January 18th, 2021 – 845

I’ve been doing a fresh edit of TUS as I start to pull down all my content from WattPad and I’ve noticed something in need of work: a lot of TUS’s chapters are way too short. I think what this might take is a process similar to my current planning one, where I identify every scene, lay them out and group, merge, order and cut as needed. I’m sporting a lot of areas for improvement.

And that’s a good thing. After all when I’ve tried sending off TUS before now it’s gone nowhere. If I’m seeing issues, it might show I’m closer to the threshold of being publishable in some form, albeit I’m now eyeing the benefits of self publishing ever more. If I can finance my own professional edits and marketing materials, there’s not much reason not to go down the Amazon marketplace route. It also does allow me creative control, though of course I need to be strict in my quality standards or that’ll just look amateurish.

Is this going to be the year I find my feet as a writer? Eh, probably not what with covid and all but I have a plan, or at least the beginnings of one. I’ll take that right now.

January 17th, 2021 – 844

I replayed Curse of Monkey Island to the end today and it’s official, I do now love it. It took me a while because I came to 3 late and knowing about the lack of Gilbert soured me on it. But looking objectively and accepting that it’s not the original vision for 3 but still has value, I’ve come to treasure it. I’m so excited for the special edition from Limited Run, and I even have a whole shelf saved for all the parts, except the posters, those are going on the walk behind my sofa.

So writing, TWO is at 75,600 words right now and will soon enough when I finish target break 76K. I’m ‘bringing it in for a landing’, albeit with the action filled final confrontation less than 2,000 words away now. I’m a bit nervous because this is one of the rawest parts of the series, and the darkest too. It’s going to shake me up a bit writing it but that’s normally a good sign I’ve written something of value. I’m looking forward to having it finished, though at least in part that’s so I don’t have to handwrite target for a long, long while…

January 16th, 2021 – 843

I may have a new plan. Ok so the immediate plan is get the flat how I want it and finish the move, but on the horizon I may have just secured an agent of sorts. It’s more of a partnership where they find writing jobs and we split the profits, which is A-OK with me. If it ends up working out, I’ll be putting the money raised minus tax towards self publishing as a route. I don’t care if it’s not the most profitable direction, I’d rather have more control over the direction.

For now I’m chilling replaying Curse of Monkey Island, a game I really want to learn to love. It’s the only Monkey Island title that I still have some misgivings about, but honestly on this playthrough so far I think it’s starting to click, which is fantastic as it means I can do start to end playthroughs of all five now. I’m going to do my writing soon and just try to unwind this weekend. Lord knows I need it…

January 15th, 2021 – 842

This week was a slog, and this weekend is going to be pretty crucial in righting the ship. There’s a lot to sort in the flat, and a lot of the last ‘closing of one account, opening of another’ style tasks still to do. I’m doing that on low batteries and with more than a few added pressures that, well I could do without but are self imposed. Money will at least be easier going forward.

TWO is now at 73,000 words, so with target today and tomorrow I should get to that magic 75K mark. Yes it’s arbitary and it’s 5K more than the standard ‘novel’ cut off, which is also arbitary but hey, what are standards but arbitary norms? Doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. And the big 75 is a psychological barrier to breach that helps a great deal. From here it’s very much home stretch as I’m into the 3rd act. Keeping a level head is going to be key.

January 14th, 2021 – 841

I’ve not been in a fantastic way this week, and I think looking back I’ll see this as the “fallout week” of 2020 plus my house move. On a positive note and assuming I’m not ill tomorrow, I’ve still worked through it without falling behind, I’ve kept writing as I was, and I have managed to do a bit more unpacking, though I’ll need to make this weekend a bit more productive.

Speaking of productive, as with November and December my excess wordcounts have been less than amazing. I’m starting to think that’s not my mood however; handwriting just lends itself to smaller targets. This book has been easier to write than TWR, but significantly slower. It’s not a big deal, but I do need to try to right the ship all the same.

