Tag Archives: Chapel Hill

Yes, I Am Working

In case you were wondering.

First of all, I absolutely have to set the scene. I am sitting outside at my favorite outdoor café (Caffe Driade) in Chapel Hill and it is a perfect night. 72 degress (22 C for the non-luddites in the rest of the world) on a clear night with no humidity at 10:04 pm (GMT-4). I am sipping an Allagash White, this is my wind-down beer after two French Presses (the small ones). Just enough soft light not to be blinded by my laptop’s screen, AC/DC is still on my headphones (of course), and I’m surrounded by trees and a small combination of other people without lives, those working on PhD’s, or gathering for Friday wine outside.

Not a bad way to end a week. Or in my case, start a productive weekend.

I put in about three solid hours (minus a tweet, two e-mails, and a few FB posts). I finally finished item #1 on my editing list – the ripple caused by writing a new Chapter 1 and moving the old Chapter 1 to Chapter 6! Then I got a good running start on Item #2, which is pumping some relevant background detail about my main character into the beginning chapters. That’s not done, but I’ve got a good start and I really like what I’ve added. In fact, I’m greatly resisting the urge to send some snippets off to a reader with a “hey check this out and tell me what you think.” Sometimes I can be so like a kid with a new drawing to show his parents.

Fundamentally, the plan for the weekend is to do all of the boring adult stuff I need to do (cleaning, laundry, bills, finish swapping the old bedroom set for the new one) tomorrow, and then write all day Sunday. Although I am really feeling an urge to do the writing all day tomorrow and leave all the adult stuff for Sunday, but that would be irresponsible and wrong 😉 .

Either way, I’m just going to pick up with item #2 and keep going. Let’s see where I go with this over the weekend.

Progress Update 2013.05.22 & 23

I have some success I want to crow about, but I’ll start with Wednesday to add some super supsense to this entry.

My goals for Wednesday were to finish world building, create an editing checklist, and start editing. I hit two out of three. I decided what I had for world building was good enough and I made the checklist. The checklist is not insignificant, it contains about 43 separate items most of which are not minor. Then I decided to put my manuscript in industry standard format all the way through (Note-to-self, do this from the start on the next novel, which means the third one since the second is already 75% written). Lump in a challenge at being focused and that about sums up Wednesday.

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback to pull my SciFi elements forward, so when I sat down to work yesterday afternoon I decided to focus on that. I reread the first chapters of a couple books that have some similarity to mine and afterward decided that I would change my first chapter. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to change it, but then I wrote a new Chapter 1 in a flurry. I was so stoked about the change that I sent it to a friend to read and he told me that it was a definite improvement.

Now the problem is that the change in the first chapter creates a domino effect and the old Chapter 1 doesn’t seem to have a firm landing place right now, but it’s too good a piece of character development to toss.

My plan for today:

  • Find a spot for the old Chapter 1
  • Start on item 2 on the checklist and move down the list
  • Send the deposit to the editor (oops)

Progress Update 2013.05.21

Day 2 was better.

My word output yesterday was again low, but I spent about two hours researching topics like multidimensional physics, which was pretty interesting. Not to mention the fact that the research has helped me. Between the research and some hard thinking I have worked out some significant details about my world, it’s mechanics, etc. I still need to do more, but I’ve got a clearer picture and some better logic behind a few aspects of it. Needless to say, some things are going to change in Draft 4 as a result.

As an outgrowth of nailing down some more of the background, I have settled on a name for the series: The Beowulf Cases. It’s both from a bit of a misunderstanding around a weapon the main characte carries and a dig at his primitiveness. But I still don’t know what I’m going to call Book 1. Maybe I should have a contest to name it?

Also, I contracted with a line editor yesterday to proof Book 1! I need to be ready by the beginning of August! I think I’ve just barely got not quite enough time. It feels a little stressful and cool to have taken that step. I think I need to change my graphic on my main page to reflect that, but I’ll do that a different day as I’ve got a few other changes I want to make to overhaul my blog a bit and today needs to be about writing.

My plan for today:

  • Finish the world building (jeesh it’s Wednesday already)
  • Coalesce notes and feedback into an Editing Checklist (jeesh it’s Wednesday already)
  • Start work on editing (jeesh it’s Wednesday already)
  • Did I mention that it’s Wednesday already?

Progress Update 2013.05.20

Day 1 was a bust.

I had plenty of distrations, most of which I welcomed with open arms. Some of which I created! 🙂 I was tired, had trouble focusing, and I was just in a glum mood. A big part of the mood came from reviewing my notes and realizing that what I needed to do was hard. Whoever said it would be all rainbows and glitter with chocolate chip cookies?

Essentialy, I went with glum and hard and managed to eat some junk food, not much dinner, and only do about 330 words of backstory on this one setting in my novel (this is the start of the Wiki idea). I followed that up with three consectuive episodes of Vikings, not a bad show, before going to bed. Not highly productive and certainly not to plan. I usually start out slow and build momentum, but this might be taking it to new heights.

The good news is that I slept in and I feel different today. I feel frankly irritated by my poor showing yesterday. I only have four more days to work on the book this week and I need to make the most of them. So I’ve read through my notes and feedback a couple of times and I’ve started the backstory on the location. I will finish that backstory today and start plugging away on the changes. I am essentially following the steps regarding Book 1 that I mentioned here and I think I worked out what to do for my Revised Plan (another good outcome from yesterday, so I guess it wasn’t quite as void as it felt at times), but I’ll write about that later.

Progress Update 2013.04.28

Got on a roll tonight: 4037 words. Nothing like a play date to help squeeze some more writing time in — Thanks for the assist Kate! I still have a long way to go in the next two days — guess I’ll be up late!

To track my Camp Nano progress, check here.

Progress Update 2013.04.26

Crossed over 50,000 words tonight. 50,000 would be the normal and suggested Nano goal.

To track my Camp Nano progress, check here.

Progress Update 2013.04.25

I still have 21,000 words to go, which sounds like a lot. But at about 4000 words a day, it just might be do-able. We’ll see how that reality works with being a Dad and soccer coach this weekend.

To track my Camp Nano progress, check here.