1. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Chinspinner's Progress Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Chinspinner, Jan 30, 2015.

    I have decided to join the current trend of writing a progress journal.

    So I have a bit of spare time and I have just sharpened three pencils and put them on one side of my desk. I bought two pads the other day, one just to regurgitate ideas on and the other to actually try to develop my plot in a more constructive manner. I have written "start writing..." in the front of the first one.

    I have about two hours before I am due at the pub, and in the mean time I have decided to research Neighbours. I haven't watched Neighbours in some time and I think it is important to my budding literary work that I know whether Dr Carl Kennedy and his wife Susan are still married after what must be ten or maybe twelve years?

    I will report back shortly with my progress on this, and whether any of the old crew; Toadfish, Evil Paul Robinson, Harold Bishop or Lou Carpenter remain regular fixtures.
     
  2. Swiveltaffy
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    Swiveltaffy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Coolness.
     
  3. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I watched Neighbours. I am not sure if it assisted in plotting my epic work of sci-fi, but it certainly cleared a lot of important information out of my head, leaving plenty of empty space for my musings.

    However, first more research is needed! At some stage one of my characters is probably going to wind up at a pub, and I need to ensure that I am au fait with this particular sort of a venue on the off-chance this does prove to be a setting in my literary masterpiece. It is possible that one of my characters will drink to excess while at the pub, so I have decided that tonight should be dedicated to researching that particular eventuality.

    More updates will follow.
     
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  4. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    @ Chinspinner

    Very inspiring. I've been in a bit of a slump myself. Turning 55 in a few a decades and still unpublished. But I just came up with a plot last night while on the toilette and I have a feeling this one's going to be it. It's a planned trilogy with a target word count of 356,000 words...per book, quite a daunting task, but the characters just keep getting themselves into all sorts of mischief! I'm wondering if you'd be willing to beta read my outline, once drafted. I'll of course need you to first sign a confidentiality agreement in case you get tempted to plagiarize my idea, as it is a very good one. Thank you for your inspiration and please let me know ASAP.
     
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  5. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've settled down a little since coming to Auckland and can actually work on things properly.

    My attempts at writing something relatively lengthy started when I was young then gradually fizzled out when I found pubs and gyms and other fun things (as well as less fun things like work). I have lost those early pieces, but wish I still had them for the laugh. Unfortunately I can only imagine some of the pretentious and achingly profound trivial crap I would have written.

    My desire to write something long-ish reignited about 18 months ago. I churned out 45k words before realizing that perhaps I should make a little effort to learn the craft. The upshot was that I identified: -
    • Purple prose, excessive wordiness, adverbs everywhere.
    • Regular and jarring authorial intrusion.
    • Some minor head hopping.
    • Bland, cardboard cut-out characters who all spoke with one voice and without any real differentiation of POV.
    The upshot of this was that I deleted 45k words.

    Attempt number two started a couple of months ago. I got to about ten thousand words and realized that my rigid adherence to a particular plot idea was coming across as contrived. I thought about reworking it then decided, sod it, it's not working, get rid of it all.

    And now attempt number three is at about 4k words and growing slowly. It has sci-fi as a backdrop but will be more a mystery/ intrigue piece. I am hoping this one gets a little further than my last two attempts.

    There we are, an actual update rather than a meditation on Neighbours and the many characters, some who have passed on, and others who are thankfully still with us, who shared many moments of my youth.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Pencils? You use pencils? :eek:

    You can 't get better unless you put it down on paper or the screen and look at it, so I consider all you've said to be legit progress.
     
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  7. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Am I being dumb? Where did "pencils" come from?

    EDIT: Never mind, my first post.

    I agree with this. I think like many I had the rather naïve idea that some natural talent would either carry you through or not. I am not sure why I expected writing to be somehow different to any other craft you have to learn and practice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  8. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Entered a cul-de-sac with my hard-scifi piece and drove around it a few times. I was too limited by the rules I had set myself- I wanted to write a (limited) space opera, but I wanted it within the realms of possibility. It was becoming dry and pompous.

    I am sticking with scifi on the hard end of the scale, but I am adjusting my central premise and injecting some fun. It is now a murder mystery in space. Basically Poirot falls into a wormhole while playing Twister with Colonel Hastings and Colonel Mustard, or something, and emerges in a space ship. Yes, I know, you all wish you had thought of it first.

    Bunch of people on a ship, murders ensue. Like I say, I am sticking with hard sci-fi, because I struggle with the fantasy end of sci-fi, it grates with me. So it involves hibernation and beam craft and centripetal gravity and so on. And here is the problem I struggle with, the more serious my fundamental premise or rule-set, the harder it becomes to inject humour. The last thing I want to make is Event Horizon where it is full of imagery of horrific torture, but injects the funny black side-kick to say silly lines, making it tonally absurd. Actually the last thing I want to make is the Star Wars prequels because that would be hellish.

    Anyway, working through all that mess now.
     

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