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  1. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    Ranting, rambling, and hopefully some progress...

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by hirundine, Jul 27, 2016.

    Thought it would be helpful for me to start a progress thread and maybe get some accountability.

    My one work in progress is in its very early stages: planning, research, and constructing a sort of "skeleton draft" that includes only a few key events. When I have finished this skeleton draft, I will edit it all so that it fits together, and then construct the first draft proper around that.

    Current goals:

    Plan the next scene - by Friday night.

    Write the next scene - by next Friday night.

    Re-do timeline of the build-up to the eruption to take into account the antagonist's appendicitis (I need to add on a week or maybe two). Possibly in a loose leaf folder in case I need to move things around further after I finish doing the research. Over the next couple of weeks or so.

    Do more volcano research - can't put a time limit on that because I've only just ordered the main book I need for this and don't know when it will be delivered yet.


    Okay. Here goes...
     
  2. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    Finished planning the scene, nicknamed Dream Scene 1.

    Am now having a hissy fit over the realisation that yes, actually, my scientists WILL have to evacuate during the climactic phase of the eruption. It won't have a major effect on the chapter I'm working on, but it means that before I can start working on the first draft proper, I'll have to do a total re-write of the climax chapter. I'll be left with something much more realistic than the previous scenario but it's a lot of work. Between this and the changes I already had to make in order to accommodate my antagonist's appendix, I'll have go back to the drawing board and create a new timeline. Oh, and the new setting means that my favourite character - whose last words are literally "I don't want to die in the dark" - will now in fact be dying outside, on the floor, actually in the dark. Well, probably not quite in the dark, but close enough. The immediate area will be lit, but he'll be able to see that it's dark beyond the lights. That's going to be a total nightmare.

    But. At least I actually met one of my writing targets. That hasn't happened for a while.
     
  3. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    To help me keep track of my progress for this chapter, here is the list of scenes.

    DREAM SCENE 1 - RAGNAR - planned
    STORM BREAK SCENE -
    EMILY -
    DREAM SCENE 2 -
    RAGNAR -
    BANG!! SCENE -
    EMILY -

    (Set of scenes I can't write until I've done more research)

    ANNIKA SCENE -
    RAGNAR -
    KISS-OFF SCENE -
    EMILY -


    I'll add stuff and cross stuff out etc to show where I'm up to. Hope it doesn't get as crazy as the last time I did this.
     
  4. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    I've decided to keep working on the current chapter, because the scenes I'm currently writing won't be affected much by any of the changes I'm planning to make. But after that I'll have to focus on research and planning for a while.

    Things I need to research

    Volcanoes

    Monitoring techniques and equipment
    Plinian eruptions - including information about each specific hazard, near and distant
    Mt. Pinatubo case study (The eruption itself)
    More detail about the buildup and eruption sequence
    Hazards encountered at Clark and the place the scientists evacuated to
    Mt. St. Helens eyewitness accounts - some of these are relevant
    ANYTHING I can find about LAACHER SEE
    (Laacher See is the volcano that actually erupts in my novel; it's been dormant for thousands of years so there's not much information out there. That's why I'm researching Pinatubo - the eruption there was a similar type and size.)

    People and logistics
    Alert systems, exclusion zones, evacuations - general
    Alert systems, exclusion zones, evacuations - Pinatubo, including dates, distances, logistics, etc
    Volcano scientists - day to day lives, thoughts, thought processes, feelings (Pinatubo, Mt. St. Helens)
    Pinatubo - how they worked with the military, authorities, media, general public (see also Mt. St. Helens)
    Military - both general and specific to Germany, enough to make things believable
    Disaster response and relief - general, also specific to volcanoes

    Setting
    Information about Laacher See and the towns/villages, countryside, and infrastructure around it
    General information about Germany would probably be useful
    Iceland (one of my main characters is from there)
     
  5. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    Just discovered a flaw in my research that means I will have to relocate my characters and have them based in a different location than where I originally put them.

    EVERYTHING else is now on hold until I've done probably a lot more research.

    I'm not having a good day.
     
  6. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    Well, technically I don't have to relocate them. It's whether it would be believable or not.
     
  7. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    I have now done enough research to create a timeline for all the volcanic events during the novel - the buildup and the eruption.

    If I read one more word about Mt. Pinatubo my head might actually explode.
     
  8. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    @hirundine Please put me down for a beta read when this is finished, if you want a beta reader. I love love love any books/movies around natural disasters.
     
    hirundine likes this.
  9. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    All my planning and research is on hold at the moment as I am going away for a few days from tomorrow. However I have now reached the stage where I have what I consider my key plot points down and know their place on the timeline, so I will be able to start the process of figuring out what happens in between those points when I get back. It feels to me like things are progressing quite slowly, but at least they are progressing.
     
  10. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    Time to get serious and actually do some work on this. So, since I'll never get anything done otherwise...

    GOALS

    *Finish typing up what I have of the timeline - by the end of the month at the latest done 11/3/17
    *Figure out the major details of the building collapse and its aftermath - by the end of this week done 8/3/17 (as much as necessary for me to be able to progress haha)
    *Re-write Ragnar's initial dream - by the end of this month DONE! 12/3/17
    *Work out what needs to go into the more detailed segments of Ragnar's dream that occur later on and where they fit into the timeline - by the end of this month done 11/3/17

    Argh...
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
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  11. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    Finished typing up "that ****ing boring timeline" (as I've been calling it), and added in those dreams. But now I've finished it, I can see just how much it needs editing. That will be my next goal, after finishing the final one on the current list. Editing. YAY.
     
