Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Progress Wednesday: A Row80 Check In and WiPpet Wednesday

So here we are, another Wednesday, another check in. It’s only been a few days since my last check in but given that I changed my goals around a little I think it’s understandable that I want to figure out whether they’re working for me or not. Overall I’d say they have but I think I need to look a little more closely to be sure.

Post 1 blog post other than a RoW80 check in a week – The week’s still young and the post is written. A few edits and it’ll be good to go on Friday. Progress – Good

30 Minutes on social media a day – I’ve been commenting on blogs, joining in LinkedIn discussions and posting on Twitter. It may not be a full 30 minutes that I'm spending though but what I have done is still good. I just need to find a way to not send half the social media time trying to figure out what I'm doing. Progress – needs improvement.

Spend 1 hour doing a creative activity each day – This first one I chose to as writing, trying to get The Novel finished for Autharium. Monday and Tuesday I spent an hour writing and in fact I kept writing past my hour deadline yesterday and had a 4k word day, the first that I've had in a while. Progress – Excellent

Spend 1 hour doing a different creative activity each day – Monday I struggled with this, trying to edit The Feral Diaries while waiting for a client to appear for an interview. Tuesday was excellent and I’m starting to see how sitting down and doing it can just pay off. Progress – Slow but getting there.

Start and try for completion of projects on the order day – I did in fact wake up to two new jobs yesterday morning and started and finished them both very quickly, before I did anything else. It was a great way to start the day, knowing that I’d done my official work as soon as it had arrived. Progress – Excellent.

Overall I'd say I'm definitely doing ok with my goals. There's only really one worry spot and that's the social media goal. I think I need to figure out what I'm doing there so I'm not wandering the internet in dazed confusion for 30 minutes. But there's more green and orange (I do like my colour coding) than there was last check in I believe and that's good. 

Now... I keep seeing the term WiPpet Wednesday bandied around the blogosphere a lot lately. A few of my new blog friends that I’ve made this round have actually taken part and have encouraged me to take part too. I don’t normally share my writing on here, preferring to keep it secret and safe, hidden from anyone. But I decided that I need to break free of some of these self imposed boundaries. So here it is; the first 500 words of The Novel, unedited and totally fresh from the first draft. I wrote this back at the beginning of July and I still really like how it turned out.

The dock of Crown’s Haven swarmed with men, every one of them knowing exactly where they were meant to be and what they were meant to be doing. Ropes were grabbed and tied and the ship slowly lowered towards the ground. The timbers creaked below his feet, the clanking of the chains growing louder and louder as the ship was towed, inevitably, irrevocably down to the ground. Marrick watched from the forecastle of the Dark Tide, watched the dozens of men and women scurrying around the deck, securing lines and bringing up cargo. The women had their long hair tucked up beneath scarves and hats, their curves hidden in billowing shirts and waistcoats.  
“We’re landed Captain,” said the burly quartermaster at his side.
“What do you want me to do Sir?” Marrick lifted an eyebrow at the older man. 

“Really Wallis?” he drawled “Are you actually going to go along with the Sir and Captain thing?” 
“It’s how it’s done Sir,” Wallis said, his eyes glittering with mirth “Wouldn’t do for one of the locals to suspect we were nothing but the honest, hardworking traders that we are, Sir” 
“Oh we work hard all right,” Marrick said, his smirk growing “You and I both know that you run this ship when we’re landed. I’ll let you to it and go and see if I can find us a new bowman or three,” 
“Ay Sir,” Wallis said with a mock salute. 
Marrick walked away laughing beneath his breath. He threw a quick wave at the other man and slung one long leg over the railing of the forecastle before dropping to the deck below. One of the crew stumbled and swore at Marrick as he appeared in front of him suddenly, making the crewman drop his boxes.  
“Language Hicks,” Marrick said with a scowl. “It wouldn’t do for the dock master to hear language like that here,” 
“Sorry Captain,” Hicks muttered, gathering the boxes together again. 
“Lower your voice, man!” Marrick snapped below his breath. 
“Sorry Captain,” Hicks muttered again, his voice gruffer now, deeper. 
Marrick cast a quick glance towards the dock master who was now on deck, deep in conversation with Wallis. He was looking intently at his chalkboard, checking off the log that Wallis had given him against what was being steadily lowered from the ship. The dock master didn’t look up. Marrick breathed a sigh of relief. 
“Wallis!” Marrick called, walking towards the two men, “I’m going landward but I should be back soon,” 
He didn’t wait for a reply, instead leaping onto the railing of the deck and grabbing a nearby rope. As he slid down it, plummeting faster and faster towards the ground he heard Wallis calling out above him. 
“You need to be back by the windshift Sir! Captain Rush will be mighty peeved if you’re late for the next cargo collection!” 
Marrick laughed and continued walking, throwing up an arm to show that he had heard.

I think that the first few pages are good but then again I wrote them so I would say that. What do you think though? Let me know if there’s anything that you would change, fix, jiggle around a bit. I always like to hear people’s opinions on my writing, more often than not they see problems in the prose that I don’t because I’m too close.

The second part of the blog series on the Three Act Structure should be up on Friday so keep an eye out for that and make sure that you come back next Wednesday for more WiPpet Wednesday and maybe you’ll get to see more of The Novel. Or maybe I’ll be cruel and post something from another Work in Progress.

How do you think I’ve done with my goals? Am I being too easy on myself? Too hard? Am I trying to do too many things each day? Let me know what you think in the comments below. I always try to reply to them, even if it takes me a little while.


  1. Excellent progress on the ROW goals.

    High five on the WIPpet! :) You should run and add your linky so no one misses it. I love it. The formatting is wonky, which made it a bit tough to read, but I sorted it out. Love the setting, the characters, you've given us hints that things aren't as they seem...can't wait to read more.

    1. Oh no! The formatting was right on the draft page. I'm going to have to go back and sort that out, thanks for pointing it out to me!
      Glad that you like it. Apart from the formatting issue does anything else strike you that might need fixing?

  2. Yay! Another WIPpet! I'm glad you decided to post it. That was a big step for me, too--letting other people see the novel I was working on. Now that I've been at it a while, I love sharing my progress and getting feedback.

    I enjoyed the interaction between the characters. This seems like a fun story!

    1. I'm so happy to hear that. Sometimes I worry that I'm getting carried away with the dialogue, they talk loads but don't actually say much. I want to keep that fun in the first bit to contrast loads with the parts that come later.

  3. Oh so organised.. I must up my game..

    Glad to see you on WIPpet.. I am a newbie as well..

    Look to be an interesting read and I am loving Marrick already...xx

    1. Oh dear, I hope you don't love Marrick too much.
      Organisation isn't that hard, it's a matter of to do lists and a week spread diary.
      I can do a post on how I do my organisation if you want to give you some ideas?

  4. I really want to know their stories, and what it is that Marrick doesn't want the dock master to know...

    As far as your ROW80 goals - only you can know what works for you. We're all different, with different objectives.

    I think the trick is in learning what works best for you, and that definitely gets more apparent as the rounds add up.

    Any progress beats none!

    And welcome! =D

    1. Thank you for the kind words, you're completely right.
      Also I'm glad that the mysteriousness is enough and you want to keep reading. That's exactly what I was going for.