The State of the Writer: 6/27/21

<–The State of the Writer: 6/13/21         The State of the Writer: 7/11/21–>

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: 613
Word Difference: +63
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

I’m making progress even if it’s painfully slow.  I at least wrote one line I’m proud of.  “Promise the moon when you’re too short to reach the sky.”  It’s not the vision I lack; it’s the concentration to put what I’m seeing into words.  I haven’t even gotten to the part I micro-outlined.  I’ve been going back through what I wrote before to iron some things out.  Lots of writers wait until they’ve written the thing before they do any edits, but I always re-read what I wrote last time in order to re-ground myself in the story.  If I don’t, I feel unmoored and disconnected (which…tbh is how I’ve been feeling in general with life).  It takes longer, and I spend less time per session writing (or have to extend the session), but I get more out of it.  I also get to spend more time with the characters and come to a better understanding of where they are.  Like when I outlined this chapter, I had thought the air of it would be more playful and adventurous, but there’s an undercurrent of anxiety because my MC is really worried about something, and her BFF notices because she’s snippier than usual.  I like where I’m going with it; it’s just…life/reality bullshit is getting in the way haha.

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The State of the Writer: 6/13/21

<–The State of the Writer: 5/30/21         The State of the Writer: 6/27/21–>

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: 613
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

Ughhhhhhhh *but forever*  So first off, I was wrong about the word count.  What I thought was word count was actually character count, so damn my myopic eyes.  I haven’t broken the thousand word threshold yet with this, and I’m not sure how many more words I’ve written in the past few weeks.  Not that many because I’ve really been struggling…like really.  I’ve never had this much trouble starting a story once I have an idea of where I’m going.  Direction isn’t the issue, nor is vision.  I can 100% visualize the scene, but translating that into words humans can understand is where the pipe is clogged.  I know it’s a “I don’t have enough energy to concentrate” type of thing.  I also have this thing where if I don’t feel like I’m doing well, it’ll really put a damper on my ability to work.  I’m not giving up on this project though.  I…can’t really do that.  I’ll just start obsessing over it if I don’t work on it.  If you think this update is all over the place THIS IS EXACTLY MY FUCKING PROBLEM.  I’ve started what I call “micro” outlining where I break down my outline even more so it’s sort of between an outline and a draft.  I just sort of stream-of-consciousness what I want to happen in my notes and then later will go back and smooth it out.  I did that last night with a scene, and I’m hoping to work on it today.  I’ve also been talking to another author friend about it and I’m about to message my other about it.  Sometimes I don’t even need a response; I just need to hear it aloud.

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Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Title: Unraveling Oliver
Author: Liz Nugent
Date Added: August 26, 2017
Date Started: January 21, 2021
Date Finished: February 26, 2021
Reading Duration: 16 days
Genre: Fiction, Adult Contemporary, Drama, Mystery, Psychological Thriller

Cover of Unraveling Oliver by Liz NugentPages: 260
Publication Date: March 6, 2014
Publisher: Scout Press
Media: Hardback (Library)


Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbours, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.


A child that is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.

-African Proverb

If ever there was a story that exemplified the false dichotomy of “martyrs and monsters,” it would be Liz Nugent’s Unraveling Oliver.  Though I find it far easier to slide Oliver to the “monster” end of the spectrum, I would be disingenuous to deny him the same courtesy I so readily extend to (arguably) more malevolent actors, because another false dichotomy of “nature vs. nurture” still tells us monsters are not really born; they are made.

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The State of the Writer: 5/30/21

<–The State of the Writer: 5/16/21         The State of the Writer: 6/13/21–>

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: 1673
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

I actually started drafting the first chapter last week.  Well…it’s more of a reworking of the draft of the first chapter, but I still consider it progress.  I’m doing something new and using Scrivener as my writing platform, going back and forth from the Word doc I already have.  I’m a bit paranoid about it though and will probably make a Word backup.  Scrivener hasn’t given me any problems and it saves automatically, but you know there’s always that one time.

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The State of the Writer: 5/16/21

<–The State of the Writer: 5/2/21         The State of the Writer: 5/30/21–>

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
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener/Working on Chapter 1 Outline

I’m pretty much ready to start writing; I just need the energy and the time.  I know what I want the first chapter to be about, and I’ve even started looking at my other beginnings.  It’s really just finding the space to write.

