“Shift” by Frank Darbe

Shift – A Science Fiction Novel by Frank Darbe

Achievable Goals

This morning, I continue officially writing two Novellas at the same time for two different Series. One of them, Skyjacker, I’ve set my goal to 1000 words a day, minimum. Only once since I started have I failed to reach that goal. Even the most difficult days (weekends mostly) I managed to find time in my day to complete the task and more. Beginning yesterday, I took up Spell Thief, fantasy Novella Series. After writing around between 1500 and 2000 words in Starjacker, I wrote five hundred in Spell Thief.
This morning, I wrote 500 words in Spell Thief, no problem. My Achievable goal for that Novella has been reached. I can now move on to write in Starjacker.
Lest I forget, I started this post.
Another thing I need to do is edit Chennizzi.

(1) Starjacker, Part I of Knowledge’s Ashes is 14,246 words in length.
(2) Old God’s Shadow, Part I of Spell Thief 8772 words.

I now, some people will call me seven kinds of fool for writing o novels at the same time. But, hey, it can’t hurt to try.

Sometimes Things Break Down

Lady Ven Aleyo
Creative Commons PIxabay

Monday’s post was late because I forgot to publish. Yesterday, I wrote most of a new chapter 1 of Starjackers, and set up a series in Medium (You need to do another) and now I am trying to catch up.

I lost count of how much I wrote today, though I appear to be around 1500+ words on StarJackers. I also added the Romance subplot. Ven Aleyo has changed from my original idea and is now a Subspecies living on the colony of Venice, a mostly water world with cites built around the few pieces of ground that rise above the waves of floating cities. As I see the planet, It is an old world where plate tectonics has ceased.

In Medium, I have created to Series that are used to showcase the articles and stories. I am happy with those.

Wow. I made a snap decision to finish Spell Thief as another Novella, eventually reaching about 35 thousand words. It took me a bit to get into it, but once I started, I think it came along very well. Spell Thief was going to be the first of a fantasy series, anyway, and it is a perfect match to Starjackers. I am setting my goal with Spell Thief to 500 words a day.

Today, I wrote well in excess of 2000 words. I admit that I am very happy where things are heading. I really want to reach a point where I have several books in Amazon, and hopefully start bringing in a bit of money.

Writer’s Log – Martin Luther King Jr Edition

A Writer’s Process: Holidays are like Sundays, but more so. Not only are they family days, but we have this expectation of big things, or at least middle sized things. We are expected to prioritize those expectations.
Perhaps if I were younger I would look see holidays are a time to kick back, relax, let my hair down. For me, I have this intense drive to write, to get things done, to work.

My time on earth is short, and I’ve grown too old to surrender to lazy.

Intimations of mortality aside, Starjackers consumes my mind and energies. I know how it will end. I have a trilogy of Novella’s planned. but as a first draft, I feel I am finding the story, like a rare coin left in the dirt.

Forgot to publish, so here it is now.

Writer’s Log 01.20.2019-0752

Sundays are tough, it’s family you know. I want to stay on task, to make my goal, and today I did. But Sundays are difficult. We went to a movie today. We cooked. We hung out together. Tonight the boys went to see Glass.

Adventures in publishing: A reader found an error in Shift. Got it fixed, but I have learned a serious lesson. Editors make mistakes and writer’s pay for them. I need to work much harder with editing from the beginning.

I reached 1099 words today, and wrote a thousand words.

Writer’s Log 01.19.2019 – 1006

Just a short note, because I wrote a whole blog today about disasters. Go read it. It is great.

Today, I overcome the sudden realization that I had no idea who was behind the entire plot against Suri Oza. Now I know who the big bad is. The novel has also expanded to 9226. words.


Whole New Day, Whole New Disaster

Seventy-five-hundred words into the first Novella of a trilogy, writing my first big disaster, with all kinds of conflict and I realize I do not know who the antagonist is. Of course, neither does my protagonist, but that is no excuse. I am neither a character in the story or a reader. How can I write a good disaster if I can not put a name to the instigator of the loss? Perhaps disasters should be explained.
Segway to the Snowflake Method.

Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson
Available from Amazon and as a dynamite program.

Snowflake is an outlining method that divides the novel into four parts. Each of the first three parts ends in a disaster where the character faces a disaster, and metaphorically or in reality is slapped in the forehead with failure and reevaluates his entire life as he sees it.
I may have exaggerated there, of course, but if you take each of these disasters and call them setbacks, you will get to a more conventional way of teaching outlining. I highly suggest that writers check out his Snowflake Method. It may not be for you, but it teaches a great way to think of novel writing.
Oh, and Pantsers, I suggest you get the book, also. No, no, no, I don’t mean you should give up your way of writing. While Pantsing a novel or a short story, or editing said works, they are a great way of thinking out where your character is in the story.

