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?

The novel-in-progress is chugging along pretty consistently at the moment, but I’ve picked up a short article that needs to be written on a crazy tight deadline, so it will have my attention all the way up to Wednesday. After that, my non-notebook time gets spent creating a check-list of things that need doing on the novel rewrite, so I can create myself some milestones and tracking tools in the weekly outlines that go into my bullet journal.

What’s inspiring me this week?

This week? Like pretty much every other fantasy writer on my friends list, I’ve been hitting up Kilian Schoenberger’s photography page and pouring over the images, particularly those where he’s trying to evoke a fairytale aesthetic. Incredible stuff, and I am quietly saving up the scratch to pick up a copy of his Sagenhaftes Deutschland book.

If you managed to avoid his work this week, start with this series over on which captures why he does incredible stuff.

What part of my project an I avoiding?

So after three weeks of putting something akin to “getting on with editing” here, I’ve recognised that simply saying it will not motivate me to do it. Edits are big and amorphous and I am not good with things that share those two traits. Yesterday, in an effort to clear that process up, I put together an editorial check-list with over 130 separate tasks required to edit/rewrite a novella I produced last year.
The bulk of those tasks are breaking up the editorial process scene by scene, based on what I’ve been trailing lately – each scene gets one pass where I focus on pulling out the action, one sweep where I catalogue what happens and important information conveyed during the scene, one sweep where I re-read the scene in detail and make a whole bunch of rewrite notes, one where I revamp the action inside the scene without dialogue or description, and then the final sweep-through to flesh out the rewritten scene. 115 total check-points on a 130 check-point list.

It’s slightly terrifying, but it’s similar to the process I use to track page-count every week, so I’m hoping it’ll make it a little easier to fit editing tasks into my schedule when I sit down to do a weekly review.

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

    • 07/02/2016 at 7:55 PM

      So it sounds like it’s not so much a matter of avoiding the creative work, as doing more prep for it? Or do you think there’s a little avoidance in that as well?

  1. Anonymous
    07/02/2016 at 10:35 AM
  2. 07/02/2016 at 6:38 PM

    What am I working on this week? I have one art project on which I have to MAKE UP MY MIND ON A COLOURING STYLE FOR GOODNESS SAKE KATHLEEN and finish, then get some traction on a few other illustrations. I also need to hammer out a rough synopsis on a novella, pick up my student card and dive joyfully into the university library system from which I hope to emerge triumphantly in two years with an exegesis firmly between my teeth (to misuse Twain).

    What’s inspiring me this week? Getting to read and reread a stack of favourites for ‘work’: Diana Wynne Jones, Joan Lindsay, Dracula, Lawson’s ghost stories. Reading Sherlock Holmes out loud to my dad and remembering how funny and kind, polite and genuinely interested in the fate of fellow humans the great detective could be. Well, unless you’re Lestrade.

    What part of my project am I avoiding? The novel edit, but I think I had a breakthrough about how to deal with the passage I was stuck on, so it may rumble on this week.

    • 07/02/2016 at 7:53 PM

      How long does it typically take you to put together a synopsis for a novel, out of curiosity?

      • 08/02/2016 at 11:11 PM

        I haven’t had to put together many, and it does vary depending on project and purpose. On the ones I’ve done, however, I’ve found Susan Dennard’s one-page synopsis process very helpful as a starting point: With that guideline I can put a functional synopsis together pretty quickly.

        (I also use this to capture short story ideas – even if that structure isn’t exactly where the emphasis will fall, it lets me gather/work out whether I have enough information to usefully come back to it later).

        In this case I’m going to set aside a bit longer because there are problems with the structure I need to think out – so it will be a planning session as much as anything.

    • 08/02/2016 at 9:41 AM

      Fun reading to avoid editing. Possibly not the best combination, but yay for fun reading. Also, student card. Embracing the student lifestyle once more 🙂

  3. 07/02/2016 at 6:39 PM

    Maybe I’ll try to stop in Germany on my world tour. You really do walk into parts of it and feel all the Grimm stories fall into place.

  4. 07/02/2016 at 8:09 PM

    What am I working on this week? Spinning momentum back up post-move. Sorting out logistics for getting the recording booth reassembled this weekend. Managing a few project commitments to fit around that timeframe, and making sure that my tentpole projects have everything they need from me currently. Most especially, bringing that teaser trailer project as close to a close as I can! (almost there!)

    The other part of what I need to be doing is all the back office stuff to make sure that skills development and business development is moving forward, and my weekly/monthly/quarterly rituals are all ticking over.

