I won't be able to write tonight. I just wrote a 1,000 word essay for Literature and now I have to write a short story for French. And it's nearly 2:00am. And these are overdue. So I don't have an out. Tomorrow's Friday, though, so I should be okay for the next few days.
This prioritisation is something I will have to face a lot. All I have to do is practise getting back to the writing as soon as possible.
Wow. All right, admittedly, it's been two days since I wrote, but I did jump back on today. I don't think I'll get to 5,000 this month, but I think I'm set up well to approach next month with more force. School is coming back tomorrow, and I'm excited to test myself to work around school, homework and the many other things that occupy my time.
Writing tonight was sort of funny. First I wrote a bit, and then I did a WorD Splurge (if you don't know what it is, Google Write or Die -- it's an amazing tool!), totalling to what word told me was around 280 words. But then, when I did the calculations at Critique Circle, it appeared that I'd somehow written an extra 40 or so words in there, and it churned out a 320! So I was very happy to see that number, and happily drew that number from my "manuscript progress" over to my "monthly progress". Here's what it looks like now. It's looking a bit sad, but I'm still seeing this as a positive. It proves that even after two days I was able to jump back on and write again.
On a little side note, I have now passed 40,000 words! I'd really love for you guys to help me come up with some ideas for a celebration here on the blog. If you have any, put them in the comments!
Also, I'm considering another change of font. Do you like this Times New Roman? Is it too small? Do you prefer the Georgia I've had for a while now?
I'm now going to
I think it's interesting to see how I've written the Thief-King's voice.
I also love how Athrù and Faine take on more formal voices, much like Rozencrantz and Guildenstern did in Stoppard's absurdist play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
If you hate names of which you have to guess the pronunciation, you will enjoy this excerpt.
Fórdhain -- Fjor-thane (the j making a "y" sound", with a roll of the "r")
[Edited, April 28th]
“War is on the horizon,” said Athrù. “We are in desperate need of an audience with the Queen.”
“If that be the case, why is it that you have come to me?”
“Come, we know how your relationship with the Queen fares. I know you consider us just commoners, but we are not blank as unspoilt canvases.”
Fórdhain’s voice rose. “How dare you insist that I would think such a thing? I work with people struggling to survive day after day. I, unlike some royalties of the past, am not so self-absorbed that I have no care for the plight of the common people. As such, I was not granted this role on a whim. My role is a reward given to me after years and years of selflessness. It is a recognition. And it is never easy.” Fórdhain slowly crossed his arms. “It is a cutthroat life we live in the Underground, but a necessary one. A life of thievery is better than no life at all, don’t you think? We provide that at the Underground. We provide life. It isn’t fair that the grossly rich go on swimming in their gold while there are people fasting or living on scraps. Would any of us like that kind of life?”
Faine said, “Then we need your help, for the good of the people. If this war breaks through, famine will run rampant. Emareus will be cut off from its surrounding villages, and supplies will be cut short. Like you said, who wants to live that kind of life?”
Quote of the day:
Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just get up and go to work.
- Chuck Close
I've been procrastinating from writing my bit for today. But of course, I must have been doing something productive in that time! Well, here's what came out of forty-five minutes or so.
This song is by Tim Minchin. It's called Dark Side. After watching the song for the second time last night I decided to learn it.
Feel free to laugh at the massive mistakes and key-bashing. This was a first take.
Now I'm off to write!
Yep. Even more than writing, I need to take a break, so tonight I'm going to catch up with some sleep. But I won't be trying to "catch up" with any writing tomorrow. I know where that's led me in the past. I'll be jumping right back on the horse tomorrow, with my next 200+ words. I'll still be very much on track to hit 5,000 words by the end of the month.
The real challenge in the next few days and the coming weeks will be trying to work writing into my days regularly while also keeping ahead with homework and getting enough sleep. I think the trick lies in getting the homework done when I get it, or some days before it's due, and that's something I have to work on.
Today: 362 words.
|Pointless caption is pointless.|
When I do pass that point tomorrow, I would like to do something to celebrate.
My current plan is to host a Q&A session like Mood did some time ago, where you guys comment asking me anything you want about writing, what I do with myself, my favourite books, how I approach something, advice on any troubles you're having (within reason) and that kind of thing. But I'm not sure it'd turn out the same.
