The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

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The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).


What am I working on this week?

Still working on the draft for Float, although after a slow week of writing I’m not entirely sure where I’m up to. Also trying to get a short story done.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I picked up a game called Inside for the Playstation, based on it showing up on some lists when I went and looked for seminal computer computer games that show what’s going on in gaming today.

Inside is a remarkably simple game in terms of gameplay, but my god, the creators to manipulate mood and feed it into a fairly basic platform/puzzle game is incredible. It’s fairly low-key horror, so it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – I found myself getting squicked out by how weirdly graphic the death scenes were. If course, I also admired the fidelity of design that went into those scenes, ’cause the game is seriously beautiful, and they’d earned enough trust that I figured those scenes would pay off

What part of my project am I avoiding? 

The usual: I need to get back into a regular sleep routine, and I need to start building my writing routine up again. I’ve got some serious end-of-years blues starting up, and I’d prefer not to let the heat take away my writing practice like it usually does in summer.

  14 comments for “The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

  1. 04/12/2016 at 3:27 PM

    Hi Peter, this Brisbane heat/humidity is a bit of a killer at the moment. Hope you have good air-con. Take it easy, and try to get some decent sleep.

    Here’s my Sunday Circle.

    • 05/12/2016 at 10:27 PM

      Congratulations on finishing the draft!! And yes, the weather is pretty unsettling.

    • 06/12/2016 at 9:15 AM

      I might just be projecting something that’s really helped me this week, but Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability is ace, and might help, particularly if the comment on childhood neuroses was truth in jest:

      Also, can you expand on what you’re looking for in depth or complexity for the writing? Is it structural elegance?

  2. karinacoldrick
    04/12/2016 at 9:28 PM

    Hoping the sleep and writing routines kicks back in for you, Peter, and that your childhood neuroses aren’t too traumatic, Ree!

    What am I working on this week?
    The goal this week is to crank through chapters. Seriously, I want this book DONE by the end of the year.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    Two things. Firstly, I had some very specific feedback from a category romance expert on plot holes and character motivation. After the usual 2 days of railing, I came to the conclusion that 90% of the issues noted were bang on. But I didn’t just want to patch yet again so I caved and finally bought Debra Dixon’s “Goals, Motivation and Conflict”.

    This book is the romance industry bible because it’s entirely about character motivation and how to link motivation to plot. Everyone talks about this book. All the time. I’ve even seen publishers simply say “make sure your GMC is clear” in their submission guidelines. Erroneously, I thought I had the concept down by osmosis. I mean, it’s not a difficult idea to grasp. Turns out, however, really nailing them does require reading the book to nail the interrelationships and technical differences.

    Working through the first few chapters (again) of the Fun Flimsy with all character GMCs mapped out was enlightening. It deepens PoV, cuts out a lot of backflipping, and – most importantly – proved to me that while there is an misunderstanding that a conversation could almost fix, underneath that is a far deeper conflict that only character growth can resolve.

    What part of my project am I avoiding?
    Oh same as always – moving forwards and GETTING IT DONE. I learned last night I won that US comp and the editor has requested a full. (Yay me!) Alas, it’s the prior version and my challenge is not get tempted to find solutions to making the flaws in that version work, because that way not only lies madness, but is literally unproductive.

    • 05/12/2016 at 5:07 PM

      Congrats on your competition win Karina. Good luck with getting the full manuscript out the door & to the editor.

    • 05/12/2016 at 10:26 PM

      YOU CAN DO IT!
      Have you read through the whole GMC book? I.e. is that a blanket recommendation?:)
      And congratulations on the comp!

      • karinacoldrick
        07/12/2016 at 8:46 PM

        Yes and yes. Acquiring a physical version apparently requires promising a firstborn as people do not let them go, but as the writing is straightforward and to the point, the digital version did the job for me. Honestly, it was like finding the last piece of a jigsaw.

    • 06/12/2016 at 9:19 AM

      Congrats on the full! (I’m not sure what the word means completely, but I get that it’s a good thing!) 😉

      And it’s always a challenge when good impulses want to fire in the wrong situations, isn’t it? Maybe keep a copy of the Cult of Done manifesto printed out in eyeline while you’re working on that to avoid the temptation to rework?

