Writing in a vacuum can be very boring. For most you either need to sit at a desk or library or if you’re like me you have a 3 days worth of movie soundtracks to listen to get you into the mood. The downside to writing in a vacuum is no feedback or moral support feels like you’re building a sand castle at the beach and no one is there to admire it. I started writing by adapting the Transformers pilot episode onto my dad’s TSR-80 laptop and continued through Junior High and High School writing at the time what was fan fiction Robotech novels. During college, I met up with Paul Chabot and in a year or two we’re semi-yearly self publishing a black and white comic book called Totems. In 2004, I found NaNoWrimo and got back into the universe I create in College and updated it so the Robotech trappings were gone. Rhode Island is small state so traveling to write ins and finding coffee houses that can hold a burgeoning amount of people who’re just going to sit there and tap away on their laptops sounds easier than it should be but it’s not when your favorite place on Fox Point up and closes and you now have to seek another watering hole. In December of 2010, sitting at the TGIO (Thank God It’s Over) party for NaNoWrimo over at Brewed Awakenings in Johnston, there were great deal of people sitting around and I asked them if I started a writing group would they be interested in joining and they said yes. Thankfully, Warwick Public Library had rooms available to reserve and in February (after a mis-step in January with snow in the forecast that never appeared) our motley group got together and reviewed several pieces including the first chapter of Weaver which has since been filed under: Nothing happens in fifteen pages it’s being revised. It has been a fun five years. I’ve attempted to switch gears from hobby writing to writing professionally and even finished the first draft of Weaver to find I put too much into it. It’s been a delight to see other authors hone their craft until they have a voice and knowing when you read their piece it’s going to be interesting. If you’re writing and haven’t found a writing group I suggest checking Meetup. You’d be surprised to see how many writing groups there are. A writing group is great resource to have because:
No one at the table is a blood relation to you.
You’ll get free feedback on your work from people who may not even be writing in your genre.
We’ve had people come and go, the core group had clicked and even started meeting once a month to write in Newport. We’ve even had a few people self publish a book or two, like Matt Keefer, Janet Parkinson and more. So, when Bennett North sold her first short story to Fantasy and Science Fiction it was happy day since she had submitted to the group. It was even a more happier day when it appeared in the January/February 2016 Edition of the magazine. And here are some of those reviews from Tangent and SFRevu of the issue.
So with April coming to a close time to look at the metrics. The Where Weavers Daire K BAR count is:
Judging from my monthly posts I appear to be doing roughly 10k words a month. I’ve only been on this new schedule for three months so I think it’s time to write faster and awesomer. (Yes, awesomer is word. Yes I’m ignoring spell check out of blatant curiosity why do you ask?) Overall I’m happy with where the story is going. I’ve gotten to a point where Spencer and Melinda’s stories should be intertwining themselves shortly. The constant back and forth that has been going on will be one story until the end. The target of 110000 is just a target. I don’t foresee it going over 110000 so if I get under the goal it’ll be fine. My hope was to get it done by the end of this month but obviously that’s not going to happen so I’m pushing my deadline to the end of next month.
So with NaNoWrimo in the rear view, training at work complete and Gotham Writing Course SF&F II winding down it’s time to take a look and see where I stand. NaNoWrimo helped a bit with moving the current work in progress along, I managed to flesh out a few Melinda Chapters from last year and almost done getting her and Spencer in the same place. The original idea had been to rotate chapters between Spencer and Melinda, even and odd but I’m finding spending three chapters on one character and three on the other seems to be working out better. 2013 will mark the third year I’ve been working on this and I plan to get it done in the next few months. In the meantime, I’ve been gobbling up Hugh Howie‘s Wool series in between critiquing the works from SF&F II Class and tweaking things with the Rhody Writers Group. My hope is these tweaks will invite more people to contribute without having to drive so much. The WIP K BAR count is:
First is a required minimum of works before a physical meet up is scheduled Second is using Google Drive as a on-line resource to comment on critiques. On the movie front: Skyfall gets an A from me. Hobbit gets a B. On the 2013 front: Going out to Seattle to Emerald City Con and to see my brother since he moved out there and bought a house. And, sometime in June looking at going down to New Orleans to take some photos while Montilee Stormer directs her first short film. After Earth, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim, Warm Bodies and Star Trek: Into Darkness and Oblivion are on the list for next year.
