Sunday, 31 March 2013

Day Eighty-Nine: Still 23,603 Words

Been missing for a couple of days. Nothing major, just my internet connection flaking out for a while and preventing posting. Saturday’s virtual non-post is here, and Friday’s is below.. No Sunday post this week on account of me having Easter off of work and not wanting to do anything at all.


No words today. No pages. It was a heavy day at work with errands before and what will be—hopefully—a lot, lot, lot of sleep very shortly.

Sorry guys. Good night.

 

-Sean

Day Eighty-Eight: 23,603 Words

Been missing for a couple of days. Nothing major, just my internet connection flaking out for a while and preventing posting. Friday’s post is below, and Saturday’s will be up in a moment. No Sunday post this week on account of me having Easter off of work and not wanting to do anything at all.


749 words. Three pages.

This was Chapter Six. Just the whole thing running straight through as Sydney works in her office and evaluates and begins to get drawn into the larger thing with our ex-CIA buddy, Kinneman. Very simple. Just some reflection and the introduction of some potential interpersonal conflict. It also lets me show a little bit of the security setup on McMurdo.

That’s all.

 

-Sean

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Day Eighty-Seven: 22,854 Words

1,120 words. Five pages. The streak continues!

So, I finished Chapter Five today. What did you guys do?

I think I’m going to end up repositioning a lot of the material that I wrote today. I’m happy with it, but it feels like too much, too fast. Maybe bump it back to the end of Dow’s second day at McMurdo. Something to do a little more of the stakes raising that we talked about yesterday. We’ll see what ends up happening.

There’s not a whole lot else to say right now. Tomorrow, I’m going to start working on a couple of short chapters that introduce McMurdo and Dow’s new digs a little bit more.

 

-Sean

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Day Eighty-Six: 21,731 Words

1,055 words. Five pages. All man.

Kept going with the autopsy scene today, though I didn’t quite finish it. The examination of Cole’s body and Sydney Bessette’s sudden departure segued unexpectedly—but nicely—into an unplanned discussion between Dow and Doctor Greystone where the stakes of the investigation are more fully developed. It’s nice. Did some developing that I hadn’t quite thought to do so early.

Stakes are important to a novel, and they have to be raised periodically. It’s what keeps things going when the reader’s interest can possibly begin to flag. Now, at the center of A Body Up the Well, I have the inherent primary conflict of Cole’s murder and the resulting investigation to solve it. The stakes are basic: If Dow and Bessette don’t solve the murder, the killer goes free.

That can carry things for a while, but—after too long—one begins to wonder why so much detail and attention is being dedicated to a single murder investigation. The response is to make things bigger. To give the characters more reason to get the right result, and to increase the scope of the investigation. I raise the stakes. In this case, it’s by introducing the central conceit of the novel that Cole’s death is the first murder in space. It isn’t just a human tragedy, it’s a brewing PR nightmare for everyone involved, and it becomes an even larger one if the detectives don’t catch the killer.

So, that’s what I’ve done in this conversation. I’ve introduced Dow, who is largely ignorant of the history of space exploration, to the idea that this is the first murder, that it is a Big Deal. It explains why the head of the local UN Security Force is partnering herself with him full time, and it raises his personal investment in an investigation that he has, thus far, largely viewed as something of an annoyance. It’s enough to carry the story a little bit further, until the reasons for Cole’s death begin to emerge and the narrative’s stakes and scope expand again.

 

-Sean

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Day Eighty-Five: 20,668 Words

932 words. Four pages. I surpassed 20k today, guys, and seventy pages on the Master Document. I’ve also got characters finally admitting out loud that Warren Cole was murdered. It’s a milestone day.

More scene in the morgue today, working through Cole’s death and questioning one another on a professional level. Plus; a mystery telephone call from asshole cop Mobese Sero. I should be able to very comfortably finish this scene—and this chapter—tomorrow.

