Nastyjman's progress journal

Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by nastyjman, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Yep. My ratio is plan a little then write a lot. The thing is, I'm in a writing mindset rather than a planning mindset. The index cards are just suggestions on what scenes should come next. Once I sit down and actually write, I'll either follow the plan or veer off if something comes us that's more exciting.

    I only use the teasers or index cards to get me up and running as soon as I get my butt in chair and hands on keyboard.
     
  2. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Wrote 1,900 words today; word count 11,200. I had planned to write four hours straight, but could only manage two hours. I think that's my limit. I will need to give myself breaks if I want to write more.

    It's good to know one's limit. I'm thinking of writing for two hours in the morning and then two hours at night. We'll see how that'll go, if I can commit on waking up early (sleeping is just soooo goooooood).
     
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  3. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Wrote 1,200 this morning, and I'm planning to do another tonight (which I hope would go well since my brain seems content with what I produced).

    Today was a struggle because I had to make up a facility on the fly, moving from one room to another without a schematic in mind. I did my best and made a note for revision to improve the floor plan.
     
  4. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Took a break yesterday, and I'm back in the writing saddle tonight.

    Wrote 876 words; total word count is 14,530.

    I have five scenes already planned, but I'm not going more than that. I think I'm going to keep a five scene maximum for my process. Here's what my scene index cards look like:

     
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  5. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Wrote about 400 words this morning for 25 minutes. Didn't get to write last night since I was updating my character bible. I had them all in a doc file, but now I'm putting them in a spreadsheet since new characters are joining in with this sequel. It won't be as rigid as the character sheets you'll see out there. I'll make notes as I go along, filling in their traits, quirks or other identifiers that make them who they are.
     
  6. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Wrote 3,000 words this weekend, total word count at 18,000.

    Freewriting has been a great tool for me. If I hit a snag with one of my scenes, I quickly write out my thoughts for four minutes, thinking through the problems or imagining the backstory so I can push further. It's interesting since the solution would sometimes come up in a minute or two, and then I'm back on the manuscript, plugging away as the scene unfolds in my head.
     
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  7. Lifeline

    Lifeline Into the Cold Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I frequently find that just formulating my problem as in writing a post to ask for help gives the answer I seek. Subsequent posting is then unnecessary :)
     
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  8. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    It really is helpful, and the cool thing about it is that it also works for software developers. I didn't know about it until I read a wiki about it: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_duck_debugging

    For us writers, instead of a rubber duck we have our doc file or notebook. Or maybe a rubber duck (or some other toy or doll) if it works for you.
     
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  9. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Wrote 1,000 words tonight. Total word count at 19,000. I'll be taking a break tomorrow, but will be back writing on Wednesday.
     
  10. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Congrats!
     
  11. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Submitted five short stories tonight. These were rejected during the course of the past two months. Only got to resubmit them because of rest night from writing.

    I have a feeling that they will be rejected, but I just need to keep at it. I still get jitters when I hit "send," but after the first submission, it gets easy.
     
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  12. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Wrote 912 words, which adds up to 19,919 words. Not exactly 20,000, but it's close enough.

    I'm slowing down on this one as I'm discovering how my MC's newfound powers will work. Basically, Ezra was absorbed by the villain in the last book, but Ezra's consciousness survives and takes over the villain's body. Now, the villain has multiple memories of people he had absorbed in his lifetime, and each of the people have unique powers. To utilize these powers, Ezra must pull a person out from their memory.

    I dunno... I haven't worked out the details, but that will come as I daydream and write the story.
     
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  13. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Wrote about 600 words last night, which puts me up to 20,500 words. Yey! Officially broke through 20k.

    I slowed down because I didn't have Ezra's powers pat down. So I explored how his powers were by writing one scene, scrapping it, then another scene, then scrapped that, until I came across a scene that made sense. This morning I started to daydream about how exactly Ezra's new found powers work, and I think I've found it. This means I have to retcon some of the scenes I already written, so I'm making notes of them on the progressing outline. Also, I'm seeing a future scene where the twins will make a difficult decision that would really shake things up in the story's universe. I won't write it down until I'm within range of my "five scenes ahead" process.
     
