Post your Progress Thread

Discussion in 'Writing' started by PaxNoctis, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. PaxNoctis

    PaxNoctis Zelazny Wannabe

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm borrowing this idea from another writer's forum I visit periodically. The idea is that everyone posts updates of their progress on the latest story/novel/poem/whatever. It was pretty popular out there, and I think it's a great motivational tool.

    I guess I'll start :cool:.

    I just recently finished Chapter 12 of 'Untitled', which is one of my few non-fantasy works that's been plaguing me for a while. I think I've got about 4-5 chapters left, and then it's done, which I'm kind of optimistic about. It's a dark, ugly kind of story and at times it's almost painful to write.

    I'm also into 'Twilight War', which is basically an action-movie in book form ;p. This one's great fun to write, and the characters are starting to come to life and do things on their own, which is nice.

    Stuck on Sleeping Dragon for the moment, trying to decide what I want to do with it.

    Also retooled the website (shameless plug. You can read all the afore-mentioned here ;p), made a cool new logo thanks to CoolText (I can track down the URL if anyone's interested. Free 3D logos, bunch of different styles).

    Anywhoo, how's everyone else doing with their various projects?
     
  2. choppy

    choppy The Great Flying Bear

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Hi PaxNoctis,

    Welcome to the forums.

    There used to be a "sticky" with the same general idea - where people could post what they were currently working on. I'm not sure what happened to it, but I'm guessing that it got old and after a while people didn't bother updating in and it lost its "sticky" status.

    Anyway, my primary writing project over the summer and into the fall is a thesis. It's an epic adventure story involving radiation transport, Monte Carlo simulations, a lot of portal imaging and energy fluence measurement, with a little nuclear medicine mixed in for a twist. Exciting!

    On the side I have a number of projects on the go:
    - a hard-boiled ninja story that just won't lie down and die
    - a colourful epic fantasy with some hardcore characters and no plot
    - a military science fiction story that is really a disguised outlet for my political arguments against the evil of "hippies"
    - a suspenceful thriller that is neither suspenceful, nor thrilling

    When I get around to finishing a story or two, I'm probably going to look into POD - but that's too far into the future. I can't even remember what I'm supposed to do tommorrow.
     
  3. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gosh, where to start.

    1) Massive update of book 1.
    I wrote this book back in 1996 and have done several overhauls on it. After reading many books and learning 'style' I decided to delve back into this one and give it a major face lift. I didn't change the story, just wording and grammar.

    2) Once I'm done with book 1, it's onto 2 and 3 to do the same.

    3) Once those three have been 'lifted' I'll finish off book 4 and get into writing book 5.

    4) In my spare time, I've written the following short stories this year

    Ed's Vacation 992 Published
    Stan's Mirror 2300 Published
    Pat and the Apple Pie 998On my Web Page
    Mike and the Pizza 998On My Web Page
    Land of Ice and Snow 7500Submitted
    Stan's Dilema 55Submitted
    Gohn's Arm 3500Submitted
    Don't Eat the Bread 6400Submitted
    The Tear of a Wizard 2500Submitted
    Drought 621Submitted
    The Empty Letter 4700Submitted
    Rainy Night 2100Submitted
    Freeway Man 1900Submitted
    Don't Use the Phone 4500Submitted
    Niboowin Jibwah Gimiwun 5400Editing Room
    Dragon Slayer? 4000Editing Room
    Little Deaths 4600Editing Room
    The Father and the Sun 1200Editing Room
    Note from the Castle's Dungeon 1700Editing Room

    The number next to the title is the word count. Each story -- with the exception of Don't Eat the Bread and The Land of Ice and Snow -- were written in one day's time (2-5 hours each). Busy, busy, busy. Most stories are currently in the submission process somewhere. I need to clean up the last 4 or 5 I've written.

    5) Being that editing is dull and writing exciting, I started researching VX nerve toxin (also the name of a friend's ex-band) and am writing Graveyard Shift which was a song by said band. A happy little story.

    If only I had more time to write. The ideas are coming faster than I can get them out. It's as if someone lit a firecracker in my brain and I'm trying to get the pieces back in order. Argh!

