Clarion Write-A-Thon Day 9

Target goal: 25,000 words

Target daily goal: 775 words

Today’s word count: 994

Total words written: 6,521 words

Well, according to the Clarion Write-A-Thon word counter, I am now officially 1/4 of the way through my goal of 25,000 words. *Tiger Woods fist pump*

It was a struggle to write today. I had gotten some crucial information from a research source for my upcoming novel, The Camille Chronicles. This required rewriting certain parts of the book to incorporate these changes, which would lend a more authentic flavor. I’m all about accuracy and authenticity, so I didn’t mind, but I also lost track of time. I got to 681 word and wanted to quit for the day, because I had been working on the final draft of The Camille Chronicles for most of the day. But I pushed through, wrote another 310 words, and managed to squeak in today’s 994 words under the wire. *whew*

My main character in the Write-A-Thon project has now been thrust into a journey where she will undergo trials that will reveal her true self. I now have to figure out what those trials will be. There can be the basic issues of trust: of herself, of others. There may also be the issue of finding out where she truly fits in the grand scheme of things, if anywhere. This will result in a profound alteration of the character’s character; all that I need to figure out is how dark do I want her to go. Will I have her retain a core of her usual ebullience, or will I have her become totally hardened (like Arya Stark in The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin)? It’s kind of exciting, actually; we as writers tend to infuse our characters with aspects of ourselves. It will be interesting to see how much darkness resides in me, that I can give to the character.

I really need to figure out where I put my copy of  The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogel. It is an extremely helpful book and will come in handy as I figure out the rest of this book’s trajectory. I’ve had it since 2003 and it never gets old. I should probably get the latest edition but until then, Old Faithful will have to do.

I’m about to crash. .Thanks for stopping by.

 

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Clarion Write-A-Thon Day 8

Target goal: 25,000 words

Target daily goal: 775 words

Today’s word count: 991

Total words written: 5,590 words

I almost forgot to work on the Clarion project today, as I was working on the marketing stuff for my upcoming book, The Camille Chronicles. When you’re self-publishing, you wear many hats–at least, until I can afford to have someone do it for me.

The story flowed pretty well today. I tried to figure out if my main character would really be that naive about office politics, or if it was a bit of a reach. Then I remember, from my days in Corporate America, that  there were people who didn’t have a clue beyond their workloads. Such folks tended to be blindsided by various corporate decisions and were under the impression (delusion?) that all was required was to show up and do their work. I know; I used to be one of them.

Anyway, the way the story is flowing, I’m going to write a rather action-packed scene coming up. How much blood and gore will be included will be determined as I go along.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Clarion Write-A-Thon Day 7

Target goal: 25,000 words

Target daily goal: 775 words

Today’s word count: 791

Total words written: 4,599 words

I took yesterday off (day 6) from writing, post-doctor’s appointment for my annual physical. Today, I was feeling under the weather, but I knew I needed to write something, so I pushed through it and did 791 words. Yay!

My character and plot evolution continue to amaze me, as I let the story take me where it wants to go. I’d always wanted to include an element of rebellion in the plot (e.g., the little guy takes on the big guy), and this new direction is definitely including that as a major plot element.

I also like how my main character is evolving in the face of this particular plot element. I am much more pleased with how she is shaping up. I never really connected with her original iteration; I had her as young and naive and since I am neither in real life, it was hard to make those traits come across convincingly on paper.

Now I need to turn my attention to more final edits on my upcoming book. Woohoo!

As for what I’m reading, I finally finished The Cocaine Chronicles and am debating on what to read next. Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Taking the Day Off (Clarion Write-A-Thon Day 6)

Hi all,

 

Today was my annual physical exam. After being poked and prodded (you get extra tests after the age of 40. Yay. :/), I haven’t gotten around to writing yet today. I did find out that (barring any weirdness with my lab results) I will be shuffling around this mortal coil for some time to come. I also got to have a lovely lunch at Negril Village to break my no-eating-after-midnight fast. 😀

I will get back on the updates this weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

Clarion Write-A-Thon Day 5

Target goal: 25,000 words

Target daily goal: 775 words

Today’s word count: 801

Total words written: 3,808 words

 

Today’s story path took a darker turn than I’d expected. This could be good, if I do it correctly. This turn of events is a direct result of making one of my main characters much older than originally written. When you’re younger, you tend to have a more optimistic view of things. As one gets older, it gets harder to hold on to that optimism. My character is slowly beginning to see that what she thought, and what is, are different. Not quite The Matrix, but there is a definite awakening of the true self.

