1. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    Progress Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by SNJade96, May 16, 2020.

    I'm starting this a little late in the game for most people, but it's pretty early for me.
    My inspiration tends to come in sudden waves; like, I'll just be listening to music or watching TV and I'll just be hit with an idea. To try and account for this, I'll go on a bit of a writing binge where I do nothing but write for about a week straight, get the first ten chapters done to get a feel for the characters, and then go searching for more inspiration.
    Just to clarify, my initial plots are normally really, really boring. It's only after the "more inspiration" phase that they tend to get interesting. That being said, I have very little experience actually finishing books (read: none) and this might just be going for the book I'm writing so far.
    Sorry to go expounding my writing process to you all, but I had to clarify that I was in the "more inspiration" phase right now.

    So, to give you the general idea of the story, it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world that uses orphans as slaves, just under different names to make it seem "okay". The main character is one of these slaves, and she's trying to make it in the world and protect her little brother from afar, as the two genders are kept separate because romance isn't allowed. That's the very, very basics of the beginning of the story, but I'm not going to go into too much detail, and as I said, this is pretty early in development for me.
    This book started as a one-off story, but at the end of the new, improved story (in the middle of the more inspiration phase) there's a lot of plot threads left hanging, so I think it's turning into a bit of a series.
    Also, I would go and tell the title of the book, but as of right now, it doesn't have one.

    I also said I was a pretty inexperienced writer; I don't yet have the best ideas, a lot of them are stupid, but at least there's a lot of them. Anyway, that being said, please tell me if my ideas are stupid, if a motivation doesn't make sense, or if there's otherwise something wrong or boring with a plot or my writing. I'd really appreciate the constructive criticism as far as that goes.

    Anyway, let me introduce the main character: Her name is Lavelle, she's eighteen, she's French, though that's a secret because foreigners are highly mistrusted in the society she lives in, to the point of her mother was killed for being French. She starts the story mistrustful, guarded, and depressed. She's very hopeless about her situation as a veritable slave, but she keeps all her emotions packed inside because she doesn't trust anyone enough to share her feelings with them. She tends to have a bit of a sardonic and mocking view of the world and thinks it's beyond repair, but she does have a bit of a softer side, too. She loves her little brother with absolutely everything and will do anything to keep him safe. She also loves poetry, and longs to write her own; however, being a slave-under-a-different-name, doing anything but the things she's meant to do are highly frowned upon.
    By the way, these slaves are developing names over on the setting development forum, if you want to look at that.

    As far as goals go, I don't really have any so far. I live in this sort of perpetual limbo of needing goals to remember to do stuff but also not doing these things well because I pressure myself into completing those goals even under extreme situations. For right now, I'll just leave that open, because I'm developing plot right now and not really focusing on writing itself. I want to make sure that what I write is good before I write it, if that makes any sense.

    I've decided to fully rip off someone else's organization structure and just add the chapters here, changing them later as needed.

    Chapter 1
    Progress:
    2nd Draft
    Words: 1665

    Chapter 2
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 2573

    Chapter 3
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 3379

    Chapter 4
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 5378

    Chapter 5
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 5390

    Chapter 6
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 3472

    Chapter 7
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 4140

    Chapter 8
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 7695

    Chapter 9
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 3584

    Chapter 10
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 6082

    Chapter 11
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 2991

    Chapter 12
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 4716

    Chapter 13
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 2147

    Chapter 14
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 7998

    Chapter 15
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 2536

    Chapter 16
    Progress:
    1st Draft
    Words: 1552

    Chapter 17
    Progress:
    In-Progress
    Words: TBD
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020 at 12:16 AM
  2. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    Just finished revamped Chapter 1, with a different opening scene, hopefully better exposition, etc. It still reads like a first draft, but considering it is a first draft, that's fine. Now, I'm just stuck on Chapter 2; I know where I want it to go, I just need a transitional scene to get there.

    I'm also going to take a page out of someone else's book (get it?) and take note in a specific way on the progress of chapters.

    I hate myself for that horrible pun, too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  3. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    Sorry for the 2nd post today, but I've just finished the rewrite of the 2nd chapter, so here's this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  4. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    I'm really stuck on the third chapter for some reason. I know what I want to happen, but I can't decide what to start it with. Should I just start it at the scene? I don't think so, it would sound a little jumpy, and perhaps set the pace a little too fast for what the pace will be later. But at the same time, pretty much the only thing that I could start it with was already used to start the second chapter, so...
    I feel like there are a lot of improvements of this from the first first draft of these chapters (before all the plot edits) but there are also a few things I'm losing, and one of those things is the sense of urgency, or being thrown straight into the story. There's a lot of lead-up, with this third chapter being the first to actually get the plot moving; actually, the third chapter was the first before the plot actually started, too, but it felt a lot less...strange. I'm not sure why, but I just have to figure it out.
     
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  5. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    Okay, so I've just left the third chapter for now, and I've now started rewriting the first chapter...again. However, I think this might be the best rendition yet, so it might actually stay. The second chapter also won't just have to be completely scrapped, it might just need a bit of a different transition, so this is going well so far.
     
