Draft 1-1

Two consecutive days of working on a manuscript suggests I'm potentially back on the wagon.  I've been mostly hanging around on Google+ recently, hence my absence from LJ; it's also mostly because the majority of interesting things going on in my life at the moment are things I shouldn't really be discussing on social networking sites.

What I can talk about:
- After a few days of 'piphanies, I've gone back to my Vaucher sequel manuscript with fresh eyes and some new ideas.  As usual, this is my draft 1-1, the proper first draft which results after I've written 30-40K of draft version 0.1 where I try to work out what the book's actually about. And even just at the end of the first chapter I'm realising how useful this process is. The first scene was rewritten in full (although I'll probably try to reconcile the two versions at some point, as there was still some good stuff in the original), but the second remained mostly intact for now. Tomorrow's the second chapter, although I'll have to work out what I'm doing with the subplot in there which I may or may not be using.

- I've been taking advantage of Google+'s useful Hangouts feature, based on Mary Robinette Kowal's rules on writing hangouts (in short, 10-15 minutes of socialising on the hour, then 45-50 minutes of writing; rinse and repeat) to get some evening writing done. I'll probably be joining the Liberty Hall hangout tonight if I can get wedding stuff out of the way first, perhaps to work out the plot of the next chapter before tomorrow morning's writing session.

- Wedding planning is going ahead. However, the size of the to-do list is daunting and horrific, and that's with most of the big decisions behind us. Now it feels like there's a million tiny decisions to be made and communicated with the appropriate persons, and the sheer breadth of the task has us frozen into insensibility. I'm certain it'll all come together sooner or later, though. Hopefully sooner.

- Also, while dwelling on rejections is simply not something I do, I've had two short stories sent back to me over the past two days with personalised "didn't do it for us, but please send more!" notes in the rejection. I still don't write as much short fiction as I'd like, but it does feel like I'm getting closer with some of my more recent pieces, and it's a boost to have positive feedback even if the sales aren't yet flowing nicely.

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Another thousand words this morning on my Vaucher childhood backstory piece.

As much as this was always intended just for my own reference, I'm having so much fun writing it I may have to release it some day as Vaucher bonus material. It's a delight to write young Vaucher with all the slightly sociopathic tendancies but without all the baggage those qualities have built up over the years.

New userpic!

It took going through the whole Google+ customisation to realise that I have precisely two decent photos of myself over the past couple of years. And since the newest pic I've got on LJ is about five years old, I thought it's time for an upgrade.

First impressions of G+? Very interesting. I can see it being useful to keep track of a greater number of editors, agents & writers than I can feasibly do on Twitter without my feed clogging to the point of impotence, and it has some cool functionality. Also appreciated are the automatic opt-out of most of the things which were privacy concerns on FB. Still, remains to be seen whether it catches on beyond the early adopters.


As usual, I stop writing, and my LJ posts drop off a cliff. Except I've actually been writing for the past three days, and still failed to post (although that's more down to the choice between gloating about my progress or getting to work on time), so it's about time I caught up on that, along with a bunch of other things I've thus far failed to mention.

On the writing front, after a evening of good company and Japanese beer last weekend, I realised that part of the reason the Vaucher novella felt a little empty was that I genuinely didn't know enough about the details of Vaucher's childhood, and the people and landmarks of his sleepy little town in the middle of France. So this week, even though it's not something I intend anyone outside this house ever reading, I've been recording moments of dear Capucine's childhood, as told through the lens of his best friend. And given that the idea of 'friends' is alien to the Vaucher I've been writing about for some time, it's been delightful seeing the slightly compulsive larval stage of the sociopath I know and love. So far, 3K in 3 days. Fairly pleased with that.

I think part of my problem with keeping LJ updated this year is having to keep things under my hat, either because they're not yet confirmed, or simply that they're merely potentiality, fragile creatures whose existence could be threatened by a declaration of the possibility of their being. Some things I still need to keep firmly attached to my clothed head, but one thing I can talk about (since invitations are finally going out) is that after eleven years together, Jenny & I are finally getting married!

Given the number of castles round Wales, it would be rude not to take advantage, so come September we're be gathering at Craig Y Nos castle with a smattering of family and friends to finally perform an indelible binding ritual. About bloody time! At the moment we're in the midst of getting everything arranged, so my head's full of flowers and cakes and shoes and playlists and uncountable other things I probably should be remembering, but am most likely forgetting as we speak. Exciting times, indeed!

I've also been working on my programming this year, and learnt enough Java to program my first Android app, a writer's assistant which I hope to start alpha testing shortly (once I find a writer who owns an android phone who'd be willing to test it). Programming's basically done, and all that's left is working out a suitable UI and generating all the art assets. If I can only get the layout sorted, the rest of the art should be pleasingly modular. I hope. Then all I need to do is work out how to adapt the layout for different screen sizes and so on (although hopefully that'll mostly take care of itself).

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Despite a lie-in, I finally made it to 560 words this morning, with Vaucher firmly sidelined while he watches and waits for other people to do stuff. I'll fix it in post.

Leaping Ahead

After I spectacularly failed to get any writing done yesterday (I blame Adam & Joe, rugby followed by Doctor Who, plus work hangover from a few tough days) I made up for it this afternoon with a neat 2150 words:

Admittedly I ground to a halt 600 words in and had to skip forward to a point where stuff is happening in order to get stuff going, but then I looked up and suddenly had another 1500 words down.

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More words! Mwahahaha! 720 of them, to be precise.

It's also fun to be writing this book from two perspectives, one of whom isn't sociopathic.  Given that they're both dealing with grief of a sort, it gives me a chance to emphasise quite how twisted Vaucher is. I'm slowly starting to get a handle of Jacob's voice, too. By the second or third draft I might even know where he lives!

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650 words, making a progress of:

Mayhap I'll hit 25% by the weekend. That'll be fun.  I'm currently starting to wrangle things into some sort of plot direction, so we'll see where that goes. I also have to remember that even with the first book, at this point I was only just realising that my 'big' plot point was only the end of act 1, and that Vaucher had a long way further down to go than that before the end of the book.

910 words

Cracked the 20K barrier!

Now I really must go do those human non-writerly things which I probably should've done half an hour ago, like shower, and stick some part-baked bread in the oven for my lunch.