Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday Update: December 7

For this entry, just a quick update on my goals, as I've been really busy the last few days:

Writing Goal: Pretty much on target for now at 2300 words for the week.

I have not submitted my short story yet, even for editing.

I have not worked on pinning down my goals.

What did I do instead? There was snow earlier this week, and it's been super cold. The husband and I have been running errands every morning. Yesterday I did a load of laundry and helped the Ma put up some Christmas decorations. I watched a movie with the Husband, and I updated the Kids' amazon wishlists. That's still not done, actually. I did play some video games today, for half an hour while Everybody was out of the house.

There's plenty to do for the rest of the week, too. Where did I ever find the time to write 50k words in a month?

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Update and Goals for December

Over the past few days, I didn't even look at my Nano novel, Princess of Swords. I'm okay with this.

I did write and edit 4500 word short story. I have joined a site where I could submit writing for editing and publication. It's a free site with contests, but I don't want to identify it here. I intend to submit this new short story there, once I work up the courage.

So, moving forward. My Goals for December:

For the next two weeks, my goal is to write 5,000 words a week in Princess of Swords. I'm hoping this gives me the weekends off, and progress the novel 10k words before school breaks for the winter. My dad and my sister are visiting from out of state the following week, and the week after that everyone will be home, both kids and the husband. My goal for those two weeks is to write something every day, even just a paragraph or a word. It doesn't have to be in the novel, but it can.

Submit that short story for editing and then publication, and keep track of views and votes. This is more about the experience, for me, than building any sort of readership. I want to see how it feels. Maybe that's weird, but I am an anxious, weird person, and I worry about how things will make me feel as much as if something is smart or wise. I have said that I'd like to be a big time writer, but I worry it would make me feel weird. Not that that's particularly likely anyway, which is actually a somewhat comforting thought.

I also want to start developing my goals for the next round. Between now and Wednesday, I want to brainstorm what sort of things are really important to me when it comes to writing and life, and see if I can get some rough categories for my goals. I already have some ideas.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Nanowrimo Win

Well, I did it. I won Nanowrimo for the first time ever. Let's pick this apart and figure out exactly what it means.

 The first time I tried Nano, I tried to write a brand new novel with nothing to go on but a scrap of inspiration. It took me to some interesting places, but it wasn't enough to carry me through the second week. The second time I tried Nano, I had already been working on a project I'd started in September. I decided I'd try to finish it. About halfway through, I knew I wasn't going to make word count, so I changed my goal. I would update every day until the end. I made that goal.

I've learned a great deal about story structure this past year, from various sources. I applied it to the mess last year's novel became, and it helped quite a bit. I also recognized a pattern in my own writing where I will write too many characters and subplots, ballooning my novel to ridiculous size. Last year's novel will take a lot of trimming to be an appropriate length.

I set out to write a brand new novel this November, but this time I had a plan. I mean, literally. I planned this novel in advance. I knew what was going to happen for each of the major story events, and I knew when in the story I wanted those things to happen. I knew my target word count, 80k, so I knew roughly at what word count every major story event happened.

I had always assumed that planning a novel meant outlining, and that outlining would suck the life and fun out of my novel before I'd even begun. I didn't write an outline. I just wrote down a page of notes and word counts, based on what I'd learned about story structure. When I started writing on November 1, I knew where I was going and what I was doing.

Instead of sucking the life and fun out of my novel, this provided me with motivation and guidance. When I felt like I was stuck, I looked at those notes, and seeing how close I was to the next story event inspired me. This pushed and compressed the dreaded swampy middle to about 10k words toward the middle of act two, difficult only because of some things I need to research. I had an opportunity to eliminate a character from my plan before I'd actually written them into the novel.

Yesterday, with 48.8k written, I was so excited to finish, I was giddy. Then I crossed the 50k mark and crashed hard. Sure, I was proud. I'd accomplished something I never had before. I'd officially won Nanowrimo. I also felt let down. I'd written 50k words in 29 days and it hadn't even really been that hard. Why haven't I ever done this before? I haven't actually completed this novel: I still have at least 30k to go. I still have to research for that part I mentioned above (I just faked it to get through. It will need rewriting). Will I even end up with something I like? Is there too much sex in it? Does anybody even want to read this crap?

Well, you get the picture. Once I didn't have this month of writing madness to hold up my fragile ego, all my doubts came falling in on me again. I have a birthday party to plan for this weekend, my apartment is a disaster. Ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Writing is easy. Life is hard.

I probably won't do an official Nano again. Now that I've done it once, I can see why a lot of people hate it. What I need is a steady writing practice that allows time for everything else in my life, not an excuse to dump everything and live in fantasy for a whole month. I need to balance fantasy and reality.

Well, I think I've rambled enough. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Post Thanksgiving Update

I started a new novel for NaNoWriMo this year. I was very excited about it. My goal for it is 80,000 words, so I had planned to be close to the second pinch point when I hit 50,000.

The honeymoon period went very well. During the second week I had built up a lead of 5,000 words. I was so proud of myself, considering how messed up I was about the election. Then in the third week I got sick and that ate away my lead, and now that I'm well past the honeymoon period and into the swampy middle, I'm beginning to get behind. I'm about 1200 below par right now. This is only the second day of being behind, and it's not a full day yet, so there's plenty of hope. Especially since the little one goes back to school tomorrow.

I plan to head down to the library tomorrow. It's a less distracting environment, and I've done a lot of good writing there in the past.

I guess that's it. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

This is Still Here

So I've decided to dust off the old writing blog. It's been two years since I wrote regularly in this blog, but I'm gonna start doing a thing called A Round of Words in 80 Days, and I need a blog for that.

My goals for this period are pretty straightforward. I'm in the middle of NaNoWriMo. My goal is to finish that on time, writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Then, after the end of the month, I intend to keep writing at least 1000 words a day until the novel is done. My target is 80,000, but a little less or more is acceptable.

My other goal is to update this blog twice a week, on Sundays and Wednesdays. I'll have more goals after the new year. I want at least one related to reading, one for editing, and one for writing. I'll probably ramble on and on about my writing projects and what I've learned and what strategies I'm using to keep on going.

I debated deleting or making private my old posts when I use this for RoW80, but in the end I decided to leave them, even though they're old and it might be confusing, or embarrassing. I wrote those things. I'm okay with that.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Just Camp Nanowrimo

So Nanowrimo is National Novel Writer's Month. It happens in November, and the idea is to write a complete 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I gave this a shot last year, but failed. I wrote 10,000 words in five days and then hit a brick wall and couldn't write anymore.

Camp Nanowrimo happens in April and June, and one can either write a novel or do something else. I'm going to use it to help me edit the Ejuridae novel, which I've tentatively named Keystone. It feels weird to have even a tentative name for it.

I have not finished reading The Darker Road. I want to but it's due back at the library tomorrow, so I don't know what's going to happen with that.

Been doing more of the same as last week for Worldstriders; worldbuilding and some scene.

That's it. Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Page and I

I feel like when I'm writing I am doing what I was meant to do and everything else in the whole world is just a distraction. I wish I could just go away somewhere and write and that's all. No games, no family, no facebook, just me and the page. Or, the document, since I write on the computer. I feel like a shithead to actually say that or, type it, since that's actually what I've done.

I did a significant amount of worldbuilding, and some scene writing on WorldStriders. Don't know if these scenes will be in the final version.

I'm on page 223 of The Darker Road. It's still meh. I should read it more quickly so I can move on to something else.

Thanks for reading!