1. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Foxy Progress Journal (mainly used for talking to myself)

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Foxxx, Nov 1, 2016.

    Suppose I'll give this a go!

    As of late I've been trying to prioritize and dedicate more time to writing and reading. Easier said than done haha. It's hard with all our technological distractions, not to mention working 40+ hour work weeks.

    Anyway, enough excuses! This should be one more weapon in my arsenal to keep me going. Below I'll give a list of my primary projects and their current status, which will be updated periodically (hopefully once a week, along with whatever other updates I post in this thread). Will also include a brief description and details I think are relevant.

    I'm not really a fantasy writer or a fiction writer, nor am I just a poet or-- you get the idea. What I mean is that I don't restrict myself to any one form or genre; I just write whatever I want to and ultimately hope others enjoy it as much as I do. :)

    Always trying to improve, challenge myself, and do something new. I'm a pantser.

    -Current WiPs-

    "No Man's Land" (fictional short story)
    Description: A young kid at war comes face to face with the enemy, but it wasn't who he expected it to be. When the darkest hour strikes, it is the wrinkles in your brain that become the trenches and your mind the battleground, blurring the lines between what's real and what isn't. (historical fiction / horror)
    Status: First draft in active progress.
    Goal: Finish first draft by no later than end of the year.

    "The Irony Curtain" (novel)
    Description: It started with calling the Founding Fathers the Founders. The Statue of Liberty became the Lady Liberty Statue. Then everything went way past "equality". Part of The Transcended World universe-in-development. (dystopian)
    Status: First draft on hiatus. Definitely one of the most challenging projects for me yet, but I think I can do it. Just have to get more solid footing and keep trying.

    "Breaking Spring" (tentative novella)
    Description: Based on personal, real-life events.
    Status: First draft on indefinite hiatus. I feel like hind-sight is very important for writing something like this. Still not entirely sure what I want to do with it, or if maybe I want to scrap it and come at this from a different angle.

    "High and Schooled" (tentative screenplay)
    Description: Inspired by shows such as That 70's Show and The Office (both American and British versions) and The Inbetweeners (British version). Originally a hand-held student project to film the school life of seniors at Juliet High, we instead get a first hand experience of partying, heartbreak, and a timeless coming of age story through the eyes of the teenagers living -- or surviving -- it. (loosely based on my life)
    Status: Backburner. Unfamiliar with the world of television programming. Considering taking classes in college pertaining to screenwriting.

    Last updated: 11/1/2016

    --

    Thanks for checking this out, it means a lot to me! Feels like I'm making a promise not only to others but also to myself (the most important part) by creating this thread. :love:
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
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  2. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    Life can be so busy, with so many additional distractions. Making writing a priority is important to getting works finished. Good luck and hang in there and persevere!
     
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  3. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Well, it's been two weeks since I started this.

    Still finding it very difficult to motivate myself to write. Going through one of those bouts of depression, and I hate everything I write. Constantly tired, especially after work.

    Of course, I ask myself "Why do I want to write?" And the answer is simply that I have these ideas in my head and I want to bring them to life, because I think there is value to them. Writing is my best medium for that. I won't give up, despite how frustrating it is.

    I actually came up with an idea for the short-story competition on here. I think the topic had something to do with the recent election. Too bad it was far too late.

    Hopefully by the start of next week I'll have better news.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
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  4. ToDandy

    ToDandy Senior Member

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    Sometimes it can take a while before you truly like the things you write. It took me about three novels before my own writing started to be something I could even stomach reading. Writing is like every skill. You practice, practice, practice, until you've developed a toolbox of skills that make your stories unique, interesting and engaging.

    If you want to get motivated to write, the best thing to do would be to find a regular routine. Pick a time of the day, a day, and stick to it. Soon writing on a schedule turns into a habit, and it becomes considerably easier to keep writing. For me, I always go for a run at 4:00 and write right afterwards.
     
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  5. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Thanks ToDandy for the advice, I'll give it a go!

    It's difficult because when I work for 40 hours a week, 10+ hours a day, I don't want to do much else besides sit at home and relax. Play some video games, watch YouTube, do a little reading before I go to bed. Then on my days off I sleep in too much, and I usually have errands to run and other things to get done.

    Ugh, my schedule is all sorts of effed up. So you're definitely right that I need to structure it a little more, making sure to provide myself the regular time to just sit down and write. I can't write at home, I'm too distracted. I'll need to start going to Starbucks again.

    Looks like this "writing" progress journal has become a "life" progress journal, haha. Have to get my crap together and get things back on track, so that I can get back to writing. Been away from it for too long; at least a couple months now, I think.
     
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  6. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Well, after a hiatus, it would appear that I am back to fiction writing in some capacity.

