ROW80 Week 12: Other shiny things

Almost my last update for this round! (And almost my last linky.) What happens this week will decide whether I meet my goals or not. And it actually will be the deciding week, since I’m just shy of both goals:

I wrote three sonnets this week (around three or four hundred words), another scene in my main WIP (850 words), and a scene in the new WIP (600). Being away on the weekend wasn’t as much of a problem as I’d feared; I was also away from my usual distractions, and had plenty of new things to use for inspiration.

All that writing adds up to 1800 words or so. I did aim for 2200 words for this week, but then I did another 400 words while working on my reflection last week, which means I’m fully caught up from last week.

I’m also apparently closer than I thought to my whole-round goal. I must have been miscounting something, because when I checked today I got a count of over 17,000 words. That means I could still finish my eighteen thousand words this week if I get a good amount of writing done on Tuesday. For both this and the weekly quota, I need around 750 words.

Regardless of whether I manage that, I can claim at least one success this round. In the spirit of focussing on the positive, I need to remember my original goal was to write in my ongoing setting, and my new WIP is a step in that direction.

The new WIP also includes some non-humanoid characters, and I want to reflect on how best to write them. I was worried that writing such an alien character will bog my writing down in details of their alienness, but that doesn’t seem to have been a problem. I think that’s partly because I only use a few details, and partly because the really alien things give the viewpoint character problems that can contribute to the story.

My bigger problem is pronouns. This particular alien does at least have a gender; but the viewpoint character can’t know that yet, and I want to hide the knowledge from the reader as well. I’ve ended up just using ‘it’ all the way through, but that seems really uncomfortable; and I’m not sure an unfamiliar pronoun like ‘xir’ would read any more smoothly (to me, at least). While I don’t really need to mess with pronouns yet, if I don’t sort this out it will come back to haunt me with some of the other aliens.

The other thing I’m not really happening with is shifting tenses. The new WIP is in the third person, which I don’t normally use, and for some reason I write third person by starting in the present tense and then randomly changing to the past tense once I get into the story. It isn’t really a serious problem, since I can just edit it out; but it’s weird that I write that way.

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