Daily Writing Check-in: December 19, 2018

Words/Time: 21 minutes putting my 2018 NaNoNovel into Scrivener by the scene, which I finished. Then I spent countless hours doing research for world-building for the same story.

So quick background–my NaNoNovel, “Protector” is the 2nd book in a trilogy, which in turn is part of a larger book series that takes place about 2000 years in the future. It is post-apocalyptic, but not dystopian. A world-wide technology ban has put the world in a medieval mindset in some ways, but also in some ways, the people are somewhat modern.

The majority of the books I’ve written for this world take place on a fictional island off the coast of what is currently Alaska. But “Protector” takes place on the continent of North America.

When I wrote this draft, and really up until this morning, I had planned for it to take place mostly in the New England area of the US. But I had a major realization today that threw off everything I had planned.

I was thinking of the continent as far too small of a place. Far too small. Distances between key locations were too far for what was going to happen, and it put the rest of the stories way too far away for what I had planned. A common enemy draws 2 characters from the main series of books into “Protector,” but they are way over near Alaska and British Columbia. Even with some non-traditional means of travel (for their level of technology), it was just too far.

So I moved the main country in “Protector” (currently called Altmoor) to the west coast of the United States. It took a lot of time to pin down a location where the story would work, given factions and events. But I think I have it pretty close. Details may change later, especially since I’ve never been great at understanding geology and topography when it comes to world-building. But for now, I think I’m settled. And I’m really glad I tackled this now.

Now I’m ready to start on goal #2!

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Daily Writing Check-in: December 18, 2018

Words/Time: 1 hour, 12 minutes putting my 2018 NaNoNovel into Scrivener by the scene.

I ran into a huge issue today, in the scene organization I did yesterday. While I am willing to put scenes out of order if I feel the story can be told more interestingly that way, this was just sloppy. However, the way the scenes involved are written, it doesn’t flow the way it needs to go. But I’ve got some ideas on how to make it work, and I made notes about those ideas so I don’t forget some day.

I am actually really wishing I could just start the revision on this story now. I know I can, because it’s not like it’s not up to me. But I know that if I do that, I will be further delaying even the chance for these books to be readable by anyone else in the order they need to be in. SO I need to finish this task and move back to the revision of the first books. But man, do I love this book…

Daily Writing Check-in: December 17, 2018

Words/Time: 27 minutes putting my 2018 NaNoNovel into Scrivener by the scene. Also 187 words of writing practice.

I thought I’d finish it today, but it’s a little more complicated than just copying & pasting. For one thing, I’m trying to utilize the tools in Scrivener to allow myself to see summaries of scenes at a glance, so that takes a little longer. But I’m also still trying to make sure I have the story flow right as I copy & paste things over. I don’t want to get too crazy right now, worrying about the flow and structure, but some of the “present time” scenes really need broken down into tiny bits to be spread out right for the “past time” scenes. I’m afraid the story is actually going to end up disjointed because some of the present time scenes are only a few lines. I’ll worry about that later though.

Daily Writing Check-in: December 16, 2018

Words/Time: 1 hour, 22 minutes putting my 2018 NaNoNovel into Scrivener by the scene.

I made some serious progress today! I had to boil down the rest of the scenes in a sentence or so each, and then figure out where all of the “past” events best fit in as flashbacks in the “present” time. It was written all out of order. Sometimes it was obvious where the flashbacks belonged, but in a few places I had to jot down some new things that could happen or be discussed in the “present” time, to prompt a flashback.

I am pretty happy with the layout now, which is basically a new outline. I suspect I will make some further changes when I get into revision, but that’s going to be much later. Tomorrow, I will copy and paste the actual scenes into Scrivener in the order I came up with today, and then I will be moving on from this novel, letting it rest for a while.

After that, I’ll move on to goal #2 in my list of short-term writing goals.

goal tracker 12-16

Definitely not slacking off this month!

Daily Writing Check-in: December 15, 2018

Words/Time: 21 minutes putting my 2018 NaNoNovel into Scrivener by the scene.

The draft I wrote last month was written in a somewhat complicated way, or at least it will be complicated to sort it out if I wait a long time to do it. I may have forgotten my plans by then. The novel starts in “present time,” then the bulk of the story is told in flashbacks, sometimes even going further back during those scenes. But as the month went on, I added quite a few unplanned scenes to the story, and I don’t have the organization figured out yet. So I put in the first half of the story, the organization for which I knew. And now I have to outline the rest of the scenes and see if I can figure out the best order.

If it turns out to not be doable without writing more, or without too much work, I may actually leave it for later and decide that fresh eyes might actually be what’s best for it someday.

I did not post the previous 2 days, because I did no writing work. It was not out of laziness, however, it was due to working too late. I’m trying very hard to balance family, work, and writing for the first time since starting this job, but an overwhelming project came to a head and I just couldn’t get to my writing work until it was too late, or until I was just too tired. I was very happy to get some work in tonight though.

Daily Writing Check-in: December 12, 2018

Words/Time: 60 minutes finishing a spell-check on my 2018 NaNoNovel.

