1. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle

    Matt's Journal of Progress

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Matt E, Nov 26, 2018.

    Okay, let's do this.

    I'm working on a book called Stars Extinguished. At least that's my working title. I've had this idea for a couple years, and finally got around to starting it late last year. The first attempt reached 2,500 words, but my progress slowed and I ended up tabling it. I got back on the train for NaNoWriMo though, and am now 30,700 words in. I don't plan to finish NaNo with 50k words this year, but instead I want to keep my progress steady until I reach a conclusion to the story.

    My target word count is between 100,000 and 120,000. This will be pretty awesome if I can get there. I can only recall finishing a couple books in the past, which were both notoriously bad, and may not have reached novel-level word counts. This book will take some revisions to be epic, but I'm happy with how it is progressing, and I have a good idea of where I want it to go.

    Synopsis: Julee is an impulsive young mechanic, struggling to survive on the frontier planet of Telchor. Her dreams to design starships are upended when the alien Nightforms attack in full force. She embarks on a desperate journey through the chaos of a war-torn planet. Her goal is to survive, and to fight back against the aliens who threaten everything she knows. But along the way, she finds meaning, purpose, and an opportunity to finally pursue her dreams.

    Genre: Science Fiction / Space Western
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018 at 4:23 AM
  2. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle
    I wrote 505 words yesterday, and 279 today. Could do more, but I'm making progress. Edited down a scene that I've been mulling over in chapter one. I'm still deciding whether to brush on a sensitive subject that I think warrants more attention in society than it currently receives, but needs to be handled in a sensitive manner should I choose to include it. I'm making progress on the story though. My main worry at this point is chapter one. Mostly because the pacing is slow. But it should be fixable in the revisions.
     
  3. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle
    So I didn't write anything new yesterday, but instead got caught up in listening to On Writing, and did a bit of editing on my chapter 1. Shame! Hopefully I'll make some progress today in advancing the story. I have a pretty good idea of what will happen next now.
     
  4. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle
    500 words yesterday. I'm moving again. I need to make a wordcount tracker spreadsheet to replace the NaNoWriMo site in my daily tracking. I ran into a block on the chapter that I'm currently working on, and just realized the reason: things were going too well for the goods guys, and it was boring. Time to add some flame to the fire.
     
  5. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle
    It’s interesting how foreshadowing can work in both ways. Either an author can know what’s going to happen, and add in foreshadowing to clue in the reader. Or the author can add something into the story, because it is bound to happen given the characters’ situations. It may take a while, but as the author uncovers their story, they realize that they can use that event that happened seven chapters ago to make something awesome.

    If you write like I do at least, then you will be just as surprised as the reader at what happens. And that’s awesome.
     
  6. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle
    Two updates today :D

    First, I got 1,790 words out the door. Very nice. I just need to maintain this pace in the post-NaNo world.

    Second, new spreadsheet! I like it. I'm using this to track my word count.

    Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 7.53.54 PM.png
     
    Hackworksubleis likes this.
  7. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle
    Got out about 1,500 words yesterday towards my manuscript, plus a blog post that ran a bit less than 700 words.

    I’m up to 33,000 words on my book. Current goal is roughly to get to 50,000 by the end of the year, and finish the book by March.
     
  8. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle
    I gave myself the past three days off because of a bug I caught. I'm now feeling better somewhat though! Got 588 words in manuscript delta done today, which is roughly my workday goal. Hoping to crank out a couple K over the weekend. I'm now at 34k, which is a record for me I think. Unless I ever dig up the only "book" I really remember finishing, which is probably a novelette anyway.
     
  9. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle
    Posting some stats as I dig through my pile of old drafts.
    • Stars Extinguished (November 2018): 34,158
    • Reputation Zero (January 2014): 23,659
    • Barbarian Fleet (March 2014): 10,149
    There's a certain book concerning colony ships and Mars. It was atrociously bad, but I keep wondering what its word count was. Oh well. It's super cool that my current project, Stars Extinguished, is not only my best but my longest. I'm just surprised, and kind of sad, that I took a four year break from the calling. Time really does fly. I did other stuff off and on during those four years, but nothing I can really call an achievement. This is why I need to get to writing! So I can have a book out before I'm like Paul Edgecomb in that nursing home.
     
