1. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    Charface's Progress Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Charisma, Jul 15, 2014.

    (I was thinking of titling it something witty like Pulmonary Junction or PJ's, but I don't want to shoo away the humans.)

    I have quite a few projects on my plate, some I have actually put into motion, while others, just ideas. I think I'll put up here all my projects (written or not) but talk only really about a select few, the ones which I am working on or will work on in the very near future. I have listed these projects in order of precedence, from my current projects, to my pending ones.

    Also, while I primarily work on novels, I also write song lyrics. But I don't really think I have much to say in way of song lyrics, so if something comes up I'll just post it here as an update.

    For now, I would LOVE comments on which of my current works seems to hold more promise. Hell, any tips, advice, snippets, whatever, would do at this point.

    --------Currently Working On--------
    Antebellum City
    Themes | Mystery Suspense Thriller Identity Psychology Spirituality
    Setting | New York, USA; Lahore, Pakistan
    Premise | After the New York Police and FBI are unable to find an explanation for a string of murders in New York, they turn to a forgotten archive of a serial killer who operated on the same modus operandi nearly fifteen years ago--except seven seas over. Officer Hackett, together with the FBI and the immigrant rights activist Rayed, go back to the scene of crime to investigate sleeping murders.
    Start Date | May 2014
    Current Word Count | 19,254
    Progress | :rofl::rofl::rofl::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead: (30%)
    Comments | I got inspiration for this murderous mayhem partly due to my obsession with Criminal Minds and Hannibal, my Forensic Psychology class, topped off with a burglary and a break-up. The story closely mirrors a homicidal fantasy I crafted on a bad day. XD Anyhow. I haven't really gotten to it after the first spurt of writing, even though I have it all figured out. I think this should be a priority item on my list, though. I'm currently working on this project, and plan to wrap it up by the end of the year.

    Someone to Die For
    Themes | Depression Loneliness Death Family Love Friendship Supernatural
    Setting | UK (several cities)
    Premise | Having just arrived in the UK, Tehseen runs into a peculiar young girl who goes by the name 'Nova', and finds herself traveling around the country reconnecting with loved ones, just before they die.
    Start Date | August 2011
    Current Word Count | 7,400
    Progress | :rofl::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead: (5%)
    Comments | I pieced it together during a severe depressive episode (can't say if it was a major depressive episode, or simply the byproduct of infernally long summer vacations and family drama). I put together some of my dreams and came up with a plot that I am actually quite proud of. Other than being an exciting plot, it's tone is very non-literary (borders on YA I suppose) and that was something new for me. Since I've been out of the depressive episode, I've unsurprisingly not really had a lot of motivation to work on it, though I am planning to put more into it alongside with Antebellum City.​

    Love and its Story
    Themes | Romance Religion Spirituality Culture Taboos Redemption
    Setting | Goa, India
    Premise | A young Arab business tycoon falls in love with an Indian priestess, and in trying to finding each other they find themselves.
    Start Date | June 2008
    Current Word Count | 97,000
    Progress | :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead: (50%)
    Comments | I started working on this sometime in the summer of 2008 (can't believe it when I say it!). I wrote about 30% of it during that summer. However, once my third year of high school started, I haven't had time for any long writing project, and this one has been in limbo since. I got in about 10% more in the summer break after high school, and ever since have been chipping in a chapter or two during college. I still have muse for this one, but I'm at a point where I need to do some extensive literature review. And for that, I need to set some dedicated time out. So I don't think I can work on this with true commitment until winter break.

    The Cause
    Themes | Science Fiction Action Thriller Noir Romance Drama
    Setting | For the most part, US
    Premise | When scientists create an improved derivative of humans, humagens, they unleash upon the world an apocalyptic battle which The Mother, the first humagen, and her followers strive to bring to an end.
    Start Date | December 2013
    Current Word Count | 800
    Progress | :rofl::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead:(1%)
    Comments | It was originally conceived as screenplay, and has been one of my most interesting daydreams, but I think now that it would do well as a novel too, told from the perspective of two major characters. So I'm thinking of trying to bring that nearly 6-month long daydream into a novel.

