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  2. I'm constantly second-guessing myself as a writer, and I've noticed that the more I learn about how stories work, the more second-guessing there is. There are constantly questions in my head like, "How does this scene move the protagonist's character arc forward? Am I at the midpoint yet? Does this first line provide enough of a hook? Does there always have to be a sequel scene after a conflict scene, or is it okay to have two conflict scenes in a row when they are from different timelines? Does it make me a terrible writer if I think sentence sounds better with an adverb in?", etc, etc. I usually deal with this by forcefully shutting this stream of thoughts and reminding myself that done is better than perfect; that I need to get the first draft out first and foremost, and that the first draft is just me telling the story to myself, and that there's going to be time to make it shine when I get to editing. When I do get to editing, it helps to get another pair of eyes or two on it as soon as I'm sure there aren't any glaring typos left and that the basic structure of the story is more or less working. Beta readers are great for spotting problems it's hard to see on your own, but they're even better for spotting things that do work well. Knowing that one or two people already like the story enough to have read it from start to finish, to provide thoughtful commentary and to genuinely root for me to make the story even better—that's something that never fails to give me a boost of confidence.
  3. Meanwhile in a quiet corner of a large military base ... Words to add: 1,022 New total: 23,539
  4. Yesterday
  5. Project: Fireguard(working title)/In Orbit Goals: Make an outline and start the rough draft of Fireguard, and finish the first draft of In Orbit. Summary: I only know the characters and setting for Fireguard, so there isn't really one. In Orbit is a superhero and coming of age story about Rinn, who gets drawn into a city-wide conspiracy with a new teen hero she definitely doesn't have a crush on.
  6. I had a character, and I had an ending. I pretty much just write as it comes from that point forward. I had general ideas of what type of plot I wanted to use on this novel, especially near the beginning but gave that up pretty quickly. Now I just let one scene tell me where the next starts and continue on. All of it still seems to be heading toward the original ending I had in mind so other than that, it's off into the dark I go!! Roh
  7. Project: I have plans for up to four of them. They include the novels: "Dark Secrets", "Hunger", "Dark Revenge", "War and Death", "Angel on the Edge" or "The Good Die Here" Goals: I plan on doing 320,000+ words between May and the end of the year. That should give me enough to finish up to four of the above projects. Summary: I can't even summarize the stories as the only one I know is Dark Secrets because I'm already 65,000 words into it. I'm trying to work at a 40,000 word a month pace and upping that to a 50,000 to 60,000+ over the next few months. So many projects, so little time. This doesn't even include the probably short stories I'll write in between. Lots of writing to do!
  8. I let my gut feelings tell me if it works or not. Usually, if something has worked its way into a scene that doesn't belong there, I dread going back to writing. Something will tell me as I'm thinking through my plan for the day that writing isn't really going to happen. This is where the self-doubt comes in and suddenly the whole story sucks. All 60,000 words of it. Then I'll backtrack in my mind what I just wrote. What about it is not working? Is it not driving the story forward as I want it to? Is one of the characters not feeling right? Forcing myself to consider what is making me not want to write usually leads me into a clue where I went wrong. If I can't narrow it down, I'll just go ahead and redraft the entire scene in some other direction and see if the feeling improves. If not I try again until something gets the joy of the story rolling again. (Try throwing two men with machine guns* into a scene if the story just isn't moving correctly. You'd be amazed how well that actually works.) Then I move forward. Other than that, if it's general self-doubt on like the whole story, I just ignore it. I finish the story and move on. Can't doubt what you can't fix. 😄 Roh *or world appropriate weapons
  9. "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it." "We learned, why must we relive it?" Words to add: 1,065 New total: 22,517
  10. I just came across this post on Tumblr and it felt like a firecracker going off in my brain, so I wanted to share: Even though I'm writing a child character I somehow never stopped to think about this aspect of world building in any depth, so I'm going to go play with some ideas and come back later. But I would love to know what sorts of toys kids in your world play with. Also, what kinds of games do they make up, what songs or rhymes do they sing?
