Weekly Writing Update: August pt. 1

*See announcement about blog title at bottom of post.
Sunday: 1 hour, 21 minutes doing writing practice from 2 prompts
Monday: 1 hour, 5 minutes revising “Outcast
Tuesday: 43 minutes revising “Outcast”
Wednesday: 1 hour, 16 minutes revising “Outcast”
Thursday: 1 hour, 4 minutes revising “Outcast”
Friday: 30 minutes reviewing outlines for 2 other Pithea books
Saturday: 1 hours, 12 minutes revising “Outcast”

Friday I needed a break from “Outcast,” especially after some stresses from the day. I started thinking about NaNoWriMo and wondered what I might write in November. I have a few Pithea books that need redrafted and a few that need revised. But for NaNoWriMo, I prefer to go the traditional route of writing a brand new novel from scratch. That really only leaves me with one option right now–a book that I have a preliminary outline for that takes place after the 7 that are on the list in the above link. So instead of working on “Outcast,” I took some time to read over the outline for that book and refresh my mind on it, as well as the book that comes right before it and will have a lot of connection to it. It was a nice break from “Outcast” revision, while still keeping my mind in the same space.

I won Camp NaNoWriMo, on Tuesday, July 30th, which is just so much less exciting than winning NaNoWriMo proper. Oh well, it’s coming soon! Anyway, I finished the month with an average of 1 hour, 15 minutes worked per day, which makes sense, since the 1st half of the month, I worked 90 minutes per day, and the 2nd half of the month I worked 60 minutes per day (plus some extra to make up for getting behind in the 1st half).

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*Now for an announcement! My blog has been titled “Keeping Procrastination at Bay” since I started it 5 years ago. The original purpose of the blog was to give myself a semi-public location to hold myself accountable to working on my writing. In the last year or so, and especially the last month, it has evolved to a point where I only post weekly updates on my writing work, because I’d rather post things that people can actually get some use out of. I realized this week that the blog title makes no sense anymore. I changed it to “A Journey of Words” because I’ve added reading posts to my writing posts, and overall, words are a big part of my life, and my blog, now.

Weekly Writing Update: July pt. 4

Sunday: 1 hour, 23 minutes revising “Outcast
Monday: 1 hour, 12 minutes revising “Outcast”
Tuesday: 1 hour, 12 minutes revising “Outcast”
Wednesday: 1 hour, 4 minutes revising “Outcast”
Thursday: 1 hour revising “Outcast”
Friday: 1 hour, 14 minutes revising “Outcast”
Saturday: 1 hours, 2 minutes revising “Outcast”

I spent over half of this week putting changes from the first half of revisions into the computer, partly so I didn’t have to do the entire story’s worth later, and partly so I could get an idea of how many words I’d added. It wasn’t many, but a few thousand is better than going down in word count.

I then went back to revising and am now about 2/3-3/4 of the way through the draft. When this draft is done, I’ll likely go back through and read the entire thing at a quicker pace, since I added several new scenes, get my story structure and scenes straightened out, and then see if I can recruit the TCSTB to be my first beta-readers and get an idea of where the story stands and how much work it needs. It’s been quite a while since we revised “Pithea” together though, and we’re all in very different places in our lives, so I don’t have any illusions about the possibility of us working together intensively like we did then. But I still highly value their feedback.

I was able to get caught up to par for Camp NaNoWriMo, making up the deficit I had going into this week.  There are 4 days left now, so I’m confident of a win (maybe even a slightly early finish).

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Weekly Writing Update: July pt. 3

Sunday: none
Monday: 1 hour, 25 minutes revising “Outcast
Tuesday: 1 hour, 15 minutes revising “Outcast,” as well as writing up some character profiles for the same book
Wednesday: 1 hour, 10 minutes revising “Outcast”
Thursday: 1 hour, 11 minutes revising “Outcast”
Friday: 1 hour, 7 minutes revising “Outcast”
Saturday: 1 hours, 13 minutes revising “Outcast”

I’m through half of this revision of “Outcast.” I am now putting the changes I made on paper, and the new scenes, into the computer, so I can get an idea of what kind of word count I’m up to. The first draft was not long enough for this type of novel, so I’m hoping the extra scenes I have planned will fill it out. But I am pretty sure it will still be a little short, and I’ll have to brainstorm some more content.

