ROW80 Summary — Round 2, 2015

(other ROW80 participants)

I didn’t quite finish my editing by the end of the round; but it’s done now, and I’ve asked a couple of people to beta-read the story.

My check-ins weren’t as detailed as usual, so I’m not sure how much writing I did. There was plenty of editing, certainly; and I read five books, and drafted five short stories.

A lot of the time, I felt like I was going round in circles; but this new story is nearer to being usable than the last one, so I must have learned something. :-)

Next round should be interesting. A few things are changing at work, and I’m still looking at buying a house.

Good luck and happy writing!

Castle in Smoke

Would I could sing a universe to be!
By means of music, set my soul aflame,
In smoke describe the air, in tar the sea,
And continents of ash, let life reclaim.

Through primal trees would echo tread of beasts,
Till rivers trolls control were bridged and drained.
Their founding kings would lay out heroes' feasts,
Till fresh-cooled stones, by blood betrayed were stained.

That day in hearts takes root, and sprouts to grow
To legend, then a myth, and thence a song.
The theme that fire picked out long ago
In blood reprised, crescendoes, then goes wrong.

Its fuel consumed, too soon my world must end,
Or else on souls not mine it must depend.

ROW80 Week 12: Compromise

(other ROW80 participants)

It’s become clear that the roleplaying group and writing Conkers are going to compete with each other.

I actually got a good bit of writing done this week — a few hundred words on Conkers, two sonnets, and over two thousand words on other projects. While I didn’t get any outlining done, I’m happy with the scenes I wrote instead.

However, it’s looking like my time this week will be taken up by preparation for roleplaying on Friday.

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ROW80 Week 6: Density

(As usual, here’s the link to other people’s check-ins.)

Reading Writing the Fiction Series is turning out to be more work than I thought. The exercises in the later chapters are forcing me to think seriously about how I want Conkers to work, and I’m not getting through them anywhere near as easily; I only finished another half a chapter or so this week.

It has been helping my writing progress, though; as well as two sonnets, I got inspired to write a new scene in the Conkers setting, and I had a good idea for how to link one of my villains in with the rest of the cast.

I also made good progress with Gormenghast; I’ve now only got 40 pages to go.

Good luck and happy writing!

ROW80 Week 3

So far, I’m happy with my progress for this Round of Words in 80 Days:

I met both halves of my writing goal this week: two sonnets and a thousand words of prose. A lot of the prose was overly-wordy background details, but it’s still good to have written down.

As to reading: I haven’t got a book on writing yet, but I have ordered one, and it’s apparently supposed to arrive next week. So that goal is out of my hands for the moment.

In the meantime, I’ve read 20 pages of Titus Groan. There are another 114 to go, which will take me until Week 9 at this rate.

That’s while, but I don’t think I need to speed it up. Rather than trying to read more pages, which failed dismally last time, I think I’m better off making the two books separate goals and reading whichever one I feel like at the time.

Good luck and happy writing

#ROW80 Week 8: Plain

My progress this week of #ROW80 (other people’s progress) was fairly average.

I wrote five days out of seven, got another 900 words written on Conkers, and started reading a new book. That puts me behind my goals, but not by much.


I haven’t been getting good word counts on Conkers for a while. While the research project is, sort of, an excuse, I think there’s more to it than that.

I feel as though I’m approaching a good stopping point for the plot; it may just be wishful thinking, but I think I can finish the first story arc within a year of starting it.

But I’m not getting any closer to that point.

I keep writing scenes ahead of the main plot, and introducing side stories that will take their own time to finish, and haven’t really got closer to the climax than I was a month ago.

That’s not for lack of thinking about it; I’ve been making plans for Conkers for most of the month, and just not carrying them out.

I suspect the problem is that I’m too focussed on the plans, and afraid to write it in case it falls short of them. In which case, the solution is to just write something, and worry about it once the scene’s typed up.

That can be my extra goal for this week: write a draft of the climax of Conkers

Good luck and happy writing!

#ROW80 Week 7: Finishings

Most of my progress this week involved finishing the things I started last week.

I sorted out the background data for my research project, and put up the blog post. (If anyone’s curious, it’s on my other blog.) Conkers only got 700 words, but the blog post progress makes up for that; and I did write five days out of seven.

On the reading front, I finished Facebook and Philosophy. It’s got several authors: each of them wrote a chapter about Facebook from a different philosophical perspective.

The quality of the chapters is a bit variable; but it did introduce me to quite a few modern philosophers, and I’ve got a few names I’m planning to follow up.

Good luck and happy writing!

See how the rest of ROW80 is going at the linky list.

#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!

#ROW80 Week 9: From Afar

Here’s my #ROW80 linky for Week 9. Perhaps because I’m on holiday at the moment, it’s been a fairly good week.


I read about 70 pages of The Three Musketeers, and the last 100 pages of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil.

I started reading Nietzsche’s book with a specific question in mind: how would ethics work in a story with distinct “heroes” and “normals”, such as a superhero setting?

The book had a broader focus than I thought, and didn’t really answer it.

It did, however, get me thinking about and finding examples of power as a motivation for things. I don’t think I ever understood how someone could want power “for its own sake” before.


This also went well (about 1000 words on Conkers, and a few hundred more on another WIP), although I didn’t keep up with my commitment to characterisation exercises.

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