New Projects

I’ve been thinking, since I posted Seeking Perfection, of going back and doing a sort of retrospective with each chapter.  I’m reasonably certain that at no point anyone would actually care if I did so but I think on a personal level it would help me figure out how I approached everything.  If nothing else it could at least be mildly interesting I suppose. Continue reading

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And then it was done…

Seven months. Three revisions. 72000 words. And the novel is finished. Unless I receive a request to change something Seeking Perfection is now complete as far as I’m concerned. It has been quite the experience… spending this much time editing and reviewing and thinking and revising. I know that my short stories should have received this much review but laziness won out back then. Not so much this time. For all intents and purposes this was the longest I’ve ever spent focused on one single piece of writing and actually having something to show for it.

Where to go now… I have no idea.  I want it published.  I know it’s good enough to be published.  The how part of getting it published is a bit of a mystery though.  I’ve reached out to some literary agencies here in Canada and don’t expect to hear anything back for two months, if at all.  I did learn the very depressing fact that Canada has very few literary agencies.  And very few that will take science fiction, or more specifically the Cyberpunk Noir that is the novel.  I suppose I’ll wait and see for now.  If none of the agencies wish to review the completed manuscript I suppose I’ll try expanding into agents in the States.  And if that doesn’t work I’ll try the publishers directly.  Maybe.  Although if anyone knows of an agent looking science fiction detective stories let me know.

I took the opportunity, today, to review that very first version of Chapter one.  The one I posted all the way back in November.  Ha… so many corrections were made between then and now that it’s staggering.  Mostly minor things, spelling and punctuation and what not.  But it’s just one of those things where you look back on what you wrote and have a momentary cringe.  It is, I suppose, a nice reminder of where you were and where you ended up.  I feel that, as a writer, I grew over the course of the month and a half that I wrote the novel.  And grew ever more over the five and a half months that I spent editing it.

So what now?  What am I going to do while I try to convince someone to publish what I’ve written?  It’s back to work, so to speak.  I’ve put off my supernatural themed novel for seven months now.  And it’s time to put what I’ve learned over the course of writing Seeking Perfection to actually finish it.

I already know I’m going to have to heavily edit the completed first five chapters.  But I’m actually confident that I can finish it by the end of the year.  I can see it ending up around 100K to 110K words.  Though probably a little less than that.  But.  Only one way to find out.

A chapter completed

Late yesterday I was able to finish off the first draft of chapter one. Due, entirely, to actually getting some time to write over the weekend. I probably could have gotten more done, probably started a good chunk of chapter two, but I spent too long going over notes and a previous draft. I also had an issue where, for whatever reason, I kept forgetting about the coffee the protagonists were carrying. I got up to a part where one character crossed her arms dramatically and I realized that in doing so she would have just splashed coffee in her face. Live and learn. I think I’ll be having a separate document open to keep track of the little details through each chapter.  I think I’ll print off the entirety of it tonight and ask my fiancée if she’ll be kind enough to read it over and give me any notes.  After I make her corrections from last time, which in all honesty there wasn’t much to begin with.

I also found it enjoyable to just sit down and load up GrooveShark while writing.  I’ve got a small selection of tracks in the mix right now but I’m not sure what else to add.  Music has never been my thing.  Which I’m sure infuriates Kristine, due in no small part to her actually knowing how to play some instruments and coming from a very musically inclined family.  But I, on the other hand, don’t care one way or another when it comes to music.  For the most part.  I have a fondness for video game music.  My working theory is because of nostalgia.  That listening to their music reminds me of every amazing moment.  Or terribly aggravating moment (I’m looking at you Airplane Hostage mission on Veteran from the first Modern Warfare).  But I have an emotional attachment to those tracks.  I can’t say the same for just about everything else.  Though I do enjoy Dragonforce.  I also enjoy Bad Religion and NOFX, but Kristine can’t stand the vocals.

In regards to the music though I think I’ll be trying an experiment.  I need to find some really… unsettling music.  I’m hoping it will get me in the mind-set to craft horrors.  Because those will be coming in the very near future.  I’m especially looking forward to starting chapter four.

Progress Tracking

Things continue to progress nicely.  At least in regards to the novel.  I’ve added a new page to the blog to track the progress of the first draft; I’m hoping that seeing that progress bar track across will keep me motivated to continue on.  I’ve also decided to set aside not only my lunch hours but another hour each night to writing.  Coupled with the an attempt this weekend to use a couple of hours each day the progress should hopefully track quickly.  Or at least more quickly than it has been.

As I said yesterday I like routine.  But that’s not to be confused with how lazy I tend to be (for future reference: Very).  I have, however, been making the effort to get up earlier each day.  I’m getting up at the ungodly hour of six a.m.  Getting up at this vile hour allows me to prep my lunch for the day and gives me time to exercise before my shower.  Yes… exercising.  One thing that I can easily say that I loathe without batting an eye.  I’ve been at it for a few weeks now, and will be making it a bit more strenuous next week.  Nothing major, I don’t want to injure myself and let things slip like… well every other time I’ve started exercising.  Currently I’m around 230 pounds, and at 6’5″ that’s not overly bad.  We’ll see if I can get down to 200 though over the summer.  There be plans in motion to eat healthy and not cheat.  However, I have cleared it with the fiancée that coffee is exempt from the cheating category so I think I’ll be fine.  With walking a ten thousands steps a day (her target) I think things will turn out fine.

