Saturday, May 12, 2012

1st ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days

I declared my intent to do this in Friday's post and tomorrow is already the first check-in

Since I've identified the mess in my fiction files created by the 8 NaNos and 2 or three 70 Days of Sweat challenges as the worst stumbling block keeping me from working my fiction WIP and also since I'm jumping in at nearly the mid point of round 2 for 2012, I'm going to set my goals for between now and the end of June accordingly:

Choose 1 of the finished short stories to be the first epub to publish on Smashwords or Amazon and prep it for take off by the end of June: any revision, line edit, format, convert.  [Blow Me a Candy Kiss] -  Yes on choosing the title.

Spend 30 minutes or more per day reading a book on Writing from the ever growing TBR of books on writing.  Will compile list for future updates.
---Saturday - Y  
Read several chapters in Let's Get Digital: How to Self-Publish and Why You Should by David Gaughran.  I picked up the Kindle edition free on Amazon earlier this week.

Spend 30 minutes or more per day daydreaming in the story world with pencil and pad at hand.
---Saturday - Y

Spend 30 minutes or more per day on one or more of the following tasks:
--Saturday - Y

  • Input any material from the daydreaming session into it's appropriate file or task list.
  • Clean up the Fruit of the Spirit storyworld worksheet.
  • Clean up the 8 NaNo novel files: quarantine the mess, create work space for new writing, and create a system for  storing the material salvaged from the mess in such a way as it can be found when needed. i.e. linking it to appropriate topic pages in the FOS story world worksheet.
    ____Storyteller's Spouse 2006
    ____The Substance of Things Hoped For 2009
    ____Mobile Hopes 2008
    ____Spring Fever 2007
    ____A Trick of Light 2011
    ____Brooding Instinct 2005
    ____Everything That Rises Must Submerge 2010
    ____Majoring in Marine Biology 2004
  • Read and notate the scene text of the 8 NaNo novel files
    ____Storyteller's Spouse 2006
    ____The Substance of Things Hoped For 2009
    ____Mobile Hopes 2008
    ____Spring Fever 2007
    ____A Trick of Light 2011
    ____Brooding Instinct 2005
    ____Everything That Rises Must Submerge 2010
    ____Majoring in Marine Biology 2004
  • Create a master task list in FOS story world worksheet file and add any actionable task that comes to mind while working with the files: research and fact check, character development, scenes needed etc.  Future goals can be taken from this list.
  • Create topic pages in the FOS story world worksheet file for every character from every existing story and novel finished or in progress that is set in this story world.  Add any of the characters known life events to the master timeline.
  • Choose 10 POV level characters from FOS and write a first person rambling monologue for them.
  • Do a line edit of all of the completed short stories

    Blow Me a Candy Kiss
    How Does Your Garden Grow
    Running In Circles
    Of Cats and Claws and Curiosities
    Making Rag Doll Babies and Million Dollar Maybes
  • During the line edits consider whether any significant revision is still needed--scenes to add or delete, rearrange or rewrite; timeline issues, facts to confirm or to change--and create an actionable task topic in the file.
  • Write fresh scenes whenever a spark is lit by the above work.

I copy/pasted the goal list I created in Friday's post of intent and then added and adjusted and noted what got done.  I will do this for each check-in.  Watch the strike-throughs accumulate.

If I can create enough order by the end of May that I'm no longer feeling this strong aversion to opening my old NaNo files because I will have a system for dealing with the mess I make then I aim to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo in both June and August. Concurrently with the ROW80 challenges.

When I talk about my fiction files and worksheets I am talking about my WhizFolder Deluxe files.   As shown in one configuration in the screenshot below.

On the right is the tabbed browser with multiple files open.  Showing is the FOS worksheet file.  FOS is my Fruits of the Spirit storyworld in which every story I've begun except the fantasy trilogy ended up in.  I set up this worksheet file so I could coordinate timelines, character bios, research and anything else the individual stories might have in common.

A WhizFolder file is a hierarchical list of topics [left in the right window] that can be edited in place or opened in an advanced editor [window on the left].  A topic can be a chapter, a character bio, a piece of research, a task reminder--anything you can do in a RTF file you can do in a topic.  You can print them individually or in selected groups.  You can move them around inside the file, copy or move them to another file.  You can count words in selected topics or selected text.  You can hyperlink any topic to any other in any other WhizFolder file.  You can link web sites and applications and other file types. You can create keywords for ease of searching for topics in a file that contains too many to see at a glance.  You can embed objects like spread sheets, mind maps, images and documents.

But the primary things I use it for with writing projects is to keep the research and planning, timeline and rosters separate from the story text and to break the project down into manageable chunks that can be written in whatever order and then moved around if needed.  I prefer to break my stories down into scenes rather than chapters so I'll create a topic for each scene I know will be needed and if I discover another scene needs to be added between existing scenes it is a snap to create the topic for it and move it into place.  Sometime I might want to break a scene down into descriptive and dialog segments and then I might create separate topics for them as child topics for the scene and then once I'm ready to combine them I move the text into the scene topic.

If I was using it at its full potential as a file organizer it would serve just about every purpose Scrivener and Liquid Story Binder serve for writing projects.

When I talk about the messes I made of my Nano files it is because I didn't maintain the order.  Instead of stopping to create a new topic in its proper place in the list I would just hit enter a couple of times and start working on a different scene that may or may not have belonged after the scene I was just working on that may or may not have been finished.  I would switch from writing narrative or dialog to writing about a character or letting the character ramble.  As the NaNos went by I created fewer and fewer topics until this last one I did the whole thing in a single topic.  All 60K.  Everything I wanted to say about the story as well as the story itself is all jumbled together.  I might as well have been using Wordpad.

Another way of stating my main goal for this ROW80 is to create an environment in the files that entices me to open and work on them and a system that I can maintain even for NaNos.

5 tell me a story:

EM Castellan 5/13/2012 3:38 AM  

Welcome! It's great that you've decided to join us. Your goals seem doable and well thought-through. I wish you the best for the weeks to come! My check-in:

alberta ross 5/13/2012 8:46 AM  

found it - hi - I have whizz folders as well but dont use it as much as you do - well done on sorting out the 'mess' and well done on all the nano's you have done:) I have only done the one although I intend to do August and November this year - it worked really well for me

all the best with your goals

Wendy Lu 5/13/2012 9:17 AM  

Awesome goals, Joy! Very measurable. :P Lots of stuff to do that will keep you busy, but productive too! Best of luck with ROW80! Great blog you have.

~Wendy Lu

The Red Angel Blog

Raelyn Barclay 5/13/2012 9:50 AM  

Welcome to ROW80!

That's a lot of NaNo stories to sort. You obviously love and do well with that challenge. I rarely find the stories I've crafted from NaNo are worth the hard drive they are stored on, LOL.

You have created very measurable goals and I wish you all the best for the upcoming week.

Barbara McDowell 5/14/2012 7:24 AM  

Sounds like you have a lot of different WIP drafts and files, Joy. I totally get the pull in terms of a focus point and think the idea to carve out where to start is great. On the reading front, I’m also getting through the massive TBR craft book list via small chunks. I find it is much easier to stay on task and keep that type goal moving forward. For your last goal of spending 30 or more min. towards a list of tasks, maybe rank in order which WIPs you’ll address first, then get the line edits (or other items) done on those first so you can get them circulating for publication or otherwise checked off the list. Great job and welcome to ROW80!

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