Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon Report #4

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count: 1.51,128 words and 21 1/2 chapters (NOBODY’S GODDESS/THE NEVER VEIL 2)

2. 50,250 words and chapter count no longer relevant because I wrote in a crazy, skip-to-scenes-I-want-to-write-most way. (NaNoWriMo project–not touched since November!)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 1. 67,566 words and 28 chapters (NOBODY’S GODDESS 2)–first draft done, yay!

2. 53,861 words and chapters still not quite relevant because I haven’t fixed it (NaNoWriMo project)

WIP Issues This Month: I started this month off with a bang–I was so productive and finished the NG2 draft by May 8th! That made me really happy and I was looking forward to tackling my next goal (after putting NG2 aside for a time to get some distance from it), finishing the NaNoWriMo project that had been on hiatus since November. I had to re-read it in its entirety before I could begin, really, because I’d been working on another world. I did that over about a week and a half and was able to make some edits as I went along. And it felt nice at first. I was starting to think, “Why did I burn out on this? It really isn’t that bad! In fact, it’s kind of good for being out of my comfort zone!” Then after re-reading what I had, I tackled trying to finish the draft and… totally hit a wall. ;-;

Meanwhile, at the same time, I got really busy with other things, and even thought I DO have time to write every day recently, I’m not making much progress at all, which depresses me. Every time I sit to write, it just isn’t flowing. So gone are my dreams of finishing the first draft of the NaNoWriMo by the end of May. (It SHOULD have been possible–I seriously didn’t need more than 5000-10,000 words to finish!) Now I’m wondering if I have to put that aside AGAIN to start NG2 edits, considering that’s due to the publisher August 1st and I need to give my betas time to read and then edit again after they read. *sigh* I’m not in a very confident author mood right now, but I’m making a little progress.

Four things I learned this month in writing:  1. I’ll always be going through good and bad writing phases. (So I hope I get out of this funk soon.)

2. It’s entirely possible to want to change some relatively small but still important things in book 1 of a series AFTER you already turned in the edits because of what came out while writing book 2. (Hope I get a chance to do so during the next round of edits!) Editing doesn’t end… 0_o

3. Beating myself up over not accomplishing as much as I’d like to is a bad idea (but I knew that and do it anyway).

4. My goals aren’t always realistic. Since I assume I’ll ALWAYS be able to write a decent amount each day when that’s clearly not the case.

What distracted me this month while writing: I’ve been trying to clean my ENTIRE house in the hopes of moving this year. (Don’t know when or where yet, just downsizing.) I’ve been tackling the big move clean up for seriously 10 years, but not every day like I have for the past week and a half. And there’s always more to be done, and I’ve been prepping myself to part with some things I didn’t originally want to get rid of, so there’s more cleaning to do. I’m also trying to ebay a lot of the stuff I’m parting with, and that’s a huge hassle, but my paying work has been light this month (which is both good and bad ;-;) so I have to do something to try to offset the decrease in income. Unfortunately, most auctions are almost too much of a pain to justify what little I earn off of something!

I’m still querying FALL FAR FROM THE TREE when I find the time (and I entered TheWVoice early on in the month but didn’t move on to the next round)–but between EVERYTHING ELSE, I’m not sending out as many queries as I’d like! So far, I’m pretty happy with the responses–I’m averaging a 12.3% request rate, which is more than NOBODY’S GODDESS got originally (and that one got me an agent!). 🙂 No offers, obviously. (I’d let you all know!)

Goal for next month: I need to do my first edits on NG2 and get it off to my beta(s). I really wanted to finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo and get that off to my beta(s), too, but I can’t give them both at once! I’m having a hard time deciding which to do first because I’d hoped to have the NaNoWriMo draft done by now but that’s obviously not happening. *sigh* Maybe I need to go back to NG2, brain shift though it may be, to jumpstart my writing muse.

Advertisements
Posted in Writing

NaNoWriMo Check-In #4 (Final)

2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover

My first official NaNoWriMo is at an end! I “won,” but I don’t feel like a winner. I know I am just for working on one WIP every single day this month and writing so much, but since I lost all passion for this WIP, it doesn’t feel like a winning experience. Oh, and I didn’t even finish a first draft. I don’t know how much more is needed (not a ton more, but still), or if I’ll ever finish this one.

