Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Progress: Checking In

I don't even know when I wrote my last progress post on here. Hmm . . . June? Really? Wow. So, I'm way
overdue.

Most of that is because my productivity slowed to a trickle. I was getting some writing done, but in fits and starts, and most of it handwritten. I've actually taken to carrying around a notebook small enough to fit in my purse so I can scribble out some lines whenever I have down time.

Some of that I blame on picking up a new hobby. Turns out, you can't knit and write. I can watch TV, listen to podcasts, or just zone out while I'm knitting, but it uses both my hands. There's very little I can do at the same time as I'm writing, actually. Usually I just listen to music. Knitting is so tempting, though, because it produces an immediate thing that doesn't need fixing up before I can share it with others, and my progress is obvious. Word count just isn't the same as a pair of wrist warmers.

Nonetheless, despite my setbacks, I did manage to finish book two. It snuck up on me, too; one minute I'm happily writing out a narrow escape, the next I'm realizing that was the cue for book three.

I have only the thinnest of ideas about what happens in book three at this time, as is common for those with my writing style. But I need a few more plot hooks to hang the story on, so I've put it on the back burner until after I've done an editing pass at books one and two.

Whew. Is that enough mixed metaphors for you?

What I'm currently working on is a story I've been pondering for years. Once upon a time, I ran a game using Hero System. It was a fantasy setting with a twist. It deliberately played into a lot of clich├ęs, contained logical inconsistencies, and had backgrounds that required mental gymnastics to justify. The players had a lot of fun in it, and I thought it would be a fun setting to reuse for a novel, or perhaps a series of them. My perspective character is a dragon, hiding her true nature.

I tried to write the story several years ago, but it fizzled. The pace was plodding, and the dragon's curiosity only brought her so far into the plot. I made it something like 50 pages without introducing the main plot, and gave up.

This time, though, I've tapped into the character's voice. Cyl is snarky, egotistical, hedonistic, and has no problem rolling her eyes and wandering away from the plot when it seems tedious to her. Just because it's epic fantasy doesn't mean I have to relate every mile trekked in loving detail. The whole point of the story is to subvert some of the tropes, and this version of Cyl is letting me do that quite nicely. It's also great fun coming up with things that'll challenge and change her.

I'm having so much fun writing the story, when I needed to stay awake on a long car trip, I pulled over at a rest stop to write.

Other than that, I also have handwritten pages to type up, and I've given myself the goal of cataloging the books I own on Goodreads so they're all on my to-read list. Thanks to a snow day last week, I'm a good way through that project, and my to-read list is now 701 items long. Yikes.

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