June 2022 Challenge - Build a Writing Habit!

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Woollybear

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Checking in.

I didn't really finish the round of polish, but I got close enough (up to the final chapter, which probably needs an overhaul) that I've printed out hard copy and have edited the first chapter on that printout this morning. It always reads so differently. So many new errors pop into view. Feels really good to be at this stage.

There are ten chapters, and so in a couple weeks I might be able to set this aside to rest, or reach out to my friendly betas before the more stringent betas.
 

Cindyt

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Day 19

Word Count 149

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET
(Draft 3)​

Edited Billy’s undercover phone call briefing with Deadman at the Bay Drive-in on Biscayne Bay Boulevard where he stops for some carhop chow, including a plain cheeseburger to bribe the Casa Bella guard dog so he can sneak into the casa. Updated the aftermath of the Jordan crime scene creep crawl with the first flat mention of Billy going to trawl Neon Avenue bat bars to flash the vampire pic around for possible ID.
 

Nether

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Day 19 was 1,771 words.

Still a bit off my game, and a nap basically killed a session.

After a pretty decent run over the past year, I might wind up moving to lower daily targets sooner than expected. I'd planned to scale back once I hit manuscript 20, so it's probably a huge deal to slow down now... even if it's a little demoralizing. And I dislike how I might not be able to fulfill my 2022 goal, although I need to set aside time to get the other manuscripts to their next stages and this might help with that.

After manuscript 20 -- and when I'm through with a bunch of other stuff -- maybe things will pick up again. WWWRH is definitely proving to be a bit slower than expected (largely because I didn't have a lot of planning in place and my MC is by herself for a good portion of the book, which I always have a harder time writing) and, because I'll be writing #20 (Formantasy) differently, that's just going to be slower (probably). Or, at least, Formantasy's progress will be less conventional.

Today's addition saw my MC do some more exploring and it culminated in the realization that a potential inability to access food and water is going to be an issue, putting a time limit on the misadventure.

...and, upon thinking of the word misadventure, I almost want to give my character a "M" name and have a sub-series where it's M__'s Misadventures or The Misadventures of M___, for the alliteration. I could save the concept for another character, though. Although I plan on using her for a few books, there are several MCs who I want to use in multiple books and I'll probably have more by the time I'm done -- assuming this series amounts to anything.
 

dansimmonds

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I remember running into that a lot, and for years I didn't even try to write. My brain was too fried to think in sentences let alone create an imaginary world. But I got serious about making my writing a priority when my youngest two were 4 and 6, so I must have found a way. It helped that I'd healed my post-baby brain in the prior two years by reading a lot of different kinds of books, from biographies and histories to fluffy novels. I skipped watching most of the shows my family watched in the evenings and holed up in my room to write. I wrote my first novel that way. The biggest difference was that I was tired of postponing my dream until things got easier. And I found a lot of new music that inspired and energized me. Creating that playlist meant I could drop into the world of the my novel any time and forget everything else. I still find that immensely helpful. I never thought I could write to music, esp. music with words, but once I get accustomed to the songs, it really worked for me. I hope you find something that will give you the energy again.
Thank you for this - We're about to move, and I'll have an actual office for the first time as opposed to writing/working in a corner of the family space. I'm hoping to finish the first one by then, but fingers crossed the subsequent short story and sequel I have planned will come much easier!
 

Pterofan

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Days 19 & 20 - the PI reads the journal the zombie hunter's daughter left behind when the mercs searched his office. It's official: Daddy Dearest executed his older daughter and her mutant lover. He was going to murder his younger daughter at sunrise (she tried to run away) but instead they woke up in Rittenhouse Square, where they met the mercenaries. As he finishes reading he looks up, and there she is, standing before him, safely aged up to her early 20s to avoid any problems later. (The book he'd read had been from earlier in the series, when she was still a teenager. They didn't get a full set from the used bookstore, just whatever was available.)

So the romance and the possible patricide are cool now. I just have to deal with the caveman offering drugs to a bunch of teenage kids. Solution: He got the plants from a commercial tourist attraction. It's unlikely the Horticultural Center would be growing weed where any passerby could just pluck it. I did specify in that scene that he grabbed a variety of natural medicines, especially for stomach distress (his Paleolithic digestive system is still adjusting to modern processed food.) Any of the "good stuff" he'd keep for himself, maybe share with the witch hunter. The Goth kids just get the regular herbs, like chamomile; their expectations and imaginations do the rest. Though it would be funny if the prim, repressed witch hunter wakes up the next morning and realizes she got horny and seduced the caveman while under the influence of spearmint. :LOL:

Cindy - ah, bat bars. I need to get back to writing about vampires. Maybe when this story's over.

