Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: Back in the Saddle

Whew, it’s been a busy week with a ton of stuff going on in my non-writing life. I missed Sunday’s check-in, sadly, but I am back for the midweek report!

First, the happenings of real life. I delivered a 45 minute guest lecture last Thursday about my MA research, and it was received really, really well. I have been informed that I am (1) ready to teach my own course (always exciting to hear) and that (2) my MA project is clearly coming together.

I spent the weekend doing a mad rush of grading and prepping for the second guest lecture I am giving (tonight, in fact). I also met with my advisor, who had many lovely things to say about the progress I’ve made with my thesis. Sunday and Monday were spent thesisizing, and I am happy to report that I wrote over 2600 words, bringing up to a total of 12,000 words. I’m nowhere near done yet, sadly, but I have the summer to finish up and pull things together. If I give myself a nightly word limit, the way I do for my fiction, I think I’ll be able to pull this off. 😀

Now, onto writing. Between the stress of school and work and just being bloody tired last week, I found myself in a bit of a rough patch with Peacock. I was flailing about for direction with this coronation scene that I wrote, and while I’ve managed to tidy it up a bit and get it back on track, I know I’m going to have to come back through later on and shorten it up. I’m just not certain that everything that’s currently in there is necessary… but I am challenging myself to wait until the 1st draft is done (or almost done) to start major rewrites and edits.

At any rate, I have broken the 10,000 word mark (never thought I’d actually do that!), and I now stand at 10,222 words. Judging from my wee graph, I almost made my goal of writing 2100 words/week.

Daily word counts

Wordcount graph
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Looks like I’m about 500 words short, but given everything that’s been going on, I’m not about to berate myself.  So yay me!

Moving forward, I’ll be hoping to make my way out of the expository stuff by the weekend.  I’m utilizing Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” (summarized quite nicely here by Eliza W.).  The simplified version, in twelve steps, looks like this:

  1. The Ordinary World
  2. Call to Adventure
  3. Refusal of the Call
  4. Meeting the Mentor
  5. Crossing the First Threshold
  6. Tests, Allies, and Enemies
  7. Approach
  8. The Supreme Ordeal
  9. Reward
  10. The Road Back
  11. Resurrection
  12. Return with the ‘Elixir’

Right now I’m toiling within the “Ordinary World,” which I have realized is actually anything but ordinary.  Rather, it’s in the midst of major change — the death of Liandre’s father, King Roland, the coronation of her brother, Prince Edric, and a whole set of new pressures and challenges.

At the moment, I plan on combining steps 2-4 together: Liandre will meet her mentor in Chapter 3, but when her mentor tries to tell her the truth of her lineage, the princess will refuse to listen.  This will set off a whole set of conflicts that will result in the call being reissued, only this time in a way that Liandre cannot ignore.  From there, it will be time for Liandre to journey across Peridion and over the sea to the country of Vao Artan, a realm she once believed was little more than legend and fantasy.

When it comes to my writing process, I rather feel like I am trying to forge a path through a jungle with nothing but a machete in hand — slashing and hacking wildly to form the beginnings of a road.  I cut through about a quarter of a mile before pausing, pulling out a smaller set of garden shears, and back-tracking to pretty things up a bit.  Once I’m satisfied with my work I can pick up the machete and force my way through the jungle a bit further.  Right now I feel like I’ve done enough manicuring with my shears; I want nothing more than to push ahead and set my heroine onto her path towards adventure.

6 Comments

  1. Congrats on the thesis progress, well-received speech, and word count. The word picutre of you slashing through the jungle wildly, only to return to manicure with garden shears had me laughing out loud. Great post! ~ Nadja

  2. Wow, you’re having a good week – 10k words AND the praise that you’re ready for the next step. I hope the rest of the week goes well for you too!

  3. Ah the hero’s journey. I should put that to use. Most of the time, I just outline my general direction for a book and leave it at that. Maybe it would be easier if I showed each of my characters moving through their storylines this way.

    Good luck!

    • I usually do the same! When I was first brainstorming this tale, though, I happened to unearth a short story I wrote for a class project using the Hero’s Journey, and I realized it would be the perfect arc for this story. It does make it quite a bit easier for me to figure out how my protagonist should progress and develop.

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