ROW80 Feb 5th Update

Although I have not posted my twice-weekly updates for the past three weeks, I have not dropped from the program. Unfortunately, I have been on track with only one my writing goals.

I have, with a few exceptions, revised my novel (Book II) some 5 – 10 pages per day. I find that there are a lot of scenes that need added details. One scene I deleted entirely and wrote a new one, having never felt good about the original. That took some effort since not only did I have to come up with a new scene, it had to follow logically and emotionally from the previous ones and merge with the following ones with as little rewriting as possible to those before and after. I am not sure I pulled it off and plan to do a new read-through after some time off to see if it works (and to make adjustments to other issues that I left behind).

The work-in-progress goals have not been achieved to the letter. I decided that due to the number of main characters (5) I needed to plot using 3×5 cards so I would have the events occur in logical order. Each character has her or his own card even when two or more characters are in the same scene. I have managed to fill over 100 3x5s with detailed events. The ability to lay the cards out has helped me visualize character emotions and actions tremendously. Consequently, this task (which honestly should have been started before I started writing) has been productive. The events and characters have fallen into place. When I finish outlining, I will be able to write nonstop to the end. I will be a bachelor for a week in February and plan to write it out then. I can’t wait.

I have not posted any blogs. I think I might just delete that from this list until I overcome my block and start writing blogs for publication.


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ROW80 Jan 15th Check-in

Much better this time (Jan 11-15):

Put in my time with the WIP. I broke through the block caused by lack of information concerning travel time. Oh, and what I failed to mention was that I did not want the trip to be uneventful. Gotta keep the protagonist fighting for what she wants.

I also put in my time with editing my existing novel. Working with this one is a joy. Do all writers LOVE their first novels? Somehow I doubt it. But this one I fall back into every time I read it. Maybe because it is Archetypal, a ‘hero’s journey’(a monomyth according to Joseph Campbell), and as such, speaks to me on a subconscious level. I have no clue if the book would “speak” others in the same way. However, it’s my Mona Lisa and will never be ready for public consumption. (Another reason it will never see the public eye is that it is too damn long, weighing in at approx. 1500 simi-edited pages. Ouch.)

I still haven’t posted any blogs other than these. I haven’t gotten my focus yet, I suppose. Focus, or maybe it’s the way I am. I have never kept a diary, never wrote letters (a complaint of my mother’s), don’t like chatting on the phone, and get tongue-tied on Ventrilo (a Skype-like program for gamers). Although it bothers me a great deal that I “can’t” post blogs, I shall not throw in the towel (which would be equivalent to ‘running away from the problem’ in my opinion). Sharing random ideas and cool, historical facts IS something a part of me wants to do.





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ROW80 2012 Belated Jan 11 Check-in

Writing new fiction proceeded haltingly between the 8th and 11th. I got stuck when I realized I didn’t know the distance between Venice and Verona, or how long it would take to travel that distance on horseback accompanying a carriage through a countryside populated with unemployed mercenaries.  So, in conclusion, I am (again) one hour behind.

No blogs posted.

I missed one day of editing Book One of my trilogy.

I have not yet sent out my two novels.

All in all, not an encouraging three days.

HOWEVER, I am treating these failures with the same mindset that anyone with daily challenges should have. I am putting the failed days behind me and keeping on “keeping on.”

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My Dedicated ROW80 2012 Blog

Rowers at Dawn by Jeff Mills

I have decided to use this Blog as My ROW80 2012 site. I have another website in the works that should soon be up and running.

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ROW 80 Jan-Mar 2012

[Note: This Post was moved from a Page to here.]

80-Day Challenge Jan 2nd- March 22nd

With the Divine’s help I will:

  • Publish this blog 3 times per week
    • one history post
    • one video post
    • one mash-up or other post.
  • Submit Green Stone Trilogy Book I: The Chosen (Adult Fantasy)
  • Submit The Flight of the White Falcon (YA Fantasy)
    • if either book boomerangs, have sent them out again within 3 days.
  • Write new (fiction) material one hour / day
Too much research about Medieval veterinary medicine needed before writing second draft: 
Write 2nd draft of Ginevra: Horse Healer (NaNoWriMo 2010 book)
Wed goal: 6 pages revised
Mon goal: 9 pages revised
[The first draft is 172 page=> revise 3 pages/weekday (weekends off for research or catching up).]
  • Sub: Editing Book II of the Green Stone Trilogy (promised to a friend.)  Goal: EDIT 5-10 pages / day

Click here to see what ROW80 is about or to join.

To see who else is signed up for ROW80, go to ROW80 Blog Hop


ROW80 Jan 8th Check-in

I met my goal of writing one hour of Vendetta: Isabetta and Catriona per day (Wed-Sat)—this isn’t too hard if I brainstorm before I actually write. (Yes, I am pantsing this novel. I know what the story basically is, who the basic characters are, and how I want it to end.)

I missed my Thursday and Friday Green Stone editing goals. On Thursday I realized that the chapter I am editing needs to be rewritten. I didn’t switch gears to a rewrite mentality and so set the project aside. I plan to begin the rewrite today (Sun). I am still giving myself a goal of 5-10 pages per day.  (By rewrite, I mean typing the text back into the computer and thinking about what I am typing. This is, I have found, the only way I will rethink what I’ve written and add more details where needed. I have to do this in small blocks, however, or I will end up just shunting the words from paper to computer, bypassing the analytical brain.)

I have not posted anything to my blog, because my Resistance seems too great to overcome. I am wondering if what I think I want to do with my blog is not what I really want to do, and, therefore, the doubts. However, if I take Steven Pressfield’s word for it, then I am right on target. The clue? Resistance has grown to phenomenal proportions.

I think I will reread Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.


Check-In Wed 4 Jan 2012

I managed to write new fiction for Isabetta & Catriona novel one hour Tues and Wed. So, I am still one hour behind. Not a problem, however. I have plenty of material to write, just need to apply fanny to chair for an extra hour. 

Btw: to make it doable , I am writing for 25 minutes straight, taking a 5 minute break, and writing another 25 minutes. I find that I can convince myself to write for these short spurts without feeling overwhelmed.

Because I have just made the change from writing the second draft of Ginevre to editing book 2 of my triology, I have not completed that daily goal yet. I will begin today.

To date, I have posted one short (very short) history post, which, as indicated by the response, needs to be broadened. I have plans to do just that. (Does anyone have a ‘dread’ of writing non-fiction/history post? I am tired of writing papers for classes, and I can’t seem to shake the feeling that these blogs are more of the same. I realize that they are not: they are much shorter, and they are on topics spinning out of my research for my novels. )

I also included a video that I find fascinating. Who would throw themselves off a cantering horse while wearing  armor? ouch…

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Knights were not necessarily chivalric

Cleric, Knight, & Workman

Here’s a historic tidbit from my research:

The conferring of knighthood had nothing to do with the chivalric conduct of the man (so you can pretty much ignore the second sentence in the Wikipedia article concerning knights and chivalry). It was based solely on the man’s success on the battlefield. Many mercenaries were knights and, although knights, had no qualms about stealing from and butchering peasants. As can be seen by this fact, the most unsavory man could earn the title “Sir.”

(Caferro Hawkwood 9)

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Suiting up for battle

© David Ball

Ever wonder how or in what order a knight donned his armor before battle? This video gives us a good idea. I suppose imbibing before a battle was customary. I’d want a drink knowing that physicians were of little use if I needed one (subject of a future blog post).

Arming a Medieval Knight 

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