Baeraad's progress journal

Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Baeraad, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 13,628.

    ...

    ... siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. :(
     
  2. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 17,765 + 14,258. Sad. A little less so than yesterday, but still... sad.

    What I'm writing right now isn't even coherent, I'm just writing whatever comes to mind, skipping back and forth across the scene. It's the only way I can get anything down! :meh:
     
  3. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Aaaaargggh, no, this isn't working. Obsessively counting words and never reaching my goals is just adding stress and taking away energy I need for other things, and my writing has gotten so shoddy that I don't even think I'm achieving anything. I'm going to need to go back and edit the last three or four chapters into oblivion, because they either make no sense or go against how I feel like the story should go. I can't keep on building on a faulty foundation.

    So here's what I'm going to do. I'm throwing in the towel for this year's NaNoWriMo - no more wordcounting (or at least, not more than my regular weekly progress). Instead, I'm going to finish this chapter, since it rounds out the current volume and will let me look at it as a whole. Then I'm going to go back and take a look at how well the things I've written actually work in terms of the overarching plot. Once I've decided where I really want to go, I can start thinking about how to change things up so I can (hopefully) keep a lot of big chunks of my current text, but change the context so that it makes sense.

    And in the meantime, I'll put some effort back into the regular life stuff that has started falling apart for me, like getting up promptly in the morning and getting some exercise. I've been backsliding on those something fierce in the last few weeks, and my progress on them in the last year has been hard-won. I need to shore it up in a hurry, I think.
     
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  4. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Okay, I'm back to writing, for the record. I wrote... a whole paragraph yesterday. Well, most of one, anyway.

    But I'm on it! ^.^;
     
  5. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 19,298 + 13,112. I've started moving the stuff I wrote in November over to the file I keep the story proper in. The first chapter I wrote looks good, I can keep it pretty much entirely intact.

    I also wrote a little on the latest chapter. This one is going to need some more work when I get to it, but for now I at least like what I wrote this week.
     
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  6. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    All right, I have concluded that about two and a half chapters of my November writings can be transplanted almost entirely as they are. It's after that that I feel like I wandered off in the wrong direction.

    I'm having Loren and Sylvia attacked by demons in the Underbowel. Should I keep that? It doesn't technically advance the plot, but it does establish what sort of place the Underbowel is and forces Sylvia to think her way past an obstacle under a significant time limit. Is that enough to justify the scene? Especially if I'm going to have Sylvia and Toin attacked by not-actually-demons in a few chapters. Perhaps it will be too repetitious?

    And for that matter, those not-demons. Do I need to establish what a demon is before I explain them? Maybe not. The reader might not have internalised that "weird scary thing = demon" at this point in the story, and for that matter, there's been a bunch of other freaky things mentioned along the way. I'd still like to make these things stand out a little, though. They herald the end of the world, so they should be scary in a way that the regular critters aren't. Not sure how to accomplish that.

    Also, I really-really-really need to make the whole thing with Sylvia listening in on cryptic conversations less convoluted. In my vague plans for the story she sneaked around those passages on and off for days, and heard a lot of unimportant things along with the important ones. But once I had that demon attack on the way, the idea of her going back and forth through the Underbowel (and I may need to change that name - it's meant to sound gross and in-your-face, but I think it mostly just sounds cringy :p ) felt implausible. Possibly another reason to save that demon attack for another time?
     
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  7. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 20,838 + 11,469.

    Okay, I do kind of want that demon chase, but I should look over how I'm writing it - it should probably be a bit more weighty than I've made it. I don't want to wallow in realistic grimdark here, it should be a fun adventure story first and foremost, but I shouldn't be too breezy with it. And then of course I need to rewrite the way Sylvia gets past that door. I have a better idea for it now.

    That'll be next week's project, I think.
     
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  8. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Current wordcount: 22,371 + 9,584. Not much progress this week. I've moved over some more text, and tried to figure out how to continue it. Been too tired to do much else.
     
  9. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Wordcount on Heart of Silver is unchanged, but I did manage to write 1,274 words on a short story set somewhat before it, detailing the further adventures of Brendor the hapless dreamwalker. I was watching The Witcher on Netflix, see, and I started wondering how Brendor would go about hunting a monster. The answer being of course, completely without knowing what he was doing and only because he couldn't find anything better to do. :D And then I started thinking that it would be a good time to have him meet up with Leona...

    The myth arc is actually taking shape, a bit at the time. I have only the vagues idea where it's all going, but I'm pretty sure it's going somewhere.
     
