Work In Progress #5

Plot, Character, and Worldbuilding are each part the same thing. Each element has its own framing to narrow the focus but they are different sides of a three-sided die.
I spent the entire time today working out characters, plot, and worldbuilding. Working them simultaneously works best for me because they really are the same thing. Characters live in a world and do things.
I had a plot idea and needed to figure out how it affects the main characters. I learned it drove one character to a different location with a new character. That new character was a military leader. Okay, how is the military structured, what rank does this person have – worldbuilding. Once I knew, then I could work out how that character achieved that rank, which I can only do as I learn about that character. Then how does this character react to the first character? I can only do that when I know both characters.
As I worked through these character dynamics, I needed to have a relationship one might call marriage because I realized the new character was in such a relationship. Okay – worldbuilding again. How do marriages worked in this culture; how some of it varies in other cultures because I will eventually need to know. This was all so I knew what the stakes were for this new character.
BTW the most beautiful 3-sided die you’ll ever see: https://www.shapeways.com/product/RBVF4Z6JY/modern-art-d3-3-sided-die

Work in Progress #4

Cleaned up three short stories. The Bottle of Salvation Containing the Nectar of Ruin and Paltry Sums are up for a final read over, hopefully, and will then be off for submission. Eyes Behind the Veil is going off to a Beta reader this weekend. NaNoStoMo in place of NaNoWriMo is paying off. Glad I did it, and I may do the same this year.
I don’t like the working title of the novella series so I played with that. It doesn’t have to be perfect before writing, and it will likely change during the writing, but I like to have something solid as I start. That way it isn’t bugging me and I can get on with the writing. TKC is the working acronym for now.
Besides the title I looked at the map and thought about the story. Yes, those count as writing.

Work In Progress #3

Today I read my story The Bottle of Salvation Containing the Nectar of Ruin thinking it was maybe ready for submission. It’s been beta read and a part of it critiqued in a group. It’s very close but there’s still a copy & paste error and some other things that don’t feel right.

I’ve mentioned before how I like to read a published work by someone else in a similar vein and then read my own in-progress work. It helps to see if there are any glaring, or jarring parts.

I also read aloud. If you aren’t reading your close-to-finished work aloud you probably aren’t as close as you think. IMHO.

I guess one more edit, and another read, and then maybe it will be ready.

Work in Progress #2

Today I returned to my story, Melina Unbound. Made some progress with Melina’s voice. She still isn’t the bitter, angry young girl she’s supposed to be but it’s better. I find I have to keep going over her words (she has no dialogue but it’s first-person so all the words are hers) and find new ones that don’t just relate what’s happening but also tell about her and her emotions. The first thing was to use contractions. Then there had to be more than a description of the food but what she thinks of it as she describes it.

The first draft was third-person and I’m still finding her and replacing with I. I’m also trying to figure out where the section breaks should be. There are jumps in time that need to be set off by a break, and there are more significant breaks where something fundamental in the story has changed. Something like a combination of paragraph breaks, scene breaks, and then story shifts represented by what? An extra break that becomes scroll art in the final copy?

I can worry about that later. I just need to finish this revision.

Work in Progress #1

For whatever it’s worth I’ve decided to start logging the work I do each writing day. This is not a ‘see how the sausage is made’ series. Fellow writers may not get much from it other than: here’s an author working and see what he’s thinking about, working through, and maybe accomplishing. That in itself may be of value to some.

This weekend I went against my own advice and followed the shiny new object. I did it deliberately. The shiny project is not just a new project, but perhaps my quickest path to achieving a goal. Things are changing rapidly in the day job and I’ve had to re-evaluate my five to seven year plan in which I was going to leave the company and pursue writing and running a small press full time. The time frame may be too long. News came this week that makes me think I may only have a year or two before I will need to leave. I would like it to be voluntary, and I hope not to need another corporate job. That means I need to generate income from my company quickly.

So on to the shiny new project.

My short story Sworn has all of the elements I would like to have in a self-publishing debut, but it’s a short story. Yes, I might sell a few copies. However, a story by an unknown writer for $0.99 without promise of something more will not sell many copies.

I’ve expanded the story world and created a premise. This weekend I identified some major plot drivers and some of the cast I will need. The project looks like it will be a series of three novellas with the short story publishing first, hopefully whetting the appetite for the first novella which should follow a few weeks later.

I’ve made notes on some worldbuilding elements and figured out the basic rules of linguistics, as well as a technology and scientific knowledge level for the world. Later today I’ll plan out the writing schedule and figure out my word count goals.

BTW – working title for the series is The Fall of the Five Reaches. And I did draw a rough map. I have to have a map.

Pitch and synopsis in a later post.