laceblade: Chord Overstreet offering his hand to Chris Colfer. Glee live-tour. (Glee: Colferstreet)
An end-of-year fic review seems to be what all the cool kids are doing, so I will do one, too.

Don't say you're not lonely
Fandom: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
Words: 1,632

Chapter 1 of A Song is a Weapon
Fandom: Glee
Words: 8,596

That's 10,228 words of posted fic.

I've written a lot more of "A Song is a Weapon" than I've posted thus far.
Chapter 2 is 10,084 words; Chapter 3 is 7,278 words; Chapter 4 is 8,136 words & isn't done yet.
The randomass scenes to be included in future chapters amount to 8,721 words.


So that's 44,447 words fic that have/will be posted.

I wrote about 60,000 words this year. The rest of that was outlining, crap that got deleted, scenes that got moved to a "this was terrible but I'm not ready to delete it" folder, and I think some of the word I did at the beginning of the year on my Inception-AU of FF7.

Thanks to everyone who has ever cheered, complimented, or encouraged me in any way.
That sounds really vague & all-encompassing, but all of it has meant so much to me.
I grew a lot as a writer in 2012, and I hope to continue to do that.
laceblade: Ashe from FF XII, looking at viewer over her shoulder. Text reads: "So you say you want a revolution?" (FFXII: You say you want a revolution)
SO. Since I last posted, I've met/exceeded my daily goal every day. Today I'll complete day 10 of a 10-day streak, which will earn me a new cute animal badge at 750words.com.

\o/

The farther I get in "writing enough" for successive days in a row, the more difficult it gets.
Because I tap out the ideas I'd been mulling around in my head.

I angsted about quite a bit on Saturday, and finally got my words out around 4pm after writing mostly nothing all day.
What got me going was starting at the beginning of chapter 4 (the chapter I'm currently writing) and making my way through it again, fleshing out scenes and tying things together.
This also carried me through yesterday's words - yesterday I pushed extra hard to get to 970 words so that I can finally make it over 50,000 total for the year (I'm currently at 50,015, for the record).

I don't feel very satisfied with my writing at this particular moment in time, but I'm also learning that it's hard for me to move forward unless the words that come before where I am "right now" are at least at a first-draft level.
If I don't have a solid handle on what's happened, it's hard to move forward.

However, this is in some ways just how I write, so it's really annoying.
For example, right now I need to figure out WHY four of my characters are in Chicago - I know they're there to do a "job" for Quinn. I know this makes sense narratively because I need Mike to do something, and I need my Lima-based characters to do more than sit around in someone's parents' houses talking.
I know what comes after this scene - it sets up a narrative excuse for most of the characters to come together later and do something semi-epic. It also sets up some suspense that grasp both other characters and the reader, kind of firmly taking them by the hand and saying, "This shit is real, wtf do you think will happen, how will things be okay?!"

So like: I know what's going to happen when these characters get to the building they're going; I know who comes out & who doesn't; I know how the other characters react to this entire scene.
What I don't know, though, is the premise under which these characters go to the building they're in.
And I'm at the point in the fic now where I need to stitch everything that comes before with everything that comes after, and IT'S REALLY HARD TO DO THAT WITHOUT KNOWING WHY THEY'RE THERE. And I need to figure something out so I can write today!

This also happened to me in chapter two (believable reason for a lesser action scene) and in chapter three (needed to determine what the ~big secret~ is that some characters find out).
I guess...this is what happens when writing a story that is emotionally mapped out, but not so much with the details.
If the details were determined ahead of time, it would be easier to meet my word count without moping about all day, jotting notes to myself as I try to figure out the answer to the logic problem of the moment.



Math Update:
50,015 words written
24,985 words left to write in 36 days, which works out to 694 words/day, or 33 days of meeting/exceeding my daily goal of 750 words (meaning I'd get 3 days off).
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Sailor Moon: Uranus back)
75,000 words written on/before December 31st = my goal for 2012

45,876 = words already written

29,124 = words left to write
42 = days left to write

Split evenly, this would mean writing a minimum of 693 words per day to meet the goal of 75,000 words.
Despair! The longest streak I have of writing 750 words or more every day has been 7 days thus far, ;_;

From June when I started writing habitually through today, the middle of November, I have NOT written anything at all on way more days than I've written something.

Anyway, my ideal goal for every day is 750 words per day.
Dividing 29,124 by 750, it would take 39 days of meeting my daily word count goal to reach 75,000 words. That means I can take 3 days off!

