1. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Homer's Progress Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Homer Potvin, Apr 17, 2017.

    Figured I'd give the journal thing a go. Usually I'm pretty focused and good at prioritizing mission objectives but I've been drifting a bit lately. This typically involves me staring out my office window and watching the river rise to apocalyptic levels as the snowmelt from the mountains rushes into the valley. According to the local USGS flow rate station it has risen 13 feet in the last two weeks with more to come. Any higher and it starts to threaten the tree line. My side of the bank is about 90 feet up but the far side is much lower and conceivably flood-able. I saw some dude in a kayak and full frog-suit zip past the house yesterday. Brave soul right there. Also I watched my puppy chase a fly around the living room for about a half an hour. He's never seen one before and kept catching it, spitting it out, and running away from it before mounting a fresh assault.

    Turning away from the window my proverbial plate looks like this:

    1. Dust Steel Bone, my sci-fi/western/pain in my nuts has gone to an editor and come back. Overall it's in decent shape but there are several major issues. Nothing catastrophic but not best-foot-forward either. Some things I can clean up with a few surgical additions or deletions, others are more rewrite territory. I did pretty well with that for a while but hit a snag regarding one of my MCs (I have four with their own POV) and am considering deleting his ass altogether. This will not be easy and my enthusiasm regarding extensive rewrites is at an all time low. Honestly, I can't look at this manuscript any longer without wanting to smash my face into the keyboard, but I haven't come this far only to come this far....

    2. Club Eternity, my WIP, is standing pat at about 12k words. I have no idea what genre this will fall into. Somewhere between romance, comedy, mystic realism, and horror. I haven't cracked this open since I got DSB back from my editor but I'm itching to get back into it. I've been through this before. The grass is always greener regarding the other WIP, but I think this one might have smoker potential. Definitely the most commercial and easy to pitch idea I've ever come up with. No query letter anxiety with this one. Not yet anyhow.

    3. Blogs and Platform -- I have a nice idea for a blog and have the domain and hosting setup already but haven't started construction yet. This will be a platform for my shorter flash shit and a storefront for any self-publications I do. More details to come on this later but I don't want to get ahead of myself. Twitter is on the horizon too but haven't gotten into that yet either. I also want to take advantage of local resources but there aren't many where I live now. Honestly, the deeper I get the more I wish I was back home in Rhode Island with its thriving local artist community. And the legions of people I can turn onto my shit after a couple of drinks. Mrs. Homer and I were talking about this the other day and a move home might be in order sooner rather than later. I'm ready to whore myself out but I'd prefer to do it on a familiar corner.

    I think I'll update this every day so I have something I can reference later. I really like reading everyone else's journal so I'll try to have fun with it. Also happy Patriots Day and a special shout out to all the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing four years ago. That feels like yesterday. I wasn't there that year but easily could have been.
     
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  2. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

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    As you say, you're basically obliged to finish it now! Deleting a POV... I haven't had the unpleasant task of doing that, but I can almost feel your pain. I imagine it's difficult to imagine your novel any other way, but if you can look at what the editor says objectively, and it truly is for the best... If your story is on the door of the editor, there can't be much more reworking to do now after their recommendations. Bear that in mind.
     
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  3. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    You would certainly think that, haha. And to clarify this is a freelance editor I hired and not an in-house editor. She didn't recommend deleting him but that's where most of the niggles invariably fell. It's more of a question of narrative drag than actual content. The more characters you have the more "stuff" you need to make them relevant. And the more stuff you write the more that stuff needs to be signposted and referenced and reinforced lest it become extraneous. Next thing you know the stuff is writing the writer and not the other way around. And then when you try to simplify by deleting stuff you realize that the stuff is so metastasized that you can't remove it without destroying the healthy tissue around it. So now we're treating symptoms instead of the disease and praying you can slip a curveball or two past the reader without them realizing how selectively full of shit you can be.

    Cocktails anyone?

    Thanks for the sympathy, though. I really appreciate it. I'll tell you what, I'm never writing a complicated multi-POV novel again without an outline or an in-house editor chained up in my closet. Simple shit from now on. A to B to C to D.
     
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  4. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

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    That describes my own predicament perfectly! I've run myself in rings with this plot and guilty of springing a few rabbits out of the hat because I realised I fucked up and I'm too far gone to change it easily now. Which results in hours of me staring at a wall trying desperately to think of a way to fix this mess. That I'm having such problems makes me fear that I must have some problems that are much more fundamental, and that is quite daunting to have to consider, but I think it's probably about time I started owning up to that in my writing too.

    The story I have now is surprising in that it follows roughly the same story as it always has but very little of it still exists from the first draft. I didn't exactly plan through the second draft. More so that ever time I try to repair a leak in the story, two more would spring up in place. Each tweak demanded further changes elsewhere down the road.

    -

    Maybe there might be an easier solution though! Perhaps yours might not necessarily be a case of needing to do more stuff to make them relevant moreso than the characters need to do more stuff together. Maybe there's a way of intertwining their stories more to make them completely unexpendable? Though this is just me theorising. Maybe that won't work for what you're writing.
     