Initial Wordcount + ChapterCount:  36,601 words and 11 chapters (+ some work on a scene ahead I skipped to)

Current WC + CC: 50,250 words and chapter count no longer relevant because I wrote in a crazy, skip-to-scenes-I-want-to-write-most way. I even wrote the last few chapters despite there being so much missing in between. (Btw, my official NaNo stats say 50,019 because the counter is different, I guess. But I’ll stick with Word’s word count since that’s what I usually do.)

WIP Issues this week:  I did a bit better this week than last week, mostly because that “50k” goal was in sight and I found it easier to skip ahead to the scenes that seemed like they’d be most fun to write than to plod on chronologically. However, I was still sad that I wasn’t feeling the love for this manuscript. And I knew I was producing a mess by skipping scenes. Still, I figured out some sticky plot points even in this jumbled way I might not have otherwise.

What I learned this week in writing: I can produce something in the write-every-day-even-if-you-don’t-want-to way, but if I don’t have the passion for the project, it’s a struggle. I have written two projects I really loved every step of the way, even through all the edits, even through first drafts (which I wrote pretty fast because I loved them!), so it’s not just a “all writers hate their stuff at some point” thing going on here. I’ve hated most of my works, but not the ones I’ve put my faith in and shown other people. This one is sadly in the “this is not a good one” pile.

What distracted me this week while writing: Not too much. A little work earlier in the week. Two Thanksgiving dinners. 😀

Last 200 words: Spoilers, but also I’ve gotten too embarrassed by this manuscript to share.

nanowrimo progress

And… I continue on to the WIP Marathon for December and January! Blog post coming up after this one.

Who else participated in NaNoWriMo? How did you do?

Posted in Writing

NaNoWriMo Check-In #3

Wow, I was a lot more optimistic and confident last week. This week, not so much. (My 4th and final check-in will happen on Saturday next week, btw, the last day of the month.)

Initial Wordcount + ChapterCount: 26,137 and 7 1/2 chapters

Current WC + CC: 36,601 words and 11 chapters (+ some work on a scene ahead I skipped to)

WIP Issues this week: Oh boy. You can call it burnout or the fact that I started panicking a bit when there were some days I couldn’t meet my minimum goals (see, feeling I “have to” meet certain word goals by certain deadlines might not be a good idea), but I’m not happy with my manuscript anymore. It could also be working outside of genres I’m used to (my first NA and my first straight-up contemporary with nothing that couldn’t happen IRL going on), too. But I feel like the passion isn’t there anymore, and I’m just finishing it because I’m tired of not finishing projects. (I have three manuscripts I stopped writing but don’t want to trunk forever, either…)

To be more accurate, I never felt “passion” for this one like I have with works in the past, but I didn’t dislike it either until this week. I don’t feel like “Oh, I’ll fix it in rewrites” is a thing here. The execution is just not matching anywhere close to the idea I had in my head, and I don’t think there’s a better way of doing it. It just is what it is… And it’s bland.

What I learned this week in writing: I can certainly not love my works even after finishing two manuscripts I do love. (And I could pump those out really quickly because I felt passionate about them.) This is not a good sign, especially going into the last week. I’m determined to make it to 50,000 words just to say I properly did NaNoWriMo once and “won,” but it might be a struggle. I’m also worried because I’m quite certain it won’t be finished at 50k or even shortly after that. If the month ends and I take the break from writing I desperately want to take, how am I going to convince myself to go back and finish the first draft?

What distracted me this week while writing: Lots of work and appointments.

Last 200 words: Can’t share due to spoilers.

How’s it going for all of you so far? (Whether you’re participating officially or doing your own thing!)

Posted in Writing

NaNoWriMo Check-In #2

I can’t believe it’s already the second check-in, and that NaNo’s halfway over! But I made it past 25,000 words, so I’m confident I’m on track.