If you have any other ideas for some kind of blog celebration, something just for fun, post it in the comments and we'll see what we come up with.
I'm not cool enough to do Six Sentence Sunday, but I've decided to try a regular Sample Sunday for the Dark Corner. The first entry can be found below this post, or under Sample Sunday.
I've also felt particularly unuseful the past while, so I want bring back some "On Writing" posts and some "Fantasy World Building" posts. A new "On Writing" post on revising can be found below. Someone searched "writing pacing" and found my blog, apparently, but I don't think they found any posts on pacing. So I'm going to write a fresh one. It's been more than a year since I wrote the last one anyway. Someone was also searching about building a mythology, so I think I'd like to explore that a bit more, which will help me develop my own mythology in turn.
See you guys soon.
The characters have entered the Underground, a thieving organisation which is actually located underground. They are looking for the Thief-King, with whose help they are hoping to contact the Queen of Meira.
Having followed the man’s directions, they came to a door with an engraved piece of wood on its front that read Cartachamber. Before Athrù could knock, the door was opened, although it wasn’t the Thief-King who came out. Instead it was a startled boy almost half Eoin’s height.
Once he had regained his composure, the boy turned around and said, “Thief-King, you have some guests arrived.” Then, walking past them, he said, “Remember to be respectful to the good King.”
Saera crossed her arms as the boy left them in the corridor. “There’s nothing like an innocent-looking little boy to make an inconspicuous thief.”
“Can’t judge anyone for being poor,” said Athrù. “At least everyone down here respects one another. You wouldn’t get any of that above ground. Maybe pity. But no understanding. Thievery isn’t always a choice. The Underground entitles everyone to a life, and the means they take don’t harm anyone.” Without another word, Athrù entered the room.
“Well someone’s certainly passionate,” said Saera as she, Eoin and Faine followed him inside. Again, this room was reasonably dark, but the firelight was more than enough to see the silhouetted shape of the Thief-King hunched over a table. He wore a thick robe that splayed on the floor. His whispers were strings of incoherent drivel, soft and meaningless.
“Your Excellency,” said Athrù.
The Thief-King grunted loudly, holding his hand over the map and drawing invisible lines. Eoin managed to decipher one of his whispers as behind the bazaar, where that bastard sleeps. From next to him he picked up a compass and placed its points on the map.
A bird squawked from somewhere in the darkness, making Eoin’s heart jump.
“Yes, yes, I need just one more moment. You would not want to be the cause of this boy’s death now, would you?” The tall, silhouetted man retreated to a desk nearby. He dipped a quill in its inkwell and scribbled a one-line note onto a piece of parchment. After tearing the note away, he lifted it above shoulder height, at which point a raven shot out of the shadows, snatched it up spiralled upwards, disappearing through some secret hole in the roof.
“You lads wish to speak with me?” said the Thief-King.
“I’m not a lad!” said Saera.
“Excuse me.” The Thief-King turned to face them and stepped into the flickering light. “You are not of my men.”
“No,” said Athrù. After a pause, he said, “We bring before you a matter of utmost importance, Your Excellency.”
“Of utmost importance to me, lad, is the safety of my men. If you are not here to report to me, then I hold no interest in your issues. Every second I waste could be another man gone red.”
Faine spoke coldly. “With all due respect, Excellency, these issues are not ours, but yours. They concern your men’s safety.”
The Thief-King’s face became less stern. “My name is Fórdhain. I rule the Underground, but monikers like Excellency, Liege and Highness please me not. This is no audience hall. I want to hear my name.”
"Writing is not like painting where you add. It is not what you put on the canvas that the reader sees.
Writing is more like a sculpture where you remove, you eliminate in order to make the work visible. Even those pages you remove somehow remain."
- Elie Wiesel
Those are some very wise words from a person I've never heard of before but for this very astute observation. (Sorry, I'm still young!) But this idea should really be expanded upon.
Writing is very much like a sculpture. In your first draft, you collect your ideas and throw them onto the paper (depending, of course, how you like to write your first drafts). Then you slot them together into something cohesive, until you have something vaguely representative of a story that goes from start to finish. That might be your chunk of clay, in the general shape of your sculpture.
So now that you're up to your second draft, how do you approach it?
In steps, that's how! At each step you will go through your manuscript once and focus on just one aspect. This makes revision much more manageable and structured.
