The 2016 Plan

First thing’s first. My productivity is still as terrible as ever.

Alright. Good. We’ve got that obligatory and obvious statement out of the way.

Now, I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions . . . ever, but I was browsing one of my usual forums yesterday, and came across a thread for New Year’s resolutions, and basically just thought “Sure. Why not?” That lax attitude probably isn’t the right frame of mind to be in when “committing” to a New Year’s resolution, especially considering mine is to write every day, even if it’s just one sentence. I don’t think extending that goal to this blog would be a good idea, though, because let’s be real, that will fail faster than you can say “Seven month break”.

I do still want to do something for this blog, like some of the things I said in my last post, that I won’t bother repeating, because I can only run this blog on nothing but my updates for so long. I mean, now that I have a laptop that isn’t trash, I should be able to be more active . . . I mean, I probably won’t be, but I could be. I could try to post daily, with small excerpts, my complaining that you’ll surely not get sick of, and the occasional, somewhat helpful post . . . In actual fact, I’ll probably just toss an old excerpt at the blog to show off my awful early writing, and cover for my laziness to produce actual content, and even then, I’ll probably get lazy with that, too.

At least you can’t say I’m not transparent.

Well, happy New Year to you all, and let’s make 2016 the year of killer productivity!

And let’s hope we all forget I said that, when it becomes hilariously untrue . . .

Until next time.

Laurence out.

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Writing Woes And Blogging Blunders

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my blog of daily postings and killer productivity!

I’m desperately trying to reign in my urge to be self-deprecating here, because there is so much material I could use for that. There’s my monstrously awful writing productivity, that should come as no surprise to anyone, at this point. There’s the status of my current work in progress, that no one should be surprised to know is nowhere near completed. There’s my lack of activity on this blog, that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Although, considering a previous post, I feel inclined to say “Seven months? What do you mean? I’ve been here the whole time!” Ah, and there’s also the fact that even though I’ve previously said that I didn’t want to rely on writing events to get things done, considering it’s now the 23rd of October, with little over a week until NaNoWriMo 2015, I think it comes as no surprise to anyone to know that that has not been working out.

So, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I suppose this will just be a quick update post. So, hi. I’m not dead. My writing on the other hand . . . That might need a little defibrillating action to get up and running again. I’ve decided to work on the prequels of the story I was working on the last time you all saw me, because it was always nagging at me that I didn’t want to end up writing about things that had already technically happened in my universe. I want to say this is it. I want to say that this is without a doubt, one hundred percent, sure as the sweltering, burning flames of the fiery pits of hell, the final time I’m going to abandon one plot to work on another, and start again, without even getting halfway through the first draft. But I know me, so as much as I believe it, and as sure as I am about it, I wouldn’t bet my money on it. So, what I will say is that I feel very positive about the direction I’m now taking things.

There. Not a promise to myself that has a high probability of being broken.

As for this blog . . . I don’t know. I mean, I can continue with the updates of my nonexistent writing progress (it is incredibly difficult to hold back the self-deprecation). I’d like to resume giving advice (or what passes for it on this blog) again. I haven’t got many usable excerpts to post, but it can’t be a bad idea to give a little more variety to the blog. And I’ve been playing with the idea of reviewing books, but three things always jump out of me with that idea; one, that requires me to read more than one book every few months; two, that requires me to remember to take notes, which I have done before, albeit in very few of the reviews I’ve written on Goodreads; three, that requires me to not find the idea of people taking on the word of a guy who writes like a dying snail, and reads as frequently as the changing of the seasons, insanely laughable . . .

Seriously. This talking crap about myself has to be an instinct or something.

So, to sum up:

  • Not dead.
  • Writing may or may not be going somewhere good.
  • Thinking of what on earth is going on with this here blog of mine.

Swell.

I want to say I’ll be back soon, but let’s stick with the current formula, over a phrase that would be absurd coming from this absentee blogger of seven months.

Until next time.

Laurence out.

Blogging, Writing And So Forth . . .

Super interesting title. I know.

I feel like even acknowledging my breaks from this blog, that span months, is becoming stale, so if in the future I stop blogging for about half a year, I’ll just come back and pretend as if I’ve been here the whole time. Deal?