    Short blurbs can be read about any of the stories at My Bibliography. If you're curious about any of the stories, I'd be more than happy to e-mail you a copy for review.

    And of course, Well met PaxNoctis!
     
  4. milamber_reborn

    milamber_reborn Barcelona!

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    2,184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Trying to get sci-fi short published with a pro zine.
     
  5. Gregg Bradley

    Gregg Bradley New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    my latest work?

    An interesting thread that you started here, PaxNoctis, and a very good idea!

    Maus99--I admire your writing accomplishments. That's quite a number of short storys. Can't wait to see your first book when your done.


    As for myself, I started on my second novel in March of last year, but due to bouts of writer's block over the winter, i'm still working on it.

    To keep the name of the title secret, I simply call it "DDG". Currently I am on page 135 and still going strong. I finished chapter 11 in March and now working on #12.

    DDG is a story of an American soldier who is transported to a distant primitive planet where he encounters viscious sword wielding aliens and even more nastier high tech soldiers from other empires.

    My first book is mostly military sci-fi, the second is mostly fantasy.

    The third book idea is only four pages long and that one goes back into the space opera field. The third will be really fun to write.
     
  6. PaxNoctis

    PaxNoctis Zelazny Wannabe

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    LoL. Damn maus99, you've gotten a lot done this year. Makes me jealous ;p.

    I'm kinda stuck in a rut today. I've got a killer idea for my next work, but I have a rule that i limit myself to 3 at a time, and I'm at the cap already. It's kinda aggravating me.

    Gonna spend the rest of the evening plugging away at Untitled. Now I *really* wanna hurry up and get it done.
     
  7. Susan Boulton

    Susan Boulton Edited for submission

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Messages:
    4,261
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Ok....

    One novel called Llafn Meistr, undergoing re-edit. took two years to research and one to write, this is now in the final stages of prep for a NY agent.

    One Novel called "The Hat Man" took 18months to write and edit. This was sent to various publishers had a few letters from editors. Submitted it to NY agent, who liked my writing style but not the book, has since requested other work, see above.

    The Hat Man as since been entered in the Lichfield Prize 2004, short list announced in June, hoping to make the short list...

    A set of short stories co written with Hereford Eye (Dan) published by EQ books.

    A set of short stories/flash fiction, upward of 15 so far, being edited for submission to various mags etc. (Hopefully this summer, health and time permitting.)

    Pebble and Stone novel outline, first draft chapter one was chosen as Editor's choice for March on, online writing workshop, and was reviewed by a DelRey editor. This is in outline with part of the first chapter written, rest in rough outline...

    I have three more novels outlined. Runes of the Necromancer, Night Hawk, Shards in the Heart.

    I also write on various forums, mostly for fun.... some are role play , some collab stories.
     
  8. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you to those who encourage. I hope to inspire by posting in this one, not intimidate.

    Finished today.

    In an effort to encourage and show it's possible -- I had the bug again -- and finished Graveyard Shift. Coming in at just under 4K words.

    I had the begining and kinda had the end, but it turned out quite differently than I'd planned.

    A young man is tricked into thinking he is an alien. In fact, the person tricking him is trying to lure him into a specific location in order to kill him. The VX worked into the story as did the Rosewell crash. The dates I chose for everything, including the March 1968 release of the VX nerve agent worked out to be all full moons! I thought it was quite funny. My test readers today were thrown for a complete loop as they all expected him to be carried away by aliens.

    I also sat down and plotted out a new book. It'll be roughly 26 chapters, perhaps more if I get aggressive. I'm planning on a novella unless I end up with more story to tell. It's about a canibal. Not a Lector type, in fact, quite different. Much less violent. I plan on making it almost a satire as the antagonist will be a gay doctor who likes 'fresh' meat. My curiosity, can I get a reader to laugh at a man who's being eaten alive. hmmm... a challenge.

    To those with writers block, I found a great cure. Write every day. Who cares what it is, how good it is, or if it's even part of your book. Write. It's totally crushed my block (of nearly a year) and you can see the results from my start this year. It's possible. Go for it.

