NaNoWriMo Day 28

Day 28 writing badge

The Words: 1893 words. Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate! My big family get-together is tomorrow, so today wasn’t as busy as it is for many. I did have some food to prepare, and my husband and kids and I had a small celebratory dinner for just us, but I had some free time this afternoon. Unfortunately, a collaboration of events kept me from getting any writing in until after my daughter went to bed anyway. But I still managed to get plenty of writing in at that time.

The Story:  Storyline 1, which I thought was going to be the secondary arc but has apparently become the main arc, came to an end today. However, after I pantsed a climax, I realized that what I had left in my outline just wasn’t a great way to end the main arc of the book. So I decided to write a scene that would follow the thread that came up during my writing this month (so wasn’t planned ahead at all) through to where that would lead into the next book. I’m still not 100% sure that that is where I want to leave it, but I will worry about that during the first revision, after the book has had time to rest. Then I’ll have time to re-outline using this draft, and figure out what the story might be missing, and the best way to end the book.

I now have 2 days left to finish storyline 2. I am definitely close, but will be gone pretty much all day tomorrow, and will probably be pretty busy on Saturday. I have confidence that I’ll end the month with a completed draft though. I did sort of leave storyline 2b hanging, but it’s not nearly as important, most of what was going to happen there is written in enough detail in my outline anyway, and to be honest, I didn’t know how much of it was going to stay in the finished story, and how much will be edited out anyway, so it doesn’t bother me if i don’t have time to go back and “finish” it.

Total word count: 81,702

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already:
November 28, 2019

NaNoWriMo Eve

NaNo handouts

NaNoWriMo starts in 12 hours where I am. This month, known by many as Preptober, was much less full of prep than I planned. This was mostly due to a combination of working on final edits for my first full-novel release that is due out on January 10th and feeling like I could push off the prep work, because I’d already made an outline for my NaNoNovel a few months ago.

I did finally spend some time Monday and Tuesday this week looking over the outline, as well as the outline for the book that precedes it (it’s drafted, but had to be re-outlined due to a lot of changes needed). I re-read character interviews and wrote a new one with some brand new characters.

I am not sure I am 100% ready, and actually hope to look over the outline again at some point today, before midnight. But I do know that, if necessary, I have enough to get started. I’ll be starting right at midnight (known as the midnight sprint). I do that every year, and whether I write 500 words or 3000 words, anything I get done before going to bed is a huge mental jump start on the month!

And fair warning: I will blog every day about my experience doing NaNoWriMo. I’ve done this nearly every year since starting this blog (the only exception was the year that I had just started full-time at a very demanding job, and what I was writing for NaNo that year was a difficult, personal subject, so frankly, I was doing good to even reach 50k that year).

There may be those who are curious about how others get through the month–I know I am, and most days I also spend some time reading blog posts by others about how their writing went that day. I have also found that I really enjoy being able to look back in later years and read about my progress through the month.

I will also share each day’s NaNoToons, which incidentally will be the last year for NaNoToons. (In fact, the first one for this year just went up! I’m so excited!!) And I’ll post episodes from the NaNoMusical throughout the month, because it’s one of the best things to come out of NaNoWriMo ever, and every Wrimo needs to know about it!

I wish my fellow Wrimos well, and hope to hear from some of you during the month! Please feel free to add me as a writing buddy!

Are you ready for NaNo to begin? Do you plan to do the midnight sprint tonight?

Weekly Writing Update: October Week 4

Even though I got through 2/3 of the revision of my proof copy of “Pithea” in less than a week, it took me the rest of this week to finish it. This was mostly due to the fact that my husband wanted to spend time with me a lot in the evenings this week (evenings are my main time to spend on writing). How dare he…

I’m done with the main revision though, with only minor aesthetic things to proof, so I’m going to go ahead and order another proof copy to check my hopefully clearer cover that I had to redo again when the revision I did cut the pages down by just enough to require a different cover size.

While I wait on that proof to come, I need to spend the rest of this month prepping for NaNoWriMo. Thankfully, the outline has been done for months, but I need to get my mind back into that story, catch up with the remade plans for the story that comes before, and maybe flesh out the outline I already have. But no matter how much or little I get done during the rest of Preptober, come November 1st, I will start writing!

