Tag Archives: structure

Morning Pages Entry – June 02, 2014

Well, waking up a bit anxious and in a panic this morning. I have a week left, before my first book goes off to emily for editing, and I really am behind on getting the work done that I wanted done before then. This whole30 is sucking up more of my time then I had wanted it to and I’m not sure where to go next with it. I really wanted to have more content added, so I think I’m going to have to back away from the character sketches, and figure out how to make the novel two books. That would likely start with a look at the over all outline, and mapping out some new scenes. All the while, I think that I should be look at some of the choppier narrative and dealing with that as well. I started to do some of it, with the first scene yesterday. That likely wouldn’t take very long. I was just combining a few sentences and giving a bit more variety in terms of sentence length. It’s not really a matter of more content or story tell, as much as having a more varied rhythm with sentence structure. I think, if I went through, and came up with a few more scenes just using yWriter, and outlining some details about those scenes, meaning actually filling out all of the text for the scene, and leaving it in outline status, then I could come back to it, and actually write out the scene. That wouldn’t be that difficult. If you got a bit gung ho about it all you could probably do the outlines this morning. We’re probably, only taking about another 17 scenes, if your scenes averaged 1500 words or so. Which, I do think they tend to be. Some are much shorter, and definitely some are much longer. Instead, of spending time writing back story, then definitely, you could actually be writing the real story. So, look at your outline today, and see where you can put another 15-20 scenes. That shouldn’t be too hard right. You know you want more conflict, you know you want more motivation for Chaz to just up and leave his platoon. You could most certainly expand on that. Maybe, spend a night where he anguishes over his decision. Maybe make one of his kids sick. Give him some more backstory, so he doesn’t seem like such an ass when he moves on. Maybe, bring up some of his troubled past with his father, and throw in the whole motorcycle gang thing and him killing someone as part of his initiation to that gang. That could be a whole sordid secret, that he’d kept from the military. Actually, something that he should have kept from everyone. It would basically, end up putting him in prison, if anyone found out. Maybe make it, so that Abby knows about it or found out about it, and somehow tie in that she could be a threat to reveal it. You could also make that a part of why she is divorcing him as well. That would certainly give him the motivation to leave. I do like that angle of things. It makes him a much more complex character, and adds to the drama of the story. So, yes, go through and do some more scene creating, with an eye to still breaking out the novel into multiple novels. You have just these five days to get the damn thing to Emily, and you need to add as many words as possible. Even, if you only get another 20K words by spending a day (today) adding more scenes that would be fine. This doesn’t have to be pulitizer material, you just need to make it happen. So, make it happen. Get those extra words into the thing. Clean up as much of the exisiting as you can with a little more showing and less telling, and move on. Once you get this to Emily, you can start looking into covers, and getting everything else done over the time she is spending editing. That includes, doing that admin thing for withholding taxes and the US government. And, even writing some blurbs, and, maybe even starting on the next novel. The number one priority, has to be getting enough words into this friggin thing to make it more interesting. Not just filler words, but enough words to make it a better reader experience, and really make them want to read the next novel.

TIGERBLOOD: yes DAILYMOOD: pissed off all the hell at karen LOCATION: home office WORDSWRITTEN: none PUSHUPS: none TODO: outline 15-20 more scenes for the novel TV: some youtube videos BOOK: none GAME: none EXERCISE: walked on beach WEIGHT: 170 BREAKFAST: none LUNCH: none DINNER: chili SNACKS: almonds ALCOHOL: none BEDTIME: 12:00 AWAKE: 6:15


Morning Pages Entry – May 27, 2014

I feel like, today is the first day of a whole new beginning for me. I’ve gotten through the editing of my first novel, at least the first good edit pass of it. It’s really more then the first pass I suppose. I went through the bulk of it a few times, as I didn’t really know what I was looking for when I did an edit. At first, I was just cleaning up spelling and grammar. Then, I started hacking out way too many words, and making everything too choppy. Then, I finally came up with a spelling and grammar check, that looked more at sentence flow and got rid of things like over explanation, which I seemed to do a lot. I could still make another pass, and include some more conflict, and reveal more about the characters. I do want to make it longer, and get two novels out of it. It just occurred to me, that the first half of the novel (which could be the first book), should be about Chaz’s family, and doing everything he can to get them back. Then, he should realize, that he can’t get them, but somehow, there is a happiness to it, as he sees a chance to finally rid the world of the zombie freaks, but getting Christa to Fort Knox. Which, would be, where the second book kicks in. That would kind of make sense. The main goal of the first one, would be Chaz getting his family, and the second would be of ridding the world of zombies. That’s how to do it. That would make perfect sense. There are a few more things, I should do with the novel now at this point, to make that happen. One, is write more character sketches. Really write some good background stuff about each of your characters. Maybe five thousand words, or maybe not that quite much, although, that might not be so bad. There’s only three main characters, and you could do that. There were some good layouts on the CritiqueCircle site I think, that you could use to get yourself started. You could likely have all those done in a couple of days. Even if you did 5000 words each. Plus, I would like more backstory on the zombies. Another 5000 words on them would be good as well. They really are like another character. And, perhaps another 5000 words or whatever on the world or environment they are in. Since that is also a character in the story. That would be really good. If you did a detailed character sketch on each of Chaz, Alex, Christa, Zombies, Environment, then you as a writer would understand so much more about the story and the world your writing about. You could give the story so much more depth. Then, you could add another 25K words, to get enough story for two seperate novels. Then, you could throw in more character description … reveal more about your characters, and their reaction to things, as well as get rid of the choppy editing you did, and introduce some more conflict, and get rid of so much narrative. Or, at least break up some of the narrative. Provide extra character action, and show a few things in the world. So here is maybe a breakdown in list format of what happens next.

