I am kaitco

a writer's log

No power Saturday, June 30, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:44 pm
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Sometimes, there just isn’t anything that you can do…

I was fully prepared to spend this weekend keeping up my editing momentum and continuing on with the first chapter again, but Mother Nature likes to do her own thing and I have no choice to bend to her wiles.

I’ve been without power since yesterday afternoon and, since the electric company is projecting to have the outage corrected by July 7th, (yes, seven full days and nights from now), I won’t be writing much.

I’ve finally found a hotel room, one with power and that actually had room available, but it won’t be available until tomorrow afternoon, so perhaps I’ll get the break I really need will commence with the editing once I’m safe in a hotel with power.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Eight Thursday, June 28, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 12:05 pm
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I think I know why completing this edit feels so anti-climatic. I know and have known for quite some time that this is not the end. Unlike March 18, 2008 at 11:24pm, I know I’m not “done.” There’s more to do; loads more.

But, before I dwell on all the things that are left to do, I’ll focus on what has been done.

On Thursday June 28, 2012 at 4:07am, three months and ten days after completing the book, I finished my first edit of Damen.

On December 31, 2011, I had sat down and wrote a note to myself titled “My New Year’s Resolution, Version 27.2012.” Apart from losing weight and going to church every week, the number one item on the list was “Finish the damn novel (it’s been four years already).” I can’t say much for the other four items on the list (though, I’ve been on my best church attendance streak since I was first saved), but I can at least say that it’s possible that I may achieve this goal this year.

A primary edit of Damen is complete and that, regardless if there is a secondary or tertiary or quaternary edit to follow, is an accomplishment!

Since next week is the Fourth of July and I’ve got a day off in the middle of the week, I may save my Downton Abbey/Minecraft marathon for then, but now I can just revel in an achievement achieved for a brief time.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Seven Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:56 pm
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I’m not entirely sure how many words I finished today; it doesn’t really matter in the long run since I’ve decided to finish this thing tonight. I’ve been making life-changing decision like this all day.

I’ve finally made up my mind and I’ve decided to go back to school and get my Master’s degree in Computer Science. I know where I’ll apply and I spent a lot of today just looking into the preqs I’ll need to just take the preqs to get into the program, which led me to my decision to start this fall with some basic math classes to give me a refresher.

While I took up through three-dimensional calculus when I was 18, I have taken a math since and, at 27, I’m far too rusty to attempt this “Discrete Math” course I’ll need to take to even start this program.

None of this means that I’ll be giving up my master dream of becoming a published author, but my Plan B has been looking a little haggard lately and if I remember correctly, I was most enthused to create when it was a joy in my life in the midst of all my studying, rather than a second full time job with no benefits.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Six Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:51 pm
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Between the early hours of this morning and the latter hours of this evening, I edited 6770 words (away at the end of the period). I have a bit less than 18K words left to review in the book and I’ve got exactly 40 pages left in the document, so the end is near and all that…

I haven’t much to post about this evening since I’ve finally hit some momentum after sitting and staring at my laptop for most of the evening and then daydreaming when I hit a block.

I don’t hit blocks very often, but when I do, I just want to have a temper tantrum. Nothing is more frustrating than a block, so I’ll end this now, lest all this writing about blocks creates one.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Five Monday, June 25, 2012

Filed under: Gaming,Writing — kaitco @ 11:50 pm
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Today was a good day. I removed an entire chapter because all 2400+ words of it was just plain dribble and was summarized nicely in the following chapter. I got through a total of 6396 words tonight (sketch after sketch of Brit’s eyes) and have just 7 chapters left in this edit.

I also played around with some Minecraft texture packs and a couple mods and showed some restraint in not starting a brand new project to add a mini-Mincraft image site to kaitco.net since I’ve still got this novel to finish, so it was very good day.

