Destiny-oriented goals

I managed to not write a single word for Destiny last week. Granted, I covered lots of ground on Yggdrasil and wrapped up my second draft. This is perhaps the danger of running two projects at once: one may get casually tossed aside so that the other can make a huge leap forward. Since Yggdrasil is now on standby until I get a new proof to attack, this week’s goals are much simpler:

goals 2014-07-21

Lots of work on Destiny to make up for having tossed it aside last week. I cannot afford to lose any momentum here, I need to keep moving forward and get this story to some sort of suitable ending. I can’t start this thing over anymore, unless it’s to revise a first draft. I’ve got a good head start, and I’m ready to build on it.

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Setting the draft aside

Well, now I have a kind of “huh” feeling. I just completed the first draft of my first novel. I already know a lot of the things I’ll need to tackle, but I’m working on putting that out of my mind for now. I still have to print up the last few chapters, but once that’s done I’m setting everything aside and not touching it for a little while. I’ve read that’s a good idea.

I do feel excited that it’s done, but mostly I feel relieved. I was right, I was able to do it. Now the next step looms ahead of me like some cliffside I have to climb armed with the tools I’ve just hastily finished assembling. But it’s best not to think of that for now. And when I do think about it, I should think about it like, “I finished a rough draft. If I can do that, certainly I can edit it.”

Or can I?

I think I can. I’m definitely interested to see if I can.

I’ve been steadily coming to grips with the fact that Project: OBSIDIAN can’t be the final title. As I’ve been writing, I’ve been wondering what else to call this space opera. I think I may finally have settled on “Climbing Yggdrasil”. For now. I fully expect I might change my mind again in the future, so I’ll hold off on creating new tags and categories just yet.

So yeah. I did it. Huzzah!

December so far

obsidian word count december

It’s a little disheartening to see how long it’s taken me to write another 10,000 words since the end of NaNoWriMo, but I just have to remind myself that I’m still doing far better than I was before November.

What is Project: OBSIDIAN?

I have made mention of Project: OBSIDIAN a few times already without going into proper detail as to what it is. I had written a couple chapters of it before November of this year, which I set aside to do NaNoWriMo properly. As of now, I have nearly 60,000 words and only a few chapters left to write to finish my first draft. It is the story of Captain Kandace Li Renwright of the starship Sylphid, who begins the book resisting her crew’s efforts to change her mind about getting a synchronizer for the ship, a device that would allow the ship to maintain a constant connection to the interplanetary network no matter where they traveled. The following is an excerpt from my rough draft:

Yet Kandace continually refused, for she knew what a synchronizer was.

In a “humane effort” to eliminate the death penalty for particularly heinous crimes, the sentence of synchronization came about. The conversion process remained a tightly held secret, though it was suggested that it involved heavy amounts of psychopharmaceutical injected into the sentenced. It was said that their mind became too fragmented for conscious thought, essentially vegetables floating in a vat of nutrients, but their splintered mind became capable of sharing information with other similar minds, across amazing distances. Attached to a rig to convert biochemical signals to computer language and back, they found practical use as devices to extend the SEEC Central Network onto ships no matter how far they traveled.

Kandace had no intention of having such a person aboard her ship, no matter how much they deserved such a fate. She found the very idea disgusting, and wondered what a synchronizer was aware of. Did they experience constant, unconscious confusion as their brains were bombarded by computer signals relayed back and forth psychically? Did they dream, their minds desperately attempting to cobble together some kind of experience from the data downloaded and uploaded through them? Did it hurt?

Naturally, there wouldn’t be much of a story if she didn’t get to discover the answers to some of her questions. Before long, Kandace relents and procures a synchronizer for her ship, one who will reveal himself to be aware of all the information that passes through his mind, capable of manipulating it, and intent on finding out who he used to be before he was made into a sync.

Introductions

This is my Yet Another Writing Blog, only this time in earnest (I swear!). I really ought to have started it back before November, but hindsight etc.

This is the year I decided to finally participate in the National Novel Writing Month, after years of giving myself excuses and saying it wasn’t serious enough for me, that I didn’t have the time, yada yada yada. How wrong I was. I barely scratched the surface of what NaNoWriMo has to offer; I dipped a toe into the forums and not much else.

The pep talks they sent out regularly were wonderful and made me feel like a writer again. I used to be so excited to come home from school, run upstairs and write for hours. I always had any number of projects going at once and my head bursting with ideas for them. Then I graduated, went to university, took a couple creative writing courses, and life got in the way. I didn’t make time for writing and I spent way too much time waiting for inspiration.

NaNo’s pep talks quickly divested me of the notion that inspiration exists and will flutter down and magically move me to put down an entire novel in record time. They taught me that I have to slog through it, most often when I don’t want to, if I want to get anywhere. Writing remains enjoyable, but it isn’t always, and I have learned to overcome those moments when I don’t know what to write next.

Now it’s December and I’m still slogging on, working to get the novel finished. 50,000 words was not enough to tell all of this story. My biggest problem so far with December was getting over the feeling of shame at not writing quite so much as I did in November. I’m still keeping track of my work count as a motivational tool, but it became demotivating as my average dropped to below 1,000 words per day. I managed to get past it by congratulating myself for having come so far already, and telling myself that 1,000 words a day beats my average for the past few years.

Lately, I’ve been printing out my novel a few chapters at a time, hoping to finish the first draft soon and begin editing. I haven’t made a decision yet as to whether I’ll set the work aside for a while before tackling Draft #2. I’d rather wait to see how I feel to see the whole thing printed out. This is what I’ve got so far, and it’s really awesome to see all of those pages sitting there. It’s roughly half the book, so knowing I’ll double that stack before I’m done is exciting.Image