I feel like the stuff that’s going on here is all clever enough for the typical morgue chat where the detective and the Medical Examiner hammer out cause of death and get the mystery rolling towards its next stage. It works well enough in its current state. What I’m not so sure about right now is whether or not the stuff that I’m talking about is being portrayed realistically. I’ve done my own web research for all for all of this, and I feel relatively confident that it’s feasible, but one thing that I really wanted to do during development (and never got a chance to) was sit down with a local ME and hammer out whether or not it’s all actually right.

Maybe that’s something I’ll have a chance to do during editing, when I’m less concerned about pages-per-day and am really dedicating myself to quality work.

 

-Sean

20K

Just hit 20,000 words! And it’s only eleven o’clock at night!

Guys. Guys. I’m gonna be straight with you: I don’t think this is going to be my most productive day ever.

 

-Sean

Monday, 25 March 2013

Day Eighty-Four: 19,773 Words

1,285 words for Monday, on hot, fresh pages. I was kind of inclined to push onward to 20,000 tonight, but I’m really tired now and came to a good, natural stopping point.

So, what’s up today? An exciting and romantic trip to the McMurdo-Lunar morgue and autopsy suite, and the introduction of one of my guest characters. I think there’s maybe a little too much chatting in these pages. It does some good word building and character stuff, but I’m not sure if it’s vital enough to keep if I can’t find a way to trim it down a little.

The big, obvious center piece is a suite of futuristic medical technology as well as an advanced prosthesis (there are a lot of robot limbs whirring and gripping at things in this chapter), which is the biggest demonstration of tech that I’ve had so far beyond the whole Moon-City thing. There’s also a good amount of groundwork being laid down in establishing McMurdo as a place that is all about duality: Sydney isn’t just the head of security, she’s a public relations officer and the public face of the UN. Doctor Greystone isn’t just a part-time medical staffer who got called in for an autopsy, she runs an Applied Neurosciences lab at the forefront of advanced prosthesis research. McMurdo itself isn’t just a vital science facility, it’s a massive, multi-billion dollar United Nations publicity stunt. This is a strange, complex place. Almost everyone and everything that we meet wears two hats, and they are often at odds with one another in some way.

It’s a lot to try and work into five pages, and I’m going to have to read the completed chapter before I decide once and for all how good of a job I did.

Tomorrow: Guts and stuff at Warren Cole’s autopsy.

 

-Sean

Week Twelve in Review

Week Twelve was a bit mixed. Coming off of the illness that kept me from writing during Week Eleven, I had a couple of poor days and some more good ones. All told, I pulled off two new complete chapters (Three & Four), and got myself to the point where I was ready to jump right into the morgue scene (started it earlier today) and the introduction of special guest character Coley Greystone. I also wrote a thing yesterday about pens and trousers and versions of Microsoft Office…and then I completely lost track of what I was doing with it. Fun.

Let’s look at some numbers…

Master Document Page Count: 64

Total Words: 18,448

Fresh Pages: 15

Fresh Words: 4,203

New Web Posts: 9

More to come later tonight.

 

-Sean

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Tools, and Using Tools

Thought I’d take a little time to give you guys a basic overview of how I write this novel on a daily basis. Especially since it’s Sunday and I usually don’t write on Sundays (this job—and it is a job—should come with a day off, even if I only do it part time).

As you might have gathered from my precise word and page counts, I do the vast majority of my writing on the computer. The couple of hours that I try to spend daily on this project are mostly spent with a laptop in front of me and an ancient copy of Microsoft Word running (to hell with the last few releases of MS Office—they’re horrible). I can do about fifty words a minute when I’m transcribing or doing something mindless, but that number drops dramatically when I’m actually trying to write creatively. Let’s say to half of that.

I also do a lot of writing longhand, using a fine-tipped black pen and a mid-sized Moleskin reporter’s pad. These are things that go with me everywhere when I’m away from a computer; specially chosen to fit into a coat or a rear pants pocket. There have been very nice pairs of pants—and even nicer jackets and coats—that have gone unpurchased on the basis that my preferred notepad can’t fit in any of the pockets easily.

I’ve done whole short stories and novellas longhand, and the majority of an unfinished novel once, and it’s…I don’t know…gratifying. There’s a real feeling of permanence that comes from putting the words directly to paper and knowing that the only way to replace them is to literally scratch them out of existence and start again. It forces you to consider every word before you put it down, and the quality of my work usually benefits from it in the first draft (though it can cause overthinking and, as a result, overwriting).

