Friday, June 29, 2012

Wordcount . . .

. . . never mind. I won't call it a "Wordcount Wednesday" two days late.

So I haven't added any new words just yet. I spent the last week or so reading Failstate #2 (I still don't have any idea what I want to call this thing). Thankfully, I've come to realize it's not the mess I thought it was. There's a fun story in there after all. I'm actually quite relieved to learn that.

I still think some stuff is missing, but I'll get to that in a moment.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that, when I first wrote Failstate, I hit kind of an interesting snag. For some reason, I wrote that story in such a way that the plot would only have been possible if a week had eight days in it. In this blog post, I detailed how I created a calendar and, using Post-It notes, figured out the chronology.

This time around, I realized that I didn't have an eight day week to worry about. Instead, a lot of the events happened in what you might call a temporal vacuum. With very few exceptions, I didn't ground the scenes into a discernable timeline. Days were just scattered through the story and that really didn't work. So, once again, I got out the calendar sheets and started to work.

Here's before:

If you look at that mass in the top page, that's part of what I'm talking about. A lot of scenes with no discernible anchor points. I basically wrote down chapter numbers and a brief, one or two word description of the action for reference. Like last time, I wound up with an "orphaned" chapter, one that needs to be slipped in somewhere.

After putting together the mess, I sat down and took a closer look at what I had. I tried to keep in mind some of the "missing pieces" that I noticed, stuff that needed to be put into the story to make it flow a little better. This is how the calendar looks now:

So there we have it. The purple Post-Its represent new scenes or chapters that have to be written. So all in all, not too bad.

There were a lot of victims in the process, though. I cut several scenes that just didn't do much of anything, including about 7,500 words in one gigantic axing.

The next step is to start work on the notes I've taken and see how this all gets stitched together. Onward and upward!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wordcount Wednesday

Or Thursday, I guess. Technically. If you want to be technical.

I want to be asleep right now. I should have gone to bed a while ago, but I didn't. And I'm glad I didn't. I'll pay for it in the morning, but I am pleased to announce:

Failstate #2 is in the can.

I just put the final words to the page. The epilogue is done. And this monster weighs in at 118,247 words. For those playing at home, Failstate is about 100,000 words. So the sequel is going to need to slim and trim down a bit.

But not now. Now I plan to go to bed.

Saturday, June 09, 2012


After reading Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, I was really looking forward to reading Sapphique. With its living prison, memorable characters, and strange, other-wordly vibe, I figured this was going to be a wild ride. And it was.

I just don't have a clue as to what actually happened here.

The story picks up where the first book left off. Finn has escaped from the living prison, Incarceron, only to find himself trapped in a different prison. Is he the lost Prince Giles, like Claudia, the daughter of Incarceron's Warden, believes? Could he really be the heir to the throne? And what about Finn's friends, Keiro and Attia, still trapped inside the Prison? What about the political machinations of Queen Sia's court, trapped forever in an illusion of a time long gone. And what of Incarceron itself? What strange plot is it hatching?

I finished reading this book a few days ago and I'm still stumped by it. I have a feeling that "something significant" happened in this book, that Fisher is trying to say something deep about humanity and junk, but for the life of me, I can't decode it. It was an okay book, I suppose, but everything got started so suddenly that I was left wondering if I missed something.

All in all, this book didn't recapture the magic of the first one. It was a fun read, but nothing memorable.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Wordcount Wednesday

Okay, I am in so much trouble right now.

Let me explain why. As of tonight, Failstate #2 is at 90,579 words. That means I added 11,840 words this week. That's awesome!

Except I'm supposed to be wrapping this up. And I'm pretty sure I'm nowhere near the end yet.

Buckle up, folks. This next week is going to interesting.