Journal


In Which…

Project Title: The Mistress of Frosthaven
Genre: YA – Dark Fantasy
Words Today: 0
Running Total: 68,436
Scrap Draft: (V1.0 = 31,142), V2.0 = 12,478

No new words tonight. Spent the evening thinking about the next scene, which it turned out was really helpful. I needed to spend some time figuring out where the next stepping stone in the chapter was, and I think I found all of the ones I need to get to the end of this segment, which is great. And I’m trying to remind myself that sometimes writing isn’t about word count as much as the mental acrobatics required to create decent new words. At least I’m in a position now where I think I can plow through to the end of 16, and pick up again at 18. That’s something, anyway.

In Which Our Hero Adapts to Reality

Project Title: The Mistress of Frosthaven
Genre: YA – Dark Fantasy
Words Today: 1,071
Running Total: 68,436
Scrap Draft: (V1.0 = 31,142), V2.0 = 12,478

Groping around in the dark tonight. Didn’t get much time to really sit down and think about where Chapter 16 is going, since I’ve kind of bumped back (maybe) what the original outline suggested would go here (very, very loosely). It may still work, but there’s this big hole gaping at me for this chapter, asking what it’s purpose is, what’s supposed to be revealed here, why this chapter is important, and honestly, at the moment, I’ve got no answers at all.

I just kind of need to spend some thinking time figuring out what’s important to portray, and what kind of secrets I could reveal here that I haven’t already. There’s plenty of secrets, but which ones are useful now? In this moment? I’m not sure. So I’ll need to think on it, but with a busy weekend looming–starting on Friday, but I’m hoping I’ll still get done what needs to be done–I’m worried mental time is going to be scarce…

In Which Our Heroine Rekindles an Alliance

Project Title: The Mistress of Frosthaven
Genre: YA – Dark Fantasy
Words Today: 1,267
Running Total: 67,365
Scrap Draft: (V1.0 = 31,142), V2.0 = 12,478

Words really cranked tonight for some reason, but although it brings me to an easy end of the chapter, it only means I’m going to have to go back and start Chapter 16 tomorrow, which means I need to think about 16 sometime between now and then. That feels like a great big blank in my head at the moment, so I’m not entirely looking forward to it…

In Which Our Heroine Finds Herself In a Tight Spot

Project Title: The Mistress of Frosthaven
Genre: YA – Dark Fantasy
Words Today: 1,496
Running Total: 66,098
Scrap Draft: (V1.0 = 31,142), V2.0 = 12,478

So-! The story gears are starting to really get going, which is great in terms of just letting it unfold and see where it goes (provided, of course, that it goes to End Act II, which at this point, I do still think it will), but is a little scary knowing how incredibly long I can run when I let the story do its own thing. That said, I’m excited about the latest developments, and kind of wish they’d started sooner than this, since there’s a lot of story-meat in this thing moving forward. Ah well. That’s for a second draft to sort out, right? I may end up swapping a whole ton of things around later, but who knows. I’m NOT THINKING ABOUT IT NOW! Good writing night, though. The words really felt like they were ready to go.

In Which Our Heroine Prepares for a Mission

Project Title: The Mistress of Frosthaven
Genre: YA – Dark Fantasy
Words Today: 1,539
Running Total: 64,602
Scrap Draft: (V1.0 = 31,142), V2.0 = 12,478

Chipping away, but had to jump ahead a chapter, because all of my pre-writing thinking for the day oriented on the heroine, when in actuality, I’d finished that chapter and needed to move back to the hero, whom I had not thought about at all…yeah… So we’re writing Chapter 17 instead of Chapter 16, and I’ll just have to remember (probably next week) to go back and write 16 once I’ve had some time to flesh it out in my mind. Still, charging ahead, somewhat off the tracks and uncertain where it’s leading, but the tension is growing, so I’m taking that as a good sign that I’m on the right track. We’ll see how it goes.

Totally missed last week due to weekend travel, yet again, so I’m writing this one up a little early on Saturday so I don’t forget!

Making good, solid progress on the novel draft. We’re up over 60k now, and just passed one hundred days since starting. I’ve been really enjoying the accountability of having to blog each day’s progress, as it gives me a useful timeline of the emotional process as much as the word-process itself. It’s always so easy to look back on older projects and think: Man! It was so easy on that one! Why is this one so hard? Even though I know none of those projects were easy (very rarely, in fact), but they take on a kind of golden glow of completion. With documenting each day, I get an in-the-moment look at how things went and how my process had to adapt to work through it. I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep this up through the editing process as well, because I’m really curious about how that’ll go.

But, this week, I’m working on: Same old, same old, 1k/weekday, and chugging right along towards End Act II. I’m also hoping to finish the linear outline of the villain’s backstory, because I’m realizing right about now how much I need to know about her and her past to fill in the last third of the novel. I need those CAUSES on hand to grab for fodder.

