Weekly Writing Update: 10/18

My progress toward publishing “Outcast” has not been as swift as I would like, but it is progress. I’m hoping one more session with my sister will get us to the end of her notes. After that, I will start on a final line edit, but take my time to give my other sister time to possibly send more notes. I hope to have as little work on for publication in December as possible during November, since NaNoWriMo will most likely take up most of my free time.

And speaking of NaNoWriMo, though I already feel ready for it, I didn’t want to pay no attention at all to the story I’m planning to write during this prepping month. So yesterday I started a character interview with one of the main characters in the book I plan to draft next month. Unfortunately, I haven’t done my writing by hand for at least 9 months, and apparently it’s going to take some time to get used to again. I didn’t get nearly as far in one session as I have been able to in the past, because my hand hurt too much. I look forward to continuing it today though.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).

Weekly Writing Update: 10/11

After a few months off for a variety of reasons that culminated in just not caring enough to work on my book, I have dived back in with enthusiasm. I’ve actually been working on the near-final revision of “Outcast” for a few weeks now. The majority of the work I’ve been doing involves using the notes made by one of the other members of the TCSTB (I love being able to use that acronym again). The exciting thing is that, once I had her notes in my hands, I realized that, though there was plenty to work on, it’s a very small fraction compared to what needed revised in Pithea when we spent over a year working on it together. I do have another sister (the one that wasn’t able to be part of the TCSTB) who is planning to make some suggestions for revision as well, but I daresay, based on what she’s sent me so far, it still won’t be an overwhelming amount. Now I just have to be patient while I wait for time to discuss notes with one sister and for the other sister to have time to send me her notes.

In the meantime, NaNoWriMo looms ahead. My plan for this year is to write the first draft to what will almost definitely be book #4 in the series. The outline has been done for over a year, but I’ve spent some time already reading through it and refreshing my thoughts about it. And during that time, I already had a new “Aha!” moment.

Though I’ve already shared my thoughts about how the joy of discovery is my absolute favorite thing about writing, this is a different kind of discovery from what I talked about there. It involved the realization that a chunk of the end of the current draft of book #3 might actually belong in book #4. I’ve been considering this ever since–not letting myself be completely sold, while being pretty sure it will solve a lot of structure problems I have with book #3. I’ve decided to wait and see how long the draft for book #4 comes out to be, because it will only work if it can handle another 15k+ words without being too long.

Sadly, this means that I can’t really work on revision of book #3 until the end of November, even though that’s what I’d like to be doing while waiting to move on in my revision of “Outcast” until others have time to continue helping me. So…I can’t really say what I’ll continue working on this week–hopefully another session with one sister, and outside of that, maybe some writing practice just to keep myself immersed in the series.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).

NaNoWriMo Season

NaNo handouts

NaNoWriMo starts in 31 days and 11 hours, from the time that I am posting this (for my time zone). First, a quick explanation for those who don’t know what I’m even talking about: NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. It is an event that has been around since 1999, becoming more of what it is today in 2005. At its heart, it’s a personal challenge–write 50,000 words in 30 days during the month of November. Signing up and participating simply gives you somewhere to track your progress, goodies if you win, and a huge community of like-minded people, cheering each other on.

Tomorrow begins the month known by many as Preptober. Normally at this time, I’m falling all over myself with excitement at the coming event. This year, though, I’ve been in a major slump with my writing. I’m just starting to pull myself out of it, though, and I anticipate NaNoWriMo helping me with that (it is part of my favorite time of the year, after all).

If you’re planning to participate, or even just thinking about it, and need some tips for getting ready, there is a lot out there. In the past, I’ve noticed that on October 1st, my reader here on WordPress explodes with posts about NaNo. The NaNo site itself has a prep page, though the schedule they write out covers two months, starting at the beginning of September. It could be condensed down to work for October, though, if needed.

I have written many posts about how to prepare for NaNo, as well as how to survive and thrive during November itself, in the past. There is even a sequence of posts with tips about how to plan a story from the ground up. Even if you’re not a planner, there are things you can do to prepare for writing 1667 words a day.

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 participating in NaNoWriMo? What are you doing to prepare?

