Tag Archives: court of the red king

Brushing the dust off, getting back on the horse.

Well, I got word last night that Crossed Genres is not going to pick up “Thus Have I Heard.” They didn’t cite any problems with the story, which they are usually kind enough to do when I fumble something. And I don’t mean that sarcastically. The fact that they usually take the time to point out weaknesses means a lot to me, and influences my desire to continue submitting to them. So that may mean the story is fine, despite my self-critical frustrations with my execution. Or it may mean they were just crazy busy this month. ;)
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NorWesCon 2010 After Action Report

So, I had my first real exposure to Norwescon. I’d had limited visits in the past. Several years ago I attended on Thursday only and sat in on, like, one or two panels. (I remember one with Mike Pondsmith, whose words encouraged me to pursue game design. Hm.) Another time I dropped in to have drinks with friends who were attending. And one year I lucked into having a table in the dealer room.

But this was my first year buying a full membership, staying in the hotel and attending a crap ton of panels. So, here is my general commentary on the experience.

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Another Day in the Word Mines

Class is starting to wind down. We’re in the work-shopping phase, which is sort of a mixed blessing. On the upside hand, I’m getting really rigorous and relentless feedback. On the downside, I’m getting really rigorous and relentless feedback. It’s hard to face the prospect that I’m not the sparkling princess of awesome writing I hoped I was. =P I’ve gotten past the initial jolt and am feeling better, but it took me a little bit to get my feet under me.
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Writing War Journal, Day 54

Got a good stretch done at lunch Friday. Saturday was kind of a bust for writing. No writing accomplished Saturday. In the morning it was just a meandering sprawl of doing other stuff. In the evening I mostly worked on trying to make sense of the rules I was using for the one-shot Sunday. Sunday morning involved me driving over to Bellevue and back. I was supposed to meet someone for coffee, but she never got back to me. I had meanwhile promised to drop something off while I was on that side of the water, so even though my coffee plans fell through, I still had to drive over there. Then I had to finish cleaning the apartment before people showed up. Got a good chunk written last night, though, due in large part to guilt over not writing Saturday. So that was good.

Not sure about the climax I’m working up for the book. There’s a certain amount of me in all the characters, but I see it most strongly in my main character. My decision was that I wanted to have the climax be very personal to the character instead of just a big actiony stab-things-in-face climax. But it feels like it’s cutting too close to home for me. The last thing I want to do is be the guy who writes himself as the protagonist for all his novels. =P But, this is also just the first draft. I can revise it heavily on the next pass. I’m also getting a little concerned that I might not be able to wring 70K out of this. Maybe in the second draft, but with my current writing plans I just don’t think it’s in the cards. Bah.

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Writing War Journal, Day 51

Got a big chunk of writing at lunch yesterday. Was depressed to find that I got twice as much written in half an hour than I did in two hours at the type and gripe. I don’t know why I hoped to be more productive there. I’m usually not. Overall making good progress to hit 70K by the end of the month. Assuming, of course, that I can manage to wring that much plot out of the book. =P

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Writing War Journal, Day 50

Got some good writing done at lunch yesterday. The girlfriend figures that, not counting writing at lunch, I have about 13 days that I’ll be able to get some writing in. If I don’t get in lunch writing, that pushes my daily goal up to over a thousand. I’m debating whether or not I want to curtail going to the gym until I finish this. Otherwise I could be hosed.

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Writing War Journal, Day 49

Due to a combination of events, I’ve failed to update this in a while. A big chunk of it is simply a cycle of “I forgot to note how many words I have” and “I know how many words I have, but don’t have time to update.

I’m not satisfied with my progress of late. 19 days, less than 3000 words. A thousand of that was written yesterday. Just nickel and diming this thing, when really I just want to club this down in a swift and brutal fashion. Bah. Most of my writing lately seems to be at work during lunch. Up until last week I still had something of a cough, so I skipped the gym. Now I stubbed my little toe and seem to have caused some lasting damage, so I’m waiting for that to heal.

What I’m utterly failing to do is write outside of work. My weekends have been full and I just haven’t been of a mind to focus on it. I think the girlfriend is right and I just need to keep up with this log so that I have a better sense of my progress instead of just ignoring it.

My current goal is to finish the first draft by the end of the month so I can shift my energy to a couple smaller projects. My target word count is about 70K. I should probably have more, since I have a couple big chunks I want to remove, but based off of current content I think 70K is viable. That’s a little over 700 words a day.
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Writing War Journal, Day 30

Any way you cut it, it’s been a month.

I tried the hail mary option, trying to solicit some advice, but the more I thought about why it was a dilema, the more I realized that I just had to face the facts and admit that I’d taken the wrong track.

My original motivation for taking the path I did was that as I drew up to 50K, I was realizing that this was just the first act. It had become a much larger story in the process of extracting it. I thought that I could just write a second act and be done with it, but the reality was that the book changed tone, perspective and pacing drastically when I tried to do that. It really just lost everything that I thought was good about the first act.

So I saved a backup of my previous version, trimmed away the act two I had started for use in later iterations, and pared it down to just the first act. I’m now reworking the end of that first act to have it wrap up with an opening for a sequel. Which galls me a little. I didn’t want to write a series. I wanted a self contained story. But I think it’s the only way it would really work at this point. I imagine this is how the Song of Ice and Fire or Wheel of Time series started out. “Really, it seemed like such a simple idea when I started…”

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