    What’s inspiring me this week? Listening to Tom Waits. He’s an incredibly versatile artist, and conjures such a variety of emotions while maintaining a real through-line with his work, and that’s definitely no easy feat. Particularly taken by this spoken word piece:

    What part of my project am I avoiding? Post-move, I’ve got a hefty case of the don’wannas’, and most of the non-critical stuff is building up again slowly. I’d meant to have done a proper monthly review a’la Accidental Creative this weekend, but post-move settling and wanting to sit for a spell have meant that hasn’t happened. Next week! Next week!

    • 08/02/2016 at 9:50 AM

      I think we allow time for lead up to and day of and immediate day after moving (or in our case, clearing out so much stuff we may as well have considered moving), but we do not allow for the post-all-the-busy-ness downtime. It’s taken me three weeks (Brisbane stupid weather didn’t help) to actually face life post, all the work involved in culling, tossing and the re-storing is still going.

      But yay for getting there with things. Even if it’s slower than you’d like.

  5. Karina
    07/02/2016 at 9:38 PM

    What am I working on this week?
    Groundhog Day was last week and I got caught in it’s pull – child off school, tax returns, etc – have all meant much of last week’s creative work needs to happen this week. Big task: redo whole scene of new story as a result of CP feedback.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    Watching a Livestream of C.S. Pacat talking spoilers from Kings Rising. As a rule I dislike strongly plotted books – I can usually pick them a pile off as the characterisation is almost always the poorer for it – but I’ve been won over to a huge extent by some recent reads. In particular, though, it’s Cat’s brainstorming that has me interested. She swaps 30 min sessions with other writers to work through plot knots and holes.

    What part of my project am I avoiding?
    Pounding out words. I’m going to try longhand for a bit, which I used to do, because sitting at the computer currently isn’t equalling word count.

    • 08/02/2016 at 9:48 AM

      Ah, the groudhog that is Real Life stuff. Know it all too well.

      I am in same boat re avoidance and am going to use getting out of house technique (I tend to write longhand until mid-way through story) as staying in the house, I’m finding way too many things to do (including a lot of napping).

  6. 08/02/2016 at 5:27 AM

    What am I working on this week? Queerish PNR – chapter 8, now! I have written roundabout 7,000 words this week. I am ridiculously tired at the moment, but plugging on trying to get some help together so that I’m not panicking about doing things I can’t manage. I’m also in the middle of a meds change, so that’s taking up some brain bandwidth. The novel is a good distraction, though!

    What’s inspiring me this week? Well, not so much inspiring as amusing and entertaining – endless QI plus Neko Atsume on my phone. A lot of my life is about being immensely tired and killing time at the moment, so without QI I’d probably be very bored and spending an even more ridiculous amount of time in bed. I’m currently reading Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson – two and a half decades late, but never mind – and that is definitely inspiring, being about language and programming and the structure of the brain as it is, and it’s a great novel, but I’m taking it in small chunks at the moment as I can’t concentrate too well.

    What part of my project am I avoiding? Surprisingly, nothing! I’m getting words written, and doing a lot of thinking about it in spare moments too, and progress is happening, so overall I’m quite pleased. I need more energy though.

    • 08/02/2016 at 9:42 AM

      Huzzah for avoiding nothing. Also I *may* have an addiction to Neko Atsume (and amusingly, I have two as my phone and tablet didn’t sync lol).

  7. 08/02/2016 at 9:35 AM

    Sounds like you have a plan to tackle the editing process. Lists are very handy things indeed.

  8. 08/02/2016 at 9:39 AM

    I skipped last week due to road trip to friends outside of Kyogle and knew health would require recovery. So, instead of beating myself up for not achieving anything, I did not actually set out to achieve anything. Visit and catch ups along with road trip with Quantum Son, meant my well has been a little refilled.

    What am I working on this week?
    The damn wip. Find the bum glue and get. on. with. it. Also, continuing the Great Book Cull and Storage (around stupid weather).

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    Actually, that would be you Peter. In particular your post re analogue. As I read it I went, yep, do that, do that, do that. (I have finer pens than you I bet 😛 ) AND you’ve given me the idea of threading. I haven’t bothered in past to number pages etc, because I have (until now) been writing relatively linearly. Though, I think this wip that is what is stumbling me.

    What part of my project am I avoiding?
    The damn wip. Avoiding words like the plague. No idea why. Know it all, have the desire to do it and yet….*sigh*.

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