Weekly Writing Update: October Week 3

My first proof copy of “Pithea” came last Monday. Not gonna lie, it brought tears to my eyes to see the story I’ve worked on for over 6 years as a tangible, full-length book for the first time. Then I couldn’t see well enough to examine the cover, so my husband looked at it, and sadly informed me that it didn’t look good.

Pithea proof 1

It’s really blurry, which was disappointing, but I’ve already identified a possible reason for this issue and remade the cover. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to know if it’s good enough until I get another proof copy. I’ll chalk this up to a learning experience, because if the next cover comes out good, I know how to make the cover from the get-go next time. If it’s still blurry…I’ll have to troubleshoot further.

I’ve been working furiously on the final full revision of “Pithea”, most of what I’m changing being awkward wording that I discover by reading the text out loud. I am 2/3 of the way through this revision, after which I’ll put changes into the computer, make sure the formatting is still good, and order another proof copy.

Pithea proof 3

Pithea proof 2

Blurry or not, it looks great on the shelf with other books!

I haven’t done much more prep for NaNoWriMo. I keep carrying around the notebook in which I wrote some character interviews in preparation of writing the outline for the book I plan to write, thinking reading back through those interviews will help get prepared for writing the story. But “Pithea” has taken all of my free time. If I keep the pace I’ve been on, I’ll be done with the final revision of “Pithea by Wednesday, and then I’ll be waiting for another proof copy. Hopefully that will give me the last week of Preptober to focus on my NaNoNovel (working title: “Ophaela”).

Weekly Writing Update: October Week 2

I got the interior of “Pithea” formatted for paperback with minor difficulties, and after some real frustrations with the cover, ordered my first proof copy. It’s set to arrive tomorrow!! Once I have it in my hands, I’ll start reading through it with an eye for final details that need changed while also making sure the formatting is good. Visually speaking, I’m more concerned about the cover coming out good, so I’m really anxious to see it for the first time.

After I ordered the proof copy on Tuesday, I tried to turn my attention to prepping for NaNoWriMo. But that was when I realized that I only had a week until my next writers group meeting at my local library. Last month, I volunteered to lead a talk on writer’s block this month, and I hadn’t done any prep for that. So I spent a couple of evenings making notes and preparing a handout. I think I’m basically set for that now.

I have done a little of the prepping I had planned for NaNo, but I need to make sure to focus on that more in the coming weeks. There are just over 2 weeks left of Preptober, and I still need to go over the outline I made 4 months ago for the story I’m writing this year and flesh it out. Also re-read the first draft and new plans for the story that comes before. And read a couple of character interviews I wrote as part of the planning stage for this story. I’ll have to find a way to balance my writing time between “Pithea” and my NaNoNovel (working title: “Ophaela”).

Weekly Writing Update: October Week 1

Last week, I finished making immediate changes to “Pithea” that I already knew needed made. My plan now is to format the updated draft for print, get a proof copy, and read through the book that way (probably reading it out loud), hopefully one last time, making notes for anything else that needs changed. I want to have the final draft as settled as possible before November.

This brings me to NaNoWriMo. October is what many of us call Preptober. I already have a preliminary outline for what I’m planning to write this year, which I wrote 4 months ago. But I need to re-familiarize myself not only with that outline, but also with the story that comes before it. I have a few areas of the outline to flesh out, too. I’ll have time to do this while waiting on my proof copy to arrive, I’m sure.

Daily Writing Check-in: June 5, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 16 minutes working on pre-writing for Book 3 of “Pursuit of Power” trilogy.

I thought for a while last night about my issue where the main sub-plot doesn’t actually connect to the book’s main plot at all. And I hit on a way to make them connect, which I think makes the story even more intriguing! So I wrote that into the outline, and then hit on another huge question that goes back to the very beginning of planning out my story world. I took some time away from my writing to think about this question, and then came back and wrote out the question and brainstormed answers.

I think I’ve come to a decision on this matter, though there’s still one small question that niggles at my brain. I’m moving on for now though. I added a little more to my outline, and then came to what will probably be the lead-up to the climax…but I don’t really know what’s going to happen. I can set it aside and figure that when it’s time to write, since the rest of the story up to that spot might point the way to the next step, but I don’t want to leave it alone yet.

