Row 80 Check-In July 24th

robert dansie pioneer

Robert Dansie the Pioneer

Happy Pioneer Day! Oh, what? You don’t celebrate Pioneer Day? Oh… Well, I never really did either, until I moved to Utah. And guess what? Got the day off. Thank you pioneers! Your holiday is much appreciated!

No, but seriously, I am grateful for the pioneer’s efforts. After all, Jae’s great-great-great-great-something or rather grandfather came across the plains back in the day. We Dansies are made of tough stuff. We figure if we can get through Wyoming with a wagon we can get through anything. And having been out to the area of Wyoming where lots of people died, my hats very much go off to those pioneers. You have to be a real cowboy to survive in Wyoming.

Onto the goals.

The Goals

1. Read at least 10 more Anton Chekhov short stories to add to my progress of 50 of 201. No new progress. Still just up to 54. Read them here free!

2. Finish reading both The Fire in Fiction and On Writing. I checked out some Spanish materials from the library and have been giving them my attention, but this goal is going to happen eventually.

3. Submit Trick or Tree to another writing contest. Finish Dog Shy and write at least one other short story, all to be submitted to contests. No new progress.

4. Write a flash fiction story. Started another flash fiction which is fast approaching the 750 word mark. Hopefully I can keep it under the limit for contests. It’s interesting writing flash fiction. I feel like because you really must make every word count you tend to keep your words more succinct even on larger projects. I highly recommend delving into flash fiction. This is where I put my plotter to rest and go all the way pantser.

5. Do at least one thing every week that increases my fluency in Spanish and Japanese. Check and check!Β  Teaching Tunes Tuesdays and I made it past the first unit of an intermediate course. Plus I’m coming across lots of great music via Pandora and recommendations from my co-worker. Latino Rock is awesome!

6. Finish feedback edits on SHADE and get it queried. CP had tons of stuff going on, including vacation, but I should be getting it soon and then I’ll probably be consumed with editing.

Bonus Goals. I’ve got about 2 chapters of a new novelette project I’m calling Code Name Clemmings. I feel like I need to get a first draft out before making actual title considerations. It’s been interesting writing something new with all the editing knowledge I’ve gained over the last year. First drafts definitely become better drafts than previous first drafts in my writing career. That just means editing will make it that much better.

5am coach is still a struggle, but mostly I’m winning!

How are you doing on your goals? When it comes to titles, do you know what you’ll call the story from the start or do you have to get a first draft out before one comes to you? Or do you struggle with titles anyway?

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13 thoughts on “Row 80 Check-In July 24th

    • That’s how I generally feel. If a title comes to me, sure, I’ll take it. But I feel like I really need to know the story first to pick an appropriate one.

  1. Some of my stories come from a title. However, even after several years of working on my current novel the working title is still “Post-Sleeping Beauty”. I’m still hoping the right title will flash down from the heavens suddenly.
    Many of my working titles are “Big Fantasy Epic,” “Sci-Fi Action Adventure Thang,” and other great names.
    Making titles for blog posts is much easier.

  2. I still call PMGCB, PMGCB in my head because I’m not sure if I’m sticking with the title I came up with a couple weeks ago. There are times I’m ready to submit a short and I am still title-less. (Then I get this awkward moment where I stare at my story and swear.)

    However, there are a few rare occasions when I do have titles ahead of time. I already have a title for my NA project, kind of. I know the general lay out of the title, but not exact words. (Seriously, that makes sense if you know the title, but I’m not ready to share it because it isn’t even outlined yet. Last time I had a title this early… The project hit a dead end in the pre-writing phase. So, yeah.)

    But, mostly, the title is the very last thing I do. Code names are my friends.

    • Someone else said they see it as the cherry on the top of the ice cream at the end. I tend to agree with them and you. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Great progress on the goals (and the history was fun too). My grandfather was a Wyoming cowboy, so I grew up with some of those stories too. Re titles, it takes a while for a title to sink in, but once I’m deep in the story, the title seems to float right out of the writing. Right now I’m working a three-book family saga, so some key words connect all three (Standing Stones, Years of Stone, Rivers of Stone). And the title for my murder mystery (Mothers Don’t Die) just came in a flash. I think titles come from someplace deep in the story; that may be why it takes some time to percolate out.

    Re the foreign language, I can’t imagine studying Spanish AND Japanese at the same time. The structure and inflections are sooo different. But persevere! You might meet a Japanese cowboy! πŸ™‚

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