Friday, September 20, 2013

Day 1 of Who Knows How Many Days?

If I'm going to start doing this as a daily check in, I have no idea how I'm going to title my posts.  Am I going to have a different kind of title on the days I have something interesting to say, than I do on the days I'm just reporting?  Should I do it like Dean Wesley Smith is doing with his Writing In Public posts -- and simply post a separate post for updates and for other things, even if it means posting several times in a day?

I don't know.  I'm making this up as I go along.

Today - Resetting Timers

I finally started to get back to my routine.  Max and I walked.  I did some house and health related stuff, and then I settled down to my computer.

One problem I have when things get off balance is with decision making.  So I have a method for that. I have a list of ongoing current projects, and the items are numbered.  I use Random.org to choose a number and I work on that for 15 minutes. I have a timer on my computer.

And then I spend the next 15 minutes getting organized and working on that list and prioritizing.

Most people do the organizing their day first, I don't because it's easy to get caught up in that. If I do something useful first -- something that actually gets real work done -- then I am eager to get past the organizing.  I'm weird that way, but it works.  Any day I don't get much done, it's because I did the organizing stuff first.

The tasks I did today were:

*Brainstorming on the layers of the mystery for The Man Who Stepped Up.

I have a lot of backstory, etc. for this novel, but it's all kind of scattered and equal.  A mystery really needs to be structured around peeling back layers.  You don't have to have it all ahead of time, but you need certain key things, and I just don't have them yet.  I find that figuring out, generally, four layers of action -- four different directions for our detectives to investigate -- helps me nail those key questions.  Also, it helps me see if I'm getting stuck on an idea that goes no where.  Today's question is: is the person being shot at in the opening who I think it is?  It makes for a great first act revelation when we find out it's a certain person, but is that good for the whole story? Or is that just a cool end to the first act?

*Artwork

I've been missing doing artwork so much while my computer has been down.  I didn't do much today, because I had nothing in mind.  So all I did today was sketch about five or six silhouettes. Three of them were inspired by an old cover I found on Gutenberg, with three boy scouts sitting around a fire. However, my figures feel more mature and even sinister.  I paired them off in different ways, this is one of them.

It has a pulpy, conspiratorial look to it.  But the effectiveness will depend on the final colors and what is in the background.

*Stone-Cold Dead At The Trading Post

I only did about 500 words on that tonight, but I'm glad to get back into the swing on that story. I think the key to making it work is the relationship between Mick and Casey.  Casey is off-screen for most of the story, but her presence in Mick's awareness is important.

And, actually, tonight's bit was a little interaction between them, where she kind of sets him on the right course, both letting him know she is expecting a lot, but also making a gesture of confidence in hm.

*Reformatting The Misplaced Hero

I'm going, slowly, through all of my existing books and reformatting them in html.   In some cases, I'm actually doing a read-through and looking for typos.  I'm doing a little minor line editing on this one. Mostly for clarity and voice.  I figure this might inspire me to get more done on The Misplace Baroness.

Otherwise, I spent too much time blogging and on the internet.  Tomorrow I intend to focus more directly on Stone-Cold.  I won't be publishing it next week as I hoped, but I would like to get it done, by next Friday, and maybe even published by the end of the month.

See you in the funny papers.

2 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

It sounds to me like you know where you get off track (the internet is the culprit, like it is for most of us) and you're really organizing your time well. Good luck!

The Daring Novelist said...

Yep, that old internet is always snagging my attention. (Hmmm, I'm on it right now....)