So, there’s usually a little bit of longhand that goes into most of my daily entries to A Body Up the Well. Not always, and rarely more than a short paragraph or two. These get transcribed into the Master Document whenever I sit down at the computer to do the majority of the day’s writing, and are slotted into place accordingly.

And now I’ve actually lost track of where I was going with this article and don’t have a proper ending, so let me just say: Then, at a few minutes to midnight, I take all that I did, save it, and hop on here to bitch about how I’m not getting enough done or I don’t like what I wrote or I don’t like my haircut. Or, you know, whatever thing happens to be my problem on a given day.

Good night, folks. We’ll be back with actual progress again tomorrow.

 

-Sean

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Day Eighty-Two: 18,448 Words

669 words. Three pages. Better than yesterday, but still not great. Not my best work.

Got to the end of Chapter Four today, which is the little bridge chapter where Sydney leads Dow to the morgue and we learn about McMurdo, and how Sydney views both it and Dow. Today I really tried to focus some on the description of the central dome that serves as McMurdo-Lunar’s main admin/social hub, and is really the only above-ground portion of the station.

Rereading it just now, it’s kind of crummy. The descriptive work is just muddy and fragmented, and the dome doesn’t play well. I might try to pare some of this back a little later on and rely on some of Dow’s observations to fill in the gaps in a couple of chapters. Could work. Might not. We’ll see.

There is one description that I like, though, were Sydney describes Dow as staring up at her from his “hang-dog slouch” while he fidgets with god knows what in his pockets. A lot of this chapter is about her perception of things, and—while it is fragmented in its current state—I think that I kind of like that Dow’s behavior has been so erratic thus far that Sydney’s ideas of him can’t coalesce. At different times in the chapter she views him in a half dozen different lights. Maybe that doesn’t work in the long run, but it’s a handy indicator right now as to the state of Dow as a character and whether or not he’s coming together in the way that he needs to be.

 

-Sean

Friday, 22 March 2013

Day Eighty-One: 17,779 Words

64 words today, you guys! A whole paragraph! Are you excited? Because I am (not)!

It was just not a good writing day, and I would very much like to do a lot better tomorrow. Let’s just kind of leave it at that, may we please? Because I am very tired.

 

-Sean

Day Eighty: 17,711 Words

Hey, readers! Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday. When I went to write the following, I discovered that my internet connection had gone down. It still is down, actually, and in a moment I’ll be starting today’s writing here at a local Starbucks. Which is frustrating, because I kind of just want to go home where it’s quiet. But I guess this will stop me from just playing video games all day or something.


Just a short one today, folks. Work was killer. 220 words on a single page.

I decided to make Chapter Four a short bridge chapter between the crime scene and the morgue. As Dow and Sydney walk through McMurdo and we see an introduction of its public spaces, I’m trying to create a little more of a sense of place. I’m also using it as a Sydney chapter to allow her to reflect on the ways in which McMurdo is strange and complicated.

Using her in this case gives the idea a little more weight, I think, since this is her home and she’s used to the curiosities and dangers of it. If I put the observations forward in Dow’s point of view, I’d run the risk of making him too much of a hyper-observational savant (something I really don’t want) and painting too much of a picture of, “Oh, look at the strange, silly moon-people and their dangerous dome city!” I’m going for a certain amount of realism here, and I feel more confident that Sydney’s necessary awareness of the oddness and fragility of her home reflects that properly.

 

-Sean

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Day Seventy-Nine: 17,491 Words

1,748 words on eight pages. Let’s make up for some lost time, shall we?

Today feels good. I got through to the end of the examination of Cole’s living quarters, and have now ended Chapter Three. Officer Mobese Sero is, perhaps, a bit one-note in this draft, but he’s a good early foil for Dow and Bessette right now—forcing them to look past the obvious and really see the beginnings of what’s behind Cole’s death. I think I’ve maybe fixated a little bit too much on certain things in this draft, and I should eventually throw a few more early clue into this scene…but at this point, I’m just really glad to be moving forward again and feeling confident about my work. Dow is actually working well as a detective now that he’s gotten to a point where he can do the job.

