There stands a Law, as certain as the Sun;
The Book to match the Scales, and the Sword.
An Act no mortal strife can see undone
— a virtue without fear, without reward.

The Scales weigh as true, only the truth;
The Sword will strike at nothing but the crime.
Immortal Justice needs no mortal proof,
No fractured juries free to take their time.

The Law does not stay crouching in the light
When darkness hides the truth, or shields the wrong;
Though monsters — tempters! — wait beyond my sight,
The Scales know that I am just as strong.

Before the Sword, I vow to find the proof
Show all the words they questioned were the truth.

#ROW80 End of Round 3: Mediocre

I’m not really happy with my progress this round of #ROW80 (linky). I planned to focus on the harder things, but it seems like I just did fewer easy ones.

I had five goals for this round: write 1000 words of narrative weekly, write something non-narrative each week, do reflection weekly, enter a poetry competition, and read four books I hadn’t finished last round.

The writing goals, I did meet. I ended up writing 11,900 words of narrative in the 80 days — slightly more than a thousand every seven days. I also wrote something non-narrative almost every week, and entered three poems in a competition.

Reading wasn’t so lucky: I finished only one of my goal books, and half-finished two, then changed my goals and read one unrelated book. Overall, I did about half what I aimed for.

Reflection happened just under half the time. Not an improvement on last round, but not much worse, either.

I think my biggest mistake in this round was not keeping myself engaged with my goals. I aimed to write less, and to read fewer, less interesting books. That meant I was working on my goals less frequently, and losing focus on them in the intervening time.

The biggest success was probably Conkers. I feel like I’ve made meaningful progress with the characterisation, and the plot is starting to pick up speed.

Good luck, and see you next round!

Characterisation (again…)

I was worrying about other things in my writing last week, and mostly forgot the character-related issues. I think the dialogue came out worse as a result, but I feel as though the characters have improved as I focussed less on them.

For the first story arc, I had very clear ideas of what each one was like: one squeamish, another almost revelling in gore, and so on. That broke in the next arc, when they had new problems and acted differently. And what I’ve written this week has characters acting quite differently to those first impressions.

However, I’m starting to think this isn’t actually a bad thing.

A character only defined by one trait is probably going to be one-dimensional. Since I expect Conkers to be bad, I didn’t think that was worth worrying about yet. But that seems to have led me to making the characters one-dimensional, forcing them to behave the same in all situations.

Maybe I have to let my characters grow a bit more, before I try and prune them again.

#ROW80 Week 11: Really, this time!

I somehow managed to forget about Week 2, making all my week counts this round out by one. So this is my real Week 11 linky.

That confusion actually had a positive effect: because I thought I only had half a week left, I hooked in this week and made meaningful progress. On Conkers, I wrote another 1,400 words, and I’ve also gone back to some of the alliterative poetry I’ve been working on.

For reading, I finished Ruth Rendell’s The Vault. I particularly liked the details and suspense in the opening narration leading up to the discovery of the body.

I still didn’t manage reflection, but I can live with that. Seeing as the round ends this week, I’ll make getting some reflection done by then a particular goal. Maybe that will help get me going again for next round.

Good luck, and happy writing!


There's nothing strong enough to keep you chained,
Nor locks to hold you out, or keep you in.
Your might grew greater as my allies' waned.
We fight once more, and you will surely win.

You have not taken up my offered words.
It pains me that you won't choose to atone.
But in your greed you guzzle meat by herds;
Your choice would be a future filled with bone.

I am not you, to kill you like a cow;
I'll leave your meat uncut, your skin unflayed.
I'd lift no blade if less could stop you now;
But for survival, guilt is fair in trade.

Thus I —
              I cannot strike the fatal blow.
Promise me change, or anything, but go!

#ROW80 Week 11: Pause

I didn’t make much progress towards #ROW80 (linky) this week.

That’s not so much not doing enough, as doing too much on other things. I actually wrote in excess of four thousand words this week; but they were on setting ideas, my research project, and a thing I found on the Internet rather than stories.

Similar to Worm last round, I was distracted this week by watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. While I certainly don’t regret watching it, it did overshadow my thoughts all week, and may have interfered with my writing.

Unlike Worm, though, I can’t claim it as a book. I did start reading a new book this week, but I’m not that confident I’ll finish it by the end of the round.

I’ve had a tendency to redefine my goals each time I’m unhappy with a week. It’s not worth it this late in the round, but I wonder if I need to declare that research project as an actual goal. The truth is, it’s as significant to me as Conkers is, and of a similar scale; it doesn’t really make sense to pretend it doesn’t exist for the purposes of #ROW80.

I’ve been worried it wasn’t mature enough to mention yet, but I have to talk about it at some point…

#ROW80 Week 10: Away

This is my 10th check-in for this round of #ROW80 (linky).

My biggest progress was in reading: 139 pages of The Three Musketeers. That’s good progress, but I was on holiday; I’m not confident I can manage another 400 pages in the month I have left.

After reading Shan Jeniah’s post on work ethic, I suspect my reading goals this round may have been poorly thought out. I’m trying to force myself to read heavy books quickly, and it isn’t working.

Not to mention, I’ve missed out on entertainment reading for the sake of focussing on those books; and reading more for pleasure was part of my reason for setting reading goals to start with.

To try and make this less of a manacle, I’m going back to aiming for a set number of any books. I’ll try for a book every two weeks, or two more by the end of the round.

My writing was also productive on the holiday, although I didn’t stay focussed on Conkers. I wrote 800 words of narrative — half Conkers, half a scene that doesn’t belong to a plot yet — and at least as much again on miscellaneous non-story projects, many of them new ideas.

I did get a few new ideas for Conkers, though, which I might try and put into writing this week.

Good luck and happy writing!