On Monday, some changes to my evening routine made me realize that I wasn’t going to be able to continue with a goal of 90 minutes per day for Camp NaNoWriMo. So I did the math to figure out what to change my total goal to, in order to keep the first 14 days at 90 minutes, but have the rest of the month with a goal of 60 minutes per day. This leaves me a little behind still, but I couldn’t keep the pace of 90 minutes, behind or not.

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Weekly Writing Update: July pt. 2

Sunday: 1 hour, 30 minutes revising “Outcast.”
Monday: 1 hour, 34 minutes revising “Outcast.”
Tuesday: 2 hours revising “Outcast.”
Wednesday: none
Thursday: 1 hour, 41 minutes revising “Outcast.”
Friday: 1 hour, 38 minutes revising “Outcast.”
Saturday: 3 hours, 40 minutes revising “Outcast.”

I’m just past 1/3 of the way through this revision of “Outcast,” based solely on page count. This week contained a lot of writing new scenes, so I didn’t go through pages as quickly, but made a lot more progress than it appears.

I am just about caught up to where I should be for Camp NaNoWriMo , only 13 minutes behind. I worked extra on Tuesday, since I was already behind, and then couldn’t work on Wednesday, due to feeling utterly terrible and going to bed really early. Saturday I worked off and on whenever I could throughout the day to try to catch back up.

And more importantly than anything else, I am really enjoying how this story is shaping up! It has long been one of my favorite completed works of mine, and it is only getting better and stronger as I revise.2019-camp

Weekly Writing Update: July pt. 1

Tuesday: 1 hour, 30 minutes revising “Outcast.”
Wednesday: 1 hour, 33 minutes revising “Outcast.”
Thursday: 2 hours, 30 minutes revising “Outcast.”
Friday: none
Saturday: none

This week’s update is a bit shorter than they’ll be in the future, since I started tracking it on Tuesday, and normally it’ll start on Sunday. I’m about 1/4 of the way through this revision of “Outcast,” based solely on page count.

I set my average daily goal for Camp NaNoWriMo at 90 minutes. Because my husband and I were gone Friday & Saturday to celebrate our anniversary, I worked extra on Thursday to get ahead. I thought I might still do a little work through the weekend, but I didn’t. So I’m a little behind now, and probably won’t work any extra today, because I’m tired from the weekend. (I’ll be happy if I hit 90 minutes tonight.)

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Daily Writing Check-in: July 1, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 40 minutes revising “Outcast.”

I have spent much of the last week dealing with a major sinus headache, so I have done no writing work, and neither have I worked on publication submissions for “Pithea.”

Camp NaNoWriMo started today, and fortunately, I am headache-free this evening. I have set my goal at a lofty 90 minutes per day of revision on “Outcast.” I also have plans to continue working on publication for “Pithea” outside of that.

And here’s a big announcement–this will be my last daily writing check-in. I started this blog in 2014 solely as a place to keep track of my writing work, so I could hold myself accountable in a semi-public location–silly reason, maybe, but it really helped for a while. In the time since then, I have enjoyed adding content to my blog that is actually worth reading (by people other than me), and I want to start to focus more on that.

From this point forward, I will post a brief update on what I did over the last 7 days only once a week, because I don’t want to drop that completely. But I don’t want to focus on it anymore.

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Daily Writing Check-in: April 30, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 27 minutes doing preliminary work for the new outline of “Vin.”

It’s kind of like deja vu, really. I figured I’d start this task by reading through the entire first draft of the book, which was written in November of 2017 for NaNoWriMo. But somehow, I managed to forget that I hadn’t touched this after the month ended, so it’s still in what I call “NaNo-form.”

Sometimes I’ll spend the first few weeks after November ends doing a quick clean-up of what I wrote–mostly removing things I marked as NaNo fodder and at least doing a quick spell check. This is usually better to do while the story is still fresh, and then it’s good to let it sit for some time. I didn’t do that after NaNo in 2017. Or apparently after NaNo in 2015, because this exact same thing happened when I started on #3 in my long-term writing goals list, when I wanted to start out by reading through the first draft of “The Seeger Book.”

So just like then, I started with a spell-check through the whole story today. That took almost the entire amount of time I worked. Tomorrow, I’ll start reading through the entire story, removing the NaNo fodder as I read.

