May 2018 writing retrospective and goals for June

Hey, it’s the end of the month! It’s time to to take stock.

May retrospective

I gave myself just one goal for this month: to finish the story beats outline for “Esthree Postbuild and the Agency of Dragons and Stars and Things”.

I’ve got an OmniOutliner document with a matrix of my main characters and how they’re going to hit the story beats.

It doesn’t go into a ton of detail, but it does explain how each character crosses the act boundaries, how their stakes are raised, how they grow (or fall) within their arc, and how later beats mirror the earlier ones.

I want to get this beat outline sodding done so I can crack on with the scene outline and get some writing done.

Well, the main blocker to my success was a month of excruciating dental pain. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

One thing that’s interesting to me right now, though, is that I’d already forgotten how quickly I dropped my trial of OmniOutliner. It’s a fine app, but it turns out that I’m just more productive with plain-text note-taking and long-form planning. I transitioned my outline out of OmniOutliner and into Ulysses — with the rest of my notes — and I was much happier. Your mileage may vary, of course, but give me a keyboard and a plain-text editor and I’m happy.

There is one awesome writing app I discovered this month, though, and its MyScript Nebo. It’s exactly what I want in an iPad + Apple Pencil note-taking app: straight-up no-nonsense handwriting-to-text conversion. I only use it for quick note-taking rather than long-form writing, but it’s just great.

But anyway, yeah; I absolutely failed this goal.

June goal

As I just posted in this week’s update, life’s looking pretty good! I’ve got my characters all planned out, and I’m cracking on with the outline.

So, I’m going to set myself a goal and a stretch goal. At the bare minimum, I want to have the story outlined up to the midpoint. As a stretch, how about I get the whole second act outlined? Now that would be awesome!

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