This is the first stage of revision. At this stage, the story truly begins to take shape. You go through and edit for content, change any details you want, and make sure they're consistent. This is also the stage where you will rewrite any scenes that have been niggling you from that first draft.
Now you have smoothed out the form of your sculpture.
Go through your manuscript focusing foremost on characters. Make sure the way they act is consistent throughout, or that a change in them remains later on and that they don't switch back and forth between personalities. Importantly, check that their character voice is consistent. Do they speak with more or less contractions? Do they use shorter sentences, or do they tend to drone on? Do they say the word "that" when unnecessary, or do they leave it out where possible? Are they well-spoken? Gentlemanly or sour?
You've now carved the face into your sculpture, and it's smiling at you.
Here you will focus on the description in your manuscript. You want descriptions that are strong, that give the reader an image. You don't want to go overboard, though. We don't want to know about the flea unless it's pivotal to the story. Again, check for consistency. You don't want anything to have suddenly moved from one side of the room to the other.
That jacket on your sculpture is sure looking fine today!
Just read through here and check that things look fairly good in general.
You step back and take a breath before you jump back in one last time.
Now it's time for the line edits. This is where you go through the lines one by one and make the writing nice and shiny. But if you notice there's more to do from one of the earlier stages, back up. If it's major, deal with that first. If it's minor, touch it up and move on. When you get to the end of this stage, you've done your first revision.
You brush the dust off the top of your sculpture's head and all the details seem to suddenly come to life. But you want to sell this - this is going to make you famous. So like any good artist, you approach it once more, striving for perfection.
As we all know, perfection is impossible. But make something as good as it can be, and you've got a good chance at being successful.
For a more basic breakdown of the steps, go here.
For my French class I had to write "an informative article for a local newspaper on an issue relating to technology and innovation in the 21st century". I thought what better to write on than something I feel so strongly about?
Well, here's the "article" and its translation.
Bienvenue à la Révolution Livre-Electronique
Depuis nos vies en entier, on a lit les livres en papier, mais c’est en train de changer. Les trois années dernières signifie la révolution livre-électronique. Ce moment est très important pour les liseurs et les écrivains le deux. Si positif ou négatif relie uniquement sur les gens.
D’abord, il y a les liseurs loyaux au livre typique. Ces gens appuient le type de livres « traditionnels », qui sont livres en papier, et ils ont peur que le livre-électronique va détruire le livre traditionnel. Et peut-être ils ont de bon raison.
Lentement les vendeurs de livres ont perdu ses magasins, incluant ces qui sont réputé comme Angus and Robertson et Borders.
Mais ce « révolution », si le terme est approprié, est fantastique pour les auteurs. La technologie nouvelle permet que les auteurs puis éviter les publieurs complètement et télécharger leurs romans (ou histoires courts) directement à l’internet. Il y a plusieurs de sites pour cela, par exemple Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks et le plus célèbre Amazon Kindle. Un million rêveries a juste été faire possible grâce à la technologie de l’époque courant.
La révolution livre-électronique est une force imparable. Déjà c’est en cours. Maintenant vous doivent décider lequel vous allez appuyer.
Welcome to the E-book Revolution
Our whole lives we have had paper books, but this is changing. The last three years signify the e-book revolution. This moment is very important for both readers and writers. Whether positive or negative relies solely on the person.
Firstly, there are readers loyal to the typical book. These people support the "traditional" type of book, which is made of paper, and they are afraid that the e-book is going to destroy the traditional book. And they probably have good reason.
Slowly, booksellers have lost their stores, including those who are reputed like Angus and Robertson and Borders.
But this "revolution", if the term is appropriate, is fantastic for authors. The new technology allows authors to evade publishers completely and upload their novels (or short stories) directly to the internet. There are several sites for this, for example Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks et the most famous Amazon Kindle. A million dreams have just been made possible thanks to the technology of the current era.
The e-book revolution is an unstoppable force. It's already on course. Now you must decide which you will support.
While tonight I wrote far less words than I have on all the other days, I have to say I'm not surprised. For one, I was very tired after two nights in a row that I was up until 4:00am. "For two", the scene I had to write today wasn't exactly rivetting, but necessary. So I got the whole transition scene done and tomorrow we will actually get to meet the Thief-King for real!
Today's result: 244 words.