    Now I sit to edit. I've got a LOT of editing to do. I discovered the stories pour forth. The editing STILL takes a lot of time.
     
  9. KatG

    KatG The Bony Hand of Death Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2003
    Messages:
    12,524
    Likes Received:
    102
    Trophy Points:
    198
    If it was a sticky before, might as well make it a sticky again. (Unless of course someone yells at me about it.)

    I'm about 100 pages in on a first draft of a fantasy novel, trying to finish a sf short story and doing bits of a non-genre novel. And Maus should give us writing tips on how to be productive. :)
     
  10. Kelhanion

    Kelhanion Eager to write

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm waiting...

    Still waiting...

    I finished the first draft of my novel about a month ago. Since then I've gone through it two times editing out all the grammar errors I could find. So far only my mom has read it (I'm not tricked by all the "This is incredible!"s of hers, though :) What I'm waiting for? I've handed the novel to two of my friends and to my sister. They have promised to read it and tell what they think of it (and to mark if there's something funny in the text).

    This is the most exciting and somewhat horrible time of my life so far. I've NEVER shown ANYTHING to ANYONE before.

    Now I'm thinking of new ideas to write about. I have a feeling that my next project will be something like Hitch Hiker's, I'm just not sure yet if I am up for it.
     
  11. PaxNoctis

    PaxNoctis Zelazny Wannabe

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Got bit by the bug in a *major* way this morning. Was supposed to be debugging network scripts, but I wrote a 7k word short story sitting on a spackle bucket in the network closet. Needs to be cleaned up, but I'm quite proud of it.

    I'm going to stick it up on the website tonight, and also try to bang out another chapter of Untitled. Ugh...
     
  12. Miriamele

    Miriamele Witch of the Woods

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wish I could say I'm pumping out short stories like some of you, but alas, I have a single-track mind and only plod along on one project at a time. Right now I'm working on an unnamed fantasy trilogy, and am unable to concentrate on any other writing.

    So far I've got the story outlined for all three books, although there are a few kinks in the plot to work out; I've written character sketches of all the main characters; I've drawn a map of my world; I've charted out the first 50 chapters of the first book (which is most of it); and I've actually written for the first book a prologue and the first 10 chapters.

    Now that I know what I'm doing it should start going a bit faster (I hope). It's taken me 4 months to get 10 chapters, which is pathetic if I ever want to finish the damn thing. My problem is that I edit too much. I have to learn to keep on writing until I get to the end, and then go back over it with a fine-toothed comb.

    My life is busy, but I want to force myself from now on to write at least one chapter per week. Otherwise my book will never get done.


    :)
     
  13. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Way to Go PaxNoctis! 7K in a day is impressive. Today I decided to finally start work on a new book and potential series. When I started, I had one character flying through the rain clouds. At the end of it, I'm three chapters in. I'm keeping the chapters short to keep the action moving. Each chapter is 1500-2000 words. I've got a King, a Queen, a Prince, a pair of handmaidens to the Prince, a cook, a wizard currently suffering a heart attack (that's where I left off at the end of chapter 3) and I'm not really sure where I'm going.

    Here's what I DO know about the story

    1) The Prince was the one flying through the clouds
    2) He met 'someone' in the clouds
    3) That someone will be sending him a new 'teacher'
    4) The old wizard will not die, he will be incapacitated.
    5) The 'new' wizard/teacher isn't the teacher the Prince should be expecting.
    6) A small dragon will show up and be the Prince's new teacher.

    I'm hoping as this develops so will a plot. I'm thinking of a Fantasy/Murder Mystery but haven't fully decided just yet.

    My tips for being prolific. You asked for it, here it is.

    1) Block out ALL outside noise. I prefer music and usually loud. This prevents anything from distracting a 'flow'. It I get distracted my flow is thrown off and dag-nab-it it's hard to swing back.

    2) DO NOT EAT ANYTHING HEAVY BEFORE WRITING! I've discovered if I eat light foor (fruit, veggies, chicken, fish) I can get into 'flow' much easier.

