Year End Musings

So here we are at the 100th entry for this blog, (conveniently) coinciding with the last weekly entry for 2014. As the calendar year slowly winds down, it seems a good enough time to reflect on the achievements during the past year and to contemplate the challenges for the coming year in my writer’s journey.

Thus far, not too much has happened, actually!writing-wise, though a plethora of character development and plot arc construction has been vaguely sketched out. The 100 Writing Prompt Project started out well, then lost some of its momentum sometime during the year – seems it was a *bit* too ambitious to write something using the writing prompt words without over-thinking them [as it’s quite evident I spend far too much time plotting and pondering the “big picture” and not so much time on the details]. I intend to finish the 100 writing prompt list in the new year – I have a general idea of its story arc, though I had not intended the short scenes associated written to have a linear story construct. The intention of the writing using the prompts as a general template was to write quasi-independent scenes using the prompt as its theme, separate from the [epic] work in progress that is the MASC Chronicles – an intention that has since been blurred, as (roughly) 88% of my writer’s thoughts are devoted to the MASC Chronicles, a series saga that has been work in progress (vaguely described) for about the same percentage of my lifespan thus far. [Perhaps in the new year I’ll elaborate more on this now quasi-mythical epic. Maybe.]

But I digress.

I think.

Anyway.

I’ve blathered on (and on and on and on) about the process yet hardly made any headway on the actual narrative – I’ve been reprimanded (via email) about my lack of focus on any given series within the saga (or for that matter on any given project). I admit to my lack of concentration and endeavor to actually!write more and ponder less; problem (for a lack of a better term) is, I have a compulsion to need to know (almost) every facet of the story, to explore (almost) every possibility the narrative could travel before committing to which path will be Canon and which will be relegated to fan fiction AU.

Then there was the challenge to write a story outside of my genre comfort zone [a contemporary romance], documented in this year’s NaNoWritMo updates, which was surprisingly fun to plot and write. While the tale remains unfinished (per usual), it’s another writing project relegated to the “to be completed or at least worked upon” in 2015 pile, and will inevitably tie into (albeit very loosely) with the aforementioned series saga.

To make a long story short (too late): any and (almost) all fictional pieces I have written, am in the process of writing and will ever write in the near (and far) future will be related in some way to the MASC Chronicles (regardless of whether or not it actually make any sense).

Whilst skimming over last year’s year-end remarks on endings and renewals, the final Poirot episodes finally aired in the US, bringing a sense of closure to the 25 year series. Many tears were shed during Curtain, the final Poirot story (even though I knew how it would end, having read the novel beforehand) – needless to say, listening to Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude will instantly invoke tears. Also picked up Poirot and Me, a memoir about the series written by David Suchet (arguably the definitive Poirot) – a delightful read about his memories of working on the series. I highly recommend it.

Series 8 of Doctor Who, the initial series for Doctor #12 (or #13 or #14, depending on whether you include 10’s Meta Crisis and the War Doctor [often labeled as Doctor #8.5]) unfolded magnificently as Peter Capaldi brought forth/reintroduced darker shades of the Doctor’s personality. As (fleetingly) mentioned in past blog entries, Peter Capaldi’s personification as the Doctor (and the fact that the actor is such an adorably geeky fanboy of the series) is quickly becoming my favorite of the Doctors I’ve seen thus far. I’m looking forward to the next series and how that will unfold.

Well, that’s about it (for now at least).

Here’s to a (more) productive 2015!

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Approaching a Milestone

According to the WordPress stats, this week’s entry will be the 99th post for this blog, and that (obviously) means the next post will be the 100th – a milestone worth mentioning and celebrating (albeit an entry early). While I’ve (proudly) written a blog post every week (Saturday) since starting this blog (roughly) 18 months ago, posting the few (11) fictional/essay entries related to the Writing Prompt Project I started at the beginning of 2014 has propelled (though not really that far) the number of entries for this blog. That the 100th blog entry will (most likely) coincide with the final weekly entry for 2014 is kinda fitting (I think) – so most likely next week’s entry will be more reflective and quasi-rambling about whatever pops into my head at the moment (just like 99% of the blog entries thus far).

Anyway.

The actual!writing process has picked up (a bit) though I’ve quasi-returned to the (quasi-neglected) Writing Prompt Project, of which I *should* have completed before the end of 2014, as it was a resolution/goal set for this year – 100 writing prompts, 100 entries – (short) fiction pieces or essays adhering to the list of writing prompts found online (I forget exactly where I found them). Of course, (as with most things) the impulse and ideas for those prompts ebbs and flows, and the writing prompt project will spill into 2015, but I fully intend to complete the 100 writing prompt list. When that will actually happen is anyone’s guess.

Then there are the other works in progress to work upon: the elusive (purposely vague) MASC Chronicles, the contemporary romance novel written as for the 2014 NaNoWritMo challenge, the DOTV fan fiction novel and the dozen of other half-baked, stand-alone ideas brewing in my head. Yes, I’m fully aware that I should focus on one project at a time, that I should stop plotting and pondering and just get to the actual!writing part. In truth, a decent portion of the stories have been mapped out in my head, played out like a TV drama, usually as I’m drifting off to sleep (and too lazy sleepy to jot anything down). My characters chatter endlessly about their lives, their troubles and brood and argue and ponder and plot.

(There are probably too many “ands” in that last bit, but it does have a kind of musical lilt to it).