I’m cutting this short because I am watching the NBA draft. In case you didn’t know, I am a die-hard basketball fan, with a special love for college basketball. I’m paying more attention to this NBA draft because some of my favorite players from this past NCAA season are in it, and this is heightening my interest in the NBA this upcoming season.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Clarion Write-A-Thon: Day 4

Target goal: 25,000 words

Target daily goal: 775 words

Today’s word count: 1,036

Total words written: 3,007

Today was a slow writing day, even though I wrote more than my daily quota. Mainly because I was gone most of the day, but also because the story is taking me in a different direction, and I don’t quite know what that direction is yet.

It’s exciting, yet scary, when a story tells you where it wants to go–which is sometimes a direction other than which you planned. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a first draft, and just to get everything down and sort it out later in the second and subsequent drafts. This contest is less about finishing a saleable product, than proving to myself that I can write a viable sci fi/speculative fiction story.

In charting this new direction, I had to throw out a lot of what I’d done in the original version of the story, written seven years ago. I will say this: it was crap. There were some nuggets of good stuff there, and that is the stuff upon which I’m building for the Clarion workshop. But 95% of the story needs to be chucked in the garbage because I was trying too hard to be someone else. This is a rookie writing mistake in general, but it hits closer to home for me because I have never written sci fi/spec fict before. I wanted to be like those authors whom I admire and read:  Octavia Butler, Anne McCaffrey, Samuel Delaney, Charles Saunders, etc. However, I am not them, and I need to find my own way.

One of those paths of self-discovery revolves around my characters. In the original version of the story, my character was 25 years old. It is very difficult for me to write than young; even when I started this story seven years ago, I wasn’t 25.  Perhaps that’s part of why I am having some difficulty getting in the Zone today: I can’t get inside my character’s head. I can’t think like a 25-year-old anymore, and I’m glad I can’t. You couldn’t pay me to go back to my twenties.  My solution is to write an older character, in my age bracket. That makes it a bit easier, and can better navigate the story.

Anyway, I’m glad that I pushed through and managed to write 1,036 words today. I’m getting a bit clearer on where the story is going. Plus, I got some exciting news about my upcoming book release, so I admit to having a somewhat scattered focus today. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Exciting, scary, fun.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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Clarion Write-A-Thon: Day 3

Target goal: 25,000 words

Target daily goal: 775 words

Today’s word count: 775

Total words written: 1,971

One of the challenges I’ve found in writing sci fi/spec fic is making it futuristic, yet identifiable and understandable. This can run the gamut to the setting (e.g., New Earth as opposed to the current one; a planet similar to Earth;  or even a recognizable planet like Mars), to technology, to everyday units of time and measurement.

Some authors do it well. One is the late Anne McCaffrey in her Dragonriders of Pern series. The series is set on another planet that was colonized after Earth self-destructed due to technology and war, and its denizens live and survive in prehistoric conditions. Even though McCaffrey uses different names for commonplace items (e.g., “klah” for coffee, “sevenday” for week), her descriptions made her nomenclature easily recognizable.

Another author who is surprisingly good at bridging the gap between present and future is J.D. Robb, the pseudonym for bestselling romance author Nora Roberts. Her Eve Dallas series is obviously  set in the future (the series starts at 2058 A.D.) and includes plausible devices such as flying cars, completely automated kitchens, and combination wrist phones/computers (hello, Samsung Galaxy Gear).

Unfortunately, I am not (yet) in these ladies’ league.  My attempts to try and use futuristic yet identifiable jargon don’t work; my terms come off clumsy and cliched. I have to admit that I’m not THAT imaginative; words currently in use sound good to me, but someone else created them, and to use them would be lazy and uncreative. In the meantime, I’ll just stick with using commonplace words and let my readers figure it out. It’s easier for me to create the world and the plot of the story. I’m enjoying the worlds that I created, and I’m glad that I dug in the crates to realize that I had some worthwhile stuff that needs to be developed for future works.

See you tomorrow for Day 4. Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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