    I was at a dead end with my project "The Irony Curtain", but last week I ended up writing a new beginning to it that I actually LIKE. Wow! I thought that feeling was lost forever.

    Not only that, but I realize what was wrong with the old beginning. Some of it is still more than salvageable. Will likely end up becoming a scene in a following chapter.

    First bit of good news in a while. Not taking it too seriously. Still don't have a designated schedule, but then again I've never been very structured. Even in my writing I'm more of a pantser than I am a plotter. However, sometimes I am a pantser with a "plan".

    Taking it easy. One step at a time.
     
  7. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Making progress.

    Been watching Brandon Sanderson's online course. Starting to take steps toward improving my life. You know, just small ones, trying to eat more healthy. Get more sleep. Clear my head. Workout.

    Put myself in the right physical state, the right mindset, to get that drive back. To feel good.

    Safe to say as of right now, that The Irony Curtain is no longer on hiatus. Back to writing.
     
  8. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    Good to see you're pressing forward, making progress. :)
     
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  9. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    Make writing like brushing your teeth. Do it every day, consistently, without really planning it out too much. You want clean teeth? Brush. You want to be an Author? Write. I can't wait to read your published best selling novel.

    Want me to Alpha anything? I'm not an English professor or even a published author, but I'll read your work and be honest.
     
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  10. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Thanks Ervin!

    You're spot on Zoup. It's just tough when you're so exhausted from work. That's why I'm trying to get into a healthier state physically. Have a little more energy, you know?

    But practice, practice, practice, is important for sure. I would be honored to have you alpha read something of mine! I'll let you know when I've got the first chapter or two to show you; I'd greatly appreciate the helpful feedback. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  11. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    I've gotten a lot of the story planned out. It's a rough outline, of course, but still good progress.

    Funny to think that I was so sure I was a pantser. Would seem that I'm more of a plantser, if not a planner.

    I'm a little stuck as far as planning the last quarter or so of the story. Not that I have no idea where I want to go with it. Just some choices need to be made.

    Debating if I should also do some background character development. Monologues, and things of that nature, to get a better handle on them. Or maybe I'll just wing it, and see how it goes.

    In the meantime, after the holiday I want to get the first chapter (or two) rough-drafted.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  12. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Whew, been a month already since the last update!

    Ended up re-writing the entire beginning (again), but I think it's for the better. One of the characters was completely unnecessary as it turns out, which is a shame because I felt that I had a rather good hook at the start. It would've just ended up flopping later on though, and been entirely pointless, so I scrapped it.

    Ordered some books on writing. Been watching Brandon Sanderson's course on YouTube, and also bought several online courses regarding writing. Just have to remember that there is no objective, ultimate, right-or-wrong. The only rule really, besides grammar and spelling, is "whatever works". It's still a good idea I think, though, to expose myself to a realistic variety of ideas and opinions, and begin exploring these things myself, figuring out what works for me. Most importantly, figuring out how to use all of these different tools and techniques, and using them with purpose (answering the why).

    Practice practice practice. And applying what you're learning plays such a big part.

    I'm reading more. Playing video games less. This is good! Means I'm making progress in the process of reorganizing my time and priorities. It's getting better, just have to keep trying and be ever so very patient.
     
  13. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Two months since last update. Whoops.

    Well, I've got a huge backlog of good reading ahead. Been writing and reading almost every day since quitting my job. Wasn't the reason I quit, but it's proven convenient.

    Making good progress on my novella "No Man's Land". Told myself I will not share any of it until it's completed. Will do my confidence a favor when I can say that I finished a big project, and have evidence to support it.

    Been more or less winging / pantsing it. But I'm actually figuring out who my main characters really are, and I've discovered the main theme of the piece. This is reassuring. This is what practice gets you; improvement. Putting my nose to the grindstone, even when the going is tough, is proving to be rewarding.

    In the meantime I cranked out a short-story in a night that I know has real potential. I really dive deep into the psyche of the narrator, and experiment with some Lovecrafty as well as risque elements. There's still work to be done but the reception so far has been promising. We will see; I'm going to upload the next draft here.

    Cheers to anybody who's actually reading this, regularly or not. Means a lot!
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  14. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The Irony Curtain sounds like a satire. :p Maybe it'd also work as a script for, like, an animated short film or something.

    Good luck with your projects! It's actually surprisingly easy to find time to write when you're writing something that truly inspires you. I've also noticed I'm playing video games way less when I've got an inspiring WIP in my hands.

    Critiquing other writers' work motivates me to edit my own work, so I recommend that too if you ever find yourself stuck. :)
     
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  15. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    It was initially conceptualized as a kind of satire. Still could be!