I should also take into account that whenever I do meet my daily word count goal, I almost never end on 750 words. I usually write over, between 725 and 950.
According to the statistics at 750words.com (one of the reasons why I love this site, btw), on days that I do write, I write an average of 827 words.

29,124 / 827 = 35, though, so I'll still need to make or exceed my daily goal almost every day between now and December 31st.

I am feeling the momentum of my current 4-day streak, but this still seems really daunting to me.
In any given month, I generally only make my word count goal on a handful of total days.
I also sometimes need to stew quite a bit to figure out what to do next with my characters, what kinds of scenes to have.
I've almost exhausted most of the scenes I know things about, but I still have a few images, and some flashes of character moments that I haven't used yet.
I imagine that I'll get frustrated often, in trying to change my habits.

For the record, the only things that I count toward my daily word count goal are words that specifically go toward my fic.
This includes drafted text (account for almost all my words), as well as character notes and outline notes.
From what I gather, a lot of people use 750words.com as a sort of brain dump, so I'm not sure if I'm being too hard on myself, or what.

Anyway. Simple math shows that in order to make the goal I've set for 2012, my habits in the remaining 42 days will need to change.

I hope that I can make it!
laceblade: Rachel & Santana giving sideeye just past the viewer. (Glee: Pezberry look)
When I have something to say, I'm still commenting weekly at [community profile] inkingitout and in the daily posts at [community profile] writethisfanfic. Both of these communities are very important to me!

I've been trying to write. I've written at least something the last four days. Met/exceeded my daily goal the last two days. I feel like once I get on the other side of 50,000 words, the total goal will seem much easier.

CURRENT STATUS (which is regularly kept on the sidebar of my Tumblr, btw):

44361 / 75000
(59.15%)


I'm currently working on chapter 4.
Chapter 2 is with about 4 people for beta (having been extensively beta'ed by one person thus far).
Chapter 3 just got sent to someone for the first time on Saturday.
I have a collection of "future scenes" that have been around for a while. One of them might be the very end of the fic - I wrote that a while ago, while I was still on chapter 2.
There are also a few intense action-packed scenes and some that are emotional.
Conclusions of the emotional arcs for Santana and for Rachel (these are separate scenes).

My outline doesn't have a lot of detail, so I'm not 100% certain how much I'm going to be writing before I can make it to these scenes. But having them as emotional places I'm reaching toward helps guide the scenes I'm writing now.
Every time I start writing a new chapter, I write a scene or two before realizing, "Yup, no way I'm getting to these this chapter," and I start an n+1 chapter and paste them all into there.

The more that season 4 of the actual show progresses, the more important it is to me to treat characters like Mercedes and Tina and Artie with respect, because the show never will.

Fic Update

Nov. 4th, 2012 10:16 pm
laceblade: Chord Overstreet offering his hand to Chris Colfer. Glee live-tour. (Glee: Colferstreet)
I've had a pretty sluggish October, writing-wise. Other things going on, mostly.

Tonight I wrote, though. I'm now at 40,435 words written this year. (My goal for 2012 is 75,000 words.)
I've said for a while that this goal feels attainable to me because I didn't start writing until June, so my pace hasn't been as bad as it could have been.

Still, now it's November and I have 34,565 words to go, so I really need to step it up.

Luckily, posting chapter one online and receiving feedback has given me lots of good feelings.

Today I finished my draft of chapter three and started chapter four.
It feels a little weird that I'm unsure how many chapters this fic will have total.

B T W, I have it on authority of [personal profile] littlebutfierce that this fic is "fun and exciting" even if one does not know the canon. CONSIDER READING IT?!

Oh yeah! And now I can update this list:

Fic published in 2012:
Don't Say You're Not Lonely, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon fandom, 1,632 words
A Song is a Weapon, Glee fandom, chapter one: 8,596 words

For anyone counting "total words written" to "words of actual fic," my drafts for chapters 2 and 3 right now total 17,287 words.
laceblade: Santana singing on stage in a black dress, facial expression almost painful (Glee: Santana RHI)
I am still writing. Apparently, I am a slow writer.
This is partly because I'm editing while writing, which some writers say you shouldn't do.
But when you leave massive plot holes in your wake, it kind of becomes necessary to sort that shit out before you can move forward, ^_^;;

Not yet including any of today's words (because today isn't over!):
Current Word Count for 2012: 37,408 words. Out of the total goal of 75,000 words, I'm at 50%. CAN THAT BE RIGHT?! 50%?! WOOT.

