edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I didn't have as much free time at work as I'd hoped (and then I had to drive down to NJ, so there went my evening), but "Intervention" is now at 22,100 words total, with 525 words left to bash into shape.

I will finish the damn edits tomorrow, OR ELSE. *resolve face*

...But for right now, I'm going to take the first load of laundry out of my parents' dryer and then crash into bed, because it's been a long day and I am exhausted.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Okay, let's try the external motivation writing progress report thing again!

As of ~4pm, EDT, I am at 20,400 words and the start of space battle, phase 2: boarding and negotiations. Let's see if I can knock off the whole thing today!

-----

~5pm, 20,800 words.

The word count is actually underselling the amount of finished text I produced, because this section of my 'and then and then' draft contains more dialogue and therefore more of it was usable as-is without the need to elaborate. (Well. Mostly as-is.) I did have to find a good place to stop and add some emotional reactions and a bit of scene description, and also went back to tweak a bit of dialogue in the previous scene (because reasons), but I think I'm making pretty good progress. :)

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~6pm, 21,250 words.

I have named one of the previously unnamed characters, go me! (I think I only have two others who still need names?) As before, the word count is somewhat misleading since I've been able to essentially copypaste large swathes of dialogue. The new words are mostly interstitial stuff, like character description and some logistical details.

Also I have one placeholder note saying, effectively, [medical thing goes here] because I was on a roll and didn't want to stop to research it right then. But that should be pretty easy to fix later; it only needs to be one paragraph long and there's no need to get very detailed.

(For reference: I have not yet reached the Enterprise cameo, and I have 1,900 words of rough draft left to convert to beta draft. I expect that will turn into ~4,000 words of finished prose, give or take. And then of course I have to go back and backfill a bunch of stuff into earlier sections, so... hmm... this story will end up being maybe 25,000 words total? I guess we'll see how it goes!)

...

I think I am going to take a break to do some chores/errands for the next hour, though. I'm starting to feel a little brain-fried.

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~8pm, 21,400 words in narrative form (1,600 words of outline left)

Again, I have been basically copypasting dialogue. I also stopped to do some packing for my trip to NJ tomorrow evening, and to have dinner. Yay dinner!

And unnamed character #2 now has a name, so that's nice. :)

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~9pm, 21,700 words (1,350 words of outline/draft left to fix)

The final unnamed character is now named, and I filled in some other stuff I'd left as [fill in thing] in the rough draft. Yay progress?

I don't think I'm going to get the final scene finished today, but I should definitely be able to wrap up the space battle, so that's something. And hopefully I will have some free time at work tomorrow to bash the ending around a little. *crosses fingers*

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~10pm, only 25 additional words in the total count, but! I am down to 1,100 words of draft/outline left to fix. This part of the story is actually pretty solid as-is; I am just changing tenses, adding correct punctuation, and occasionally slipping in a word or three of description.

(I also took time out to cook some rice for tomorrow's lunch, because I forgot to do that earlier today. *headdesk*)

-----

Okay, done for the night at 21,850 words total, 950 left to bash into shape, and one space battle that is not my problem anymore because it is DONE. \o/

Tomorrow, the aftermath. (And with a pinch of luck, also the first round of backfilling edits, but those are less vital. I can probably send the thing to beta without them so long as I include some notes about what WILL get changed over the coming week. What I can't do is send out the story without a properly finished ending. *wry*)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Okay, clearly self-motivation is not working fast enough, so.

I am trying to get my WIP Big Bang draft into shape to send to my betas. Saturday evening is my absolute down-to-the-wire final deadline, but I would strongly prefer to get this done sooner -- tonight or sometime on Friday.

So I'm going to post every hour(ish) with a current word count and general progress report, in the hope that this will be enough external motivation to kick me into flow state instead of what I've been doing, which is progress by about three paragraphs per day. *headdesk*

As of ~5pm EDT, the story is at ~18,600 words and I am still bashing the space battle into functional prose instead of its current 'and then and then and then' state.

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~6pm, EDT: 19,050 words, still fighting the stupid space battle.

The problem with translating 'and then and then and then' into actual narrative is A) I elided a LOT of details in the rough version (intentionally; that is what it is FOR) which means now I have to actually come up with them (although not while ALSO coming up with the general shape/movement of the story, since those bones are what the 'and then and then' consists of), and B) I always wind up 'and then and then'ing in vaguely omniscient third person present tense, but the story is in tight-POV third person past tense. This requires some tweaking. *wry*

Anyway, back to the salt mines!

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~7pm, ~19,400 words.

It would have been more, but I ran into a section where my rough draft had something completely factually inaccurate and I had to figure out a replacement that would serve a similar narrative function. *sigh*

And I think I'm going to have similar trouble in the next hour, because I've hit a place where my draft reads, more or less, 'quick summary of events in [place], this is where Character Y's Big Damn Heroes moment should kick off,' without any details about what that Big Damn Heroes moment should be, nor how to logistically pull it off. *headdesk*

Why do I do this to myself???

-----

~8pm, no change.

