Sunday, 30 January 2011

A Round Of Words - Check-in 8

My writing and goal changing is starting to represent the British weather, 4 season changes in one day sometimes.

Last check in I was pretty much resigned to walk away from Shroud Of Death, another problem I was having I was keeping things too focused on only writing what was relevant to the story and was cutting dialogue too short (I personally hate long passages of dialogue.) So Shroud was seriously miffed that I'd quit on her. After posting my last check in, I unexpectedly added 247 words to Shroud this time just letting the story roll and the dialogue just be without adding so many restrictions.

I'm now trying to treat my 1st draft as a discovery process of finding out who the characters really are and where the story ends up. I'm enjoying Shroud again.

Guess what? Shroud's on hold until Friday now, I did a review of my assignment requirements and I need to write at least 10 poems for my course and rewrite them by the end of February. Also the 1st issue of my poetry newsletter goes out next Sunday so I need to start preparing the content for that.

So new temporary goal is to write at least one poem a day until friday when I'll be off work and should be able to work on Shroud Of Death again.

Word count achieved:
Wednesday: 247
Thursday: 0 but typed up some of my initial planning for TCI
Friday: 300
Saturday: 134

Thanks to my regulars as always for the continued support.

See the rest of the ROW80ers below.

Friday, 28 January 2011

The Friday 56 - Femmes De La Brume edited by Nicole Thomas

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

It's that simple.

This weeks selection is from a shorty story anthology Femmes De La Brume edited by Nicole Thomas and the teaser line comes from To Purge the Poisons from Your Blood by Megan Powell.

“She’s in here,” Dave said grimly, and led me past the uniformed officers at the top of the stairs.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A Round Of Words - Check-in 7

I can't believe it's another check in already. Thanks to everyone for their continued support. Progress on Shroud Of Death has pretty much come to a halt while I've been making notes and a rough outline for TCI.

One of the problems with Shroud is the premise of the story feels too ambitious for me right now so I may put this on hold while I get TCI planned, written and hopefully resurrect BOS, both of which are simpler in scope.

I've arranged a long weekend out of the office for next weekend so I can make some headway on the new project and after this check-in I'll be taking as much of a hiatus from civilisation as is humanly possible.

The rest of this evening I'll be typing up my notes and outline so far for TCI and I'm also working through The Nighttime Novelist. I still expect that I won't plan out every last detail and scene but methinks some much needed guidance is in order.

Also I cheered myself up by doing a check on my original 2011 goals.
I've written something on 19 out of 26 days of this year.
Including the prologue to Shroud, I've written 3 and half chapters in as many weeks.
Still not read much poetry yet but going to be cracking on with Staying Alive (poetry antho) as part of my course and realistically it'll be summer before I'm ready to start subbing poetry out to the markets again.

Don't forget to visit the rest of the crew.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

A Round Of Words - Check-in 6

Not much to report.

I haven't got much writing done again. Part of the problem is my studies are gnawing away at me and I should be concentrating on those and I had to work on the website. And I'm miffed with myself for only working to a 100 words a day, I know I can do more than that and I can't figure out why I'm making this whole thing so difficult. I did make some more notes in my edits file. I like keeping the writing and editing separate. I can (in theory) keep writing to the end but I have an instant reminder to look at when I come to do the 2nd draft.

At the moment, I've decided to limit working on Shroud Of Death to work nights and keep the weekend free for my poetry studies. I also want to sit down over the next few nights and do some timed free writing to see if that helps get my writing stamina back.

It doesn't help that my best writing times late morning and late afternoon are taken up with work.

In other news, I have another idea for a new novella which I'm quite jazzed about and because that's all fresh and new I want to be working on this one and not Shroud. But Shroud needs to be written and will be written I just don't know when or how at the moment.

Daily word count goal: 100
Thursday: 105
Friday: 0
Saturday: Study Day
Sunday: Study day.

Hope everyone else is doing well.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Website Updates and blog updates

Hi All,

I've spent another morning tinkering around with the website.
1) I've replaced the archive page with a current issue page in preparation for the first issue of Dark Metre.
2) All links on the newsletter section of the site are now clearly visible.
3) The competition to win a free book is now closed and relevant sections have been changed to reflect this.
4) Book teasers have been updated.

Next updates to the site shouldn't happen until the 6th Feb now. (I hope.)

Also over on this blog, I've made my 2011 reading list a page. It will be easier to keep it updated as titles get added and crossed off. Also I'll be able to link to my reviews from there as well.