    Gorgeous
    Themes | Feminism Religion Spirituality Redemption Identity Family Sisterhood
    Setting | US (several cities)
    Premise | Raven returns to her foster home in Torrey after nearly twenty years, to invite her staunch Catholic foster mother, and her foster sisters, to her wedding. However, things have changed considerably since she left, and she is unwillingly drawn into a cascade of events that will consume her life.
    Start Date | August 2012
    Current Word Count | 1,800
    Progress | :rofl::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead::dead: (1%)
    Comments | I thought of the idea in around 2007, but I only really started working on it recently. I wouldn't even have typed it, but I had muse so I thought to just wing it. The story is powerful but it's a lot of drama and I don't want to work on this just yet. Still, it's one of my priority items as soon as I'm done through with any one of the above.

    --------Pending--------
    My Dear Progeny
    Themes | Mystery Suspense Thriller Religion Patriotism Drama Family
    Setting | Phoenix, US; Lahore, Pakistan
    Premise | A son who loathes his father goes through several horrifying events in his life after his death and slowly starts to see what he could never see during his father’s life.
    Comments | Like Gorgeous, I have had the idea for many years now, but I haven't actually started work on it. I would like to work on it as soon as I'm done with my current works.​

    I Control You
    Themes | Fantasy Mystery Drama Thriller Religion
    Setting | Israel
    Premise | A famous, modest Muslim writer meets the biggest shock of her life when her most successful character becomes real – and she falls in love with him.
    Comments | Unsurprisingly so, based on a hypothetical situation I once thought of. I like the storyline, it's very chilling, so I would want to explore it more once I can.

    Want a Ride
    Themes | Rape Incest Redemption Love Family
    Setting | US (several cities)
    Premise | After tricking his sister into his car, a serial rapist takes her on a bittersweet road trip across the country, refusing to stop until she understands why he did what he did, and that he's a changed man.
    Comments | Don't know how I came up with this one, just that it was long ago and I still think it's a possible short read waiting to happen. As implied, the setting is simply the car in which the brother and sister ride, and something unique for me here is that the characters are African-American.

    We're All Connected
    Themes | Immigrants Minority Religion Spirituality Multiculturalism Drama Thriller
    Setting | Somewhere in the US
    Premise | Ten teenagers become close-knit friends as they learn more about their religious beliefs and embark on a shared experience of the tabooed minority in the country.
    Comments | This has been originally conceived as screenplay and I intend to keep it that way. So, while I don't really think I'll be working on it unless I plan to take it to television, I don't want to put this in abandoned works.

    The Talking Chair
    Themes | Depression Therapy Psychology Imagination Gender roles Taboos
    Setting | Somewhere in the US
    Premise | Miriam finds herself loathing her life as a married housewife with two children, and in the confines of her imaginative mind, imagines herself a series of therapists who help her engage with the various fragments of her personality--a Spanish gigolo, a rebellion leader and a homicidal alien.
    Comments | Another product of a depressive episode, though not nearly as interesting or motivating, imo. I don't know if I will continue this to fruition, but I still want it on the board in case I want to.

    --------Finished--------

    You Are Loved
    Themes | Mystery Suspense Politics Family Religion
    Setting | New York City, USA
    Premise | Five siblings, who were orphaned with the assassination of their father, an Egyptian diplomat try to find their paths in the country and to feel loved again.
    Start Date | May 2005
    Finish Date | September 2005
    Word Count | 95,000
    Comments | My first, completed novel. I was quite proud at that time, but this baby is so riddled with loopholes I wouldn't want to publish if I could. Still, a grand achievement for me.

    Monster in My Mirror
    Themes | Mystery Suspense Abuse Family Religion Spirituality Redemption
    Setting | Abu Dhabi; London, UK
    Premise | Aman, a vehement atheist who was estranged from his family years ago because of his father's divorce, returns home to introduce his family to his fiancee. However, the turn of events that ensue change everything for better and worse.
    Start Date | May 2006
    Finish Date | June 2007
    Word Count | 121,600
    Comments | While some of my beta readers commented it was too dramatic, I find it to be a fine read with a few errors, nothing that cannot be fixed.

    Colors
    Themes | Mystery Suspense Drama Moral dilemmas
    Setting | Temburong, Brunei; Nanjing, China
    Premise | A blind girl, blocked off from the world by her father, is sent away to China for protection, stuck with making the choice of right, and intelligent.
    Start Date | June 2007
    Finish Date | August 2007
    Word Count | 78,000
    Comments | I wrote this in a bit of hurry (not a good strategy, I know) and though it's an enjoyable read, I'm not too proud of this one.