I was less than halfway through after starting the spell-check yesterday, but I decided to get the rest done tonight. Fortunately, I had time to do that. Tomorrow I’ll re-start putting scenes into Scrivener. Even just doing a spell-check, I was reminded about how much I really enjoy this story. I can’t wait to dig into the revision, but it really does need to wait.

Daily Writing Check-in: December 11, 2018

Words/Time: 30 minutes doing a spell-check on my 2018 NaNoNovel.

I removed all of of the junk that I left in for word count that was pepped throughout the draft, and went to start putting scenes into Scrivener, at which point I plan to leave this story alone for a while. However, as I was copying & pasting scenes, I realized that it would be a lot better to fix the obvious spelling mistakes now, rather than doing it by the scene in Scrivener. In 30 minutes, I got through not quite half of the novel. I sure did write this draft fast and messy.

Daily Writing Check-in: December 9, 2018

Words/Time: 32 minutes removing “NaNo fodder” from my 2018 NaNoNovel.

I have removed all the rest of the junk that I left in for word count. There are still many notes that I wrote myself that need addressed, but with those removed, the official first draft of this novel comes in at 81,000 words.

Next I am working on putting the scenes from this story into Scrivener so I can begin to organize it. I left the order pretty messy.

I’m still tracking my progress this month on the NaNoWriMo site, with a goal of about 20 minutes per day worked on writing. However, I’m not needing that extra push these days. I’m still pretty excited about this story, so it’s easy to make sure to work on it every day, even if only for a short time.

goal tracker 12-9

Daily Writing Check-in: December 8, 2018

Words/Time: 44 minutes removing “NaNo fodder” from my 2018 NaNoNovel.

I removed 1637 words and got through the rest of the story! However, this time through, I was spotting the places where words needed removed manually. I did a search afterward for the marker I used while writing during November to flag myself later to fodder, and found 95 more instances that I’ll need to go through and get. I’ll do that tomorrow, but it should be all done tomorrow then!

I almost forgot that the rest of #1 on my list of short-term goals is to organize this story into scenes before I set it aside for a while. I’m glad for that, because I didn’t really want to move from it yet. I’m really excited about it (which is saying something for a novel written during NaNoWriMo, especially when it’s still so early in December, and I’m more often thinking back on the novel with disgust still).

A Monday Moment: Protector

As I attempt to get back into a daily writing habit, I hope to also get back to my Monday feature, which I call Monday Moments. Short explanation: every Monday I will post a piece of writing practice from the past week. For a longer explanation, go here.

For today’s Monday Moment, in honor of NaNoWriMo, here is a short excerpt from my recently finished NaNoNovel “Protector.”


After everyone had left, Lorrin stayed in the room again. She had many notes that she wanted to go over, trying to come up with an idea for how to proceed.

“I think I have it figured out,” she heard from a man who had come back in after the others had left. It was Falin.

“How’s that?” she asked, trying to pull her brain from the thoughts that had been getting her nowhere.

“I know what we can do to solve this.”

“Do tell.” She didn’t believe for a moment that he was going to give her some brilliant plan. And sure enough…

“We should go out into the fields and stare at the grass.”

She didn’t look back up. It was exactly as she had expected.

“No, I’m serious,” he said. “We’ll all go out and lie on our bellies, pick a blade of grass each, and just stare at it for hours. I’m sure we’ll see some sign of trouble.”

She still didn’t answer him, but he was making it difficult for her to concentrate on the notes.

“Look, do you have any better ideas?” he asked. “Maybe cut off some pieces and bring them back here. Oh, I know! We’ll put some in our food and see if it affects us like it does the animals. Maybe we’ll all wake up in the morning with a double next to us.”

“Falin!” she finally stopped him, mentally chastising herself for reacting at all. “None of this is helpful. Do you find it all a joke?”

“Yes.”

“Yes? This is all a joke to you—that your village is in danger of being overrun by predators if we do not stay out there killing them first? That the ecosystem is out of control and we have no idea why?”

“No, not that. The joke is that you and your army men will be the ones to figure it out.”

“We’re all you have, so you might as well make the best of it.”

“Oh, sure, I get that. You and your soldiers will get it all solved for us, I’m sure.”

“Seriously, what is your problem? Why can’t you just realize that we’re only here to help? None of us has done anything to bother you, so why do you antagonize us so? Why do you insist on making your snarky comments during every meeting?”

He opened his mouth to speak, but she continued.

“You are making my job more difficult than it already is. If you do not want to help us solve this problem, just leave and we’ll find someone else from your village who can take your place.”

He sat down in the chair opposite the table from her. “You won’t find anyone from the village who knows the area as well as I do.”

“I don’t care. We’ve been here long enough, we’ll make do with someone who knows the area less than you do, but who is more willing to help.”

“I am helping.”

“That’s debatable.” Those words hung in the air for a moment as neither of them said anything else. Lorrin was surprised by the force with which she’d said them. She was normally quite a calm person.

“I don’t mean to make your job harder,” he finally said quietly. “I just…don’t like soldiers.”

“I’ve gathered that. Any particular reason?”

He chuckled. “None you need to hear.”