I took an hour off for dinner... and also got interrupted by Mormon missionaries, which was MUCH less intentional, but whatever. *wry*

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~9pm, 19,800 words.

I got past one part that I thought would be ridiculously melodramatic and impossible to pull off, and it was... surprisingly not? I mean, I DID lay setup for it several sections earlier, though I think I should probably make that even more pointed on my next revision pass-through.

I also cheated and completely elided the Big Damn Heroes thing because hello, SPACE BATTLE STILL GOING ON HERE. It turns out 'spaceships attack!' is a pretty good functional equivalent of 'ninjas break down the door!' when it comes to abruptly getting out of narrative corners. :p

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~10pm, 20,250 words.

It would have been more, but I got ambitious and spent about twenty minutes looking up some basic stuff about orbital mechanics because occasionally I have delusions that scientific verisimilitude is relevant to space operas. *wry*

Anyway, I think I am nearly done with phase one of the space battle (aka, ships and more ships) and will knock off for the night once I finish that. Tomorrow we move on to phase two (aka, boarding and negotiations), and then the aftermath (during which I will have to finally detail the logistics of the Big Damn Heroes thing I keep cheating my way around *sigh*).

-----

Okay, done for the night at 20,400 words and ~10:45pm.

Tomorrow, the rest of the space battle PLUS an exciting and dramatic cameo from the crew of the one and only (haha) Enterprise!

...

These space battle scenes are ridiculously long and are going to completely unbalance the story unless I go back and edit in a bunch more stuff in the medical plot. Which I should do. I also need to edit in more character stuff and foreshadowing for the eventual space battle plot so the story doesn't feel so much like it completely jumps genres halfway through, whoops.

(The space battle is necessary because of the original prompt that is the reason I am writing the story at all. I just kind of... got really carried away with the medical plot, so now the fic has two plots that I can hopefully get to work together instead of just kind of lying there giving each other weird looks. *headdesk*)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
The problem with endings is that they have to thematically resolve the entire preceding story, which in this case is particularly tricky since I still have not 100% pinned down the thematic arc of the fic and once I do resolve whatever it ends up being, I will have to go back and make sure to write that into existence in the first place.

Um. That made more sense in my head?

But anyway, I think both [thing A] and [thing B] are out, because reasons, and I am not yet sure how to find a third option. Dammit.

...

I'm going to go do laundry and hope the break will let the back of my brain gnaw over the problem and figure something out, because my conscious mind sure as heck isn’t getting anywhere.

---------------

ETA, 10pm

Alas, laundry did not help.

However, I talked through the plot and my problems with my friend Susan on the phone this evening, and she suggested an option that works beautifully. She also made me take a closer look at a tertiary plot arc and realize it needs A) reworking and B) more emphasis, which I think will dramatically improve the story as a whole.

So... I have an ending!

I also have a metric shitton of rewrites, but still. ENDING! :DDD
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I just wanted to write tiny ficlets; how is this fill already 2,800+ words and going to be well over 3,000 before it's done??? *wails in frustration*

-----

In other writing news, the 'and then' version of the space battle proceeds apace. We are now in the pointed negotiation standoff phase before [thing] and [other thing] happen to resolve the conflict. [Thing] should be pretty easy to pull off, but [other thing] requires me to go back and do some more set-up earlier in my 'and then' section, and probably some other, vaguer set-up in some of my actually correctly written sections. Gnrgh. And I still need a section title for the second space battle segment, because I have sort of a thematic section title thing going on but it doesn't work in these particular circumstances and that bothers me a lot! Double gnrgh.

...You know, I am really going to need a beta for this story. It's over 17,000 words right now, and given that A) it's not done, B) many of those words are placeholders for properly elaborated prose, and C) I need to do a bunch of back-filling in earlier sections which will involve adding even more words, I am quite sure it will be over 20,000 words when finished -- maybe even as many as 25,000.

Is anybody willing to look over a Star Trek: AOS fic of that length featuring almost entirely original characters and dealing with some potentially gross medical issues plus various ethical conundrums?
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I did not finish 'and then'ing the space battle today, but I made some good progress and actually it turns out the space battle really needed to be broken into two scenes because reasons, so. I finished the first one? And got a couple paragraphs into the second one so as to leave myself in a place where my reaction is 'OMG what next?!' rather than 'yeah, that's a good stopping point' because I would like to have some residual momentum on my side when I hit the keyboard again tomorrow.

I am really going to have to revise the earlier sections of this story to properly foreshadow all this stuff, or this is going to come off as a really weird and unbalanced fic that switches plots halfway through. Which. Uh. It kind of does? But also kind of not, and my job will be to make the latter assessment feel more convincing than the former.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
This morning I gave up on 'proper' writing and just 'and then, and then, and then'ed my way through about half of the battle, plus I found a good place to bring back a thing I'd vaguely hinted at earlier, PLUS I discovered for good and for keeps exactly what the relationship between two characters should be.