    --------Abandoned--------

    Rain
    Themes | Mystery Suspense Action Politics Drama Religion
    Setting | Somewhere in the US
    Premise | Rain, a sixteen-year-old tomboy, takes up the challenge to find the truth about her parents' assassination and ends up in a political, religious and economical plot with her friends Eve and Kai.
    Comments | Eh. It's adorable and all but I started writing it as a 14-year-old kid and now it just seems silly. So it sits here, dead just like the MC's parents. (Cold. I know.)

    I'm Johanna Juliet Addison
    Themes | Childhood Psychology Neglect Friendship
    Setting | Somewhere in the US
    Premise | About an unwanted tween who makes sure she makes a place in this world in her own twisted way.
    Comments | I might have actually gotten this somewhere, but almost ten chapters into the novel, my sister blew our hard drive, and in those days once your data was gone, it was gone. So I lost all motivation and now I'm too old. :(

    Little Lady
    Themes | Historical Fiction Religion Politics Feminism World War II
    Setting | UK; India
    Premise | A story of a mistreated British woman who escapes to occupied India and forms her own identity.
    Comments | I don't even remember this one.

    The Four Friends Eternal
    Themes | Historical Fiction Childhood Friendship Love Gender roles
    Setting | Somewhere in the US
    Premise | About four friends in a small town of 1950s USA with ordinary backgrounds but extraordinary lives.
    Comments | I started developing the story when I was about 6, and I think I had it all by age 10. I lost its first few chapters in the same hard drive crash, but I don't think this little fella could've gotten anywhere anyway. Though some plot details, I still can't believe I thought of them as a child (ex-husband kidnapping his newborn child?! Whoa.)

    The Backdoor
    Themes | Fantasy Science fiction Drama Action
    Setting | Probably the US
    Premise | A family of people with extraordinary powers living together.
    Comments | It was a really jarring daydream for me, lasting over several years, but now that I'm older I've forgotten much of it (I didn't write down any of it), except a few memorable characters or plot details. Not only was it long and convoluted, it was pretty ridiculous at points, so I guess there's no point in penning it down now.

    Orn
    Themes | Fantasy Science fiction Drama Action
    Setting | No idea
    Premise | The life of man who is prophesied to destroy the universe and goes through several stages of his life, including evil and good, until he decides to take matters into his own hands.
    Comments | A spin-off of "The Backdoor". Not particularly hopeless, but I'm yet to write any long piece on fantasy or science fiction, so it's unlikely to amount to anything.

    Cherished
    Themes | Mystery Suspense Drama Thriller
    Setting | No idea
    Premise | An amnesic man, who is desperate to know of his past, slowly begins to unravel a very dark back story of who he was.
    Comments | After writing a brief part, I found out it was pretty much the story behind Bourne, with more drama.

    The Golden Lies
    Themes | Mystery Suspense Drama Thriller
    Setting | No idea
    Premise | A French man who has a lot to tell his current family – of his other, ‘current’ family.
    Comments | Blegh. Could never really figure out what I wanted from this one.

    Thank you for acting as if I wasn't just talking to myself. :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
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  2. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    I like the way you used the emoticons to track the completion level :)

    The premises are interesting, too.
     
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  3. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow. What a lovely lot of projects.

    I really like the title Someone to Die For, by the way.
     
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  4. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    Thank you @Larissa Redeker and @Catrin Lewis, you replying is very encouraging :) I hope I will have some progress to show for it soon XD
     
  5. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    So, I've decided: I'm going to put in two hours on every off-day, and half-an-hour on every working day for my current work, Antebellum City.

    This is important because I've traditionally only worked on novel during my summer vacations, as it helps me focus, but since I've started college I haven't had any more than a week's vacation and because of that, I've been completely out of touch with writing. Obviously, I won't have the same kind of summer vacations I used to as a high school kid, not now, not ever. The bottom line is: if I want to write, I gotta do it now. I must learn to write in short windows of time, and not with nothing else to do all summer but write. I must adapt. This is going to be difficult, but nothing impossible, I'm sure. In fact, it'll probably be a good thing.

