Connect Plot Point A to Plot Point B

Insert Tab C into Slot D. Turn 180 degrees, and done. It all sounds so simple.

I used to think that for writing as well. Just sit down and write. It will all work itself out. A lot of my early work was like that. I’d just sit down and write, throw in cool ideas when I came across them and like magic, it’s done.

The reality of it is that the stories have grown too far in scope to simply just sit down and write. I’m handling multiple points in a timeline and I want them all connected in more than just a bunch of people living on the same ball of dirt. I want the readers to be rewarded when characters or descendants show up further along in other books. Relics will make appearances. There is more at stake than it would seem at that exact moment.

So I’m plotting way more than I ever did before. I now have the second and third Dwarf Lords book plotted out. I have another plot in progress for Listan’s story. Now I just make time to write it all.

Thursday Trenches – Make it Happen

You read Chuck Wendig’s blog, right? More importantly, you read his books? Tight, gritty fiction. Check him out.

So Chuck posted this info-graphic:

wendiggraphic

And it’s the same thing I’ve been saying for a while. Just in nice info-graphic form. Everyone loves an info-graphic. I love Chuck’s no BS attitude on writing advice. If you’re just starting, spend some time reading through Chuck’s writing advice. Or grab one of his writing books from amazon.

Status Update 2014-04-07

Well, after the high of the week prior, this most recent week was somewhere in the dark valley. Okay, maybe it isn’t quite as grim as all that.

I started plotting the next novel. I only have a general idea of how I want it to go… So just throwing ideas out there to see what I like. I think I’ve narrowed down the point in time when it will take place, and I’m pounding out the details some of the main characters. It still doesn’t sound much like a story yet. It’s missing *something*.

So yeah, there’s that. I’m working, it’s just a bit of a sludge right now.

-Keep Writing.

Thursday Trenches – Oblique Strategies

I wish I could remember where I saw this. A writing blog, I think. I’m not sure. But it doesn’t hurt to spread the news. If you’re suffering from writer’s block, this could be a great tool to get you moving again.

Oblique Strategies was originally created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt in 1975. In their version, it was a stack of index cards that you would pick from. You’d get a random phrase and use that to break through the block. More info is on the above wikipedia page.

We’re living in 2014 though, and I found several versions of this app for my smartphone. I’d have to say it’s pretty handy to have at my fingertips. It can be anything from the complex to the simple. Just now tapping it a few times, I got “water”, “emphasize differences”, and “discover your formulas and abandon them.”

I’m using this one here but there are several options in the Play store. Have a look if you find yourself stuck. (Sorry apple fans, I couldn’t see a way to easily search their store from the web… If you have a link to an iOS version, feel free to post it in the comments.)

What do you use when you get stuck? Have a favorite method? Let me know in the comments.

-Keep writing.

2014

Another year is here and it’s time to determine my goals for the coming year. I don’t do resolutions. I set goals, then meet them. It’s worked out well over the last 3 years, so I’ll continue the trend this year.

The final numbers are in. I wrote ~115K words last year, completing one novel and started another. That was 26% over my goal. On the editing front, I edited Dwarf Lords once, and started through a second time. I edited on 67 days out of the year.

So, on to the new goals. The word count I’m shooting for is 130K. Given my previous years, that’s doable. The toughest part will be deciding which novel to work on after the current WIP is finished. I think I’m roughly half way through it. I’m definitely ready to get back to my fantasy setting. That leaves me with rounding out the 2nd/3rd Dwarf Lords or working on a new character in that world. I’ll see what I’m feeling as the time draws closer.

For my editing goals, I’m going to shoot for editing 180 days out of the year. I think that’s doable, and that will really allot me the time needed to give that book the polish it needs. That should also give me time to have a second novel edited as well. Could it be that I have two novels ready to go this year?

You may notice on the side here that I’m reading Booklife by Jeff Vandermeer. This was an excellent gift from my wife that is also well timed. I’m looking forward to the information I glean from that book and will share any tidbits I find there. Jeff also created the website Booklifenow.com which is a more up to date version of the info provided in Booklife. So between the two, and my own determination, I may just have a book on the shelves soon.

-Keep Writing

Getting Back to It

Not to imply that I’ve done nothing lately… I still wrote. I’m about 5% over my goal for the year.  But you know, I haven’t been super excited to get to it either. Writing sessions have been relatively short, followed by a video game.

This weekend I received some positive feedback from a friend on my Dwarf Lords novel. I mean, sure, I love it and it’s awesome. I know this. But I just wasn’t sure how well received it would be by people who aren’t me.  So, back to the edits that I need to hammer out (haha, little dwarf humor there for you) and I’ll put the polish on this novel that it needs.

-Keep Writing.

Labor Day Updates

So, I finished outlining last week and jump right in to the next novel.

So, I finished outlining last week and them jumped right into the next novel.

I’m also in the last 10% of my goal for the year. Way ahead of where I’m scheduled to be.

All of this leads to the fact that I’m not spending as much time editing as I should be. Going to work on turning that ship around. If I don’t edit then I won’t publish and no one will hear about it. (But you know, if I don’t publish it, I can’t hear about how terrible they are, assuming anyone actually reads them.)