Chapter One Redux

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SOULS OF THE LIVING

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
57,821 / 98,356
(58.8%)

New Words: edits
Total Words (pages): 57,821 (282)

Today’s reason for an R-rating: A dead cat.
Driven to the Internet for: nothing
Internet Distraction of the day: an email discussion about authors wearing personalized g-strings (you really don’t want to know).
WIP excerpt of the day: “Made in His image and composed of the four elements, the human shell was built specifically to carry the fire of the soul. The Truth of the Word written in flame and flesh.”
Soundtrack for this section: Iszoloscope / Antigen Shift – “It Drowned the Ceremony of Innocents”

Cut eight hundred words today while reworking Chapter One. Finished the Third Work last night and, as a good portion of the next section is going to be new, I need to go back and see what damage I’ve done to things. Time to get out the notecards!

SOULS: update

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Swiping a progress report format from matociquala. It makes the silences when I’m off writing madly seem less like silences (or just not filled with reports of “wrote some words today, killed half of them later”).

SOULS OF THE LIVING

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
58,617 / 98,356
(59.6%)

New Words: edits
Total Words (pages): 58,617 (285)

R-rated instrument: none today
Driven to the Internet for: World RPS Society (really!)
Internet Distraction of the day: Vacheron Constantin watches
WIP bit of the day: “Fire beats air. It was an alchemical game of Roshambo.”
Soundtrack for this section: Beatsystem “Tibet” – Beatsystem2297

I’m discovering the downside of the way I work (forty minute blocks three times a day): it makes for unwanted repetition in the writing. I’m trying to plow ahead and reach the end, partly because I want to be done but also because I’m afraid that I going to forget things I’ve dreamed up in the interim parts of the day. As such, I repeat myself as I go along. The trouble with going back and re-reading what I wrote that morning is that I spend too much time editing it and not getting new work down. It threatens to become the dreaded “1st chapter loop.” But it is also means that even if/when I finish a draft, I have a lot of work to still do on the book. Man, it’s a dark despair hanging over me and I’m trying not to get knocked completely off course by it. I do have elements which have been fully realized in The Third Work that I need to more properly foreshadow in The First and Second Works, but I think I want to power through to the end of the Third before I break out the red pen.

Ultimatly though I need to figure out a better solution for the day-to-day, minute-by-minute process because this isn’t going to work in the long run. When I spend four months writing a draft of a book, I don’t want to immediately start over and do the same thing again for the next four months.

Sparks From Fingertips

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And four guys with Tasers bring me to the end of SEC-2 (Chapter 12). There’s probably some interesting observations to be made with how and where I’m making the breaks. They’re being labeled “works” (as in part of The Great Work, thank you omokage) and, ostensibly, each is another attempt to explain/understand the universe that I’m building (er, or ‘revealing,’ depending on your level of occult fascination and willingness to let me get away with what I’m doing). Some further developments in character backstory which are starting to flush out the niggling problems I was having with these boys (and girls). I’ve still got a secret to reveal with the sidekick (and boy has he been dying to tell it) and some of the machinations being undertaking by the schemers to lay out. Oh, and the ending. Oh, not shying away from the ending this time. It’s funny how this never really occured to me before.

It’s funny how a lot of things are popping up. Anyway, back to it. Still breathing out here, though with a bit of a hitch in my chest, but it’s nothing to worry about. I’ve been filled with static electricity the last few days–near constant arcing every time I touch something metallic. It’s a sure sign that my brain is putting out a lot of current. Onward; I get to show how the Monster works next.

The Third Work: “I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star. I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death.” – Aleister Crowley, The Book of the Law

Sectioning and Procrastinating

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In an effort to make the numbers dance for me, I’ve broken the book down into five major sections, creating digestible sized chunks that I can see the end of and not get lost in the journey reaching that end. Conveniently, they sort of fell into week long projects (er, two week projects, yeah, that’s it). Section One was finished last week, and I’m starting work on SEC-2 this week. I have the high points to hit and the first draft to work from and today was spent rearranging things in my head to make them all work to my satisfaction.

There is one sequence that I’ve had with this book since the very first image dump (I used to run up a movie trailer in my head about the book when I first started working on it to get a look and feel impression and hit some notes that were big energy points). It’s one of two or three that have been fairly defining moments for a long time. It got cut today. Sort of bummed about it, but there was too much behind the scenes baggage that had to be handled to get everyone in place for it to happen and, frankly, it no longer meets the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid), so SNIP!

I’ll make up for it later.

Busy procrastinating with a shiny new toy that will make me type faster. Really, it will. Unless I overload it with widgets. Man, my wife puts up with a lot.

Sore, And Draining

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Stayed home from work today to rest up. I’ve been fighting off a sore throat (well, let’s call it what it is: drainage) and, figured today was as good as any to batten down the hatches and hole up for 24, doing nothing but wearing pajamas, drinking hot tea, and taking naps. Naturally I got immediately side-tracked on a technology issue.

I’ve got an iRiver iHP-120, one of the older 3rd party MP3 players and while I like it a great deal (acts like a HD, has a line in, int. microphone and FM receiver), it totally sucks in the shuffle department. I get a majority of my writing done on the train and I use this little fellow as my insulating shield — good solid in-the-ear headphones + rockin’ tunes = lack of conversational overflow from the three people squatting in close proximity of me and my fingers. But I don’t work well if I hear the exact same song over and over. Variety is required. So I make up a playlist of about 200 songs and figure that should do me for some time. Right? Not so much. iRiver’s shuffle is exactly the same every time. Every fuckin’ time.

So, left to my own devices this morning, I abscond with the wife’s iPod and do some testing to see how the iPod deals with shuffling playlists. Answer: not much better. In fact, not at all as far as I can tell. You can shuffle your entire library but you can’t engage a randomizing feature on an existing playlist. Then I remembered that was true of iTunes as well; where you can get the random feature is the Party Shuffle feature which lets you filter an existing playlist down to a level of playing less recently played tracks first. Which is exactly what I want, and which is functionality is not available on the iPod. (If I’m wrong, someone — please! — correct me.)

A despairing google search later, I find revision 1.66K (for Korean release) of the iHP-120 firmware. One of the updates? Shuffle. It shuffles so damn well now that if I jump forward several songs in the randomized playlist, I can’t even go “back” to where I started. It shuffles in every direction.

Thus satisfied that technology does still have some functional useful, I’m off for a nap.

Oh? You wanted interesting content. Sorry. How about a review of Jon Courtenay Grimwood’s 9Tail Fox (over at Strange Horizons)? Where you can see that I didn’t get the same memo as everyone else; the one where we were told to lavish effusive praise on the book and slap it into our recommended reading lists for the year. And there should be a lengthy 6-pack review of Ad Noiseam records over at Igloo later (when I get done napping and can be bothered to put together cover images for Pietro). Beyond that, it’s novel bashing around here.

After the nap and some tea, of course. I’m under the weather, after all.