So I decided it’s again time to do a type of pre-writing that has literally never failed me yet–a character interview. And it didn’t take me long to know exactly who the interview should be with…but I can’t even say who it is without being a huge spoiler. He’ll most likely be an integral part of this book’s climax though, and is a character that is relatively  unknown to me. So it’s time to get to know him!

Daily Writing Check-in: June 4, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 33 minutes working on pre-writing for Book 3 of “Pursuit of Power” trilogy.

I started to outline the story, thinking I’d make it a broad outline. That turned into more like my normal type of outline though, but I’m pretty happy with how it’s going. However, I have now become aware that I have a sub-plot that isn’t related enough to the main plot. I figured it fit in there simply because the book that precedes it, “Protector,” had both of these plots too. But in that book, the sub-plot tied very well into the main plot. Now that sub-plot is the main plot of the next book, and the main plot of “Protector” goes a whole other direction, and isn’t a very connected sub-plot. So I am going to have to decide if I can make that work or need to scrap this sub-plot.

Daily Writing Check-in: May 31, 2019

Words/Time:  39 minutes working on goal #1 in my new short-list of writing goals.

1. Plan Book 3 of “Pursuit of Power” trilogy – Though I have always thought of this conclusion book as being something I’d hold off on working on until much later, the ideas for what should be in this book have just been flowing in the last several weeks. So I’m going to start with some broad planning, and either come up with an outline, or at least a solid list of plot points for now

2. Final revision of “Pithea” – All of my writing goals this year have been for one final goal: to know what, if any changes, future book drafts may force in “Pithea,” so I can get those things changed now, before attempting to publish this book again. I want to make sure it’s exactly what it needs to be, as book 1 in this series of books. I do have a list of things that I want to change–nothing huge–and goal #1 in this list could prompt more. So after that book has a semi-solid plan, I will do what will hopefully be a final revision to “Pithea”, at least regarding changes prompted by me, rather than by someone else like an editor, and look into publishing options.

I started on #1 today, which first entailed writing out broad strokes of ideas I have for this book. Then I decided that it was time for the mother of all character interviews. I’m bringing in all of the characters that will have the largest roles in this book to discuss where they left off in the previous book (“Protector”) and then where they’ll go from there.

goal tracker 19-5-31

After a very light March and barely managing to win Camp NaNoWriMo in April with a goal of 30 minutes average per day, surpassing my goal of an average of 1 hour writing work per day in May was really nice. Here’s to an equally productive June!

Daily Writing Check-in: May 30, 2019

Words/Time:  2 hours, 6 minutes finishing the outline of “Protector.”

As it turns out, there is a place for the formal outline style in my life. Though it didn’t work out for me in the past when outlining a story, it worked quite well for this one. Though I have outlined the story in Scrivener as well, that’s mostly because I already have a draft written, and will keep maybe 2/3 of it, so the already-written text can be sorted by scene there. But over the last couple of days, I started making a formal outline of this story as I tried to understand how the scenes would flow best, and it worked wonders.

I spent a lot of time getting this just right today, and marking the places that will need a new scene, or will need a lot added to an existing scene. There are still many other scenes that will need some revision (well, probably all of them to some degree), but that’s a job for another day.

For now, I have finished #5 on my list of writing goals that I put forth on Feb. 4th!

1. Outline “Outcast” – Time spent: 12 days (total of 8 hours, 32 minutes worked)

2. Outline “Unexpectedly” – Time spent: 7 days (total of 7 hours, 36 minutes worked)

3. Re-outline “The Seeger Book” – Time spent: 26 days (total of 20 hours, 39 minutes worked)

4. Re-outline “Vin” – Time spent: 16 days (total of 18 hours, 3 minutes worked)

5. Re-outline “Protector” – Time spent: 14 days (total of 13 hours, 56 minutes worked)

I already know what my next 2 goals will be, and I’ll re-evaluate after that. I’ll post those tomorrow though.

(I went through and added approximately how many actual hours I put into each goal, because I knew that some days I worked longer than others, and was curious about how much time was actually spent on each task. Most interesting to me is that the work on “The Seeger Book” was only about 2 1/2 hours longer than the work on “Vin,” but it took 10 more days.)