#ROW80 R12, Week 3: Ill

This check-in (linky) will be fairly short, as I’m afflicted with a cold or flu or something at the moment.

I think I’m happy with what I’ve managed despite that.

While one day only got a last-minute haiku, I did write five days out of seven. And I got sizeable chunks written on Conkers on three of those, making a total of 1,600 words or so.  It seems like I do the most writing when I have a fever, for some reason.

Reflection, as usual, I’ve put off until today:

I’m worried what I’ve written this week is touching on topics I don’t know how to treat respectfully.

In particular, one of my characters was confronted by a mugger, overestimated her new powers, and got badly beaten up. The problem is, I have no idea how she would react to that.

Rightly or wrongly, I feel like I need to follow the Mary-Sue Test‘s advice to “carefully and thoughtfully researching the traumas/hardships/handicaps/disorders your character has” (very last question on the page).

The problem is that I haven’t actually gone and done the research. I did browse through the biographies in the library, but I felt as though “what does it feel like to be mugged?” was the wrong kind of question — as though I was being disrespectful to people’s stories by approaching them as a way to answer that.

I suspect I’ll have to try and answer it anyway, though; at least that way I’ll be better placed to reflect on it.

All is not Lost

The daily prompt for today says to write a poem
about “BROKEN”.

I've found the crystal, forged by ancient kings —
Unparalleled the power it can grant.
I pick it up.
                    My phone insistent rings.
To answer it, I hold the gem aslant.

The call informs me things do not go well:
My base besieged, my agents out of reach.
The tower built to hold the crystal fell,
And broke the wall. There's fighting in the breach.

"All is not lost." I plan a swift retreat.
"Escape it, if you can." (May some survive!)
For me, holding the gem, there's no defeat;
I hold it up — it almost feels alive.

And as I go to leave, it starts to twist,
Flies from my hand, falls, smashes.
                                                                  I'll desist.

#ROW80 R12, Week 2: Up to speed

Here’s my linky for this week.

Overall, the week went well: I wrote six days out of seven (although one day was only a haiku), and got 1,400 words done on Conkers — enough to make up for being behind last week. Plus, I finished reading Dash and Lilly’s Book of Dares.

That wasn’t what I’d planned to read; but I got the third Avatar: The Last Airbender series this week, and spent much of my evenings watching that instead.

It wasn’t a total loss, though. Several things in the series (especially the swordmaster Sokka studies under) gave me a new perspective on my other ideas; and I got a poem out of my reactions to the show.

It may also have helped to read a non-fantasy book; Book of Dares left me still wanting to write, but less focussed on the specifics of what I’d been watching.

Aside from that, I’m not sure what else I can say about the book. The main thing I enjoyed about it was the premise itself. I also liked the way the narrators were distinguished by vocabulary, but that’s probably because the authors wrote alternate chapters.

Good luck, and happy writing!

The Other Quest

A werewolf, more a monster than a man,
A shade who tries to hide a shadowed past,
A gorgon, cursed to frighten all she can,
A dryad, far from home and fading fast.

Four monsters met on distant, misty moors;
Were promised, by a king with crown of bones
They'd each receive what each one most adores,
If they could just retrieve three sacred stones.

An offer took, by team beset by need;
A trip through peril, onto sacred ground;
A final fight, with foe they ought to heed.
A lethal blow!

                       Prize won, they turn around,
Return and earn gifts fit to save their souls —
Then realise why the doomsday thunder rolls.

#ROW80 R12, Week 1: The shiny things

My new goal this round is to write daily, and I managed that with flying colours — not a day missed yet.

Distracted by my focus on the new, I didn’t start off quite as well on my other goals. I had planned to write a post about the research project, but I didn’t have the data I needed; so I spent the time collecting data, and only wrote a few hundred words of notes. By the time I realised I’d have to get my word count from Conkers, it was the weekend, and I only finished half a scene.

I did get quite a bit of poetry written; just not the stuff I wanted to focus on. Now, all I have to do is turn that same focus on to Conkers

With such a half-hearted week, I didn’t want to miss reflection, so it’s in this post.

Continue reading

Goals for #ROW80, Round 4 (or 12)

The start-of-round post for this round tells us to focus on improving some aspect of our writing. This is probably a good idea, but I’m not sure how to choose a problem to focus on. For now, I’m just aiming to write more often, and trusting that a problem will show up in reflection, like characterisation did last round.

I take heart from the variety of goals the other participants have picked, which reminds me #ROW80 isn’t just for the people who already write daily.

So my goals this round (my 4th, the twelfth of #ROW80 itself):

  • Finish reading a book every two weeks.
  • Reflect on something in my writing each week.
  • Write 1000 words on a project each week — either a story, or my Mary-Sue research project (see below).
  • Write at least five days out of every seven (not counting work stuff or check-ins).

“Research Project”

The research project I’ve been working on is basically my attempt to make sense of the Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test.

I tend to believe everything I read, so my first impression was that the test was an eminently sensible idea. My second, contradictory impression was that it would needlessly forbid a lot of characters.

To see which was correct, I decided to score all the books I read, and see whether the test scores matched people’s opinions of them.

I’m not sure how well this will work, as good writing isn’t a particularly easy thing to measure. But working on it does mean I read a wide variety of different books, and I have got a few interesting measurements so far.

I’m in the process of setting up a new website to rant about this on, so it doesn’t get mixed up with what I post here.

Good luck and happy writing!