1. Jenissej

    Jenissej Senior Member

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    Jenissej's Progress Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Jenissej, May 17, 2018.

    So here I am, lazy as fuck, with a wagon load of ideas, characters and totally irrelevant world details stuck in the back of my head, trying to get it all to work.
    Time to write is scarce and progress slow so I'm hoping this journal will help me stay on track and not abandon this project like all the others I've ever started.

    This far, I've managed to decide on one story idea I want to finish (this is huge for me). No title yet but in my head I keep calling it the Acolyte's Story.

    The acolyte in question is an accomplished student at the realm's greatest university, learning the arts of historiography, medicine and magic.
    She gets sent out to deliver an ancient artifact to a fellow scholar in a far away city.
    Of course, nothing can ever be easy so on the way there, the artifact is lost and trying to recover it (or at least not make everything worse than it is), she gets sucked into the city's ongoing underworld feuds.
    She'll have to bargain with thieves, tag along with assassins and adjust her moral concepts quite a bit to stay on her feet.

    The setting is losely based on ancient egypt, an advanced ancient culture with a technology level of about 100 b.c. real-world and some fantasy alchemy and a restricted magic system thrown in.

    I have a basic outline with some key events ready and wrote some minor scraps. I'm not entirely sure how all of it will connect yet- hopefully it will all fall together as the story progresses (yeah, totally not fooling myself there). And there is still the big question of how to to end it.

    I'm not aiming to get this published. Of course it would be fantastic to get something I created out there for other people to read and (ideally) appreciate but currently, all I want to accomplish is to write a complete story that I would like to read. Gotta start small and see where it leads.
     
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  2. Jenissej

    Jenissej Senior Member

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    Entry zero:

    Created this journal instead of working on my actual project. Or on the essay I have due.

    At least I wrote something.
     
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  3. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

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    It sounds very interesting; there aren't too many fantasies set in the ancient world. The key checkpoints should guide you along your way over the course of your writing. Thinking about endings - consoder most of all the goals of the main character(s). What do they want,and why? How do they develop over the course of the story (i.e., their character arc). Good luck to you!
     
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  4. Jenissej

    Jenissej Senior Member

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    Thanks for the pep talk :)
    I actually have an ending in mind already. Sort of. I'm not entirely satisfied with it though, because it's a happy end. Nothing wrong with that per se but I feel like it is too obvious. The expected outcome, you know? Like when you pick up a book and the teaser reads "Will our young, shining hero be able to defeat the forces of evil, safe the world and bring peace to the kingdom?" Why yes, of course he will.
     
  5. Jenissej

    Jenissej Senior Member

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    I managed to write some 1000-odd words for the first chapter and some snippets to use later on.
    I'm still having trouble coming up with scenes on the go. I need to put on a film in the mind theater first before writing it out, which is slowing me down considerably.

    Decided/discovered my MC is asexual, so I did some research on how to portray these characters acurately. As of now, I feel satisfied with this choice and how the fact is introduced.

    I also did some more outlining for the story and worked some opportunities for foreshadowing into it. Feeling very clever. I'm waiting for the moment I realize this is all too obvious and the whole plot could be dismantled within minutes by my pen-and-paper group.
     
  6. Jenissej

    Jenissej Senior Member

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    Had a rare moment of inspiration today and wrote 600 rough words during my lunch break. Looking forward to fleshing that scene out later.
    I expect it'll fit in somewhere in the second or third chapter.
    My MC is undertaking a desert journey via caravan early on and this scene will help make it more interesting as well as show off her medical capabilities. One of the caravan's hired guards gets bitten by a snake and MC helps save his life. It's also a way to remove another character from immediate action which is going to be important later on, when the first big calamity strikes.
     
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  7. Jenissej

    Jenissej Senior Member

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    It's 7am. Haven't slept for more than five hours, none of that apiece thanks to my snoring tent companions and another one now chopping wood outside. Woke up to discover I lay on an ant's nest. Still half-drunk from last night.
    I was just trudging back from the 5 min walk to the nearest toilet, which is a dixi. I was also carrying my belt knife but not for any particular reason but because I had it in hand when I crawled out of our tent and putting it down would have been too much effort.
    It drew some funny looks from some folks... or maybe my overall not-yet-amongst-the-living-appearance did. I don't know, because I'm also currently in Poland and I don't speak a single word of Polish...which is quite unfortunate as I'll have to communicate a lot during the next days. Back to hands and feet I guess... I hope there's coffee soon.