Unlike with “The Seeger Book,” though, I’m really looking forward to reading through this draft. In the time since I’ve gotten back into my writing again, any time I needed to open up the draft of “Vin” to remind myself of something I wrote there, I ended up getting caught up in reading more than I needed to. Unfortunately, it’s not a solid story, just…fun scenes with some of my favorite characters. So it’s not good enough to stay like it is, but still fun for me to read, at least.

2019-Apr Camp Winner-Facebook-Cover
I am pleasantly surprised to be able to say that I did complete the goal I set for Camp NaNoWriMo this month. The goal was to average 30 minutes of writing work per day. It was dicey for a while, considering how many days I skipped, but I finished today, and even went 20 minutes past. It helps that the work was easy on the brain (spell-checking). It also probably helps to be starting with a fresh story, after spending so long on the last goal.

Daily Writing Check-in: April 29, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 3 minutes finishing the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

This was a hard-fought task, let me just say. Not only did I go through some intensely difficult times with work that led me to take massive amounts of days off while working on this outline, it was also a very difficult story to pin down.

I am really happy with the way the outline has shaped up, including a small-but-exciting idea that came out of nowhere while outlining the climax. I think it’s going to be a fairly complicated story to draft, but on the other hand…maybe I worked out the complications during outlining.

So that finishes #3 on my list of long-term writing goals. Tomorrow, I will start on #4.

1. Outline “Outcast” – Time spent: 12 days

2. Outline “Unexpectedly” – Time spent: 7 days

3. Re-outline “The Seeger Book” – Time spent: 26 days

4. Re-outline “Vin” – I wrote the first draft of this for NaNoWriMo in 2017. I spent the month before first realizing that this was the story to write that year, then figuring out what on earth this story was going to be about, exactly. I went back and forth on who the protagonist was, who the main character was, and most of all, learning the true motivations behind the title character. In the end, I wrote 69,878 words, but a good majority of it was just the characters telling each other stories about what happened in the past to get them to this place. It was fun and easy for word count, but not exactly a great plot. The plot was weak to start with though, so it needs some more work.

5. Re-outline “Protector”

After how sporadic my writing was this month, and how far behind par for Camp NaNoWriMo I was at one point, I am really surprised that I am only one solid hour (and a few minutes) away from winning. Unless something crazy happens tomorrow, I think I’ll just manage to pull it off.

Daily Writing Check-in: April 28, 2019

Words/Time:  28 minutes of freewriting

I knew it would be difficult to find time to write this weekend. Yesterday, I managed to carve out some time in the afternoon, which was good, because I didn’t get home from a concert until around midnight.

Today, after being up super early and getting home only a couple of hours before my family we going to see Avengers: Endgame, by the time we got home from that, I was so tired, I could barely keep my eyes open. Still, I knew I had 150 minutes of writing work left to finish Camp NaNoWriMo before the end of the month, so I decided anything I could get done was better than nothing.

It seemed like a good time for freewriting, rather than trying to focus on the outline I’ve been working on, so I went back to an old word list I wrote down in my failed attempt at a bullet journal 1 1/2 years ago. I picked a word from the list and wrote 356 words. And even better, it’s not too vague, confusing, or spoiler-y to be used as a Monday Moment, an attempt at a weekly feature on my blog that has been incredibly sporadic over the last 5 months. But come Monday, there will be a Monday Moment!

Daily Writing Check-in: April 27, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 20 minutes working on the new outline of “The Seeger Book.”

I’m nearing the climax of the outline. I also added a little to the timeline for this story. And then I decided it was important to know what day of the week it should be in the story on the final day. That led me to realize that it was going to be important to know what day of the week it was during a lot of my stories, especially the ones that involve the War Games, which are played on the weekends.

Outcast,” which ends right as “The Seeger Book” starts,” gave me a starting point, because I know what day of the week that story starts on. But rather than just count forward to find out where I’m at with this book, I decided to make my life easier in the future, and made up a calendar for this year of the series of Pithea Books. I can refer back to it any time I need to. And when working on books that take place before or after these 2, I can always use the same method to make up a calendar for those years.

I found some time in the afternoon to work, which helped a lot to increase my chances to finish Camp NaNoWriMo on time. I think I have a real shot at winning after all (I’m down to just under 3 total hours left on my goal).