I’ve been toying with the idea of taking the fiancée out into the country during nice weekends during the summer.  Just to see the sights, take some pictures, and get out and about.  Problem is she is deathly allergic to wasps so we’ll need to be on our guard.  I’d like to start including a random picture with each post, give it a little color.  We’ll see.

Working things out

Currently the novel is sitting around half the length of Within the Shadows.  Which is still the longest bit of writing I have successfully finished.  Not the longest that I ever made progress on however.  There was a previous attempt at a novel, back when I was fourteen or fifteen that made it to roughly 25000 words before I realized how ridiculous it all was.  Zombies, mutants, etc.  I may or may not have touched on this affront to narrative before.  If not?  Then it’s for the best.

I’ve recently learned that I’ll be taking part in the 2012 Global Corporate Challenged.  If you aren’t familiar with the program it is essentially used to promote more exercise in your life.  And I’m definitely in need of more exercise.  I started getting up a little earlier last week, and have been easing myself into working out a bit before my morning shower.  The end goal was to get up around 5:50 am, maybe a little earlier, to make my lunch and go for a half hour walk/workout.  So far I’ve made it to 6:10 am.  Almost there at least.  Hopefully the GCC will help get me in gear some more.  They want me to take the stairs to get to my floor.  But there is not way in hell I’m climbing ten floors with my heavy ass work-bag each day.  Especially when it comes time for the summer heat.

I’ve got a Shadowrun session that I need to plan out for Thursday.  I know what I’m going to run with.  The group, for better or worse, are both stealthy and murderous.  And prone to running head long into danger, but with a plan.  It’s… a bit surprising given that two of the players have consistently played without regard for their characters’ well being.  I’m thinking of a two-part mission: the destruction of some machinery critical to a revivals production plant, and distracting the plants guards so a small extraction NPC team can extra a top-level scientist.  I also plan to end with a car chase, because the last one ended with a safe being hurled at the cops following them.  And I find that ridiculously hilarious.

Books and things

I’ve been slowly working my way up to consistently writing each day.  Just little things here and there.  Writing during my lunch hour.  Writing randomly one night.  The first few days things were a bit rough.  Rusty would be an inadequate description for my writing abilities in regards to the novel.  Lackluster?  Pathetic?  I think I’m just getting into the groove though; maybe even found the consistent style that I’m going for in regards to the narrative.  We’ll see.  I’m hoping to have the prologue finished, at the current rate, by Friday.  With luck maybe tomorrow.

My reading habits continue to be consistent.  Last month I bought the Hunger Games trilogy to figure out what all the hype was about.  Aside from the food and clothing taking up way to much of the story I enjoyed them.  I found the first book to be, by and large, the strongest in the series but that is often the case.  That doesn’t mean that the following novels weren’t good as well, just that I enjoyed the first more.  I keep debating going to see the movie in theatre but I keep coming back to, I can just watch it on DVD in a few months.  I want to see it, but I’d rather watch Cabin in the Woods this weekend instead.

I’ve also just started dabbling in the Discworld series.  I’m about two-thirds of the way through the first book and I may in fact be hooked.  There is just something about the parody that I find incredibly engaging and hilarious.  I’m also considering getting into the Bridge Trilogy from William Gibson.  I’m still contemplating Mona Lisa Overdrive as well, but I’m still not sure if I enjoyed the previous two books enough to finish the trilogy.  We shall see.

Internal Clock

I am growing of the opinion that my body does not like me.  Specifically that it doesn’t like me well rested.  For two straight weeks I’ve been waking up at 5:30 AM on the dot and not being able to fall asleep after.  This is disturbing because, until recently I’ve never been up that early.  Ever.  It is a dark and evil time of the day.  A time that, were it my choice, should not exist.  Now this morning I came up with a clever solution to a work related problem, but that does not excuse this horrible recurring situation.  It is getting to the point that I can barely remember the last time I was well rested.

I feel I’m comfortable enough with the novel’s outline that I’ll be kicking things into gear tomorrow night.  There’s a lot to do, but now that I’ve got a concrete plan involved it all seems less daunting.  I’m definitely excited to get back to work on it.  Last week’s personal epidemic had set things back slightly but not a whole lot.  Writing is a difficult thing when your own thoughts sound like the adults from Peanuts.  The only thing that disappoints me is that I won’t have my glasses in time for the kick off tomorrow.  They will most surely help prevent the eventual eye strain that will happen.

I’m planning on setting up a separate page on this very blog to track my progress on the novel.  I don’t really have a set idea of how many words the novel will end up as.  But from my outline I’m expecting around thirty chapters, of varying lengths.  This number isn’t set in stone; some may be removed, combined, or added as I make my way through.  But the end goal will to mark my progress on the current chapter that I’m working on, how many chapters have been completed and a running word count.  Because why not.  I make databases and like seeing those end totals.  It’s a sickness.