Nether - Great idea with the titles. Good marketing/branding technique.
 

RaggedEdge

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Thank you for this - We're about to move, and I'll have an actual office for the first time as opposed to writing/working in a corner of the family space. I'm hoping to finish the first one by then, but fingers crossed the subsequent short story and sequel I have planned will come much easier!

That sounds great! I wish you the best with your new arrangement. I've had times with a room of my own, too. Not currently because of a kid home from college, but I love it!
 
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Cindyt

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Day 20

Added Words

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET
(Draft 3)​

I found a spot for Billy’s first vamp investigation. (Progress!) He finds the photo during the Lolita crime scene creepy crawl. It’s late. He hasn’t slept in over 24 hours. But the vamp photo is burning a hole in his duster pocket as he heads toward that big round bed in the master stateroom aboard The ScareCrow. But, heck, he can sleep when he’s dead, and maybe there’s a tequila bar in Hell—if such a place exists. Billy calls an informant to meet him at Mayteeth, a bat cave in the redlight district aka NW Neon Avenue (as opposed to the original Miami Beach location). I have some actual action planned for two street scenes and one in the bat cave. :e2faint:

Pterofan – I thought the vampire bit would add to The Twilight Zone weirdness of Miami—a description I read in The Corpse Had a Familiar Face by Miami crime reporter Edna Buchanan. She wrote for the MH during the time my book takes place. Anyway, she reported on a Bible salesman who was beaten to death by what looked like a humongous Q-Tip. So, I figure I can have a vampire—or at least a wanabe.
 
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Nether

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Day 20 was 508 words.

Sadly, that wasn't a typo. That was my worst writing day in... umm... actually I don't have a worse recorded writing day. And this is going back to February 2021 (maybe I had a worse "modern" fiction-writing day before I started tracking my dailies in Excel, but I'm not even 100% sure about that). Even the end of project partials were better. Like all of them.

It was kind of the perfect storm of things going wrong -- missing sessions, late-starting sessions (or ending early), and then just life getting in the way.

So yeah, that really sucked. On the plus side, I doubt I'll have a day that low again anytime soon, but yeesh. However, I was basically falling-over-exhausted by the time I got home which meant I needed a nap just to get to the point of feeling tired (and not even refreshed).

It's unfortunate, but what can I do? 🤷‍♂️
 

Lea123

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DAY 21

I'm still here! I've been in a reading focus recently - I've managed to consume 5 books and I've just bought some more with my birthday money after the charity shops proved to be full of flowery, old school Mills and Boon. Did find a nice Terry Pratchett in our village telephone box that's been converted into a little book swap box. I already own it though so I've left it for someone else to find.

I've got the day off today so I've done the basics in terms of house maintenance and sat myself on the patio to do some editing with my raspberry tea.

Now sat wondering if life is like this for people who don't teach and if it is, I need a slice of it.

Anyway... back to my WIP before I find another reason to procrastinate. :oops:
 

RaggedEdge

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Yesterday: I wrote 735 words. It was all in a second project as part of my intention to keep playing with my writing at least until the summer solstice. My two completed novels both had a mystery at their core and adventure and danger, and one had magic within the contemporary world, but I've been writing without some of those things in WIP and I think I'm missing them too much. I'm trying to see if that's why I'm more stuck this time around.

Today: Write 700 words and work on at least one other June writing goal.
 

Pterofan

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Day 21 - mostly worked on the paid assignment, but I did get about half a page in. The PI and the zombie hunter's daughter finally meet face to face.

Cindy - funny you should mention The Twilight Zone. I've been trying to figure out what genre this thing is. Fantasy? Mystery? Mystery-comedy-fantasy? It hit me while I was doing the dishes: it's an extended Twilight Zone episode, complete with a surprise twist/reveal at the climax. Plus a happy ending, which TZ did have from time to time. Rod Serling wrote for television, so he knew all about having plots altered, dialogue rewritten and not always owning the rights to your own creations. In my story, the writers win. I like to think Mr. Serling would have approved. :Thumbs:
 

Nether

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Day 21 was 685 words.

Another bad fiction-writing day. I was already a great deal behind for the day, but then I wound up spending time writing about my WIP instead of actually spending that time writing my WIP. :censored:

Besides life exhausting me right now, I'm still in a harder spot in the story (partly because I didn't plan it... and I can't find whatever notes I might've had for this section). There's also still the directional issue and just the long-term plans to think about.