    Agreed, giving constructive critique is a good learning experience for everybody involved.

    Oh, I have to leave my house to write most of the time. Don't have enough self-control; I just end up playing video games instead lol.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
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  16. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Much has changed in a year.

    The Irony Curtain is on the backburner for now. Epoch Coda is my current project.

    Self-doubt and having confidence remain personal issues. Hard to even get writing when that's the case.

    I've got a couple ideas for trying to help me improve my writing! One of them is a thread I just started called "Characters in One Sentence", in which I hope to achieve the same thing as a similar thread called "Your Story in One Sentence".

    Another is that I plan on taking note of passages in books that really stand out to me. Lines that really impress me in some way. I will then share them in another thread I am yet to create. The point of such a thread will be to have open discussions not only about our favorite passages, but also hopefully meaningful and enriching discussions that can help better us as writers. We can talk about what makes the lines effective or ineffective, the different tools that the author utilizes and so forth. In doing so, we may be able to incorporate some information into our own work.
     
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  17. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    My blog has nearly 900 followers and counting. WIP has been put on the back-burner as I read The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass.

    I find myself to be a real scatterbrain. This tends to leave me feeling overwhelmed at times. Or, it can make me feel like a failure. I have several threads on here that have made for genuinely great conversation, and I always feel bad when I forget about them.

    My Amazon cart is filled with so many books that I'm afraid to go look and find out exactly how many. It's in the hundreds. Last I checked was somewhere in the mid 200s, so I'll guess it's upward of 300 by now. Topics ranging from philosophy to self-help to history to psychology, and on and on it goes. Any attempts of prioritization or organization are quickly aborted.

    And I haven't even gotten to my real, personal life yet.

    But I think the good news is that I think I'm making improvements. Somehow. It's really a miracle. And faith has been an orienting rock for me, at least for a year now. I can't believe how many followers my Minds blog has, even though I'm sure a couple dozen of them are bots, and many of the rest are inactive or might not be following for my writing. I'll take what I can get. I just finished the rough draft for an article; I'm feeling a creeping sense of doubt, but I'll push through it. Even if it ends in failure, I would rather have written something that the majority of people actively didn't like than something that went completely ignored. That's my bigger fear: something akin to being ignored.

    On that note, thank-you to anybody who reads this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  18. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Finished "The Emotional Craft of Fiction". Time to put it to use.

    This past my week my brain has felt completely fried. Long story short, I think it's time I start taking better care of myself. I can barely even write this comment without getting stuck. Besides my health, I think my brain is also telling me that I'm spreading myself too thin. I'll dial things back a bit.

    I've been in this malaise before. I still don't know exactly what it is, but I'm not as worried about it as I used to be. I trust in my ability and have faith. In Donald Maass's book I found some of what I was missing. As a result I feel more confident in taking on Epoch Coda.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  19. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Finishing up a short story.

    "Focus on the scene. That's what matters. Chapters are more arbitrary in nature, and can be worked out after-the-fact." Paraphrasing advice courtesy of our @ChickenFreak.

    Now I've updated my progress journal. Got to celebrate the small victories, eh?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
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  20. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Concept photography for WIP. NOTE: not my own photo!

    Tentative title: The Vale (or some variant thereof)
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  21. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Senior Member

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    Beautiful picture. Congratulations!

    What? Where? How? When?
     
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  22. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    I should've mentioned this was not my own photo. Oops!

    It's apparently of the Stour River in the Dedham Vale. Unless your questions were meant to be about my WIP, not the photo; I wasn't sure. :)
     
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  23. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Plans for the Interim:

    -How Does Suzanne Collins End a Hunger Games Chapter?

    -Wading Into Hemingway's Writing Process

    Both informal articles for Medium and Minds.
     
  24. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Saw the picture. Now I totally get the vision of the Vale, vibe wise. You're like, not even sure of the ground you walk on...
    Not gonna ask how yer doin.
    Certainly not gonna argue about how stupid being down on yourself is, especially since I'm always guilty of it. :meh:
    Not gonna blow smoke up you ass either. Lol.
    Be whatever, man. Just tell us. Tell the world. Rant. Cry. Tell us and the world to go fuck ourselves! Lol.
    Just tell.
    Yeah, I'm reading you.

    Seeker is watching. :D
     
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  25. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Thanks! I received your message in my inbox; I'll bounce back and respond soon. :)

    Yup, the first thing is to stay genuine!

    ---

    New character showed up today, and brought a new layer of conflict with him.

    Jack the Supplanter. Or, in the story, just known as Jack.

    Need to foreshadow his existence so he doesn't come out of nowhere.

    Who is he, and why? What role will he play, and why?
     
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