I'm crediting the Snowflake Method for some of my current breakthrough. I thought it was stupid and not worth my time, but writing my one-sentence summary and a one-paragraph summary of my plot was incredibly helpful.
Then, I thought that it was pointless to do step #3, which involves sorting out some character information.
The reason I thought this was pointless is because it's a fanfiction - I already know who these characters are and what they want from life, right??
But once I started doing this in relation to my fic, it helped me a lot.
I still haven't done it for all of my POV characters yet.

I haven't yet done steps 4-6 of the Snowflake Method, but it's nice that it shook some things loose for me in the meantime.

I don't know how long it will take me to finish writing this fic, or how many words it'll have before I'm done. (Or even how many chapters, sob. There will be at least 4!)
There are still some major plot elements that need to be worked out.
BUT, it's feeling like a real story that will really get posted on the AO3. Maybe no one else will like it, but I'm really looking forward to that sense of accomplishment.

For now, my immediate goal = finish editing chapter 2 so that I can get it to my other betas (so far only one person has read it, and pointed out every single logic hole ^^;).
To do the editing, I need Google Docs and Scrivener open, so I must be at home for that.
I sometimes have time to jot some writing down during the day, so I do that with paper and type it in the evenings.

Here's what I'm using to write this long fic:

Scrivener: Main draft of the story is in here. It also contains a lot of fanart and photos of the Glee cast that I can look at when doing a split-screen. I don't usually do a split-screen, but the option is there.
In addition to the main draft, I also have some a page full of character notes; swaths of text that have been scrapped from a multitude of scenes; a page of outline/plot notes; notes about the playlist I've been cultivating; a page of notes for AO3 tags & thank-yous for whenever I get this puppy online.

Google Docs: Where I save chapters for people who read them, so they can leave comments. Thus far, four people have read chapter one. One person has read chapter two.

750words.com: Not a program, but a website. This keeps track of my daily word count, which is very helpful as I jump around between chapters frequently. Having a daily word count goal helps me feel accomplish when I make it. My highest streak is 6 or 7 days, I think. I try not to feel too guilty when I don't make my daily goal, or don't write at all some days.

Evernote: Right now, I use this in two ways. The first is for a notebook called "Fic Draft," where each chapter = its own "note." That way, if I'm writing at work, I can use the app on my iPhone to pull up the chapter I'm working on as a reference (without having it up on my work computer, lol).
You can also embed Evernote in your Firefox browser, and use it to clip news articles. I have a bunch of articles about the CIA/FBI saved in mine, which I'll probably be trolling through to help my plot in the near-future. I think this is similar to Instapaper?
Anyway, I have the Evernote add-on in both computers I use to read the news: home and work.

Music: Cultivating a playlist has been very valuable for me. It allows me to think about my fic when I'm not writing: at my desk at work, in my car, while I'm making dinner, etc. It also allows me to get into the mood to write, as I've assigned certain songs to certain characters/relationships.



Meanwhile, if anyone has any ideas for a really juicy state secret, let me know. It'd have to be big enough that members of the CIA (or a sub-sect of the CIA) would be ready to kill someone over it. My overall plot is farfetched enough, so I'm trying to steer clear of "sci-fi reasons" (e.g., "Aliens really exist!" "Time-travel is real!" etc.)
laceblade: Azusa of K-On!, looking at the viewer (K-On!: Azusa)
I had a crisis of confidence for a couple of weeks there. Partially convinced that the entire fic is terrible because I'm still not 100% sure what I'm going to do with all of the characters or what the entire plot is, or whatever. I'd like to be one of those writers who has things planned out from the beginning, but it keeps not happening.
This week, I started writing again. I just finished day 5 of a five-day streak of meeting/exceeding my daily word-count goal! EXCITEMENT.

Part of what sucks is this "middle" of the story. I have no idea how long the story will be, so it just seems to stretch in front of me endlessly. I've used up all of the initial, "Wouldn't it be cool if....?!" ideas.
I still have a few scenes in mind that I'd like to write, but those won't come up for a long time.

I'm having a really hard time making the CIA elements of the fic make any fucking sense (who'd've thought?!).

I'm deep in the middle of chapter 3. Either this fic is having a(n unrequited?!) Pezberry sub-plot or I'll end pulling all of it later for a separate Pezberry fic.

