ROW80 Week 7: Scarce

Here’s my ROW80 Week 7 linky.

I wrote exactly five days this week. Although I worked on Conkers on four of them, my re-reading progress wasn’t much: only another twenty pages, leaving thirty more to go.

On the bright side, I did do a fair bit of re-writing on the scene I typed up. And while I haven’t read another book yet, that’s mainly because I’m trying to read two at once.

I’ve also got an idea to get more re-reading done:

Often, I read the draft late at night, after turning off my computer, and that means I don’t have time to do much. But if I accept that, there’s no reason I can’t read a paragraph or two every night.

As such, I’m making “re-read every day” an extra goal for this week. We’ll see how that goes.

Good luck and happy writing!


I rule no legions risen from the deep,
Command no weapons larger than a knife.
In darkest night, I stay in bed and sleep.
I would not fit a supervillain's life.

Nor do I rage against a rotten world,
Nor seek to breathe the putrid scent of sin.
I've sense enough to keep my feelings curled,
And deep and cold, drown thoughts they flourish in.

I honour clocks and roads, and do not stray.
I hold my counsel close — to nothing swear.
My fears and dreams are safely locked away
Within my past. Not even I know where.

But questions haunt me still, and will not die:
What was I then? How did I end it? Why?

This is my response to the Daily Post prompt for “Vice”. I suspect vice should be dealt with at the source, if it exists. :-)

ROW80 Week 6: Diffuse

My week 6 of this Round of Words (other participants) was fairly productive, but not very focussed.

I didn’t do as much as I’d planned on Conkers, only reading 25 pages of the draft. And while I did get a handwritten scene typed up, it was very much a last-minute thing.

The rest of my week was occupied by other writing, including one thing that might turn into a larger project.

My goal of 40 pages per week may have been a bit optimistic; thinking about and taking notes on each page proceeds much more slowly than normal reading. Which I suppose I should have expected.

But that’s not to say there’s not room for improvement. Most of my editing was done late in the week; if I started on it earlier, I could probably get more done without losing too much free time. And I could probably have spent less time playing computer games.

As such, I’m keeping the same 40-page goal for next week.

Good luck and happy writing!

Valentine’s Day Sonnet 2014

or: “Those who can’t, teach”

Shall I compare thee to a sonneteer?
Thou hast no love profess'd in patterned verse;
But feelings just as sure, and just as dear,
Well in thy breast, as poets' best and worst.

Thy love's steeped not in winds and sunny days.
It has no taste for slow iambic feet.
A newer, bolder rhythm is your craze,
With fresh-cut verve and courage in its beat.

And that, I cannot sing. Beyond my wit,
Though all the Muses lent to me their aid,
Do loves and lyrics stay. Alone, I sit
Most boldly writing when I'm most afraid.

I have no truths for when love's foul or fair,
But this: some sonnets aren't "Shall I compare...".

ROW80 Week 5: Resuming

This was my first week of proper editing.

I spent a couple of days drawing up a mind-map of my current plot, then combined all the scenes into one big file to print out. (Well, most of the scenes, anyway. There’s still the missing hardcopy scenes to sort out; but I did get one typed up on Sunday. :-] )

It’s a funny feeling, actually holding the printout in my hands. It’s still got a long way to go before it’s a real book; but now I feel like I’m actually writing a book, rather than a jumble of random scenes.

It’s not really book-sized yet, though; only eighty-nine pages.

Not that that’s a bad thing. I’m planning to read through it and see how it works at the moment before I start re-writing in earnest, and 89 pages isn’t too daunting a number.

And I suppose I should officially recognise that as a goal:

  • Read through at least 40 pages of the first draft each week; aim to read through it all this week.

My other goals have pretty much kept up. I wrote a sonnet on Monday, did my four days of editing, and read through the first Skulduggery Pleasant book.

One thing I particularly liked about Skulduggery Pleasant: one of the key plot McGuffins shows while the setting is still being introduced, but in such a way that you don’t realise it’s more than background detail until much later.

Good luck and happy writing!

P.S. There’s something funny going on with the LinkyTools list at the moment; I may have to adjust the link once it’s working.

Update: The linky list was fixed, but I didn’t add the linky in time, so this post will stay stuck without one.

ROW80 Week 4: Changing Gears

Here’s my linky for #ROW80 Week 4.

My editing isn’t exactly off to a flying start. I did rewrite one-and-a-bit scenes over the three days of editing, and wrote on another two days to get the total of five.

But I completely forgot about typing up the hardcopy scenes, and I haven’t done any outlining whatsoever.

(I didn’t do much reading either; but that goal isn’t due for another week, and I’m ahead of it in any case.)


My current draft of Conkers is in the first person, but switching between several different narrators. One of my aims in rewriting is to change to third-person everywhere, to make things less confusing.

That’s been harder than I expected. Part of the problem is the first-person plural (“we”, “us”, “ours”, etc.). I use those words quite a bit, and the third-person equivalents really don’t have the same meaning.

The other issue is that I can’t seem to focus on one point of view. A lot of the scenes have focus shifting between several characters, which meant the narrator was often describing a scene a different character was more involved in. Now that I’m using the third person, focus just shifts randomly between characters, and I can’t get it to stick to anyone.

This is obviously a solved problem. I need to pay more attention to how books written in the third person stay focussed, and try and apply this to my scenes.

I’m also wondering if outlining will help; perhaps I’m having trouble because I don’t know what the scenes are trying to achieve. And I’d like to do more outlining this week anyway.

Good luck and happy writing!

The Worst Ideal

A perfect evil deed must be complete:
In every way, an act you can't redeem;
A deed you'd do although it meant defeat;
A goal itself, no step within a scheme.

It must be gruesome, fit to nauseate;
It must be final -- harm that none can heal.
You must not feel for what you desecrate,
And those who do will hate what you reveal.

And know they shall, though evil seeks no fame;
Though villainy itself is cause enough.
For hardened hearts that fear to take the blame,
Would virtuous look, and not be truly tough.

So know that villainy is shown and done;
And must exist, as "some" improves on "none".