Writing Plan

I’m briefly back but I am not officially coming back to the blogging world until next year. Before I go into my writing plan, I thought I would briefly go back what’s been happening in my blogging absence. 

So long story short is that I’ve been caught up in a personal reflection spell in July- I am a bit of a philosophical person so personal reflections happen in short bursts for me quite frequently. But the July one is another beast altogether- it’s actually a prolonged period in which I’ve been staying up sleepless after I woke up in the middle of the night and I was remembering things from way back. Like childhood and teenagehood… I will blog about this first thing when I officially come back to blogging next year. Just know that it took up my attention from July until like September when I finally got back to my WIP. 

As for my writing plan, I’m going to aim for finishing a rough draft by the end of this year which means having all the material ready to cobble together a draft 0.6. I had ended up deciding to switch from third person point of view to first person in an attempt to get closer to my main characters. But I still intend to write in third person for the actual book so therefore I will need to do extra work: turn the first person writing back into third again for the parts of the books that I was able to progress with the switch of perspective. That will occur over February most likely since I will be taking the last of the University of British Columbia’s How to Write a Novel online courses on editing (I had previously completed their Outlining and First Draft courses, I think they are really good value). 

So that’s it for now. See you all in two months. 

Moonlake’s Writing Updates (8)

I am someone who is always more cautious about sharing bad news but the truth is that I’ve been a bit lost over these 2 months for my novel. Technically I’m not that lost but I haven’t been adding word counts on a daily basis and I haven’t been doing work for the novel on a day-to-day basis. Part of it is a change of routine- I just started a new job in May. Part of it is disconnection from the WIP in the form of not knowing enough about character and the underlying world. Then a major part is I think attributable to lethargy/procrastination combined with a lack of accountability- I brought back a decoder from overseas and suddenly TV is worth watching again. Then there are days where I can work on my novel but because I had not set goals as consistently as when I was working on a draft, I would put things off until it was sleep time and then I just went to sleep without having anything for the novel. This also coincided with a period where I skipped out on doing my daily achievements. And in fact, this lethargy is the reason why there was no blog post last week- I was composing a post for 2 weeks and then I just ‘forgot’ about it amidst continuously putting it off. And no, it’s not this current post, you will see that other one at a future time.

Anyway, I have ‘emerged from the dark’ now and I have a new deadline- to finish draft 0.6 by the end of this year. By the way, I did finish my draft 0.5, even way before the deadline. But it was more of a ‘let it go’ as opposed to achievement since I really had only half of the scenes fully written. Still, I had learnt to appreciate smallness so I just accepted it and moved forward albeit being disappointed. And now I am moving forward to yet another goal.

Persistence is the key. Till next time.

Sneak Peek: My Tentative Next Series

What?! You have a next series already lined up when you haven’t officially debuted with a single book yet? I know most of you are thinking this but it is true. In fact, if I look at my commercial project list document (to be distinguished from my idea journal where anything goes although the distinction is pretty lost by now), I have a trilogy for which I know the core idea and already started a preliminary outline for book 1, another trilogy for which I had a one-liner synopsis of each book and at least two other series that I felt drawn to or a bit more well-formed than the state I call “trapped in the nebulous” which is basically just an idea.

Anyway, today’s post is about the trilogy for which there is already an outline for book 1. It’s my tentative next series because I operate like an artist which is to say completely on whims. The core idea of this trilogy is this: it is going to be about three women that immediately succeed each other within this same lineage; in other words, grandmother, mother and daughter. Furthermore, the grandmother and the daughter are going to be mirror images of each other where the mother is going to be the odd one out.

To be honest, this idea has evolved a lot from the beginning. At first, it was going to be the repercussion of a single deed that the grandmother’s done on the mother and the daughter. The story itself was essentially about this deed being told three times, from each of the three women’s perspectives. But well, as it happened, now the story still retained this aspect but the focus is very different. It’s much more about how individuals with different characters perceive and react to the same set of events.

