Embracing your Writing Chains

by Doc Coleman on April 17, 2013 · 4 comments

in Writing

Things have been slowly returning to normal, or at least what passes for it around here. My wife has done much better with her recovery, and that has given me time to get back into my writing.  So, at the end of March, I returned to the Magic Spreadsheet and began a new writing chain. This has led to some interesting developments.

My previous writing chain on the Magic Spreadsheet started at the beginning of February and lasted about two weeks. In the process, it produced over 15,000 words of writing. That writing chain wrapped up when I finished the first draft of my short story for the Way of the Gun anthology. At that time, I shifted my gears from writing and focused on editing and publishing for a while in order to get my short story Welcome to Paradox ready to publish. By the time Paradox published, my wife went into surgery for her knee replacement, and I was understandably distracted from writing for a while.

As things got more stable at home, and my wife began doing more for herself, I began to get the urge, the itch, to write again. This led to me starting a new writing chain on March 30th. But what was I writing now? To be honest, a little bit of everything. Some of the writing has been blog posts such as this one, including a couple of editorials that I’m not quite ready to release to the world yet. Keeping the Balticon 46 Wrap-up on track has also helped, as I’ve had to write the introductions and the show notes for those podcast episodes. Show notes for episodes from the Wayback Machine have also helped, but not always as much as you’d think.

But the need to get SOMETHING written every day has actually managed to help me get ahead on several of these projects. As I write this, I’m at least two weeks ahead with The Wayback Machine, and I’ve got everything except the last episode of the Balticon 46 Wrap-up done. There is even the possibility that I may actually catch up with posts to my Master Feed and be able to retire The Wayback Machine, of course, that will take some time to do. Frankly, I’d much rather be writing new stories.

Of course, new stories are still in the offing. But first, I’ve got to finish some of the stories I’ve already started. Some of my daily words in my writing chain were the product of revising the Perils of Prague. Generating word count while editing is much tougher, because most often you’re not just adding new words, you’re deleting extra words, or changing one word for another, neither of which promotes a hefty word count. So, while these editing days are very tough, and may only rack up minimum word counts, they result in several thousands words being added to the second draft of the novel. That is a very big thing. Once I get the second draft complete, I need to solicit some Beta Readers and get Perils in front of their eyes.

I also need to get back to The Bright Lands and finish off the first draft of that story. I haven’t been able to take as much time as I wanted to re-plot Bright Lands, although I do have some ideas of where I want the rest of that book to go. I’d like to do more plotting, but it is beginning to look like I may need to take up writing Bright Lands again before I’m done re-plotting. The re-plotting will come in handy when I get to the second draft, as I know I’ll have to make a number of changes to the beginning of the story.

And then there are more stories in the wings. Perils has a sequel set in India, and another in southeast Asia. Then there is the short story “A Walk in the Park”, which I am tempted to use as the beginning to a new adventure in Australia. Then after that there is a Crackle and Bang adventure on the west coast of America. I also have some ideas for another European adventure, and what steampunk series would be complete without at least one trip to Africa?

Have I mentioned that The Bright Lands is the beginning of a trilogy? So, yes, two more books there, too.

And then there is the Meta powers/Sci-Fi story I’ve got planned for NaNoWriMo this year.

So, yeah. Lots of stuff to write. As much as that is, I feel like I may still plow through it very quickly by keeping my writing chain going.


P.S. Did I mention that my short story “Welcome to Paradox” is now available as an e-book? For just 99 cents, you can pick up a copy for your Kindle, Nook, iBooks compatible device, or head to Smashwords and pick up a version that is readable in some form or other on whatever electronic device you have.

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