Jun 30 2013

WIP Update – 29 Jun 13

I haven’t gotten much done today, but I have been working a bit on Daphne’s Chapter 2 for TTWC1. Of course, Duke Cronos’ section comes first and actually I had intended to work on his Chapter 2 instead, but I found myself drifting toward Daphne because I think I can keep most of her chapters, as opposed to how I had to scrap Cronos’ Chapters 2 and 3.

For Cronos, though, I do believe I’ve made a conceptual breakthrough with the character. From the beginning, I imagined him as being this great military genius, but the earlier draft of the story had him coming off as a blithering incompetent. You should already know from what’s told in Xanthe’s scenario that he all but loses Notos to the rebels before the invasion fleet sets out for the Darklands and once in the Darklands, he doesn’t survive the first year of fighting. What you can expect to see in this version is a man who showed great talent early in his career but his edge has gone dull and he comes to be aware of it. He tries to sharpen his skills and his wits, but he ultimately fails to regain his former glory. No small part of this failing is the fact that he’s up against far more formidable opponents than before, but this doesn’t click as easily for him. Hopefully I can pull off this conflict so that he properly comes across as a skilled man who is past his prime and simply outclassed. It’s somewhat awkward seeing as how he’s younger than fellow legates Aristides and Xenomachos, but they aren’t burdened by the same sort of expectations.

This very nearly qualifies as a character commentary piece more than just a WIP update, but I’m still going to classify it as the latter. Look forward to a proper introduction to Duke Cronos next week.

Jun 29 2013

The Vicious Cycle of the Unproductive Schedule

My current trip into the wilds highlights an unpleasant truth I’m probably going to do nothing to fix: My daily routine isn’t very conducive to getting much done. On days that I’m not otherwise occupied, I go through my half-dozen high traffic e-mail accounts almost as soon as I wake up, I then spend an hour or two reading the news at getting all angry and depressed at our world gone mad (or our world been mad, as may be the more apt description), and then I spend hours numbing all that away watching let’s plays and similar vids. A little video gaming may also factor into the picture, though I don’t do much of it these days. Not much of any real merit gets done, if anything.

Contrast this with the times I’m deprived of my connection to the Internet. All I have is my writing to entertain myself. Yes, I may need to look some stuff up later, but I don’t get stuck in an hours-long wiki-walk, soaking up loads of data that may or may not be relevant. I don’t go looking for new distractions every two seconds. I just write or I work on the peripheral materials (which become a springboard for writing on the stories themselves). It’s really quite nice.

I’ve been trying to get myself to meet daily writing quotas, something in the vicinity of 500-1000 words, but I haven’t yet managed to commit myself to it. Perhaps I need to just disable my wifi and remove the temptation to indulge my taste for distraction. I don’t expect to actually do this, anymore than I expect to consistently meet the aforementioned wordcount quotas. Still, it’s something worth reflecting on. Then again, a little less time reflecting and a little more time actually remedying the situation is invariably the surer route to a solution.

Knowing you’re hopeless doesn’t make you any less hopeless, kids.

Jun 29 2013

WIP Update – 28 Jun 13

I didn’t post yesterday because I hadn’t accomplished a darned thing and I couldn’t come up with a good alternative to fill the space. (This is what happens when you wait until after midnight to post.)

Today, however, the impending marriage of a cousin of him has got me thinking of weddings and I’ve penned over 500 words worth of dialog for a short chronicling the wedding day of two major characters of mine. I’m not going to tell you who to avoid spoilers and I’m even going to be so coy as to omit the relevant Arc from the category and tags to leave it even more of a mystery.

Even if I do get it finished in the near future, I wouldn’t release it until the associated novel is completed and that’s well off into the future. I suppose I should do some work on something a little more immediate for next time. Until then.

Jun 27 2013

WIP Update – 26 Jun 13

I actually could’ve posted yesterday, but because I wait until pretty much right before I go to bed, I inadvertently passed out before I could make my post. So much for that. ^_^;

I really didn’t accomplish much yesterday, but the rest of the time I was away, I pretty well finished up my current batch of work in the Space Arc peripheral materials and made significant progress on Chapter 13 of Tico3. Today I managed to wrap up that selfsame chapter, maintaining my lead time there. I guess now I should switch back to TTWC1 to stay ahead of the game there.

