Monday, March 26, 2012

Chapter 5: Cincinnatus - Update 3

The visit by my in-laws is mostly over and I should be able to get back to a normal writing schedule again.  I like seeing my in-laws as they are great people, but being social cuts into writing time and I've cut out most television, books, and just about everything else to focus on writing.  House chores, grocery shopping, and helping fix dinner (or fixing it when it is my turn) are things that can't be cut, nor are visits from my in-laws.

But, man, do I want to get back to my writing.

Word count is now 28,542 words.

This is 4341 words over last week, so pretty good all things considered.  It represents mostly one full afternoon of writing while my wife and her mom hit the stores and my FIL read, napped, and walked.

I'm at a point where I'd like to take a sabbatical from work for a couple of weeks or three and do my flat out best to finish, but I'm saving my vacation days for an anniversary trip late in the year.  Plus, work would freak if I just said "Hey, I want to take a month off."  I know this, because they are still freaking from when a coworker did just that last year.

That's it for now.  Later!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chapter 5: Cincinnatus - Update 2

So, as predicted, a funeral and following events cut into my writing time.  Additionally, I did research on army platoon organization (thank you, Scott S. and Mike K.) and then name 36 or the 40 people in the platoon.  I also did crash research into how modern armies are organized and how units are named.  This was not easy and so I winged part of it.  I'll run that past the aforementioned friends with actual service experience later, once I've finished the first draft.

Word count is now 24,199 words.

That said, now that my latest mini-research phase is over, I can buckle down on my writing.

Um, once the in-laws are done visiting over the next 5 days.

Random observation: Writing on laptops at coffee shops is easier on square tables rather than round ones.  Round ones limit mouse space due to the curved edge.

That's it for now.  More in a week or so.  I want to keep a steady posting schedule here as that prods me to write more and slack-off less.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chapter 5: Cincinnatus - Update

So I turned the wall of my living room into a storyboard again so I could get a better feel for Chapter 5 and how I was going to split it.  This was particularly helpful as it made readily apparent where the gaps in my outline were and I plugged those gaps with new scenes.

As a result, the first half of the split Chapter 5 (now titled Cincinnatus) has twice as many scenes as the original Chapter 5.  The second half (keeping the original title A Call to Arms and which I still need to storyboard out separately) may also be twice as big as the original chapter. 

Sooooo, I've quadrupled the number of scenes for this "chapter". 

I now expect the next chapter to expand similarly, although it will taper off at the end.  This is actually fine, as I was only at 19,000 words at the end of Chapter 4 and I was worried that my total word-count was going to be just under 50,000 words.  I have no idea how big the manuscript will get (it'll be done when the story is done), but I was hoping to at least top the NaNoWriMo target for words.

No additional word-count right now due to storyboarding exercise.  I will get writing done tonight.  Tomorrow I have a funeral to attend, so I don't know how that will work out.  This weekend is booked for other social activities, so it may take a little longer to complete this (the new chapter 5) chapter.

That's it for now.  Later!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Chapter 4: Uprising - Draft Complete

Thanks to encouragement by my wife, I got a lot of writing time this week and finished my draft of Chapter 4.  The word count is now 19,234 words.

Now I'm looking into the cavernous maw of Chapter 5 and have realized something important: my outline for Chapter 5 is woefully inadequate.  In fact, I need to add so much material, I'm going to split it into two chapters so I can show the reader what's happening rather than tell them what's happening in a huge info dump.

I discovered this issue when I looked over my outline and realized I needed to put together a timeline to keep everything straight.  After doing that, I discovered huge gaps in the storyline where I skip of tons of stuff and then summarize it at the end of the chapter.  Very crappy storytelling there.

So, timelines!  I strongly recommend them for authors writing complicated material.

Right now Chapter 5 (the first half of the original Chapter 5) is titled Mars Attacks! for reasons that are evident in the story.  It's a cheesy name that right now is just a place holder until I can work out something better, but it amuses me, which is very important when mid-way through a story.

The Aldelle Group is still playing, averaging one game a week.  Due to scheduling issues, the actual day we play is not always consistent, but we are still playing.

Writing time this week may be sparse as I will be attending a funeral, so Chapter 5 may take a bit longer to finish as a result.