The other kinda annoyance is I'm intro'ing some elements I might not Checkov's Gun. I've have to see how I feel. And there are a few things I should avoid bringing in to avoid either getting too much into the continuity or expanding the overall continuity too much because it's not intended as a sequel entry. But those kinds of things are holding me back a bit.

Anyway, I just need to console myself with the knowledge that any progress is progress, even if I'm doing way less than usual. (Unlike the RRWARB mark-up where once again no progress has been made. I'll have to catch up on the weekend.)
 

RaggedEdge

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Yesterday: I missed both goals. I took my kids out in the afternoon for some shopping. with a plan to write in the evening, and instead I played a video game with my 13yo and talked the rest of the night with my 15yo and 21yo. Sometimes it's like a college dorm around here. :p

Today: This second project is taking on life and I want to dig around, daydream, and design a few basic starting points. I also want to write 700 words for either project.
 

Lea123

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DAY 22

Covered 5,000ish words, cut out some 'dead air' in terms of speech. Not a bad haul if I sit and think about it but I know I'm in that productive phase mentally and I could do so much more.

Work is sapping it out of me before I can properly tap into the productivity energy.

Kids drove me wild at work today. It's too hot. They're tired. I get it but jeeeez. I'm getting home a frazzled mess and I'm finding it so hard to get into the WIP mode and be as effective as I know I can be. Parents are being a nightmare too and I just want to throw something at them and be like, you know what? Go teach your own kid if you think you can do it better. So. Done. With. Them. We put things in place for them, bend over backwards to accommodate them but if you're not reinforcing things at home then what I'm doing is just throwing sand in the wind and hoping it'll make a sandcastle.
 

anaemic_mind

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Day 22

Still not really doing much aside from reading and making notes but not feeling it at all. I at least managed to find two discarded scenes that need putting back in. So technically I 'added' 1200 words. Cut & paste counts, right?
 

Pterofan

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Day 22 - got some words down on paper this morning before I went to "work." Fully established the daughter as full grown and legal. When they get back to the "party," I'll establish the Goth kids only got harmless, non-hallucinogenic plants. They just think they got real weed. As the PI puts it: "Imagination is a powerful thing." Yeah; it got people off a book page and into reality. Somebody's imagination is running at Warp Factor 10.

I had to flip through a couple of notebooks, but I found the flash scene where the caveman rants about retconning. I realize I need to introduce the concept because whoever kicked this off essentially retcons reality, putting one of the characters in place two years before the book opens, so they'll be available when the others arrive. Now that's retconning. The best part is, since this is Twilight Zone, I don't even have to explain it. Some force in the Universe wanted the writers to get justice. Supernatural's version of God was a writer; maybe the God of this universe is too.
 

Woollybear

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1920 words polished on hard copy, a bit more than half a chapter. Altogether I've powered through 9500 words which is about a quarter of this novella. Did not sleep well last night, so I'm glad to have made it as far as I did. Hope to really get a lot done tomorrow, assuming I can sleep tonight. I think we have 8 days of June left, which means I'll need to read/polish about 4200 words per day to make it to the end. That's a tall order. I don't think I can do that at a sustained pace. I don't love the project enough. But I think I can do 3500-4000 tomorrow.

The next manuscript is beckoning, which is a nice feeling. Perhaps I will get around to approaching my friendly beta readers in the next week or two.
 

Nether

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Day 22 was 871 words.

Still down by a large amount, but at least trending upward. I'm still a bit up in the air with what I want to do, although I've kinda started the chase. I also caught up to my write-ahead moment and continued to make a supporting character probably a bit chattier than he should be. Not sure what I'll do there later on.

Haven't been in any shape to keep editing RRWARB, which I hope to do over the weekend.
 

RaggedEdge

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@Lea123 - My heart goes out to you teachers. You get it from all sides and you deserve so much better. I'm so sorry parents are being crappy to you.

Yesterday: I did my daydreaming and wrote 1064 words on the new project, which I'll call WIP2. This is a story I'd first started in 2017 and it stalled out. Now, with some major tweaks, things are falling into place easily. I don't trust it will last, but I'm letting myself play. I spent a lot of time taking notes for it and finished reading another chapter in The Anatomy of Story, which gave me even more juice. I finished reading a novel, too.

Today: Write 700 words and work on one other June goal.
 

Pterofan

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Day 23 - today (and probably part of tomorrow) will have to be devoted to the paid assignment because the deadline's looming, but I got my half a page in this morning before I fired up the laptop, so I'm good. The good news is, I'll have the weekend free, so if it gets too hot and humid to do yard work I can concentrate on the writing. :hooray:

The PI's instant attraction to the zombie hunter's daughter has him warning himself, "This is a detective story, not a romance novel." Shows how much he knows. ;)