Monday, March 31, 2008

Progress XXVII

Still typing up 3's Company - it's going well so far.

I've decided to re-start Contraband. I didn't like the way it was going, so I've completely re-written what I'd done and added a bit more so I'm up to 1,255 words on that (I'm aiming for 3k)

So quite productive!

Time to go home now, though.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Finding Time

Treva had a good post at the start of March (which I've only just read - I know, but I've over-RSS'd myself) about the mythical 'I'll write when I have time...'

She made some good points. No-one is going to magically hand out a portion of time for you/ me/ us to write in. Even when (if) we retire, our days won't necessarily be empty of other things to do. Real life, as always, intrudes.

In the past I have, I will admit, been guilty of the 'when I have time' or 'I didn't have time' whine. And, in my case, it was a whine because I would have had time if I had: not watched tv/ not read a book etc.
This year I've sought to improve that, and I've managed to achieve some regularity of writing. Most especially, at work during my lunchbreaks. Having a deadline of 45 mins to an hour - even one that's self-imposed - meant I got my head down and was astonishngly productive. But I had to make the effort. I had to want it enough to not read during my lunchbreak, or check my RSS reader, or any of the other task avoidance things I'm prone to.

In doing this I've finished the first draft of a 26k novella - something I hadn't done before. I've had ideas for other stories (novellas/ novels/ shorts) and they've come a little more easily than in the past.

On a personal level then, getting out of the 'I don't have time' rut and refusing to allow myself that 'out', I've managed to improve my productivity, and hopefully, by writing on a regular basis, I've improved the quality of my work as well.
Sometimes, life will intervene. That's true. But for me, a lot (most) of the time when I said 'I don't have time' it was an excuse, not a valid reason. It was just me, wasting the time I did have.

May your time be productively spent this weekend and may real life avoid tossing a caber at you.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Progress XXVI

I've typed up, and revised, 20% of 3's Company, so that's cracking on. I'll try to get that done by the weekend so it can sit while I work on something else. I really want to get this first phase done as I've got a few other things in the pipeline, but until this is typed up I don't feel I can work on them.

So, clickety clackety.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Progress XXV

First draft of 3's Company is done!
Now for the typing up, as I've been doing this all longhand. I'll be concentrating on that over the Easter break, before I have to go back to work, and I'll be re-working Contraband as well as I don't like the direction it's going in at the moment.

3's Company - 1st draft
New words: 826
Total words: 26,033
Total pages: 104.132
Lucy: Getting ready to take a leap in the dark
Jared & Sam: Relieved she's chosen them
Random sample of text: "But if you don't jump. If you don't take that leap of faith and try to fly, then you'll always look back with regret at what could have been."

Mood: Quiet sense of achievement.
Update: It's snowing! Big, fat flakes of snow too!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Potential absence

I'm away for 3 days and may not have access to the internet while I'm gone, so just in case anyone thinks I've dropped off the face of the earth. I haven't, I just may be technologically embarassed!

Have a good few days and good luck with the Sven-ing all!


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Progress XXIV

Not much progress made yesterday - short break so I didn't have much time to get up a head of steam. Came across a bit of a plot problem, but with the help of a brainstorming session with a friend I think I've got it sorted. I'll see how it works out on paper.

3's Company

New words: 463
Total words: 25,207 (max 0f 30k)
Total pages: 100.828 (max of 120)
Lucy: Really getting her mad on
Sam & Jared: Angry for Lucy, waiting to see what she wants to do.
Random sample of text: "Darling Lucy. With us, you spread a lot more than your wings," Sam retaliated.
"Bastard," she said, affectionately. "See if I stroke your tattoo now."

Contraband's paused while I finish 3's Company. I'll go back to it next week. I'm away for three days, but I should have a chance to complete Contraband before I get back, and decide whether I want it in 1st person POV or not. Jury's still out on that one.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Progress XXIII

Reached the minimum wordcount on 3's Company. It's not finished yet, I need to wrap the story up, bearing in mind that the wordcount will fluctuate anyway as I type it up and edit as I go along. I'm aiming to actually get the storyline finished by the end of the weekend. Then I'll concentrate on the type-up and first draft edit, leave it for a week and then go through it again.

3's Company
New words: 1,087
Total words: 24,744
Total pages: 98.976 / 96 (min.)
Lucy: Angry, now that she's over her shock
Sam: Being strong and, mostly, silent
Jared: Wants to know what the hell is going on
Random sample of text: "Robson basically said that my...being with you - having a threesome - makes me a security risk. I would, apparently, be easy to blackmail," she finished, dryly.

Mood: More productive than yesterday!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Jeff Vandermeer has posted an interesting, short, article on Tips for Beginners in creative writing.
I think 4, 5, & 7 were relevant (to me personally). I'm not saying the others aren't as well, just that those three tapped me on the shoulder and went 'there, you see? What did we tell you?'

How's your day going? I've had a busy day at work, so no writing. (Meetings, travel to meetings, travel back from meetings etc.) I'm looking forward to getting home and going to bed. ::snores::

Monday, March 10, 2008

Progress XXII

Writing is still going well at lunchtimes, although weekends are full of procrastination and excuses for some reason (more time, less motivation?).
I've nearly reached the minimum wordcount for 3's Company (24k) so I will be going over, but that's okay as there will be some additions/ subtractions in the edits. As long as I'm not woefully under or over then I'm not too bothered at this stage.