    3) Write FAST! Don't think. If you write as fast as you can, the characters will direct your story much better than you. When you're done with 'speed writing' THEN go back and edit-edit-edit and put in your flowery words, rephrase bad sentences, and the like. What I've discovered is when I write fast, dialoge pours out, scenes take on an 'honest' feel and it's like watching a movie of your story.

    4) Put your work out there for others to read. I have a group of test readers. I do not show then anything until I'm done with a work. They tell me what worked, what didn't work (getting a group like this takes time but is invaluable). When they've read it, you decide if it needs a re-write or further editing to get your idea across.

    5) Try to plot lightly, don't over plot. When I want to do a story, I try to come up with a begining and an end--this applies to short stories--and I don't worry so much about HOW to get from point A to point B. Then I put a character or characters into a situation that will lead them to point B. Guess what. They don't always make it. In one of my previous posts, I WAS going to abduct the person by aliens. It made a much stronger story to make it a complex murder plot. When my test readers read the story and got to the end, they were asking me what the F! and I told them to re-read. It was all there the second time the read it, but like the main character, they missed it.

    6) Write AND read daily. Read, listen to audio books, write on this forum, write a story regardless of length but do these daily. I do them 5 days a week and I don't write (if I can help it) on the weekends. I do a LOT of reading on the weekend. The more I read, the more I want to write. The more I write, the more I want to read. It's a viciosu cycle, but it's one I don't want off of.

    P.S. As I was writing this an e-mail came in. My story Freeway Man was not rejected, but 'bounced' from Nocturnal Ooze to Alien Skin Mag. I thought this odd and was also a tiny bit frustrated for I didn't want to wait another month to hear from Alien Skin about the story (and I'd just gotten a rejection from Alien Skin for Rainy Night last week). What I forgot was they are one in the same. Not two minutes after the 'bounce' e-mail and my sending a thank you for their time (ALWAYS THANK EDITORS!) I got an e-mail from Alien Skin. I thought that was odd, they couldn't have rejected it THAT fast could they? Nope. Freeway Man will be a feature fiction story on Alien Skin Mag in June! WOO~HOO

    That brings me to #7) GET YOUR WORK PUBLISHED! and do so regardless of how long it takes. When you get a letter, or e-mail like I just got. You want to sit down and write-write-write. I tell ya, it's got the bug in me and I'm off to go write some more, then edit a story or two and get them out there as well. Nocturnal Ooze doesn't have a story from me, but I've got a story for them I've been holding on to. Guess where my next e-mail is going!

    What should you take away from this lengthy post? Motivation. I've managed to write 25 short stories so far this year and plot 25 more. I've got plots for 13 different books (not including my main series Of Gnomes and Dwarves which I've plotted for 18 parts in 9 books). If you want to do it, do it MASSIVE. Do it as much as you can. Do it during your 10 minute break at work. Do it while you're eating lunch. Do it at 10 at night when everyone else has gone to sleep and don't stop until your nodding off yourself. Do it as often and as frequently as you can. What'll happen? You'll write more than you thought possible. I didn't think I could do it, but I am. It's awesome. I hope others will catch the 'bug', the 'flow' and be just as prolific. I'd love to see others on this board having the same fun I'm having. WOOOO
     
  14. PaxNoctis

    PaxNoctis Zelazny Wannabe

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Woot! Gratz maus! That's gotta feel good!

    Your 'Of Gnomes and Dwarves' sounds interested just based on the title. These happen to be my two favorite fantasy races. Keep us up to date on how this one's going.

    I putzed out on Untitled and just wrote some more Twilight War and tuned up Withdrawal (the short story). I think I'm sensing a latent writer's block with Untitled, but it's too close now to give up.
     
  15. tingmakpuk

    tingmakpuk Non Compos Mentis

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You make me sick. ;)

    Here's my list:
    Stupid Boy Stories 10,000 -- Editing Room
    Apotheosis -- Unfinished
    In Sanity's Language -- Unfinished
    Forbidden Texts -- Unfinished
    Cargo Cult -- Unfinished
    Future Hell -- Unfinished
    Privateer Emolument -- Unfinished
    Faustian Deal -- Take a wild guess

    I suck at this.
    :(

    But at least I have an excuse now. MS Word refuses to run on my system.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2004
  16. Cephus

    Cephus New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Let's see...