I may have to wait for a stable world before I experiment with handwriting again. I look forward to sitting in a cafe for a few stolen hours and handwriting a short story or two. One day. This isn’t forever.

January 12th, 2021 – 839

A late night but at least one with target all done. My routine is still a mess and I gotta edit before bed still but I’m getting there, slowly. Keep my head down and plough ahead, that’s the best strategy right now, and hope for more early nights. I can’t believe this counts as “early” right now…

January 11th, 2021 – 838

I could have spent this evening doing my writing after work, but I did a dumb. I went down the rabbit hole and after several hours work, I now have two new Ubuntu machines set up and ready to go. Why? Because I want my SCUMM machine. More than a full night’s sleep apparantly. But yeah, I said two machines, because I also resurrected my old laptop at last, without needing to get a new hard drive. I should have done that months ago but, well I’ve been that bad a place.

Well I best go, actually write now…

January 10th, 2021 – 837

I, didn’t really end up sleeping last night. What’s odd is I don’t feel all that rough for it. Granted I still need to hit target and that risks a late night that might come back to bite me, but all told I’m feeling pretty chill. I got my Google Homes and Chromecast set up today, and with luck it should be easy enough to sort new internet soon too and reformat them. And tomorrow I should be able to start a new project.

I’ve got a Pi-Top Ceed I haven’t used for a while that I’ve been meaning to set up for a new project, that being a ScummBox with a pinch of GrimE and some TellTale Tool. The latter is going to be a little bit of a stretch but an interesting challenge, as I want to get Tales of Monkey Island running on it too, given it’s actually my favourite of the series now. I’m hoping it’ll give me a nice neutral outlet for downtime and improve my Linux skillset.

So yesterday I edited chapter One of WAN. That was enough to screw me up so I’m skipping that dumpster fire and editing TUS today, as I pull my books into Google Docs from WattPad. I haven’t posted on WattPad in over a month, and to be honest, I’m probably done with the platform. I just don’t enjoy it that much, and while I’ll leave my books up I think I’ll look to other distribution methods instead. Could be the excuse I needed to sort this website at last.

January 9th, 2021 – 836

So about yesterday, I was wrapping up the work week on what was, and I cannot stress this enough, the longest week of 2021. Ok granted it was the only week of 2021 but that week outdid a lot of 2020 by sheer virtue of rushing a house move in a matter of a week, around work, and after a quite exhausting stretch. To cap it off, TWO is pushing me quite a lot right now.

The reason for that latter point is I’ve never written anything quite like this. That’s kind of the point of the series, in that I’m testing what genres I like writing in as well as writing styles and themes, and it’s the core first person narration aspect that’s pushed me the most. I do not like writing in first person, for a lot of reasons. I enjoy reading it, but it goes against how I like to tell a story.

When you’re working in third person, breaking away, jumping and otherwise warping perspective are all super simple, you just kinda, do them. You can do all three in first person, but it requires a lot more signposting. The ‘I’m now over here doing X’ fix I’ve adopted on draft one feels hyper clunky and I do think it’ll need purging in the type up. But that’s just the perspective issues. The biggest problem I have is the voice.

The character I’m writing from the perspective of is one of my all time favourites. And yet, the use of hedging language, and the way a human mind leaps between thoughts, both make this style of narration more complex for me. I’ll be honest, this first draft is rough. But that’s ok, not only will I then polish it on the rewrite, but I also know now I will avoid first person. I’m glad I gave it an earnest chance, but it’s not for me, at least right now.

My sleep schedule is, bad. It’s collapsed to be blunt about it, and I still have things to do before I can sleep tonight. But with a little luck, I think I’m starting to regain control of this hyper intense chapter of my life. I hope that – while 2021 has started off, badly – I might have a shot at last for some stability. You know, until the next apocalypse hits. But that surely won’t be until March, right?