In keeping with this good day, I’m going to do something I’ve not had the resolve to do for most of this month and keep writing after hitting my daily 5K goal. At the start of this month’s quest, I would write for hours, post and then keep writing, but my recent love of Minecraft has had me simply working until I reached 5K, posting and then going right back to my game. Not tonight, however.

With 52 pages and 21K words before I reach the end, I’m going to just push. Minecraft will be there for me when I’m done and I’ve already decided to take a day off from first-job once this edit is done to celebrate with a marathon session of both Minecraft and Downton Abbey. I may even sneak in a fanfiction I’ve been wanting to write since I found the old notes for it a few weeks ago. Either way, I’m going to finish this edit this week.

Since the end of this edit will only mean the beginning of the next edit, I’ll not be as celebratory as I was in March when I actually finished the story, but I’ll take my accomplishments one step at a time.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Four Sunday, June 24, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:56 pm
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I reviewed almost 10K words today. Of those, 2766 are likely to be included in a final draft of this novel and the rest, I’m just not sure.

These 10K make up 3 chapters; 2 are entirely a part of the overall plot and one was like filler that made me shake my head as I was reading and highlighting through it.

The problem with this filler (and any other filler I’ve encountered in this process) is that it’s not usually just fluff. It hits very specific parts of the story, like noting why Anthony was raised by his grandparents, that don’t get told elsewhere, but are entirely necessary. None of this is central to the plot, though. I’ve the last few months, I’ve learned to tie these fillers into something substantial, but now I’ve got to break it all apart and since I’m not entirely sure how to do that at the moment, I’m left shaking my head at the laptop screen.

Despite finding another deterrent to finishing this edit before the end of the month, I finally managed to just let go of a character. I’d added a brand new character in this edit who helps bring together a couple plot points and enhances the characterization of others and this evening, instead of just pushing to make her more relevant, I just let her go.

It’s fine…She’s still relevant and necessary, but she is no longer cluttering anything and I no longer need extrapolate further on her because she’s fine with what I’ve written…It’s fine.

It’s very hard for me to just let characters go, especially when I like them, but I suppose it’s necessary at this point. I’ve just got to remember that it’s not like they’re gone forever. I’m free to take a minor character from Damen and use her in Jill (which I worked on a lot today) as much as I want…once this project is done.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Three Saturday, June 23, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:53 pm
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Well, this month is winding down like this book.

I finished editing one chapter tonight and did my initial skim of a second chapter, that actually leaves me with a little hope as far as word count goes.

Despite being rather far in this book, probably too far to be making major character or plot changes, I think I’ve got no choice but to do so. At some point, there are just too many outlandish events happening to one or two characters and what is supposed to be literary fiction starts to look like some lame attempt at science fiction.

So, this means that I’ll likely spend all of tomorrow rewriting Chapter 32 from scratch rather than blow through 2 or even 3 more chapters, but that hope I mentioned lies in that there’s a chance I might be able to bring this book which still stands at 182K down to about 175K, my goal for this edit.

I think all writers go through this dilemma of having so much to tell, but so few pages to introduce the world to our imaginations. There’s little new under the sun, so I suppose I’ll have to battle through these issues like all the world’s storytellers before me.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Two Friday, June 22, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:19 pm
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I feel as if I’m running the 1600m in high school track and I’ve just passed the last 400m marker, signalling my last lap around the track. I know I’ve got just a little bit farther to go, but sprinting that last 400m makes your heart feel like it’s going to explode when you’re so tired from the previous three laps.

I wrote 5614 and I’m there…or just really ready to be “there.” These are the last bits of the book and with such short chapters remaining, it’s just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other to get back to the finish line.

