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 13, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 30 minutes working on pre-writing for Book 3 of “Pursuit of Power” trilogy, as well as beginning the “final” revision of “Pithea.”

I finished the character interview that helped me basically hash out more than half of the main plot of this book. And I can’t believe it, but I think I do have enough further ideas for this storyline for a 4th book in this arc.

This has led me to think that I don’t necessarily want to think of this arc as a trilogy (or tetralogy, as the case may be) within the greater series. Instead, maybe they should just be part of the series that happen to coincide more directly with each other than some of the other books.

I then went on to finish the early outline for this book (which still has no name, but I haven’t really put much thought into it yet either), and wrote down the ideas I have for the follow-up book so I don’t forget later. That ended goal #1 in my current list (which only contains 2 goals).

1. Plan Book 3 of “Pursuit of Power” trilogy

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, and one of them will possibly change the structure in such a way to make it more marketable.

Though I now have ideas for another book at the end of the current list of Pithea books (+1, because the book I just finished outlining isn’t even on that list yet), it’s just going to have to fit into what already exists in “Pithea,” because I can’t put off revising and going forward with trying to publish it. Any longer, and it’ll just feel like stalling. So today I started on 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.

Daily Writing Check-in: June 11, 2019

Words/Time:  35 minutes working on pre-writing for Book 3 of “Pursuit of Power” trilogy.

I continued the character interview that I’ve been working on for several days now. I thought it would be done before now, but big questions keep coming up that have to be solved for this plot to work out. I answered a bit more today, but still need to work out a bit more. I’m ironing out the details for a Big Escape, and trying to find the balance between too easy and so hard it’s unbelievable they escaped. But the escape is not necessarily the climax I thought it was going to be anymore, so I don’t think it has to be as grand as I had imagined.

I considered doing no work today, because I’m tired from another morning of VBS. But I knew it was important to at least get some work in, especially since taking even a 1-day break when I’m struggling so much to get the plot out can easily lead to a long hiatus, which I do not want!

Daily Writing Check-in: June 10, 2019

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

I did a lot of brainstorming on the issue that came up yesterday. I’m slowly making my way through the huge questions I’m facing. I also discovered what would have been a huge plot hole in the outline I have so far, so had to fix that, which involved further geography lessons of the region in which this story takes place.

I answered some of the more pressing and complicated questions and got back to the character interview I’ve been working on, only to come up with another question about how to proceed. I’ll tackle that tomorrow.

I’m volunteering as a crew leader at my church’s VBS all this week, so I have to get up early every morning and spend 3 hours with a group of kids. It wipes me out every year.

On the plus side, my job, which I quit 2 1/2 months ago but have been following through on some projects since then, is finally really winding down. I am looking at no work, outside of possibly answering some questions, for the rest of this week. Hopefully the extra time (which will admittedly mostly be spent on catching up housework and relaxing) will afford at least a little extra writing time, and will help me break through these issues.

Daily Writing Check-in: June 9, 2019

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

I was about to continue the character interview I’ve been working on for the past few days, when I realized I didn’t know how to proceed. I am ready for a pivotal scene that has been in some way looming for years, but I didn’t know the details.

I spent some time working out the geography of the area that this will take place, and then realized that I had a huge question to ask. This thing that I have always assumed would happen in my books…will it happen? Does it need to happen? Can it happen?

Events that have led up to this, events in other books that didn’t exist when I first imagined this sort of “ending” to a huge story arc, have twisted the situation enough that I am questioning what should actually happen. And as of the time I quit for the night, even brainstorming on paper wasn’t helping me any. I may have to be a bit more creative in trying to get past this one.

Daily Writing Check-in: June 8, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 41 minutes working on pre-writing for Book 3 of “Pursuit of Power” trilogy.

I continued the character interview that I started a few days ago. This interview has brought to light an entire geographical area in my story world that was always a bit of a blurry spot in my mind. I’m really happy for what has come out of it. We’re now discussing what might be the climax of the book, or it might lead to the climax of this book…to be honest, I’m starting to wonder if I can fit everything that’s going to happen in this book, or if there should actually be 4 books in this story arc. I will probably wait to make that decision when I write this story though, and see how long it comes out.