Lifeline's 'Progress' Journal

Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Lifeline, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    While he's trying to figure out where the amunition comes from, the UBA (Umweltbundesamt) and assorted legal entities are hot on his tail. Because to dump such waste in the Antarctic is absolutely forbidden, and he makes a convenient scapegoat for the actual culprits. At the very least he's got to fill out three types of different administration forms.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    UNESCO aren't going to be too amused when he starts massacring penguins with out of date napalm
     
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  3. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    I see you get all the legal complexities :D
     
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  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit

    (have you read Ice Station by Matthew Reilly)
     
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  5. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Contributor Contributor

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  6. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Writing the new short, and it’s such a joy. Only when I now am permitted to get into the head of my favorite MC in this new short I realize how difficult it was to write this other perspective, the outside view from Izmael in ‘Eyes Wide Open’. Or maybe I should say ‘how much I resented it’. See me rolling my eyes at my own folly. Writing other perspectives than Kay and Daniel (who is not quite as easy to write as Kay but close) is necessary for my story. Other characters have valid reasons for getting their opinion in, and their input is appreciated. But it doesn’t mean I have to like that I need to do it.

    On another front, I’m reading a book on writing (yes me, the declared queen of self-reliance!) and it’s provided some good pointers on how to engage the reader even more. The book presents a strange cross between psychology and the craft of writing. ‘The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to write the story beneath the surface’ by Donald Maas. I can heartily recommend the book. It’s got me to realise how much I still need to practice before I’ll be halfway fit to write my story.

    And that gets me started on a small rant: Why the heck should it be so bad to admit that I am biased towards my own writing? That I like what I write? I know objectively that I am not where I want to be craft-wise, but still: I like what I write. Which is hubris. I know that and I am not ashamed of it.

    Hubris is good. I can’t speak for others, but if I had thought I’d suck and have no hope of learning, if I’d beat myself up over the long, long timespan until I’ll produce something good, if I never have had hope, then I’d have given up on writing before I started. And hubris was/is necessary for me, still. I need to like what I write. Even if I know it’s hubris. It got me over the years, and I’m unquestionably much better than when I started. Even if I make mistakes, rather a lot of them. Even if I read my old words and objectively see they are not what they should be, but remember being thrilled with them. Even if I still can’t get my words right. They will come.
     
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  7. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Due to several storms in the last week I didn't get much writing done; so I 'amused' myself with plotting. This really is right now the most important thing to do, because I've thousands of words of political/strategic/tactical ideas as well as character-involvement and interactions sitting in my computer and several notebooks. What is missing is a comprehensive picture that lets me put all these into a framework so I can see at one glance what needs to connect with what else.

    I tried to do it with a text editor, fudging it together into one documnt. I tried to do it with several text documents and adjusting the document names to the timeline. I tried to do it with several mindmapping tools. I tried to do it in a notebook. Or in several. All attempts failed.

    The best try so far was the single text document, but the space on my screen is limited and I had to scroll up and down to find the place where a particular note had to be inserted—and consequentially misremembered the place where I needed to put it in, or failed to remember a certain incident earlier that needed to be taken into account when placing this particular note. Anyway. All attempts failed. But I still need a 'mindmap' of my complex story.

    Now I've covered a big table with a blank paper sheet and am placing sticky notes on it in context. With it it's possible to map out the plot for all three parts interconnected, and I can shift my glance right/left/top/bottom to check relevant events prior/later to the current spot I'm contemplating, without confusing myself with scrolling. It seems to be working. So far.

    The current storm will last at least until next Mon, by which day the weather forecasts break off so it could be significantly longer until life speeds up again and I can go outside to take care of all the things this current succession of storms has broken. I think I'll have time to finish this physical worksheet. Let's hope.
     
  8. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    I'm reading Who Goes There by John Campbell, Jr in your honor:superagree:
     
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  9. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Hah! I still need to view the film. Maybe I can convince one of my crewmates to view it with me, somewhen this weekend. We should have time on our hands :)
     
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  10. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Storm update: No stop by Mon. We thought it'd stop by Wed, but forecast is then still 30kt—and slightly to the east of us, the next storm has formed which is moving westwards. So I expect at least another week.

    By the way, when I tell you about windspeed forecasts they almost always are underestimated by 5-10kt. Also, for the uninitiated: 30kt means that you have to lean against the wind and walking is difficult. Slipping is a distinct possibility. What that means for a walk 1.5km long in pitch-black darkness without seeing the ground you place your feet on while your face is covered by cloth and snow needles stab every exposed inch, I leave you to imagine.

    Update on the single-sheet plot: MC character interaction finished. Now fudging in political/strategic timeline. It's true: There's nothing so strange and magnificent than reality. Reading news, I get bombarded by ideas. I only have to pick the most fitting :)
     
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  11. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Contributor Contributor

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    That is one reason why reality is the best innovator, source of material and narrative guru.
     
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  12. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Long long time no update on my progress journal. That's because I was not satisfied with what progress I made. Two steps forward, two back, one sideways. That's how writing has been for me since I started again beginning this year, after I settled more or less in my current job.

    Today though, I want to update. The storyboard reaped the first results: Because of my new insight, I, again, needed to rewrite 'Eyes Wide Open'. Which needs another name by the way. I am now three quarters through and at 3k. The whole thing will be 5-6k. I can hear you sigh. How, I can hear you ask, do we know that this time it stays? How can we trust that this writer will not rewrite it again and again and ... ?

    Well, let me tell you. The reason I'm 100% sure that this current version stays is that it links to a) the very next short which is the first story of MC1's point of view (which is vital to the whole story), to b) the inciting incident when my two MCs meet, and to c) the very last scene—the climax at the end of the whole story, thirty years later. It links to my most important scenes. How much more linkage could there be?