Deal.

Anyway, this really isn’t going to be an interesting post. So, remember how I sometimes actually post things of reasonable worth on this blog? Yeah. Me neither. But sometimes I post things that aren’t total crap, and can even amazingly be passed off as advice. Why anyone would come to this blog for writing advice is beyond me, considering how drastically unproductive I am, but there we go. But on the subject of that, considering that I haven’t written a thing since November, I think I’m going to hold off on the actual informative posts for a while. At least until I get into the swing of things, again. It just doesn’t make sense to me to give advice on writing when I’ve barely even been writing recently.

So, be prepared for less “quality” and more garbage in the form of my updates . . . Is that going a little far on the self-deprecation? I don’t think it is.

The funny thing is, I consistently write updates on what’s going on with my characters on a certain thread on the NaNoWriMo forums, and sometimes I think that my lengthy comments would be far better suited for a blog post. Then I think better, and that I haven’t established my characters here, so just coming and saying, “Oh, hey! By the way I’ve decided to change Taylor’s name to Kathy, for reasons, even though I stuck with Taylor since I started writing the very first version of this story. I’ve decided to start the series with her mother, Erin, as the main character instead, and make Kathy and co. even younger kids. I’ve decided that in order for things to actually make sense my characters actually need jobs, other than being villains, so I’ve turned Night Horizon headquarters into a hotel. I don’t know whether I want Erin and Khloe to be married, since it’d create far too weird a dynamic for Kathy and Melissa. I’ve just realised . . .” You get the point, though. Many of those points were expanded far more, and were more rambled, but who would honestly be interested in hearing about how characters they know nothing about are coming along?

But updates. Let’s talk progress, and how I have no concept of the word. I don’t know why I’m going to, since it’s the same old story every time, but let’s do it anyway. In my last post I said that my writing can’t be held back by an outline, and that I’m an improviser at heart. Well, considering how the last month of my writing escapades have just been me getting an idea of the plot, writing an excessive plan for the setting, and spending a quite literally insane amount of time on just one character sheet, I’m not sure how accurate that was.

What stopped me was the realisation that if I was going to finish that plan, I was going to have to write that unnecessarily detailed character sheet out for every single one of my characters, and with a cast of far too many characters (I don’t think I’ve reached a hundred, but I wouldn’t be surprised), that I seriously need to cut down, I would never have finished.

Now I’m seriously done with plans, other than what I believe to be the minimum. Standard, basic character sheets and the setting. There. Done.

I expect I’ll start writing again, soon, once I’ve finished procrastinating on other work I should be doing, but even though I’m positive I can write in the same style I always have, I can’t shake the feeling that I may have forgotten, what with three or four months of nothing. I’m probably being incredibly ridiculous, and it’s probably just like riding a bike.

Because the last time I said this, it was a big lie, let’s say it again. I’m off to improvise the hell out of this novel.

Until next time, guys.

Laurence out.

Professional Procrastination (And National Noveling in November)

Oh, how I would love this to be a post on how not to procrastinate. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a post about my inability to get things done. So, I hope you’re all prepared, because it’s time for another of my gripping and thrilling updates on my non-existent writing endeavours.

That tagline up there is getting more and more accurate as time goes on. Being unproductive is basically a defining feature of me now. But, as it will be far too easy to be self-deprecating for the rest of this post, let’s try not do that.

First up: My writing.

I’m actually laughing to myself right now. The main reason I’ve had almost my longest break from this blog is because there was virtually nothing to update you guys on. Unless you all wanted to read weekly posts of me saying “I’ve got nothing.” “Still got nothing.” “Another week of nothing.” “Guess what, guys! Yeah! I’ve got nothing!” then there was really no reason to post. I mean, I could have put effort into something. Maybe write an actual informative post. Give a little advice here. Do a little rant there. But if I wasn’t even making much progress in writing my novel, what chance would I have had updating my blog? So, reason two for my absence. My monstrous lack of effort.