This week, I’m inspired by: This week, it’s all about fashion. A little while go I finally sprang for a single Stitch Fix box to help pick up my wretchedly downsized closet (what I had left that was still in good repair after getting rid of all the old maternity things from over three years ago…), and had a blast with it. The pieces I got were just on the edge of my typical fashion sense, but I loved them, and they looked great. I need a little nudge now and then. Right now, I’m rocking black skinny jeans and a denim shirt, which is so bizarrely “on trend” for me, which I so literally never am, it feels a little funny (even though, actually, I love the look). So it’s been fun, just looking at what I wear, why I chose to wear what I wear, and what my personal sense of style might actually be, if I took the time to seriously consider it. It’s been…rather informative. My knee-jerk reaction to my initial stripped-down closet was COLOR. I NEED COLOR. Because it was mostly sad grey and navy. Now that I’ve started branching out a little, I’m thinking, actually, I really like neutrals. I have lots of grey and navy because they look good on me, and maybe I just need some tonal variety and a few other neutral tones/varieties of texture to compliment them (plus the occasional bright shirt or accessory–oh lord, don’t get me started on accessories, I’ve only just started wearing earrings periodically again…) It’s an uphill  battle, but I’m finding it quite exciting.

Oh! And Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold. I’ve never read *ducks SF community swat* Bujold before, but I came across Cryoburn while looking for novels dealing with cryonics, and it sounded SO interesting, until I realized it was book–like–five thousand in a series. But it got me looking into where the series began, and at least some lists recommended starting here. And I’m so glad I did! I’m completely enraptured by the charming Varkosigan and the spunky Cordelia, and even more enraptured by how swiftly Bujold doubles down on smashing one’s assumptions about how the plot will go. Every time you get a tease about a new goal, a new opportunity, something from the previous goal rushes back to complicate things (because, well, that was the goal before, but nobody but you knows that goal has maybe changed). I was in absolute fits the other night, and haven’t been that unexpectedly charmed (despite Bujold’s intense use of modifiers on her dialogue tags, she said off-handedly) by a story since the Jake/Sherry storyline in Resident Evil 6 (which was by no means perfect, but somehow, damn–certain stories just get under your skin regardless of whether they’re well done or not, and despite the awful gameplay!). It’s just kind of consistently floating in the back of my mind, and I love it.

Also, Zelda Windwaker, because after having to set aside Minecraft due to some rather vivid Creeper nightmares (#motherfail), it is a delight to play with Bug. I’m so thrilled to share it with him (even though, good grief, I forgot every piece of dialogue is written out, and therefore I have to do a lot of out-loud reading), and am really enjoying his enjoyment of it. (And the little things he picks up from it, like: “THAAAAAANK You!” and Link’s slippery HA-JEJEJE! (which makes Bug laugh so hard he almost cries), and carrying around my husband’s ukulele to “play the song” for the Earth Temple! Also: Where’s Medli? (I’m pretty sure he’s now got a crush on a bird, which is rather hilarious to me…))

What I’m avoiding this week: Due to having been stuck at home while my husband’s car gets its brakes fixed, I actually managed to tackle some of those household tasks I needed to get done, so that felt great. This week, I suspect it’s going to come down to reading again. I have been reading, but most of it’s been news, which hasn’t been…all that satisfying. But upcoming schedule changes should allow me to at least get back to audio-booking regularly in the next week or so, and until then, I’ll just wing it.

(For more on the Sunday Circle, check out author Peter M. Ball’s blog!)

In Which Our Heroine Makes a Shaky Alliance

Project Title: The Mistress of Frosthaven
Genre: YA – Dark Fantasy
Words Today: 1,748
Running Total: 63,063
Scrap Draft: (V1.0 = 31,142), V2.0 = 12,478

Made decent progress today, and I do think this will shake up the plot a bit and hopefully get the ball rolling. I’ve been really struggling this draft with how much to reveal to my main character and when, often airing on the side of over-caution and over-obstruction, leaving her with little to work with when making her decisions. It seems that every time I hit a breakthrough on this story, it’s because I’ve finally released the death-grip I’ve held on vital backstory details and let her have something to work with. It’s been an interesting process for me, and it’s definitely harkening back to older projects. Sometimes I think I’m revealing way too much, only to realize that the revelation of that detail isn’t the whole story, but merely a vital doorway through which to get at the real meat of the story. Without passing through that gateway, the story grinds to a halt. Now I just have to learn how to adjust my grasp, so that the grains of fact my characters need flows smoothly, rather than in explosive bursts. #toomanymetaphors #gettingitdone #hashtagsareforchumps

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