Contraband is paused temporarily. I've been writing it in 1st pov and I'm not sure it should be. It's not flowing as it should/ could so it may be that I'm (a) writing the wrong story or, (b) that the pov is wrong and throwing the whole thing off. I'm only aiming for a maximum of 3k, so I could write it both ways - but I'm not sure I want to! We'll see. I had originally planned to have a max. of 1k - maybe I should return to that. It may not be working becaue I'm trying to get too much in? ::ponders::

3's Company
New words: 1,214
Total words: 23,652
Total pages: 94.608 / 96
Lucy: Feeling happy, until her boss corners her in the lift
Sam: Haranguing security to get the lift started again
Jared: Swearing at the security camera
Freaky moments: One. Lucy's boss acts scarily out of character
Random sample of text: Lucy crowded back in a corner, unnerved by his reaction and loss of control. The emergency phone had been ringing for some time, the rings shrill in the close confines of the lift. She looked at it with longing, not quite daring to cross into his personal space to answer it.

Mood: Not really a mood, but I'm cold. Chilly hands.

Music: I don't think now is the best time from Pirates of the Caribbean 3

Progress XXI

No new words this weekend, I did some reading around the craft instead and got some good ideas for dealing with a couple of areas that I wasn't that happy with in 3's Company. So, it was time well spent as I can incorporate the new ideas into the first edit and they will, hopefully, make it a better story.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Progress XX

Not bad, not bad at all. Only 440 words behind what my total to date should be, so as long as I can keep this up, all will be well. (And all manner of things will be well. [apologies to Voltaire])

3's Company
New words: 890
Total words: 22,438
Total pages: 89.752 / 96
Lucy: Feeling very daring
Sam: Feeling put upon
Jared: Voting for the cardigan
Kisses: None, but there's lots of scowling
Random sample of text: Jared threw his hands in the air in the universal sign of defeat, and marched to the door, Lucy on his heels. Sam brought up the rear, a gusty sigh on the back of her neck his sign of displeasure.

Edited to add: Typed up 793 words of 3's Company, editing-as-I-go.

Mood: Productive.

Progress XIX

No new words on 3's Company yesterday, although I did get some down for Contraband. Most progress was made on the backstory/ outline for a piece for Cobblestone's Octoberfest call. Four other pieces to be planned, although two of them aren't due until Oct/Dec this year, so I can wait on those two for a bit unless I get a brilliant idea!

New words: 160
Total words: 677
Total pages: 2.708 / 12
Narrator: Seems a bit weird
Shem & Cain: Don't know what's coming
Random sample of text: 'Anyone who gets caught breaking the rules gets two warnings. The third time, though, they get recycled.'

Octoberfest outline/ notes: 1,113 words

Total new words for Thursday: 1,273

Mood: Chipper

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Progress XVIII

No new words yesterday, but I've been typing up the longhand I did for 3's Company. It needs to be done, so that's progress of a sort.

Sven total since Saturday
New words: 2852
Not good, as I'm behind now, but I'll be doing more during my lunchbreak so that will rack things up again. I will also try to do more typing up tonight before Ashes to Ashes.

Mood: Tired. The coffee hasn't started working yet.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ten simple rules...

for graduates in the evil sciences
This link was cadged via Neil Gaiman's blog. Read through all the entries, they're hilarious (bit like the evil overlord list).


Progress XVII

Rollin'. rollin', rollin'...

Things are going well, progress is being made, although I am slowing down somewhat on 3's Company but hopefully that's a blip rather than a trend, as I'm actually quite close to the end!

3's Company
New words: 977
Total words: 21,548
Total pages: 86.192 / 96
Lucy: Discovers that Sam & Jared can get into her room quicker than she can. Without a key.
Sam: Just getting out of the shower.
Jared: Charming extra towels out of the chambermaid.
Kisses: 1
Random sample of text: "How did you get here before me? I took the elevator. Wait a minute, how did you get in?" She demanded.
"Well, we are security specialists," he said.

New words: 117
Total words: 526
Total pages: 2.104 / 12
Narrator: Leaving the agri-compund for the first time
Shem: Driving the lorry
Cain: Riding shotgun
Checkpoints: 12 - with guns.
Random sample of text: The giant solar panels of Nott'ham glittered in the distance like the silver, multi-faceted eyes of a carniverous insect, waiting to devour us.

Mood: Productive, cherie.
Music: Nothing, but the sound of a fan on high power, pushing back the heat.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Progress XVI

Sven started on Saturday, and I got off to an okay start. I managed to type up just over 350 words of Three's Company. It's slightly different from what I'd originally written, so technically it's new words but I'm not counting it as such as it occurred as part of the typing up process. Now that I've altered the beginning, the rest of the type up should move along more quickly. Which is good, as I'll be doing the typing in the evening after having written new words during my lunchbreak.

I also started a new short story on Sunday, called Contraband. It will be a short-short I think. Possibly under 3K. Bizarrely enough, the story came to me when I was wandering back from my mother's house with a bag of peppercorns, that I'd raided from her supply. Strange how these things can come about.

3's Company
New words: 1,358
Total words: 20,571
Total pages: 82.284
Lucy: Feeling her inner vixen ascend
Sam: Relieved that she hasn't left yet
Jared: Thinks a trip to the Botanic Gardens will do the trick
Kisses: 3 little smooches
Random sample of text: "I'm in room seven-oh-six. Come and get me." She blew them a quick kiss, shutting the door before they were even half-way across the room.

Mood: I am productive.