1. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Sifunkle's fun cycle

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Sifunkle, Oct 6, 2015.

    I'm not sure this will count as a progress journal at my rate... but community interaction might help! Anyone interested, speak up :) I like to keep specific details about myself and my work minimal in public, but I'm open to private give-and-take - I've found it very motivating and rewarding so far (you know who you are :D).

    Preamble: I have a huge insomnia problem. I've had to take time out from my professional pursuit over the last couple of years, which has actually got me back into writing (I'd always enjoyed it throughout childhood/teens). Unfortunately it's a catch-22 - my hiatuses are for a lack of energy and mental acuity, which don't make for productive writing either (...or productive anything). I'm doing what I can to get on top of the insomnia, but therein lies another catch-22: once I'm better I'll be back to my profession, which is quite time-consuming, so I expect my writing time will be minimal. With all of this in mind, I'm reluctant to set myself writing deadlines, because I doubt I'll meet them. Anyway...

    My WIP is a resurrection of something I was writing back in early high school. The new incarnation is being treated to a comprehensive reupholstering (~unidentifiable as the embarassing original). Genre-wise... I suppose it's sci-fi/fantasy/speculative, with younger characters, but not necessarily aimed at a young audience. I was completely pantsing the story back in the day, but this time I'm meticulously planning. I haven't actually started drafting, and probably won't until I've worked through my elaborate template (likely to still be a while).

    I'm currently up to writing character profiles/interviews (I've turned this into a writing exercise, so I can practice while I plan); halfway through the 9th of 10 important characters. After this, I've been encouraged to write something for the Workshop (perhaps just to demonstrate how little faith should be put in the critiques I've left on others' pieces ;)). And the other thing on my to-do list is to come up with a new name for my MC, because of bloody Jurassic World.

    So my current to-do list is:
    • Finish last two character profiles/interviews
    • Write sample scene for the Workshop
    • Think up new name for MC
    Would love to hear comments from anyone who has any :)
     
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  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yay, you have a journal. :)

    Unless your novel has dinosaurs in it I don't think anybody is going to read it and think "Oh, Owen/Zach/Barry/whatever? He's ripped that off from Jurassic World, that insomniac plagiarist!"
     
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  3. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Thanks :)

    ... I should probably just shelve Owen and the Clone-a-saurus then (plagiarism multiplier x2 :D).

    But seriously, it's my own mindset more than anything. I'm sure I could get away with it, but just being conscious that my MC's name shares three out of four syllables with an MC from a popular franchise makes me uneasy to write/read it (even if my love for that franchise ended with the first sequel).

    Maybe I'll just keep using it until something better occurs, and if nothing does, I'll keep it!
     
  4. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    *lurks*

    I am having similar issues with insomnia. Want to write, need to sleep, can't do either. Such fun. :bigmeh:

    I'll be here with the pom-poms. :cheerleader:
     
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  5. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Aaand half a year later, I've finished a single one of those two character profiles/interviews I was talking about.

    Honestly, I've had to put writing on the backburner for a while (including letting people down on the beta-reading front :(), but I'll have a bit more free time after tomorrow, so maybe I'll launch into that last character profile with vigour after so much distance from it!

    And MC's name has stayed the same. A little bit because I'm already attached to it, and a little bit because I've been too lazy to think about changing it.

    After the final character interview, I'll write a scene for the Workshop as planned/promised all that time ago. A bit nerve-wracking, as I've never shared my writing publicly. It will probably be a scene that won't actually be intended for the novel itself (maybe from the backstory, or from a perspective other than the story's viewpoint character), because I'm a bit paranoid about putting stuff online that I want to publish some day... but I'll try to write it in the style I envision for the story (something I haven't really done with the interviews, as much as all writing practice is worthwhile practice).

    Warm feelings to anyone who encourages me :) (I hope I'm not becoming one of those always-needs-validation types... please tell me I'm not...)
     
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  6. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I like your MC's name! It's such a common name that I don't think anybody will think of Jurassic Park.