The alternate title to this post: Where the frack did July go and why I hate Chapter 8! Welcome to August. Four months until Christmas/New Years, three months until NaNoWrimo. And a week until the Gotham Writing Workshop on Sci-Fi and Fantasy starts. Oh, and Camp NaNoWrimo started this month, too. On the life front, July blew by with a week in lovely Claremont, NH at the North Star House. Going from the oldest resort town to a farming/mill town of Claremont was a little bit of a jolt. For one, no light pollution! Except from the train across the road. Oh, and I did I mention the coyotes? I can say I swam from NH to VT on the CT River and had a fun time. I’ll be posting pictures to flickr soon. The ones I posted to Facebok weren’t tweek as much as they should have been. On the writing front, the writing group suggested I tweak chapter 8. Spent the last few days at the library re-writing and adjusting as I go. The postings may become more frequent due to the Gotham Writing Workshop. As much as I tried to use Clarion to get some traction the July vacation while enjoyable did nothing to help my word count. The WIP K BAR count is:
So with June halfway gone and July soon approaching, the metrics look like this: The WIP K BAR count is:
The Rhody Writing Group unanimously said: Yeh, we need info dump, new characters are too much and the other things that made great sense. So, Chapter 9 gets a re-write, again and probably 10 as well. The Clarion Write-A-Thon begins next week. I decided to participate to see if it’ll help get through these chapters. The Write-A-Thon coincides with the Clarion Sci-Fi & Fantasy Workshop. My writer’s profile page is here. And, for some reason there’s a Clarion West Write-A-Thon which makes this even odder. The Gotham Writing On-Line Workshop for Sci-Fi and Fantasy has my eye. The June class is full but I’m looking at the August on-line class. In other news, the Quonset Airshow had a good weekend. I went in late on Saturday and starting using my new 70mm-200mm IS L Lens and have to say with some practice it’s well worth the money spent. The only downside is swapping lens when I get closer to objects and after looking at some of the other L lens on cameras around me, I have to say some people dropped 2k+ for the 28-300 L IS. I posted a few photos to my Facebook timeline, I’ll be post the rest to Flickr shortly. The Airshow as a whole has gotten better even if the planes on static display are disappearing only to replaced by food carts and climbing walls for the kids. The aerial displays were fun to watch I enjoyed the T-6’s the most since they weren’t tiny aerobatic planes. No offense to those aerobatic acts it’s just: I like heritage fly overs, I like different acts, refueling by big jets and maybe even the occasional sail plane. The jet truck and combined arms demo is fun to watch but give me something else that doesn’t include a soundtrack that drops from rock to Star Wars to Battlestar Galactica. The Portsmouth-Boston Airshow in 2 weeks looks divine, unfortunately, I’m busy. Judging from the acts, I strongly recommend going. On the tech front, I decided to take the plunge and get a retina Mac Book Pro. It should be arriving just in time for vacation in July. The biggest reason for buying it: the iPad just didn’t have the word processor functionality I needed. It’s to the ebook functionality and the web browsing portability. There are some great word processing apps don’t get me wrong but my work flow switching back and forth between app and Word. That and just pulling out the laptop from my bag instead of the iPad mount and keyboard will be nice. Quick writing links: Pixar Story Rules. Looking ahead to November, dunno if I’m going to be ML for NaNoWrimo. Figure I’ll decide while I’m break in July and if I decide to take a step back notify everyone.
I haven’t posted any metrics as of late because I went back through some of the feedback from the Rhody Writers Group and decided chapters 6, 7, 8 needed some adjustments. And, I gutted chapter 9 and tried it from a different angle, that of the villains of the book instead of keeping it with the heroes for so long. In the end, I hope I covered the same ground, expanded the universe and introduced the villains earlier. Chapters 10-14 are looking good. Chapter 13 had the return of Mindy’s arc and now Chapter 15 hers and Spencer’s arc are moving to intersect. I had a wild idea to try and finish this for Viable Paradise and submit it but I don’t foresee myself finishing it by the deadline of June 15. Camp NaNoWrimo is starting in in June and August. Current count: The WIP K BAR count is:
Not so bad since this time last year I was at 11k.
One year ago Rhody Writing Group had it’s first meet up and we’re continuing to chug along quite happily I think. I’m glad to see repeat people along with new faces and half of them know Doctor Who so they can’t all be bad. The WIP DEATH BAR count is:
Well, curb stomping the K was for the better. The overall genre of the story has been science fiction and as much as I would love to label it: Game of Thrones in Space I don’t see a need to bloat the story just because. The 7k would have expanded the universe but for right now, it’s not needed. I’m happy to see I’m 40k ahead of where I was last year, the writing group(s) that have given me feedback has made it better than it was.
*Found on the dry erase board before the Rhody Writing Group’s December Meet Up. So, with 2011 coming to a close, the current status on the WIP is: The WIP DEATH BAR count is:
I’m happier with my WIP than I was last year, it’s taken the entire year to get up to 25k but at least it’s with constant feedback from the group every few months. I’ve loosely plotted out a series. Once this WIP is done, the Zombie novel is next. Rhody Writing Group continues to grow, we had eleven people at the last meet up. Once we pass January and get past my bro’s wedding, I’m going to schedule once a month write ins for people who are working on pieces that just want to get away for a few hours and write in a group. In other news, big trailers are dropping lie flies over Apple’s Trailer Page, The Dark Knight Rises, Wrath of the Titans and the Alien Prequel Prometheus is getting a mini 30 second countdown tease to the trailer that drops on Thursday. Few have complained about a countdown tease to a trailer but more than a few have pointed out this is Ridley Scott returning to Sci-Fi after Alien and Blade Runner, if this doesn’t inject some sort of heartbeat into this franchise they’re doing it wrong.