The smell of chemicals is in the air; The antiseptic fumes assault the nose. The gleaming benches, polished, are left bare. The knives stay neatly placed in perfect rows. I pace the room with stethoscope and lamp, Or pause, and hear the faint, fluorescent hum, And only move so that I do not cramp. And still I wait; and still they do not come. The things I'd do, were I allowed my tools! I know the stitch to mend a broken heart, The gentlest words to best admonish fools. No mortal hurt should be beyond my art! I weep for those whose lives I could not change. I'd make them more than human, rich and strange.
I’ve been happy with my progress for the previous weeks of this round of #ROW80 (linky). I’m still happy with what I did this week, but not as optimistic. There’s a work deadline looming, and I’m having to find time from elsewhere to put towards that.
Even so, I managed quite a bit of writing during the week: almost 2000 words towards Conkers, and over 1000 on a new scene for Jenkins Rising, as well as the usual sonnets and miscellany. I had hoped to post the Jenkins Rising scene here, but it ended up depending on things I haven’t established yet.
Other goals went less well; I read about 60 pages of The French Revolution, made a half-hearted attempt to organise poems for the competition, and didn’t manage to do reflection.
I take heart from the fact I’m still exceeding my writing goal. Even if I can’t manage other goals when work needs me, I should at least get my 1000 words in.
Good luck and happy writing!
I’m not quite where I wanted to be at this #ROW80 check-in (linky), but I’m making progress.
For writing, I wrote just over a thousand words for Conkers, and another 400 or so on background for a new story idea. I also managed to get my reflection in on time. :-)
My other goals are also showing some improvement: I read another 80 pages of The French Revolution — not quite enough, but getting closer — and I did manage to get my printer working for poetry entries.
I don’t know whether it’s the tighter goals or the start of a the new round, but I’m feeling quite enthused about writing at the moment. I’m even thinking about getting back to the “Jenkins Rising” story, the one I originally started this blog for.
The coming week will show whether that’s daydreaming or actual motivation.
Good luck and happy writing!
The scene I wrote for Conkers this week was supposed to be a political debate about the sudden appearance of “adventurers” in a previously more sedate society. I enjoyed using different styles of language to differentiate the speakers, but I’m not happy with the way their scene fits into the plot.
On the one hand, it seems like too many words and no action; on the other, I feel as though it doesn’t build up nearly enough to end as dramatically as I want.
There are things that might fix this: I could break up the dialogue with actions of the speakers and the crowd, and I could focus more on the events leading up to it. But all that assumes the characters have a reason to care about it, which they don’t.
So I suppose the real problem is a lack of context. If events built up to this scene over time, and the characters started running into the problems and the arguments about fixing them, the debate could count for something.
This is my first check-in for #ROW80 Round 3 (linky).
My writing goals, at least, I’ve achieved. I wrote 1,200 words on minor scenes for Conkers; while they weren’t exactly vital scenes, they have helped me get an idea of what I know about the characters, and what needs more investigation. I also wrote a sonnet, and made my first attempt at writing a concrete poem.
Reading hasn’t progressed so well. I managed about fifty pages on The French Revolution; OK, but not enough to finish it in the three weeks I have.
My biggest concern with what I did in Round 2 is that it was too “diffuse”; the goals I was successful on were all relatively easy things, and I worry that my other goals suffered for focussing on them.
To avoid that this round, I want to make all my goals more focussed on finishing what I started. For writing, I’ll aim for 1,000 words a week on Conkers or another narrative WIP, and to work on something non-narrative (sonnets, research, etc.) at least one day a week. That should keep me on track to finishing something.
The miasma of grief, the woe, the hate; The space that's left when you've run out of tears. The wedding dress that will forever wait; The nursery door jammed shut for scores of years. The signs upon the bridge you always change To bear your name, which they will change to theirs; The useless trinkets sent in mean exchange So you can talk of trade, and not of heirs. The houses, grey as warships, ringed with walls, Their gardens fertilised with ash and bones. The silent dances, faking ancient balls. For fallen foes, a cairn of tiny stones. Two households old, whose dignity doth fade; Their lovers each a separate marriage made.
For this, the final week of ROW80 Round 2 (linky), my only progress was 1000 words of writing on Conkers. That wasn’t enough to finish the arc I’d planned for this round, but it did end one story thread — while starting another, but still.
In retrospect, my goal for Conkers might never have been achievable; the scenes grew in the telling, and I’ve decided to insert a whole extra plotline before I get to the point I was originally aiming for.
If I didn’t meet my goal for focus, I balanced it with word count. I wrote 25,000 words this round: 1,500 more than last round, and an average of over 2000 words per week. This was about half on Conkers and sonnets, and half on other material (other WIP’s, research, dreams, etc.).
Reflection, which I only managed in six of the twelve weeks, was balanced out by reading. If Worm is allowed to count, I’ve read a total of 11 books over less than 12 weeks.
What does this mean for my goals next round?
I’ve certainly done more this round, but it’s been spread across arguably lazier things: reading, and writing things that don’t have to be part of a story.
If I’m serious about improving my writing, maybe I need more specific goals. Quality over quantity!
The same could be applied to my reading goals. While I do want to keep reading novels, I’d also like to finish a few of the books I’m reading for research. Again, a more precise focus may be in order.
All this “more precise focus” is sounding like a lot of work, but I suppose that’s necessary if I really want to learn to write.
And do I really want to? I don’t know.
That’s something I need to sort out by the start of the next round. :-)
In cities floating free upon the seas; In ruins, long abandoned to the crows; Amongst the elves, who live atop the trees; I've fought the monsters every culture knows. My mission stands: to slay each thing of fear, That even fear itself must learn to die. To truly say, "There are no monsters here." If children can demand that, so will I. I've wandered far beyond familiar lands; Against my foes diverse, I've strived and won. There's blood of every colour on my hands, And one last bullet ready for my gun. In slaying fears, I've earned a fearsome name; One final death will end that final shame.
For the first time since reading Worm, I’ve neatly met all my ROW80 (linky) goals this week.
I wrote another 900 words since Wednesday: two sonnets, and the rest half stream-of-consciousness stuff reacting to Super Crunchers, and half notes on setting for Conkers. That puts me at 2,100 for this week — quite sufficient to make up for the lost writing last week.
I also read The Great Gatsby, for the second time. Re-reading it with knowledge of the ending let me spot a lot of foreshadowing that I’d previously missed. I was also impressed by the way F. Scott Fitzgerald uses imagery: there are some very vivid metaphors used to describe scenes in the book.
I need to keep that in mind for some of the supernatural things in Conkers, which aren’t very easy to describe literally. Although I’d probably need less visual metaphors for that.
My goals also include writing Conkers and reflection, of course; but both of those are covered by things I’ve already posted.
Good luck and happy writing!