    And the best part? I didn't 'plan' these linkages. I just set the accurate border conditions via the storyboard, and my subconscious did the rest via writing it. When I 'discovered' the linkages while re-reading the thing, I stunned myself into laughing and jumping up-and-down.

    That's the part I love most with regard to writing: these revelations, when I find that my subconscious, through writing, presents me with a cat's cradle of cross-connections I didn't plan but that are there anyway. Because my story makes sense on a deeper level than I can plan. This feeling of 'rightness', of a tight whole. Each time this happens I get a little bit more confident that I can pull off writing this thing. Somewhen. :p
     
  13. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    It's always great to hear from you! And, it sounds like you are making excellent progress as well. Keep it up!
     
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  14. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    You know you're in Antartica if, when you go outside, you've the choice between suffocating and more or less immediate frostbite, depending how you're standing with regard to wind direction. And I mean real frostbite, which takes days to weeks to ameliorate.

    If you choose suffocating, you cover every inch of your face, including your nose. Which means that: either, a) after a few breaths the ice frosting on your scarf is so thick that you can't get air in, you claw at it and pull it away from your nose, defaulting to frostbite,

    or b) you manage to adjust your scarf so well that it's not frosting too much on the outside, but that means that underneath the scarf it is wet and sticks to your face. Which means that you get an effect not unlike waterboarding. Or what I imagine waterboarding must be like. Oh well.

    With regard to my story: I am making progress :D
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  15. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Still writing the 'nameless' short and it's a challenge. I started it back almost two months and actually finished it once, only to fiddle with my storyboard and find that I need to rewrite it. The setting was wrong. Completely. So there I went again from scratch, another 5.5k scrapped. Yesterday I thought that I finally had finished the most difficult part, the first 4k, only to realise that in that setting the rest of the short couldn't play out like I planned. I know what needs to happen, but I can fiddle with the margins rather a lot. Which is not as much as a blessing as you'd think.

    If I write the rest of the story as I planned, I leave a red herring for the reader. I never intended to crank up the tension about a specific detail, but I needed to write it like that because of realism. I need to diffuse the situation before I can extract my MC and drive him on to the end of the short or readers will be annoyed with me :oops:.

    On the 'daylight' front, in a bit more than 2 days the sun will set for the winter. Pity only that we'll not see the sunset, because the next storm is moving in right about now and that means snow flying sideways and about 60kt winds, which means night and whiteout. No sun. I'll keep you updated.
     
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  16. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Contributor Contributor

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    Interested to hear about writing but even more interested about life there.

    Hope you have good 5 600 - 6 500K light instead of 2 700K light pollution. Or even better: artificial daylight in daytime hours and warm yellow light in evenings.

    The type of light effects a lot to hormonal balance. And that effects a lot in everything else.
     
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  17. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    No artificial daylight I'm afraid. We'll just have to make do until we can have natural sunlight again. Whenever that'll be. But the thing with the darkness here is something to behold. It really is dark. If there's light anywhere it's either from our own base, or from polar lights, or from the sun/moon/stars. Never seen so many stars as here.

    I'm using between 6200 and 6800K for my photos. That about sums it up :D
     
  18. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Contributor Contributor

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    Getting/asking some video bulbs could be a solution.

    I have several 40W 5000 - 5500K E27 video bulbs at home + some 4000K & 6500K E27 led lights. Cheap & works ok. In winter time it balances what we call kaamos here in Finland.

    Edit:

    If you want to buy something via internet and your address is Antarctica... How does it happen?
     
  19. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    It doesn't. Can you imagine some poor postal guy trying to deliver? Maybe by parachute? Or a bottled message? Drones are forbidden because of the penguins (only half-kidding) :D

    Back to talk writing, yes? This is supposed to be a writing journal.
     
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  20. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    sualC atnaS delivers there, I believe.
     
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  21. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    I should just stop thinking logically. You know how I complained about the difficulty of diffusing this situation? Well, if I let the secondary character speak it's no difficulty at all. And the short goes. on. Another three days should do it :rolleyes:. And it's finished.
     
  22. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    I'm getting concerned about the length of this short. If my estimates are right, it'll be the longest 'short' I'll have written, close to 7k. Deep, deeper, deepest, but somewhen I'll have to stop going ever closer into my setting and characters. This is not going to be a standalone novel! It's supposed to be a short. Okay, it establishes a complicated setting and complicated characters, sets up interactions and possibilities of conflict for a lot of shorts to come, but... just...

    I'll now stop complaining and go back to writing the aggraviating thing.
     
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  23. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    just write it - its as long as it is - if it turns into a novella then so be it
     
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  24. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, that was my conclusion as well :)
     
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  25. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Is it only me?

    Yesterday I was looking forward to write the beginning of the end aka the build-up to this short's conclusion. I connected the last two beats before. And then I found myself in the equivalent of writer's block, which means that I couldn't write because what I'd thought to come next suddenly didn't make sense anymore. With that I mean that the buildup to the end didn't pass my personal 'realism' test.

    Everytime something fails the realism-test I get in equal parts discouraged, angry with myself, and determined to find a way around it. And then I almost continually think about my problem and my mind runs in circles. This is an aggraviating stage because there's nothing I can do to quicken the finding of a solution. I try to give my brain food i.e. read news or articles for research that very often have nothing to do with my problem. Theory is that my brain needs to break out of its circle, to take a jump sideways in a combination of logic and instinct.

    Sometimes this process takes days. This time, I was fortunate that it happened within 12 hours. My solution requires a change in one border condition (Izmael's job), so another few words need to be changed. Jolly Ho :wtf:.
     

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