Morgue scene is at bat tomorrow, I think. Though I might space things out a little bit with a short chapter detailing the central McMurdo dome facility. Don’t want to get locked too tightly into the plot and loose sight of my setting or characters.

That’s all for tonight. It’s way too late. Sleep sounds really good right now.

 

-Sean

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Day Seventy-Eight: 15,737 Words

1,047 words today, on four pages. It does feel awfully good to be back.

So, today was a lot of fun. We’re firmly into the new Chapter Three now, and are in the middle of Dow and Sydney Bessette’s examination of the crime scene. I also got to introduce Mobese, who’s my kind of super-unhelpful UN Security officer character. I’ll probably finish the scene tomorrow if I’m lucky.

It’s kind of strange writing one of these scenes and having the crime scene be a place that one of the characters has walked through already. Normally, my detective characters are solitary figures, so having Bessette be there to talk Dow through a lot of the preliminary stuff is making for an interesting change of pace. A lot of the last chapter was from Dow’s perspective, and it was really a lot about him trying to feel out his new partner. I think that when I go through this chapter again in editing, I might try and put it more into Sydney’s head and pare back some of her dialogue as she tries to do the same and leaves him to investigate and deal with Mobese on his own.

That’s about it. We haven’t had an excerpt in a while, so I think I’ll leave you with a little something for tonight. As always, please remember that any novel text that I post here is a first draft and appear in an unedited form.


"Micro-meteor impact," Bessette said, coming in behind Dow. "The room was in full vacuum within thirty seconds. Look, it plowed straight into the floor."

She swept a stray piece of paper out of the way with her foot, revealing an impact warp in the rubber on the floor and a hole that corresponded with the one in the skylight. Dow bent to look. It was a neat hole. Round. He could probably have fit his index finger down it if he wanted. It reminded him, more than anything, of a bullet hole, and that was an unpleasant thought.

"Thirty seconds isn't a lot of time to get clear and seal a hatch behind you."

Bessette shook her head. "The objective isn't to get out. In the event of pressure loss, you're supposed to get a mask on to support you until you can get fully into the room's emergency suit. Besides; the shutters on these skylights are supposed to seal if the room sensors report any sort of atmospheric drop. Cole's didn't, though. My technicians removed the shutter when they put the cap on to re-seal the room, but they haven't found anything wrong with it yet."

Dow righted himself. "Then why didn't he get into the suit?"

Bessette shrugged. "He never even got out of his bunk. We found him there when we finally got into the room. All zipped in, like the alarms never woke him."

The bed was relatively clear of debris. A simple foam mattress with a sleeping bag and pillow growing out of it. The sleeping bag portion was still unzipped and flung open where Bessette's people had removed the body.

"That's unusual. Is that why you suspect—"

Someone cleared their throat from behind Dow and Bessette. A dark, heavily built man in a McMurdo Security jumpsuit was standing in the corridor just beyond the hatch. He had an unhappy set to his mouth and eyes, and nothing else in his face to suggest that the expression ever changed much.

"It's not so unusual," the man said. "Cole was blackout drunk, after all."


-Sean

Weeks Ten & Eleven in Review

Week Ten:

Week Ten turned into a little bit of an experiment. After finally getting Dow onto the lunar surface, I decided that I wasn’t happy with the novel’s direction or pacing and did kind of a soft reboot. The novel has a new starting point, now, and has been moved into a somewhat lighter, more snappy third person perspective. I also decided to transition into posting my word-counts on the day of writing, rather than maintaining the twenty-four hour lag period.

All of this feels good. It feels more right. Like I’ve finally figured out this book and how I want to write it and pace it, and where I want to start it and handle the characters. It means that most of my previous word-count will eventually be discarded, but that happens sometimes.

Pages: 49

Words: 14,245

Web Posts: 9


Week Eleven:

Ha hahaha ha…ha. Like I actually got anything done this week. I was seriously ill for all of Week Eleven. Got no writing done, missed all of my daily posts. A bad time was had by all.