I’m not even worried about needing to complete another massive edit of the novel. That’s a race in a track meet weeks away from now! I’ve just got to focus and not give up on this last lap. Maybe if I just keep repeating that, I’ll finish like I did in those high school track meets. I might come in dead last and look half dead when I cross the finish line, but not many people can say they’ve nearly sprinted a mile and not many people can say they’ve finished and edited their own book, either.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-One Thursday, June 21, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:51 pm
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I now remember the most infuriating thing about getting to this point in the novel. I’ve spent the previous 100K words laying the foundation for these characters so that my audience can understand and care about them and only get to move along the full story in quick bursts in this last bit of the book.

I edited 6455 words and both chapters I reviewed took me less than 20 minutes to read a piece since all the other details were lain earlier, so I can just speed ahead with the plot.

Also infuriating is that I have so little to cut, but I’ve said this dozens of times in the last 5 days…

I think I’ll just focus on finishing this. I’m on Chapter 31 of 40 and there’s 8 days left in this month. I’m going to finish this…I’m going to finish this…I’m going to finish this…


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:37 pm
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I sometimes wonder if it’s normal for your own writing to invoke your own tears. There are two parts of my novel that brought me to tears as I made the notes for them, gave me more tears as I wrote the full chapters and then gave me tears well after I’d finished editing them.

I know I’ve said this before, but I’ve often got to “become” my characters to write them properly and when they discuss horrible things, I do just what they do. When they cry, I cry. When they get red-faced, I feel my temperature rise. I suppose this all has to do with the characters choosing the writer and so forth, but the fact that I can get so emotional over fictional events for fictional people that I knew were going to happen because I created the events myself, leaves me a little…rattled.

While writing Flight, I intentionally left my most fiendish antagonist fuzzy and blank because to write him properly, I’d have to “be” him and I really didn’t want to be him considering the things I was having him do. In writing Damen, I don’t often want to be Corey or Jessie or especially Damen in the end, but unlike my Flight antagonist, I can’t leave these characters ambiguous. I have to see life through their eyes to write them properly and so, when they emote, I emote.

I completed Chapter 30 in just one day, which is probably a record in this month-long challenge, finishing 5996 words (quadratics and The Old Man and the Sea) and bringing the chapter down almost a thousand words. From yesterday’s calculation, I’ve got less than 38K left to edit and, since this is when my drive to finish in March took it up a notch, I know that editing this last 38K is going to be a battle. My editing sword is ready, though; I may even finish this edit before the end of the month!


30-Day 5K – Day Nineteen Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:53 pm
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I may have written the finest 400 words of my life (to date) this evening. I love when I have that sensation while writing; the thought that not only am I in “the zone,” but that what I’m writing has some meaning, some depth.

Still though…it’s taken me far over word count. Ugh…word count…

This evening, the delights of strong prose aside, it occurred to me that, while I’m down to 183K words, I’ve less than 100 pages left for me to edit in this file. Estimating about 5-600 words a page and I’ve got more words to edit from the book, than I have words remaining. It’s a very discouraging thought and this means, for certain, that I’ll have to do a whole new edit before I can have a file that I can proudly call a first draft.

I know I wasn’t as fierce with my Delete key in the first 10 or so chapters, so that leaves me with a bit of peace on this endeavour and, if I really focus, I’m sure I can knock down at least another 10K from now until I reach the end of the book, but still…a whole new wave of edits is very daunting.

The good news is that I’m already resigned to the fact that I’ll not be able to start sending this until September, which should give me some wiggle room and a chance to even tell myself I’m “ahead” of schedule if I’m ready some time in August.

Still though…a whole new wave of edits…

Oh well…I wrote 6932 words this evening (All I can remember is before and after) and tomorrow I’ll start Chapter 30. I suppose I can hang my hopes on the fact that I’ve never been this close to creating a publishable work in my life and I’m only weeks (albeit, many of them) away from completely my goal.


30-Day 5K – Day Eighteen Monday, June 18, 2012

Filed under: Gaming,Writing — kaitco @ 11:40 pm
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Every once in a while, I experience one of these great moments in time where everything seems to sync together. Tonight, this came in the form of music.

