I suggest you buckle up if you wanna come on this ride. >:)
Most of you probably know this, but I’m writing a series of historical romance epics called Warfare, set in a slight re-imagination of the Tokugawa period in Japan.
I’ve written the first two books, but that’s before I discovered what every writer should know about: plot structure, theme, and character arcs.
I’m as dumb as they come, guys.
looks like I still have to change Madison Lorfing to my pseudonym.
Since August, I’ve been re-outlining and re-structuring the first book of the series, and on January 1st of this year, I began writing the 4th draft, which is a complete and total revision.
NOW TO DOCUMENT EVERY SINGLE DAY THIS WEEK BECAUSE I NEVER PASS UP A CHANCE TO SHOVE SNIPPETS DOWN SOMEONE’S ESOPHAGUS. >:D
January 1, 2018
“Whatever you’re thinking, stop thinking it.”
Daily Word Count: 3016
Total Word Count: 3016
After a prayer of dedication over my book, I hit the ground running.
The first day was hard. I didn’t like the first two scenes in my outline. I was able to finish 1 ½ scenes though, and when editing the next day, I found they weren’t half as bad as I thought.
- My scene word count goal is 2.2k each, but I’m not worried about how short the first two scenes are—I have some coming up later in the outline that will way exceed that mark. >:)
- It took me about 2 ½ hours to get 3k down, which made me frustrated. I struggled a lot with the natural flow of my writing.
- And I found I really, really love the writer sin of info-dumping, ’cause I worked super hard on my research and perfectly smoothed out what I had to change about the time period and I want the readers to knowww.
“No!” Tori grabs my clothing and curls her fist around it, bringing me closer to her face. “You listen to me, Ari Kireina.”
“Mhm.” I gently wiggle my fingers under hers and pry her hand off my gi. “I’m listening without the fist.”
Regardless of any of my problems, I have another bigger problem called slight narcissism which enables me to be totally in love with all of my stuff despite flaws, most of which I ignore. >:D
January 2, 2018
What would it feel like, having a woman trust and adore you?
Daily Word Count: 2257
Total Word Count: 5273
I’m now in the habit of editing a little as I go instead of being the mad-rush sprinter I grew to be in 2017.
Then the day after, I do a little writing warm-up: editing the previous writing session’s words more thoroughly, sending it off to alphas, and if I can remember, praying before diving in. XD
Chapter 2 is also in Hinoki’s POV, which I did a little fist-pumping-celebratory-dance at. Hinoki is my other main character, the impact character, second sidekick, and love interest.
His POV is also much easier than Ari’s (my main character). I think that’s because I based Ari’s personality off of mine back in 2016, only I refined her during outlining in 2017, so I have to keep my confident little mic-drop thoughts out of the draft and replace them with her self-doubty ones.
But with Hinoki, it’s so much easier.
I fill my lungs with the air of the humid afternoon and slap Sataru’s shoulder. “You need a minute to pull yourself together or can we get a team together and head out now?”
Sataru hardens his gaze. “My father raised a man, not an emotional wreck.”
“Hey!” A more feminine voice steps up beside him. Yimata Tairan folds her arms. “I heard that.”
Sataru doesn’t pay his female kantai comrade a glance. “I wasn’t talking about you, woman.”
January 3, 2018
When I open them, Hinoki has knelt in front of me. He tries to hide a small smirk as he tips my chin up with his finger. “If your master has sent these kinds of incapable assassins to kill the advisors, I have to ask—is this a joke?”
Daily Word Count: 1861
Total Word Count: 7134
Today was way better than the past two! I was able to write a little faster and get the flow down better. I think I’ll have nailed it by the end of the week.
The fight scene wasn’t as well outlined as I would’ve liked it to be, but Hinoki and Ari met for some heated combat. It’s what made me love the first draft of Warfare so much; rivalry. >:D
The flat end of his katana smashes against my right wrist, and the impact of the blow opens my hand. My sword splashes into the mud, and I find myself with the cold steel of Hinoki’s blade up against my throat.
I’m going to die. I’m going to wake up in hell.
Hinoki backs me to a tree, then grasps my clothing and presses me against it. Gasping, he pulls a hand through his soaked hair and softens his glare. “I thought you would surrender sooner.”
I pant for air and tremble with pain and the cold of an unusually cool rainstorm. “I didn’t think you had a fair fight in mind.”
“Then you know nothing about honor.” Hinoki almost pulls me away from the tree, but when I clasp a hand over the sword wound streaked down my arm to keep it from bleeding more, he presses me against the bark with extra force. “The look in your eyes tells me you’re not beaten.”
That’s probably because she’s not.
January 4, 2018
Tori glances down at me through strings of wet hair plastered against her face with blood, sweat, and rain. “The samurai fight like demons.”
Daily Word Count: 1996
Total Word Count: 9130
My knee hits the roof of the nearest building to Nijo Castle, the headquarters of the Tokugawa family. I lower down in a crouch, reaching behind my neck to run my fingers along the hilt of my katana again.
So this is Edo, capital of Japan.
Yes, I know Tokyo is the capital of Japan. But I’ll have you know I have a thirty-thousand word document of my own research that proves I’m not a dummy. >:) (Never mind the fact I have a lot of other proof that proves I am. >:( ) Tokyo was called Edo in the 1680s.
In one of my research books, I found the below picture that I had in my mind while I wrote the first snippet (under “Day 4”):
picture from Ninja by Adrienne Lee
^ The imagery in the scene is a lot like this, except in the actual chapter, the house they were looking at was Nijo Castle (the Tokyo Imperial Palace back then), which was surrounded by a moat, so that the stone mound under it was halfway underwater.