We’re back, though.

Pages: 49

Words: 14,245

Web Posts: 2

 

-Sean

Monday, 18 March 2013

Day Seventy-Seven: 14,687 Words

Only 452 words today across three pages, but I’m not sure that’s a bad way to come back. It’s mostly the last little bits of exposition before Dow and Bessette examine the crime scene. And it is a crime scene. I don’t think there’s any point in trying to hide the fact that Cole actually was murdered from you guys, because what the hell would the book be about if he wasn’t? Just two chapters of police work and three hundred follow-up pages of people ramping lunar rovers off of things while Dow has relationship problems?

Jesus. I would read that.

But anyway, yeah: We’re back. Not fully back today. I wanted to make up for the lost Week in Review posts at least, but I’m coming out of a full seven days of being so sick that it hurt to move and looking at computer screens made me nauseous. There’s much paperwork and mucking of stalls on the recovering side of something like that. Hopefully we’ll transition into something more like normal tomorrow.

Hit fifty pages on the Master Document today, too. Which is a milestone. Even if I’m going to cut out most of those pages and light them on fire.

Read a lot this past week, too. Good stuff, mostly, which makes for Prose Envy and is just super-good inspiration to work and be better than you are. Catching up on John Scalzi’s earlier work. The Ghost Brigades made for some really completely terrifying fever nightmares about identity loss and armed combat.

All right. I need medication and sleep now. Thanks for bearing with me, readers!

 

-Sean

And We’re Back

Sorry for the long absence. Feeling a fair bit better now. Other posts coming later tonight. Writing now. Feels good.

Just hit page 50 on the master document!

 

-Sean

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Or Not

So. Guys. Let’s just call this a little bit of a relapse day and write it off as a wash, yeah? Just woke up and crawled out of bed because I thought it would be nice to say, well, something.

Tomorrow, though. Tomorrow is gonna be totally great.

More sleep now.

 

-Sean

M.I.A.

So, you might have noticed that I’ve been missing this week. Please let me assure you that it was completely unintentional.

I’ve been really sick, guys. Like, stay in bed and only get out of it to throw up or take care of the dog sick. There have been some pretty wild fluctuations between feeling better or worse over the past few days, enough so that I’ve been able to go out for medication and liquid food, but this morning is the first time that I’ve felt well enough that I’ve even thought about writing or this site.

Which sucks. It’s lame. It’s lame for me, and lame of me. And I’m sorry.

I think I’m back, though. I feel really good today, and I’m still going to take it easy, but I think I should at least be able to get back to writing today. Expect multiple posts later tonight.

 

-Sean

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Day Sixty-Nine: 14,245 Words

Note: No Writer-Babble post today, because I’m going to start posting daily word counts on the day of writing rather than backing everything up by twenty-four hours. I’m finding that it’s got me avoiding making multiple posts during the day if I’m excited about what I’m working on, because I don’t want to risk talking about something that I don’t make notes on for another day.


547 words on two pages. Yesterday was a short day on account of an ungodly early morning and a lot of work.

Finished the walk and talk and the new Chapter Two yesterday. The new section is still in good shape, and I still enjoy the new energy of it. Tomorrow puts me in all new territory again, though; which is fun and exciting, but a little frightening. I’ll figure out a way to work through it, though.

See you tomorrow, folks!

 

-Sean

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Day Sixty-Eight: 13,698 Words

1,206 words on five pages.

Another really good day, guys, but not much to talk about. These pages are mostly a walk and talk between Sydney and Dow as I try to reintegrate a lot of the preliminary information about Cole and his death, while also putting in a fair amount of early character work for both of these guys. I’m also trying to workout a little bit of description for the look and feel of McMurdo-Lunar.

 

-Sean

Friday, 8 March 2013

Day Sixty-Seven: 12,492 Words

1,475 words across six pages. A good day, readers. A good day.

So, you might maybe, possibly remember that I’ve been talking about rebooting the writing a little bit, lately. Well, it’s happening. I’m doing it. I’m enjoying it. And—and I know I’ve said this before and come to resent and deride what I was doing—I think it’s really working very well so far.

