The State of the Writer: 1/9/21

<–The State of the Writer: 12/26/21         The State of the Writer: 1/23/22–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 10,530
Prior Word Count: 10,530
Word Difference: 0
Status: Organization
Progress:
Chapter 2

I figured out a lot of the logistical stuff with the time, and made a guideline for myself.  I think I’m going to do a micro-outline for Chapter 2 next and then highlight in the text where the fixes/updates need to take place.  I really hope to be drafting again by the end of this month.

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The State of the Writer: 12/26/21

<–The State of the Writer: 12/12/21         The State of the Writer: 1/9/22–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 10,530
Prior Word Count: 10,530
Word Difference: 0
Status: Organization
Progress:
Chapter 2

I’m making progress with my organization but still working on it.  Given the last two weeks contained Christmas, I wasn’t expecting to make much headway; however, I managed to organize the conversation beats for Chapter 1 and fix the micro-outline (it was such a mess).  I need to do the same for Chapter 2 and fix the micro-outline there as well.  There are other things I need to add in/fix like how I completely fucked up the progression of time.  It’s the equivalent of an August evening so the sun would set late, so I have to figure out the logistics of when they get to town, how long they’re there, and when the sun sets.  They keep time differently from how we do, but the hours of the day are the same.

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The State of the Writer: 12/12/21

<–The State of the Writer: 10/31/21         The State of the Writer: 12/26/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 10,530
Prior Word Count: 771
Word Difference: 9759
Status: Drafting & Organization
Progress:
Chapter 2

I’m happy to report I made my NaNoWriMo goal of 10k words and then some.  Setting lower goals or maybe more bite sized really works out for me.  There were some days where I wrote more, a few days where I wrote less, and some where I wrote nothing, but all in all I was able to make my set goal, and I’m really happy about that.  I thought I’d only be working on the first chapter, but 10k is a lot of words for just one, and there was a natural place to end it and start Chapter 2.  I’m absolutely loving the relationship dynamic between Maya and her BFF.  It’s…different but still familiar.  There’s some subversion of the familiar “best friend with a crush” trope that I hope works out.

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The State of the Writer: 10/31/21

<–The State of the Writer: 10/17/21         The State of the Writer: 12/12/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 771
Prior Word Count: 771
Word Difference: 0
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

I think I’m ready for NaNoWrimo and have figured out the tie stuff and what I want to happen in this first scene.  There’s one more thing I need to clarify *takes quick note* and then I should be good to go for tomorrow.

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The State of the Writer: 10/17/21

<–The State of the Writer: 10/3/21         The State of the Writer: 10/31/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 771
Prior Word Count: 774
Word Difference: -3
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

Slow going is better than no going.  I’ve spent the past few weeks figuring out ascot/tie knots as it pertains to status/standing because that was a thing in my first novel that this one is the sort of sequel to.  I remembered I had a site saved with a bunch of different ways to do it.

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The State of the Writer: 10/3/21

<–The State of the Writer: 9/19/21         The State of the Writer: 10/17/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 770
Prior Word Count: 774
Word Difference: +4
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

I honestly thought I didn’t have any extra words this week, but I wrote four?  Holy shit!

Most of what I did the past two weeks was trying to figure out clothing materials so I could describe what a tie was made of.  Am I babbling nonsense?  More than likely.  I’ll try to explain.  So in my first novel The Serpent’s Tale I came up with this system of telling a man’s status by both the material and method of how he ties his ascot/tie.  While I didn’t go into too much detail about the knot in TST, I did decide that the “highest” material was silk.  Well in attempting to describe her BFF’s outfit, I had to stop and do some world-building on this whole system, which meant researchng fabrics and reaching out to my fabric/historian friends on FB lol.  I’m still working on it, and because I am how I am, I can’t move on until I have the foundation laid.  I have to know why I’m picking that particular material.  It’s…weird.  I think a lot of this comes from me needing to justify why I do/think things, and that’s carried over into my writing.  Even if I don’t put all the details into the story itself, I always consider, “What if someone asks me why I did this?” so I always want to have an answer.  World-buidling based on trauma responses, y’all!