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  10. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Heart of Silver wordcount: 20,838 + 11,469.
    Land of Frozen Dreams wordcount: 2,220.

    Some progress on the short story. I also notice that I'm better at really finding the tone for magic and worldbuilding I'm looking for in short stories; the longer works get kind of bogged down and overly mechanical. I guess it's good that of the longer stories, one is still to be edited and the other one is only a third done (if that); I can take what I learn about my setting in the short stories and use it to tweak how I describe it in the longer ones.

    The types of Gifts (and I need a better name for that, too; it's supposed to be at least ambiguous whether Gifts are inborn or earned) I've gotten a feel for so far are basically this:

    Stormsingers: fay, mercurial forces of nature.
    The Blood: fisher kings, bound to the land and the people they rule.
    Sanctifiers: wandering prophets and holy warriors.
    Stalkers: primal, shamanistic hunter-killers.
    Dreamwalkers: enlightened ninjas and warrior-philosophers.
     
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  11. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Heart of Silver wordcount: 20,838 + 11,469.
    Land of Frozen Dreams wordcount: 3,116.

    Some decent progress this week. I had to jump ahead and write out the scenes I felt inspired for, though, just so I had a clue where I was actually trying to get. I tend to have considerable trouble fleshing out some scenes, especially when I know that the details won't matter later. In my mental synopsis it kind of just says "stuff happens" at some parts, and they refuse to fill out themselves the way the more plot-critical scenes do.

    The scenes I did write included added some more detail to the Perfected Action. The roleplaying game influences might be a little overly obvious - anyone who has some experience with them will probably notice that Brendor is effectively casting buff effects on himself. :p But heck with it. It beats being so general and vague that it's impossible for the reader to understand what's going on.
     
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  12. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Okay, I haven't counted the words, but I think I got some decent progress this week so far. I've started connecting the different scene snippets into something that more or less flows. I also managed to cram some actual details in, which I count as a victory since I have an astonishing amount of trouble actually fleshing out physical locations.

    I think I have narrowed down the Perfected Action, at least as far as Brendor has learned it, to super-infiltration, super-fighting, and super-breaking-stuff. Now I'm considering what additional abilities to give Leona, since she's supposed to be head and shoulders above Brendor. She's a stalker while he's a dreamwalker, so while they can do many of the same things, he's better at stepping into the Fleeting World of the collective subconscious and she's better at the physical hyper-competence stuff. I actually think that Brendor is unusually good at that stuff for a dreamwalker, but Leona is unusually good at it for a stalker, so when she turns up, the things she can do physically should be overwhelming.

    At the same time, I want to follow the same theme, which is that the magic doesn't give you superhuman strength and speed but just superhuman precision in how you use your muscles. So I don't want to go all blatant and just have her punch him through a wall or something. I want to give a feeling of, okay, a human being could probably theoretically do that, given the very best training and sheer dumb luck, but it's insane that she can do it consistently and at will. Not sure what that should be, in practice.
     
  13. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Heart of Silver wordcount: 20,838 + 11,469.
    Land of Frozen Dreams wordcount: 4,402.

    I'm making some speedy headway. On the other hand, this story is also turning into a monster. Why can't I write short stories? :p

    I meant to have Brendor and Leona fight it out at one point, but I dunno if I can make three fight scenes all in a row interesting and distinct. Maybe I should just have her turn up and effortlessly incapacitate him - just make it clear that she's a lot better than he is. Then have her show what she can do against bad odds in the climax.

    I swear, the hardest part of writing is really all the freaking writing. :p I get an idea that feels like a light bit of fluff and then a month later I'm puzzling over dramatic timing and worldbuilding and God knows what else. What I'd actually like to write is short, concise high-concept stories like The Day The Sky Broke, beause they're the ones that I can actually complete while I'm still feeling excited about them - they practically write themselves. But I usually can't think of ideas that really work for that, so instead I have to bother with craftsmanship. Feh. :p
     
  14. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    I wish I could give you a double-like for this :D
     
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  15. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Heart of Silver wordcount: 20,838 + 11,469.
    Land of Frozen Dreams wordcount: 4,584.

    A slow week. I've been doing roleplaying stuff instead. I've started joining my disjointed scenes together. They don't fit as well as I might have hoped, but at least they form an unbroken narrative now. I'll have to go back and smooth them out later.

