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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.


“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.”



“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.


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…