Progress Report: 23/06/2014 – 29/06/2014

Welcome to week twenty-five.

Rag & Bones: Kindred

So, I finished writing the extra scenes on Tuesday, then began the edit from the beginning again, which led to a detailed companion document detailing everything happening in each scene, which led to the database project – did you see my post on Saturday? (The Rag & Bones Series Bible.)

I’ve now re-edited through 18,741 words, and as the total’s now 64,527, that’s coming up towards a third of the book. I hope to get a good chunk of that done this week, but I don’t expect to finish.

Rag & Bones Shorts: 1901

Another edit read-through was accomplished on this during Saturday. I intend to do the same again next weekend.

Other projects

The database project took up a fair amount of time over the weekend, especially on Sunday. I now have a few working tables – with a little data in them, but there’s loads more to do (and that’s before I start entering the data properly!). My brain hurts from trying to think logically, but it makes a change from thinking creatively.

Reading

Aim: To monitor time spent reading over the week.

  • Monday: 2.50
  • Tuesday: 2.00
  • Wednesday: 1.50
  • Thursday: 1.00
  • Friday: – 1.25
  • Saturday: – 0.50
  • Sunday: 0.75

Total hours: 9.50

***

Join me next Monday for another round-up of progress and if you’re also challenging yourself to a wordcount each week, let me know in the comments..

Advertisements

The Rag & Bones Series Bible

This is going to be the first in a series of posts detailing a project that I’m working on, which, as the title suggests is creating a Rag & Bones Series Bible.

Up until now, I’ve had a series of documents created in Evernote containing information about the series, but that’s about it. It isn’t easy to use, because you have to keep swapping between documents, and you can’t sort the information.

A paper copy would be no better.

So, I’m going to create a database using LibreOffice. You can download the software here. LibreOffice is a free, open source office suite. The database function is called Base. (LibreOffice is very similar to OpenOffice. In fact, they come from the same original source, so much of this information will be interchangeable if you use OpenOffice instead.)

Now, creating a database may seem like a rather complicated task, and I’m not denying that it will take time, but I have created databases in Microsoft Access in my previous working life – proper relational dabatases, not just lists of information. That’s what I intend to do here.

I know it won’t be easy learning a new dabatase programme, but I taught myself to use Microsoft Access (many years ago) and although I haven’t used it for about four or five years, I can still remember the theory. Now, I’m not a datbase guru by any means, but I can find my way around, and I do understand the concepts.

I have already started playing around with the application. It is more basic than Microsoft Access, but that’s only to be expected as it’s a free program, but the theory of how you set it up is the same.

If you’re interested in trying a project like this yourself, why not follow my progress and I’ll try to give you tips along the way. We’ll start today with planning.

Planning is the most important phase of creating a database. If you get something wrong at this stage, then it will cause you problems later. I know that very well from when I had to start adapting a database that had been created by someone else. So, I’m not going to rush this stage. However, because I know something of what I’m doing, I’m use LibreOffice to help me do my planning.

Below is what I have so far.

Defining Your Tables

What you’re looking at here is the beginning of the table structure.

Information in databases is contained within different tables that have different relationships with each other. This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the final version. It is a work in progress. But I find it easier to see something like this in a visual form, rather than just lists on bits of paper.

If you’ve never created a database before, you might wonder why the information I want to capture is not in one simple table. It’s a reasonable question, but as I said earlier, I want a relational database.

In very simple, but hopefully not technical, terms, that is:

  • I sort the information into different types. You can see I have character info in one table, book info in another, etc.
  • I create relationships between those tables. For example, I want to detail all the different scenes in each book.

For the database to work, I need to be able to create more than one scene for each book, so the relationship between the book table and the scenes table is a one-to-many relationship. This is why you cannot have all the information in one table. I’ll break that down a little further.

If you only had the information in one table, you’d have to enter all the book information every time you entered a scene. If you have it in two different tables, you only put the book information in once.

So, before you start, you need to list out all the information you want, split it down and work out the relationships between the data.

Let’s take another couple of tables as an example. The scene table is only a general description of the scene. For a more detailed description, I intend to break down the information into facts and events in the timeline table. That table has to have a relationship with the scenes table (one scene to many facts), but also with the character table (one character to many facts).

You can see how this can get complicated. I think that’s enough for now.

Next time I’ll try to show you how to create your tables and define the relationships. I’m not sure how soon that’ll be – it may be a couple of weeks before I’ve finished defining my tables completely.

Hopefully, see you then.

Progress Report: 16/06/2014 – 22/06/2014

Welcome to week twenty-four.

Rag & Bones: Kindred

This was meant to be a week of editing. It started off well enough. I got through over 18K words. Then, I hit a snag. I knew there were some issues with the timeline that I needed to sort out, but in the week I’d let it rest, I’d sort of forgotten about that. At 18K words it became obvious I needed to do some serious sorting.

