safety depends on the acute awareness of every whim and mood swing of your narcissistic, rage-filled mother, mistrust is a survival instinct.

Expert at reading body language, facial expressions and vocal fluctuations, Mia is permanently prepared to fight or flee at the slightest hint of anger, aggression or even just disapproval. She’s learned it’s easier to be alone.

But Mia’s not alone. In fact, she’s been under surveillance for some time and the supernatural creature watching her is about to make a report to its masters that will make them question everything they thought they knew about death, life and what happens in between.

cover

Also, here’re selected excerpts that readers have loved about this work:

“Floating to the ceiling of Mia’s bedroom, its dangling belly swollen after a feast of rage and fear, the Gossip enjoyed a dessert of contempt and defiance”

“There were so many they could have chosen – an elegant bottle or a happy leaf green – but no, someone had chosen the mud green of bruised avocado flesh. Which, now she thought about it, was appropriate, considering the state of her back this morning.”

If all of the above still doesn’t convince you to get into this series, then let’s hear about what others have to say on Inkshares :Avalon review
~ Avalon Marissa Radys, Marketing Manager at InksharesMikereview

~ Mike Mongo, author of the Astronaut Instruction Manual
Jessica review

~ Jessica S. Carter, author of Villainous

Wesley review

~Wesley Reid, author seeking pre-orders with Child of Secrets

 

And last but not least, the endorsement from Moonlake herself:

“This is a well-written story with good pacing and solid hooks planted that will easily pull you into the underlying world and the events the protagonist is experiencing. It’s a fast-paced and pleasurable read.”

 

By the way, if you pre-order War of Wind and Moon on Inkshares now, you get a free copy of As Long As She Lives , a contemporary thriller by the same author- a buy-1-get-1-free offer so snap it up while you can!

Progress Tracker on Thread (1)

Progress Tracker on Thread (1)

For the very first time, I’m trialling the method of setting an actual date for a solo piece that I’m going to publish as a standalone novella, my story A Thread of Chance of which the first three Chapters have already been published in the first 2 issues of the anthology series Excursions from the Citadel (Chapter 2 and 3 have been published jointly as part 2) Following advice from the Creative Penn, I’m setting the deadline to be a date memorable to me which is my birthday on 23 October. To be honest, I don’t really celebrate it anymore and mostly forget about it but at least it’s a date that will stick in my mind.

 

In conjunction with this date setting, I’ve printed out calendars with one month to one A4 page so that I can assign daily writing goals, mark down absolute deadlines for specific aspects of the story as well as other important commitments and colour code things. Up to the 18th of this month, I will be doing planning and what I call pre-writing (which is half way between an outline and actual writing, where I work out what I want and need to write in each scene, often constructed from some kind of scene skeleton that I always make). From the 19th, it would be a minimum word count of 300 on each weekday and 500 on weekends. This means that I will be writing 10,500 words for Chapter 3 of Thread if I finish exactly on the deadline which is clearly overkill. But I figure it’s good for morale if I start with a deadline that I can easily meet.

 

In addition to my personal efforts, I’m recruiting my friend as motivation partner to help me to stay on track with this deadline in the following way: we have a deal whereby I will make a small donation to her social business as penalty if I miss the deadline whereas I will make a bigger donation if I meet my deadline. This basically gives her an incentive to bug me so that I will meet the deadline. Finally, I’m putting up this particular serial post that will keep running over consecutive weeks starting from this week so that I have “invisible eyes” monitoring my progress. *wink* Feel free to whip me if I ever report departing from stated goals.

 

For this week, the broad goal is to get rough planning done and I finished it ahead of time yesterday. The breakdown of actual work done by day is as follows:

Monday 5th Sept – no work done, this is usually the day where my time after work is spent watching this game show I had been following on a weekly basis

Tuesday 6th Sept – started on the scene skeleton (basically sequence of events in each scene) but I dug a hole for myself that got me excited instead of depressed LOL

Wednesday 7th Sept – finished up on the scene skeleton and also finished up what I call a scene purpose outline for Chapter 4 that sketches out for every purpose the main events and the purpose for the specific scene

Thursday 8th Sept – Re-read Chapter 1 and 2 but before too close to completion of Chapters 2 and 3, gave up on re-reading

Friday 9th Sept- wrote the scene purpose document for Chapter 1 so that I can have it on hand for revision of draft 1 for Thread as a standalone novella, something I found immensely helpful while I was working on Thread as a serial short story with standalone parts

Saturday 10th Sept- refined scene skeleton for Chapter 4 done (hole still unfilled), ready to move into pre-writing next week

 

Excursions from the Citadel- issue 2 out!

It has been out since 31 August. The full title for it is Wizards: Excursions from the Citadel Issue 2. There are more authors that have come on board for this particular issue which is great if you appreciate diversity. I am personally exiting this enterprise as contributing author and the grand finale to my serial story A Thread of Chance will now be published as a standalone novella by itself.

For those of you who have purchased either/both copies of the Excursions issue 1 and 2, I will be providing coupon codes in the future so you can get a free copy of the Thread novella when it comes out.

Moonlake’s Meta Fiction (4)

This is the last bit of meta fiction that I had written for the Citadel. It is part of a collaborative submission I did with MysticMoon for the Kaiju (monster of massive size ala Godzilla style) quest. This whole submission is based off on MysticMoon’s idea of a chimera creature created through scientific means i.e. DNA mixing and I mainly helped to create the underlying context of how such research came about. Anyway, the following meta fiction (mostly in diary entry form) is really about the lead scientist who created this ultimate chimera monster that became effectively Godzilla running amok. The original inspiration for this character is this youtube clip of a Captain from a space opera that MysticMoon pointed me to but the name of the show/movie never registered on me.

Dr. James Wooden

11:00 a.m., Sydney, Crown Center, Press Conference

With an air of self-assurance, Dr. James Wooden strode in, smiled and seated himself. In a charcoal black suit, Dr. Wooden conveys the image of a true gentleman.

“Welcome to the Press Conference on Project Chimera. As everyone here is well aware, now farming has to be done predominately either with animal or human labour. Also, the radical movement is gaining momentum and causing major disruptions to our lives.  Now, I ask all of you, what do we do about them? Well, my answer is that we create something that will simultaneously address these two problems…  Now, is there any questions?”

18/05/3031

Finally, those walking monies have given me the funding for my Project Chimera! Imagine the fame I will get when I create the perfect animal that will solve the two most pressing problems of humanity at the moment.

19/05/3031

What specimens of DNA should I use to create my Chimera? Let me see, grizzly bear for its strength and ability to sustain mob attacks, the Tasmanian devil so that it will have a rapid reproductive cycle, snakes so that it would have a means to quickly immobilise those pesky radicals and yes, the giant squid from Japan that has that delicious gene with the propensity to mutate, why then my Chimera can continuously breed with other species, creating unique offsprings. Who knows that those walking monies won’t take the fancy to getting their special pet Chimera and give me follow-up funding on project extensions?

10/01/3032

Curse those radicals, here I thought this ghost town of Alice Springs would be the perfect place to set up my research compound and all my Aboriginal ‘assistants’ have escaped in the confusion as well. I know, I will move to Bourke in New South Wales, surely there the opportunities to ‘recruit’ more Aboriginal ‘assistants’ are plenty as well.

08/11/3032

Those ethnical guidelines that scientists are supposed to uphold are damn nuisances. What’s the difference between a non-lethal venom that will paralyse someone so that they can be killed and a lethal one that directly kills? Damn hypocrites

~ excerpts from a partially recovered personal diary of Dr. James Wooden found at the site of the destroyed research compound at Bourke, NSW