    You've got nothing to worry about with the workshop. Nobody could say your writing wasn't good, whatever critique they offered. It's way up there.
     
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  7. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Have finally finished writing all 10 profiles/interviews for my main/important characters. Definitely the longest task to date in planning my WIP, which seems fair enough (if you ignore the actual time spent...) as characters are important. Very glad to be done with it though, as I was getting quite sick of being limited to the format I came up with.

    Now I'm going to take some time out from The Plan to write a scene for my first venture into the Workshop. Thought I had something in mind, but it might be a bit too spoileriffic for me to want to release to the internet... so maybe I'll think of something else (open to suggestion on POV character from anyone familiar with my cast!). But expect a scene in the not-too-distant future. I'll aim for two weeks from today (as I'll be working around other commitments and probably want to edit quite a bit before it goes up, as I think the Workshop should really be reserved for pieces with at least attempted polish).

    Wish me luck!
     
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  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    So much planning, I expect great things.
     
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  9. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Rich or Hatchet!

    Good luck :)
     
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  10. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Well, I've finally posted something to the Workshop! And yikes - slightly before the two week deadline I set myself in that last post. I'm scared too.

    Anyway, once I'm done crying over the feedback, it's back to The Plan: some brief consideration of how I'll include some themes I want to, then (finally) onto the actual plotting (although I've already cheated a bit by ironing out most of the back-story).

    Progress!
     
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  11. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    My Workshop post yielded some good feedback about my exposition, setting ideas and a good discussion about past perfect vs past simple aspect, so I'm glad I did it. Would still love more feedback (wouldn't we all?) if anyone feels like digging up the 'Skate park sarin' thread - I'm still not sure how people (other than Tender!) feel about my characters, although admittedly there may not be enough to go on in such a scene.

    I've finished considering my themes. Forum discussion around themes and whether to bother planning for them seems to involve a lot of debate (even ignoring that about what a theme actually is). For what it's worth, I've found themes moderately rewarding. I think a lot of writers advise not to start with a thematic premise, lest the piece turn out to be too preachy, or dripping with philosophy but otherwise dry, which I think is reasonable, but shouldn't preclude thought at some point (and also isn't a guarantee that starting with theme will have that effect). Thanks to one particular forum member whom I bothered with this stuff, on the off-chance you're reading!

    I already had a good idea of my plot, characters and settings (even though I haven't drafted a word), so the themes I considered were those already present (IMO; others could probably read my plans and disagree). Brainstorming thematic points-of-view mostly led me to realise that I already had scenes/examples planned that illustrated them, so I suppose the process consolidated my confidence that I know what I'm doing (... sort of...), although it's also allowed me to tweak a bit of characterisation, and I've dreamed up one or two extra scenes that complement what I already have.

    It's interesting that when I first conceived this WIP donkeys' ears ago, I had one particular theme in mind (not that it was driving the story). At this point, I recognise three main themes; the original is still one of them, but not the most prominent. Although the project has been reworked so much in recent years that that's probably not surprising.

    Overall I'm glad I explored theme, but that's not to say that everyone should. It's likely that I'd have reached many of the same conclusions by focusing on the plot and characters, and it's probably true that theme is unique in that it can emerge in the absence of conscious decision (c.f. character/plot/setting). I think a writer can probably start with and focus on any one element and still have a good result, as long as they work well with the overall project (hopefully this will be the case for mine! - I think my main focus is divided between plot and characters). I suppose this makes me the same fence-sitter I usually am. Nonetheless, if anyone is interested in exploring theme, I'm happy to share the approach I used - it reminded me of competitive debating back in school.

    And now I'm finally onto the nitty-gritty of plotting proper - I've had the story ideas in my head for a long time, but I'm finally going to cement them as scenes ordered to portray character arcs, etc. That will still be a lot of work, but it's really the last step in the planning process; after that I can finally get drafting (... sort of... I actually have to redo the entire planning process over again for reasons... but I don't think it will take as long this time around)!
     

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