In my case, I have the novella plotted out, I know how it will end, I know there are two groups after what he doesn’t know he has, and Eureka. I now know who the the Antagonist is in the first novella. It is right there in my plans as a subplot. Now, I know that it is critical.

The best way to work out a story problem when you slam hour nose against it is to write it out. Got to run.

Stay tuned for the Knowledge’s Ashes Universe Part I: Starjacker.

Writer’s Log 01.18.2019-0833

Yesterday’s desire, big, ambitious.
Yesterday’s reality, not so much.
It happens. I wrote, don’t kid yourself, and started my projects, but none of them went as far as I had hoped. There are a number of reasons, not all of them in my control.
(1) The Needs of the family out way the needs of the father and the few. (Gratuitous Star Trek Riff.)
My son needed help with his Boomilever for the Science Olympiad. Man, was that stressful. Neither of us had the skills with balsa wood that wee needed. Thankfully, we had Boomilever Youtube Videos to help us.
(2) Exhaustion sucks the life out of my writing. For no reason I can define, all I wanted to do was curl up and sleep. An attack of lethargy made writing an enormous chore. I found that getting up and moving helped a little. Today, I pulled the laundry off the exercise machine, and if my mind says sleep, my body will say exercise.

Writer’s Log Supplemental – 1.19.2019 0945: Screwed the pooch on this one. You know, sometimes things break down, so late at night I fells asleep. I reached 7,468 words total, and am writing my first disaster. I will explain tomorrow, or today, or something.

Writer’s Log 01.17.2019 – 0821

Off to a slow start this morning. Honest to god, I didn’t mean to, cause while riding in the car pursuing my morning ritual of delivering the boys to school my mind kicked over several ant hills worth of stories or poems. At home, I feel an anchor attached to my brain. At those moments, it is easy to slip into something comfortable, that comfortable being FACEBOOK (Curse you, Mark Zuckerberg)…
A momentary pause for something that struck me as deeply funny. I misspelled “Zuckerberg” as “Zuckerburg,” and my spell checker suggested Cheese as proper spelling. Stitches, I’m telling you, stitches.
… where I rage at the political state of the world, catch up with posts from friends, though I never, ever check out cat videos (wink). So, I begin my daily log with a kick myself in the ass exercise.
Now, I am ready to start.

Writer’s Log Supplemental – 2213 This was not a good day, partly me, partly other things that needed doing. I found myself easily distractable, and worse, constantly tired.
Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be better. No rain. I can get out for a walk. Exercise may be just what my body is order.
So far

Writer’s Log 01.16.2019 – 0859

One day I’m dancing in the rain and singing “Everything’s coming up roses,” and the next there is this headache dead center of my third eye. But that is no excuse. Time to write, tickle the keyboard, drive the nib of my men into my wrist and bleed fiction.
So bear with me, please, several things I want to do.

How to use theme in writing.
Using Them in writing.

The first goal is to work on an article for Medium on a theme in literature. I have been avoiding this like the plague. (Cliche alert!) Going on, I think I am going to use this as a sounding board for my understanding of the subject, which I admit is not very significant.
The image above, which I saw posted by a friend and writer, Anna Dobritt, author of the Ravynwyng Chronicles, links together three critical aspects of literature.
I have a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and no teacher ever explained it to me in this way. Before, I remained blind to the theme, thinking of it as the “moral of the story,” which it is not.
One of the primary themes in Harry Potter was

NOTE: I did not get far with this today. Tomorrow, I will make progress.

“Literary theorist Roger Fowler notes that: “A theme is always a subject, but a subject is not always a theme: a theme is not usually thought of as the occasion of a work of art, but rather a branch of the subject which is indirectly expressed through the recurrence of certain events, images or symbols. We apprehend the theme by inference – it is the rationale of the images and symbols, not their quantity.”
Harry Potter and the surprisingly poignant literary theme

Writer’s Log Supplemental: 1648 wrote 1521 words on the Novella. it is going very well. I even succeeded in screwing around for a while.
Next month, I intend to take Randall’s Bootcamp and use it to write a sequel to Shift.

Writer’s Log Supplemental: 2156 An interesting evening, and I’ve made one serious decision. I have so many short stories, I intend to publish a book about 100 pages long. Thanks, Angela L. Lindseth. (Check out her published works. Sanity’s Threshold, Unconfined Delusions, and more.)

Busy day. Goodnight, y’all.

Resources: Theme (narrative)
The Literary Element of Theme
What is Theme in Literature?
Literary Themes