      GMC sounds fantastic. A framework that allows you to trust structure implicitly and focus on what makes your individual work unique? GOLD.

  3. 05/12/2016 at 10:23 PM

    What am I working on?
    The big three for this week are:
    – The novella. I still have a few thousand words to go on the novel manuscript, but I want to sort out the planning for the novella.
    – Reading manuscripts and getting thumbnails sketches sent. I knocked a few of these off the list last week, but there’s still a fair bit to go.
    – I finally launched my Patreon! So I will be getting together rewards for supporters, and sorting out how that fits into the week.

    What’s inspiring me?
    – Eva Ibbotson’s The Countess Below Stairs (aka The Secret Countess). I’m reading this to my dad, and it is so cheerfully good-hearted and enchanting. It’s like a cross between a Robin McKinley and Remains of the Day. She tells beautifully.
    – Harriette Wilson, still, and her rambling asides and scurrilous anecdotes.
    – Making things. The Patreon project is such wonderful licence to come up with new projects and ideas and work out how to repurpose other time and drawings. I also went to an indie comics market on the weekend as some friends were tabling there, and it was lovely to see people Making Things And Putting Them Out In The World.

    What am I avoiding?
    It’s less a matter of avoiding than of time slipping through my fingers. My dad’s in respite care an hour’s drive away, and I have my parents’ van, so I’m visiting him every other day to have afternoon tea and talk and read for a few hours. Which is lovely, but combined with three sets of housesitting, work and December, means time is increasingly fragmented. Good practice for being realistic and opportunistic, I suppose – not just in terms of work, but in catching up with people, which I want to do.

    • 06/12/2016 at 7:57 AM

      Your time management skills sound pretty awesome Kathleen. You’re still getting so much done. Good luck with the Patreon!

    • 07/12/2016 at 8:13 AM

      Congrats on launching the Patreon – here’s to that bringing bigger and better things!

      Is there anything practical you can use the transit time driving between home and your dad’s care? Say, audiobooks, or phone calls using a hands-free to catch up with people?

  4. 05/12/2016 at 10:24 PM

    Peter: all the best for getting sleep and writing under control. December is… well, it always is so very December, isn’t it?

  5. 06/12/2016 at 9:11 AM

    Checking in SUPER late this week thanks to a shift in schedule on Sunday.

    What am I working on this week?
    With the work plate cleared for the moment, I’m starting the end of year process – retargeting, strategising, and simplifying for next year. Pushing website work aside as less important for the moment, and making sure I’m working on the commercial demo this week as a key source of revenue for next year.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    You’ll have to forgive my lack of academic grounding in narrative theory as a layman on this one. I stumbled onto a definition of Romanticism this week, and it seems to underpin a large chunk of what I’m finding I’m digging across a few different genres of fiction – pirates, gunslingers in the Old West, digging into reading The Witcher stories… the skilled outsider who is an artifact of a different time. It’s exciting to find an underpinning connective tissue between them. I suspect there are slight adjustments to this genre or evolutions that encompass the romantic image of the outlaw, going all the way down to bikie culture in the modern age.

    Also, a trailer dropping for Last of Us 2 got me very excited, because it looks like it’s playing with some very weighty consequences to choices from the first game. Plus, exquisitely crafted.

    What am I avoiding?
    There are a few tasks at the edge of my comfort zone at the moment (mostly around consultancy services) that I’m letting slide back in priorities, which I need to really work on.

  6. 07/12/2016 at 8:18 AM

    @Peter: Glad you loved Inside – that team did amazing work! They recorded the sound for that game using a human skull, which (I *think*) would have the effect of making the sound feel already like you’re inside your own head, rather than it being a cheap shock stunt. I’d also recommend checking out Firewatch as a contained experience. You may love or hate it, but it’s highly narrative-focused, and a really bold game in terms of design. It’s on my list to play before the end of the year.

    If I remember correctly, you’ve only got air con in the bedroom – is that right? It might be worth thinking about a small evaporative cooler for the main room if you can spare the space, to help make that more liveable too. (does the deck give you any relief from the heat now that it’s cleared off? A fan out there and wetting the ground might help?)

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