Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by KhalieLa, Jan 20, 2016.
A place to keep track of what I did.
Last night I passed 92,000 words in Book 2. I can't wait to finish the draft and start on the edits and re-writes.
Book 1 is about 110,000 words; with a total of 21 chapters. It's still in the process of being critiqued.
I thought I found a new writers group, but their first meet-up was canceled Sunday. Hoping for a possible re-schedule.
You won't like the editing phase...
I didn't mind it too much with book 1, but it does take away from writing. When I finished book 1, I immediately sat down and put out about 5,000 words in book 2 before editing just because I NEEDED to see where they story was going before I could lay it aside. At present, I've writing over 200K words since July, so I'm ready for a break. Book 3 simmer in my head a while before tackling it.
A lot of progress! I am retiring, more correctly going part time on my daytime engineering job. So have a lot of fiction and non-fiction to write in my second career.
Have a paper on special relativity that I want to publish in some format... turns it into something that could be easily taught in high school.
Want to do a serious book on war, going a step beyond Clausewitz... we don't have a good vocabulary for discussing insurgencies, and we tend to look at them as something different that "conventional" war: even that adjective highlights the problem. Also the loser defines victory for the winner: it isn't over until the loser knows its over.
Want to do a fiction on the great Black Sea flood of 9000 years ago, wiping out the first civilization irrevocably. Ties it to the legends of Noah, Atlantis, Garden of Eden, and the spread of the Indo-European, Semitic and Hamitic languages from cities collocated on the flooded areas and wiped out by the flood. The Semites at the foot of the Bosporus were suddenly and almost completely wiped out when "the firmament separating the waters above from the waters below (The Med from the Black Sea) was broken," except for those who saw it coming, built boats and escaped to the Middle East to follow the Tigris and Euphrates and spread out from there. The Hamites were seafarers with cities on the Bosporus as well as on the Black Sea, and they escaped across the Med to settle in Egypt and N. Africa. The Japhetic Indo-Europeans escaped up the four rivers (Danube, Dniepr, Dniestr and Don) to loop around the Caspian to Asia, and west into Europe. What were those civilizations like? When did they start and how far along did they get? What were the people like? How did they feel about watching their world completely destroyed, having to survive against hunter-gathers many of whom might be very hostile?
I had no idea this happened. I would be fascinated to learn about the tribes that went up those four rivers. I have a map at home that shows the lines of glaciation and often wondered how migration and settlement moved with those line. What you describe would be a truly incredible project.
Like you, I have more ideas than time to write. I expect the series I'm working on now to run for quite a while. (Provided anyone wants to pay for it, otherwise I'll just have 6 or 7 going nowhere manuscripts on my shelf!) I accidentally stumbled on to the Iron Age equivalent of War and Peace, but broke it into separate books rather than write one monstrous version of the story.
Yours sounds fascinating.
The Black Sea is based on fact. 9000 years ago it was a lake with no outlet, whose level fell to about 500ft below sea level, and exposed bottom out to a hundred miles along the northwest coast. The Bosporus opened up and it flooded to its current level in about 10 years ago. When the shellfish remains are examined, those below 500 ft are freshwater fossils, those above salt, with almost no transition. Ballard was conducting underwater research there a few years ago, actually looking for remains of settlements, but so far, no joy.
Agriculture and animal husbandry all began somewhere around Turkey, the exposed bottomland would have been incredibly fertile and well-watered, all three language families appear to have borrowed a few words indicating that at one time they were in close proximity, and the evacuation routes are plausible. The rest I can just use my imagination. I have seen some studies that indicate that PIE languages spread by agriculture rather than conquest, and the marketing and trading served as a centripetal force to slow the language diversions.
This is exactly what I found when looking into Proto-Celtic, cultural diffusion seemed mainly to occur via agriculture/trade, not conquest. It seems they had a hard enough time trying to conquer a few acres of farm land so there was no incentive (or energy) left to try conquering your neighbors.
Conquerors often absorb the language of those they conquer as often as they impose their own. Maybe more often, because there are fewer of them. And if there was some cultural affinity back to the lost homeland, something like the Iliad and the Odyssey was for the Greeks, that would also tend to hold the language together over a long time and distance.
One might wonder if in the two or three thousand years the Black Sea civilization might have existed, that they could have even developed some sort of writing and math, subsequently lost during the dark ages of their dispersal.