Those who have followed my blog for a while might have noticed that I have a fascination for world building. So for this series, my mind has concocted a fantasy musical instrument that represents the dynamics between the grandmother, mother and daughter. I shall leave a bit of space for imagination before I have much more substantial progress on this series. The other aspect I will mention is that somehow my mind decided to thrust this into the Han dynasty and this will involve a fair bit of political intrigue at the Imperial Palace.  

Writing updates (7)

I’m now a little more than halfway through draft 0.5, the next draft was to be draft 0.8 before I left for my holidays but now I think there will be a draft 0.6 and then I don’t know how many drafts it will be until I feel I call something draft 1. When I started on this project, that is not how I envisioned things to be. I thought the iterations would mostly apply at the outlining stage. But I guess what I can take away from this is that every novel project is really different and so all I can do is keep learning and keep experimenting.

The other major update I have on it is that I decided to make the deadline for completing draft 0.5 the end of June this year as opposed to my birthday in October. After all, I did get up to the halfway mark in three months’ time so there is no point for me to give myself extra room to procrastinate.

Having said all of the above, I am a long way from debutting, especially given my ambition to finish three novels before debutting. But I am always moving forward and I’m content with this for now.

Moonlake’s Writing updates (6)

So I had previously alluded to the fact that I’m working on a first draft (well, I’m calling it a 0.5 draft now, that gives me much more room to be rough and not use perfectionism as an excuse for procrastination). In this post, I thought I would elaborate a bit more on it. First, I had set the goal to finish the draft by my birthday next year which is in late Oct. Second, I’m glad to announce that I’ve already went over the 20% mark on it.

That’s pretty much all I have to share at the moment but I will also provide a sneak peek into the novel via the following elevator pitch that I came up with:

A fantasy story set in fictional ancient China. A young woman desperate to find her missing younger sister. A deserter out to find a new life and place for himself and his fellows. The convergence of their paths in the search for hope.

That’s it for now. Until next time.

Writer’s Achievement Diary- 23 July 2017

Mon 17/07/2017

  1. Revised 2 major plotlines reported as problematic by pre-alphas (equivalent to 2 achievements)
  2. Determined the overall shape of revision required up to chap 30

Tue 18/07/2017

  1. Resolved 1 loose plot-point in iteration 1
  2. Worked through to the end of book 1 and tagged down chapters for expansion/revision after collapsing of scenes

Wed 19/07/2017

  1. Scene 1, chap 14 (partially written)

Thu 20/07/2017

  1. Fleshed out scene 1, chap 14 fully
  2. Chap 14 done

Fri 21/07/2017

  1. Rounded out a plot point on male MC’s plot arc on motivation/goal
  2. Worked out very rough gist of scene 1, chap 20

Sat 22/07/2017

  1. Scene 2, chap 37 done
  2. Scene 1, chap 20
  3. Scene 2, chap 20 revised based on scene 1 event sequence

Sun 23/07/2017

  1. Scene 1, chap 39
  2. Rough gist of scene 2, chap 39 done
  3. 13 grids filled for Ma Fei

Week Goal: 1 achievement on average on weekdays and 2 on weekends. Finish 2nd iteration of outline.

Week Tally: 1.8 achievement on average on weekdays and 3 on weekends

Sum story progress: Finished 2nd iteration on book 1 outline as set in goal

Against last week:  Done a bit more on weekends but otherwise on par

Writer’s Achievement Diary- 16 July 2017

Mon 10/07/2017

Real life and unexpected Internet connection loss held me up.

Tue 11/07/2017

  1. Finished Chap 32
  2. Fleshed out Scene 1, chap 33 (previously a floating scene)
  3. 20 grids filled for Sin Sin

Wed 12/07/2017

  1. Rough gist for scene 2, chap 33
  2. Scene 1, chap 34

Thu 13/07/2017

  1. Scene 2, chap 33

Fri 14/07/2017

  1. Expanded scene 1, chap 34
  2. Sorted out coming plot point for chap 35
  3. Chap 34 done

Sat 15/07/2017

  1. Scene 1, chap 35
  2. Chap 35 done

Sun 16/07/2017

  1. Started 2nd iteration of outline, collapsed and moved around some scenes (equivalent to 2 achievements)
  2. Rough gist for new chapter featuring cousin more (2nd iteration)

Week Goal: 1 achievement on average on weekdays and 2 on weekends. Finish book 1 outlining (3.5 chapters).