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The State of the Writer: 5/2/21

<–The State of the Writer: 4/18/21         The State of the Writer: 5/16/21–>

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
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener/Working on Chapter 1 Outline

And I’m back to working on the chapter outline.  I think I’m pretty much done with the notes, though there are some things here and there I can work on.  I was talking to another author friend, and she made a really good point about how you can spend too much time working on the prep as a way to put off writing the story, and I think I’m starting to do that.  I’m not sure when I’ll start writing, because I’ve managed to get myself wrapped up in yet another project, but I have been looking at what I’ve written before.  I actually started writing it again about a year ago, so I’m not completely starting from scratch.  It’s just that I needed to hash out the details of the world for my own knowledge before I continued.

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The State of the Writer: 4/18/21

<–The State of the Writer: 4/4/21         The State of the Writer: 5/2/21–>

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
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener

Sometimes you take steps back in a process, which is why I removed “working on Chapter 1 outline” from the status.  I’ve been hashing out more notes and trying to refine the connections between this and my first novel.  I’m trying to decide if I want to make a Scrivener for that prior to starting work on this.  Obviously The Serpent’s Tale is already written, but it needs a complete overhaul.  Because it’s the foundation of this story, I have characters and settings from it in Scrivener under “Past Characters” and “Past Settings,” but there’s a lot of crossover, and it might just be easier to make it its own.  Even if it wouldn’t help with this novel, it’ll help when I rewrite TST.  It’s really just deciding if I want to do it prior to jumping into this, and this all started because I needed to make a map lol.  I am absolutely awful at direction so a visual representation would really help; however, I’m also shit at drawing and measuring distances so there’s that, too.  All of the online map creators are either too complicated or cost money, so here I am doing it freehand.  I have notes about where certain places were located as well as the story’s starting and ending point.  It’s just filling out the details between.

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The State of the Writer: 4/4/21

<–The State of the Writer: 3/21/21         The State of the Writer: 4/18/21–>

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
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener & Working on Chapter 1 Outline

I really want to start writing as soon as possible.  I feel like I’ve gotten most of the important details hashed out or at least enough of a foundation that I can begin.  I think I’m in that annoying place where I’m getting too much in my head and too worried about starting so I’m becoming nitpicky about details.  The next time I have the energy to work on this, I’m going to put together the first chapter outline.  I really, really want to write the “first meeting” scene, though that’s not for several chapters after a lot of grief.

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The State of the Writer: 2/7/21

<–The State of the Writer: 1/24/21         The State of the Writer: 2/21/21–>

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
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener

I managed to figure out one of the things I had under General Issues and Questions on OneNote from years ago for the male MC.  Sometimes I just have to start writing about the problem and brainstorming solutions, and it’ll come together.  I still have a few more things to do, but I’m starting to think about what I need to finish up in order to start writing the first chapter.  My hubs is the MVP for just listening to me talk about this shit and let me figure it out lol.

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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Date Added: April 13, 2013
Date Started: August 9, 2018
Date Finished: September 13, 2018
Reading Duration: 35 days
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, Young Adult (YA), Mid-Grade

Cover of The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanPages: 286
Publication Date: September 30, 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins
Media: Paperback


In this ingenious and captivating reimagining of Rudyard Kipling’s classic adventure The Jungle Book, Neil Gaiman tells the unforgettable story of Nobody Owens, a living, breathing boy whose home is a graveyard, raised by a guardian who belongs neither to the mortal world nor the realm of the dead. Among the mausoleums and headstones of his home, Bod experiences things most mortals can barely imagine. But real, flesh-and-blood danger waits just outside the cemetery walls: the man who murdered the infant Bod’s family will not rest until he finds Nobody Owens and finishes the job he began many years ago.

A #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of many international awards, including the Hugo Award for best novel and the Locus Award, The Graveyard Book is a glorious meditation on love, loss, survival, and sacrifice . . . and what it means to truly be alive.


Per the blurb, this is a retelling/fanfiction of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, but without the blatantly racist aspects of the original work.  In using the graveyard as a paranormal stand-in for Mowgli’s jungle, Gaiman’s novel serves as a perfect parallel to the “return to your own world” narrative, and could in fact surpass Kipling’s motif to the same.  While Mowgli will never belong to the jungle, one day the graveyard will be Nobody’s place, and the somber meaning of his name will be fulfilled.

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