If you ever have a question about ninja, samurai, or what life was like in the Tokugawa / Edo period of Japan, I did hours upon hours of research and I’m friendlier than Wikipedia. 😇
January 5, 2018
A smoke bomb and a confused mob of guards later, we’re in.
Daily Word Count: 1776
Total Word Count: 10,906
Yes, they had smoke bombs back then. Research, remember? *waggles finger*
One by one, Tori sneaks up behind the two guards and claps her gloved hand over their mouths. Then she pulls back her dagger from the job and flicks off the excess scarlet as the two men hit the floor.
I cross the hall and hiss through my mask. “You had to kill them? Really?”
Tori flips her braid over her shoulder again and shrugs. “Just a little more practice before the advisor’s turn.”
A grasp around the sword wound on my arm brings me to the present moment, and I fight to keep from being pulled back while crying out in pain. I clutch Masatoshi’s neck with a trembling hand, digging my fingers into his throat, and touch the blade of my shaking katana to his skin with another.
January 6, 2018
Masatoshi turns to me with a final question. “What are you?”
Daily Word Count: 1921
Total Word Count: 12,827
YOU WILL SOON FIND OUT.
Seishin exhales quickly and begins striding down the hall. “Take a walk with me.” I join his side, and he continues. “The assassins you encountered in the forest made it to Nijo.”
“What?” The news drops heavy on my chest. “I was sure we dealt such blows they would never have made it there.”
I cringe, closing my eyes. Leaving this world of pain would feel so relieving. But God knows I am hardly the right man for the job.
Ahh, Hinoki’s POV again. The words came so easily.
The prisoner grunts and fills his lungs with a pained breath. “If you want a clean execution, you might not want to leave these bars.”
Just kidding, we’re back to Ari’s POV.
And that’s my first week of writing Warfare! I took a break on Sunday so I could get some blogging done (don’t think I can handle 3 blogs at once? Sit back and watch. 😈).
Week 1 Overview (and additional snippets):
- My writing came slower than molasses. Sometimes it took me three hours to reach my daily word count goal. Even though it’s producing the best writing of my life instead of my usual 4k an hour of trash, the amount of time required to write quantity over quality ate into nearly all my free time and left me beyond frustrated and super stressed.
- Because of that, I began to dread my writing time instead of crave it.
The prisoner laughs hoarsely. “I’m Rohan Haduson. The assassin of Tokugawa Ietsuna was my sidekick. Though apparently, he stole my moment of glory… and my escape.”
- My alphas were not only super encouraging, they were extremely helpful. With what they told me they did and didn’t like about the previous chapter, I had in mind to improve as I wrote the next one. You guys know who you are; thank you! <3
A hand flies to my shoulder to keep me from taking a step, and I grit my teeth to keep a gasp from escaping. I glance at the hand on my shoulder and relax when I see shuko gloves.
- My writing soundtrack is almost entirely made up of instrumentals to a ton of NF‘s songs. I posted this post lamenting over the fact NF had all these incredible songs that set the mood of my book but had lightning-fast lyrics I had to combat. But then I discovered people made instrumental covers of his songs on YouTube and it was Heaven on earth.
(You guys left me awesome suggestions, but after sampling over 20 albums and artists on iTunes, I only bought 2 songs of your suggestions. NF instrumentals took the cake. XD)
A back entrance to Masatoshi’s sleeping quarters? A peek closer tells me one or two guards are casually standing their ground as if not to give would-be assassins any reason to believe it, but it could make sense.
- I loosely edit the writing of the previous session as part of my writing warmup, but I’ve that found a day later I’ll still want to edit things differently. I’m trying to decide whether to wait 2 days to edit in order to gain perspective, or just keep with the loose edits and do more thorough editing after the first draft.
Perhaps I can get out of helping the murder but still watch their backs.
- I struggled a lot with the natural flow of my writing since I’m trying to implement everything I’ve studied over the past five months about motivation-reaction units, action beats, and showing vs. telling into my writing. I struggled the most with character voice; my two POV characters think the same way, they just have different thoughts. Which I realize makes no sense.
What I’ve Learned and Will Do for Next Week:
- My writing time took up over half of my free time in the day, but there’s no way I’m slowing it down, so I’m going to wake up at 4 each morning and knock out as much as I can before starting my day. >:)
I run my hands along the floor where the cell bars are ground into the dirt, save for the door. “And what are you here for?”
I have this weird problem where, no matter how early I wake up or what lack of sleep I had the night previous, I can’t fall asleep for hours (which leaves me tired and nauseous during the morning but alert at nights).
Like, I pulled an all-nighter on Friday and still had trouble falling asleep Saturday night.
I had so much energy, I was dancing while brushing my teeth. So I’m hoping getting up early with inadequate amounts of sleep night after night to write will leave me so exhausted at nights that I fall asleep earlier.
What can I say? My body likes to stay up to the next stages of night to warn them I’m coming. 😈
He swings his sword at half his strength, and I catch it with all of mine. My arms tremble as I keep his blade from reaching my face. I can’t win against a skilled swordsman.
- I’m going to work harder on getting my characters’ individual voices down. Hinoki’s voice is coming along pretty well and I’m really pleased with it, but Ari’s needs to be smacked upside the head. Which I’ll totally do, have no doubt about it. As you know, I believe in writing undefeated. >:D
Overall, a mediocre start to writing Warfare Book I. The best weeks are yet to come! I think my early-morning writing in week 2 will help a lot.
Tell me your opinion! Based on the snippets, do you think you’d be interested in my book? What kind of progress have you made on your WIP, if you have one?
I don’t know if I’ll do another weekly recap like this one for the second week—depends on how this post does. It was long.
But narcissist me liked it. >:)