Not too bad, really. I've done far less before, and this is great forward momentum. I kept going despite the lacklustre nature of the scene. I mean, I'm sure the actual scene itself isn't bad, but as a writer, you can't help but get excited by scenes where secrets are revealed left right and centre, or we get to meet a new character who will somehow push the story forward. So I'm done with transition scenes. Tomorrow I'm going to meet the Thief-King, ruler of the Meiraan Underground.
Okay, so there's this room in the Underground hideout, and it's sort of the planning room, where there's an amazing map of the whole city. This is where we meet the Thief-King.
One of the men from the organisation, when giving directions to my characters, simply called it the "map room". But when Eoin and the others come to the room, on the door it actually says Cartachamber. What are your thoughts on this? Does it sound clunky or mysterious?
Because I definitely survived today. Oh yeah.
The result for today: 454 words.
It looks like if I keep heading the same way, I might actually hit that 5,000 that I've missed for so many months. But I won't count on it. I'm just glad chugging along the way I am. I don't know why I keep writing so much each night.
I just have to take it in my stride. It's a positive, so why should I question it?
In a few days I should pass 40,000 words. It would be nice if I could keep writing in this manner even after that, but with school coming back, I can't say what will happen. If only I'd discovered this golden nugget earlier in the holidays, imagine how far I could have come.
We'll see. That's like my catch term. Oh, we'll see. Because that's the only thing I can really count on: that I will find out what will happen later when later comes.
When school returns, homework will become priority again (not that I've ever prioritised homework over anything). I need to work on my study habits and time management approach in order to complete this year well and prepare myself for the unstructured life of University. If it's this hard for me at school to get work done on time, I can't imagine how I'd go on my own, so I need to work a lot of stuff out.
Back to writing. Since I prefer writing at night, I need to be doing my homework as soon as I get home for around two hours. Writing should have its own slot, for example, from 6:00 to 7:30. Anything else I can work around that. Still, I don't know if this kind structure would work for me. It's just something else I would have to try out to see if it would work.
Anyway, life's good for now. See you all later.
In order to understand some of the jokes in ths excerpt, I will give you some information about the scene just preceding. Early on, we meet Faine's horse, and he has named her Nardéa. Nardéa, apparently, is the Válkian word for fierce. When they go to Emareus, the capital city of this country, they find themselves at the house of a Gifted, a woman with Kathes Aura.
This woman, awkwardly also named Nardéa, doesn't know how to control her Aura, and her home is basically an indoor forest, while outside her garden and walls are overgrown. Saera calls the place "weird". Faine jokes that the woman should have been called Loccâda instead - the Válkian word for stubborn - when she says she won't join them to help Meira against Duthonne.
That's right, did you hear me? I'm overwhelmed. Because while 1,000 words may be what I vaguely set myself, and I've never reached it, I am doing darn well for myself.
How can you not be a little happy when your progress looks something like this?
|Okay, children. So this is what an erect...progress graph looks like.|
Well, Moody, I sort of took your advice. I wrote a scene from start to finish. Thanks. I didn't do it because I felt the need to, but because I had ideas, and they were coming to me. I knew where I was headed, and I had fun getting there and playing around with the characters.
Alright, so the result for tonight is:
A number even tastier than 413:
A total of:
Marion, that's 1,317 words in three days. I think it's time to roll out the cheerleaders. [Rubs hands tenaciously.]
(Want to avoid that adverb? Why not mess up your flow and say "He rubbed his hands with tenaciousness."? Or, take note that if the adverb presents the image much clearer than any other way you could possibly describe it... go for it! We all know the wrules of righting aren't fi-night).
I owe my thanks to all of you, especially those of you who commented with your support, comfort and ideas. I can't say I would be where I am right now if you guys hadn't stuck around to pull me up when I'm down. And I don't just mean yesterday, I'm talking about the whole two years of this blog's existence. You help give me purpose and help me realise that I'm not in this alone, and that people care about and understand what I'm doing. I'm always amazed by the writing community, in which its people, all striving for a similar goal, are so empathetic and ready to give advice after their own experiences.
Les mots ne peux pas décrire le reconnaissance que je sens envers tous les vous.
Words cannot describe the gratitude I feel towards all of you.
You are all an inspiration.
Now, just for fun, I would like to post my 523 word excerpt. I think as I'm reading Martin's A Game of Thrones, I'm incorporating some of the more traditional, more antique style that he has, which can also be found in the styles of Tolkien and Paolini. I like the turn. But I would like to find my sweet spot.