  11. Last week
  12. This happens to me a lot! I also second guess myself if I get into a scene and I'm unsure about how or if I can pull it off effectively. That's why I tend to stay away from things like heist scenes or plots. I love watching and reading them, but I'm not confident in my ability to plan and write them. I tend to brainstorm by myself. I listen to music or go search if I need a new sound to work off of. I'm also really enjoying doing flash fiction bits to work out a problem or explore something outside the main narrative. It's almost like tricking my brain into playing with my project without setting anything in stone. So far doing that has helped me figure out quite a few of the problems I've had with my current project. It's also easier to flash frame an emotion or an emotional encounter in its best essence and return to basically relive it when I need to remember a character's cornerstone. If I absolutely cannot figure something out I cram my worries and snippets into an email and send it to my mom. She doesn't write fiction at all, so she can usually point out where I'm going wrong, if something feels off, or whatever kind of problem she picks up on is happening. Best of all, she can tell me if it looks like I'm avoiding something my own brain isn't even letting me realize and I can chew over that and then solve it.
  13. I'm kind of a mixture between pantser and plotter. I've run the gamut of outlining techniques, but I'm still trying to find one that works best. Once my day job is done and I'm off for the summer I'm going to work on a physical story binder to get down all my notes and world building in an organized place, and use it to tinker with the current project's outline. I had to scrap everything on it I wrote during NaNo through December or January because I wrote it all in the wrong POV. So I pretty much had to start fresh and then change a lot of things that didn't work anymore, so it's basically all brand new again. One of the major things I wanna work on is a timeline. But in short story form. The flash fiction prompts have been awesome for getting me to write when I was stuck on the main story, so I think I'm going to dedicate time to writing snippets about events and people to serve at the timeline instead of note-form notes. I think they might stick in my head better that way and I'll be able to spread them out on the table when I need to get a good look at them all. I pretty much have the beginning and the ending solidified, but the middle is a bag of angry, wet cats.
  14. I'm waffling on keeping this as the first few lines. I've got plans to expand it a bit, but I haven't had the time or energy to think my way around it. I wanted to evoke a sense of trepidation, mostly, and some juxtaposition. This middle book has more of a slower pace than book one and touches on some horror themes, but it also takes the theme of blood and turns it on its head for the reader. The story is built on the cycle of birth, life, death, rebirth. So blood itself isn't a bad connotation, its message whose meaning depends upon what part of the cycle it happens in. And I wanted the lines to present a full circle the reader can look back on when they've finished and realize what the clues meant. Or something. I've raked over this stuff so much I think I get what I mean but I'm not always sure it comes out coherent or right.
  15. Project - We Can Be Heroes Goals - finish rough draft by end of this year Summary - in Generic Fantasyland, a crew of misfits, NPCs and throwaway characters are hired by a mysterious employer. Their job: stop the Chosen One from fulfilling the Prophecy. (I'm also aiming to speed-draft an SF locked-room spaceship thriller by end of May/June.)
  16. I was in favour of going by public transport buses alone, not of walking great distances, Muse!
  17. I finally, finally am revisiting an SF project I started in January. Last time I tried pantsing which didn't work. This time I'm aiming to draft as quickly as possible. The first page I just started listing what I knew about the story already, and ended up with a rough "conflict-villain and motivation-mc and motivation" setup. Then jotted down quick dot points of everything I think happens, a rough brainstorming/chronology. To make sure everything that happens flows and is logical. Next page I made things more ordered (a "past" timeline of events and a "present" time line of events, due to the weird time stuff in this story), then weaved them together. Now I'm building a more detailed "skeleton outline" which has snippets of dialogue. My goal is to finish the skeleton outline tonight and start writing tomorrow, as fast as I can. In the past I've spent ages deliberating over plot structures, but pantsing doesn't work either. It's like I need to catch that thread of excitement ASAP and run with it, because if I don't finish a draft now, I never will. Here's hoping it works. Consider it an experiment.
