Saturday, June 28, 2014

Story Update 2014-06-28

The geekwif's read-through and commentary proceeds apace. She has given me feedback on chapters one and two so far, with minor suggestions and corrections that I have incorporated into the current draft of the story (for those who are counting, this round of editing will be the third draft).

The good news is that she hasn't found any glaring plot holes or major story issues so far. Of course we're only through chapter two at this point, and there are twenty-three chapters in the current draft. So there is still plenty of time and space to find all sorts of plot holes and problems. But I am optimistic, and think that it's not very likely she'll find any major issues.

The bad news is that... there really isn't any bad news. So I suppose that's just more good news. Hey!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Story Statistics as of Completion of Second Draft

Now that we're in the full read-through process, I won't be posting as much since there will not be much to say. But for today, I thought I would share a few statistics from the story, as provided by Scrivener.

  • Word Count: 164,486
  • Characters: 909,520
  • Pages (paperback): 434
    • Note: This assumes an average of 350 words per page.
    • Note 2: When I exported the book to PDF, it came to 659 pages. The font in the default Scrivener export settings appears to be much bigger than you would see in a typical paperback. Since it exports to 8.5x11 paper, the font seems to be bigger than 12-point Times New Roman as well, at least to my eye.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Story Update 2014-06-20

I finished the final to-do item during my flight back home on Friday! I have now exported the book to PDF and given it to my wife, and she and I will both read it from start to end, looking for any obvious problems in the story, and fixing them, as I mentioned in my previous post.

Speaking of my trip home yesterday, it's always interesting to come home from China, because I get to go backwards in time. For yesterday's trip specifically, I departed Shanghai via Pudong airport at 12:20 PM on Friday. We were in the air for about eleven hours, and landed in Seattle at 9:15 AM Friday morning, 3 hours before having taken off. If you look at a map, it will become apparent that we crossed the International Date Line, which is entirely responsible for this apparent shift backwards in time. Nevertheless, it requires a conscious mental adjustment to remember that when I landed in the US, and all throughout the rest of the day yesterday, it felt like Saturday but was in fact still only Friday.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Story Update 2014-06-19

Yesterday, I finished the last missing scene! I'm now left with one small to-do item, which I expect to get done today or tomorrow, and I will officially be done with the second draft of the book. That doesn't necessarily make it ready for publishing, but it is a big step forward for me and it feels really good to have gotten this far.

My wife, the geekwif, will be the first to read this draft. She's my "alpha tester", and it will be her job to help me find significant problems with the story, the characters, and anything else. And once she has read the story and completed her review, I'll do another (hopefully quick) round of revisions, and then it will be time to release the story to a group of beta testers.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Story Update 2014-06-18

I wrote another scene this morning, meaning that I've only got one left to go and that will complete my to-do list. And with two more days in Shanghai, I expect that I'll have enough down-time to get it done, no problem. How great is that?

Need to keep this short, as I am between meetings. Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Update 2014-06-16

I had some time open before heading to the office this morning, so I went ahead and finished up yet another task in my to-do list. It was the last of the easy ones, so now I just have two tasks left which will require writing two scenes. Hard to tell at this point if they will be easy or difficult scenes, but I suppose I'll find out soon enough.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads and step-dads out there!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

How About That? (Update 2014-06-15)

It's Sunday morning in Shanghai, where I am, in case you are reading this on a Saturday evening in the US and wondering about the date in the title.

I spent close to twenty hours traveling "yesterday", from Friday morning departure through check-in at the hotel here in Shanghai last night -- which was Saturday morning at my home, so from my perspective it was about nineteen hours total. If you add in the time that it took to drive from my home to the airport, and the time that I waited there until boarding, it was more like twenty-three hours.


On the first leg of my flight, from the US to Narita airport near Tokyo, Japan, I pulled out the laptop and did a little writing. And what do you know, but I actually re-worked the scenes that I mentioned yesterday, that I had written earlier in the week and realized needed to be re-done. I ended up just tweaking one scene a little bit, and then re-writing the other scene from scratch. All in all, I'm pretty happy with the results.

