Weekly Writing Update: December Week 2

Last Sunday, I listed 3 goals to be working on. In the week since then, I finished 2, plus another task that I decided needed doing, and have just started into the 3rd:

1. Remove NaNo fodder from 2019 NaNoNovel – This took a couple of days, but it’s finished, and now this draft can be filed away for a while.

2. Update Kindle version of “Pithea”, upload it to KDP, add Kindle version to Goodreads – This also took a couple of days, and now I have very little left to prepare for publishing my first novel! (Read the first chapter here!)

At this point, I decided that I needed to make a minor edit (which of course turned out to be some major work) to the paperback cover, which took about 45 minutes, but the cover should be set now.

3. Finish first revision of “Outcast” (book #2) – This particular goal is going to take a bit longer than the others. I’m already about 90% of the way through the revision, according to the math I did for a post back in August when I was last working on this revision. However, I hit on an idea some time in the last month for a way to cut out a character that I’ve realized isn’t very important to the story by giving the little bit that he does do that’s important to a bigger character, so I’m making that change before I go back to the rest of the revision. This is what I will be continuing with for the next week.

Weekly Writing Update: December Week 1 (NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up)

(Before I get into this long update, one last time for 2018, be sure to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2019 – December 1st It’s also the very last NaNoToon ever!)

NaNoWriMo is over, and boy what a month it was. I spent pretty much all of my free time in November either writing for NaNoWriMo or working on “Pithea” for its upcoming release. Still, I came out on the other side with 82,750 words and, more importantly, a finished draft! This book will most likely be book #8 in the Pithea Series. But since I’m just about to publish book #1, and all of the books between here and #8 still need a lot of work, who knows what could happen by the time I get there.

I had some highs and lows during NaNo, but was more happy than not with what I was writing. I had some “Aha!” moments, which I absolutely love, even though they were mostly minor. Still exciting! I already know a lot of places that need work, but it will be a long time before I get back to it for revision.

I had hoped to leave myself with little to work on for publishing “Pithea” during November, so I could focus on NaNo, but being that this is the first novel I’ve ever published, I can say now how silly it was for me to think that would be the case. I managed to find a balance, though, and now I have only small details left to work on.

I now have a finished cover, the paperback interior is completely ready, and the digital file just needs updated to minor changes I made when finalizing the paperback interior. I’ve added the book to Goodreads (just the paperback for now until I finish the digital file), added it to Reedsy (read the first chapter here!), and the ebook will be available for pre-order on Amazon soon!

So with NaNo over and my attention turning not only to final publishing details, but also to working on book #2 so that it can be released in a timely fashion after book #1, I have a new list of writing goals, related to all of these things:

1. Remove NaNo fodder from 2019 NaNoNovel – Sometimes I’ll spend the first few days 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. It shouldn’t take long, and is better done now than later (I know that from experience).

2. Update Kindle version of “Pithea” – As part of this goal, after updating it, I’ll need to upload the final version to KDP, proof it, and decide on when the pre-order should be available. And add the Kindle version to Goodreads.

3. Finish first revision of “Outcast” (book #2) – Going by what is widely understood to be acceptable word count lengths for books of its type, “Outcast” is currently quite a bit too short. However, the amount I’d have to add would basically be entire new story arc. Rather than stress about how to lengthen it right now, I’m going to finish with the revision of what is already there, and then send it to 3 people who were most helpful with revision of “Pithea” and ask them to read it and tell me what they think–if they think there’s a lot that could be expanded on, plot threads they’d like to see followed, etc. And then I’ll go from there.

Daily Writing Check-in: June 18, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hours, 45 minutes reading through “Pithea.” for any further changes to be made to the final draft.

I finished reading through the book, making changes that make the story even stronger. I spent the last 15 minutes copying scenes into Scrivener so that it would be up-to-date there. This completes goal #2 in my current list of writing goals. My new list contains only one thing: Submit “Pithea” for publishing.

Then I spent hours reading through blog posts about submitting a proposal to a publisher or an agent. Though I have done this before (a tiny bit), it’s been a few years, and I want to try to understand it better. It all gave me a bit of a headache though, and I’m not sure how I will ultimately proceed.

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 7, 2019

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

I really wanted to work longer today, but it was not to happen. I continued with the character interview with a character I can’t put a name to here for spoiler reasons. We got to talk about his personal life, which was pretty fun. Then we went on to talk about the actual situation that is happening in the book. I think this interview will only go on another day or two, and hopefully at that point, I’ll be able to finish the outline for this book, and move on to another task.

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.)

Daily Writing Check-in: May 29, 2019

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

After posting about how uncertain I was about the way this work was going yesterday, I thought about what I said near the end of the post. I then came to the decision that I did have the wrong plot as the main plot. So I’ve changed some things up in my mind, and while the climax for the book that I have so far is not for the main plot, I think I can add another climax that will be for the main plot. And I even think I can downplay the climax I have so that it doesn’t overshadow the climax for the main plot that I will still need to write. I think.

Today’s time was spent continuing to sort through the scenes, adding in new ones that will need written, and moving some around so that they flow better. I’m still doing a lot of staring and thinking, but I feel like I’m understanding better as I go now. I’m really looking forward to the revision of this book, but I know it will be far down on a list of goals after I finish the current list.

I also started to put events into my timeline for all of the Pithea books, because I realized that some things were really skewed. I am considering cutting out about 2 years of time in this book.

Daily Writing Check-in: May 25, 2019

Words/Time:  2 hours doing preliminary work for the new outline of “Protector”.

I continued reading the first draft, making a few small changes along the way. I’m on page 127 out of 171 of this read-through. I feel like the reading of this first draft is taking me longer than it did on the other goals in my current list. I don’t know if that’s true, or just how it feels. If it is true, the only reason I can think might be causing it is that I’m moving text around as I go, to put it in the order that I decided scenes should go (I wrote a lot of them out of order), and in the process, still deciding the order. That’s slowing me down, but I didn’t think it was that much.

Daily Writing Check-in: May 16, 2019

Words/Time:  25 minutes doing preliminary work for the new outline of “Protector”.

Compared to how the rest of this month went, today was a very short day. I didn’t get to my writing time until 11 pm, so even though I was enjoying today’s work, it just had to be a short day.

I’m starting this task the same way I did the last 2 on my list of writing goals–reading the first draft so that it’s fresh in my mind. This one is already the freshest, since I wrote it during NaNoWriMo last year. Add to that the fact that I’ve read different parts of it here and there in the time since then, and it’s the freshest in my mind of all of the stories I’ve worked with this year. However, I know there are plenty of scenes that I hadn’t planned in advance that I will need a reminder on, so I might as well read it all the way through.