Well, that paragraph turned out to be more about my lack of writing, so let’s make this one about where I’m at now. At the time of my last post, I had an extensive plan for my . . . characters. Let’s not call it something it wasn’t. I had almost no outline for my plot other than what was in my head. Now . . . well, not much has changed, other than the fact that I’ve gone back on myself, once again, to a previous version of the story that I once discarded, but now think I should actually go with, making a lot of that plan much less useful. But here’s the thing, what I’m working on now has a far more detailed, existing outline of events throughout the series, that if I end up not writing a thing I can’t blame it on a lack of an outline. All I need to do now, which, bizarrely enough, I’m actually doing, is fill in the blank spots in that outline.

With going back to a previous version I did have some issues . . . the biggest of which being I had new characters I didn’t essentially want to erase off the face of the planet, and so now I have thirty plus characters to make multidimensional in the space of . . . Well, let’s first focus on writing this book, before I think about how many of books in the series I’ll write. I know I have “too many” characters, and truth be told, I’m probably overestimating my abilities to make it work, but what’s life without a little challenge? As if writing wasn’t hard enough . . .

There’s not much else I can think to say about my writing. I mean, I only ever write when I’m supposed to be busy doing other things, which made the whole of the summer my worst enemy. Now, with important work I should be doing, that makes this the perfect time to work on the outline (which I promise I won’t just get lost in and never end up writing the actual story) and then actually start writing it in November . . .

Which brings me onto my next topic.

It shouldn’t take a writing event for me to actually get writing, and that may very well be a valid argument for many of those against writing events. I, for one, am not against writing events, but I don’t want to rely on them.

What, I hear you all eagerly asking, am I talking about?

It is, of course, National Novel Writing Month. Fourteen more days to go until the month that computer keyboards all across the world are dreading. Fifty-thousand words. Thirty days. Yes, I am going to participate, and yes, it probably goes without saying that I’ll be writing the damn novel that has been the bane of my life for the past few years. I know that even some big name, best selling authors having taken so many years to write books, but that doesn’t make it any easier to say, “Oh yeah, I’ve been working on the same book for the past three years. Um . . . Haven’t even got my first draft yet.” Although, without NaNoWriMo, I wouldn’t have even written that first (disturbingly bad) story that has been morphed so drastically now, to get me to what I’m writing now.

You would think that since I frequent the NaNoWriMo forums all year round I would have writing on the mind and get things done.

Well, that’s a procrastinator for you.

I’m not going to say see you soon, because I may be unproductive, but I’m not a liar.

Till next time.

Laurence out.

Let’s Be Honest, Here…

This blog is kind of turning into a joke. I think it’s coming up to four months since my last post. I think that might be a new record for me. I’ve already let a third of a year pass, but I flat out refuse to let half a year go by without posting here, so…

Hello! Hello! I’m back again and ready to update all you lovely people on my writing endeavours. But before we get to how much of an obvious failure that was, let me just say that despite being a retake student, being in my last year of college… again, and being in the last few months before exam season, I still think I’m going to be far more active on this blog… But then that really wouldn’t take much, anyway. How would a post a week sound? How about something other than my constant whining about how awful my writing is coming along? How about some actual structure in what I post? How about some consistency? I mean, come on! Where’s the professionalism? Well… Me and professionalism are two things that just don’t seem to go hand in hand. But as laughable and unlikely as it does sound, I do intend to make this blog something other than… whatever the hell it is now. So…

Onto the writing. Onto the one thing that I am consistent about. Because, if you asked me how the writing was coming along in the past four months, I would just look at you blank-faced and try not to break out in laughter. If you asked me if I have at least finished planning my series, I would just look at you blank-faced and try not to break out in laughter. I imagine all of you are smart enough to infer what I’m getting at, but in case not, I’ll just come out and say it; in these past four months, in terms of writing, I have done next to nothing. What I have done is get a notebook and write down the profiles of sixty-six of my characters (Yes. Sixty-six… and I still feel as if I need more characters to fulfil certain purposes, even though I already know I have far too many of them. To be fair, not all of them are as active…). I have very brief and extremely poorly drawn “maps” of the city and towns, and what’s in the main towns, as shown through this poorly drawn mess of the main town, Nox: Image

I am more than aware of the poor quality of this “map”. Who needs roads, right?

