December 2018 Accountability Post

In November I completed NaNoWriMo. For NaNo I kept myself accountable by posting daily updates. I liked feeling accountable, so I’ve decided to keep on doing it. Instead of writing a new blog post daily, I’m just writing one for the entire month and I’ll be updating this instead.

December

  • 1st: I deliberately wrote nothing today. I did read some of ‘Promise of Blood’.
  • 2nd: I finished reading ‘Promise of Blood’ and I started reading the Great Courses ‘Money Management Skills’ lecture series. I wrote the review for ‘Promise’ as well.
  • 3rd: I finished reading ‘Money Management Skills’ and started reading ‘Binti.’ I also wrote the review for ‘Money.’
  • 4th: I finished ‘Binti’ and wrote it’s review. I also changed my blog’s theme. I’ve had the same theme for a little over two years now, and I decided it was time to shake things up a bit. I might make further changes in the future.
  • 5th: I started reading ‘Cuckoo’s Calling’ by Robert Galbraith (aka Rowling) and also ‘The Midnight Front’ by David Mack.
  • 6th: I read some more of ‘Midnight Front,’ specifically ~50 pages. As of right now I’m not really loving it, but I’m willing to give it another 100 pages to prove itself. I listened to a little of ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ audiobook, maybe an hour or so. I like ‘Cuckoo’ a good amount- it is a more than competent mystery novel- but right now I think it’s slightly poorly paced. The protagonist ‘Cormorant’ is dithering about a little. Finally, I finished up my ‘Best Books of the Year’ blogpost, which is going up on Saturday.
  • 7th: I read ~20 pages of ‘Midnight Front’ today.
  • 8th: I read all of ‘Prisoner of Limnos’ today and also finished playing ‘Masquerada.’ Reviews for both will be coming up in upcoming days.
  • 9th: I read a little of ‘Cuckoo’ today, as well as 60+ pages of ‘Midnight.’ Midnight is turning itself around, though I think the protagonist ‘Cade’ has as much character as a Coors Light. The book isn’t slowly paced, (by all rights this book should be pulse pounding) but the author is using so many character-breaks/scene-swaps that it feels slow paced. There are four primary character POVs (and three minor POVSs), and each character gets a scene which lasts a page or two before swapping to the next character in the next scene. This constant rotation of characters really breaks up my reading investment. Basically I wish scenes were longer. (This is the same problem I had with the Eternal Sky trilogy.)
  • 10th: I read about 1/3 of ‘Cuckoo’ today, as well as 1/6 of ‘Three Parts Dead’ and a few dozen pages of ‘Midnight.’ I really, really want to like ‘Midnight,’ but once again it’s just not clicking for me. The author is missing the opportunity to discuss topics like racism, addiction, family, and the morality of a good person selling their soul to the devil in order to gain magic to fight evil (not to mention the morality of killing people who you know will instantly go to a very real Hell thereafter). The author comes so close to scratching my itch for a deep, philosophical-ish discussion about important topics… but he just doesn’t go there. I hesitate to call this book pulp fantasy, but it’s close. Now as for ‘Cuckoo’s Calling,’ I am very impressed Galbraith (*cough*Rowling*cough*) with his skills of balancing characterization with the needs of plot and pacing. Finally, my writing: I’m going to start editing a book/writing the second draft in four days. I’m going to focus on ‘Arrival upon Arcadia,’ I think.
  • 11th: I finished ‘Cuckoo’s Caller’ today. My thoughts will be in the review.
  • 12th: I read ~30 pages of ‘Midnight.’ I’ve given up on this being anything but a fun, pulpy book. It’s almost non-stop action, and as time goes on the author is doing a better job of pacing things properly with longer scenes and fewer character-swaps. It’s a satisfying read, but it’s empty calories. I’m not sure I’m going to finish it. I think I’ll skim it. Oh, and the character of Adair bugs me. He doesn’t talk like a 300 year old Scottsman would talk.
  • 13th: I read about half of ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ and ~40 pages of ‘Midnight Front.’ I want to skim it, but I just can’t. The plot is too good, even though the pacing and characters are a bit meh. I guess I’ll just finish it.
