Checking in and other thoughts

Thursday, October 13, 2011

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For 10/12 check-in: (yes, the fairies are nagging me that I'm a day behind)

goal 1: one hour every day working on a story task, either new material WIP or revising RRH: umm, coming back to this one

goal 2: read and comment on minimum of 5 posts for each check-in: I don't think I did any for Sunday's, and haven't hit any for yesterday yet either. Gonna get on that. Probably won't go back to Sunday but will snag yesterday's.

goal 3: post on my blog 3 times a week, one of which must be a check-in: This post makes 2 so far, should have another tomorrow.

goal 4: Crit 2 posts each week on WD: None so far, but I did go read a few earlier today. I'm thinking what to say on one of them.

goal 5: Have and complete 1 specific goal each week on primary project, this week's being revising scene 1 of RRH. I started tweaking based on comments from last week. Now I have to work on the broader changes like grounding the setting better, clarifying support characters descriptions and relationship roles, and trimming out unnecessarily repeated information/mild info dumps.

Some of what they pointed out surprised me but are valid concerns like the mention I have of a dead character. The way it's written, he could be either her brother or lover, and it makes a big difference. (Her betrothed, just so you know.) So that all is the harder part, but at least everyone likes the style, characters, and world setting. And they want to read more.

Okay back to goal one. I have to admit that while I've been doing lots of writing, it hasn't been on a publishable story. Some of my friends and I are doing a roleplaying game (TORG, for you gamer folks out there who may know it) online via Obsidian Portal where we have a forum and internal wikis of things, people, and places. It's an immense amount of fun, and it's helping me understand in practicality many of the things I've been learning about culture, especially culture clashes, from Juliette Wade's worldbuilding posts on TalkToYoUniverse. But it doesn't exactly help me finish my WIPs. I didn't count the time spent on writing my character's entries when I checked in on Sunday, and I don't really count them now, but I have definitely put in more than an hour a day of writing time.

I think I may talk more about the game sometime next week, because I really have learned some interesting things from the game regarding culture that I'd like to share with you. Even something that appears familiar can be very alien in feel, and that makes for some fascinating culture clashes and culture shock.

6 comments:

Marji Laine - Unravel the Mystery said...

Sounds like you've set some good goals and that you're having a great time with your gaming. It might be something you can make valuable to your writing. The BIC (Butt in Chair) thing that professionals talk about is necessary, though.

Good luck on your goals for the rest of this week!

Jaleh D said...

The problem isn't BIC; it's project focus, which I do need to work on. But since our game has more of a multi-authored story set-up, it is giving me writing practice which is better than doing none.

Plus it's like a neat culture experiment. I'm delving deeper into the misunderstandings that can spring up by even the most ordinary things than I would have by writing the story alone. I'm hoping to translate what I've learned into my actual WIPs. One in particular could use the insights.

The other part of my problem is that I write slow, and since once I post, it isn't fair to edit anything other than fix typos once someone posts in response. So I work on making it good. Even though it's a game, I'm giving it just as good an effort in the writing. I read an article recently about working on different types of projects and that giving one type of writing substandard effort isn't fair to the other writing. Practice in one area will translate to the other.

But like I said, I didn't count it toward my scheduled daily hour. I just have to rework my time better so I can get both my WIP writing and my group writing in.

Joshua said...

I'm like you in that I write slowly. I'm also a fast and loud typist. Someone asked why I type so hard, and I respond with, "I type with purpose." I'm going to start using that as a mantra when I'm writing to explain the snail's pace.

lizakane.me said...

Nice to meet a fellow SF/F fan! ^_^
Margaret Atwood once replied to me that "...all writing was practice, whether or not it had immediate results."
Though the RPG story/culture building isn't anything you can publish, I agree that the skill that you're developing is very applicable to world building in general! Many writers of SF/F are avid gamers, and it truly does help develop scope, atmosphere and a sense of awe in a fantasy WIP. (And rules! mustn't forget the rules! Fantasy in and of itself is such a suspension of belief already, that the story has to have the tightest structure ever, moreso than contemporary lit!)
Now, you're right: if you're not *focusing* on your novels/stories, then the gaming bleeds a bit into a distraction, but I totally agree that your world building skills will come in handy to create a believable SF/F world!
"I didn't count the time spent on writing my character's entries"-->I also wouldn't dismiss the time you've spent developing your WIP's characters as time on crafting your story, unless I misunderstood which character's you were developing. I have writer/author friends that spend WEEKS filling an entire notebook just on one character, writing in that character's voice. It's their cure for writer's block.
We all have different writing processes/methods, so long as you're making progress on your story, I think it's valid!
Happy writing and I look forward to your journey!

cmstewartwrite said...

A met a role player once, he was very active in the local roleplaying scene. Only they called it LARPing (Live Action Role Playing). At the time I was living in a college town, and sometimes at night I'd see LARPers dressed in costume, acting out stories. I believe it was impromptu. Quite impressive. I bet the roleplaying opens up a new dimension of creativity.

Jaleh D said...

Interesting tidbit, Joshua. I'm not a hard typist, but I do think about what I'm typing. And I'm getting better about using strikethrough instead of deleting whole sentences right away.

Welcome, Liza! Yay, another SF/F fan. Great quote! I may have to jot that one down by my computer. And I do feel that this game writing has been valuable. The character entries in this case are my posts onto the forum, so they aren't WIP work, though I have written out bio stuff on WIP characters. Some of the backgrounds play more directly into present plot, but others are more vague.

Hi, Cm. I know about larping, though I do the more organized kind like NERO. Haven't had a chance to do much lately, but I used to play quite a bit. It's actually how I met my husband. He was at my first event, though we we didn't start dating until about a year later.

Gaming is actually the biggest reason why I started writing. One: it opened me up to the liveliness of spontaneous creation, two: it helped me build confidence, and three: creating background histories for my gaming characters made me think I could write. I started off more like a hobby, but I'm working toward being more focused on it.

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