    What has that to do with my project? Well, despite how done I am, that combined feeling of wretchedness, alienation and surrender to circumstance is just perfect and I wanted to put it down while it lasted so I can use it in my story later on
     
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  8. izzybot

    izzybot Contributor Contributor

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    It's good to know I'm not the only person that does this. "Augh, I'm suffering ... I gotta write this down." :D
     
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  9. Jenissej

    Jenissej Senior Member

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    But it helps, doesn't it? And it's always good to have a nice collection of misery at hand.
     
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  10. Jenissej

    Jenissej Senior Member

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    I have a beginning! Whoo! It's a bit weird, the way I like it. The story now starts with dislocated shoulder being pushed back into place. Yep. It's nice that way because I can have my MC express character in her natural habitat, show her competence and I also get some critical setting detail across fairly early.
    With that it's been a pretty productive day for me. I'd like to write more but alas, sleep is calling.....

    Another thing, I've managed to get my outline in order and stitched up a major plot hole. Its still not water proof but at least now I have an Idea how to get there... I'm dabbling in criminal network schemings (and am not half as clever as the main antagonists are supposed to be) so this needs a lot of thinking over. Maybe I should get someone to read my outline to find flaws... Hm. Still no ending in sight, though.

    Also, my MC is starting to develop a personality of her own. I tried to keep the sarcasm down with her but appearently, she doesn't want to be an agreeable MC. How is it that mere works of fiction suddenly get up and demand they have a say over themselves? Just do as I want you to, dammit.
     
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  11. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

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    Look no further! :D Your pitch of the story and snatches I've gleaned from your progress log has got me quite curious, so I'd be interested to hear what you've got so far and offer up some critique, if you wanted to PM your outline to me.
     
  12. Jenissej

    Jenissej Senior Member

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    Whew, it's gotten dusty in here. So much for staying on track.

    Thanks to @Dracon who took it upon him to read what I called an outline and poked my nose at everything wrong in there (thanks again :D ), I'm back to plotting.

    I cut a large part of what I had planned to be at the beginning to shift the focus of the plot. It's better now but I'm still not quite happy... I fell I need an outline to guide me by while writing but at the same time, the writing flows best when I'm pantsing.

    Also, I'm thinking about switching main characters. I like my scholar girl and all but something seems to be missing for that "clicking". Yeah... so I'm currently dodging her POV entirely and writing from other character's perspective, which seems to be going way better. Slow, but better.
    Unfortunately, that moves me further and further away from the original story idea. That might not be a bad thing in itself if only I knew where I was going with it... or it with me? o_O

    Current status: not seeing myself finishing this book in this lifetime.
     
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  13. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke Contest Administrator

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    This is a strange suggestion, but bear with me. Have you considered writing about half of the book from your original MC's perspective, then have them die tragically and swap to another character that's well-known to the readers? Could be an interesting idea, though I do think it could be rather jarring for the reader if not done properly. Just an idea!
     
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  14. Jenissej

    Jenissej Senior Member

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    Well, that does sound like my kind of story. :supergrin: But I don't think I have the skill level to pull that off well. It would, however, answer the question of what's to become of my MC... maybe I need to play through some more abstruse notions to get to a good idea. No zombies, though. Everything but zombies.
     
  15. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

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    I know the feeling all too well... :dry: but not a year has passed yet, do all is still good!
    Well, if you're going to do it, now is the time. Rather than 50,000 words and countless hours down the road. Definitely not a decision to rush, even if you're raring to just get going.
     
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  16. Jenissej

    Jenissej Senior Member

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    I think I'll do that. Still keeping her POV but not making her the protagonist anymore. It would also change the main objective from McGuffin-delivery-mission to something... else. At this point, I feel that's a good thing.
     
  17. Jenissej

    Jenissej Senior Member

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    Wrote about 1k coherent words yesterday and 500-ish in scene ideas. Plus an extra 1k in short story attempts.
    [​IMG]
    Frustrated at how my motivation/inspiration seems to follow a sine wave. The maximum gets to me when I have other things to do, the low point always strikes when I'm butt in chair, hands on keyboard. gnah...
     

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