1. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States

    Dogberry's Watch -- Progress Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Dogberry's Watch, Dec 12, 2019.

    The Basics:

    Ten years ago, the name Milton Fogg popped into my head. I started a story about him and it was whimsical and full of bubbles. Literally. Fast forward to two years ago, it's no longer got bubbles and it's one of the darkest things I've ever written. 3 books total. All finished drafts. Now they need finesse. I plan to spend four months on each book next year in particular, with a head start on the first one this month.

    Written in first person, past tense. My preference for an automatic unreliable narrator is kind of annoying, but how I like to tell stories, I guess.

    The Maker Series

    Book One: Fulcrum

    This is the introduction to the main characters, the world building, and what the eventual end is for the main character. Her name is Brangienne Frankovitch. Goes by Frankie. This is the one that was whimsical and made very little sense by the time the other two books were done. I'm currently working on writing the first half of it over, with some more revisions in the second half when I can get to it. Frankie learns how to channel her energy into making a shield by the end of the book. She's the chosen one. Hooray, another one of those.

    Book Two: The Keeper of Time

    By now, we've met the main cast. The second book is all about a road trip essentially, where Frankie and her fellow soldier, Blaise Blonde (the name stuck with me, and I can't not use it now), go on a quest to find the missing mysterious Berkeley, who escaped her . . . not cage, but containment. She's nuclear, in the most basic of explanations. In the second book they meet Thomas Eirgaught (pronounced ergo), who has a dark secret. By the end, they find Berkeley, and Frankie's gone through the ringer.

    Book Three: Lazarus Rising

    Takes place mainly in Lazarus, the other world (again, basic explanation), where they're trying to get to the capital to set in motion the final events that will save the world. Frankie knows almost everything she needs to by now. The ending is a little muddy for me, but I'll post that up here sometime and get some feedback on it. I'm actually kind of proud of it, but I think it needs some clarity.

    And this is it for now. I'll go into deeper detail another time. I'm in a room where I don't have a charger for my computer handy, and I don't want to get up at the moment.
     
  2. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    I wrote two sentences today while on my lunch break at work. But as I waited for the last few minutes of my shift to end, I decided on yet another name change for one of the characters because I didn't like Tanner anymore. But Sam Bayn (pronounced byn) rings well to me, so we're going with that now.

    More non progress later.
     
    Rockatansky and marshipan like this.
  3. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    I managed a few more sentences at work today, but I am not pleased with that lack of progress. Unfortunately, the time of year that it is, I won't be able to spend too much time on anything other than rushing from place to place to see all the people who want to see me.

    I did figure a training course Frankie will need to go through as part of her introduction to the world of being a soldier. Similar to the holodecks of Star Trek, she'll go through simulations where she's fighting moartea, but still learning all the other basic stuff a soldier needs to know.

    Gotta research more about soldier training. I'm an idiot when it comes to that kind of thing. However, the military that exists in this world is solely for the purpose of fighting moartea and consists of specialized training of what are called Makers. The people who can use energy to formulate weapons and defense mechanisms. It's all complex to me right now so I'm going to go to bed and hopefully think more on it through the weekend. Maybe have time to write on Sunday.
     
    marshipan likes this.
  4. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,647
    Likes Received:
    2,589
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    This is something I can help you with extensively.
     
    Rockatansky and Dogberry's Watch like this.
  5. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    No writing done today, and I unfortunately didn't think about any of it. Holidays are touchy times for me with writing. But I'm hoping to maybe do a little tomorrow, if not actual writing, do some notes about some things I've been toying with while at work. Expand on those, I mean.

    I do a lot of thinking about it but then when it comes time to write it, I just stare into space a lot. Eventually I'll get back to where I write thirteen pages a day, but for now, I'd settle for 13 sentences.
     
    marshipan likes this.
  6. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    I wrote a page and a few sentences on the next one at lunch break today. I don't use a computer to write unless I'm typing up what I've handwritten. It's what I've always done. Hand write first, type up and edit a bit second, then rewrite by hand, then retype and edit. So far, I think this is why it took me so long to write the first book.