  14. Lifeline

    Lifeline Into the Cold Supporter Contributor

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    When I read how you write scenes and scrap them it puts me in mind of my own 'progress' ;) Each scene I scrap brings me closer to what I want to tell. I hope it's the same for you :)
     
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  15. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Yep! That happened last night. Since I was already working on the scene, I scrapped the first one I had in mind and wrote a variation of it. Then I found that the variation did not work so I rewrote another variation of it. I'm still not satisfied with it, but I did make a note to fix it at the revision phase; I'll be plowing ahead as if the fixes were already made.
     
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  16. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    You seem to be describing a very organic way of writing. Cool.
     
  17. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    My brain seems to like it that way. I say "my brain" because although I love making outlines, I cannot write from an outline. It's really weird. For some reason my brain just loves uncertainty, and I also enjoy the journey into the unknown.
     
  18. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Oof. Writingforums.org is having a hard time with keeping itself up. Hope everything is okay.

    Anyway, I wrote 2,500 words this weekend, putting the word count at 23,000.

    The outline-as-you-go is evolving yet again. Currently, I have a column called "Notes/To-Do" which is where I put my retcon notes and other info. Right now, I'm adding a new column called "Explanations Q&A." This is for expositions that happen on the scene which I needed to answer for myself in order to move ahead with the story.

    I'm sharing a copy of what my "progressing outline" looks like (Googlec doc, click here. FYI, this has explicit language). It is what exactly what is sounds: a progressing outline. I only write down the beats when I actually write them on the manuscript. It's a way for me to see where I left off in regards to beats. Also, I keep notes of what needs to be fixed which I call the retcons.
     
  19. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Process process process...

    Just listened to Writing Excuses' podcast today (link: http://www.writingexcuses.com/2017/06/11/12-24-creating-great-outlines/), and I'm thinking of experimenting once again with my writing process.

    Right now I'm doing five scene cards at a time. With Sanderson's method (which is outlining from ending to beginning), I'm thinking of writing the climax scene card and then work myself back to the current scene cards I have. It will be interesting, and I'm a bit excited.

    I had a project once where I outlined the novel fully from beginning to end, only to have abandoned it because I felt bored. So I'm not sure why I'm looking forward to outlining backwards. Is it because outlining backwards requires a different mindset compared to outlining forward? I think that's the case. For the unfinished project, I didn't have an ending in mind until I had wrote scenes upon scenes on the outline. Maybe going backwards would be the magic I'm searching for with regards to outlining.

    We'll see. And experimentation is key.
     
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  20. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks for the link. These guys are fantastic!
     
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  21. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    @Stormburn I have a list of writing podcasts that I listen to every week. Here they are:
    • Writing Excuses
    • Creative Penn Podcast
    • Dead Robots Society
    • Self-Publishing Podcast
    • Self-Publishing Formula
    • Story Grid Podcast
     
  22. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Wrote 1000 words last night, putting the wip at 24k.

    I started outlining the story in reverse, writing them all on index cards.
     
  23. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Took a break from writing last night, but I did try to push on with outlining backwards. Found out that I am really a true-blue pantser. Just the prospects of knowing the middle or having a clear outline of my story is just unappealing to me. I did have some index cards for the climax and ending, but as I got further down the chain of scenes, they became less defined and murky. Also, my brain just didn't like the certainty of how my story would play out. It really wants to "explore" what the heck will happen.

    But! The little exercise didn't leave me empty handed. Prior to this my process is planning five scenes ahead which I write down on index cards. Moving forward I will be planning five scene ahead and then planning five scenes backwards from the ending/climax.
     
  24. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    Wrote 1000 words, pushing the wip to 25k.
     
  25. nastyjman

    nastyjman Senior Member

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    1,000 words tonight, pushing the wip to 26k.
     

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