Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

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Closing balance 2017

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):

January

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.

February

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.

March

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.

April

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.

May

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.

June

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.

July

I took another feeble attempt at Shourai before I went on holidays and took a break from everything.

August

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.

September

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.

October

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.

November

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).

December

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.

Overall

Have some images and tables:

2018 goals

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?)

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Closing Balance 2016

2016_monkey

Well, late, as it seems to be the custom these last years, here is the balance to how 2016 worked out, writing-wise. The main idea was writing Shourai, Hyakki Yagyō and the Shikigami verses. That… well, did not work 100% as expected:

  • Shourai: I wrote 45560 words here, and closed the story down (with a the end and everything!) but I still need to tie down a few chapters in-between. After that, the work is taking things out. As a matter of fact I have been considering taking a whole lot out and present them as short stories within the same universe. It would considerably trim down the current 322500 words.
  • Hyakki Yagyō: there are 67945 new words here and I am not even sure how they happened? I edited the Last Yōkai War of Edo, and I wrote the Seven Yōkai Wars but I had not really realised that it was this much I had worked on this! I have plans for some more, a couple of short stories, probably, both post and pre Edo.
  • Shikigami-verse: I wrote 31129 words here, and that is a bit too few, I’d say, because I really wanted to have finished off the Shikigami of Power story, which I’ve been working on for a long time, but I got stumped on point of view.
  • Parallel: is the Nano work, which clocked in at 141756 words, and probably 40000-ish words to go, albeit I’m slowly working into the ending even now in 2017. It shall need to be cut down and trimmed to take out all the unnecessary flashbacks. Some of it has already been taken out and is in the form of short stories.
  • One Shot Kill finished a story started in the Untitled universe, with 30155 words.
  • Body and Soul is a bit of a mess that I have to go back to, but might be salvageable (48177 words).
  • The Studio is a ghost story that… probably shows that I can’t write ghost stories (16269 words).
  • Yuki Matsuri is a rewrite of an old story, and I am quite happy at how it turned out in this work through. I think it is a bit more mature than what I had written he first time, and a bit more complex (18028 words).
  • There are a few independent short stories up to 7411 words. Half of them belong to the same one Stones, which is also a rewrite. I had been wanting to go back to some of those ideas, so I ended up reaching out to them when I dried out on inspiration. If I have to be completely honest, Parallel is also an old idea, reworked.
  • And finally, there’s a whooping 61122 words on blog posts and articles, especially in the other blogs, because the devil knows that they are not about writing…

The final count is 467753 words, and here is the distrbution in different graphs:

2016_writing_columns

2016_writing_pie1

2016_writing_pie2

So how about 2017? As you can see I am not exactly too good at following plans, so I’m going to try and keep it simple: Shourai, Shikigami, Parallel, with a little bit of Hyakki Yagyō on the side. And edit. Because it needs to be done.

roster_2017

Closing Balance 2015

As it has become a tradition, the first days of January I look back at how the previous year was, writing-wise. This is what I was working on during 2015 and the resulting wordcount.

2015_sheep

Title Words
Blog 7350*
Short Stories 11206
Shourai 170209*
Secrets 6576
Hyakki Yagyō universe 59308*
The Vortex 27118
The SpaceShip Ghost 28591
The Lesser Evil 6846
Operation Teaspoon 10018*
"Untitled" 65863
Grey Shadows and Shades 27272
Atlantis 4545

As you can see, Shourai was the most-growing work of the year, and that makes sense as it was my November project. It is marked with an asterisk because it is not even done in a raw version, it still needs content written. I think that in general it makes my graphs look ridiculously blue.

The Hyakki Yagyō universe was project #2 of the year. Even if “Untitled” has a highest wordcount, that is a raw version, while Hyakki Yagyō has been on the revision and freshening stage – I am at the moment working on the second long story, trying to make sure that everything written is up to standards, there are no Koreans in any bedroom, and to improve the storytelling and character development. The original plan for “Untitled” changed as I wanted to get three stories out, but one did not pan out, thus leaving the 66k to be divided between two – the main one ad a short story.

I’ve written a bunch of short stories both independent and some others related or in the same verse. A couple of them might be integrated into longer writings in the future. Secrets spread from 2014 into 2015 and was finished earlier in the year, so that is good too. Furthermore, I apparently did not leave the blog as unattended as I thought I had…

I can show you in graphs, too, so you can get an idea. The final wordcount was 420,357, I am sure that hugely helped by NaNo extravaganza this November.

2015_pie

Do you see what I meant with “ridiculously blue”?

I also managed to write ‘daily’, most of the days a total daily count of 500 words between 00:00 and 23:59. However one day I kinda cheated as I finished at around 00:15 the next day. There, I confessed.

2015_columns1

All in all, I finished all that I started this year, or it is still an open project (maked up on the wordcount table with an asterisk. However, this is what I said I wanted to do for this year in the corresponding post:

Now, what’s the plan for 2015? I am not completely sure, but it involves quite some more editing, mainly on the Hyakki Yagyō universe, along with finishing off the tiers and connecting short stories. Hopefully finishing the first draft of the last of the Osaka Shikigami books so I can start working on it as a whole, too. And with any luck, finishing Secrets.

Let’s see how that fared:

  1. Lots of editing in the Hyakki Yagyō universe ✓
  2. Finishing tiers and connecting short stories ✓ (partial. Some more ideas popped up)
  3. Finishing first draft of the last of the Osaka Shikigami books ✗
  4. Finishing Secrets ✓.