So, if you would like to read the excerpt, you can click "The Dark Corner of the Mind" at the top of the page to return home, where you will see the excerpt, or you can go to CC and find the link there.
Okay, the results are in and today we have...
So, it wasn't 1,000 words, but it WAS 413, which is a very pleasing number to my eyes. In fact, this means in the past two days I've written nearly 800 words.
Okay, so I'm not going to let myself get bogged down by numbers. Not for the next few days, at least, because as you may have heard I have to get my wisdom teeth taken out tomorrow. So I'm taking the time now to revel in my victory, because, while smaller than 1,000, it's a good, solid number.
I love the number 413.
(P.S. If it looks like I'm losing followers, I'm not. I've actually only ever had 53 and the followers gadget has marked me up by two. I hope they can fix the issue completely eventually.)
|[He even neglects his "f"s.]|
Tonight I felt like I wanted to write something, so I did. And I wrote 400 words.
But writing shouldn't be treated like a casual job. You can't just do it when you get that feeling. It should be treated full-time or part-time. It's the only way to keep you going steadily. Well, it's the only way to keep me going steadily. I need to work out a system. I absolutely must allocate a time slot of one hour every day where I just write. I will implement that when school comes back.
For now, I have a challenge for the last 10 days of the month. I figure if I do this, I might have written more by the end of the month, and if I don't I won't have.
So I'm giving myself this: 1,000 words a day until the end of the month. At least until I've made it to 5,000. That might mean I spread it out and only write 1,000 words on four of the days.
I will post every day on whether I wrote or not. It may be a glowing tale of how great I feel when I reach my goal, but on the days I don't write expect something as simple as "I didn't write today". That's accountability enough, I think.
If you still haven't given up on me and my blog, I thank you deeply, for you are truly strong and have a wonderful heart.
This is an extremely tough journey, and I'm sure, at the end of it, success will be all the sweeter because of the trials I've faced.
I love how when you pour milk into a chai tea and stir it, it makes a different sound than before. The same can be said for many things: coffee, hot chocolate, soft drink - although, I can't begin to imagine why you would want to put milk in your soft drink.
But that's for another post.
I wrote tonight. I was inspired when I read over some of what Hallinan had said. And I'm glad I did, because I ended up with 471 words. That's 471 words that wouldn't be written if I hadn't written tonight.
|[Click to enlarge.] Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you?|
I'm creeping up to the 40,000 word mark. Hopefully I'll be through that and heading for the 50,000 word mark by the end of the holidays. We'll see.
Progress is progress, eh?
- A Look Back
- A Magical World
- A. Deviation
- Aundes Aura
- Aundes Aura Music
- Blog Related
- Character Interviews
- Every Thousand Words
- Fantasy World Building
- From Plan to Paper
- I Can't Draw
- Maechre Aura
- MIP (Maps in Progress)
- Motivation and Momentum
- My Life In Writing
- Novel Progress Updates
- On Writing
- Print Preview
- Revising and Editing
- Sample Sunday
- Short Stories
- Spontaneous Linkage
- Statistics Day
- Symptoms of a Sleep-Deprived Author
- That Fifth Glyph
- The Válkia Chronicles
- Three Bridges
- Válkian History
- Word Count
- Writer's Block
- Writers' Tools
- Writing Challenges
- ► 2012 (22)
- Grammar: Amount vs. Number / Much vs. Many
- Habitual April: Day 28 - "Not today."
- Habitual April: Day 27 - "Back on the horse."
- Procrasti-Nation: Dark Side
- Habitual April: Day 25 - "Taking a night's break."...
- Habitual April: Day 24 - "Going strong."
- Sample Sunday: April 24th
- On Writing: Revising
- A Franc Observation of the E-book Revolution
- Habitual April: Day 23 - "A Semi-Success."
- Habitual April: Day 22 - "Die Another Day."
- Pre-Good Friday Excerpt from Chapter Eleven
- Habitual April: Day 21 - "Not 1,000 but in My Book...
- Habitual April: Day 20 - "Or we could say I lived....
- Habitual April: Day 19 - "Let's just say I died."
- Habitual April: Day 3 - On the Wrote Again
- ▼ April (16)
- ► 2010 (103)