My son-in-law Tim is quite the linguist: French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian (well enough to work for a few years in Moscow with Interfax), Arabic, Tajik/Dari/Farsi (all the same except script). He loaned me a great book this weekend on historical spread of major world languages, going back to Sumerian, Akkadian, Chinese, etc. Don't remember the title right now, later at home.
Book 2: 102,000 words and counting.
Book 1 110,000 words (approx value); 21 chapters. It's still in the process of being critiqued.
Critique group met last night.
New writers group meets Sunday morning.
I got chapter 11 back from my critique group last night. More complaining about me using words other than said in my dialogue tags. More complaining about how it's not "realistic" and doesn't "fit" with the period because my MC, a woman, thought something "sarcastically". They didn't think my woman would be capable of sarcasm or questioning anything the male characters would do.
I wonder what makes them experts on the Iron Age Celts? Or Scythians? Or women? Umm . . . Nothing actually. Bangs Head on wall.
Have you considered getting another critique group?
I have, which is why I am checking out the new group on Sunday.
I get moderately OK feedback from Bill, but there is one guy who I just want to throttle.
Book 1: 110,000 words (approx value); 21 chapters. It's still in the process of being critiqued.
Book 2: 104,000 words (approx value). I completed this at 105K, but have edited out over 1,000 words so far.
New writers group: Met Sunday and they seem nice. Focus is writing not critique, so we did some writing from prompts, etc. They will meet every week.
Forcing myself not to write now so I can focus on editing, but I'm eager to start book 3 and I have an idea for a new project dating to 60/61 BCE, but I'm not allowing myself to jump into research either. Once book 3 is out for critique I might look into researching the new project, or I could go back and write a two or three volume prequel to the current series.
Book 1: 110,000 words (approx value); 21 chapters. Got chapter 12 back last night, handed out chapter 13.
Book 2: 104,000 words (approx value). Spent the last week editing chapters 1 & 2.
Book 3: Have sketched some vague ideas.
Sunday Writers Group: They seem friendly enough, but this is a writing group not a critique group. Worked on world building exercises last Sunday. New member, Sophia wants to exchange work, so I'll give her my prologue this Sunday.
2nd/4th Tuesday Critique Group: Donna, who had been out recovering from surgery showed up last night and it completely changed the tone of the meeting. She is a professional writer, as in, she actually supports herself by writing. Mr. Mann who has been a complete dick since I joined the group actually held his tongue last night! Even if she never reads a thing I write, I hope she comes every week, just to keep him inline!
Book 1: 110,000 words (approx value); 21 chapters.
Book 2: 105,000 words (approx value); Edited though chapter 6. Anxious to start getting feed back from my Alpha reader.
Book 3: Is begging to be written. . . I feel guilty every time I look at the computer. It's there, it's waiting, it wants to be written, but I have editing and translating to do in book 2 yet and book 1 is still in the middle of being critiqued, so I'm refusing to start a new document.
Sunday Writers Group: No meeting because of Valentine's Day.
2nd/4th Tuesday Critique Group: Currently has chapter 13 of book 1.
Purchased two domain names established a webpage. Not supper happy with it, so I'll need to find time to meet with my son and figure out where to go from here. Hoping to launch sometime this weekend.
I want to start researching for a new project too. After finishing book 3 I want to write a straight-up historical fiction piece set in Wales in 60/61 AD. It will be a fascinating project and I can use much of the information I learned for the current project. I have another story idea for the magazine, but since I won't have time to run a photo shoot until May or June, I'm trying to keep that under my hat as well. It just keeps saying, "Ask Steve . . . send in a proposal . . . you know he'll want it."
Some people need a muse, some people need discipline. I need to discipline my muse!!!
Sounds like you have been busy! Will be updating my journal when I finish REV 3 this week. Jannert from this site asked to beta read it, and he has been very positive about it so far... he is up to chapter 16
Jannert is a woman
I just found out! We are in e-mail contact now. Beta reading the WIP for me, going good so far.
Book 1: 110,000 words (approx value); 21 chapters.
Book 2: 105,000 words (approx value); Edited though chapter 8.
Book 3: 900 words (approx value); It's begging to be written. . . I feel guilty every time I look at the computer.
Got the website up and running: http://khalielawright.com/
I won an award for a story I entered in a fiction contest. The publisher contacted me last week to inform me of the award (Judges' Choice) and ask for an electronic version of the story. It's titled "Wild at Heart" and is written in three languages, English, Proto-Celtic, and Nimipuutimt.