For the time being, let’s consider these six pages our new Chapter One.

Sydney Bessette showed up today, readers, who you may remember from my character profiles in Week Three as the so-called “Second Detective,” and she serves as kind of the viewpoint character for this chapter. As the head of UN Security at McMurdo, she’s waiting for Dow to arrive in a rover so that she can get underway with the investigation into Cole’s death, and most of the chapter is sort of about getting into her head and allowing her to serve as an introduction to the structure and restrictions of life on McMurdo. I also think that she presents well; held in place on her investigation because she’s beholden to Kinneman and his UN protocols, but also very impatient to deal with what she rightly perceives of as a potential major issue. She alternates between professional and cool when her subordinates are around to predatory and aggressive when she’s alone and thinking about all that still needs to be done. It’s a good range, I think, and it feels natural…like one is properly an extension of the other.

I also think that it’s something that Dow can screw with very easily. He’s only present for the last couple of pages here and spends most of the time talking about cigarettes, and he’s already putting everyone a little off of their game. I kind of love it, like it’s a good balance between him being good at his job and being sort of distant and eccentric. He’s not so weird that Sydney immediately wants him gone, but he’s just weird and non-threatening enough that she’s not worried about him stepping on her toes all of the time. It seems like a good start for their partnership, and the character is now a lot more fun to write.

All good so far. I’m feeling great and reenergized about this project now.

 

-Sean

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Day Sixty-Six: 11,017 Words

Just 137 words on a single page yesterday. It was a little hard to get motivated to do anything, especially since I’ve been considering the POV shift again, and scrapping most of these scenes. That’s not really an excuse, mind you, it’s just where my head was yesterday.

 

-Sean

Day Sixty-Six: Testing

Sitting down to write today, I think I’m going to experiment a little with some things. Moving forward as Dow reaches McMurdo-Lunar, I think I’m going t move back to Third Person for a few days and start swapping view-points around a little between Dow and Sydney. If I can work it out well enough, I might start grooming Dow’s arrival at McMurdo as a new start point for the novel and reintegrate a lot of the earlier plot advancements into other scenes.

I’ll let you know how it comes out tomorrow.

 

-Sean

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Day Sixty-Five: 10,980 Words

688 words on three pages today.

Dow has transferred onto the US Navy cargo hauler today, and wakes up on the lunar surface tomorrow. Finally. Friggin’ finally. God, it’s like I can’t tell a story in a concise way or something…

Very little to say about this actual section. It’s a fair amount of tech exposition which won’t mean much later, so I’m not sure I’d get my hopes up about ever reading it. I’m trying to force myself to come up with better, more concise descriptions of things now so that when I get to the later, more plot-vital scenes I’m not bogging myself down with a lot of unnecessary or uninteresting expository text.

I’m also working on forcing myself to write a greater number of shorter scenes that are each focused on a single concept. I think it’ll work nicely in forcing me to get details and plot elements out more quickly, and it’ll just all in all move things along. I worry about making each scene too simple, though, so that’s something that I need to be mindful of.

I’m also starting to wonder about the shelf-life of the First Person voice on this project. It’s working now because we’ve just got the one potential view-point character, but once I get him into larger things I’m worrying that Dow will become boring. Actually, I’m just all around worried about the Dow character and whether or not he’s any fun. I mean, I don’t think that he has to be some sort of gigantic, gonzo, Spider Jerusalem-esque creation…but I do think that he might need some re-drawing to make him a little bigger and less dour.

Lots of work still to come, I guess.

 

-Sean

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Day Sixty-Four: 10,292 Words

717 words on four pages for Monday. Not a bad way to get back into the swing of things, if I may say so.

There’s not a whole lot to say about this section. Dow finishes reviewing the files that the UN provided him on Cole, and begins to really realize how deeply over his head he is here. There’s also a little interaction between him and the Trash City shuttle pilot, who I love because he’s got this great, old-school Mad Cosmonaut feel to him. The naval cargo hauler finally shows up, too, and Dow is ready to land un the lunar surface.

