Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Château Soleil Update 3

Current word count: 30,875
Chapters done: 9/52
Projected length: 178,389*

Another fortnight, another 10,000 words. I'm happy to be consistent, if not especially speedy. At that rate, it'll be about another six months to get finished, which is longer than I'd like but also very respectable. No red flags yet. I may hijack a portion of this for NaNoWriMo, but I worry that it'll be disruptive to my process.

How so? Well, I'll give a little insight into my process. I know this book will be 52 chapters because it's pretty rigidly outlined. Each chapter in my outline has a designated POV character and somewhere in the neighborhood of three bullet points, each representing a plot element that I need to make sure I hit. The rest, I'm making up as I go. Essentially, I'm treating each chapter as a short story.

This comes with a couple of caveats. One, I'm editing as I go. I want a chapter to feel finished when I put it down. I also like to edit a previous section as a way to build momentum before starting on a new section. This works pretty well for me, but it flies completely in the face of NaNoWriMo.

Now, don't get me wrong, these are pretty raw when I finally step away, but they're also completely cordoned off and have a finished internal arc. I'm not in any danger of, for instance, lifting a scene from one chapter to fill out another. This may or may not come back to bite me in the ass. We'll see. Probably in about forty thousand words (or two months!).

The other news is that I'm working out the kinks in an alpha-reading scheme. Which means I'll be wanting eyes on things soon. So, that's exciting!

Will write more, soon, probably.

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*For the math-inclined, I arrived at this number by dividing my chapters-done ratio into my current word count. Makes as much sense as anything else.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Painting

So I've been teaching myself French. I'm still nowhere near fluent, but I'm picking things up. I use Duolingo and Coffee Break French, and I also wanted to try and find some French-language children's programming on Netflix.

Turns out pickin's are pretty slim on Netflix. But I did find one movie that was purported to be for children ages 11-12, and it was called The Painting. In English, anyway. In French it's Le Tableau. Well, the characters spoke too fast for me to keep up. As a language-learning tool, it was kind of a bust. I need something for younger children.

But as a film, I found it totally charming. It's colorful, imaginative, and delightfully strange. And I was impressed by how it refused to talk down to its audience. This was ostensibly for 11 to 12 year olds, but it had some (animated) nudity and didn't seem the least bit squeamish with sexuality. The main themes are class struggle, prejudice, and the search for God (the movie is unabashedly deist, if that sort of thing matters to you).

It's only 80 minutes long, so if you're looking for something different and aren't averse to subtitles, I heartily recommend it. It's not a perfect film, but it is a fairly unique one with a decidedly non-American sensibility to it. And very, very charming. Or, if you will, c'est très, très charmant.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Current Project Update 2

Current word count: 21,399
Chapters done: 6/52

Slow but tangible progress. Lost some momentum, but still, progress is progress, and I feel good about this story. It's got a good trajectory and it's rewarding to work on, if not exactly fun. I find myself thinking about it a lot, even when I'm not actively working on it. That's a good sign.

Still not ready for alpha readers yet, but I've sent the prologue to my writing group for feedback. This means that the title and synopsis are out there, so I'll share them here as well.

(Working) Title: Château Soleil
Genre: Near-future sci-fi jailbreak
Elevator pitch: A band of thieves pulls off one last heist using stolen tech that allows them to pass through matter. They attempt a daring escape through the interior of the sun, only to be captured by the Château Soleil, a mammoth vessel that was already hiding there.

Look for another post in a few weeks or when I'm in the 30,000s. Whichever comes second, I suppose.

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