Weekly Writing Update: August pt. 2

Sunday: 58 minutes revising “Outcast
Monday: none
Tuesday: 1 hour, 30 minutes revising “Outcast”
Wednesday: 1 hour, 30 minutes revising “Outcast”
Thursday: 1 hour, 9 minutes revising “Outcast”
Friday: 1 hour, 12 minutes revising “Outcast”
Saturday: 1 hours, 3 minutes revising “Outcast”

I’m approximately 90% of the way through this draft, though up ahead is a good amount of rewriting and new scene writing, so that will take a while. When I get to end of the revision, I will evaluate the word count, which I expect to be a bit low. I was dreading possibly having to figure out how to add filler, but now I’m confident in my ability to brainstorm and come up with quality additions (rather than fluff).

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).

2019-Apr Camp Winner-Facebook-Cover

*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 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).

A Monday Moment: Mistaken Identity

Natos had specifically chosen to spend that day alone, not wanting to get caught up in his brother’s chaos for once. He figured Jaffna would be safe, because he’d heard Acronis discuss heading to Taellyn with some of the others. As soon as he heard the giggle right behind him, he knew he should have gone to Qulu instead. His brother and the others would never bother with that remote location.

Despite hearing her coming, he wasn’t expecting the arms to wrap around his body from behind. He let out a startled yelp and pulled away, turning around quickly.

“Inanna!” he said with a gasp.

“Oh!” Her face turned bright red and she covered her cheeks with her hands. “I thought you were Acronis!”

“I gathered,” he muttered.

“I’m so sorry!”

“Right…well, it’s not a big deal.”

“Maybe not for you,” she said breathlessly. “You’re…Natos, right?”

He refrained from rolling his eyes as he nodded his head. It wasn’t that he minded that this rather attractive young woman preferred his brother to him. But despite how little he cared to hang out with his Acronis and the others, he had been around a lot when Acronis was in Jaffna and spent time with Inanna. Was it that hard to remember his name?

“Is Acronis here too?” she asked, looking around the area.

“I don’t think so. I heard them talking about going to Taellyn today.”

She stuck her bottom lip out. “What’s in Taellyn? Who is in Taellyn?”

Natos only shrugged. He couldn’t tell her what he was thinking. I couldn’t even begin to care. Why on earth do you want anything to do with my brother or those others that he spends all of his time with? What must be wrong with you that this is the kind of attention you want?

The truth was, he had always seen signs that Inanna’s family was not much better than his own. He felt bad for the girl, but on the other hand, at least her life was better than his. At least she wouldn’t be expected to become a mercenary and assassin, living in the shadows for the rest of her life, never having the chance to have real connections with others. He could only hope that she didn’t waste her freedom—that she would outgrow this fascination with his brothers and find some better friends.


Prompt used: What if your character was mistaken for someone else?

Daily Writing Check-in: February 22, 2019

Words/Time: 35 minutes working on the outline for “Outcast.”

After working on lining up the 2 storylines of this book in Scrivener for 35 minutes, I realized that it may not be possible to match them up yet. When I wrote the original version of this story, I wrote the storylines separately, and then lined them up afterward, breaking them into chapters at that time.

I’ve seen over the years that other writers can estimate how long their planned scenes will be (by word count), can know in advance where chapter breaks will be, and other things like that. I’ve never been great at any of that. It’s easier to me to just write the full story as it comes and break it up later. I’m putting a hold on trying to line up the storylines now, because I do think it will be a waste of time.

This means that, unless tomorrow reveals something I am not thinking of now, I have completed #1 on my current list of writing goals, and frankly, much more quickly than I expected.