That’s really all I have to say on the subject of my recent work. I’m fairly excited about Chapter 13 because my approach is fairly different than what I usually do. We can talk about it more when the chapter drops in four weeks. Until then.

Jun 21 2013

WIP Update – 20 Jun 13

I believe I have the coming naval battle pretty well sorted out. Some of the fine details remain, but I think I have enough to move forward in the story. I’m even going so far as to work a little ahead on the logistics of Tico4, but I probably should be looking to get back to writing the story proper.

I’m going to be out of contact for another spell, I imagine, so we’ll see if I can bound ahead as much I did during the last incommunicado period.

Jun 20 2013

WIP Update – 19 Jun 13

While I haven’t accomplished much today, since my last post I pretty got Chapters 11 and 12 of Tico3 finished. However, before I can move on to Chapter 13, I have a lot of work in the peripheral materials to do.

Although it probably isn’t all that apparent in the stories themselves, I do a lot of meticulous work on the logistics of the events that play out. Almost every name and number you see is planned. Very rarely is anything you see random. This is great for lending depth and consistency to my work, but the story itself becomes the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Heaven help me if I ever make a mistake or decide to adjust something that needs to be propagated down the line. For instance, I have a spreadsheet of all the major political figures in Union history (still highly fragmentary, of course). Well, I realized that there was a misalignment early on that was more than just a matter of simply shifting everything a year. Some things had to move while others had to stay put and then there was everything that referenced that spreadsheet like my timeline, encyclopedia, etc. I wouldn’t doubt that I spend more time on the peripheral materials than writing the actual stories, but that’s just how my method is. I have to be careful not to bog down the reader in all this extraneous information, but I think I do a fairly good job of restricting the narrative to only what the reader needs to now with only the occasional bit of trivia sprinkled in.

This current flurry of work in the peripheral materials could very well carry me through the rest of the book. It’d be nice.

Jun 16 2013

WIP Update – 15 Jun 13

I can’t say I made any leaps and bounds progress today, but I have inched along here and there. I went over the prologue and Chapter 1 for both Cronos and Daphne in TTWC1, so both of those scenarios are off to a decent start. For Cronos, I opted to scrap Chapters2-4 and rewrite them from scratch, not unlike what I did for Chapter 5 and the epilogue for Xanthe. The original material for TTWC1 dates back to 2004 thereabouts and unlike the KoG series, I haven’t been going back over it several times over the years, so in many places it’s just easier to start fresh. It’s kind of amazing to see how much my writing’s changed (at least from my perspective).

I also did a bunch of work scattered across multiple short stories that aren’t likely to see the light of day anytime soon.  Some of them are actually fairly close to being ready for publication. I just need to give them the final push.

I think I’ll switch gears to working on Chapter 11 of Tico3 tomorrow. I may not have any posts here or to the main site until Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Jun 15 2013

WIP Update – 14 Jun 13

On a bit of a whim, I did some writing on TSoM1 today. More of the work was in the peripheral materials than the story itself, but I feel compelled to add stuff to it.

In other news, I finished Xanthe’s epilogue a little while ago. Now I just have to let it sit a couple days before I go back over it to tighten things up for posting on the site. I’m planning on a Wednesday post date.

Now I have to decide if I want to move right on along to Chapter 11 of Tico3 or what. Decisions, decisions.

Internet access may get spotty in the coming days as I’ve warned, so I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to maintain a daily posting schedule here. Perhaps I can offset that by coming up with some nice substantive posts while I’m incommunicado (or a few beforehand to tide you over). Stay tuned.

Jun 14 2013

WIP Update – 13 Jun 13

Well, most of today was spent in transit, so I’ve only knocked out a meager 250 words, but that pretty well takes care of the dialog for the chapter. I just have to fill in the narrative and it’ll be good to go. I hope to be settled in so I can be making some decent progress.

Jun 13 2013

Structural Plans

My idea is to organize this blog by relevant page while still showing the most recent ten or so posts on the home page, but I’m still researching a way to do that efficiently. I’ll try to get it sorted out in the near future. I’ve been seeing some potential avenues of approach, so I’ll try to keep at it in the time I can spare from everything else that’s vying for my attention.