Weekly Writing Update: 6/14

It has been a little over a month since I wrote one of these updates, and that is due to the sucking void of an online game I fell back into last month. However, I have recently realized that part of the reason I let myself ignore my writing for so long is because I was waiting for feedback from a couple of beta readers for “Outcast,” and without that, I was unable to do much more. I had figured I’d just keep working on the story myself, but the truth is, there wasn’t much more I could do without their feedback.

One is now done, and I just need to get her notes from her. What she’s told me so far is that she really liked it, more than Pithea, and that a few underdeveloped areas stuck out to her, because of how good the rest of it was. I’m happy with that, considering that as soon as I thought much about one of those areas, I could see exactly what she meant. I’ve already started thinking of ways to make it stronger, and will begin working on that this week.

Because the date I had planned to publish “Outcast” was pretty arbitrary, and because I can see now that it needs more work than I’d hoped, I am not pushing for the publish date I’d originally hoped for. But I should still be able to have it out by fall.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

Include all of the following words in a scene:
consequent
afflict
self-consciously
indulgence
sadistically

bonus: capitulation

If you write something from this prompt, let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Weekly Writing Update: 5/10

Last week, I finished reading “Outcast” aloud to myself and started transferring the notes from the proof copy to the computer. I was trying to decide if I want to do line edits with the proof copy, which means working around the marks I made, or if I should use the updated computer file. I’d rather use the proof copy, because I’ve discovered that when I read my writing in actual book format, I notice things I otherwise wouldn’t. However, I decided that to be safest, I need to use the updated file, because otherwise, I could miss a typo or mistake in the corrected sections of the file. So that is my next step.

I have plenty of time, because I checked in with my two advance readers, and they’re both still a ways from being done. I still have two months until my hopeful publish date, though, so I’ll do what I can, and then most likely dive into revision of book #3 in the meantime.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).

Weekly Writing Update: 5/3

Camp NaNoWriMo ended on Thursday, and I finished strong, averaging just over an hour of work done per day (my goal was 1 hour). I’ve been working my way through my proof copy of “Outcast,” currently about 63% done with this revision. I am reading the story out loud to find awkward wording and, in theory, proofreading issues. But I’ve realized as I go that I’ve been focusing less on those tiny details like commas, missing words (I’ve twice now discovered a missing “to” or “a”, things like that) than I meant to, as I’m apparently paying more attention to the wording. So I’ll likely still have to do a line edit after this, but it’s okay, because I’m waiting on some advance readers to finish with the book anyway.

I took a couple of days off after Camp ended, but plan to start back in tonight. I’m going to use the NaNoWriMo site to track my current goal of 45 minutes worked per day, because I know that watching a graph that shows if I’m under or over my goal has always been an important motivator to me, as I work on an arbitrary goal.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).

Writing Wednesday: #StayHomeWriMo

WW Prompt

For today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt post, I’m going to again share a recent #StayHomeWriMo prompt from NaNoWriMo.

StayHomeWriMo-checklist-4-29

I’m really excited to try this prompt out! For more, follow this link.

How are you staying sane and healthy during this time? If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4** 

Weekly Writing Update: 4/26

We’ve just ended another week of Camp NaNoWriMo. It was a little lighter for me, as I only averaged just over a half hour of work done per day (my goal was 1 hour per day). What I really did was small amounts of either busy work or work on book #3 without diving too deeply, because I was just killing time, so to speak, until my first proof copy of “Outcast,” arrived. It finally came on Thursday, so I’ve now had 3 days of reading through it and marking some changes for the next draft, which may not be the last one, but should be the next to last, at least.

The great news is that, unlike when I got my first proof copy of Pithea (book #1), the cover on this one looked great already! I keep looking at it and thinking surely I’ll need to make some tweaks, but other than needing to finalize the synopsis and author bio on the back (the bio was copied & pasted from Pithea, so still says it’s my first novel), I think the rest will end up left alone.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

Combine the following 3 elements into a scene, short story, story synopsis, etc:
romance novelist
empty theater
nobody is watching

(These elements were 3 randomly drawn cards from my Storymatic deck. The 2nd and 3rd elements go together almost too well, don’t they?)

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**