In other news, I discovered that the website now has a page rank of 2. Not really geeky enough to know the impact of such things but a step up, never the less.

Coming soon to the blog, slated to be posted between my sunday and wednesday check in's will be a review of Brian Keene's The Rising.

If you notice anything on the website that's not working right or looks wrong, let me know so I can fix it.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, 21 January 2011

The Friday 56 - Banquet For The Damned by Adam L G Nevill

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

It's that simple.

Back with another Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice. This time round the teaser line comes from Banquet For The Damned by Adam L G Nevill:

Night terrors might just be the beginning - the first telltale ripples before the contagion spreads.

Check out last weeks Friday 56

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A Round Of Words - Check-in 5

I haven't touched Shroud Of Death since my last check in. I think part of the problem was I let the internal editor out and spent way too much time thinking about the story. I almost came close to scrapping everything I've written so far but after reminding myself that I need to get to the end of the 1st draft I managed to resist.

Last night, I did jot down a bit of a monologue for my antagonist on an index card. Tonight, I really don't know if I'll be writing or not. I feel like the story's taking too long to start, I'm worrying that there isn't enough in the plot to get me to a completely finished and edited novella of 30,000 words. Yes, I underwrite. Yes, I will need to expand and flesh some areas out properly etc etc. So I keep telling myself I need a finished 1st draft regardless of quality, coherence and heart stopping moments.

Also, I'm getting confused with my characters and plan on writing a brief outline of their goals and motivations and final outcomes within the story.

Daily Word Count Goal: 100
Monday: 0
Tuesday: 0 words but a later scene sketched on index card.
Wednesday: 0 so far.

Use the blog hop below to congratulate and commiserate with the rest of the crew participating.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

A Round Of Words - Check-in 4

I came to a bit of a screeching halt with Shroud Of Death after my last check in. My energy levels seem ridiculously low and I'm sure I had more time to do stuff like this when I was living on my own.

After making a token attempt at writing on Thursday I walked away from it until Saturday. I came back to Shroud realising what was bugging me about chapter 3: The relationship between the two characters in this scene, they shouldn't be in love. I demoted Walter to long term companion and "protector." I also remembered a background element that runs through the story which I haven't been able to weave in because my location details are sketchy so I pulled open the Areas to edit file and made the relevant notes.

I'm moving forward again although I expect that after this check in Shroud Of Death may need to take a back seat while I crack on with my poetry studies.

Daily Word Count Goal: 100
Thursday: 11
Friday: 0
Saturday: 165
Sunday: 118

2nd goal set on my last check in:
Start Area's To Edit File: Done

Thanks to the ROW80 guys for their encouragement.

Missed my last check in?

Use the blog hop below to cheer on the other participants:

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Website Updates

Hi All,

Been tinkering around with the website again:

Archived blog posts are now grouped by category.

Individual book review pages now have product details and links to the authors homepage.

I have given the Dark Metre pages a separate look to the rest of the site and there is now the Dark Metre blog. So you can check that for all updates rather than those posts getting buried on this blog.

I still need to tidy up the navigation links on some pages and as I'm back to writing fiction again I need to update the relevant site descriptions. But first more caffeine is in order.

Friday, 14 January 2011

The Friday 56 - Cell by Stephen King

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

It's that simple.

This week's teaser line is from Cell by Stephen King

For another, the tumult in the city beyond their little safe haven actually seemed to be increasing.

Other posts you might be interested in
2011 reading list
last weeks 56

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Writing Reflections - Check In 3

it's the 3rd check in for A Round Of Words In 80 Days and the last few days have been tough. I'm severely  behind with my goals so I'm going to revise them. My original daily target was 375 words I'm cutting that right down to 100 words to take the pressure off.

I originally had a POV change planned for chapter 5 but I was presented with 2 problems, one that my protagonist had reached a point in the story where she needs to spend a couple of weeks arranging day to day stuff and two that this new POV character is indirectly but integrally tied to the conflict and theory of the story. I decided to bring this 2nd characters POV forward to chapter 3 because I could then come back to protagonists story at the point she moves further into the main plot and because setting this up in chapter 5 as originally planned feels a bit late in the day.

2nd POV character is the one I'm having the most trouble with, I know her purpose but getting the how's and why's down on paper is proving tricky.