So, Thursday was spent working out what I needed to do. Friday was spent rearranging. Saturday and Sunday were spent adding in extra scenes to help it make sense.

As you can see, the total is now at 59,950, and I haven’t finished adding all the extra scenes in yet. Then, I’ve still got to go through and make sure that it now makes sense. I said before this one was going to be longer. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a fair few extra thousand words by the time I’ve finished.

This coming week I’m not going to make any promises on word counts or edit counts – I’ll take it as it comes.

Rag & Bones Shorts: 1901

Because of the above, I didn’t do another edit on 1901. I’ll schedule that again for this coming weekend and hope that I can do it then.

Reading

Aim: To monitor time spent reading over the week.

  • Monday: 2.25
  • Tuesday: 1.75
  • Wednesday: 1.50
  • Thursday: 1.50
  • Friday: – 2.00
  • Saturday: – 1.00
  • Sunday: 3.50

Total hours: 13.50

***

Join me next Monday for another round-up of progress and if you’re also challenging yourself to a wordcount each week, let me know in the comments..

Progress Report: 09/06/2014 – 15/06/2014

Welcome to week twenty-three.

Rag & Bones Shorts: 1901

I finished the first run through of this on Tuesday, which topped out at 9,458. I’ve since done another run through, which takes it up to 11,733. I suspect it might be longer still by the time I’ve finished. This will now rest until next weekend, possibly longer.

  • Monday – 8,429
  • Tuesday – 9,458
  • Wednesday – 10,513
  • Thursday – 11,733

Other work

Apart from working on 1901, I’ve also been putting together a book bundle, which I’m going to put up on Amazon only, as a test, sometime this week.

***

Next week I’ll start another edit of Kindred and see how far I get. I hope to edit a good 5,000 words per day.

Reading

Aim: To monitor time spent reading over the week.

  • Monday: 1.75
  • Tuesday: 1.25
  • Wednesday: 1.75
  • Thursday: 0.50
  • Friday: – 0.50
  • Saturday: – 1.50
  • Sunday: 1.75

Total hours: 9.00

***

Join me next Monday for another round-up of progress and if you’re also challenging yourself to a wordcount each week, let me know in the comments..

Progress Report: 02/06/2014 – 08/06/2014

Welcome to week twenty-two.

Rag & Bones: Kindred

This week has been a bit disjointed, partly (mainly) due to the fact that I had to do some other stuff mid-week, which took me away from home. However, I did get to the end of Kindred, which will now rest for a week-ish before I start the next run through.

  • Monday – 53,251
  • Tuesday –
  • Wednesday – 53,721
  • Thursday – 54,629
  • Friday – 55,184

Rag & Bones Shorts: 1901

I’ve made some progress with this and, hopefully, will finish the first run through this coming week.

  • Saturday – 4,311
  • Sunday – 6,365

Reading

Aim: To monitor time spent reading over the week.

  • Monday: 1.50
  • Tuesday: 1.00
  • Wednesday: –
  • Thursday: 2.25
  • Friday: – 1.00
  • Saturday: – 3.00
  • Sunday: 3.75

Total hours: 12.50

Unfortunately, this coming week will be a little disrupted too, as today (Monday) I have to take the car into town to get it serviced and have the MOT done. So, that’ll waste a good couple of hours.

***

Join me next Monday for another round-up of progress and if you’re also challenging yourself to a wordcount each week, let me know in the comments..

Progress Report: 26/05/2014 – 02/06/2014

Welcome to week twenty-one.

Rag & Bones: Kindred

Progress was quite slow on this. This was partly because I had to do a little rearranging of order where my timeline wasn’t quite working, and partly because there wasn’t as much to add as I thought it might need. I’ve still got about twenty pages of the document to go, so onwards with it this week until I get to the end, and then I’ll let it rest for a week.

  • Monday – 47,145
  • Tuesday – 48,290
  • Wednesday – 49,353
  • Thursday – 50,896
  • Friday – 52,148
  • Sunday – 52,223

The target for this week is up to 2K per day until I finish, but will probably be closer to 1K.

Rag & Bones Shorts: 1901

I hadn’t intended to, but this week I also started the next Rag & Bones Short. I didn’t work on it every day, but it’s about a third of the way through on my rough draft (with a 10K target). If/when I finish the run-through of Kindred, I’ll do more on this.

  • Monday – 1,569
  • Wednesday – 2,432
  • Thursday – 3,300

Reading

Aim: To monitor time spent reading over the week.

  • Monday: 1.50
  • Tuesday: 1.50
  • Wednesday: 2.00
  • Thursday: 2.00
  • Friday: – 0.50
  • Saturday: – 1.00
  • Sunday: 1.00

Total hours: 9.50

***

Join me next Monday for another round-up of progress and if you’re also challenging yourself to a wordcount each week, let me know in the comments..