Oh, also? One other thing: I BROKE TEN THOUSAND WORDS ON THIS BITCH! YEAH!

Good night, folks.

 

-Sean

Monday, 4 March 2013

Day Sixty-Three: Again with the 9,579 Words!

This is getting old, guys. It really is. Again, I can offer no real excuses or promises that it won’t ever happen again. What I can tell you, though, is that I actually got to write today. So there’s actual content tomorrow!

Exciting, right? I know.

 

-Sean

Week Nine in Review

Week Nine was a bit of a downer for me. I myself back on track with the target word count one day, and then followed in up with three straight of getting nothing written at all. The frustration that comes with that sort of development was also written up in the weekly Writer Babble post yesterday. I still kept up with daily posting, though, with the usual eight updates.

Sadly, the fact that I got no writing done on Saturday means that the upcoming Monday word-count post will also feature nothing of interest…But I have been getting stuff done today and will be happy to share about that tomorrow evening.

Happy Monday, readers.

 

-Sean

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Day Sixty-Two: On Setbacks

Let's play with a hypothetical here (or maybe it isn't a hypothetical, I don't know your life). You're a writer. You're writing a novel or a short story or a poem. Whatever. You're in the groove. But you've also got a life. So let's be honest here. Let's state the obvious and get, admittedly, a little profane:

Shit happens.

Good shit. Bad shit. Doesn't matter. If you're currently breathing, you're going to have to deal with some shit sooner or later. Sometimes that means some minor inconvenience, but other times it means swallowing the unfortunate and setting aside your writing for a day or three.

I hate when this happens. It leaves me feeling terrible and unproductive and unfulfilled at best. When I want to work--oh god, especially when I want to work and not spend all of my time playing video-games or whatever--telling myself that I'm going to write that day and then being unable to can actually leave me feeling nervous and kind of queasy. Like I'm living some sort of shoddily built fiction that someone might see through, or that I'm proving to be a grand disappointment to myself and those around me.

Again; I hate this. I can't even begin to tell you how much.

Is this healthy? Probably not. Is it a normal response? Also probably not. It is a response that I come across somewhat frequently with other writers, though. Especially those of us who are still struggling to have a novel published for the first time. When we're serious about our craft, we tend to be a lean and hungry bunch who fluctuate rapidly from being egotistical, self-absorbed monsters convinced of our own self-worth, to being depressed, self-absorbed monsters who stay up too late worrying that we'll never amount to anything.

It really sucks. A lot. There's not a whole lot that you can do about it, though. It's just a part of being a writer at this stage of the game, and the only thing to do is try and choke it down and power through the pain and agitation that it causes. Try to do better the next day, or to do anything at all.

At this point, you might be wondering what the point of all of this is. Well, with not being able to write over the past couple of days, I've been feeling a sort of pressure to catch up or increase the level of output that I have when it comes to A Body Up the Well. I can't necessarily promise that, though, because shit happens and good intentions can't stop it. So, I'm not making excuses here...I'm just trying to convey that being unable to post anything relevant here on a daily basis is easily just as frustrating for me as it is for you. It hurts me when I can't achieve what I've set out here to achieve, and it's important for me that you know that. And, most of all, I want you to know that I am absolutely still commited to seeing this thing through to the end.

I really want to finish this novel, guys. I really want you all to be able to read it. I also really want a piece of cake.

Let's see what we can do about those things, shall we?


-Sean

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Day Sixty-One: Still, Still 9,579 Words

Crazy day at work left me unable to write on my break, and other things left me unable to write at home. 

Days like these are super frustrating for me, guys. I hate the feeling of having momentum and a drive to work on a project, but no time to do so. It drives me nuts, and when you go a couple of days without working it can take a long time to get back into the swing of things. I also know that these posts can't be very fun to read.

Hopefully next week will be a little more smooth.


-Sean

Friday, 1 March 2013

Day Sixty: Still 9,579 Words

It would be cool to have something more to say on Day Sixty of this project, but I don’t. I got called into work unexpectedly and didn’t work on the novel at all.



-Sean