(Context: I'd originally intended them to be [thing], but another character made an annoying comment about them earlier in the story and I started wondering, hey, what if [other thing] instead??? And my answer to that question is YES, GOOD, LET'S DO IT. *grin*)

I think I will try to 'and then' the rest of the battle scene tomorrow, and maybe 'and then' the falling action/wrap-up on Wednesday, after which I can start A) turning bare-bones present-tense 'and then' material into properly fleshed-out past-tense story, and B) backfilling necessary support and foreshadowing for some stuff that popped up in the 'and then' process.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Note to self: it is much easier to write space battles when you remember your story is really about ethics, relationships, and dubious handwaved science. :)

(This note brought to you by me starting to make progress again on my WIP Big Bang fic, which, yes, has a climactic space battle because apparently I live to cause myself trouble. *wry*)

...

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go hit the laundromat.
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
The thing about the island -- and this is both good and bad -- is that it's very easy to lose track of time because the rhythm of the days is very different from the normal workweek.

Anyway, on Sunday I don't think I did anything in particular, aside from finally finishing the edits and extensions to "Second Chances." No, wait -- Dad, Mom, and I collectively walked down to the east portage and then I peeled off to come home via the woods while they continued on to the south portage and walked home from there.

On Monday, we had pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Mom has also been feeding me clementines, which is nice; they are just about exactly the right size for the amount of fruit I want in the morning. I went down to the dock to get some reading done -- still working through Religion in the Japanese Experience: Sources and Interpretations -- after which I took a nap. Then I took the big hedge-clippers and did some trail maintenance along the east portage loop trail I'd walked the day before. It still needs a LOT of work, but it's slightly less dire so I feel I got something accomplished. And I got home in time for us to have steak (grilled out in the back yard) for dinner, so that was nice.

I also wrote and posted another installment of "Edmund and Ginny Go to Harfang," because why not.

Today we had soft-boiled eggs for breakfast, accompanied by the leftover apple-bran muffins from Friday. Then we walked all the way around Lake Windigo (the lake in the center of Star Island). That is a fairly decent walk, though we stopped several times to admire various views, and also to chat with two of our neighbors up at the north portage. (The portages are all from Cass Lake in to Lake Windigo, in case that was not obvious. The north portage is suitable for anything; it is very short, wide, and sandy. The east portage is suitable for canoes. And the south portage is not really a portage -- it is just a regular woodland trail -- though I suppose you could carry a canoe along it in a pinch.) The trail needs a bunch of clipping, though, and a few places really will need to be rerouted over the next few years because they are in danger of collapsing right into the lake.

When we got back, I took a nap (longer than I meant to, but I suppose that makes up for staying up later on Monday night than I meant to -- Dad and I were talking about this and that, got really into our conversation, and mutually lost track of time), and then went down to the dock to finish Religion in the Japanese Experience: Sources and Interpretations. So that's two reading projects knocked off, go me!

(I have signally failed to start reading Don Quixote, though. *sigh*)

I also picked a starship design for the Amber Lotus -- the Red Cross ship in "Intervention," aka my WIP Big Bang fic -- since my artist wanted a visual reference. That was a little annoying/embarrassing, since I had actually picked a starship type a year or two back... and then forgotten to write my choice down, so I had to recreate it from scratch today. *headdesk*

Hmm. Other things, other things...

I do most of the table-clearing and dish-washing at the cabin, since I find it meditative and also I don't help much with the cooking. I have obviously been doing a bunch of that.

Mom and I have also been working through a book of crossword puzzles I bought a few years ago for use on trips (sometimes crosswords are more my speed than a book; sometimes it's the other way around) and while most of them are pretty reasonable, there was one that had straight-up terrible clues -- hopelessly non-specific, and not even any clever jokes to resolve ambiguities. We had to cheat repeatedly to get anywhere, which is annoying since we have done harder-rated crosswords with much less difficulty.

And now I think I will go to bed, since I want to get through tomorrow without collapsing for a two-hour nap. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Put away laundry.

2. Wrote some character descriptions for "Intervention" and emailed them to my WIP Big Bang artist. That was actually a very useful exercise, because I had not thought in detail about the characters' appearances before and now I can try to work some of those visual details into the story text.

Like, about all I had before was that Kath is short and wears her hair in braids, Jahiem is a lot taller than Kath, Adam has blond hair and always wears black, Inez wears a gold cross necklace, Jayavanti is a bit taller than both Kath and Hegev, Nico is tall and often sleep-deprived, Hegev is Tellarite, Zhi-ren has long hair he sometimes puts into a ponytail, Fra Treefell is weather-beaten, and Elakwa looks like Marina Sirtis's more tired and less fashion-conscious cousin. Which is not a lot to be going on. Now I know a lot more. :)

3. Put my peppers and squash out all day on Wednesday, since the forecast predicted a mostly cloudy day rather than full sunlight.

more items under the cut )

10. Finally got around to cooking the fajita filling for which I chopped and froze the ingredients a couple weeks ago. \o/ That's now in the fridge, cooling down, and I'll stick it in the freezer in the morning.

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edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

August 2017

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