Perhaps I should stop writing this entry and return to the actual!writing of my stories (as noted in last week’s entry, I have written more words for this blog than I have for any given writing project over the past 18 months).

Perhaps the 100th entry will be a Writing Prompt Entry after all.

Perhaps the 100th entry will be a revelation (of what remains to be seen).

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

Attempting to Break the Cycle of Perpetual Plotting

In the aftermath of (spectacularly) failing to complete NaNoWritMo for the third year running, I probably shouldn’t make an attempt next year, knowing how (not) well I’m able to stick to actual!writing by a schedule. Yet, I’m (pretty) sure I’ll make yet another (valiant yet probably fruitless) attempt to complete the task – after all, good plotting ideas have emerged during this frenetic time, thought not always for the novel being written for NaNoWritMo.

Of course, those following this blog know that I spend (far) too much time plotting and pondering character exposition, plot twists and other elements in the writing process and not enough time actually writing the narrative.

Those following this blog will also know that I’ve written about my (apparent) inability to write (at least) 10K of any given novel – though last year’s NaNoWritMo effort nearly reached 9K total. I do my best not to repeat or contradict myself (and I hope I haven’t – I rarely reread what I’ve written), but this cycle of perpetual plotting and editing-while-writing needs to stop. Since it’s nearly year-end (and almost time for setting resolutions for the new calendar year), might as well quasi-declare (again) my resolution to actually finish writing one novel before (next) year’s end, as well as finish up that 100 Writing Prompt Project by this time next year.

As mentioned in earlier blogs, inspiration to get any actual!writing done comes in waves, and often from unexpected places. Yes, I’m aware I’ve said/written all this before, and while novel-writing has moved at a glacial pace, the writing of these weekly blogs have moved swimmingly along – the word count (as calculated at the bottom of each entry) has averaged at about 400-500 words, and I’ve written something each week for the year and so (a feat to which I’m stupidly proud to have adhered when I started this blog). While I have yet to total the number of words written in this blog, it’s probably safe to presume that I’ve written more words in this blog than I have for my many novels. Then again, this blog is (mostly) random musings and vague details on what I’ve been plotting/pondering/writing, and (mostly) written directly onto WordPress, with minimal editing (hence there is the high probability that I’ve said/written all this before).

But I digress (yet again).

The initial objective of this week’s entry was to elaborate (kinda) on the next steps in my (epic) series saga, and the possible probable inevitable inclusion of the contemporary romance that was attempted for NaNoWritMo 2014 into the (epic) series saga that (still) is the MASC Chronicles. Naturally, the quasi-random musings has meandered somewhere else, and 400+ words later, it seems a jumble of (nonsensical) words.

Yet it still counts as actual!writing, albeit in essay form.

So, while the fictional universe of the MASC Chronicles remains shrouded in a nebulous fog, the process by which this world is created is… well, also in a kind of murky fog, hidden behind a velvet curtain and secured in a blue box (which may or may not be bigger on the inside).

Too many variables and too many possibilities leads to too much time spent pondering the variables and possibilities (and often results in an ever-expanding series saga). Of course, the obvious solution would be to explore all (or at least some) of these variables and possibilities and just write about it – but then that would leave very little for fan fiction writers to write.

Nevertheless, I’ll (forever) spend the time mulling over plot twists, character relationships and narrative arcs, with the goal of letting my characters live out their lives (whether they like it or not).

Onward once more!

Post NaNoWritMo (2014) Update

Another round of NaNoWritMo has ended, and another novel left unfinished. ‘Twas a slow start, yet with a gallant effort towards the end – the final (officially logged) word count stood at 5,150 words, which roughly came out to three and a little chapters. This year’s effort was not as high as the previous year, but was at least higher than the first year’s attempt – then again, considering the fact that the previous two years’ novel attempts were stories based on ideas plotted and pondered at great length, while this year’s novel was (largely) made up as I went along, and in a genre not in my comfort zone [contemporary romance].

All things considered, I think it went fairly well, even though I did not fulfill the task of actually!writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Nevertheless, I do plan on working on and (eventually) completing this contemporary romance novel sometime in the near future, and have, contrary to previous claims, figured out a (quasi-flimsy) connection between this stand alone romance novel and my ongoing (epic) series saga. I will admit it was fun writing something totally (kind of) unrelated to my ongoing series: to break out of the (maybe parallel/alternate) universe and work on something outside my comfort zone, even though I hadn’t actually gotten to the romance part of the story, just the set up (which reading over it again, has the makings of a traditional [PG-13] rom-com.)

Now that December is upon us, I’ve returned to pondering and plotting the pre-NaNoWritMo projects, including that 100 Writing Prompt project, which has been neglected for too long, and will inevitably spill into 2015. The MASC Chronicles is changing subtly, as I’ve recently discovered a sci-fi novel that employs a similar plot device at the center of my series saga (or at least an integral part of the first series of the saga). While I’ve spent too much a lot of time plotting and pondering the overall structure of the series (saga), the exact details for each book are [still] quasi-vague, which is the frustrating fun part of the writing process – seeing where the characters will shape the narrative.

That’s about all that’s been going on, aside from watching and LOVING the 8th series of Doctor Who [Peter Capaldi is quickly becoming my all time favorite Doctor], waiting for the Christmas special to air, and listening to the fairly recently released TV score for “The Day of the Doctor & The Time of the Doctor” episodes [epic in its scope, with unreleased tracks not used in the aforementioned episodes.]

TTFN!