Writing Progress: Week Ending February 25, 2012

The tide comes in… the tide goes out:

Book of M:

  • Background Notes Wordcount: 526 words

Grand Total: 526 words

And this week the tide was going back out.  A combination of an extremely tough week, day job-wise, and a heavy ramp-up on the home project left me little writing time this week.  I only spent time writing on one day this week.  Every other day, by the time Dear Wife and I had finished our various home project-related tasks, I was too exhausted both physically and mentally to consider writing.

Instead, Dear Wife and I took up a little television-watching for when we did have downtime.  We just needed to kick back and let go.  Consequently, in the last two weeks Dear Wife and I burned through all 7 episodes of the first season of Downton Abbey on Netflix.  We’ve enjoyed that show thoroughly, so far. 

I must admit, though, that I was a tad bothered by the fact that one of the central plot points of the first season was based on a historical inaccuracy – which is to say that the scandal over the death of a Turkish diplomat in Downton Abbey sometime between 1912 and 1914 was quite impossible, seeing as how Turkey as a country didn’t exist until 1923.  Further, in that time the English wouldn’t have referred to Istanbul by that name, but by Constantinople (though an ethnic Turk from that city might well have called the city Istanbul).  I owe this curmudgeonly reaction, at least in part, to having visited Istanbul last year and learned a lot about the city and the nation of Turkey as a result.  But this historical faux pas is easily quelled by mentally substituting all references in Downton Abbey of “Turkish Diplomat” with “Ottoman Diplomat”.  My history-nerdishness somewhat annoyed Dear Wife, who is not as interested as I in such things, when I tried to explain all this midshow.  My own bit of TV-watching faux pas.  Mea Culpa.  Still… I enjoyed the bits of history that were sprinkled throughout the show as the season built its way up to World War I.  Anyway, as I said, we enjoyed the show quite a bit – it’s a rare show that appeals to the tastes of both Dear Wife and I.  We may end up watching Season 2, which is still available online, sooner rather than later, even though the laptop screen is not ideal for television watching.

As for the writing I did manage this week… it consisted almost entirely of killing off one of the main characters of the story.  (I’ve killed off several of them, now.)  You’d think that killing a character off might only require a couple lines in an outline.  Simply state that the character died, and maybe some notes about how and why.  In this case, though, I decided to retroactively kill the character – that is, although I was at the climax scene in my notes, I’d decided that this character was already dead before the climax.  So I had to go back and change my notes to reflect when the character died, and why.  The circumstances of the character’s death actually stretched out over several scenes. 

Anyway, now the deed is done.  And I feel that, when writing time comes my way again, I’m poised at last to outline the penultimate scene of the book – that fateful climax.  I’m very nervous about it.  In many ways this story has really come together in the outline.  But the ending still eludes me.  I won’t know it until I write down what’s supposed to happen, I suppose.  But I’m a little afraid, because I’ve put a lot into the story, and I want the payoff to be worth the investment.

That’s a bridge I’ll cross when I come to it.  When that will be I can’t say.  The first  half of this week I’ll likely be very busy putting some finishing touches on the home project, and then Dear Wife and I will likely call this, Phase I of our home project, done for now.  We dont’ have a firm schedule on when we’ll start Phase II, but I expect that will eat quite a lot of writing time when it comes.  I rather expect I’ll go several weeks without a word.  But that’s yet another bridge for yet another time.

So, how was your writing week?

5 thoughts on “Writing Progress: Week Ending February 25, 2012

  1. I’ve only ever caught snatches of Downton Abby but never managed to see an entire episode. I love period shows though. Hrm, I wonder if the inaccuracy was intentional? Perhaps they switched it to Istanbul and Turkey so that modern viewers could understand what area they were talking about? I bet most people don’t know when Turkey was founded.

    I’m at zero words for writing, but I did manage 2 new queries (drafts) as well as to refresh my synopsis of the Book of Day, so not all was lost. Different part of the writing brain though. Today I’ll get back to fiction.

    • It’s certainly possible that the Ottoman Empire was deliberately changed to Turkey for reasons of accessibility. On the other hand… if accessibility is your goal, having any character from that part of the world is probably a lost cause. How many people today can point to Turkey or Istanbul on a map? (To be fair… I say this from the perspective of a US citizen. Global awareness is not high, nor a highly valued trait, here. Unfortunately.) On the writing side, I understand how it feels when you’re not being productive on new material. But the queries and the refreshed synopsis sound important, at least. I presume you’ll need that synopsis (after any changes made due to editing the first book) for the queries…

  2. I really need to check out Downton Abbey. Partly because everybody I know seems all worked up about it, but mostly because it’s written by Julian Fellowes, who wrote Gosford Park, which is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

    Oh, and I knew about Istanbul and Constantinople because of They Might Be Giants:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeQ-wjDH4F4 🙂

    I had a pretty good week. I’m 1,777 words into Part Two of Stevie One, but I have a lot more of Part Two written. I have the end of the chapter written, and I know everything that comes in between the beginning and the end. I just have to figure out how much to include. This part introduces four new characters (who weren’t in Part One) and the dynamics between them are the key to a lot of the story, so I need to show a lot, but not too much. I don’t want to (as they say about Steig Larsson) dump my notebook. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Writing Progress: Week Ending March 3, 2012 « The Undiscovered Author

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