Sunday Writers Group: No meetings, they canceled twice. Would prefer it if they didn't get stoned before the few meetings we do have.
2nd/4th Tuesday Critique Group: Currently has chapter 15 of book 1. Last night was the worst session ever. Since I was celebrating a win I bought an appetizer to share, thinking it would be a gesture of goodwill. It had the opposite effect and just caused them to spew more hate and vitriol.
At one point Mr. Mann actually threw up his hands saying, "I know there were people out there who worshiped goddesses and it's not right. If you want critiqued it needs to be a normal, traditional story. Sword and sorcery is fine as long as everyone has normal Christian values."
And everyone complained that there is no plot and the chapter was flat because there is no "real story." I'm not sure how much more I can fit into a chapter.
Looking good! You might remind Mr. Mann that Christianity is 600 years in the future.
I seriously considered getting up and walking out. The comments were just ridiculous.
"Your MC is unbelievable. She wouldn't know how to hunt and should spend more time doing woman things, like cooking!"
"Your male character is unbelievable. He shouldn't go around asking for advice or opinions."
"You MC needs to learn her station in life. She shouldn't talk back to the men or claim to know more than they do."
"If you want anyone to take your writing seriously you need to write traditional stories."
"You need to cut out all this 'relationship' stuff, find a plot and stick to it."
I almost didn't hand out the next chapter either. Ultimately, I decided I'm not a quitter. It's only 5 more meetings until they are finished with the book and I'll keep looking for another group in the meantime, because there is no way I'll let them see book 2.
Hmm... Mr. Mann would have had fun with Hina, my Xiongnu warrior woman.
I never discussed her cooking skills, but she commanded an arban of ten men. I think they probably cooked for her. And she adapted the Mongol/Xiongnu custom of loaning out their women to strangers staying over with them, to deepen the gene pool. Since she had no man to loan her out, she picked out her own stranger to take off for a quick rut, then kick them out and have nothing more to do with them. Always of course, being very careful about where in the month this was, as deepening her gene pool was definitely not on her agenda! This was kind of a status thing with her men, they were very proud of the way their tiger lady "took a mate."
She tried to pick Antonius, but by now he is totally taken by Marcia, and for the first time in his life turns a woman down. She settles for Galosga, the somewhat misplaced Cherokee, who never loses control during her rut, and continues on to cause her to lose control. And when she kicks him out, he doesn't beg, he just leaves without looking back. Ultimately he becomes her semi-permanent mate, then her husband and the father of her twins, and he gets adopted into the clan. And he, and later Marcia, are the only two people she ever tells of how she became such a fierce fighter and "a bow strung too tightly." It's not a pretty story.
All of my men, and women too, are smart enough to know when they don't know it all. The Senator on the escape from China has no idea where he is going (other than west) or how to avoid being easily picked up as a conspicuous round-eyed westerner who speaks very little Chinese. He is quite happy to put Ibrahim the pirate in charge of this escapade, since Ibrahim has devoted most of his sixty years to not getting caught by the authorities.
One thing I learned in writing this tome is that the relationships between the characters are as much a part of the story as the adventures they have... Marcia and Antonius, going from shy friendship to love in an Hanaean jail waiting execution. Ibrahim and the Senator, going from hatred to dependency to love for each other, the non-erotic, "I will die for you, buddy," kind. Ibrahim got what he said he wanted early on in the story, friends that he could trust, and forgiveness for his sins. He had sailed for a few days with St Paul 40 years earlier, and came late to understand what the man had been talking about in a small Christian community in Bactra and was baptized, just in time to get killed off, dying for his friends. (Mann might approve of that, at least). Demosthenes the conflicted Buddhist monk, Galosga, who for all intents has been abducted by aliens from a Neolithic American community to the European/Asian 1st Century, devoted to fellow-deckhand Shmuel, the Jewish rebel turned seaman, who had taken pity on the "deaf-mute" and taught him a little Aramaic on the Orion, sailing from Carthage to Alexandria. Hina and Marcia, whom she teaches to fight like a woman, Hina and Galosga, Marcia and the people with whom she rides caravan security, who don't want a woman on their team and make her weeks with them miserable... then accept her at the end when they get to Kashgar, and get her rip-roariously drunk.
Yep, they wouldn't like mine at all either. You need a new reading group.
I can't wait until you publish . . .
Neither can I!
Separate names with a comma.