    But I've made an executive decision to change Tanner's name to Sam permanently, because I like the way it all sounds together. Plus, Frankie knows Sam as Sam, so switching in the middle doesn't make sense. I mean, it does if I leave it the way I have it. But I must change it. For the good of the people.

    I also have a tendency to get stuck. My fix for that is to go back to where I feel the story stops working and redo it. This happened recently, and while I was writing a little bit, it didn't fit the tone of the moment that was happening, so I wrote and it felt sticky. I'm not sure how else to describe it, but it's almost like the writing holds the story back, and it feels stilted and without purpose.

    I'm also, now bear with me on this lengthy journal entry, but I'm also considering--something I considered at the beginning of all of this--writing it in third person. Reasons I like first person, it's more personal. The reader gets a first hand experience of listening to someone tell a story. It's also automatically an unreliable narrator in the sense we only get the one perspective instead of multiple you can have with third person. I know I could do limited third person, and I know that omniscient is tough as balls to do, but the more I think about writing in third person, the more I like the sound of it in my head.

    Plus, writing the villain's scenes in third person felt so badass. It really allowed me to get inside his head (such a strange thing to say considering I created him and I write him), and showed me that third person is actually kind of cool to work with.
     
    marshipan and EFMingo like this.
  7. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    Got a bit of writing done today. Still haven't switched to 3rd person yet. I think I'm going to keep going in first until someone tells me it's awful in first and then try in third.

    I would have gotten more done, but honestly the past few days have been a cluster and I'm just tired already. The last few days of the year are already spoken for and I'm annoyed with that, but as they say, the show goes on.

    I'm going to go to bed soon, but I'm going to write before that happens, so good on me I guess for sticking it out to the end.
     
    marshipan and EFMingo like this.
  8. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    So the other day at lunch break, I finished out a page in the middle of a scene where I redid some stuff I'd gotten stuck on. So far, I think it's going well.

    Then today, I did a dumb thing and started writing for another project. I'm not going to let myself get too far into that one, because I have plans for the Maker Series, and if I get too deep into the Dust Chronicles, then I will lose all ambition with Frankie and her gang. Dust Chronicles is in third person, though, and I'm pretty stoked about the idea I had for the beginning of that one.

    I found myself thinking about how there are some great writers who just essentially dump you out of a moving vehicle into their worlds without any explanation as to who is who, and what is what, so you just roll with it till you hit a tree and suddenly it all makes sense. Frank Herbert did it with Dune, and I was irritated at first and a little offended by his assumed stance that I'd be okay with it, but turns out he was right, I was fine with it.

    I think that's my goal for when I get to the Dust Chronicles. Just start the world and the reader can catch up. I hope I can do it as well as Frank Herbert did, without being blatantly obvious about it, though. It'd be so rude if I just outright copied his style. But that's literally another story for another day.
     
    marshipan and EFMingo like this.
  9. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    It seems to be lately all I can churn out is a smidge of something here and there at the lunch table. But as the holiday season draws to a close, I'll be making a more concentrated effort to stick to my goals next year. Added in stress of house hunting, but that's a bonus. If I can find a house with a space for an office, then I'll be set to have a fantastic work space. As it is right now, my work space is the bed because I don't have a desk in the room I sleep in at my dad's house.

    But this is all just a huge digression from the topic at hand. I think I struggle a lot with describing things because I do write in the first person perspective. When I personally describe things, I tend to do so as quickly as possible so I don't waste the time of the person I'm speaking to. I think that's carried over into my writing, too, so when a person needing description pops up, it's like really bad fanfiction talking about what clothing the protagonist is wearing. If it's necessary description, absolutely chuck it in. But if it's just so you can create a very, very specific idea of what you think the character looks like, it can get a bit clunky to me.

