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The Spring Cleaning Tag – For Writing

A highly useful tag on writing goals.

spring cleaning tag graphic

 

  • Link back to the blogger who tagged you! . . . That would be Kenzie. Thanks, Kenzie!
  • Include the graphic in your post . . . That’s done.
  • Answer the questions . . . It is complete.
  • Tag three other people . . . Maybe I will indeed…

 

Dust Bunnies and Plot Bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (or make new ones)

 

Revising Spectra 1 (The Desolation of Kaldoa) is my main goal, and the only one I can really guarantee working on consistently.  I have a pile of others stories I can work on too, comics that need to be drawn, but I know it never works to give them deadlines.

Write a novella of some kind to test self-publishing systems, since I’m optimistic about completing a Spectra book.  I have no idea what I would write though.  Probably something incredibly silly and crazy that only makes sense to me, since I just want to do it test the mechanics of publishing and accustom myself to legal matters and all that.  Sort of a throwaway test book before I put my precious Spectra out into the world.

I divided Spectra 1 into three parts, one each for Sheyla, Des, and other characters.  I’ve been unsure of how many POV’s to have in the first novelization, but everyone’s part is so small they will have to be combined to make a complete novel.  It’s nice to have each major arc in its own document right now so I can work on one story at a time and then combine them into chronological order later.

Annnnnnnd…I just entered the 100-for-100 writing contest/event thingie.  Right at the last minute (okay, I technically had about 24 hours to sign up for it still).  Since I want to get Spectra 1 publishable, getting myself to write 100 words everyday is a very good idea.  I’m pretty nervous that it goes on for one hundred days (ends in late August), but I really gotta make progress on Spectra, so there we go…

Which Stage Are You At? Expound!

Square zero for the novella!  I may use a story idea I have, or I might go for something crazy that breaks the fourth wall, who knows.

For Spectra…I’ve got Sheyla’s side and Desmond’s side neatly divided, and I’m focusing on Sheyla first.  I have a lot of beginning scenes to write and flesh out, and I hate beginnings so much.  Man, I hate beginnings.  I just want to get into the action already, but there has to be build up, people need to know certain fundamentals of the characters and the world, and I never know if I’m really doing it right, and I really don’t like it.

Part of the problem is attempting to freewrite scenes within an existing manuscript is very messy and things never mesh well.  The second half is much better than the beginning.  Not too surprising since the second half is where Sheyla “adventures” and directly faces the larger plot of Spectra.  It’s a little funny though, because Desmond’s beginning is much more solid than his ending for this book.  Though he still needs scenes in the prologue or chapter 1.  But overall his arc doesn’t have nearly as many choppy scenes and non-existent transitions that Sheyla has.

Oh, yes, and I finally managed to get the overall Spectra 1 draft to 40,000 words!  It’s still tiny!  Especially because there are still some author notes and at least two redundant scenes in there.

But probably the real reason I hate the beginning so much, is because I hate Sheyla’s parents and the pieces of cardboard they are.  Oh, and there’s not really any fighting, so that’s boring too.  Sheyla’s parents don’t even have names yet.  That’s probably holding them back a ton.  At least her dad managed to get some semblance of a personality by becoming a shuttle mechanic, and thus helping the plot by giving Sheyla useful skills.  But Sheyla’s mother is the most boring piece of cardboard.

Sheyla’s family is supposed to be a very nice family, a great family (in contrast to Desmond’s), but you know what, maybe I just don’t buy that.  Maybe a “perfect family” sounds like a lie and it’s super boring and I don’t want to pretend to know what a really good family is like.

So maybe Sheyla’s mother is actually going to have some problems.  Maybe she’s not that great a mother.  Maybe she’s actually distant, which makes a good deal of sense since Sheyla bonded with her dad over learning electronics and robotics and all the stuff related to shuttles and hovercraft that her magic is all about.  But her mother doesn’t have any kind of connection like that to her.  So maybe that causes problems.  Maybe she inadvertently treats Sheyla more like a status symbol, because she is a mage, rather than as a kid.  She won’t be an all out narcissist or anything, but she won’t be a tropey Perfect Mother(TM) or whatever it is I feared would haunt my story.

Maybe I won’t have to gag on nice family closeness because they won’t be that close and we can just get to the cool explosion and psychological horror and all the drama and doom awaiting the main characters.  Yes, that sounds better.

Bring on the aliens so everyone can join the dark side…

So there we go, I’m at the middle stage where some chunks are still pretty messy, but at least I have a number of decently written scenes keeping me anchored and aware that It Can Get Better.

Especially since Sheyla’s classmates exist…

 

Treasure From The Back of The Closet (share one to three snippets you love)

 

Oh no, what do I put here?  I want to put funny things in here, but Spectra 1 really doesn’t have much humor (there is humor in the later books, thankfully).  Which ones do I love that aren’t spoilery?

“But why are we leaving?” Sheyla asked.

“You’ll understand when you’re older,” her dad said, putting his arm around her.

Allow me to introduce you to Sheyla’s classmates as they are written now!

“Hi, let’s hangout guys!” Sheyla said.

“I agree!” Ryan said.

“Robot party!” bubbly girl said.

“I only want to play BOARD GAMES!  So no one can be accused of cheating,” grump girl said.

 

And it is brought up:

“But what if xytari find us?  We’d get eaten!”

“I’d blast ‘em!” orange dude said.

“That’s why people move to the Union’s Capitol.”

“But that’s totally impossible!” Bubbly said.

“Nuh-uh!  I heard the confederacy is gonna try joining!” a guy said.