  • 14th: I edited some of ‘Arrival upon Arcadia,’ and I also read some of ‘Midnight.’
  • 15th: I finished ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ and loved it. Review coming up. I wrote 135 words of a second draft. Not much.
  • 16th: I read some of ‘The Sword of Shannara’ and ‘Storm Front.’ ‘Storm’ is better than I remembered, but Dresden himself is more icky romance-wise than I remember. Quite a bit more icky. This book would NOT play if it were published today. Anyway, review coming up.
  • 17th: I read some of ‘Sword’ today. It’s better than I remembered, but a bit bland. The author was retreading Tolkien super hard. I know that was his intention, but still.
  • 18th:
    • I typed 443 words of the second draft of ‘Arrival.’ It’s time for me to start taking this editing thing more seriously.
    • And about ‘Sword…’ well, it’s still really Tolkienesque. It’s well written, but… Well, I’ll be blunt. It’s a crappy Tolkien copy. I say that as a fan who has read all of the Shannara series from ‘Sword’ to ‘Straken’- sixteen books in total. Coming to this series now I’m confonted with the fact that this is just a near carbon-copy of LotR’s plot. The prose isn’t bad, but the plot is almost identical.
  • 19th:
    • I finished with ‘Midnight Front.’ I skimmed through the last hundred pages it to finish it. In the end I feel as though ‘the Milkweed Tryptich’ did a better job of telling this story than this did, and I didn’t really like reading ‘Milkweed’ either. I’ll post the review in January.
    • I read to some of Shannara. I might not finish it. I was wrong when I said the plot was ‘almost identical.’ The plot is literally identical.
    • I wrote about 600 words of the second draft. I’m going to increase my words typed daily until I hit 3000.
  • 20th:
    • I finished Shannara. More specifically I read about half of it and decided I had had enough so I skipped to the end and read the last four or five chapters. Review coming.
    • I finished ‘The Talos Principle.’ Review coming up.
    • I wrote 924 words for draft 2. I’m thinking of setting aside 3 or 4 hours daily for writing and editing. Maybe 9-12?
  • 21st:
    • I read ‘Mass Effect: Foundation v1.’ Review coming up.
    • I wrote 650 words in the morning. I might write more this evening.
  • 22nd:
    • I listened to some of ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world which can’t stop talking.’
    • I wrote 382 words.
  • 23rd:
    • I read a Batman graphic novel. Review upcoming.
    • Today I wrote about 1200 words, bringing my total up to 4728. I’m going to be keeping track of my total from now on because I am now re-incorporating my first draft in with my second.
  • 24th:
    • I read nothing.
    • My total is up to 5271.
  • 25th:
    • I read a few dozen pages of ‘American Craftsman.’
    • I wrote nothing. It’s Christmas.
  • 26th:
    • I read Quiet.
    • I am up to 6901.
  • 27th
    • I wrote ‘Quiet’s’ book review.
    • I listened to several hours of Tigana. It’s good so far prose wise, but the setting so far seems a little… well, not bland but on the lighter side of interesting. I like the setting, it contains some interesting theology and politics, but so far it’s not very mysterious. I like my Fantasy to contain at least a seed of eldritch or arcane mystery, because it makes you wonder ‘what if?’
    • I am up to 7430.
  • 28th
    • I am up to 8098
    • I listened to a few hours of ‘Tigana.’ It’s good, and am looking forward to finishing it.
  • 29th
    • I am up to 10306. I am planning on taking the next week off to beat ‘Dragon Age: Origins,’ so I won’t be writing much more than a token amount.
    • I listened to a few hours of Tigana. It’s really good. I know I should expect that, it is a Guy Gavriel Kay book after all, but still.
  • 30th
    • I am up to 10881
    • I listened to some of Tigana
  • 31st
    • Wrote nothing. Happy New Year!
    • Finished Tigana. Read some of ‘American Craftsman.’ Read some of ‘Moon over Soho.’
    • Wrote two blog posts- a review of Tigana and a (no so) brief ranking of all the books I read in 2018.
    • Tigana is awesome. One of the best books I’ve ever read, top 50 at least. American Craftsman is presently reminding me of ‘Gemini Cell,’ but less character-focused. I liked Gemini, but so far ‘American’ is stronger plot-wise.

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