    I don't know. We'll see how it goes. So far, Frankie's learned she's the heroine, and she's met a potential bad boy. Don't worry, he's not the love interest for long. Can't be too cliche, now.
     
    marshipan and Steve Rivers like this.
  10. Steve Rivers

    Steve Rivers Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    402
    Location:
    Somewhere deep in the heart of the UK
    I find a good method for describing things I want elaborated on is picking out and writing down a list of the more important things in the scene/chapter that need describing, and specifically targetting points in the dialogue or action that most naturally fit where those descriptions go. "Oh, he mentioned the castle in the background, it naturally flows for that being where I should describe it" or "he's got an injury on his head, and he wants to see how bad the injury is. He would naturally go to a mirror and look, and then I can describe his looks, too! Woohoo!" sort of mentality. I didn't mention what the character of the injury looked like throughout his first two scenes because there just wasn't a point that naturally lent itself to it. Then I didn't feel so bad going into a bit more detail. There also wasn't any action going on at the time. Even then I didn't describe him down to his toenails. That's always in the "never please every reader" category. Some will want less, others will want more.
    For me, though, its always fine as long as it feels like it flows naturally.

    *Puts on his Yoda voice*
    "Flow, Luke. Always go with the flow!"
    :D
    At least, that's how I do it. Hope it helps, Dogberry, even if only a bit.
     
    marshipan and Dogberry's Watch like this.
  11. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    It is helpful, thank you.

    Today, at lunch break, I got our characters a little further down the marketplace. Now they're off to visit the barracks where Frankie will meet her cohorts for the next several weeks. She's going to settle into life and enjoy her time until she picks a fight with the girlfriend of one of her officers, and then she gets reprimanded for it.

    Something for the military folks: what's a good way to punish someone for picking a fight where they could have killed the person they're fighting? Frankie develops super strength-ish, and she doesn't know how to control the force, so she seriously injures someone. She has to get punished for it, but I don't know what would be good punishment. In the first draft, I had her whipped twenty-five times because even though it's military, it's very weirdly structured. It's not United States military even though I'm basing it off of some of what I've seen in films. Kind of trying to do my own thing with it but I'm militarily stupid, so I don't know much about how to structure things.
     
    marshipan and Steve Rivers like this.
  12. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,647
    Likes Received:
    2,589
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Where in rank does Frankie fall, and where in rank does the injured person fall. This is critical for basing punishment statutes. Whipping is very Robert Heinlien, and I never thought it logical. Why damage government property with whippings? Better off forcing Frankie into a leadership role, or strip of rank, and teach valuable lessons. Ships send you to the the brig on bread and water rations for weeks as well. If Frankie picked a fight she knew she could win easily with her own people, that's a very bad look for higher ups. Personally, I would strip rank a few chevrons, and put her on restriction. Fights are welcome in the military, but severe damage to government property is not. Maybe some ungodly boring leadership courses as well.
     
  13. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    Well, both are at the same level, just one hasn't been promoted yet. She's bullying Frankie about everything and Frankie snaps and beats her pretty badly. The punishment needs to be physical injury because it's kind of those "eye for an eye" type mentalities, if that makes sense. Plus, there's something that happens later on that if she's not physically injured, this moment is kind of pointless.
     
  14. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,647
    Likes Received:
    2,589
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Well, then you're kind of just left with whipping if she has to be physically injured. Most other things are too damaging and would cause a double loss. Or you could be especially cruel and do a brand. A mark of the militarily punished. Severe pain and a mark to last forever.
     
    Dogberry's Watch likes this.
  15. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    I guess I was thinking maybe the whipping is too archaic, but maybe that's part of the charm of the military I've created. I dunno.

    Today at lunch break, I wrote a two page love scene for book two and then realized I was essentially writing erotica at work and just kind of giggled to myself for a half hour. I don't think love scenes are a bad thing, just as long as they're sparse and not overly detailed. I don't really want to know about people doing the thing.