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  6. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    I've managed to finish rewriting both the first chapter and the second chapter now. I still have about six chapter to rewrite, but not all of them have to be completely gotten rid of. I already have a bit of foreshadowing, everything is just working a lot better, and it doesn't sound like absolute trash. Once I've finished rewriting chapter 8, I can finally move on to making progress. I'm so excited.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  7. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    The first chapter and the second chapter are now finished. I'm almost done rewriting the third chapter, too. I'm finally getting back into the plot; it's almost actually started, and almost getting to the first interesting part.
     
  8. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    Chapter three is done! Finally, I can move on to the most interesting part I've written so far. I've got to rewrite this one too because of extra components and such, but the words are suddenly coming a lot more easily. I forgot how much fun it was when the words were flowing, just crafting the story. This is part of why I hate rewriting, but it's a necessary evil when it comes to my creative process...
     
  9. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    I also might add another post today, but it depends on whether I finish Chapter 4. I just can't get up the will to write it; it seems I much prefer writing new things than rewriting old ones.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  10. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    I didn't get anything done yesterday, but I've done a little today. It's not much, but after my sudden lack of inspiration over the past week or so, it's much better than anything I've done before.
     
  11. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    Update: It's taken staying up until midnight, but chapter 4 is now done. I was on a roll just now; I'm not sure why, but the words just seem to flow so much more freely when it's late.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  12. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    I've posted my first chapter for review under the workshop. Even as short as it already is, it looks like I'll be shaving off a few hundred more words. After all, it sort of begins with a monologue about poetry, so looking back, I don't think anyone's really going to read about some character they don't even care about yet monologuing about something they also probably don't care about.
     
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  13. Steve Rivers

    Steve Rivers Senior Member

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    You'd be surprised Jade. I shave words off here, send it to my editor, then later on you'll get to a part in the book where she says "I want a LOT more over there, instead."

    I looked over a book just last week, and I told JD Ray to add huge amounts to 2 specific parts of his book further down the line, because I wanted some parts greatly expanded. You wont always get people saying "cut cut cut" I promise.

    It's just a balancing act, because at the end of the day, most of us do this because we want to tell stories to give enjoyment to other people, and sometimes we need someone else to give us a nudge in that direction.

    It's hard sometimes to see it from other folks point of view at times, but I promise you, folks like me will never say it because we dont want you to succeed, we point it out to try and help you succeed. As i tell people I edit/proofread books for, I only give constructive criticism with the intention to help your book be the best it can be, not because I have an agenda. My only agenda is to help you make a story that entertains as much as you want it to. Honesty is essential in that goal. :)
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  14. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    Thanks for the help. Tending to be an overwriter in books as well as any essays, I'm used to people always saying, "Cut that part out" for pretty much anything that I deem necessary.
     
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  15. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    Thankfully, since I'm now in the place where I can mostly edit what I've already written to fit the new plot threads, I'm moving a lot faster. Here's chapters five and six, though chapter seven will probably be up by the end of the day, too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  16. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    As predicted, chapter seven is done.

    In starting on chapter eight, I've also created four new characters I am somehow already attached to after writing about them in one scene, and I already know that one of them dies, and it's my favourite one. I've dug my own grave.

    I doubt I'll finish chapter nine by the time I head to bed tonight, but if I do, I'll put it up here. This rewrite has ended up adding an entire chapter on, since there were originally only eight chapters I had to rewrite, but now chapter nine is the one where I can finally start getting back to where I was. I ended up adding a lot on to chapter eight, actually.
    Anyway, chapter nine is actually barely started, so there won't be much to edit. This also means I won't have much to go off of, though, so it's almost guaranteed I won't get it done tonight.
    Either way, this has been my most productive day for two weeks. I'm so excited to actually be able to write something new, even if the real action hasn't started yet, and probably won't for a few more chapters.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  17. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    I'm not entirely satisfied with the ending of this chapter, but I figure this is the best I'm going to get. Either way, this chapter is all about the main character bonding with children, so it was really cute to write.

    Anyway, I figure I'm far enough into the book now that I should probably write a character description or synopsis for the main character. I've noticed that I have a bit of a problem keeping characters' personalities the same throughout books, so I'll write down a description for her here so I can look back later and make sure she's consistent.
    The MC is naturally a little sarcastic, stubborn, and a little whimsical, but has to keep those character traits hidden. She doesn't have much of a temper and doesn't really get angry easily, though she does get annoyed at the smallest things. At the beginning of the book, she's also selfish, and the only person she ever puts before herself is her little brother, who she would do anything to keep safe. She's also terrified of being thrown out on the streets. She loves poetry, reading it, writing, anything poetry-related.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  18. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    Okay, so I haven't even started on Chapter 10 yet, but I figured that's fine because now I've mapped out the rest of the book, chapter by chapter. In all there's ended up being 22 chapters in all, as well as a shorter epilogue. Anyway, I ended up doing that because I got to chapter 10 and just had no clue what to write about now, because I'm in a sort of limbo period where I haven't yet gotten to a particular incident that has to start off the chain of events leading to the climax, but I have to do a few things before that event to make it mean something - this event is the death of a character, and I have to make people care about the character before they die to make it impactful. Now, I just have to be careful not to add any fluff - I have a rule for myself that if it doesn't build the world, build the characters, build relationships, or move the plot along, it's just extraneous fat and should be cut. I tend to be an overwriter, so I have to be strict.