  18. I think it certainly gives the impression of immediacy and threat. Which can be a very good hook indeed.
  19. Maybe this Social was not such a good idea. Words to add: 1,046 New total: 21,452
  20. I'm going to be rewriting the chapter, though, and it's pretty likely that I'll be changing the first few lines...and if not all of them, then most likely the ones about the 'voice' in her head, so that's most likely a place holder. I think the "just keep running" dialogue is a good opening hook, but not sure about the rest of it.
  21. I write notes as they occur to me, but I only do the 'full' writing for whatever point I'm currently at. I don't outline; I've never been good at it, and I haven't decided whether this is lack of discipline, or whether my mind simply doesn't process that way! In fact, I didn't even take notes before I had Scrivener because when I started writing, I wrote on paper rather than on a computer, so I just put everything into the story as I thought about it (which is probably why I'm not a very subtle writer). This story was actually a pleasant surprise for me, since it's the first original story idea I've had in a while (original as in non-fanfiction, not original as in I think I've somehow found an original plot). So there's a lot of discovery here because it hasn't been rattling around in my head for a decade (or more). And that's why I'm trying to make a dedicate effort to finishing this one.
  22. This happens to me sometimes when writing specific scenes because I lose focus of what the purpose of the scene is. When that happens, I take a step back and determine what the goals are for the scene. What are the characters trying to accomplish at that moment? What information am I trying to impart to the reader? How can I best craft the scene to show the characters doing what they need to be doing, while also hitting the notes I want to hit? It sounds like your issue is on a larger scale, but IMO it always goes back to goals. What are Alana's goals? What is she trying to achieve? Developing friendships is fine, but that's likely not something that she is actively pursuing. If you have her going on a journey, it's because she needs to get somewhere. Why? What is the purpose of the trip? How is that purpose served if she doesn't make the trip?
  23. We've had lots of discussions on this site about whether you are a pantser or a plotter, but I am curious about your approach for the project you are working on right now. Do you have a lot of outlining and notes taken already? Or are you diving in head first and exploring the story without foreknowledge? For my project, I've got a bunch of notes and am working on rewriting the outline. I changed my mind about the occupation of several of my characters, so that affects how a lot of the story plays out. And I know roughly how it begins and ends, but the middle is pretty shaky. More details required.
  24. So, what do you guys think? What's the easiest way to handle this? Should we give those who wish to give more detailed feedback the option of doing so in a Google doc rather than in a public matter? Or is there maybe something else that neither of us are currently thinking of? I think that the review/critique for spelling/grammar/sentence structure is better in Google Docs because it helps the reviewer to be more succinct and detailed at the same time. Concepts, characterization, etc can both be critiqued or simply reviewed in the library, because they're more for overarching pieces of the work rather than nitty gritty details. If that is the general understanding of the function of the library, then people may feel more at ease/liberated to leave reviews/critiques. Should he be able to request feedback on all ten submissions at once, and make ten different posts requesting feedback? Or should we have a cap of, say, five submissions that he's allowed to ask for feedback for at once? I'm kind of on board with the idea of authors having a thread where they can ask for feedback on multiple works rather than making a lot of posts. If these posts are author-centric, then they should be fairly on point. But it might be a case where we'll have to just try a system and see how it works. Do you have any feedback for the rules for requesting feedback that you can think of and should be added? I can't think of anything that hasn't already been covered.
  25. I'm curious; do you say somewhere in Europe because you don't want to say where it is, or because you think most people won't know where it is? 😄 (I'm just asking because I love geography!)
  26. Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. - Sound of Music What are the first 1-3 lines of your project currently? What do you think of them? What are you trying to evoke with these lines? Are they likely to stay your first lines, or are they place holders?
  27. Mynoris: Project - Necromancer (working title, not intended for final use) Goals - Write another 50k, or finish, by the end of the year. (I have no clue how long it will be, or how much content, so saying to finish by the end of the year would be foolhardy of me.) Summary - Addric goes with an adventuring party into a forgotten castle. When things don't turn out, he's abandoned to his fate. This fate is listening to a female necromancer tell her story, which starts out in her childhood, goes through her experiences training to be a concubine, and her life as a concubine, where things go sour and put her on the path to becoming an infamous necromancer, known as the 'Terror of Avendrow'. (It's a frame story.)
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