Monday, 18 February 2013

writing progress 18/02/2013

It’s Monday, it’s time for a progress update.

I have the feeling I have been a bit slack the last week but this maybe because I have been planning things.

My plan really should be to get Uncle Ben’s story Download plan to a finished state so I can then work on writing, instead I have seemed to have spent a lot of time planning my Hoskanavian detective story. 

It’s interesting because I keep adding little bits of plot and dialogue and bits of information and it’s gradually layering up and forming a plot involving all the characters.

I have also never really developed a character but by creating a character sketch and filling in lots of details they are beginning to become individual characters.

This week I plan to do one character description of my detective novel a day and will have them all done by the end of the week.

I have to say I’m glad I have done this in the planning stage because I keep making drastic changes at the moment, as I brainstorm and think about plot and character in more detail.

I will also clarify the plot and its points for the Uncle Ben story, I think I have most of the points but need to confirm them and make sure they all make sense.  This Uncle Ben story is more complex than the previous stories I have written, which is good and if nothing else I am making progress in my way of thinking and planning the stories.

If I have time I would also like to edit the very short Uncle Ben story about the Woolly Mammoth

Thursday, 14 February 2013

I love it when a plan comes together

Well I haven’t done much writing for the last few days but don’t worry people that’s because I am doing some planning.

I purchased the book first draft in 30 days and am using it to work through my planning my next story.

I am actually planning two stories, this probably isn’t a good idea because I almost tend to focus on one story one day and then the other story the next where I think it would probably be preferable to focus and immerse myself in just one

At the moment I am creating the characters and character settings, although I have also made quite a few notes on plots etc.

It’s interesting and hopefully by giving my characters more depth, motivations, history then I will create better characters.

With the non-Uncle Ben’s story I am planning, I think it certainly helps to create an outline because now when I make changes I don’t have to go back and adjust anything I have written but change the outline.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Finally I have finished writing the Uncle Ben story - raining frogs

At last I have finally done it, I have finished writing the Uncle Ben story - raining frogs.

Well I say finished but all I have done, is finish the first messy draft of the story but lets not put a dampener on things, this is progress.

The very short story has grown into over 20000 words, which makes it a sizeable piece of work for me.  Considering its only the second story I have actually written down it's my biggest work to date.

It's been sitting half written for well over 2 to 3 years and I have at least now written the first draft.

I will now park put this away for a while before returning to edit it with fresh eyes, although I did just read some of it just now and it's quite entertaining and better than I remember but I will admit I have a biased opinion.  The writing seems ok but the plot and characters need improving and hopefully this will get better in my next story.

So excitedly I can now focus on something different and new.

I am trying the technique in the book - First Draft in 30 day for my next Uncle Ben story, which has the title Download (at the moment). I am still brain storming this but I have specified the main characters and started writing a bit about each of them.

I also have a rough outline of the story but I will see what the book suggests when I convert this into plot etc.

I also have to edit the rough draft of the woolly mammoth story which I think I left in a very very rough format.  This will be interesting because once I edit this then I can send it some people to give me some constructive criticism and maybe post it on some forums to get some feedback.

I also have the Introduction to write and to transcribe the Uncle Ben and the egg story, so I still have lots of tasks to do but I can at least cross one of them off the list.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Thoughts on Stephen Kings on writing

So what have I done this week towards my goal of writing.

I have finished reading On Writing by Stephen King which was a very interesting book.  An unusual mix of autobiography for the first half of the book and the second half of the book was all about how he wrote.

Both parts of the book were interesting, his childhood stories were amusing and reading about how he struggled to make money whilst working uninteresting jobs and writing at night was a great story because you were rooting for him to make it.

It brings to mind the Malcolm Gladwall book outliers where he talks about successful people have to put in 10000 hours to become world class at something.  This is usually an amount most people can't be bothered to put in because it takes extreme dedicated.

The fact that Stephen King wrote loads of short stories which kept not being taken and then slowly some of his stories would get purchased and the money he got really made a difference to his life because he was flat broke.

His writing style sounds sooooooo simple when writes it down.  He just has a simple idea, a what if someone could see into the future would it be ok to kill someone in order to stop them starting a world war.  This idea is interesting but the clever part is he twists the characters to make the person seeing in the future a bit of a git whilst the other person is a nice guy.

I guess like most brilliant ideas they are simple when you look at them afterwards.

He had one idea which I use where once he has finished the first draft he puts it in his drawer and then comes back to it weeks later.  This has the effect of allowing him to read the first draft almost as if it's written by someone else which means he isn't as protective of it e,g, it's hard to be brutal editing your work when it recently took you so long to create it.

So anyway I have finished that book, I am 100 pages into Writing Fiction for Dummies which is a very interesting book.  I have also purchased the book - First Draft in 30 days.

The reason I have brought this book is because I want to plan out my story better at the beginning and  I want to spend more time creating better characters.  The current Uncle Ben story I am writing doesn't have great characters in it and has run away from me a bit.

The first draft in 30 days goes through creating an outline for a story and creating characters etc. So I am looking forward to working through this.

I have also so far this week wrote 2000 words writing three days out of five so far.   I am happy to say I am very close to the end of my current short story (which is 18000 words and counting).  I have been working on this flipping thing for well over year but putting very little effort in.

The next story which I have been doing some planning this week is going to be much more exciting to work on the title is Download.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Progress is slow but it's still progress

Progress is slow but as I am writing tonight that will be 6 days out of the last 7 I have sat in the kitchen and written some more of my Uncle Ben story.

I have written 500 words a day.

Amusing even though I have a distraction free writing tool (Writemonkey) I have two screens.

I have to improve my concentration because it has been taking me about 2 hours to write 500 words which is crazy.

I'm not sure how long the actual writing takes but I keep nipping off to surf the web or do other things I shouldn't be doing.

Yesterday I was looking at Kindle shorts finding it amazing people would pay 99 pence for a 24 page short.

I have also subscribed to some writing blogs to read in Pulse.  So once again more reading about writing than actually writing.

I have been sitting here for the 30 minutes and have written 70 words!!!!

Right that's it I'm off to to do another 430 words hopefully at a quicker rate than 140 words per hour.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Current progress

I am currently writing the the story of Uncle Ben and the day it rained frog.

This was a story I told my nephew and niece a long time ago.

I did write some of this story last year and for some reason it seems to have grown and is bigger than I originally intended but I am getting towards the end,  I have 3 scenes/chapters to go.

Hopefully I will finish the first draft in the next few days and I will leave it for a bit

I have a rough draft I wrote for Uncle Ben and the last Woolly Mammoth which I will edit and maybe even get the wife to edit (she said she would but I sent it to her in November 2012 and have heard nothing since then!).  It's pretty small, something like 6 pages so I will get on with that.

After that I have the introduction to the Uncle Ben Stories which I had a very rough go at doing a while back but still it's always easier when you have something to start with.

Then once I finish all the above I want to get on and transcribe the Uncle Ben story and the Egg.

So there is lots to do and I need to pull my finger out.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

500 words a day

To help motivate myself into doing more writing I thought I would set myself a daily word count target so I could hopefully get into a habit of writing more.

I am setting myself a target of 500 words a day but this might be a bit too ambitious and I may need to round this down to 300 hundreds.  I hoping the act of monitoring and logging down my daily words written will also help with the motivation

The theory sounds good but I will have to see how it goes in practise

when I told my wife of my daily word goal, she gave me a look which said she wasn't convinced about this.

This website

has a great link to a word counter, which is free