I’ve got who’s in what clan and what clans are allies with each other and what they call themselves. To put it bluntly, all I’ve been doing these past few months is putting off actually writing the damn thing. There’s nothing more I can really say to this except I’m probably going to start writing soon… Probably. Very probably. (What the hell does that even mean?) So…

This is just me saying that things are probably going to change around here. This is me saying that what I’m saying in this blog post is not going to be completely ignored and forgotten about because I can’t be bothered to implement them. This is me saying I want this blog to at least be somewhat decent. I mean… four months, guys. Four months. What the hell is that? And so…

I’ll be back soon with something of actual quality for you all. You know, because everything else about this blog screams high quality content, right? Exactly right.

This is me signing off.

I’ll be back soon. (You can count on that.)

Laurence out.

So . . . I’ve Been Told I Actually Have A Blog.

Me? Blogging? What a sick, sick joke.

Well, hello there ladies and gents. It’s been . . . just under three months since my last post here. What is that? Almost a quarter of a year? A few more days and it would have been a new record for me.

So, let’s just go through the usual. My last post was about Camp NaNo and my 75000 word goal. By now, you should know me well enough to know that that failed miserably. I said I was going to attempt to conquer this novel . . . Again, you’re looking at one of the most unproductive writers on this planet. How’s my novel coming along, though? Well, I’m somewhere around 36000 words and I’m barely into the real meat of the plot. My motivation to continue? Almost non-existent.

Now . . . I am going to continue this thing. It’s at this point that I would usually just scrap the entire thing and start all over again because I would think that it was going absolutely nowhere. But now that’s not going to happen. Because I actually have an outline! I know what I want for this story. For pretty much the entire series, in fact. I know my characters. Even the stupid, unnecessary, never-even-mentioned-in-the-novel, pointless facts about them. I know where this is going, and if any other writer in the world was writing it, it would no doubt be done by now. Unfortunately for my characters, I’m their author.

Admitting it is step one, I guess?

You would think that knowing I should be writing right now, I would go and actually write, later, huh? Again. Nope. I’m probably going to procrastinate around on the internet, for a while, attempt to start reading Game of Thrones, since I brought the entire series in one purchase (because why not?), and probably eventually fall asleep in the evening because my body likes having a messed up sleep schedule.

Sounds like a good plan to me.

See you all whenever.

Laurence out.

Highly Infrequent Blogging Is Better Than No Blogging, Right?

Right.

And a long title is better than . . . well, maybe not.

Well . . . I’m not dead. That would probably make a much better title.

You know? I find the thought of being back on this blog extremely hilarious. I don’t even know how long it’s been. (Well, that’s a lie. I kind of do) But, I don’t need to tell you all that this blog has been seriously neglected. What’s even worse is that this wasn’t even because I forgot about it. Because I hadn’t. I still remembered it existed. And I’d like to think that the reason I posted nothing in almost three months was because I had just been busy. That’s definitely better than the real reason, which is that I just couldn’t be bothered to put in the effort and found it more useful to procrastinate, literally doing nothing.

Okay. I could ramble on far longer about that, but that’s enough of that. And as is the norm for me for when I come back from a ridiculously long break from blogging, I tend to update you on my shenanigans with my writing. Right?

Right.

*Sigh*

Sorry. I needed to put that sigh in, because this is just going to be the same old *bleep* all over again.

First thing’s first. I ‘won’ NaNoWriMo. Managed to write 50 000 words in a month. Yay? Well, I’d say yay if the thing wasn’t swamped with plot holes. Plot holes that are absolutely ridiculous. I mean, I guess the mentality of NaNo is to just write and write and not look back, but seriously. This was some seriously dreadful stuff. Anyway, I think it’s needless to say that I didn’t actually finish my NaNo novel.

Why, I hear none of you ask?

Well, I’m sure in any of my other blog posts you’d see me talking about how important planning is, but how I just can’t be bothered to do it. But then in my very last post, before I took a three month break, I said that I would actually write an outline that I would actually follow that would actually help me finish my first draft.

So, here’s a new rule that I want you all to follow.

Never listen to a thing I say on this blog. If I say I’m going to do something, it’s probably not gonna happen. If I say I promise I’ll try to do something (like stay active), it’s definitely not going to happen.

