Tag Archives: Planning

April 2013 Writing Update

writing promps creative fiction fountain pen writingFirstly, a big apology because I have only just realised that I completely neglected to write Marchs writing update. Mind you I was just about to go on holiday so I guess I can be forgiven for having my mind elsewhere. So, I suppose this should be more of a two month update.

If you want to acquaint yourself with the previous update you can read it here or you can read all the updates here. Oh, and my 2013 writing objectives are here.

Now, I believe that most of my updates are along the lines of ‘Oh, I didn’t really do this’ or ‘I was having difficulty with this’ well this time I am going to try to do things differently. Celebrating the successes and not dwelling on the stuff that may not have gone so well.

So since the last time I updated you what has happened?

But it’s all the things that don’t have an objective for them that I am feeling best about. I have started a new project, a locked room mystery, and I am really enjoying it. It’s getting all the right parts of my brain going again. Rather than an intensive world building session I am finding the joy in research; grappling hooks, hallucinogenic plants and police procedures are just three of the things I’ve had a look at. It feels good to get everything going again, rather than feeling stuck in the creative mire.

Secondly, I am still going to the gym. I think I briefly mentioned this in February’s update. Thanks to a fairly intensive (for me) regime I am the lightest I have been for at least a decade, my strength, my lung capacity and my general level fitness has improved no end. So I am feeling immensely proud of this, after all how many times do you get to drill two more holes into your belt because it is now too big for you.

I passed my theory test (the second time) I aced the hazard test, but how could I not it’s just like a computer game. I am almost ready to take my practical test, but that one’s a little scarier and I am not quite confident enough to take that one yet.

There is still an incredible amount for me to do, I hope to build up the courage to write and send an article off to a magazine. Something which is taking for more courage than I would have thought initially, I also need to get my head down with the course and do my gods honest best to spend my time more wisely.

It’s a short update, but a positive one. There is plenty more writing for me to do, and I just need to keep the pace and plod on, after all I may get a job soon and then where would all this lovely free time go.

Hope everything is going well with you.

Backbenching the WIP and Writing Something New

Blood dagger knife murder drips dropsThere are many rules of being a writer, the most obvious being that you must of course be writing something to be a writer. Another rule fairly near the top of the list is that you must always finish the story you’re trying to tell.

If you begin writing something you should get to the end of it no matter what, otherwise you could be starting a dangerous precedent in which you never actually finish anything you start to write. It’s a sound piece of advice, and one that I have sincerely tried to stick to, but I am afraid that just this once I am going to have to break this near cardinal of rules.  The current story is going to be put on hold, on-hiatus, I’m taking a break etc. Continue reading Backbenching the WIP and Writing Something New

February 2013 Writing Update

It’s that time of the month. It’s time for me to look over the past 28 days and update y’all on just how well I am doing towards achieving all my objectives; an opportunity for me to describe in great length the massive echelons I have traversed in such a relatively short period. Yet this was not the month for great leaps in productivity, as far as my goals go, I have not done a great deal.

In fact the grand total of everything I have achieved in February consists of:

  • 2 pieces of flash fiction
  • 1 book read

However despite what looks to be a tremendous lack of productivity, I have not being sitting on my hands. The exact opposite in fact. (Sitting on somebody elses hands? Hands sitting on you?) OK, not the exact opposite in literal terms, but I have been very active. For those who read this post (It was one of the only three posts I wrote in February) you’ll know that I am hitting the Gym (again not literally, I have better things to do than physically assault a place of exercise). It is all this exercise business that has thrown my otherwise routine existence into chaos. New schedule aside, I am enjoying going I just haven’t got into a routine so it’s a bit more time-consuming than I would like.

So I may not have hit many objectives this month, but I am still feeling pretty good about myself. After all, it is alright for goals to change. Saying that I don’t want to make a habit of using it as an excuse, there are plenty more hours in the day to write in.

Recently, I have noticed that I’m suffering from FAE. For those not in the business of made-up psychological illnesses, FAE is Friend Achievement Envy. I have started to notice just how many people are achieving things (Jo at TheHappyLogophile.com completed the first draft of her novel, another friend of mine is planning to climb K2 or some other insanely large mountain, and I have just received a Facebook invitation to go to a play that another friend of mine is directing, and there’s other stuff too). Now I do want to make it clear that I am not bitter or hostile, I think what they are achieving is fantastic and the results are certainly a testament to all the hard work they have put in to get there. One day it will be me, proudly claiming that has taking real work to produce, but it seems for the time being my own achievements are a little further away.

One day, I’ll get my chance but it can only happen once I have learned to commit myself to something, and stay focused…

…it might be a long road but March is a whole new month. Wish me luck.

January 2013’s Writing Update

writing updates 2013It has been near-as-dammit one month since I wrote my objectives for 2013, a relatively long list of thirty-four things that I had to achieve before the fireworks went off for 2014’s New Year. These updates did use to be quarterly, but I figured the longer it is between the updates the more likely it is that time will just run away with me. So monthly updates it is then…

If you want to refresh yourself with my targets you can look here, if you have memorized them all then you don’t need to check but that is one scarily-high level of commitment for minor details you have there. You’re not the one going through my bins at the dead of night are you…?

Continue reading January 2013’s Writing Update

Planning Stories by Interrogation

A few days ago I came up with something, an idea, a method of planning stories and tales that really worked for me. It’s not a complex method and to be fair it probably isn’t even all that new to a lot of writers out there either but it is new to me, and I find it very effective.This method it more effective for flash fiction and short stories, as novels require a greater degree of planning then what I am about to describe,

“But what is this method” I hear you all cry out with a near tangible curiosity. “What is your ever so brilliant method. A method so unorthodox and revolutionary that it will completely change the way that we all think about planning stories?”

Well in short (and did I detect a note of sarcasm just then) you imagine yourself as a hard-nosed detective interrogating the crap out of your storyline. Start with a simple premise and then keep asking questions. A fairly standard technique I know, nothing new and impressive here. The secret for me is that you have to hammer out your questions as quickly as possible. Scarcely giving yourself time to think of the answers.

But before you can start the interrogation, you need a basic premise. A simple idea that you can hang the rest of your questions from. If you have been given a prompt for the flash fiction, start with this as the premise, then just keep asking questions. Continue reading Planning Stories by Interrogation

Writing Objectives for 2013

A couple of days ago, I wrote this post (2012, a Critical Review of my Year) In which I looked back at my writing through the past year, worked out what I really needed to work on and what I think went quite well. Now that has been done, It’s time to take those comments and build up a list of things to look at or achieve in 2013.

I did a similar thing at the start of 2012, but the things I needed to achieve were rather generic not to mention in some cases a massive undertaking. This year I am going to take the ‘failed’ achievements from last year and rewrite them, breaking them down into a number of easily manageable steps.

“How do you eat an elephant, one small piece at a time.”

Continue reading Writing Objectives for 2013

2012, a Critical Review of my Year

2012 review endRight, well that’s 2012 done with. All 365 days (365.25 if you’re feeling particularly scientific) have passed, and there is never a better time to look back over the year and make a note of everything that was a blinding success, everything that was a horrendous blood-gutted catastrophe and everything in between. It’s always difficult to be impartial when you look back over your own achievements, you can either be too lenient or too critical. Neither of which do you any good. Me, I’ll probably be to critical, so you’ll have to bear with me. Continue reading 2012, a Critical Review of my Year