Further Plotting & Beginning on the New Stories

It’s Saturday morning and I am sitting here in the sunlight with my cats, my comfy clothes and my hot, yummy coffee.  FINALLY!  I got my Folger’s Black Silk back and I could not feel more at peace – their Columbian brew was just nasty to me.

I am trying to plan out my work for today.  I have to create art for the Secret Project work (not writing, but related) as well as work on my stories and create a baseline in a program to them share with my project partner.

I also have to do a HUGE amount of pages of art for the Sketchbook Summer challenge (finish 220 pages of a roughly 8×10 sketchbook in July) and I am waiting on pins and needles to hear back from my first beta reader.  I have to have time to finish fixing anything from her notes before sending the book off to my bug hunters.  And that could take an hour or a day or three days.  Ugh!

So I’ll be doing my Lesson 3 today (from the How to Write Short Stories course that I am working my way through) and figuring out how to handle the bits and pieces that I’ve done so far.  It looks like there is a significant amount of writing on today’s agenda.  I might be stuck on lesson 3 for a couple of days.   Sunday, I doubt I will get any writing done at all as I have the time with my mom (we Zoom every Sunday), secret project work all day except for the few hours I have to spend with my husband.  And whatever time I can spend trying to catch up on the Summer Sketchbook project.

Being stuck on lesson 3 for a few days is perfectly fine.  It looks like I am also focusing on the themes when it comes to these short stories.  That’s wonderful because, after writing Leaving Wandalucia, I am eager to return to meaningful stories!  The themes in that novel meant a lot to me.

Considering the fact that How to Write Short Stories is supposed to be an eight-week course and I’ve done two lessons in two days, I’m moving at a fine pace, even if I get stuck for a couple days.  And I don’t want to rush these stories.

Oh, shit!  I forgot to mention lesson 2!  It was fun but also hard, because it was taking me through different thoughts on how these stories could come about as well as different methods.  I kept returning to my lists that I made in lesson one to find a way to use those lists in these short stories and it worked in AMAZING ways.  I’m so pleased with how these ideas have been generated.  I’d get stuck wondering what new thing I could pull from Wandalucia to add something neat to this story and I’d look to my list.  I came up with some super cool stuff!

And I loved The 6 Cookies approach.  I usually use a scene by scene, character-based approach to getting the scenes and plotting done, but this was cool!

So I got all three stories done (as far as the lesson went) for the basic plotting.  I’ve gotten two fleshed out and the third just put together with the 6 Cookie method before calling it a day and spending time with the old man.

Also, I spent the first probably 45 minute of my “Focus Room” time (Skype’s chat feature where my mother and I work off of tens with each other, keeping, duh, focused) finishing up different things related to the Secret Project.  My mother and I both had a productive day!

So now I am off to work.  Happy Caterday to you all!

 

* Holly’s links are affiliate links and will never charge you extra because of this. However you can easily Google Holly’s Writing Classes to find all of her courses.  The link to the Sketchbook Summer page is NOT an affiliate link.  You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook.

Advertisements
Further Plotting & Beginning on the New Stories

Altering Characters, Abilities and Adding Details

Though not productive in numbers, I did well today.  Very well, it feels like.

I started out with 451 words written last year, background on characters, two of which are only hints in this first novel.   I had to change a few things built into their characters, the magical abilities and predilections.  As I finally built the bones of the magical system, now I have rules in which to play, thank goodness.  Rules set limitations and limitations add stress, risk and reliability, to name a few things.  The also, most importantly, provide conflict and a world in which your reader can become accustomed.

So I went down to 326 words, then began building the characters up through their characteristics, physical looks, magical traits as well as natural, non-magical but still paranormal traits.  I built up a little bit of the past as well and started integrating the character whose background I needed to build in order to gather the motivation of the villain (you can see where I figured out what I needed while backtracking through what I didn’t have in Not Quite a Fail).  So I’m getting there.

Considering the research I had to do, the berserker kittens that went insane and cost me about 7 minutes of writing and the 5 minute coffee break, I did well.  With 48 minutes I ended up with 1255 words, 929 of them new.  I ended up with images of two of the characters homes and a bit of research done to indicate what elements each character (past) would focus on.  There was also a lot of sitting and thinking, trying to figure out just how these characters differed and how their home lives would effect their choices.  I’m not done but I’d like to think I’m halfway or more there.  Then onto the victim’s backstory.  I just need to get my MC’s family tree open and it’s with a program I originally only had a trial of, argh.  I could have sworn I had purchased it.

I might write more today, but I do also have commissions nearing their deadline and these need to get finished (for the smaller ones) and worked on (for the paintings).

Altering Characters, Abilities and Adding Details