“COMMENTS!”

“Then we can ALL move there.”

“Since we’re all mages, but otherwise you’d have to be RICH.”

They go off to someone’s house to play go fish.

 

“But what’s up with the Union?” Sheyla asked.

“It’s a thing.”

“I dunno.”

 

Later.

“Guys, I heard that the Union experiments on mages, trying to make more!  Have all these rumors and stuff!” a guy said breathlessly.

“Eek! That sounds scary and spooky!” Bubbly said.

“Comments!”

This is basically all the major plot points Sheyla has with her friends.  Except for the finally goodbye later.  It’s such a skeleton, but I prefer these kids over her parents any day (I mean, it helps they have names or nicknames, and I’ve written more notes about them, and also some of them show up again…).

 

Bonus:  Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self! (and share a picture!)

I washed some dishes that were cluttering up my desk, so that’s good enough for now.

 

Edit: Oops, I didn’t tag anyone…Now I have to think about that.  Or ignore it…Let’s just ignore it, it’s nearly summer anyway…

 

5 thoughts on “The Spring Cleaning Tag – For Writing

  1. MEEP YOU DID THE TAG!!! (and I am so late to this party, I’m so sorry. (although I’m pretty sure I already read this? Though maybe I forgot to comment. Ugh. I’m so behind.)

    Your projects are honestly giving me life… Spectra is my favorite and I need all of the stories set in its world!! And oh my word, a throwaway book??? THIS SOUNDS LIKE SO MUCH FUN???? I want to hear everything about this.

    Okay, but beginnings and parents are SO HARD for me to write. I think I know why everyone decides to just kill parents off in some traumatic experience and orphan their characters. Not only does it give them emotional scarring, but it also eliminates the need to write parents. BECAUSE PARENTS ARE DIFFICULT, MAN. XD

    “Bring on the aliens so everyone can join the dark side…” << Come to the dark side! We have cookies! XD

    Okay but those snippets are amazing! XD I love how you nickname all your characters. Bubbly Girl and Orange Dude… XD I want to know who these people are now… XD

    ACK I AM SO EXCITED FOR THESE BOOKS, JETHAN!!! Spectra is going to be so amazing… I'm way too excited for these to be a thing. I know they're smol wordcount-wise now, but someday they're gonna be epic and wonderful and I am so ready for it. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! (And yeah, blogs can be a little hard to keep up with!)

      Eeeee! I want to fling out all the stories, but I have such a hard time breaking them down so I can actually do that. xD It’s just a giant chunk of STORY. And I have done zilch on the test novella, but I want to come up with something fun. Or maybe it’ll be serious and so literary and plotless it’ll only make sense to me and it will be perfectly alright since it’s a test. That might help a lot, actually…

      I’m only good at handling parents who started off as main characters and THEN became parents. I have so many orphaned protagonists. But I have worked on Sheyla’s parents a little more, but I really gotta fix the fact that the beginning all out BORES me! That means something is really out of whack!

      I love the classmates, they are the saving grace of the beginning! And I’m happy to say that the Orange Guy (who is an orange mage, hence the name) shows up from time to time in the rest of the story.

      Another thing that makes the beginning hard is just that I have to figure out all the politics surrounding the start of the war and aftermath, so it feels like it’s zooming out to too much stuff.

      Thanks so much! I’m getting really excited! Now I gotta write all the things!

      Like

  2. I think beginnings that start sort of in the action and explain the world-building as you go along can be really effective sometimes, though…Would that not work for your story?

    Yeah, I can’t write perfect families either. Most of my families in my stories are barely stable. I don’t know why that’s a thing with me, but it is. But honestly, families don’t have to be perfect to be well-written!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d like some action to happen at the start, but I have no idea how. It’s interesting because I recently watched a random video about movie beginnings, and how some of them start with what’s effectively a mini-movie/adventure that shows the main character and general style of action, but isn’t entirely plot related, and then it switches to the main plot that starts out slower and then gets into the all the action. And thus viewers will know it’s an action-adventure and not something calmer (The first Indiana Jones movie was used as an example of this).
      So with that information, I feel like I need some kind of prologue to show what the story’s true tone is, but I have the added difficulty of needing to introduce the two main characters who don’t interact at that point. The only thing I can think of is a flash forward prologue, but I just…Effectively I have too many ideas and options for beginnings I can’t pick ONE. SINGLE. ONE. to be. THE. ONE! ARGH! xD

      I have so many orphaned protagonists for that reason. xD The one exception is I have a fair amount of royal or noble families that are all still alive. Maybe because if one of the kids go off to adventure or war it’s absolutely understood and even expected!

      That was long, oh my. xD

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Do you think having a few flashbacks would work for your story? It’s a way to show the past while still having lots of action, characterization, etc. IDK if they would help in your story, but they kinda ended up helping me. I know that was totally unsolicited advice, sorry XD

        And I KNOW about having too many options. That is always a problem for me. There are honestly still a lot of ways for how my (not-yet introduced) heroine will turn out? But I think I’m getting a better idea of who she is? *fingers crossed*

        And that’s interesting about movies! I can’t really think of any I’ve seen that did that, but maybe they’ve just slipped my mind at the moment. Would How to Train Your Dragon be an example? It starts out with the villagers fighting the dragons, and then switches to a calmer scene the morning after?

        I don’t think I’ve ever actually HAD an orphan character, now that I think about it. Usually I write single-parent families? It just kind of happened that way. And royal and noble families are a gift. I’m not sure if I actually have a whole ton of them, but I LOVE reading them. And look, my comment got long too XD

        Like

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