I finished the next installment of my novel, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster. This finishes chapter one and I achieved two of my goals: finish the first chapter and also finish with that wretched cave. My first chapter was a bit over 5300 words, which means word count-wise I’m about 5% done.
The title of this section is Last Shot. I decided that each of the subsections is going to be no more than two words. I’m really only doing these chapter subsections because I’m doing this in an online format and need to break it up more than I would for a physical book.
Gabby by Stefan Ljumov
Steady but slow progress. I’m looking forward to my schedule changing in October. One happy consequence of that is I’ll have more time for writing on a set schedule instead of carving out some time here and there when I can, which doesn’t work very well for me in terms of completing long-term projects.
I have a pretty good idea where I want to go for Chapter Two, which will get me through the next few weeks of writing and give me some time to think about structure and plot beyond what I already have. I have an idea for a sub-plot that I introduced the fleeting germ of at the end of the first chapter, and think I know where I more or less want to go by the end of the book though at this point that could still change.
Of course I can go back and fix structural problems and the like in a second draft at some point, but I would like to get as much right as I can on the first go.
The next section will go live on September 15, 2019.
I thought it would be fun to have some drawings made for my novel that I’m working on, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster. The other day this depiction of my main character arrived in my inbox, complete with the eyes on the arms, just as I hoped!
Gabby the Bug Eyed Monster as drawn by the talented Stefan Ljumov
I have the rough draft of the next section already done and plan on tinkering with it a bit before going live on Wattpad this Sunday, September 8th. That will wrap up the first chapter. The working title for the section is (without apology to Henry James!) Turn of the Screw Last Shot.
I’ve also been thinking about where I want to go with the story through the first quarter of the book. That will be about 20,000 words or so, and since I’m already up to 4,000 that will happen fairly soon, even though it still seems like a lot to me. Especially if things work out with my schedule as I anticipate and I have more time for writing starting in October.
A friend suggested playing some sort of cooperative space platform defense board game. Hope to attend that soon. It’ll be nice seeing some friends, who I haven’t gotten together with for awhile now, and (of course) gaming.
“‘The Stars, Like Dust!’ Wait, I think that one’s taken.”
As the title suggests, I went back and did a little preface. I figure that since I’m sharing a story pretty much as I write it, then if I’m going to write such a thing in such a way I should get any introductory bits out of the way early in the game.
I’ve noticed that I’m developing a tendency to work backwards a bit, editing and correcting things as I go along. While it has been working so far it is early days yet and I think this could be a dangerous thing, when the story is longer, and could stall my first draft progress. So in the future I’m going to make notes somewhere about things I need to correct once I’m done. I’ve fallen into that trap before with other projects and avoiding said trap is one object of this pantsing experiment.
I plan on writing a final section to wrap up Chapter One for next time. While I’m doing that I hope to finalize in my own mind where I want to go with this for the first quarter of the story.
The new section is a bit over 2100 words, which is about double the length of the first one. I don’t want the sections to be too long and 2000 words or so is about the longest I will go. In general For the chapters I’m organizing it like this for now:
Chapter One: The Forbidden Cave
Blind Ants of the Outer Darkness
Chapter Two: Whatever I call it.
Next Section: and so on….
I’m planning on getting the next section up on Sunday, September 1, 2019, which will end chapter one. I certainly have a long way to go. I’m aiming at making this an 80,000 word novel and I’m at about 3100 words now. Fortunately in October my schedule will change and I’ll have more time for writing.
I also engaged someone on Fiverr to draw a black & white picture of Gabby, the main character. If I like the picture and I’m happy with how the project is turning out then I’ll probably have him do more illustrations for the book.
So my writing efforts continue unchecked at least for the moment. I have some stuff making the rounds with various editors, and was trying to decide what to do next. So I decided upon a little experiment.
I’ve written a few longer stories from outlines with lots and lots of plotting, but I’ve never attempted a short novel without having an outline or really much more than a couple of characters and some initial ideas. So I thought I’d give it a try on Wattpad. I’m going to publish one or two chapters a week (500 – 1000 words or so) until I write myself into a corner and blow up my creation or manage to write said short novel.
My working title is Gabby the Bug Eyed Monster. I put up the first chapter up on Wattpad and plan on posting chapter two no later than August 25, 2019. For anyone who might want to check this out, be warned this is not a complete story. It is the first chapter of a work-in-progress. I’m sure that the 40K-oriented readers on here will notice some passing similarities to a certain favored xenos race….
Cover makes me want to re-read Dune.
I made a quick and easy cover for the story. If I manage to make decent traction with writing the thing, and it gets a half-way decent reception from the reading-free-stuff-online crowd, I might commission a nicer cover for it down the road.
Otherwise, I joined the Goodreads 2019 Reading Challenge and pledged to read at least 50 books this year. So far I’m up to 34, which the site tells me puts me three books ahead of schedule. So that’s keen.
My reading for July 2019 was:
The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber
The Howling Asteroid by Murray Leinster
Forever Free by Joe Haldeman
Mulgara: The Necromancer’s Will by David Rose
Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice by Taizan Maezumi
I’ll be back again (hopefully) with Chapter Two of Gabby next Sunday, and if my sacrifices to the Elder Gods have been particularly propitious maybe I’ll even make some progress on another poxwalker as well!
School has been keeping me pretty busy, and one of the things we’re doing is mucking about with social media as writers, potential writers, people posing as writers, etc. So I’ve been flogging around my short story, January Thaw, in various places and thought I’d make a link to it available on Ye Olde Blog for anyone who might be interested.
January Thaw posits a future where old age is a thing of the past and no one dies anymore. Carolyn Deschaines is a woman who has lived too long, and after 150 years she has decided to gracefully “die of old age.” She puts her affairs in order but then she meets Theo…
Additionally, I finished the Red Spiny Back Poxwalker, who is now ready to take to the field with its green twin. I hope to get some pictures of my newest addition to the Festering Horde soon.