Habitual October: Day 11

I've overcome the relentless strain of trying to write while school's on. Well, today was my first day back and I managed to write. That's one point to me!

What's the awesome news? I've only got 2 weeks left of school!

After that? I'm sure I'll discover more things that get in the way of writing. I just hope I can manage to work around them.

As far as the actual writing goes, I'm still making good use of Write or Die. When I'm worried about not having much to write about, I set it to write 200 words in 20 minutes. Sometimes, though, I trick myself, and set it to write 200 words in 30 minutes. This takes some pressure off, because I'm happy with anything over 200 words, but I keep writing until those 30 minutes are up and often surpass 300 words despite my lack of confidence in myself.

I did that today, and finished with 321 words after edits. Certainly not bad, when I thought I might struggle.

Speaking of struggles, last night was probably the worst I've had it as far as word flow. Not just the production of the words (which tend to be pretty good artistically), but in the construction. I couldn't find the right words to express this beautiful village I have in my mind. Still, I pushed through that section to get it down and now I'm on to more exciting things. Sometimes the best thing is just to put down what you can, keep going, and when you've finished the chapter or the first draft, you can come back and work on that scene for as long as you like.

Funnily enough, I still got 277 words down in that session. I'm finding that the ease of producing a decent number of words each day is increasing just through the action of doing it every day.

And that is the whole point of my ongoing Habituals series.

We're 11 days into the month and I'm over 3,500 words. To some that might be nothing. To me it's huge. I've had months where I've struggled to pass 2,000 words. Everyone has to do what works for them, and for now, this works for me. Maybe when this habit's more ingrained in me, I'll be able to increase the minimum daily goal to 300 words, and later 400 words. I'm staying safe for now, until I'm confident I can stick to it.

Pretty picture time? I think so.

Spontaneous Linkage: Connecting Plot Points

How Do You Bridge the Gap Between Two Cool Moments in Your Novel?

This link was shared on a forum recently, showing three established authors' views on connecting plot points.

The first one really hit home for me, because I'm doing something very similar, utilising three characters' points of view to minimise on "uncool" sequences. Maybe I'll do a more in-depth post on that another time. As for now, here's what he said.

David J. Williams, author of The Mirrored Heavens and The Burning Sky:

Writing with an ensemble cast of main characters has its disadvantages, but one of the big pluses is that it makes it easier to maneuver past this kind of problem. The entirety of the Autumn Rain trilogy is cutting back and forth between (widely separated) points of view, focusing on the highlights of each "plot vector", whether that's in a maglev tunnel beneath the Atlantic or in a bio-dome in the middle of a lunar fortress. This was a deliberate decision, in that I often find myself skimming pages of various books to get to the Next Cool Moment, so when it came to writing MIRRORED HEAVENS, I wanted to leave anything skimmable on the cutting room floor. That being said. . . sometimes "downtime" affords hidden opportunities. . . . are there implications or clues to the situation that two characters can talk about? Is there an opportunity here for more exposition or a newsfeed, or some kind of world-building? If the answer's no, then just fast-forward as much as you need to; readers will forgive almost anything save being bored. Screenwriters are taught to get into scenes late and get out of them early, and there are times I wish more novelists did the same!

MIP (Maps in Progress): October 8th

Wow! I can't believe it's been 5 months since I last worked on this.

Here is what Válkia looked like before I worked on it last night. (Click on the images to see them in more detail.)

And after?

I've added some rivers around the outside of the main land, two new batches of forest in the north of Meira and the south of Arlea. The most unexpected change is the new land mass to the north-east, which teases a setting sometime, somewhere in The Válkia Chronicles. Across that sea lies a desert. That's all I'm saying for now.

Habitual October: Day 7

Hooray for writing 8 days in a row!

Date New wordsTotal words
30. Sep 201100
1. Oct 2011460460
2. Oct 2011298758
3. Oct 20112961054
4. Oct 20112221276
5. Oct 20113181594
6. Oct 20112361830
7. Oct 20113782208

Well this is convenient. I've never been about to post this table before.

But I think it's an awesome example of how consistency adds up, even if you're a slow writer like me.

As far as today goes, I used Write or Die to good effect. Well, it did get me to nearly 400 words!

I'm sad to say that school's coming back very soon, on Tuesday, and we've all seen how I am with schedules. I'm still going to give it another try. Maybe one of these days I'll get it right! Maybe I never will. I'll always find a way to write, though!

You can now click the Aundes Aura thumbnail in the sidebar to go to the Aundes Aura Facebook page. It'd be much appreciated if you could stop by and "like" it.

(I've had a problem with likes not registering recently. Can you double check, and if it hasn't registered, unliking and re-liking seems to do the trick.)

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Habitual October: Day 4

I've had a lot of late nights this month. And I mean a lot. Speak of the devil, it's currently 3:40am in Australia. I blame daylight savings.

My writing is coming along smoothly. I've written five days in a row, never less than 200 words, sometimes passing 300. That's all I need. 7,000 words in one month is just awesome, and I'm well on track.

It does help that I counted the words from September 30th, but since I hadn't written in so long I only thought it fair, and why not take a little pressure off? Pressure's never done my writing any good.

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Spontaneous Linkage

How to Procrastinate and Still Get Things Done

Sample Sunday: October 2nd

Two samples today, because I feel like it. And, I suppose, because it's been a while.

Miren chuckled and shook his head. “So innocent of the power within you. Saera,” said Miren, shuffling the chains around between his fingers, “Aundes’s light penetrates corruption. The master is afraid that you might know how to use this against his men. The way of the Order has slowly corrupted their souls, and if they are too corrupt, there wouldn’t be anything left when you were done.”

“He says you can burn our souls through our eyes.”
“Oh, yes,” mocked Saera. “And you wouldn’t want me doing that. You see, when I burn your soul, you can never go to the gods. Never.”
He stopped and stared blankly into the distance.
“You remain here, a phantom watching over your rotting corpse into eternity. Eternity’s a long time, my friend.”

Habitual October: Day 1

Put simply: success.

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Welcome to The Dark Corner of the Mind. My name is Ryan Sullivan and my aim with this blog is to help others with their own writing, as well as to make note of some of my own writing endeavours.

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