Author’s Log: Pressing On (#amwriting, #ROW80)

This is going up a little late today, I’m afraid. July’s a busy month for me at Ye Olde Day Jobbe, the third week especially, this last week was no exception. I’m covering for someone on maternity leave, in addition to my own work, and while summer is ostensibly our slow season, this means our field forces likes to come up with wild requests for research and analysis, our extensive housekeeping projects that have been on the back burner until now.

Then, on Friday, I was forced to leave work early with a stomach bug I initially thought was a mild case of food poisoning from the previous night’s shrimp–the D.S. discovered a new, cheaper supplier. Also, I don’t generally get sick, unless it’s something epic and worthy of the emergency room.(I haven’t called in sick in a smidge over nine years or thereabouts, just to give you an idea.) So for the better part of the weekend I was forced to sit very, very still lest I trigger an inadvertent chain reaction resulting in a great deal of unpleasantness.

But better this weekend instead of next, during Comic Con. Yikes!

Also this week, I started putting together documented process to help me through what I’ve started referring to as “Project Insanity”–releasing a novella per month beginning next year, meaning I’m having to start drafting those releases THIS year. It consists of daily tasks and exercises in four sections: Pre-Production (Character and Plot Development), Drafting (Discovery Draft and Meditation Draft), Revisions, and Editing. When I finish one section, I not only move on to the next, but start from the beginning again with the next project. As least, that’s the idea.

I got the tasks and exercises largely from Robert J. Ray’s The Weekend Novelist, which helped me tremendously in developing my craft significantly in a relatively short period of time–significant enough see the novella I wrote using its methods and practices to be traditionally published. What I particularly liked about it is that you’re actually developing and writing a tight, well-crafted story as you’re learning to do so, so there’s no “okay, now you’ve done all this, you should be able to write a publishable story”, but “now you’ve done all this, you’ve FINISHED a publishable story, and can now do so again.”

This fits right into my plan to spend more time in Pre-Production than in drafting, so the drafting goes faster as well as staying tighter, with a clean manuscript at the end. Overall it’ll be a sixty-day process (though not necessarily all in one go), with a few templates for character, plot, and scene sketches and entails carrying a notebook with me so I can work during my lunch hour and several evenings a week–and any other free time I might find myself with.

The List (aka Project Insanity) 3Q2015:

Blood & Steam 2
Sweet Home 1
Blood & Steam 3
Keepers: Origins 4

Goals (July):


1. Draft Blood & Steam 2: 12,618/30,000 (17k to go)

I lost some drafting time this week from general business and being sick, so I’ve got some catching up to do this week if I’m going to even come close to finishing a rough draft this week, and me with a convention waiting for me at the end of it. I need to average 2.5k a day this week to meet this goal.

2. Re-publish Blood & Steam 1: I think I’ve got this one pretty well covered, but I want to go over it again this week, now that I’ve the benefit of some distance. Then I’ll let this one go.

3. Begin Sweet Home 1: I’ve got my characters pretty well worked out, I think. I’ve got a restless violinist moving cross country to explore opportunities on the west coast despite a successful career on the east, and a rancher trying to save his home and family business while caring for his ailing father–and fighting a restlessness of his own.

Bonus Goal–Lose Some Dang Weight: Down half a pound last week, and the ol’ waist is slowly becoming more prominent. My knees have gotten a great deal better as well. The problem is that my body wants to do what it’s been trained to do and move in a way it can no longer manage–at least, not yet. But I’ll get there in time, if I can keep it up.

Next week I’ll be reporting live from Tampa Bay Comic Con, first via Twitter and then summaries and pictures to come on Facebook and here on the blog. Come Monday I’m fully expecting the after effects of a full-blown case of Con Coma, but I’m also expecting the experience to be worth it.


7 thoughts on “Author’s Log: Pressing On (#amwriting, #ROW80)

  1. Chris Kincaid says:

    Best of luck with Project Insanity. It sounds wonderful and horrible all at the same time. Also, have a great time at Comic Con – as if I really had to say that!!! Enjoy your week!

  2. Kim Switzer says:

    Wow! I am blown away by your Project Insanity! I can’t wait to watch you moving forward on that.

    Is the mediation draft you mentioned also from The Weekend Novelist? I have to find my copy because I don’t remember that part, but it sounds interesting.

    Have a great time at Comic Con! Keep up the awesome work.

    1. catemorgan says:

      Welcome to the Insanity Cave, Kim! 😉

      My copy of Weekend Novelist is the original version, with the yellow cover (on my second copy now-yikes!). The Meditation Draft is toward the end, at Part VII.

      I’m definitely looking forward to Comic Con, but after the chaos I’m sure the smaller (but equally fund) Necronomicon will come as a welcome relief.

      1. Kim Switzer says:

        My (still hidden somewhere in my book stacks) copy is the original, too. I didn’t make it all the way through which must be why I didn’t remember that part. Thank you!

        That sounds like a fun con, too. Have a great time!

      2. catemorgan says:

        HA! My original copy was snaffled from my mom when I moved out of the house as a wee writer monkey. It’d been through a round half dozen or so moves, an apartment fire, and severe pizza spillage. It was a trooper, that book! *wipes away a tear*

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