  1. Write a detailed (no more than 5000 words each) description on each of the following:
    • Chaz
    • Alex
    • Christa
    • Zombies
    • Environment
  2. Add at least another 25K of story to have enough to break the novel into two seprate novels. Edit those words as you go. 5K write and edit per day.
    • You should spend some time outlining this before you start.
  3. Look through the CritiqueCircle suggested edits for the first 5000 words and add what you think is necessary.
  4. Make sure there is enough conflict in each of the scenes. Maybe just every other scene.
  5. Do a “content” edit for the following:
    • Show more of the characters reactions to the events of the story.
    • Make any choppy sections flow better.
    • Break up larger sections of narrative: more “show” instead of “tell”.
    • Check and use your ‘editing notes’ in yWriter.
    • Format story for Emily

You have 9 more days, till this goes off to Emily your editor.

Step1 – 2 days Step2 – 5 days Step3 – 1/2 days Step4 – 1/2 days Step5 – 1 day

That would be pretty impressive, and I think pretty doable in the time left. And, something you could carry forward into the next books in the series. I would be quite happy, if all that happened before the 9th.

TIGERBLOOD: yep DAILYMOOD: good LOCATION: home office WORDSWRITTEN: editing PUSHUPS: 2:00 plank TODO: write, read, plan whole30 TV: Orphan Black, Mad Men, Grays Anatomy BOOK: none GAME: none EXERCISE: 1 hour walk WEIGHT: 171 BREAKFAST: bacon & eggs LUNCH: big ass salad DINNER: sausage SNACKS: orange, grapes, apple, spoon of almond butter ALCOHOL: none BEDTIME: 12:30 AWAKE: 6:30

Morning Pages Entry – May 23, 2014

Hey, happy birthday to me! 52 and still feeling pretty good. Keep it up old man. So, on to more pressing issues. I was starting to put together a menu plan for our whole 30, and it went ok. It’s definitely one of those tasks, where you need to approach it one small piece at a time. As, trying to come up with a plan that will work for everyone, is going to be a bit tricky. Suppers are probably the easiest to plan out, as everyone just sits down and eats the same thing. Breakfast and lunches I’m not so sure about. They’re a little bit more ad hoc. Sam is different, because of her swim schedule. She eats a bit before morning practice and a bit after morning practice. Jennifer is probably something the same. Karen and Jessica sit down, and eat before they go out the door. I don’t eat till later in the day, but it’s always bacon and eggs. Jessica, I can probably just make bacon and eggs for every morning. Lunches I suppose are a bit over the place as well. I think, I need to take the approach the one lady does where she just sort of cooks up a bunch of stuff at the beginning of the week, and eats it whenever. Planning out the dinners would help me, and I did get a good start at that. But, the lunches are a another thing that’s a bit trickier. I think, I need to get a list from everyone as to what they normally eat for breakfast and lunch each day. Then, I can tweak things from that. If there’s stuff they normally like to eat, then those things can stay in the meals. Things they don’t like will have to go, and I should find some sort of substitute for them. Sauces are another thing that would be helpful to have substitutes for. Like the whole30 mayo and ketchup for instance. Those will certainly help to ease the transition into this. One of the things you want to do, is to have plenty of wholoe30 approved food choices lying around all the time. And, plan to make more then want of everything for dinners. That way, there are lots of leftovers for the following days breakfasts and lunches. We may want to have more containers for storing leftovers. There is going to be some tweaking of things in the first week, but that’s ok. The kids are definitely on board for this, meaning Jennifer and Samantha. Jessica doesn’t really realize what she’s in for, but that’s ok. She’s likely the most flexible of the group. She can be picky sometimes, but we’ll see how that goes. The snacks for her I think will be the hardest. Giving up the coke, I’m not sure. And, making sure, that she doesn’t eat stuff from school can be a bit hard as well. It would be good for her to eat just the right stuff, but we’ll see how that goes. How strict do you want to be this for her? I suppose, I would like for her to follow it as strictly as everyone else. You will have to explain it to her, and make sure she understands it. As long as she knows the rules, she’s pretty good about following them. She is all about the rules. So, yesterday, I did get a pretty good chunk of editing done, and now only have about 9K words left to get through on the novel. Which is pretty good. I still have my edit notes, that I need to go through, and I think, the ending needs a bit more beefing up, and I do need to add more words to break the novel up into two publishable novels. I still have to look at the structure, and see where it makes sense to do that. But I would really like to hit the shelves with two novels off the bat. That would make up a little bit for being so late getting this thing done. Then, of course, you need to hit the ground running, and start putting out a novel a month. At least for the the summer. Then once you get that process going, you can start adding the serials. Once the boat is put away, you should move into doing the weekly serials, and the monthly novel. That would be pretty cool. To have all that going on at once. That would be busy, but good. Plan the serials to only run from October to May, then take the four months off and just write the novels. That would make for a pretty good boating season. Maybe, once the money is going good, you can even plan some holiday time.