  12. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    I have now completed all the goals on last week's list, largely because I decided to edit Ragnar's original dream instead of completely rewriting it - when I went back and read the original version, it turned out that most of it didn't really need altering. I changed the ending to more directly foreshadow what happens at the climax of the novel. I re-wrote a couple of bits so I could add in the elves (because even volcanoes are better with elves and because sometimes dreams really are that weird), changed names where appropriate (I changed the location of the observatory to another town because it fit better and also changed one of the character's names to something that sounds more appropriate for her nationality), and that was it sorted.

    I am now taking a short break from working on the novel so that I can prepare for a job interview I have on Thursday afternoon. I will not be setting any new goals until after I've had the interview, because if I set goals before then I will get obsessed with meeting them instead of preparing for it. I will, however, be buying myself something with lots of chocolate in it to celebrate the fact that I am finally making actual progress. Because chocolate is good.
     
  13. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    AAH NO I forgot to buy the chocolate!! How the hell did I forget about the chocolate!!
     
  14. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    I'm back to working on the novel again now, and I'm only setting one goal for now, which is to actually sort out the death scene that occurs at the climax. I thought I'd fixed that, but further research yielded some problems, so I need to think about the potential options, think about the implications of those options for both the foreshadowing and the last few chapters of the book... and pick one. Hopefully without having to ask for any assistance in doing so.

    So, goals:

    Actually sort out death scene - for good this time. 2 weeks. Done 28/3/2017

    At this point, that really is enough to be going on with.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  15. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    Solved the problem of the death scene by default in the end: only one of the potential options was actually viable given the specific situation and the way I wanted things to develop afterwards. Yes, I've ended up going back to the original scenario - the one I already wrote a version of when I made my previous attempt at a first draft. Go figure. But at least now I know what I'm doing with that and I can move on with things. That's got to be good.
     
  16. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    Goals:

    Edit the timeline to include the military presence at KVO and swap the building collapse for the rooftop scenario. Done 1/4/17

    Cut some days where nothing happens from the timeline and/or merge some of the days where not much happens together. Done 11/4/17

    Add the things from those pages of notes to the timeline. Done 29/4/17

    Extend the timeline beyond the end of the eruption to the actual end of the novel. Done 29/4/17


    To be completed by: 30/4/17

    But if things don't go to plan and I can't get it all done by then - there are legitimate reasons like potential future job interviews and major commitments for church that mean I might end up being able to get all this done by then - don't beat yourself up over it. This is supposed to be fun, not work!
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
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  17. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    Today (after having tried multiple times during the several years I've been planning this novel!) I finally managed to find a usable map of the area devastated by my volcano's last eruption and discovered that I'd underestimated the depth of ashfall at my scientists' location by a whole metre.

    A whole. F***ing. Metre.

    PANTS.

    It's a significant issue. The location isn't great, but every other potential location I could have used was even worse. If I changed the location, it would cause more problems than it solved. So I need to find a way to work with the situation.

    A whole extra metre of ash to deal with.

    Happy f***ing monday.
     
  18. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Or Option B: you ignore it, and make the ashfall a metre shorter in your novel. That's one of the benefits of writing fiction--even fiction based on real events. :D

    You might be the kind of writer who needs everything to be accurate, and there's a lot to be said for that. But ignoring this issue is definitely an option.

    I mean, I'm more interested in volcanoes than most people, and therefore more educated, and even I can't remember how many metres of ashfall there were for my 'favourite' eruptions without looking it up. I'm thinking like 0.01% of readers will know you've got it wrong, and that's probably an overestimate.
     
  19. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Active Member

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    Agreed. There's so many variables with volcano ash. Wind, ejecta volume, pyroclastic intensity, etc... A few geology and volcanism experts might notice a difference, but your typical reader won't care about it at all.
     
  20. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    It has actually occurred to me that this uncertainty could enhance the plot in some ways, and also that if the wind direction changed during the main eruption sequence, that would provide a way to get round the problem without feeling like I was ignoring it. It has also occurred to me that since I want the scientists and the military detachment to be trapped at the observatory during the climactic phase of the eruption, increasing the amount of ashfall could make that more believable. Maybe not the whole metre, though.
     
  21. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    I have now finished cutting down the timeline I have and moving the existing events around so that they fit better. I ended up cutting 21 days in total.

    I have also removed editing Ragnar's nightmare from the list of goals, because the way things have been changing, I think it may need a major overhaul. So I've removed it from the list while I figure out what exactly I need to do with it.

    Next on the list: adding the things I've made notes on to the existing timeline.
     
  22. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    The paper version of the timeline is now complete up to the end of the novel. Now I need to update and extend the one on my computer. I didn't think I'd meet all my goals this time, but it looks like I'm going to manage it after all.
     
  23. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    Ugh. My laptop has decided it doesn't like me any more. I might not have the timeline finished by sunday night after all.
    Bummer.
     
  24. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    Well, despite being held up by issues at work and my craptop deciding to be a piece of utter junk, I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED THAT F***ING TIMELINE! Right to the end of the novel.

    YAY.
     
  25. hirundine

    hirundine Active Member

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    Next goals:

    Name all remaining characters. All of them. Especially "Mr. Redshirt". Done 19/5/17.
    Go through the Mount St. Helens book for information that could help flesh out the details of the eruption and aftermath ready for chapter planning & outlining. (Note: BEFORE starting chapter planning!) Done, kind of...
    Start chapter planning. Started chapter planning/outline 20/5/17

    Time limit: 3 weeks.

    (Set new time limit once chapter planning has been commenced.)
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017

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