Not that bad… I feel bad that I did not even touch the Osaka Shikigami project though… Thus, regarding to 2016 goals, here they are:

  1. Finish rewriting the raw for The Last Yōkai war of Edo to have the full version 1
  2. Finish Shourai raw
  3. Finish the Osaka Shikigami raw (book 6 raw / first book version 2)
  4. Bugger the person I’m collaborating with to finish Operation Teaspoon

Have you noticed the pattern? XD If 2015 was the year of writing outside the box, and don’t get me wrong, it was fun, I would like 2016 to be the year where I finally write “the end” on those never-ending projects. I would also like to keep writing daily. And I know that most probably I will get bitten by a new or old plotbunny sooner or later, though, as my notebook is quite full of ideas, and so is my brain. After all, it is not an easy place to be, my mind.

And that’s all for now! Happy year of the monkey!

2016_monkey

Closing balance 2014

Well, weren’t you glad to have skipped my yearly end of the year review spam? Tough luck, here I am again. It’s 2015 and nothing has seemed to have changed that much, my health is still quivery, my Internet is wavy and I am having a look at the progress of the previous 12 months. Let’s see what happened writing wise in 2014:

2014_year

New words this year round up to 306,822 words. The clear winner with more words is Shourai, at roughly 67,000 words. The clear loser is Secrets as it is the only one which has remained unfinished, and actually got around 5,000 words cut out from it. I really hope I get around to finishing it this year, or at least fix it somewhat.

Roughly 60,000 words were annexed to the Hyakki Yagyō universe, most of it in the Last Yōkai War of Edo, but a good chunk of it in short stories and add-ons to the main project.

Summarising, the projects I worked on during 2014 were:

 
 
Graphically:
2014_graph_pie

Process-wise, I did not write every day, and I took some serious vacations when I was in Japan in August, except for blogging about my adventures over there. The best month was (much surprise) November, as I pulled the whole Houritsu stunt (you can see the unscaled graph in a small window superimposed to the readable chart) and then worked on Shourai for the rest of the month (happy belated birthday, Tadashi, by the way!). The worst months, motivation-wise were March and April. I have not been on a serious 500 words per day streak, but still managed some consistency.

2014_graph_col

I have also done a bit of editing in the last couple of months this year (especially the 30th and 31st of December because of… reasons). Projects that have been polished include:

 
2015_sheep

Now, what’s the plan for 2015? I am not completely sure, but it involves quite some more editing, mainly on the Hyakki Yagyō universe, along with finishing off the tiers and connecting short stories. Hopefully finishing the first draft of the last of the Osaka Shikigami books so I can start working on it as a whole, too. And with any luck, finishing Secrets.

Closing balance 2013

(Yes, yes, a bit late, I know XD)

2013

Once again, it’s the season for stats. I started the graph late so January is mostly guesstimated and averaged. I managed to write almost every day, and even on that day I did not write I did some plotting, so it was not a total loss. The total wordcount for 2013 was around 332,000. It is considerably lower than the estimated for 2012 (370,000) and many of the stories have a lower quality – either that or I am still miffed about how bad Tokyo Shadows . I really want to have a look at Kuraokami again and see how it reads after letting it sit for a while though.

Let’s have a look at the writing I did this year, with the following key:
(*) Wordcount > 50,000
(+) Wordcount: 10,000 – 50,000
(^) Wordcount: 1,000 – 10,000
(@) Wordcount: 300 – 1,000
(%) Wordcount < 300

2013_finalgraph

Stories started and finished in 2013:

  • Kuraokami (+)
  • Into the Light (%)
  • Alone (^)
  • Mirror (%)
  • Rain (%)
  • Chosen one (^)
  • The Garden (@)
  • Bond of the Half Blood (^)
  • The landed sea witch (%)
  • Stories in the Hyakki Yagyō universe:
    • Drabble (@)
    • Ko background (@)
    • The Yukionna’s prey (^)
  • The Shikigami of Blood (*)
  • Blood Moon (+)
  • The Gadir Gates (+)
  • The Barman (+)
  • Blood Ties (+)
  • Kokeshi, version 1 (^) & 2 (^)

Continued Stories:

  • Tokyo Shadows (collection) (+) [Started in 2012, finished in 2013]

Ongoing and unfinished stories:

  • Turn of the page (^) [This one I finished on Jan.1 2014, and rounds up to just over 10,000]
  • Shorai (+) [was the fourth revision, and might go on and on xD]

Words on Writing Echoes (Writing about writing, research, etc.): around 12,000

Edits / rewrites:

Closing Balance 2012

Here’s a short list of what I’ve been doing, writing-wise, this almost-finished year.

Key:
(*) Wordcount > 50,000
(+) Wordcount: (10,000 – 50,000)
(^) Wordcount: (1,000 – 10,000)
(@) Wordcount < 1000

Stories started and finished in 2012:

  • Victim #14 (*)
  • Walk the bottom of the ocean (@)
  • Binary (^)
  • Infatuation Trap (+)
  • Autumn Lullaby (@)
  • Lifequake (+)
  • Wren (+)
  • Yes, sir (^)
  • Hyakki Yagyō (*)
  • T (+)
  • Erika v.1 (^)
  • Erika v.2 (^)
  • Axis 95/11 (*)
  • The Last Night of Obon (A Kyoto Tale) (+)
  • Three untitled short stories about Terazuma (@)

 
Stories started in 2011 and finished in 2012:

  • Undeliverable (+)

 
Stories started in 2012 and abandoned or not finished:

  • You & I Shorai v.3
  • BloodMoon Tokyo Shadows
  • Untitled, actor focused

 
Stories previously written and completely rewritten/revised in 2012

  • The Shikigami of Life
  • Wagers

 
Not too bad a balance, considering written vs. abandoned. Then again, maybe I should work more on revisions XD

Happy upcoming 2013, everyone!

Edit: I got asked about the wordcount. I am not sure, but it might range around 370,000 words counting all the new things, the unfinished and the coming-from-2011 stories.