TIGERBLOOD: yep DAILYMOOD: productive LOCATION: home office WORDSWRITTEN: editing PUSHUPS: 4:00 wall sits TODO: edit, write, read, plan meals TV: supernatural, californication BOOK: none GAME: 2048 EXERCISE: walk 1 hour WEIGHT: 170 BREAKFAST: bacon & eggs LUNCH: big ass salad DINNER: gypsy sausage SNACKS: orange, grapes, apple, 2 lara bars ALCOHOL: none BEDTIME: 11:15 AWAKE: 6:30


Morning Pages Entry – May 07, 2014

Well, yesterday, it looks like I booked a date with an editor. Emily Nemchick, who has a thread on the Writers Cafe forum, which I’ve had bookmarked for a while. She can take my novel on June 9th, but she’s squeezing it in with some other work I think, so it will take here a couple of weeks to get it done. Which is OK I suppose. I will have to get this process down a bit better, and book her earlier, so I don’t have to wait too long. But, what it does mean, is that I actually have a deadline. Which is something I haven’t had for a long time. A pretty easy deadline, which is OK for starters, a deadline none the less. I still have about another 40K words to clean up on the novel, that is make my first editing pass, and make them more presentable. But, I also have a cover to put together, and depending on how things go, I should be able to start writing my second novel before she starts editing the first. What I should likely do, is to book my next editing date, as I have the first novel completed. Then, you’ll have a real deadline. Maybe, you should get the outline done first, before you book though. That would be good, as you’ve yet to do a proper outline first. One, that follows some sort of good structure (7 point structure), and has adequate conflict withing scenes, and sequels. I should practice to be a more concise writer, when I’m doing my journal. Although, I don’t want to mess with this process too much. I do however want to write the first pass of a novel a little bit more concisely. That way the 5K words you write, and the 5K words you edit in a day go quicker. Certainly, you will have a better novel as well. So, today, I do need to get through as many edited words as possible. I would think, that my writing the first pass can only improve, after torturing myself so much with this first round of editing. I mean, it’s been a pretty brutal process, and time consuming. There are some words that I need to get rid of “really” is one of them “a bit” is another and “somehow” is another one. Certainly, I will be more conscious next time. One of the things I do too much is over explain a situation. This is not a technical document your writing. You don’t need to explain everything to the n’th degree. Secondly, you need to use less narrative and more dialogue. I have a few chunks of that in the novel for sure that can be cleaned up. And thirdly you need to be more decisive in your writing. You use words like “somewhat” and “probably” and “somehow” a lot, because your unsure of yourself. You need to back off on that shit. If something is black, then say it’s black. Stop wavering. Your the writer, if you say something is, then it is. PERIOD. If I focus on those things, I think my next novel will be so much better. Be sure of yourself, use more dialogue, and don’t over explain everything. It will be a more fun experience. So, what else is going on today? I was going to go to the boat this morning but the weather isn’t totally agreeing, so I think, I’ll go tomorrow. Although, I should check the weather this morning to be sure. Also, today, I need to go out to Canadian Tire, and get a few more bottles of wax, just in case you don’t have any at the boat. Although, I’m pretty sure I do have some. You should also check for your bottom paint. I think I have a full can lying around here somewhere. If not, then you’ll have to buy some tomorrow from Ron. Also, check that you have enough paint supplies . . . rollers and things. I’m sort of excited, that I have a date for an editor booked. Sure, it’s going to cost me about $300 to get the novel edited, but the peace of mind will be worth it. And, it makes me feel like a real writer. Or at least more like a real writer. I have a deadline. I never thought, those words would make me happy, but they do. I have a deadline, and I’m going to hit it. Yes, this is a business, and you need to treat it like one. It feels good to know, that someone is going to an extra polish on my work and make it presentable for the public. Happy me 😉

