2014-05-04

Timelines

It's Sunday and I almost forgot I needed to put out a blog post.

Peacekeeper Update
I've managed to find a way to get some writing done while at work. I have been involved in a special project now for about 2 weeks. I was selected for this project because of my database programming abilities. As such, when I'm not actively doing that work, I'm free to do whatever suits my fancy. Of course, I spend most of the time working on my other assigned work but when I need a break or I'm eating lunch, I'm writing. I've managed to get quite a bit of work done this last week. Peacekeeper 2 now stands at 52,529 words. I'm hoping to have the first draft finished by the end of this month.

Timelines
Yesterday, I was forced to put the writing on hold so I could build a timeline of activities that take place throughout the book. Normally, I'm quite good at holding all this information in my head but I was beginning to have doubts if things actually fit together in a logical sequence. I used an Excel spreadsheet to build a Gantt chart of major events. Surprisingly, everything seems to work out. What was surprising was that the story takes place over a 90 day period. Much shorter than I had imagined. Things might easily get stretched out some more as I work on the second draft but now at least I have a workable timeline to refer to.

The point I would like to make is simple - make a timeline as you write. If you look at my past blog posts you might run across some advice I gave concerning this and--yes--I did not follow my own advice. I do write down some basic notes about things as the novel progresses but I am not as detailed about it as I should be. I failed to keep a timeline from the start and I failed to record essential details I would need later on. Live and learn. Perhaps I'll remember this when I start my next project.

Pivotal Events
This topic is a bit off from my normal writing stuff but I've been thinking about this for a long time. I'm sure everyone out there can relate as well. There are certain events in our lives that are pivotal and it is those events that seem to change the course we take through life. I used to believe that these events happen for a reason -- now I'm not so sure. They happen because they happened. Our brain tries to make sense of these things and it comes to the conclusion that the events that change our lives happen for a reason. It's the way we all think. For some unknown reason, we can't accept the fact that our lives are very much affected by random events.

For example: Back in 2012, sales of Translight took off for no particular reason. That giant spike in sales is what got me accepted into the Launch Pad Workshop. It was there that I met a wonderful group of people and my life has not been the same since. If that spike in sales had not occurred, I would not have gone to Launch Pad and I would not know the people I know now. I would not have been published in an anthology and I most likely would never have gone to DragonCon.

Another example: I went to a local writer's conference and had some negative feedback for the administrator of the event. I sent her an email detailing my concerns. She replied, explained why things were the way they were, and told me about an annual writer's retreat that is held only a few miles from here. I'm going at the end of this month. Had I kept my opinion to myself or had I not gone to the conference I would never have known about the retreat. I hope to meet some local writers and perhaps forge some friendships.