    Anyway, I find it interesting that currently, the book has exactly 37,632 words, which, considering my record word count before now was less than 20,000, I'm rather impressed by.
     
  19. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    I can't really get much done today, but I'll try and finish chapter 10 by tonight. Anyway, I finally hit the 40k mark! This is double my earlier record. I'm about halfway through the book now.

    After much deliberation, I've also decided to nix the second book and keep it as a standalone. It means I can develop the main character more, and it'll also leave it with a relatively ambiguous ending, which I love. Since I now don't have to wait till the second book to resolve a few things, I can now fill in some missing spaces and get more story into the first book, and now I have a way to fill in a bit of a gap in story (there was something that I felt needed a chapter in between, but any chapter I would've put there before would've been filler, so I kept trying to figure out what to do with it that could actually matter; now, I can use that chapter to wrap up the plot thread with the MC's little brother.) I can now, also, make the MC a little less passive than she was before, which'll make everything much more interesting, and make the climax of the book that much more tense. I'm a lot more excited, now.
     
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  20. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    I've been writing the same conversation since Monday. Not for lack of inspiration, but just because this is the point where the MC has to realize that these people aren't so bad after all, and I have to get it right. Just for some background, because I'm about to vent, the people this conversation is between are very classist. Minus the MC, of course, who's already at the bottom of the food chain. Anyway, I have to find a way for the people that are talking to realize that the MC isn't so bad just because of her class, and for the MC to stop hating these people. This has to be a turning point in their relationship, but I don't know how to do it right.
     
  21. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    I have finally finished Chapter 10! I still have a few more less exciting chapters to write before Chapter 13 (when all the fun stuff starts to happen) but I think I can get there. It just might take a while.
     
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  22. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    I'm having a lot of trouble getting motivated to write the eleventh chapter because I've gotten this great new book idea that centres around two best friends and - spoilers, by the way, but since it's in very early development it'll probably change, so I'll say it here - one of them is going to turn into the villain and betray the other, except both of them, separately, start uncovering things both of their sides have done and it'll eventually become really hard to tell which side is the "good" side, and which is the "bad". Just for added tension, they're both tasked with killing one another by their respective sides, but neither of them can do it when they meet alone, and so they leave each other alone to kill them another day...or they just both die. I'm not sure yet.

    Either way, that's not the book this progress journal is about, so I should get back on track. I'm only eight hundred words into chapter 11; this is going slow.
     
  23. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    (By the way, this was written at around midnight last night, but because it was so late I just forgot to post it, so this is an update for yesterday, not today.)

    Another story idea suddenly distracting me: a YA novel with all the normal YA tropes, but it's a satire. Like, for the chosen one trope, it's explained to the protagonist that they're the chosen one and the MC says, "Well, why?" and they say, "Because the prophecy says so," and she says, "but you have no proof that the prophecy is true and that literally makes no sense when there's hundreds of much more qualified individuals out there" or, if it's a dystopian book, the reason given is "You were brave enough to stand up to the establishment!" and she says "Well, if there's a rebellion at all it seems like a lot of other people have stood up to the establishment and we're all chosen ones" and they all look at each other like "Huh, I never thought of it that way" and they all rush into battle. Last idea - the establishment they're overthrowing in the dystopian world is actually pretty utopian, people are safe and happy without having to relegate all their decisions to the government and there's not thought policing or anything - but the rebellion wants the right to ruin their world and isn't happy that the utopia won't let them be unhappy, and the protagonist is sort of like "Wow, that sounds sort of crazy" but is really bored in their utopia and so goes along with it, and they end up just ruining the world by the end and they're just like "Yeah, we did good!" but the protagonist still isn't all that psyched for it.

    I know that's not the book this progress journal is about (like the last post, sorry) but I'm still not finished with chapter 11.
     
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  24. Steve Rivers

    Steve Rivers Senior Member

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    I wonder if there's a YA novel where there's like, 30-40 people are fighting because they all claim to be the chosen one. They're so busy fighting themselves to be the special snowflake that the disruption helps the establishment win :D hehe

    There's a damned good moral story in that.
     
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  25. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Member

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    I think I'm going to remove the original chapter twelve, because the only thing that actually mattered there can be fit into the chapter before. Now, thankfully, this means that once I'm done with chapter eleven, I can finally kill off the character I need to and finally get the real plot going...in more than just foreshadowing. Considering the only reason these chapters that I'm currently writing exist is for character building and to make the character death in the later chapter earned, and to kick off the romance that's eventually coming (which I'm really excited to write). I'm glad I got rid of chapter twelve, because as someone who doesn't really enjoy writing character driven plots, as it is at the moment, it's annoying. But, anyway, the next chapter actually starts the plot and we can get into it, so I'm psyched.
     

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