The Ups and Down of Progress Continues in May

Can you believe it’s almost June? I feel as if I’ve lost 18 months. I’ll bet some of you feel the same. We’re suspended between pandemic and post-pandemic. And the ups and downs of progress continues in May. If you’re new to these monthly progress reports, I use intentions and general categories for tracking tasks I intend to accomplish. Making Progress remains slow, but it continues. Several scenes in If I Should Die were not working. I’ve rewritten those scenes many times but finally found the right one last week. That means more rewriting, but I know the story will be stronger for it. Managing I’m keeping up with the basics at this point. I have plans and materials to rearrange and enlarge my workspace. That project is on hold for a little while. (See Home—The Room is Spinning.) Marketing My low-key marketing efforts slowed this month but are continuing to generate sales. Sales makes me happy. Thank you readers! Events I’ll be taking part in ConQuest 52, our local science fiction convention Memorial Day weekend, today through Sunday. It’s virtual this year. If you don’t have any plans, check it out. Guests of Honor include authors, Becky Chambers and […]

Progress Is Progress, No Matter How Small

Measuring progress as a writer is tricky. You can count words or time or pages. When revising a novel those measurements get trickier. Word counts are deceptive when you delete as many words as you add. So do you count pages? What about when you  have to go back 80 pages because of a plot hole you discovered? And it takes time to figure out how to fix the plot hole. Progress is progress, no matter how small. But it isn’t easy to quantify. Making Since I did not complete any of my April Intentions for Making, I could count this month as a failure. I count words added, words deleted, and time spent. I also keep track of what chapter I’m working on and the book’s total word count. Most importantly, I look at all of those over time. This month I found and solved a plot hole. That meant I had to revisit seven chapters I’d already revised. Staying focused was more difficult this month so the blogging suffered. But I was able to put up something every week. One of the new bits from If I Should Die:  “It’ll be daylight by then.” Miranda chewed her lower […]

A Writer’s Serendipity or How Research Saved My Book

As a blogger and science nerd, I try to keep up with science news from a variety of sources. Oddly, that curiosity rarely benefits my writing. My writing style follows a diagonal on the chart below: Lawful Plantser, True Plantser, and Chaotic Plotter. And that’s pretty much how my research goes, too. I start with a plan and end going off script. This is the story of a writer’s serendipity or how research saved my book. My Research Method Targeted research is when one narrows their topic and is very selective in choosing books and articles for said research. Targeted research is always my intent, it rarely is what gives me the most inspiration. I love Google Maps. They allow me to “travel to” areas I’ve never visited. But the maps don’t give me the smells, the texture, or the mood of the place. For those, I search out travel blogs, expat blogs, and personal blogs. Sometimes, I reach out to a blogger for more details. Usually, bloggers respond with more information than I need. And that’s a lovely thing. Sometimes, I need more hands-on research. That may mean a visit to a museum or a road trip to a […]