Pain

O.K., just a quick update on me and what I’m up to for those interested.

  • My hard drive is officially dead. The freezer trick didn’t work and we are coming to grips with the loss of our data (pictures, etc.) I am going to hold onto the drive in case I find a professional service that is affordable (~$200), but barring that, the data is gone
  • I’m exhausted today. After several days of good sleep, my daughter had a rough night last night. She woke at 4:00 AM and stayed awake until 6:00 AM. Good times. Add to this the fact that I had a hockey game last night and didn’t get home until 11:45 PM, and I am dragging today.
  • My right shoulder and left leg are killing me, probably because of the previously mentioned hockey game, which was much faster-paced than usual.
  • I have made some good progress on my Machine of Death short story submission. I will submit this one.
  • I have until tomorrow to submit my Chapter 2 for the local short story competition for my local newspaper, and am almost done with that one.
  • I have an idea for a novel and need to begin outlining that one, though I have no idea how to begin the outlining process, and have never worked from an outline before (suggestions welcomed).

That’s me, how about you?

12 thoughts on “Pain

  1. I’m reading Stephen King’s On Writing and he says to not outline. He seems to be more of a “What would happen if…” type of guy and then just sits down to write and see what happens.

    I don’t think I’ve ever finished anything I’ve outlined, so I won’t jinx you by giving outlining advice.

  2. Have you tried data recovery software which reads the sectors of the bad drive? I used one and saved SOME (but clearly not all) of my data. A good number of pictures were saved. I can look to see what it was called at home. If you are going to do something like that, don’t do anything more the old drive. You’ll need a new one to reload the operating system, etc., then access the old drive as a second drive.

  3. Jason,
    I would be interested in the name of the software, though I think I’m beyond that point. I have tried installing in a spare PC and using the drive as a second drive, but Windows doesn’t seem to be recognizing it.

    Thanks for stopping by. I check out your blog all the time, and it is nice to know you stop by here now and then. Thanks.

  4. My novel has a kind of forced structure, since it set within a number of days and is a diary, so I did some mapping when I couldn’t face more composition on it, and it’s a nice relief, but I’m not sure how helpful it really is. I won’t recommend outlining at first, just push the idea out onto as many pages, in as many directions as you can, and try to find the voice it will be told in. That is key, I’m learning with mine. Barry Hannah is big on voice, and if you’ve never read him check him out. As a break and on a whim, inspired by the First Five Pages book, I went to tinkering on a story full of potential that I had workshopped in conference a while back, but then put aside. It is sure nice to have a different project to work on, when the novel gets heavy going. It sounds like you’re doing great–keep going! And take some Ibuprofen. As for the little one, have you ever tried the shirt trick? When my daughter couldn’t sleep, I would sometimes give her the shirt I had been wearing all day (yes, the shirt off my back!) and the smell of it was comforting to her. Worth a try.

  5. Hard drive:
    Feel your pain. My HD died in December, cost me a pretty penny to get back the files. I hadn’t backed up for 4 months. My backups are now as regular as my bowel movements.

    Outlining:
    Now I’ve not really attempted a novel (although I have several long-running series’ of stories) but I always trying to provide a direction for my stories. I am very nervous when I don’t have an ending known in advance. But often, once I start writing following the outline, I find myself busting out of it, saying this doesn’t work, that doesn’t work… the final piece often has exceptional kinks compared to the original plotting I’d jotted down.

    However, I am currently writing a short story which has a beginning, middle and end, and very very few details specified how I move A->B->C. This has turned out to be the easiest thing to write in ages. There may be something in this! It has been well-received by those who’ve read/listened to its progress thus far.

  6. The Harbour Master – how much exactly did it cost and who did you go with, if you don’t mind me asking? I am also now a big advocate of backups.

    As far as outlining goes, I don’t really want an outline that I will say is set in stone. I just need a general direction for the story. I do, however, have an ending in mind.

    Thanks for the comments!

  7. I’m not sure of the location of the Struggling Writer… but I live in London and went with CBL Data Recovery simply for someone who I thought would be reliable. I suffered electrical failure rather than a disk crash (which means pretty much everything is intact except for some places where you tried to write to the disk). It cost around £800. I’m sure it would be cheaper elsewhere. CBL is an international operation I believe.

  8. I like the idea of an outline, but can’t seem to force myself to do it. Though with the house story I’m writing I like how I’ve come up with little titles for the sections. It’s kind like an outline…isn’t it? 🙂

  9. Paperback Writer – I know what you mean about outlines. I have a really hard time forcing myself to do one. Little titles for the sections might help me. That is a good idea. I don’t want anything detailed, because if I did that I might as well write the darn thing 🙂

  10. I tend to outline a piece when I get a bit stuck as to how to proceed, if I think I’m going to forget import elements… e.g.

    * doug goes to bar (conversation involving therapy)
    * outside, forgotten where he lives – consider origins of Christ again (v.important)
    * climax at nightclub with naomi
    * return to doug for denoument, dawn (flag draped over shoulders for “flying like the stars and stripes”)

    I made this up, it’s not from what I’m really working on =)

  11. Struggling–I do outline. I just finished a book in the Writer’s Series, called Plot and Structure that gives you various ways of outlining. One way that is pretty fluid but works well is to put your thoughts on index cards…you can move the cards around, shifting them so that you have flexibility, while keeping the next thing in place (welcome when you are not sure where to go), Also, there’s something comforting about having something tangible to touch and shuffle. Best of luck to you.
    -mjb

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