Wow, Have I seriously been neglecting this blog for a whole year? Shame on me! But the truth is that I did not have anything really interesting to say. Truth be told, most of my writing plans throughout 2017 got trumped over by the fact that Parallel , my 2016 NaNoWriMo got extended to hell and back, to a whooping wordcount of around 180,000 words, give or take. Let’s have a look at what went month by month though (I’ll also throw in some reading and watching especially when they have worked as inspiration):
For the first part of the month most of what I wrote was related to articles on the blogs, mainly the travelling one. I did not write on the actual vacations but I did cover them when I was back. Then I moved on to some Shikigami and Parallel for a bit.
I wanted to finish the last book of the Shikigami series so I pushed on that one for the first part of the month until I ran into a POV issue that trumped over my resolution. I brought in a new character to try and help but unfortunately it was not a good idea, and I ended up in a deeper hole than I thought. Still working on that.
So as I was not advancing on the Shikigami I turned back to Parallel, which by this time was completely screwed-up timeline-wise.
Aside from some blogging (X JAPAN Concert and all that happening on the 4th), it was completely dedicated to Parallel again as I tried to navigate the unexpected changes that of course yielded to a plothole.
I ended up throwing the table up and yelling ‘plot twist!’. I managed to fix the plotholes caused by the changes of events in Parallel, aka the characters doing whatever they considered better. Once this was somewhat rearranged, I spent the whole month working on it.
I read Harper Lee’s “To kill a Mockingbird” which made me even more paranoid about finishing stories and wrapping them up correctly.
I finished Parallel on the first. All in all I think it needs a rework to weed out all the bits and pieces that are interesting for me and that helped characterisation (and/or were just fun to write). I’m not sure whether that would end up in another story or just die away.
Then I spent the month working through a story I called Throwback, which was a rewrite of an old fanfiction. When I say rewrite though I mean that I grabbed the general idea and remade it from scratch, in the line of what I did with Yuki Matsuri and Stones in 2016. It worked out pretty well, which would become important later through the year.
After some blogging and a brief “yeah, I wanted to get on with Shourai, didn’t I? Let’s reread it!”, I finished Throwback (which to my eyes counts as part of the ‘wanting to edit’ thing) and went back to another old story. In this case I worked through some characterisation in Tokyo Shadows, which was an old original story, in the hopes that I could improve it. When this flowed, it flowed really well, but then it deflated.
I took another feeble attempt at Shourai before I went on holidays and took a break from everything.
I mostly devoted this month to the travel blog (pictures should be worth a thousand words each, then I would have written millions this year XD).
I also spent some time making up a diagram linking characters from different stories that belong to the same ‘universe’ and I found a few surprising relations. This “helped” me develop a ‘set’ of characters that can be an innocuous link, a theatre company. And because innocuous may not be applied to any of my characters, this quickly developed into something that I called the New Red environment. They don’t really have a story, just a few snippets to justify their appearances in other stories. Through this diagram I also realised how many things I have been putting off writing in relation to different universes (urgh).
I read Fuminori Nakamura’s “The Gun” and I did not like it at all, but I could not put it down. Love-hate relationship much? Yep.
I tackled the main rewrite of Tokyo Shadows while on the side I was being pestered about NaNo. I sort of had decided on what to do about it – as I said before, the diagram had made me realise how many things I had in planning but not tackled. And then of course, my own brain trolled me and I scrapped the whole idea – halfway through research, of course, when a yakuza newspaper article triggered me to do another fanfiction rewrite. Thus I started working on the timeline of Junction, yet another yakuza story. This had the advantage that very little research was required.
This month I also started a Supernatural binge, so of course that started triggering my brain like crazy.
I finished my timeline for Junction, which ended up around 11,000 words and 70 plotpoints (and with 11,000 word preparation, I was still kidding myself hoping that the actual story would be manageable). It might or might not (read “yes”) have been influenced by me going to a film festival to watch Hirozaku Kore-eda’s “Sandome no Satsujin”.
The SPN binge yielded to a bit of Hyakki Yagyō writing, and triggered something else that I completely forgot about until I was writing these lines, tentatively named Lazarhus Rising, probably because that was the SPN episode I was watching at the time OTZ.
NaNoWriMo 2017 was entirely devoted to Junction, a yakuza story which tried to depict a contrast between normal people and yakuza, and that aimed to be a bit cruder than my usual yakuza writing.
I clocked NaNo with reaching 50,000 words on the 4th of November after 20 hours of writing and finished the month with 103,023 words (yeah, this one I checked).
I wanted to get Junction finished this month but it could not be, mostly due to health issues and the fact that I had to balance my time between it and a story I’m writing for someone as a combined Xmas/birthday present, How to make friends and seduce people (HTMFASP from now on), a homoerotic fairytale.
I also started reading a collection of all of Lovecraft’s works, chronologically.
Furthermore, I ended up on Santa’s ‘nice’ list as he decided to bring a bunch of things that I had asked for in my letter, a few related to writing. First of all a new laptop as my computer is agonising (so expect changes in images, especially colours, and so on as I’m also changing programs), and then a few Howdunit books for reference.
Have some images and tables:
First of all, in order to track progress better, I’m going to get rid of the “Short Story” tracker and separate everything I work on on its own, and I’m considering whether it is worth separating the different blogs. I also want to get a marker on when something is done or in progress, so I’m guessing I’ll build a new spreadsheet.
Junction is in its final act, so I hope I can finish it this month and then I would like to send it to a zero-reader for them to give me an opinion on whether general premise works and what parts need reinforcing to make sure that character developing is consistent. I will work on HTMFASP as that has a deadline. I hope I can work and rework things I’ve got in progress in order to check mark a bunch of projects as finished (which once again involves Shourai and Shikigami, because why wouldn’t it?)