Progress report: One Million Words, week 24

This week’s total is 5,917 words. In spite of Christmas I still managed to write every day. Christmas Day isn’t a good enough excuse to not write. Having said that, I’m not so sure about what I have written this week. More on that later.

My total is now 108,582/1,000,000, or 10.86%.

I have written for 162 consecutive days now.

Day by day summary

Monday: 367 words (Horrible Monster)

Tuesday: 1019 words (Horrible Monster)

Wednesday: 594 words (Time travel prompt)

Thursday: 1,560 words (Time travel prompt)

Friday: 1,120 words (Horrible Monster)

Saturday: 438 words (Horrible Monster)

Sunday: 819 words (Coronation cloak story)

Analysis

So I’ve been writing on Horrible Monster again. It is an indulgence, but I’m starting to wonder if there’s something in there. I’ve written over 10,000 words on it in the last few weeks, so it’s no small time investment. I did a Story Summary Sheet for the story and started to think about what would make it work properly, and I’ve got an idea, but it’ll need some more working out. The plot, the society, the government. I’ve been focusing on the core relationship between my two characters, and I haven’t done the worldbuilding or really sorted out the stuff that happens when they aren’t both in the scene.

The next step will be to put writing scenes from this story aside and create a detailed notes file to go over the bits that are missing and create a fairly detailed outline to the story.

Right now, though, it’s not my priority. Since last week I have created story summary sheets for several stories, including Kell’s Adventures and the Mountain Story. These are the two I want to focus on for the time being.

The Mountain Story, I feel, is in pretty good shape. It’s a standalone story with a completed first draft. I’m happy with the overall plot and which aspects I’ve focused on. What I need to do is finish typing it up and go at it with edits and rewrites. At this stage I think there will be a few bits cut and a few bits rewritten, but overall what I wrote in first draft is pretty solid. A few weeks work will bring it up to the level where I can start getting outside opinions, and after a few of those I’ll try to submit it.

With Kell’s Adventures I feel there’s more work to be done. I envisioned it as a serial of chapters that pretty much stand alone, but I didn’t plan beyond chapter 3. I think I need to go back to the start, determine how many chapters I want, assign a theme or idea to each chapter, and work out one or two running elements that will get picked up in several chapters. Not exactly plot, more subplot developments or themes. There’s also a running joke sort of thing I think I could manage to include. Stuff that ties the whole story together, making each chapter clearly part of the same thing, without compromising the individuality of each chapter.

Writing without a plan for these stories did mean I could crack on with first drafts, but now what I’ve got for them just isn’t good enough.

It looks like what I’ll be doing over the next few weeks is a lot of leg work, then. Planning, making notes, typing up, editing.

The other stories I worked on this week were new stories based on prompts.

The time travel story was fun as a concept, but I never quite got a story out of it. Basically I had it that some strange electromagnetic field was snatching living things from one part of the planet and dumping them somewhere else – in a different time. So there was a snake from prehistoric Australia, a whale that landed in a German field who hadn’t been born yet, a woman from 2130 warning about an earthquake in the Republic of Catalonia, and a man who saw Gobekli Tepe when it was new – and in his own time met a “prophet” who was actually a woman who went missing during the London blitz. I think I’ve got something there. Something with the missing people, with genetics getting a boost, but I’m not sure what. It needs more time to stew.

The Coronation Cloak story is a bit more straight-forward. The occupying force that’s just invaded and taken over a neighbouring country takes a symbol of the deposed monarchy to prevent any claimants from using it to stake a claim and start a resistance movement. A princess who survived is trying to get it back while it’s in transit. I just need to decide between several different twists that are on offer. Is the convoy transporting the cloak a trap, a decoy, or genuine? And is my princess character the only one trying to get the cloak? A bit of thinking and planning is in order, but I think I’ve got something here. I’ll have to put together a story summary sheet for this one.

Actions

  1. Finish typing up the Mountain Story and start editing it.
  2. Work out how to proceed with Kell’s Adventures.
  3. Create a Story Summary Sheet for Coronation Cloak.
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