I'm bored as fuck at work lately have some free time, so if you have any blog posts or websites that you like with writing tips, drop those links like they're hot.


Current Word Count: 32,037 words (43% out of 75,000 word-count goal for 2012)
It might seem like this goal is unattainable given that we're at the end of September, but remember that I had epic surgery & awful recovery the first few months of the year, and almost all of these words were written after early June.
I feel confident that I can meet the 75,000 word-count goal by December 31st.
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Honey & Clover: Yamada)
I just finished my draft of part two of my Glee fic, so I wanted to update my word count.

Current Word Count Total for 2012: 25,891 (35% of 75,000 words)

[personal profile] wintercreek has also agreed to beta my fic, so that's pretty awesome. SOMEONE CRITIQUING MY WRITING! It makes me so happy. I probably haven't gotten this kind of detailed feedback since high school, I don't think.

Merp

Aug. 20th, 2012 10:02 pm
laceblade: Sailor Mars, mid-transformation, close-up of eyes. Text: MARS (Sailor Moon: Mars eyes)
Current Word Count Total for 2012: 23,520 (31% of 75,000 words)


I'm feeling pretty crappy about writing, lately.
A big part is that I haven't written much in the last couple weeks, between moving and being out of town.

It's also that I feel stuck in terms of plot and what I'm trying to do with these characters and things are stalled out.

The other night I tried to reread the first part of the fic, which I had initially felt really good about, and now it seems like it reads terribly. There are a lot of issues, and none of it is as good as I remember it being.

The amount of editing that needs to be done on what I've already written seems insurmountable, but not half as bad as how much still needs to be decided, let alone written.
Common things such as "find a beta" also seem impossible, although I have successfully found two cheerleader people who have read "part one" of my fic and given advice.



These feelings of inadequacy are pretty common for me, and it's why I haven't written much at all the last few years, I think.
Maybe I won't post this fic after all. I'd feel like a faker, for how much I've tweeted about the writing process.
laceblade: Mio fixing Azusa's tie, screenshot from K-On! (K-On!: Azu & Mio tie)
Current Word Count Total for 2012: 22,710 (30% of 75,000 words)
laceblade: Shot of Tifa from FF7: Advent Children, looking at viewer, half of face cut off. Text: no white flag above my door (FF7: Tifa no white flag)
Taking a break from packing to do a word count update.
Writing has been pretty slow-going lately, mostly due to exhaustion.
My full-time job has been incredibly busy for me the last two weeks, as has my part-time job (we just moved to a location!). And now I'm moving apartments, so yeah. My leftover brain power is pretty minimal.

I do try to keep my fic alive in my mind even while not actively working on it in two ways: music is the main one, constantly adding music to the playlist I associate with this fic. Listening to the music often inspires me to write a few spare notes. These get organized in Scrivener, but if I'm away from my my laptop - at work, on the bus, whatever - I use my phone to save some notes in Evernote.

I took some time to reread Stephen King's On Writing, which is probably my favorite book to read about writing, ever.

I also finished with my re-watch of season one of Glee. I've only seen most of the episodes of this show one time, so this canon refresher is nice. I'm able to make a few character notes in Scrivener, unsure of how many I'll use. But it's nice to be reminded of who the characters are, especially ones who've had minimal development in season three (Mercedes, Puck, Artie).

I am hopeful that once I'm moved, life will settle into something of a routine, and I'll be able to write more regularly again.
In the meantime, maybe I'll get some writing done today during the breaks I take from packing.



Current Word Count Total for 2012: 19,996 (27% of 75,000 words)
laceblade: Ritsu, Mio, & Azusa in bathing suits, holding inflatable inner tube, smiling (K-On: Summer)
I've met my daily writing goal more often than I've missed it. Generally, if I write at all, I make the goal. I am glad that I brought my laptop Up North with me.

The long-fic I'm working on is an action Glee fic, I'm not sure if I've mentioned that or not. I'm working on the second "part," I guess the second long-ass chapter. For a while there, I was working on scenes a little aimlessly, and I think that lack of direction was why I struggled on Monday/Tuesday.

Tonight, while grasping about a little bit, I read the post, Plot is not a four-letter word by [personal profile] synecdochic, and afterward I spend about 5 minutes to jot down 8 sentences in a 'notes' sub-folder in Scrivener about the emotional and action plots of my story.
Then, I revisited a pretty lifeless and pointless scene that I had written earlier in the week, and infused ~932 words into it, while also cutting about 800 words.
I feel a lot better about that scene now than I did before.