    That said, I absolutely have a crush on the male lead in the second book. Is that a thing? Can writers have crushes on their characters? Well, Stephenie Meyer certainly did on Edward, but I don't want to be like her. I shall think of this character as gross from now on.

    ... no I won't. He's charming and solid in his motives.
     
    marshipan and EFMingo like this.
  16. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    I attempted to write a little yesterday, but with my niece being extra chatty (just babbling really at this point. She's barely a year old, so she's finding her words slowly), it was difficult to pay attention to what I was doing. I'll get some writing in today, I think. I think my main concern is just getting the skeleton down of what I want redone, because next month (LOL TWO DAYS) I'll devote my entire free time to writing and getting all three books ready by next December.

    I really want to prove myself wrong, that I am capable of doing this. So often I tear myself down saying I won't ever be that good of a writer or I'm not a real writer if I haven't published anything, but the moments when the story slams into place and everything fits, those are the moments that remind me why I chose to do this instead of something more financially stable. Devoting my life to something I love is far more rewarding, I think.

    Besides, maybe one day I'll win the lottery.
     
    marshipan and EFMingo like this.
  17. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    I had a character become somewhat more important than she ever has been in past iterations of book one, and while I'm frustrated with that, I'm also okay with it because it helps build up to that moment where she causes Frankie to have some major trouble. I also figured out a way to have a physical punishment without it being actually damaging to Frankie, I think. I hope I wrote it down in my notebook because if I didn't, I don't remember what it was... Good of me, right?

    The other good news is, I plan to spend the rest of today writing (with some laundry folding in the middle because adulting happens regardless of my lifetime goals). The room where I sleep is mostly organized now, so I can devote a good portion of the day to writing. I plan on spending most of the afternoon and into the evening doing this. It's got me all a-tingle, haha. This is what I've wanted to do for several weeks now, just devote a day to putting pen to paper, and now I'm going to be able to do so.
     
    marshipan and EFMingo like this.
  18. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    Wrote about a page at lunch today. I would have written more, but the vending machine was being extra cranky today and I spent way more than I should have trying to get my bag of popcorn unstuck. I didn't get the popcorn till someone else saw my struggle and knocked it free with some M&Ms, but that's all very much beside the point.

    I think... I think I'm going to try writing in third person. And see where that goes. After 10+ years of writing in first person, I think I'm going to attempt 3rd and see what happens. I already wrote my villain scenes for book three in third person and I feel they're some of the best I've done, so I'm gonna jump off the writing cliff into the muck below and see where we end up.

    Stay tuned. It's about to get messy.
     
  19. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    I made it about a sentence before I fell back into first person, and then I just gave up and kept writing in first. I think this one will stay in first person, and the next one I do will be third. The Dust Chronicles will be my next big writing project.

    I spent a little time writing today, and I've come to feel like my heart isn't in it and so it's rather exposition heavy and lagging in pace. I'm all for scenes that take a moment to get us somewhere, we all need a break, but this feels like a chore writing it and that's never a good sign.

    I might not write any more tonight, but we'll see. Discouragement is a thing, but I don't feel like I have time for it to be. The first book's deadline is the end of April.
     
    marshipan and Steve Rivers like this.
  20. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    Finished a chapter at lunch today. I have a habit of writing when I'm sleepy, and sometimes, I don't make much sense. Case in point, my character was witnessing something, and I was sleepy, so I wrote:

    "Mr. Fogg sense my eavesdropping and for the next twelve terrifying minutes, he cleared a spot on the calender."

    Yes, calendar was spelled wrong, and I was so ashamed of myself. My best friend told me I need an "outtakes" book, and he's not wrong. I do this kind of writing too often. Did it last night, and I'll do it again. I must.
     
    marshipan likes this.
  21. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    I'm definitely spending quality time today working on typing up what I've got already as well as doing some research on how to make my godlike creatures more what I want them to be. My sister got me a myths and legends book for Christmas, and I'm utilizing that a lot.