  10. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle
    Yesterday I thought about character. I have the outline of a character arc for three of my characters, which is very good. Today, I thought about structure. I've decided to structure my novel as, roughly, three novellas that are contained within one novel. Each "novella," or part, deals with a crisis, and the events that precede and come after it. These crises serve as the climax for the individual part, and the plot points one, two, and climax, of the overall story. This is kind of like the normal three act structure, but in this particular story we see three different settings, so it serves to underscore the shift between them and also wraps each up in a crisis at the end. I'm targeting each part to a roughly similar length, I think. Part one is ten chapters, with 3,000 - 5,000 words each. I'm now working on the penultimate chapter of that part, which focuses on its crisis. Chapter ten will be shorter, and titled simply "Aftermath," as an epilogue of sorts to the part. A point of transition. A time to reflect on the events of that part.

    Finally, I've also retitled my chapters. They are named after a location that is featured prominently in that chapter.

    Part One: The Black Box
    One: Telchor
    Two: Stoneridge Canyon
    Three: The Black Ravine
    Four: The Gulch
    Five: Prison
    Six: A Field at Night
    Seven: Orbit
    Eight: The Dust Mountains
    Nine: The Belly of the Beast
    Ten: Aftermath

    Current word count: 35,345.
     
  11. NoseyNobody

    NoseyNobody Banned

    Joined:
    Monday
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New York, USA
    Interesting stuff. I like the charts you put up. So just curious, a space western eh? I am imagining Mexican-Standoff on an Asteroid.
     
  12. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle
    Haha, there are definitely books that will interpret space western that literally. This book does a space western in the star wars sense though. It's set on a frontier planet, where law is scarce and harsh, and most of the common folks are concerned with just getting by on the crops they can farm from an alien dustbowl. They have some pretty advanced technology, such as antigravity and terraforming, but it's only the remnants that have been sold off third-hard from the prosperous core worlds. They have to deal with some serious threats when aliens attack, but their military hardware is all third hand as well, and the core worlds would rather leave them as a strategic redoubt to absorb the enemy's momentum. That doesn't bode well at all for them as they figure out how to take on a vast alien civilization.
     
  13. NoseyNobody

    NoseyNobody Banned

    Joined:
    Monday
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New York, USA
    Dustbowl, massive alien armada invading, a nobody rising up, space western, the only thing left is Thanos and you will have to pack your gear to attend the premier. SEriously though, keep at it. You seem to have an interesting story here. I only hope you have the characters sorted out. When stories take place on massive worlds, it's often good to have three dimensional characters to take the focus. That way the main-plot is always interesting because of how it impacts the interesting characters.
    Though maybe a throwaway line just for me, like say one of the main character's father or some far relative was killed in an asteroid shootout. LMAO.
     
    Matt E likes this.
  14. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle
    Daily progress update:

    My word count is now at 36,500 exactly! This seems like a good stopping point for the night, at 1804 words written today. This is my most productive day of the month, in terms of manuscript delta. The words didn't all come easy, but I think when I was in the groove, I got a lot done. This chapter is going to be epic. I'm purposefully letting it go off the rails in terms of length, since it's the climax for part one. This scene is like in the hobbit, where they go down, down, to goblin town. And it just keeps getting more intense. At least that's what I aim for. They're going through this dungeon, and find room after room. Each is creepier than the last. So far they've been through the Entry Room, the Pit Room, the Mist Room, and the Science Room. It's about time for the last room. I'm not sure what to call this one, though the Brain Room would not be a bad pick. Tee-hee. Then it will be time for a confrontation, a rescue, a tragic loss, an escape, and reflection. So far this chapter is at 4,496. I have another chapter that's longer actually, clocking in at 5,045, but by the time this chapter is over, it'll be the longest. Then, I'll have a shortie, Ten: Aftermath, which will close the door on Part One. Estimated length for part one = 38,500. Hmm, 40,000 is so close, which would make it a novel by some humble standards. But I won't fight for any milestones like that, since this all may change in editing anyway. This is just part one of three, so the entire book will probably clock in around 120,000, which is roughly where I want it.
     
  15. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Seattle
    Okay, I'm running low on steam for the night, though I sometimes get a few extra words out even after calling it quits. Here's an update for today!

    12/10/18: I wrote 1,412 words in manuscript delta today. My total word count is now at 38,152. Looks like I'll probably finish part one at > 40,000 words. Which, since I'm structuring each part as its own mini-book, means that I could arguably have finished my first novel-length story once I'm done! Just a couple more days, if I keep up a good rate. I just need to write a few more scenes, and I'm there. And then, part two. And then, part three. And then... deep breath and a crap ton of editing. Let's pray that I get there!

    Story-wise, some cool stuff happened today. My antagonist got his first bit of screen time, and his first dramatic line. This line will be of some significance through the story, since it will pose a question to the main character as they try to figure out what the heck is going on. For context, my antagonist is a 12-foot tall alien with glowing red tattoos.
     

Share This Page