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Since finishing the rough draft of my novel 2.5 weeks ago, I’ve fully brainstormed and outlined a novella and a short story, so naturally I’m beating myself up for “not writing”

Of course I run out of ideas the second I'm approached to write a short story for a special issue of a magazine. On the bright side: free publishing opportunity! Yes, I'm complain-bragging.

I did figure it out, there are some things about addiction treatment I've been meaning to get off my chest, so this story will be about a wizard's first mandated meeting for magic dependency.

I think I just attempted to spell 'paraphernalia' for the first time. WHY IS THERE AN ‘R’ I’m so angry

Ready Player One came out 10 years ago, and was considered to be a solid B entry in the Harmless Fun category. 7 years later, with the movie, the book was back in the news. The new critical consensus was "this book is toxic incel garbage." I think about this more than I should

Anybody got tips for a whodunit procedural? Never done one before. I know “plot backwards” but that’s it.

Woohoo! Finished the rough draft of my hopepunk novel THE WORLD BEYOND EELS, weighing in at 125,570 words. 2/13/2020 - 3/13/2021. Now comes the fun part!

+9014 since last update

Fight scenes were fun. I decided that the protags would be mostly passive, based on John Rogers's advice to never give civilian main characters a gun. Resolved a major character conflict while the two in question were hiding. The fight sequence has an explosive finale, and I'm wrapping up the exposition afterwards. Climax is mostly done--all that remains is the denouement where we learn what's actually been going on this whole time.

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+5778 since last update

My prose has turned very tell-don't-show-y in this home stretch. I don't really care about this guideline--I'd like to think I have a good sense of what it means--but it's worth noting. Boring-to-me happenings are required to get all the characters in place so I just brutally summarize them. If anything I should be doing this elsewhere too.

Into the very final stretch, now. Half the characters have completed their inner arcs. Two big fight scenes coming up--woohoo!

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Realized I can get rid of my entire prologue if I just tweak the opening sentence to this novel.

As I near the end of this novel’s rough draft, I find that I’m only now grokking the character trajectories. I knew who they were as people, but I didn’t know everything that was going to happen to them when I first sketched their arcs. Now that I do, I can see what stories I actually have room to tell. I’m excited to refocus things during revisions so there’s a more coherent story and theme.

I’m used to short stories where this isn’t as much of an issue...


I didn't end up making something go disastrously wrong. It's enough that getting what she wanted didn't solve her problems. Her success paves the way for Hideki's failure, which I wrote out yesterday, and now he's locked in the brig. Which sucks for him but is great to write and, hopefully, read. He'll have a major revelation this chapter, which will help him grow as a person, so woot for Hideki.

The thrilling conclusion starts now, basically. A lot of action from here on out. Yay!

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Bit of a slog getting through this chapter. I'd been dreading writing it because I didn't know how to make it especially interesting. Oh this main character is finally getting to do the thing she wants to do, great, but where's the drama? Obvious in retrospect--make it not everything she hoped it would be, is this really what she wanted?--and then make something go disastrously wrong.


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+812/620 (last two days)

Did that sketch and outlined the character conflicts. Led to some interesting plot changes. So that's exciting. Will lead to an interesting POV experiment... anyway a lot of these words were backfill to set that up.

We've now just finished cruising by one of the important plot points for a crucial background character, which I'll need to flesh out in the next draft. Onward to a character arc climax!

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Finished the unexpected Hideki chapter. Still not wowed by the chemistry between him and Pearly. I should probably sketch out how I want this sequence to play.

(As I wrote this just now I thought of a good quick fix, to this end, and went back and added it--so now we're at +882 for the day.)

I'll still need to sketch it out, but the battle lines are very clear now. Guess this little diary thing I'm doing can be useful, yay!

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+649 words

Cut the last chapter short since it had run out of steam. Switching to Hideki POV to better establish his drama with Pearly, and also what he's even doing there, which the reader will probably be wondering. Mildly annoyed that this will stretch out the MS by another 500-1k words but what a silly thing to be annoyed by.

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I want to make a bot but just cannot come up with a decent idea

+698/+924 (two days)

Having fun with this new act. Different setting, different fault lines, great sense of urgency. Spending lots of time describing the boat, which is fun, but it's a bit of a guilty pleasure, since in my head it subtracts from time I could spend "telling the story", though of course that's not how things actually work.

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I love my phone, but somehow my ebook feels more futuristic.

+532 words

Low, yes, but I also wrote out a 600-word treatment of the final act and filled in the scene cards, so I'll allow it. I figured out some cool ways to sow distrust in the gang, right off the bat, so I'm excited to get to that. Today's bit was mostly setting the scene. I think I mentioned they're on a boat now?

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