Drew’s State of Writing – April 2015

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It’s that time again. Six months ago, I posted about Drew’s State of Writing, and talked a lot about the new things with Dcaf Copy, All Flames Cast, and updated writing schedules. Of course, for those who have been following along, you know that that schedule ended up being wildly optimistic.

As things stand right now, I’m closing in on the end of All Flames Cast. Harael’s chapters were finished in January; Eritan’s are nearly done right now, though I may need to add in another one, depending on how the timeline ends up working out with Tymun’s chapters. I’m still working on reconciling events across character arcs. Tymun has a start already, but will be getting the majority of work during the last half of April. It’s my goal to finish the first draft of this book by the end of April/early May, and get it through alpha reads by this summer so I can start revising. Continue reading

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The End of NaNo – AFC Update

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Well, November has come and gone. Unfortunately, I didn’t reach my goal of finishing the first draft of All Flames Cast this month; I wrote a touch over 50,000 words out of a projected 90k. It was an eye-opening month, however, and I learned a few important things about both the writing process and the story itself.

The main thing I discovered is that I can’t let myself sacrifice narrative pacing for the sake of word count. NaNoWriMo is a great idea, and works very well for a lot of people; I’m certain it could work for me if I kept to the spirit of the month and didn’t dedicate it to a preexisting project of mine. However, with a book like All Flames Cast, which is the product of years’ worth of worldbuilding, notes, and outlining, using a word count as a goal became a bit of a distraction. I had to constantly stop myself from letting my characters ramble, despite the padded word count it would give me. The pacing of All Flames Cast has been enough of a struggle as it is; slowing it down and letting it wander in order to fill out a word count isn’t the way to go.

However, the end result of all this is that I now have a much better idea of how I want the story to flow, and I overcame a major obstacle in keeping my writing on track. On top of that, of course, I am 50,000 words closer to finishing the first draft. Even though I didn’t hit my goal, I did finish Harael’s chapters, so another chapter will be popping up this week in celebration of that.

AFC NaNo Update – Week 4

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Happy (late) Thanksgiving, everyone! It’s a bit of a wake-up call to many of us writers, as it means that we only have a few days left of NaNoWriMo. And so, with the end in sight, I come to you with another update.

And it’s kind of depressing.

At this point, there’s no way I’m going to hit my 90,000 word goal. Between my late start, continuity struggles, and some hefty writer’s block last week, I am just too far behind.*

*But! I will definitely be hitting the 50,000 word mark, at least. I will be done with a significant chunk of the book, including all of Harael’s POVs and most of Tymun’s. All that’s left to do is finish off the climax for Tymun and then move on to Eritan’s stuff, which is the smallest of the three characters’ POVs. As a little bit of a celebration, I am going to relent and post another Harael chapter at the end of the month. It’s pretty crazy, and really kicks off the action for his storyline. Keep an eye out!

All Flames Cast NaNo Update – Weeks 2 and 3

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Well, last week didn’t really go as planned. I hit a major wall with All Flames Cast, and the result is that I am now way off my mark for getting to 90,000 words this month. I had a pretty big day on Saturday, trying to get back on track, but I still have a lot of ground to make up.

A big reason for this is where in the book I am. The parts I’m writing right now are smack dab in the middle: mostly exposition and character-building and setting up for the fun stuff at the end. The problem is, it’s easy to find myself rambling during stretches like these. I have had to consciously prevent myself from letting my characters go down tangents, even when it provides worldbuilding, because I need that page space to be spent moving the plot forward and helping the characters grow. I don’t want this to turn into a 250,000 word monstrosity. If I can keep the word total around 150,000 words, which was my goal from the beginning, I will be very happy.

So, as this third week of NaNo gets going, I find myself with a lot of work to do. All Flames Cast goes on, but we will see if I can really get to 90,000 words now. It was always a daunting goal.

All Flames Cast NaNo Update – Week 1

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We’re officially one week into NaNoWriMo. I’m in a bit of an interesting spot with it, at this point. I totally missed Days 1 and 2, but splurged these last couple days to catch up to the pace I want. If I were going for the 50,000 word count, I’d be pretty much set. At over 16,000 words, I would be very happy with that progress.

Unfortunately, I’m aiming for almost twice the normal number. I really want to finish All Flames Cast this month. With today being the first of my “Surge Days”, I’m beginning to see the enormity of the task at hand. I have done a little over 7000 of the 10,000 I want for today so far, and it’s been draining. It’s gonna be tough to meet this goal. I just have to hope that the momentum of things carries on, and I can pack it all in.

On a happier note, I do have to say that I’m enjoying this different writing experience. While I’m writing this book straight through, one character at a time, by nature that means that the narrative pacing is going to be uneven, at least for how I’m writing it. Right now, I’m getting close to finishing Harael’s story. The chapters I’ve been working on are fast, action-packed, and have a lot of intense emotion. It’s going to be weird, once I finish his arc and move on to Tymun’s…because I’ll be going from writing climax chapters straight back to writing setup chapters. The pacing shock there might take some getting used to, but I’m planning on the personal momentum of finishing an arc to carry me through the earlier Tymun stuff that I need to rewrite.

Either way, check back in next week for the Week 2 update. Between now and then, I think I’m going to be posting a book review, so keep an eye out for that!

NaNoWriMo – All Flames Cast Edition

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As many of you know, November is National Novel Writing Month. Now, I’ve never participated in NanNoWriMo in the traditional sense before. I’m usually immersed in a project already—as I am now—and I prefer to move at my own pace. I’m not the fastest writer in the world, and I generally like my first drafts to be cleaner than usual. It takes time.

However, this year I’ll be undertaking a kind of NaNo of my own: finishing All Flames Cast this month! This is a pretty big goal, and I’m already starting behind the ball a bit, as I was out of town and away from my computer for most of the weekend. As of this writing, I’ve written about 2,400 words so far in November; to finish All Flames Cast, it looks like I’m going to need to do about 80,000-90,000 words. That’s a lot, but I can bear down when I need to. Broken down into 3,000 words a day, it looks a lot more manageable.

I’ve also already planned out several of what I’m calling “Surge Days”, where I cleared my schedule and I’m setting a goal of 10,000 words. With those, I’m confident that I can meet my goal.

In celebration of the end (hopefully) being in sight, another, final, Harael chapter will be going up later today. I haven’t fully decided yet, but there is a good chance I will start posting more Tymun chapters in the future, but if that happens, I’m guessing that won’t be until the end of this month or in early December. There will be more updates coming as the month goes on.

Anyway, good luck to all of you NaNo people out there, and happy writing!

Drew’s State of Writing – October 2014

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It’s been nine months since my last State of Writing update. Back in January, I talked about a lot of the future projects I have planned, and about how I was getting pretty close to finishing All Flames Cast. That…ended up being very wrong. That, among other developments, has me where I am now.

First, All Flames Cast. If you’ve been keeping up with things around here lately, you know that several more chapters have popped up. Continue reading