    I want them to be more Nordic, I think, with a mix of African trickster instead of using Loki as a basis for that aspect of them.
     
    marshipan likes this.
  22. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    Can I post twice in one day about this? I feel like it might be rude. But I did get a lot done today on the development side of things. I'm going to have to go through the first half of the book again to make sure it's flowing properly and not too fast paced.

    I also kicked the romance plot that was building underneath things to the back end. The two characters trying to be together are not meant to be together, so I made them friends. She doesn't know how she feels about him past that, and he's secretly married (she doesn't know yet), so when they try something, well, he asks if he can kiss her (because consent is sexy, yo), she says no, and he realizes what he's doing and backs up a bit.

    In the original section of the draft I'm typing up, I had these two together, actually, but then as I wrote it, it presented problems further down the line that I hadn't considered when I first started writing it that way. I just herp derped along like, sure, be together you horny kids! But then it turns out, they can't be together because of who he is back in the place he comes from. I solved the problem of how to put in his hiatus though if they're not together. That was an issue that sprang up. Hopefully my actual writing isn't as droll as these journals, haha.

    So it'll all work out in the end.
     
    EFMingo, Steve Rivers and marshipan like this.
  23. Steve Rivers

    Steve Rivers Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    402
    Location:
    Somewhere deep in the heart of the UK
    How can you call your journal dull when you use phrases like "herp derped"? :D
     
    Dogberry's Watch and EFMingo like this.
  24. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    Well, ya know. I forgot that people might actually read this thing, haha.

    Today I got almost scammed by someone preying on desperate people with substantial student loan debt, so that took up most of my lunch break. I didn't even eat all of my freezer burned calzone. But tonight I did write for an hour and a half and got a few pages down. It always feels like I've done so much work in that amount of time, but in the end it's like... four pages. I say that and I struggled to even get two in seven hours when I was in school.

    Anyway. I do this thing where I fall asleep while writing and that started happening so I decided to watch some YouTube and then I woke up again. I'm afraid to see what Sleepy Me wrote because it's always useless except for a laugh.

    I think I remember it felt like solid work for the most part, though, so hopefully it isn't the end of the novel.
     
    marshipan and Steve Rivers like this.
  25. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    1,172
    Location:
    United States
    Big sigh.

    It's the middle of the month and I'm not even close to where I want to be writing wise for book one. But, that all changes today. Well, it did at lunch break. I made a plan for the next few scenes and how they'll play out, and I'm incorporating some of the last draft's stuff in, so it isn't all new stuff. Stuff, stuff, stuff. Gosh learn a new worrrrrrrd.

    I have the hiccups and it's annoying the shit out of me.

    Anyway, the next few days will be devoted to scribbling down those scenes, and then maybe while I'm at me brodder's house this weekend I can type up more. OR, on Monday, since I have that day off. Oooh, I love days off. Bank holidays are swell.

    The next few scenes I have to get done are pretty important for the second half of the book. Frankie still gets in a fight with what's-her-shit, and then she gets put into an isolation box as punishment. See, I didn't remember that's what I'd thought of a few posts back, but then I remembered it and wrote it in big tall letters.

    So, before Frankie can be a boxer, she has to speak to a doctor about her mother, and the doctor also functions as her therapist of sorts, so she does some talkin' about her brain things. She also has to interact with Berkeley, my insane priestess who prophesied that Frankie would be the One. God, so cliche, but I love it anyway. She also goes on a further tour of the middle bit, Amaranth, also known as the Dorms. With the man she's trying not to be attracted to. I think I killed that romance enough, so we should be good to go.

    This is long. Sorry. I'm falling asleep and I don't want to be. Goodnight! And ... good luck.
     
    marshipan and Alan Aspie like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice