Spectra · Uncategorized · writing

Spectra 1 Revision: Deleting the Chaff

Start: 40,655 words and 94 pages

End: 30,313 words and 74 pages

I cut down Book 1 of Spectra today, removing all the outliney description, author notes, and obsolete material from it (okay, so maybe 0.9% of it remains) while it lopped off 20 pages and 20k words (AAA!) it made it much clearer what scenes I need to write since their spots are no longer filled with synopsis paragraphs that camouflage as narrative.

And some of it spilled over into the second book.

I should specify:  I cut down the copy of the Spectra 1 manuscript.

I have a thing about having copies.  And I simply copied a bunch of notes into a new revision note document so I don’t lose track of ideas.  Pretty much in order of the plot lines, so it should be fairly tidy.  So there’s some nice redundancy and ways to stay on track.

Still it’s weird that this thing is down to 30k.

I keep telling myself it’s going to be a giant book, that this whole storyline will be many books, but I see numbers like this and I question the whole thing.

Except I got most of the way through and listed a bunch of empty scenes that needed to be written or majorly added to…And there were 24 of them, and I added more to the list.

So, once I write through all of those, I hope my story will finally take the shape of a respectable novel instead of being such a crazy draft.

I think that’s about it for now.  I’ll probably start filling it in tomorrow AND I’ll start changing some of the outline headings within the manuscript to chapter headings!  Whoa!  (Pretty much don’t write with chapters labeled, instead I use detailed outline labels so I don’t lose my place and I know where to find specific parts of scenes and such.)

I suppose it might be fair to share an old snippet and a new snippet…

Sheyla’s parents discussing Plot Problems:

“It’s just… there’s always alien skirmishes… someday, Sheyla will be strong enough that they’ll see her…”
He put his hand on her shoulder.
“Sheyla is going to be fine, we’re going to stay where there is good security, we won’t have to give up our rights for it.”

Something I wrote the other day before copying the draft:

“Disengage,” a pilot commanded, “You are in restricted …spacespace… like airspace, but in space…Guys, what do I say here?”

And now you know why I had to cut a quarter of my words out of the story, because I talk to myself in the middle of the story all the time.  But I gotta do it to figure things out! xD

(Also just hit me that I literally cut out a quarter of my manuscript.  Wut.)

Stories · Uncategorized · writing

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…

 

Spectra · Stories · Uncategorized · writing

End of NaNo 2018 – 58,718 Words

On the 16th I crossed 50k and promptly stopped writing nearly as much thereafter.  But this year’s NaNo was a success and I succeeded at my Dare Squad Goal too!

The calendar thingie:

58718words

On the red day, I wrote the date and nothing else because I had entirely forgotten to come back to it an actually write something.  Fun.  Good thing I started typing in the date every single time, just the number of the day, because not only is it useful for breaking up material without including chapters (because I never have chapters in my rough drafts), but it saved me with ONE THING typed in the manuscript that day!

But in general my little calendar looks awful with all that orange and yellow, even if you can pretend the yellow is really green and it’s apt for Fall and should make you think of pumpkin pie and not some desolate desert of doom.

Anyway, that’s that for stats.

The real fun is the Dare Squad.  Once more I won, and once more I rolled on the Winner’s Board and fate smiled upon me to join in with the dares and do one!

I rolled double sixes and my prize was to pick which dare to do.

I picked number 6 (wrong number of sixes… :O ), a short story prompt regarding Christmas Eve.  Also it’s Kenzie’s dare, so that makes it more fun.

I wonder what doom she will end up with.

So, that is something I must write this December.

Now I must wonder if I have any good snippets to share from the end of NaNo…Honestly, in the second half I pretty much nose-dived out of motivation and felt very “Blehhhh” towards writing of any sort.

“Uggghhhh!! I hate all you stupid story scraps!” I ranted. “I must find something else to do cuz I’m sick of all of you losers!”

There are no quality quotes in these last 8,000 words.  Just my rants…and ideas (okay, there was a significant section of narrative, but it was extremely hard to write).

So have a glimpse of my characters chilling outside their stories:

They sat around a round table.

“What kind of plot would you like?” Elvyla asked.

“Fire,” Miranda said, cutting into a delectably large piece of chocolate cake with creaminess and ice cream and nom nom.

Astarta and Des start a snowball fight with Dhelran and Kelatra, clearly.

Elda creates a blizzard and wins.

