Dabbling without a plan

I'm about three-quarters of the way through this wonderful gigantic bottle of beer. It's a Grand Teton Brewing, Double Vision Doppelbock. One of my favorite beer styles.

I spent most of my evenings dabbling with my new social media. Most but not all. Thursday was critique group. The gang is pretty happy with The Yak Guy Project thus far.

I'm ready to get the first draft finished. I have four more events that have to happen, and the story is finished. I'm loving the character arc here, and so is my critique group.

Yak Guy Ted, has to travel a bunch between these four points. This poses a problem of balancing. He's a little over 57K words, and I want it over 80K when I finish. So roughly 20K words to get to the end. Travel is an odd thing in fiction, so let's discuss it for a minute.

It takes time to ride a yak as far as Ted has to go. Too many authors have horses running full speed for days on end without food or water. This isn't realistic, and yaks are slower than horses. This means some dedication to the time involved in the process.

I can't make it completely realistic, or readers will be looking at mountains and grass for several chapters. I need to get the idea of time into the story without boring my readers. It would be a mistake to just skip to the key points without paying homage to the travel time.

I will use dialog with the yak to fill some of this in. The yak is a mentor, so there is some decent opportunity here. I will have to skip ahead, but I don't want to dwell on too many campfires and what's for dinner every night. I can probably get away with “Five days later, we rode into XXX,” about twice. After that, The events need to unfold.

My normal method is to simply write it. I'll spend more time on the events, because they are important. There will be some more action, and possibly a lesson or two along the way.

I've been known to crank out ten-thousand words in a writing session. (Once. Damn this is good beer, and I'm probably kidding myself.) In theory, I could finish in two good writing days. In reality it's going to take a couple-three weekends.

My short story project is in the same shape. I'm nearly done. The Enhanced League has passed the mid-season break, and we're headed toward the playoffs. There are several more stories to write before I get there. I have a great twist for my semi-main character planned after the season ends too. The struggle here will be to handle the playoffs without giving an inning by inning account. That would bore readers. I've already walked readers through one game, and managed to make it pretty interesting. Doing it again would be a crime. I'll probably use my sportscasters to update the playoffs, and move right into the championship. Even then, a seven game series will get old for readers. I'll have to skip ahead to the last innings of the final game. Those will be exciting. I'm happy to be this close, but probably won't get it released on MLB opening day.

Thinking about The Enhanced League, MLB opening day is April 2nd. I need to finish, beg for beta readers, order cover art, and Lisa Burton art, and it's already mid-January. I'm not rushing it. It will get done when it gets done, and so will Yak Guy.

Meanwhile, back at the social media ranch, I'm not overly impressed with Google+. It seems harder to use than Pinterest, and I don't yet see the value. I'm out there giving a +1 to posts, but only one of mine has seen the same benefit. I'm sure it takes time, but I'd love to see Lisa Burton in the top row when I search for images of her. She makes it into the fourth row right now. Tim Burton's ex wife, Lisa, is tough competition. (She didn't even take the Burton name, and I still have to compete with her.)

Pinterest is a lot more fun, and seems easier to get into. I've made multiple boards, and people seem to be finding them. I created two boards for future projects, and it's pretty handy for that. I hope these two stories will turn out to be novellas, but they'll be as long as they need to be. One of them is shaping up to be wonderfully character driven, and it's going to be a buddy story. I've even made some musical pins to go with it. After finishing Yak Guy and Enhanced League, I'll probably outline it, and the imagery makes a great reference. My Pinterest guru says more boards is important, so I'll probably start a few more.

There you have it. It's Friday night, and I don't have a weekend plan. I'll use any available writing time to add to The Yak Guy Project. My more disruptive time will probably get dedicated to Google+ and Pinterest. We'll weave in date night and some family time too. I won't deal with my critiques until later, but Monday is a holiday, and I might make a few edits.

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42 Comments

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42 responses to “Dabbling without a plan