    The time slots are arbitrary, but take into account the general time I have on my hands during the week. I guess the rules would be different during exams and such, but let's just try to follow this. I never really follow resolutions, but oh well XD Going by this timeline, though, if I manage to write about 1,500-2,000 words during working days, and a total of 2,000 words during the holidays, I should be somewhere at 16,000 words at the end of a normal month...for me to get at around 100,000 words (no idea how long this novel runs, but I'm guessing this is a good benchmark), I'd be done with it in 7 months. Add 2 months for grace, and that's 9 months--almost like the gestation period of a masterpiece :D hehe. So I'm hoping to have some results somewhere in April 2015, before I graduate. That's a lot of time to account for but I'm hoping I can stick to this resolution. Let's see.
     
  6. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    So hello progress journal! So I've been working on my novel. Standing at 7%, not stellar but better than nothing! Also, I've decided I don't want a grace period, I mean if I add grace periods all the time I'll get nowhere. So, 7 months it is. And, since I'm trying to match pace with my novel buddy, I'll try bring it down to 6 months. Ambitious, but then that's life.

    That's all I guess. Oh yeah, I have a novel buddy. It seems fun! Now, instead of posting random questions over here, I can ask my novel buddy. :p

    Well, thank you for being there, imaginary reader. Over and out.
     
  7. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    Wow, I haven't written here in over two weeks? Didn't realize that. Well, things have been slow, not particular speedy, but I can brag that I'm at 19% now, which is probably epic :D For me, anyway. My novel buddy is much speedier and it seems like he'll make the cut much faster, but that's okay. I myself have my mind set on wrapping this up by December, so the game is on! And it might just happen, seeing I've completed nearly 20% of my novel, and I started exactly a month ago. Granted I got a lot of vacations in between, I still feel that once my lab work is complete (hopefully by end of September, no later), I'll have more time to write, or at least more energy. Plus, the semester would end in December, so I'd get some more vacations to cash then. But in any case, my word count is arbitrary so I won't know for sure unless I'm halfway through. For instance, if the novel's midpoint is at 40k words, I'm probably looking at 80k words in total, and it would take less time to accomplish. 60k words, I will be needing more time for sure.

    Also, I'm thinking of splitting my novel into three parts. The first part, from the start to the midpoint. The second part, to the second big turning point. The third part, from the perspective of the antagonist. Not sure yet, but it is in the works.
     
  8. Cadavar
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    Cadavar Active Member

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    I just wanted to drop by and say that I love the way you have set out your journal! You have so many wonderful projects, good luck with them all :)
     
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  9. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    Busy, busy, busy. Let's just say my research work and semester was more than a handful, and I hated the time spent away. Current issues in my country haven't helped. :( I've tried to divert some of that negative energy toward writing the novel, and I'm not doing too bad. At 26% now; hopefully, will be at around 40% at the end of this month if I'm persistent. Not exactly, the finished novel I was expecting, but I'm on vacation till end of January--I can do it!

    I also recently finished my first book in a long time, "And Then There Were None", by Agatha Christie. Positively chilling and amazing read, finished the second half in an hour or so--and I noticed I write very differently from Christie, at least in terms of the particular book. I like detail, introspection, imagery--in spite of being suspense tales, my writing isn't exactly fast-paced. Don't know how that affects my novel. I plan to read a few more of her works in the next few days--Five Little Pigs, Murder on Orient Express, Peril at the End House. Hopefully, I'll learn a few tricks to embellish my own work.

    Let's meet again at New Years, see what I accomplished.
     
  10. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Congratulations on your progress, both in writing and in reading. One hardly knows what to say about that horrible, horrible attack on that school. The poor children! It's good that you can sublimate the shock and distress of it in some way.

    Christie's book is interesting, not only in itself, but in having three different titles over the years.
     
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  11. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    Thank you for the encouragement! Yes, it's been very difficult to acclimatize to normal life since that incident. I still don't feel like leaving the house, but I might just be able to do something this weekend--being shut in isn't exactly healthy. We doing a charity drive this week too, I hope it makes me feel better.

    Yes! When I went over its publication, I noticed it had to tweaked here and there for numerous reasons. The most interesting was a foreign title for China which translated as 'One of Us is The Killer'. XD way to cut to the chase.
     

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