So, no. I didn’t make a plan for my current work in constant progress. No. I didn’t finish it. No. I didn’t even stick to the little outline I made for the prologue. And as is so incredibly foreseeable when it comes to me and writing that it’s no longer even that surprising for me anymore, No. I haven’t stuck with the idea that I wrote for NaNo.

So, to put it simply. I have started again. Again.

From the very first idea I had with these characters, I can’t tell you all the times that I’ve reworked them, remodelled them, redone the entire story and and just overhauled the entire thing and essentially started from scratch. I forgot where or when I wrote this, but I don’t think it was on this blog. But I remember writing somewhere that from all the times I’ve started this story all over again with the same characters but with a drastically different storyline I could probably make so many entirely different novels of those failed attempts, just with different character names.

So, what am I doing now, I hear some of you ask?

Well, one of the reasons I disliked the way my NaNo novel went was because it was in the third person and present tense, and it just did not work for it and sounded way to jarring. Not to mention the fact that there was next to no plot whatsoever, and if I wanted to make it a series that would really have had to change. So, until recently, I’ve barely written a word. I just could not be bothered. And now, as I’ve said, I’ve started again. I’m making it past tense (hardly anything important enough to mention), I have got a vague idea that finally, actually makes sense. I have a beginning and an end of the entire series, but I’m trying to figure out just what all the stuff in the middle could be about, and I’ve got vague idea about some of that, too.

So, really, what I’m trying to say is that I am actually getting my act together as a writer. (Like I said, don’t listen to a single word I say on this blog. I’ll probably end up doing none of what I said I would).

So, on a slightly different note, I just want to take a second to just spill my thoughts here on my writing. Why? Well, I don’t really know. I just feel like it. I just need some sort of outlet.

Warning, severe self-criticism follows!

Early on when I started writing seriously, my writing just sucked, and yet in my eyes, what I was writing was actually fairly decent. Now, I don’t think that’s too uncommon. I’m sure we’ve all experienced that, where we’ve written something, and then after a long while and you go back to it and read over it, you realise that it’s just garbage. Well, as is the case with writing, my current writing is way better than the *bleep* I wrote early on. So, in some ways, I’m glad that it’s taken me so, so, so many attempts to actually try to get these characters right, in a story that actually makes sense, both in plot and for the characters. And in some ways (Warning! Super mushy, stupid, crazy, emotional mush follows) I feel as if I’ve really connected with my characters, and so far this has been one incredible journey with them. I feel as if I’ve finally got them to their optimal personalities and traits (Is this the right context for the word ‘optimal’? Probably not) And now, I just can’t imagine writing any other characters other than them. And the fact that . . . (You know something? I am starting way too many sentences with ‘And’ or ‘So’ . . . ) Anyway, so the fact that I’ve already planned out exactly how this series will end and where I’m going to leave these characters is kind of sad. Well, for me, anyway. The thing I liked about winging it all this time was that I could keep working on the characters and was also under the illusion that if I didn’t really know what was going to happen to them, myself, I could just write these characters forever. And hey, yeah. Sure I could write prequels (Yeah right!) but . . . well, I don’t know where I’m going with this, anymore. This kind of took on a life of it’s own.

That’s unplanned blogging, for you.

Anywho. This was a blog post of mine. Completely unplanned. Completely jumbled up nonsensical mush. Three months absent has turned me into this terrible, sappy thing who produces bad quality blogs like this. That will not happen again. (But remember what I said. Do not believe I’ll do a single thing I say I’ll do on this blog) So, I’m not going to promise I’ll be back soon, because if I don’t come back soon, I won’t be a liar. I’m not going to promise that this will be the absolute last time I’m going completely restart my novel (which, of course, I’ve renamed yet again), because if I do, I won’t be a liar. And I’m not going to promise to stay active, because we all know my word means nothing, when it comes to that. So, since I’m not promising any of these things, I won’t lose any credibility if and when they do or don’t happen.

Jeez. Let’s hope my next blog (whenever that may be, hopefully soon) won’t be so self-criticising.

Till next time guys. (Oh, I bet you’re all laughing at that)

Laurence out.