    Also the magic system is bugging me. This really shouldn't be so hard - Brendor's main power is really hyper-competence at breaking and entering and at fighting. Which he has become he can go into a trance and attune himself to his Perfected Self, who always fights, sneaks and parkours in the absolute optimal way. That's pretty straightforward. But I seem to have tremendous difficulty expressing that in a way that I don't start disliking when I reread it.

    Meh. It's been a rough week all around. I'm weirdly tired. Maybe that's why I have trouble getting things right.
     
  16. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Ohhhhhh, no progress this week. I feel like crap. Especially crappy crap. Mehhhhhh.

    I did write up a Superman / Game of Thrones fanfic. No, I don't know why I did that.
     
  17. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Heart of Silver wordcount: 20,838 + 11,469.
    Land of Frozen Dreams wordcount: 6,354.

    Okay! A better week. I got nicely into detailing how the Fleeting World of dreams work, in a way that I think is flavourful and surreal without being incomprehensible. I may need to go back to adjust some earlier stuff because of it, but I think I might actually have a handle on it now.

    Just generally, I think the magic system is starting to click for me. There's a lot of different things the Gifted can do, but most of it boils down to the idea that the world has a narrative created collectively by all the people in it. That might also explain why the universe could just "break" as it does at the start of the cycle; things have just gotten too incoherent and there are too many different versions of the truth competing for dominance. Now there's a nice metaphor for our own broken times, I feel. :p
     
  18. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Heart of Silver wordcount: 20,838 + 11,469.
    Land of Frozen Dreams wordcount: 6,571.

    A bit sad, I admit. ^.^; I've been feeling an impending cold and I've spent a lot of time sleeping to ward it off. I did manage to storyboard out the next sequence of events, but I haven't managed to sit down and write it out. Let's see if I can do better next week.
     
  19. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Heart of Silver wordcount: 20,838 + 11,469.
    Land of Frozen Dreams wordcount: 7,225.

    I had many of the same problems as last week, but it still went a bit better. Also, my story now has a scene with a cro-magnon cave-woman fighting a wuxia warrior monk at the top of a mountain. In the world of me, that means that this story just became awesome. :cool:
     
  20. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Aaarggh, I wrote nothing all week. And it's not even that I don't feel inspired. I feel like I know where to take the story - I just never seem to find the energy to put down any words. :meh: I blame spring fatigue, mostly.
     
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  21. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Okay, I actually got some writing done at the last hour. I'm at 8,081 words. That turns this from a lousy week to a mediocre one in a single swoop, so that's nice.
     
  22. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Heart of Silver wordcount: 20,838 + 11,469.
    Land of Frozen Dreams wordcount: 8,293.

    Even that modest increase is just because I wrote a little at the last minute to have something to report. :p I've been busy with the roleplaying game this week.

    I think I need to make Ulnisfarne weirder. The way I've described it, it's just Viking Central - which doesn't even make sense with the social and technological level of the rest of my setting. I need to add some bizarre touches, some unexpected things with the way the Ulnisfarneans live to put them in line with the rest. At the very least there should be shamans around to ward off demons or something, and some references to grotesque and monstrous animals.
     
  23. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Ugh, no progress at all this week. I have decided that Ulnisfarne should be built around a giant demon skull that the residents worship as their god, and that the dead but unquiet spirit of the demon still sulks impotently in the center of it. Brendor and Leona will have a kung fu duel across one of the tusks, fall in through an eyesocket and encounter the demon. I'll need to go back and edit the first scene to establish the whole thing.

    Next week is definitely dedicated to writing. No working on the roleplaying game until the week after at the earliest.
     
  24. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Heart of Silver wordcount: 20,838.
    Land of Frozen Dreams wordcount: 10,261.

    Okay, this has been a lousy week for the most parts. But for some reason, it's been a good week for writing. So, a minimal woohoo for that, I guess.

    I've also shaved the NaNo words off of HoS. I may still use some of them, but I think having the pressure of trying to "fix" the part where the story went off the rails was messing up my creativity. So instead, once I'm done with LoFD, I'll just go back to the last place I was satisfied with and start writing from there.
     
  25. Baeraad

    Baeraad Active Member

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    Heart of Silver wordcount: 20,838.
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    A middling week. Brendor and Leona have had their fight and are now talking to the Dead God.

    I think I've gotten the feel of the story right by now. Unfortunately that means that I'm going to need to go back and edit the hell out of the first two scenes, which are really kind of flat. I can save most of them, don't get me wrong, but I need to include or at least mention some of the peculiarities of the setting. Also, I need to figure out who the real villain is going to be and include him in the second scene.
     

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