    Currently have one novel in re-write. I decided that I didn't like the way it started, so I deleted the first chapter entirely and am doing a complete re-write of chapters 2-3. Otherwise, the other 14 chapters seem to be fine, we'll see how it reads.

    Have another novel about 80% completed and I really like where it's gone. Oddly enough, I just read a book by a friend of mine and a lot of the details in his book are very similar to mine, although not enough to make a difference, and we never talked about any of it so it's just coincidence.

    Still have two novels complete and sitting on them, waiting for the right time to publish, if the time ever comes.

    Probably another 4-5 novels in some state of plotting.

    Two non-fiction projects that may or may not ever get finished, simply because I don't have time to work on them.

    I think that about sums things up.
     
  17. KatG

    KatG The Bony Hand of Death Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2003
    Messages:
    12,524
    Likes Received:
    102
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I want to see the one with the wizard having a heart attack. Nobody has heart attacks in fantasy. This opens up a whole new vista -- diabetes, cancerous tumors, tuberculosis.

    That, Maus, is what Ironchef was trying to get started on the Talent thread. Thanks for being inspirational and congrats on another sale.
     
  18. Dawnstorm

    Dawnstorm Master Obfuscator

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Messages:
    2,327
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    121
    Actually, in the novel I'm currently conceptualizing there's a healer with leucemia; it's her motivation to go on that terribly dangerous quest...

    And yes, it's going to be (if it's going to be at all) a fantasy novel.

    (I've got a Prologue and 1st chapter written; but I doubt they'll be in the finished product.)
     
  19. PaxNoctis

    PaxNoctis Zelazny Wannabe

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good day today. I've kinda picked up a good head of steam lately.

    I tuned up Withdrawal after I got some positive feedback from my website, fleshed out the ending a little because I felt it was a bit weak.

    I finally gave in to the temptation on my latest idea. I'm not breaking my 3-story rule, I'm just bending it a little bit. I decided to write a series of character-introducing short stories that will prequel the main trilogy. Since we're talking about immortals in a semi-modern world I can explore some aspects of history that I like a lot. The one I started today is about Bernard ( aka Bernard of Clairvaux, semi-founder of the Knights Templar) and it's set during the Crusades. I'm lovin' it.
     
  20. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What did I do today (after a good Easter off). I wrote Chapter 4 in my new book (KatG, drop me a PM and I'll send you the rough draft of my Heart Attack Victim). The story is forming in my head as I go and I hope to write a couple more chapters tomorrow. I didn't have as much time to write as I would have liked. Why? Editing takes as much if not more time than writing.

    I edited ALL unsubmitted works. I also submitted all those works save one -- I queried a potential place for Note from a Castle's Dungeon.

    Time and postage, that's what my writing costs. I do hope that some day it'll start to at least pay for itself in paper, ink and postage.

    For those who submit, I've a question.

    Do you use a standard submission method?

    What I mean is this. When I submit something via e-mail, the .rtf files (99% don't accept .doc or anything else) I have them formatted with a template I've constructed. This saves time. LOTS of precious writing time.
    If I submit via the mail, I have envelopes (large manilla) that keep the paper flat. I have envelopes that have pull and stick adhesive (so editors don't have to lick anything). Every address is on a label. I purchased ink jet labels from Avery for normal envelopes and the large manilla envelopes. MY address has my logo (the one you see next to my name here) on each envelope. I also print labels for the publisher's address sans logo.

    I'm not cinfident, but I've gotten a written response from EVERY mailed submission. I've heard many who get form letters. I don't know if it's my 'style' or writing that gets the personal response -vs- form letter, but I'm hoping it's a combination of both.

    My curious question again (if you forgot) do you submit the same way every time?

    My second question: Do you send thank you letters when you're rejected?

    The reason I ask this: I've heard that editors remember people who said thank you as they're few and far between. If you send them another story, they may actually read it the next time around.