  1. The granddaughter is dictating my weekend, so far, she fell asleep after dinner, woke up and then we read fifty percent of a story about a squirrel family…she likes it, but thinks it is very long. I think she’s had enough about squirrels for one day…maybe tomorrow. I’m just very happy my new audio book page got merged with my other book pages before my promo. Little accomplishments. I’d love the opportunity to read my own stuff, on my TBR list, but grandmotherly duties, you know?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Is that one of the books of the month? One of these days, I want to know more about the audio-book concept.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes…The squirrel book. She’s enkoying it…even without illustrations, she’s having fun with her imagination. It reminds me of Uncle Wiggly and the rabbit boy. Cute little stories about young squirrels getting to know their new friends and their world. Jalina is seven years old, and she tries to read the words. It’s just the right style for her because she can recognize most of the words, but some trip her up and have to be explained. Like “veranda” instead of “porch”. Loads of fun. ONly she can only take about six or seven stories at a time…she says it’s too long. Have to break it up and read a few, then stop, then go back to it. But at least she wants to go back to it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s what I like about short story collections. You can take a break and the next story is new. Sounds like you’re having a good time with her.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am, but I want time to read my own books…be glad when she can read to herself…but we do have fun together.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Have a good weekend Craig!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I with you on the Google+ business. Been using it for three years now and never had any feedback from that direction. Might be something I’m just not doing, as that seems to be my problem. Great pity there isn’t a proper manual for all of this…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a lovely post, Craig! I must really make time to find out more about Doppelbock … (I’m not a beer drinker, but my husband likes Guinness – probably a reason why I know so little about the subject). I found the yak-mentor scenario in your writing interesting and I’ll be looking out to see how you’ve developed it from here onwards. Enjoy the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Those traveling periods are tough. I made them work in my second book since events and important interactions happened during each traveling stage. Later books, I did ‘time passes’ more often. If there was a needed a conversation then I’d do it for part of a chapter, but I do the 2-4 sectioned ones, so this might only be for me. Honestly, I’d say include it if it needs to be said. Readers won’t really miss the traveling stage if nothing happens. You could always have the two talk about the journey and any minor hiccups that turned up.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cheers, Craig! The Doppelbock sounds great – nearly beer-time here so it’s good to know you’re still fizzing along and able to tackle some social media constructively! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know how constructive I am. Pinterest is kind of like a drug, and I lose time to it. I made my boards public, so maybe they will drive some interest in future tales. I need to throw my old ones out there too, because you just never know.

      Like

  7. Interesting post. That beer doesn’t look bad either. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t think you’ll find a lot of interaction on Google+, but the benefit (from what I know of it) is helping you to get found on Google. My blog feeds there, but I don’t do much else. There are just way too many sites to stay on top of. Pinterest is fun and creative and hearing you talk about it makes me want to play around with it again. I need to set aside some time.

    Sounds like your writing projects are coming together which is awesome. It’s a great feeling when you start winding down toward the end.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m excited to wind these projects down. I’m having a good time with them too. In novels, the middle always slows me down, but I’m past that now. Pinterest is bringing out so much character for one of my future projects, it’s surprising. I never expected that benefit.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Google+ doesn’t work like other social media in that if you 1 a post, chances are slim that it’ll be reciprocated. It’s time-consuming to wade through timelines to return the favor. Instead, 1 the posts you like, or the authors you recognize. They’ll do the same when your name pops up in the main feed. So, all in all, the 1 does eventually get returned; it’s just not immediate. I love Pinterest too. Authors can lose valuable time there, though, but it’s a guilty pleasure I enjoy when I have time. BTW, did you follow me back?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. “Meanwhile, back at the social media ranch,” lol!
    I’m glad you’re having fun with Pinterest and sorry Google+ is what it is.
    I think using dialogue to fill the time is good, but some of us DO enjoy long, interesting setting descriptions, although I prefer dialogue.
    Enjoy your beer. In my opinion, the best beers come in the wine bottle form. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I always miss your posts since they hit me late in the night. (Old guy is in bed) Anyway, I hope you have a good weekend. I have the same feelings about Google plus and have yet to figure out Pinterest. I think I’ll watch what you do and follow suit.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I usually change between the “Five days later,” and a short scene of travel. I’ve just noted with reading this, that I have to go back and make a more realistic travel time in my last few chapters when I go back in for more edits. I don’t care for google. Pinterest is fun though.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m currently reading a short story collection called “Galactic Games”, where some famous SFF authors give their takes on various sports in the future, often played against aliens.
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22033472-galactic-games

    I’d say that about a third of the stories don’t even depict the sport at all. Another third only depict it very briefly, and the final third depict a full contest. There are good stories and bad stories in each category. So, if you’ve already run through a full game, I wouldn’t worry about skipping over any/all of the others.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Writing Links in the 3s and 6…1/16/17 – Where Genres Collide

  15. Pinterest is probably the easiest social media platform to use, as well as the most fun. And it can help with creating a story as well as attracting readers, so it’s a win-win. Plus, although there are comment fields, they’re not necessary to grow an audience.

    Google+ won’t do much for you if you just +1 things; you really have to interact and leave comments, maybe share other people’s posts, too. And the bigger your circles get, the more people will see your content. It takes time, but you’ll get there.

    Glad to hear your writing is well underway. I’m still struggling to get into a post-holiday groove.

    Liked by 1 person

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