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The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Title:The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Author: Claire North
Date Added: September 15, 2017
Date Started: August 23, 2018
Date Finished: September 21, 2018
Reading Duration: 29 days
Genre: Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Mystery, Drama, Philosophical

Cover of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire NorthPages: 405
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Redhook
Media: eBook/Kindle


Some stories cannot be told in just one lifetime. Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. “I nearly missed you, Doctor August,” she says. “I need to send a message.” This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.


CW: Discussions of suicide, torture, and murder of sex workers.


We believed that we could change ourselves,
The past could be undone.
-Sarah McLachlan “Fallen”

When I was a child before any sort of indoctrination took hold, I believed dying was just a reset button, and I would start life over again right where I began.  Upon realizing this was the premise of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, it was like having a religious experience that was less ironic and more absolute.  I do not believe my child’s mind thought I’d retain all my prior life’s memories, but I am 100% certain I would suffer the same in my second life as the titular character and then spend the rest of them trying to do the impossible like Merida in Disney’s Brave and change fate.  This is protagonist’s goal on a grander scale in Claire North’s brilliant debut novel.

Harry August is a kalachakra, a person for whom death and life are an infinite loop.  At the cessation of the latter, they are reborn in the exact same place and time to relive their life anew with the knowledge that they’ve done all this before.  “Kalachakra” was not a term made up by North; it is rather a Buddhist concept that means “wheel of time” (hi Robert Jordan) or “time cycles” with the latter term putting me in the mind of Chrono Trigger, specifically the song “Time Circuits.”

With more insights garnered from video games, I discovered the meaning of “kalachakra” from a video about Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, which is another narrative about time loops not only of the essence, but also necessary to forestall the end of the world.

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The State of the Writer: 9/19/21

<–The State of the Writer: 9/5/21         The State of the Writer: 10/3/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 770
Prior Word Count: 676
Word Difference: +94
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

What?  Drafting progrress??  An increased word count???  WHAT???!

While I didn’t fulfill my goal of drafting Chapter 1 on my two week vacation, I did at least make progress, and there’s actually a lot more done in the background.  Even though I added less than 100 words, I did a lot more work with the world-building, organization, and micro-outlining.  I’m also having an extreme amount of fun writing the dialogue for the main character Maya and her BFF Caemlyn.  It’s this friendly, flirty banter that’s hamstrung in the beginning by the MC’s anxiety about something happening tomorrow.  I’m very adamant about showing as much as possible, so I’m trying to have his reactions to her perceived grumpiness reveal that this isn’t their typical dynamic.  I’m also being a presumptuous prig by doing this sort of metatextual foreshadowing (I implore you to try using that in a sentence without sounding like an elitist ass lol), and I just hope it works out.  I know drafting is just supposed to be about shoveling the sand into the bucket for castle building (editing) later, but I have to make sure I”m laying the groundwork for exactly what I want to build with maybe some surprising embellishments.  I do feel like I can move forward now and continue drafting (when I have the time/energy), and I actually look forward to it, too 🙂

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The State of the Writer: 9/5/21

<–The State of the Writer: 8/22/21         The State of the Writer: 9/19/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 676
Prior Word Count: 676
Word Difference: 0
Status: Organization
Progress:
Chapter 1

I did some serious brainstorming/notetaking over the past few days, fleshing out one of the side characters.  Even if it doesn’t find its way into the story, I like to have a robust background for as many people as possible.   I might work on more today, since I still have some creative juices left for it.

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The State of the Writer: 8/22/21

<–The State of the Writer: 8/8/21         The State of the Writer: 9/5/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 676
Prior Word Count: 676
Word Difference: 0
Status: Organization
Progress:
Chapter 1

I wracked my brain for a week over what to do and where to put my “false” starts.  I wound up making a separate section for them on Scrivener.  I have two more to sort out, but one of them occurs later in the story when the two protagonists meet, so I might just hold off on putting that anywhere on Scivener since I don’t know what chapter that will be.  I’m not sure when I’ll start drafting again, but I am on vacation for two weeks in September so I might plan it out then.  I’m hoping if I can get over this beginning hump, things will be easier.  This chapter has a radically different tone from the rest of the novel, which could be one of the reasons it’s giving me so much trouble.

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