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  5. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Well, it didn't take me long to flub the keeping-up-with-the-journal thing.

    Been messing around with Club Eternity. Deleted about 2k words and wrote a fresh 3k over the last two days. Tentative word count is around 10k but it's tough to tell with all the little scraps dangling from the bottom of the document. The plan is to shutter myself in the office next week and get up to my usual 2k a day quota. That might not be feasible because I'm writing slower and more carefully in the hopes that I can avoid some of my usual first draft pitfalls.

    I've also been trying to get back into the research of Greco-Roman mythology. I've got copies of Ovid, Virgil, Homer, et al. Homer makes no mention of Cupid at all (though there is so speculation that one of Cupid's arrows made Paris fall in love with Helen in the first place - that whole thing were Aphrodite promised him the most beautiful woman in the world if he gave her the golden apple) and his portrayal of Venus/Aphrodite is a little different than what I'm looking for. I'm no expert but I think Homer portrays her as more of an insecure bubble-head while the later Roman poets make her out to be a vengeful terror feared by gods and mortals. Mainly because she sics Cupid on anyone who pisses her off. Including Zeus, who has several misadventures at the tip of Cupid's arrow and learns quickly not to mess with Venus.
     
  6. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

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    I do this a lot. While it does slow me up, I always feel like the work I replace it with is better quality.

    What I like about Homer's portrayal is that she is kinda a bubble head, but I love the episode in the Iliad where Diomedes cuts off her hand (strike at her wrist I believe is what they say) then like a champ, stabs Aeris/Mars in the stomach, and then goes toe to toe with Apollo.
     
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  7. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Not a habit I normally get into. More of an early game thing. I equate to cutting around a slightly mushy tomato or brown piece of garlic for the little remnants I can cook with.

    Yeah, that was the scene I was think of too. Then she goes back to Zeus and whines about it and he says something along the lines of, "Shut up, bitch." Good times!
     
  8. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

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    For fun, I might do a joke review of the Iliad where I review it using street slang.
     
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  9. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Good day today. Maybe 2k words with more deletions and house cleaning with all those annoying scraps at the bottom of the page. Word count up to 11,456, maybe half way through chapter 2. My enthusiasm is holding steady at a warm, creamy 7 out of 10. I predict a megalomaniac spike to 11 next week followed by an eye-bleeding 1 shortly thereafter. Good times!
     
  10. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Good day today. Lot's of editing and polishing of chapter 2. Word Count up to about 11700. Cleaned a lot of things up to set up a writing orgy tomorrow.
     
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  11. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Crappy weekend. Lots of swearing, head-scratching and wheel-spinning. I hate writing. I'm joining the circus.
     
  12. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Nothing doing over this last week. Had to jet home unexpectedly and help a friend who suffered a death in his family. Nice to be home but wish it was under different circumstances. Hopefully the time off will clear some of the writing cobwebs from my dome and I can get back to savaging the English language on Monday.
     
  13. Pinkymcfiddle

    Pinkymcfiddle Banned

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    Ooh, hello. I get to have fun here. Sorry for your loss and all that malarchy, hope you get back in gear soon.
     
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  14. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Having a good writing week. Finished up some stuff with Club Eternity to get it where it needs to be so I can put it away for now. Going back to rewrites on Dust Steel Bone. Been about a a month or so since I messed with that. Came back at it with fresh eyes and was pleasantly surprised at what I'd done so far. Pushing through a tough stretch right now with 3 POVs circling around a major plot point. I have to marry all that with some of the changes I made to the beginning, but once I get to the actual plot point (one of the few things that hasn't changed an iota since the first draft) I think there'll be a solid 30-40k word stretch that won't need more than a bit of polishing. I don't like to set deadlines on things, but I'm hoping to have this bad boy sewn up by... no, wait, I don't like to set deadlines on things.
     
  15. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Started building my blog the yesterday. So far so good. I learning curve for sure, but I've got some IT and web designer peeps in the family to help me out when I get there. I'm deliberately flubbing around by myself with it at first to get the hang of it. There's resources and tutorials all over the place for it too, so that helps.

    As for the blog I think it's going to pretty cool (none of that boring crap about how much writing means to me or why I think words with "oo" in them are awesome). The gag is that visitors can send me a writing prompt and I'll write it for them. Mostly flash fiction but maybe a few short stories (up to 1200 words maybe?). I got the idea from the forum writing contests. I've found that I don't really come up with many ideas for shorts on my own but I can write the shit out of a prompt. I'm hoping this user interactivity can help boost my platform. Nobody really cares about what I think about writing, so doing blog posts about that isn't very interesting. This way, visitors will have a bunch of cheeky flash stories to read and can send me ideas of their own.

    I plan to make the blog fairly cheeky as well. Think of it like a used car salesman or a carnival huckster in tone. I'll have things like: "Ever wonder what your boss would look like dead? Let me write about it! Wife thinks you're a loser? Let me write about it! Can a robot really have sex with a car? Let me write about it!"

    And such. Irreverence and tastelessness guaranteed!
     

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