I'm saving the words that I excise from scenes in a "cut" folder. So far I've cut at least 1,200 words from this fic, and I haven't done a proper edit of anything yet.

I'm starting to want to purposely avoid reading other Glee fanfiction set post-season 3, because I'm afraid of taking details and using them without realizing it. But I'm really digging this Finchel fic by [livejournal.com profile] smc_27, so I'm probably doomed from staying strong on that front.

My overall plot goals are pretty sketchy for this fic, and I should probably spend some time thinking about what I'd like to write, and what needs to happen to get from where my characters are, to where I want them to be. This shit is unwieldy.


Since returning from Up North, I've also started a canon refresher.
It is disturbing to me how much better Glee was in the first half of season one, compared to how shitty it is now. (To those who dropped it: yes, really.)



Current Word Count Total for 2012: 16,753 words (22% of 75,000 words)
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Glee: Rachel)
It's taking a little longer for the rest of my sister's family to get moving this morning than I thought it would, so I'll do a little update about writing.

I had sort of given up on my commitment to [community profile] inkingitout, where my goal had been to write 75,000 words in the year of 2012.
The "How are you doing?" posts made me feel bad because....kind of like constantly writing about depression or something, writing the same "nothing is getting better" update every week is the opposite of motivating for me.
But after getting inspired by someone else's fan-made Glee action vid, I starting writing this fic, and the 75,000 words goal is starting to feel like it's possibly do-able again.

Daily goal = 750 words, although I haven't stressed about it on days that I missed.
I log this at 750words.com for accountability, although my statistics are going to be messed up as I'm about to disappear into the woods of Wisconsin and have no Internet for a few days.
I do still very much like the daily posts at [community profile] writethisfanfic. It's not specific to any particular fandom, and it's nice to have somewhere to brag when I get to my goal for the day, or to talk to people who are trying to do similar things as me.
Scrivener (which is now available for Windows, and that's the version I use) is invaluable to me. I follow the shit out of various Glee Tumblrs, and having pictures of the cast or fanart up on a split-screen while I'm writing is incredibly helpful.
This fic already has a playlist (not hard to do when you're writing for Glee fandom, although NOT all of the songs are from the show). I find writing necessary/helpful for getting in the mood to write scenes. I suspect this is true for most people.

This Glee fic is going to be hella long, and I don't really have a firm outline in place.
Despite wanting to include espionage, car bombs, and gun fights, my brain seems to want to try really hard to make this fic canon compliant and realistic. Time-jumps might end up being my friend or something, I don't know.

Overall, the linear flow of this fic is going a lot better than the Final Fantasy VII Inception-AU fic I had been working on. That fic just feels like a mess I don't even want to look at, even though I love it and the characters.
It's nice that while I'm not sure where I'm going with the Glee fic, things are mostly assembling chronologically as I go.

I have found that in both fics, I work a lot out through dialogue, just having the characters talk, and then I know how things will move forward. I might need to cut a lot of that dialogue later, I'm not sure. And maybe it happens that way because both of these fics are ensemble-cast gen fics. Maybe my process would be different if I were writing something a little more limited in scope, I'm not sure.

I'm doing decently (I think!) in capturing voices with Santana, Rachel, and Kurt.
It's a little harder to figure out what to do with characters like Mercedes, Tina, and Artie, where the fic about them is unfortunately minimal, and the writers on the show also do not give a shit about them (so fewer storylines, minimal dialogue in canon, etc.).

A lot of people seem to post works in progress, or to update as they go. Although I finished "part one" earlier this week, I absolutely don't feel comfortable posting it to the AO3 yet for mass consumption. What lies ahead is not 100% known to me, and I might have to go back and rewrite things for logic. I also keep thinking of sentences to add in to make things flow better, and already have a list of sections I'd like to rewrite a little better.

Some people I know through [livejournal.com profile] ontd_glee who will likely read the fic once it's finished, but most of them who write fics themselves write things that are under 5,000 words, and post them soon after writing them. Their WIPs get posted chapter-by-chapter, so excitement builds as they write.
I get why people post WIPs; it'd be nice to have squee.
For now, there's been some caps lock exchanged with [personal profile] thewalk, who read the first part. [personal profile] were_duck will be, too! Hopefully it doesn't suck, lol.



Fic published in 2012:
Don't Say You're Not Lonely, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon fandom, 1,632 words

Current Word Count Total for 2012: 12,872 words

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laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Default)
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