While working on a chapter I’ve titled “Foolish Games”, the song of the same name by Jewel began playing from my writing playlist. I’ll not deny that the song is likely where I pulled the chapter title, but I find it so fun when these sorts of things happen.

I’ve decided that I won’t be keeping the chapter titles when I finally start sending this thing, but I like keeping them at this point to keep me focused in each chapter and ensure that everything flows.

Something else interesting I came upon in my writing tonight was some prose and dialogue surrounding March Madness 2008. While I did play basketball for about 7 years and even took a basketball refereeing course to boost my GPA in school, I rarely watch the sport anymore. I suppose this has to do with knowing far too much about the mechanics of the game, so that I spend more time critiquing the follow-through on a player’s shot, rather than enjoy the game. The fact that I’ve not had cable or access to any live television should also be noted, but that’s all for another post.

I’ve got my characters discussing March Madness with a fervour I can barely remember sharing, but I do remember spending hours researching brackets and teams from that year through Wikipedia. What’s sad is that, not only have I got to cut the majority of this from the book now, I can’t even remember half of what I researched. Oh well…I suppose it’s better for my mind to push out the useless information to leave room for all these characters and stories.

I wrote 6005 words tonight (and offered to keep score) despite putting several hours towards Minecraft, Super Mario World and Chrono Trigger on SNES and then Grand Theft Auto IV today and I’m just happy to still have the inspiration keep writing in a world of so man, many distractions.


30-Day 5K – Day Seventeen Sunday, June 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized,Writing — kaitco @ 11:46 pm
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When I started this process 17 days ago, the novel was 25K words thicker and I still had more than half of it to go. Tonight, I wrote 6544 words (make his way to the bathroom.) and, while I could have written more (I suppose we can always afford to write more), I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.

I’ve said many, many times in the past, but this blog keeps me honest. It forces to remain accountable to myself as I continue this endeavour and serves as a reminder that it’s not okay to put off my writing for a day or so when this is something I intend to make a part of my livelihood. All the other things, website coding, video editing, The Sims, TV, food, sleep; these things are all secondary to my writing. And, of course, God, family, country, etc., but I think those are naturally assumed.

I’ve decided that it’s time to official note that my “send date” for this novel is now the 1st of September rather than July, since July was a crapshoot anyway and I’m always far more enlightened, more creative and feel luckier in September than I do at any other time throughout the year.

Onward for tomorrow…


30-Day 5K – Day Sixteen Saturday, June 16, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 10:13 pm
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I am much better today; whether it’s from meeting a few writing goals today, writing on my shiny new laptop for the first time, my hot toddy and blanket, or just bringing the novel’s current word count to 188,256, doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I’m better overall.

This chapter is not, in any way, keeping within my word count limits for each scene. One scene was supposed to be just 600 words and ended up over 2000, but it’s the most political and the first time we get to see Xavier, so I suppose I can afford to stretch a bit here or there.

At this point, it’s really not much more than a count down to removing 68K words from this behemoth and I’m excited to not just see the light at the end of the tunnel, but can note that the light is getting brighter as I move forward.

On an separate note, in a moment of creativity, I decided to make a Firefox persona since I couldn’t find one that I liked: https://www.getpersonas.com/en-US/persona/472590. I think it suits given that the majority of what I do on this laptop is write and I just think it’s cute. 🙂


30-Day 5K – Day Fifteen Friday, June 15, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne — kaitco @ 9:06 pm
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I’ll get this over with nice and early…

I’ve been down all week and it’s finally caught up with me. I left first-job early and I probably would have slept into the wee morning hours if a friend hadn’t called.

To say that I’m ill is an understatement and since I’ve barely the energy or capacity to do much more than make myself a hot toddy and wrap myself up in my chair, I think it goes without saying that I’ll not be writing anything today.

Well, I can hardly hold the iPad upright any longer, so it’s time to make my tea while I can still see.


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