Thoughts, a Blog: 2004, 2nd Quarter

A blog about my efforts at writing.

2004-05-18 (Tuesday) – Progress Report

I've not really done much on chapter 12, nor have I gone back to tighten up chapter 11. The real world intrudes on my time, but things are starting to break loose. Hopefully I can get something written over the next few days.

I've been reading some of the monthly columns at Fiction Press and realized there is a lot I could do to "punch up" my writing. I've been letting Microsoft's grammar checker control my style a little too much. Besides making some really stupid mistakes, it also misses some things it should not—like paring quotation marks, missing sentence capitalization within quotation marks, etc. It's almost not worth turning on.

I've also probably gotten the two boys' characterization wrong. I should probably hang out someplace where 16-year-old boys are found and listen to their speech patterns. My Trelane flip-flops between playing the role of Star Trek's Trelane (from the episode The Squire Of Gothos) and just being a 16-year-old kid. I think I've gotten his role-playing down, but perhaps I should indicate when he switches roles a bit more clearly than I do now. I can picture that when he does slip into that role, he sticks his nose in the air and his voice takes on a haughty tone.

I think everything needs a rewrite, but that is currently a low priority. I may remove the PDF files for now though. I will probably hold off on a rewrite until Book 2 is complete.

2004-05-03 (Monday) – Progress Report

Hot dog! Chapter 10 is now published and new PDF files for Book 2, which include chapter 10, are also published. At last you, dear readers, can discover how Mr. Fizzgig's choice of breakfast food is actually significant to the story—sun dried mouse. Yummy!

A first pass of chapter 11 is done, although it is a little long. I'll be trying to reduce it without cutting anything important. I have one sentence for chapter 12 done. I had wanted to get our three explorers into the castle by the end of chapter 11. That has not quite happened due to unforeseen circumstances (neither I nor the characters saw it coming). Anyway, we do learn a bit more about Trelane, he is not as shallow or self-centered as he first seems.

At best, I may finish Book 2 in three more chapters (12 through 14). However, it could run beyond that if these characters continue to surprise me.

2004-04-27 (Tuesday) – Progress Report

Worked on chapter 11 and got about three more pages done. It's probably too wordy at this point. I may strip some chunks out in a rewrite, but for now I just want to finish it. Our little group is approaching the base of the waterfall; I'd like to get them into the castle before ending the chapter though.

I also worked on the ending of chapter 10 and it is looking much better, less hackneyed. I'll shoot for publishing chapter 10, next Monday night (May 3rd).

I made the mistake of rereading what I've already published and found a glaring typo in chapter 6. Man, that's been done for ages. I cannot believe a letter managed to fall off the end of a word that way. I marked it on my printed copy; I'll fix it some other time. I also found a more serious error on the Technical page; some sentences are repeated between adjacent sections.

In other news: The job hunt is looking up. Hallelujah!

2004-04-12 (Monday) – Progress Report

Yippy! Four pages written for chapter 11 and I have a clear plan for the rest of the chapter too. Plus I've been gradually tweaking chapter 10 to get it ready, but there is still this one sticky sentence.

2004-04-09 (Friday) – Progress Report

I've tweaked the coding on all the pages here in preparation for converting to Cascading Style Sheets. The old pages were a little more complex than necessary. About the only visible difference, at this time, will be in the footer.

PDF files for the first two chapters of Book 2 have been created and published.

I've poked at the ending to chapter 10, and poked at the beginning of chapter 11. Chapter 10 is gradually improving; I wish I could say the same about 11.

2004-04-04 (Sunday) – Progress Report

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted. I've been distracted by other projects, such as remaking the Frobozz web site (still in progress). However, good news: Chapter 9 is published. And after a reread of chapter 8, I realized how bad the beginning of it really was, so chapter 8 has been rewritten and republished. For those with a morbid curiosity, I give you the before and after of the first 12 paragraphs. (Note; I deleted this page, 17-Aug-04.) I'll post more in a few days.