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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Maintaining Momentum

As I briefly mentioned in my last post, I did get a job in Southern Nevada, and now my summer job fighting wildfires has started. The temptation for me (and, I suspect, for many writers) would be to say "Well, I'm busy now, I guess I'll just have to write on my days off." The problem with a job like wild land firefighting is that there's no guarantee I'll get my days off. And even if I did, that's only two days out of the week for writing. And let's face it, that sort of progress would be dismally slow if I'm serious about getting books published.

So now, perhaps more than ever, it's time for me to get serious and put the writer's age-old adage into practice: "If you want to write, you've got to MAKE the time to write."

I'll be pulling eight hour days, five days a week, and if there are fires going on, I could be working as much as sixteen hours a day. In addition, I'll be spending all of my work days out in the woods in a cabin where there is no internet and the electricity is less than stable. My intent is to take my laptop out there with me and to keep working on Kricket and TSS, regardless of the situation. I plan on writing at least 1,000 words a day, except maybe on those 16-hour days (I'll need that sleep if I'm actively fighting fires). Now, planning is all well and good, but only time will tell if I can maintain my current momentum (which actually isn't all that fast right now). It's time to test my dedication to writing.

Once I transition to the other job in Southern Nevada after the fire season, I will have more regular days off (possibly as many as three a week), and it should be easier to maintain a writing schedule. Again, time will tell.

For now, Kricket's Song is progressing nicely. I reached the official 1/3 complete mark a couple of days ago. I believe it's turning out to be a fairly clean manuscript, which means at this point I don't see myself having to go back and do a lot of rewrites on it. But, that may change once I get the first draft completed and some beta readers get their hooks into it. Right now, I'm just taking it one thing at a time, and I have to get the first draft finished first. I started Chapter 11 last night; I don't know how many chapters there will end up being, but I've been pleased with the progress, especially considering all the traveling I've been doing on top of looking for work and graduating college.

As for The Serenity Solution, I've finally got a bit of progress to report on that. Following what seems to be the very successful formula for Kricket, I wrote out some detailed biographies for the main and major secondary characters for the book, just so that I have them firmly in mind when I start the rewrite. The next step is to outline the overall plot, and hopefully keep it from being too ambitious as was the last attempt. Then I'll start doing detailed outlines of a couple of chapters at a time, and it will then be time to actually start writing. I know it seems like a very structured system, but so far, that seems to be the way I work best. Once I get my skills polished up a lot more, maybe I can be more lax on the structure.

For "Exequies" and the Writers of the Future Contest, I honestly have no idea what's going on. I thought they were judging Q2 for 2011 in which the story was entered, but looking at their site, it would appear they have just finished awarding the winners for Q1. So...who knows when something will happen with that. It appears they may be a bit behind schedule right now. That's fine, I've got plenty of other stuff to be working on with Kricket and TSS.

That's about it for now. Thanks for reading!

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