So, I’ll just end on this bit from Spectra I wrote on the 18th:

She pressed her hands against the glass, watching the spaceship grow smaller and smaller in her sight. Part of it exploded. But none of it really mattered. Her dad was already dead. She slumped back and started to cry. Fell unconscious as the shuttle was hit and spun out of control, zooming through the clouds as more fighters launched towards the aliens.

Spectra · Stories · Uncategorized · writing

NaNo Week 2 – 31,841 Words

Unless I go crazy and write a week’s worth of words in two days, I’m not going to make my goal for the NaNo Dare Squad.  50,000 words is a bit far away.  But perhaps the last minute deadline will spur me on to dramatic word counts.  At the end of Week 2 I had 31,841 words.  Thankfully I’ve written a little bit more this morning.  I only need to write 8,946 words each day!  The most words I’ve written in a day is 8,681.

I’m either doomed or gonna break records, man.

The good news is Spectra is getting done, I have a list of scenes for what I estimate to be Book/Volume 1 and I have gotten a chunk of them written.  And since I gotta keep writing, well, that’s the only story I have any plan for.  I probably should’ve expected to keep working on Spectra at the start of the month, sigh.  Maybe I would’ve been more focused and prepared better.

It’ll be nice once my dare deadline is over so I can write at a leisurely pace and get back to drawing.

Guess it’s time to hunt for a couple of snippets…

My excellent writing skills:

“I say stuff that makes sense for a nurse looking after a patient to say,” the nurse said.

“I answer if necessary,” Andra said.

“I have any news that will calm your worries, like that the Void Lord will protect you and you won’t be handed over to your enemies, etc,” the knight siad.

This scene is better:

Sheyla still had her backpack, which she clutched tightly. She glanced out the window, but it was the same land she had seen already, the land she tried to escape, and now night was covering it, there wasn’t much to see. She turned to Ivy, who looked very scared and was scrunched up with her arms wrapped around herself. She still hadn’t said anything. Sheyla felt the turbulence bumping the shuttle a little bit. On into the night they flew away.

Except, author comment to jar you out of it:

I mean, it could be dawn, but I dunno, I just see dark, dusky landscapes from now on.

Now I better get back to NaNo.

Spectra · Stories · Uncategorized · writing

NaNo 2018: The Start

10,000 12,645 words into NaNo! I’m on track for the early 50k!

My ten thousandth word is: “to”

I feel like whenever I figure out what the exact word is for some exact, big interesting number, it’s always a boring, mundane word.

Now, for the interesting contents of my nano doc, I will say this:

It’s one part dragonslaying, one part Spectra, one part random fantasy mage, and one more part. A part that is a very strange mash-up of urban fantasy, dystopia (supposedly), and a chosen one plot.  With dryadic-vegan vampires trying to get into Canada for the maple syrup.  Don’t ask me, it turned into comedy.  I started with a human main character and then all my later plot ideas were for vampires and werewolves, so I don’t know what to do with it.  Maybe they’re two different stories now.  I mean, the dystopia was supposed to take itself seriously (TOO seriously, I might add), while the vampire thing involves…an Overlord of Silverwood with a Majestic Potato Cannon 3000.  The theme park Silverwood.  Honestly, the story feels contemporary and post-apocalyptic, but I guess if vampires suddenly appeared in the real world, everyone would run around in confusion and start calling themselves Overlords just for the fun of it.

Also, I’m writing a lot of Spectra.  So much, that my longstanding revision document for it has finally surpassed 80,000 words.  Maybe I will finally get a rough draft for Book 1 completed this month!

That’s pretty much it for now.  I’m gonna attempt getting to 13k after posting this and call it a day.

I’ve found that doing a little series of Fifty Headed Hydras really helps me get the words out.  It is definitely messy writing, and I don’t just mean typos, but there are certain scenes I have procrastinated on FOREVER and the FHHs loosened me up enough that I could speed through them while still having a lot of details and getting ideas for some of the gaps in the plot or setting.  So things are going fairly well.

I hope I can keep it up.  I want a completed roughdraft of Spectra 1!  The entire thing isn’t possible in a month, but finishing the beginning should be possible.

There stood the Overlord of Silverwood with his Majestic Potato Cannon 3000, taunting the vampires and werewolves to dare come forward.

Everyone fights over pancake toppings.

That’s my awesome NaNo snippet people, complete with author note.  They really are fighting over all things pancake.  As far as I know right now.

“Look, dad,” Sheyla said, raising her fingers up, “I can make it move without telling it orders!” Her fingers glowed and the robot began to walk around without her saying anything. Her dad smiled at her.

“That’s great!” he said.

I’m starting to get used to Sheyla’s parents being real characters and not backstory cardboard.

That’s all for now.