TIGERBLOOD: of course DAILYMOOD: good LOCATION: home office WORDSWRITTEN: editing PUSHUPS: 3:30 wall sits TODO: editing TV: californication, orphan black, mad men BOOK: none GAME: none EXERCISE: walk for 30 minutes WEIGHT: 170 BREAKFAST: bacon & eggs LUNCH: big ass salad DINNER: salmon patty, brocolli SNACKS: orange grapes (too many), apple ALCOHOL: none BEDTIME: 11:30 AWAKE: 6:30


Morning Pages Entry – April 19, 2014

I’m having one of those mornings, where I’m really not sure what I want to write about. It happens. So, I’m just going to make up stuff as I go along here. Something I’ve noticed lately, is that I’ve gotten into a much better work habit these days regarding my writing. And I think it’s been a few weeks that I’ve been doing it. It started a couple of weeks ago, with the week, that I did 5000 words a day every day from mon-fri and ended up with over 25000 words for the week. This past week, I didn’t write any new words, but instead have been editing every day of the week. Which has still been good, in that I’ve been following the same habit of working consistently at the editing. So, that’s a very good thing. I think, the thing I need to do, is be persistent with the work. I need to do it for at least 30 days, to make sure it remains a new habit. It’s all happened upstairs, working from the front living room, which is a different thing. Maybe, getting out of the basement office and experiencing a change of scenery helped with that process. I’m not sure, but it seems to be working. Although, I’m not so sure that working upstairs is a totally good thing. I do seem to be sitting down a lot more when I’m working, and the last few days, my back has been a bit sore. I’m not taking advantage of my stand up desk as much. I need I think to do more standing up somehow. I should give some more thought, as to how to stand up and work with the laptop. Standing up once in a while is a good thing for my back I believe. Sitting down all day long, is definitely not the best. Will have to give some thought to that. Maybe, even incorporate it somehow, into working from the boat this year. How would I stand up, and work from the boat? That could be really tricky. Other then, just work in the mornings, I’m not quite sure how to resolve that. We’ll think about it some. Maybe do some Googling around about it. I also think, I need to come up with some ways to write more descriptive prose throughout my novel. I have definitely been writing a very vanilla type story style I feel. Focused, mostly on the series of events as they unfold. Not so much getting into the environment, and feelings of the characters. Perhaps, I haven’t been incorporating the ‘sequel’ after the ‘conflict’ based scenes enough. That I think, would help much more with the character development. Now the environment type stuff, is another thing altogether. Also, I need quit beings so wordy, and non-committal in my draft writing. I need to be more suscinct and sure of myself in my writing. If something is so, then say it. Make it definite. Not ‘maybe’, or ‘a bit’, or ‘perhaps’. It’s those kinds of words that I need to lose. I need to take some sort of writing course, where I have a bunch of little exercises to do, that get me writing more in those styles. Confident, and descriptive, and insightful with my characters. Those three things will make my stories come more alive. I do already have some interesting ideas, I just need to express them with a little more color. Not just be so factual plot driven. I’ll do a bit of looking around, and see if I can find some good creative writing courses online perhaps, that I can take. There have to be some. Finding info for writers is pretty easy online. Next to technology stuff, writing resources seem to be the most plentiful resource online. There’s all kinds of helpful tips to be found. Will take a look after I’m done here. This has been a bit of a struggle this morning, getting enough words onto the page here. I kind of take that as a good thing. It means, that I don’t need as much therapy as usual. That things are going more the way I want them to. Certainly, since hitting those 5000 words days, things have been better, or at least showing the promise of something better. Now, I just need to get the editing process down a little better. Incorporating more into the days I write would certainly be better. Rather then leaving a whole bunch of it to do at the end.

TIGERBLOOD: yep DAILYMOOD: good LOCATION: living room WORDSWRITTEN: none PUSHUPS: 2:00 plank TODO: research creative writing courses TV: glee BOOK: none GAME: none EXERCISE: none WEIGHT: 171 BREAKFAST: bacon & eggs LUNCH: big ass salad DINNER: ham, carrots, beans, cauliflower SNACKS: orange, grapes, lara bar ALCOHOL: 2 glasses wine BEDTIME: 11:30 AWAKE: 7:30s