Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Tag Archives: “Untitled”

My board and a (quite late) mid-year update

There are a bunch of things on the board in front of my writing station, behind my computer screen. Some postcards, seals, visiting cards and the so-called Japan kit, which includes member and discount cards for several places in Tokyo, along with my passport and the commuter’s pass. There is my organ donor card, and the postcard I wrote to myself from Tokyo Tower.

There are also some notes to myself, my screen resolution for making walpapers, a fosilissed shark tooth, and a silly pictures with friends at a concert line. And things related to writing.

There is a rusty Welsh pound that I found on a dry streambed in Tokyo, and I’m waiting for it to tell me its story (not its history, which was probably a random British person throwing a coin into a body of water for luck, which they do sometimes). But there is a story there, and sometimes I look at the coin and wonder. It will come.

There is a Tengu ex machina note, just because. The term ocurred to me while working through The Last Yōkai War of Edo. It’s like the Deus ex machina, but… with tengu. I went back and corrected the whole thing, but I left the note, as a reminder.

There is also a reference to Setsubun, a Japanese festival for luck. It conjures luck and chases the oni away. But I don’t mind the oni. As a matter of fact, I like writing yōkai, so my note reads は外!も内、 福は内! Oni wa soto mo uchi! Fuku wa uchi! It means, let the oni in too, not only the good luck.

Finally there is a small note, right in my line of sight, that reminds me that in 2016 I have to focus on writing Shourai, the Hyakki Yagyō verse and the Shikigami verse. There is a tick mark next to the Hyakki Yagyō line. That is because I have worked a lot on that this year. The original idea was only writing these three verses, along with the blog articles and finishing Atlantis in January for the climate fiction contest (Atlantis did not get anywhere in there though, unfortunately). The note has little laughing signs around as I deviated from this plan…

A little over a fourth of what I’ve written this year till now has been Hyakki Yagyō. Not only the main work I had to do, also a few short stories that will need some revision to fit in to the main timeline. That makes about 66,700 words on this verse.

Shourai has taken almost 33,000 words, which does not feel that much, but it almost 13% of the written material this year and 10.5% of the written total. I’m nearly done with the arc, I’ve decided. I’ve chosen an ending point, and now I have to backtrack and fill in the gaps (and actually write the last chapter), break down chapters and so on. there is a lot of green in the planning now. But editing this is going to require a lot of effort. I’m kind of toying with the idea of finishing all the writing before the year is over… but we’ll get to how I can’t keep to decisions later…

There are around 24,000 new words on the final Shikigami book. All the main points are planned and addressed, but the small, driving story is what I’m lacking. Although the character is important and I like him bunches, it is difficult to factor his POV in to have him drive the story. I need around 25,000 words more on this book, and again, it’s difficult to juggle how, even if I do want this finished this year.

So this is what I was supposed to write this year, fiction wise. Blogging and articles are factored in, as I need to improve non-fiction writing skills. All in all, there is 61% of planned writing actually being done. The problem thus lies on the 39% that I was not supposed to have been writing, mainly Body and Soul, weird urban fantasy, The Studio, which tried to be a gothic ghost story, and One shot kill, a retake on the story my writer from Untitled was working on. These and a couple of short stories almost account for 100,000 words! And there is still NaNoWriMo to come, which probably will be something completely random decided on a whim in October anyway… At the moment I’m pushing to lock down One shot kill after it got slumped for two months and hope to be done within the month.

That’s it, I’m officially declaring 2017 an editing and rewriting year. I should have done it this year, but then on a whim I decided to go for 366,000 words in total I’m on track for that goal, too – generally with new material, except for the revision of The Last Yōkai War of Edo, which was quite a rewrite of most of it anyway.

Have some pretty graphs to look at:

aug162016_stats

aug162016_stats (1)

P.S.: I’ve taken down the Archives page, because I was not keeping up with it anyway. You may now search using tags and / or categories and I’ll make sure to keep a good tag system current.

The year of writing outside the box indeed

gssalienAs we head off towards the ending of the year, I randomly looked back and noticed that I haven’t been updating as much as I should that this year I’ve been focusing a lot on science fiction. It all started with The Vortex, followed by The Spaceship Ghost, and I just finished Grey Shades and Shadows, which deals with grey aliens in an Earth which has developed a parallel history (the Timeless universe). So all in all, yes this seems to be the year of writing outside the box.

GSS was based on too many nights watching Stargate SG1, and follows situation in an underground UN base in Europe were a group of military personnel and civilians are trying to develop an engine which flies in the new volcanic atmosphere. They have possession of a Grey Spaceship donated by the aliens as a gesture of goodwill, as they are interested in the resources of our Solar System.

Previously I was working on Untitled, which mostly worked. The idea was to develop a write character along with the two stories he himself develops. However, in the end I only managed to develop one of those meta-stories (The Bizarre Case of the Puppeteer’s Mistress ) and gave up on the other one (One shot kill). In the end, I think it was a good choice to move on rather than forcing the idea. Untitled has been my main project this year, clocking just short of 66,000.

Another story I worked on was The Lesser Evil, which went completely out of control. One day I’ll have to revisit it.

Right now, as November approaches I’ve been thinking about NaNoWriMo and what to do this year. However, just when I had decided to rebel up and work towards the ending of Shourai when I found out starting a new project was not compulsory for NaNo anymore, so all is good.

Once NaNo is over I plan to head towards finishing the three open fronts I have – the Hyakki Yagyō universe, the Shourai one and eventually the Osaka Guardians. But there is also a part of my mind which wants to go back to an old story that needs a good overhaul but that has been rummaging through my mind again.

“Untitled” is driving me up the walls

It was sometime past midnight last night when I tweeted this:

I was looking at the notes I have on “Untitled” planning and wondering what the hell was going on with my life – and my writing.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? First of all, the actual story is called “Untitled” (yes, quotation marks and all, but UT for short). The main character is a writer, who is working on several stories, one of which lacks a title. The idea was that writing this story centred the main plotline, and that he would only find the title for it towards the end of the book.

I have five chapters in writing, since around the second weekend of April – I scribbled that on the train as two gangs of teens semi-fought around me. That’s why I remember. The idea was to write the main story, add snippets of what the writer is working on, and eventually write out a couple of those stories – Hyakki Yagyō , after all, started like something alike. Six weeks later I’ve hit 25,000 words on the whole thing – 1,500 that have been discarded, and 17,000 in the main arch. The rest are one of the complete stories that the guy writes The Bizarre Case of the Puppeteer’s Mistress which… I sidetracked writing.untitled_feature

Problem number 1: The Bizarre Case of the Puppeteer’s Mistress was not supposed to be written until I was finished with the main story.
Problem number 2: The supposedly untitled story already has a name in my head, One shot kill
Problem number 3: I had five chapters planned, I am on sixth, and not even covered what was planned for chapter 3.
Problem number 4: This keeps growing.
Problem number 5: The growth itself makes the actual main point dilute away and that is starting to stress me.
Problem number 6: My usual writing time is between midnight and 2 am. I really wonder how much sense this is going to make in the end.

I’m not sure whether I should force the story back on track, or let it go wherever it wants. After what happened with The Lesser Evil, I am not sure what to do. I did not write about that one because it went absolutely weird. I had an idea, did a little bit of freewriting, and ended up with something completely different. That’s okay because it was freewriting, but I am trying to reach somewhere with “Untitled” here. So yeah.

Up the walls, I tell you.