I have a second goal slated for Saturday if I don't get to it sooner and that is to start a new word file named Area's to edit and I'm going to list down the various problem areas in this file. I will then have something I can go back and work over if the writing stalls again.

I haven't actually written any fiction for a few years and I'm feeling really rusty.

Word Count Log - daily target was 375 words
Sunday: 599 (out of the needed 880)
Monday: 86
Tuesday: 92
Wednesday: 122

New daily word count goal is 100

Hope everyone else participating is doing well

If you missed my last check in you can read it here

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Writing Reflections - A Round Of Words In 80 Days - check in 2

I'm going to check in now before I tackle todays word count goal. I'm behind and want to get a few things cleared out the way first to leave the rest of the day free.

Daily word count goal 375
Thursday: 408
Friday: 122
Saturday: 47

Target for today (sunday) to get me back on track: 880

I was pretty tired by the time Friday night rolled round and Saturday I got sidetracked with website stuff. Overall on Shroud Of Death I'm up to chapter 2. For the most part, I'm sticking to my rough outline and know that I will probably have to restructure the whole plot once the 1st draft is complete. I'm debating whether or not to take the ipad and my folder into work to keep on top of this during my lunch break instead of constantly cramming everything in to my evenings.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Website Updates - New pages added

I have just archived the following content from my blog to the website:

Book Reviews
Writing Reflections
Tantalising Teasers

I hope this will make it easier for people to find old blog posts of interest once those posts fall off the main page. Feel free to report any broken links or other problems with the new pages.

Also, I have updated my 2011 reading list with 2 new titles.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Friday 56 - The Man In The Picture by Susan Hill

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

It's that simple.

I'm back with the first Friday 56 of 2011. This week we have a selection from Susan Hill's The Man In The Picture.

The teaser line is:

I gave up, put my head back against the cold seat leather and waited, without saying anymore, for the end of our journey.

Did you miss the last Friday 56 of 2010?

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Writing Reflections - A Round Of Words In 80 Days - check in

I'm on the 3rd day of this challenge and meeting my daily target of 375 words.

Todays word count : 390
Daily word count goal: 375

The characters are starting to write their own back stories and telling me what their purpose in the story is. Although, I did struggle to sit down and write today.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Writing Reflections - A Round Of Words In 80 Days - Day 1

Some where over the last few months I figured out that I under write which is a relief because I now know that my first draft of Shroud Of Death will only be a skeleton but one that I should be able to work from, one that maps out the story from start to end and somehow at the end of it I will need to go back and add the meat and organs and brains to the story.

Shroud Of Death began life way back when as an idea that I loved. I tried to write it during nanowrimo one year and it got shelved after 11000 words, recently the idea has resurfaced, I've changed the original location, the characters have been replaced with new ones, and plot points make better sense. 

Before I started the new draft, I began jotting down loose scenes on index cards which gave me a starting block that highlighted problem areas and points that wouldn't work. A more stable outline made it onto the computer, just one or two lines of the main event or development in each chapter. I can't see what's around the corner until I get to the corner but I can see where I need to end up.

Daily goal: 375 words
Today's word count: 377
Read my initial goals.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Writing Prompt 11 For January 2011

Writing Prompt 11 has been posted to the website.

Instructions: Use the photo above to inspire a piece of writing such as a free write, a poem or story. A new writing prompt is added every month so come back often to try the new ones or revisit old ones. Why not try writing a piece that incorporates more than one photo?

I have deliberately not supplied any information with the photographs. I want to see what your imagination can come up with on its own. If you sell a piece of writing that was based on one of these, please let me know so I can celebrate with you.

All photo's are taken by myself with either a Nikon D50 or a Coolpix S3000 camera.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Starting 2011 with A Round Of Words In 80 Days

I stumbled upon this writing challenge via the Indie Book Collective blog and handily just as I'm getting to the writing stage of a novella. It asks you to commit to a writing project for at least 80 days setting and revising goals as necessary. I tried Nanowrimo three times without much success finding the pace too fast and inflexible but it offered that much needed motivation.

The A Round Of Words In 80 Days approach feels more workable to me. The fun begins on the 3rd of January and sign ups are here.

My Goal is to write the 1st draft of Shroud Of Death in 80 days. I'm loosely aiming for an overall word count of 30000 words which gives me a daily word count of 375 and a weekly word count of 2625. I think this will allow me to keep productive without becoming bogged down and still allowing time in my day to keep up with my current poetry studies and producing Dark Metre.