So now, here I sit on Sunday morning in Shanghai, having had a great night's sleep and mostly recovered from jet lag. I've got the whole day to myself, so I plan to head out and do some shopping, and possibly some sight-seeing. If nothing else, I love wandering big cities like Shanghai, because I never know what things I might see while I'm out and about.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Story Update 2014-06-13

I realized this morning that I need to rewrite the previous two scenes that I did, on Wednesday and Thursday. Sigh.

The thing is, they aren't bad scenes in and of themselves, but they are out of character for the people and place where they occur. I have a folder of archived scenes and scene fragments (a simple feature in Scrivener) where I will put them, in case I decide I want to resurrect them in some form. But for now, I intend to partially rewrite the Wednesday scene, and completely rewrite the one I did on Thursday.

And of course today is the day that I head out of town, and will be in the road in less than four hours (and still haven't packed, although I've become quite adept at quickly packing for a trip).

So, story progress will be temporarily halted while I focus on other things. I may have a chance to work on it during the trip, especially while flying today. But the reality is that I generally don't even try to work on a plane, because I have a hard time focusing: too little room in the seat for my laptop, too much background noise, and too much shaking as the plane passes through areas of turbulence.

The weather in Shanghai is supposed to be in the mid-80s and upper 70s this week, so that will be nice. I'll be able to dress comfortably and walk around the city, exploring areas that I haven't seen before, especially since I arrive Saturday night and will have all day Sunday to myself.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Another One Bites the Dust (Update 2014-06-12)

Yep, I wrote another of the missing scenes. Not much else to say, the countdown continues.

Unfortunately I am heading out of town tomorrow, so unless I write three more scenes today (not likely), I won't quite finish my to-do items this week. But I have made some really good progress and am quite happy with hard far I did get. And when I return next week, I should be able to finish the remaining items in a weekend or two.

Incidentally, the total word count at this point is 162,602 words. Assuming a few thousand more for the remaining scenes, I would expect the total at the end to be around 166,000.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Story Progress 2014-06-11

Another scene written! Just four more to go, should be interesting to see if they are as "easy" as today's was. For today, I had to go back and re-read the surrounding scenes in order to review the context, and figure out what exactly needed to be written. I had some brief notes of course, but in the end the scene came out quite a bit differently than what I had expected. To some degree this reflects how I felt the characters would act, more accurately than what I had in my notes. Also, I got an idea, a sudden bit of inspiration, this morning, and that shifted the direction of the scene as well.

Tune in tomorrow for another update!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Story Progress 2014-06-10

Work on Balfrith continues apace. I've completed two more to-do items as of this morning, one easy one and one of the missing scenes that needed to be written. Six tasks remain, one easy and the other five being more difficult, or at least more time-consuming. If I can keep up this pace, I might actually complete the tasks by the end of the week. Very exciting!

More to come tomorrow, check back soon!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Story progress 2014-06-09

In the past few weeks, I've made even more progress on the story. As of today, I have nine to-do items crossed off the list, with another eight to go. So the obvious up-side is that I'm over half done with the list! The unfortunate down-side is that the remaining eight are the more difficult items, which was why I put them off until now. I have one chapter alone that has five major to-do items, having to do with re-writing (or just plain writing) five different scenes. Of the remaining three to-do items, two are pretty easy and one is yet another incomplete scene that needs to be written.

You can probably guess which items I will be focused on next (hint: I like to get the easy stuff done first!). And after those last two "easy" items are done, then it will just be a matter of pounding through the remaining six scenes that need to be written, re-written or just completed.

More good news! I'm taking this week off from work - well, through Thursday anyway. On Friday, I fly to Shanghai on business and will be there through the next week, returning home on Friday. But for this week anyway, part of my plan is to focus on the story for an hour or two each day, to try and get through as many tasks as I can before I have to go back to work. If things go well, I may have another post later this week telling what I got done.

Fingers crossed!