Week Tally: 1.8 achievement on average on weekdays and 2 on weekends

Sum story progress: 3.5 chapters. Also, started on 2nd iteration.

Against last week:  Substantial Improvement from last week on weekdays and mild improvement on weekends

Writer’s Achievement Diary- 9 July 2017

Mon 3/07/2017

Took a break

Tue 4/07/2017

  1. Amended chap 25

Wed 5/07/2017

  1. Scene 1, chap 26
  2. Chap 26 done

Thu 6/07/2017

  1. Scene 2, chap 27 partially written

Fri 7/07/2017

Train problem, took a break today

Sat 8/07/2017

  1. 20 grids filled for Lee Won

Sun 9/07/2017

  1. 21 grids filled for Lee Won (goal=20)
  2. 20 grids filled for Chan Sarn
  3. 20 grids filled for Chan Lok

Week Goal: 1 achievement on average on weekdays and 2 on weekends. Finish book 1 outlining (5 chapters).

Week Tally: 0.8 achievement on average on weekdays and 2 on weekends

Sum story progress: more than 1.5, less than 2 Chapters

Against last week: Stuck so decided to turn to character grids.  Fair progress given the various circumstances.  

Writer’s Achievement Diary- 2 July 2017

Mon 26/06/2017

  1. Decided on rough gist of chaps 21-25, 31-35
  2. Scene 1, chap 21 (half)
  3. A floating scene but will definitely be incorporated somewhere in these 10 chapters

Tue 27/06/2017

  1. Completed scene 1, chap 21
  2. Chap 21 done
  3. Pegged down the floating scene
  4. Decided on rough gist of Chap 31
  5. Scene 1, chap 22
  6. Chap 22 done
  7. Plotted out main gist of chap 23

Wed 28/06/2017

  1. Expanded scene 2, chap 22
  2. Rough gist of chap 24
  3. Very rough gist for chap 25
  4. Scene 1, chap 23

Thu 29/06/2017

  1. Scene 1, chap 24
  2. Chap 24 done

Fri 30/06/2017

  1. Scene 1, chap 25
  2. Chap 25 done

Sat 1/07/2017

Took a break to refresh self

Sun 2/07/2017

Took a break to refresh self

At this stage, I had only 10 more chapters to outline and I was rushing for the finishing line as they say.

Week Goal: 1 achievement on average on weekdays and 2 on weekends. Up to Chapter 25 outlined (5 chapters).

Week Tally: 3.6 achievement on average on weekdays and 0 on weekends

Sum story progress: 5 Chapters

Against last week: Really pushed myself on the weekdays because I had monthly goal set as well

Writer’s Achievement Diary- 25 June 2017

Mon 19/06/2017

  1. Decided on how to proceed by switching pace of alternating narration

Tue 20/06/2017

  1. Amended scene 2 of chap 20

Wed 21/06/2017

  1. Removing 2 chapters’ worth of scenes from chaps 11-20 to fix up timing bug

Thu 22/06/2017

  1. Completely restructured sequence of scenes by switching the order of narrative alternation
  2. Scene 1, chap 9

Fri 23/06/2017

  1. Scene 2, chap 9
  2. Main gist of chap 10

Sat 24/06/2017

  1. Scene 1, chap 10
  2. Chap 10 done

Sun 25/06/2017

  1. Scene reorganisation between chap 10 and 21
  2. Expanded scene 1, chap 21 (but stuck)
  3. Noted down crucial plot points for chaps 21-25, 31-35 and early ideas

Some time between last recorded period and this one, I encountered a major stumble block which was the events were occurring out of sequence in the book. So basically this entire week was spent correcting this.

Week Goal: 1 achievement on average on weekdays and 2 on weekends. Up to Chapter 20 outlined (1 chapter).

Week Tally: 1.4 achievement on average on weekdays and 2.5 on weekends

Sum story progress: a bit over 2 chapters (redid one chapter from last week)

Against last week: Got rid of cold so speed picking up again.