Initial Wordcount + ChapterCount: 15,075 and 4 1/2 chapters

Current WC + CC: 26,137 and 7 1/2 chapters

WIP Issues this week: I’m a little afraid of the size of this WIP. It’s a contemporary and I meant it to be between 50,000 and 60,000 words in the end. But I’ve gone past 25,000 words, and I don’t think I’m halfway. (Not according to my outline, anyway, but I have gone off the outline more than once before making my way back to it.) We’ll see. I just don’t think reaching 50,000 this month will mean I’ve finished the first draft! I hope it’s not too much longer than that, though.

And I didn’t realize I’d written a good chunk more the first week than I did the second. That’s a bummer. But I’m still on track, so it’s cool.

What I learned this week in writing: Working on the novel just a little bit each day really does add up! That seems obvious, but previously, I’ve done my best writing in massive spurts, and those other projects I worked on just a little bit a time never seemed to go anywhere. I think it helps to aim for 1000-1500 words a day because if I just aim for a couple hundred it takes way longer and I’m more easily discouraged at the overall pace.

What distracted me this week while writing: Work, reading, errands–just my normal life.

Last 200 words: spoilers/removed

How’s it going for all of you so far? (Whether you’re participating officially or doing your own thing!)

Posted in Writing

NaNoWriMo Check-in #1

I’m participating in my first NaNoWriMo officially! (You can find me here.) I really liked the format of the WIP Marathon I participated in during August, so I decided to check in every Friday with my thoughts on the week’s work by answering the same questions I did then.

Initial Wordcount + ChapterCount: 150 words (I just jotted down the opening couple of lines that popped into my head when I first came up with the idea a few months ago).

Current WC + CC: 15,075 and 4 1/2 chapters

WIP Issues this week: I haven’t quite fallen in love with the work yet, but I don’t dislike it much, either. (I haven’t stared at a blank page for overly long, which is nice!) This is my first stab at contemporary with nothing supernatural (I tried a YA contemporary suspense last year but that included mutations; I think that’s where it went wrong, actually, and if I ever figure out how to fix it, I’ll probably take out the fantasy part.) It’s my first NA, too. Mostly I’m attracted to the genre because I want to write about a new adult facing issues that aren’t that prevalent when still in high school, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull off anything but “sightly older YA.”

Also, this is my first time writing in present tense, and more than once I’ve accidentally switched to past. (But I fixed it really quick.)

What I learned this week in writing: Even when I do have the “pressure” of a deadline (well, what’s going to happen if I don’t get to 50,000 words this month? Nothing, really!) I can forge ahead and write. In fact, I think I do better with a little structure and a clear goal. I haven’t had many low count word days like I had with a few past manuscripts, so something’s working!

What distracted me this week while writing: Work, finishing Ace Attorney Dual Destinies (I’ve been waiting for a new AA game for YEARS), and reading.

Last 200 words: spoilers/removed

How’s it going for all of you so far? (Whether you’re participating officially or doing your own thing!)

Posted in News, Writing

My First NaNoWriMo

2013-Participant-Facebook-Cover

Okay, so I’ve known about NaNoWriMo for years. In fact, I’ve used it and my friends’ participation as the motivator for a couple of unofficial spurts of writing over the years. Instead of signing up with a profile and seriously aiming for 50,000 words in a month, I set my own goal: write for at least 30 minutes a day in November. It worked for me. Of course, that was the manuscript that’s permanently retired and is a total mess (120,000 words and not even halfway done, ha), but it was also the manuscript I mined small passages and inspirations from to form my first completed manuscript, so it wasn’t for naught. Plus, just practicing writing was helpful.

I have written 50,000 words in under a month twice for both of my completed manuscripts. Once I finally got on the inspiration-train, they took off and poured out of me. But both those times weren’t in November or part of NaNoWriMo. Just feeling like I “have to” write 50,000 words in a month has kept me from participating before. (Not like the WIPMarathon, where you could set your own goal, no matter how big or small, whether writing or editing.) Because then I get depressed on those days where I don’t write enough words or I can’t write at all.

But I have a new WIP I’ve been thinking about since late August I’d like to get drafted somewhat soon. The past couple of months have been crazy, so all I have to show for it is one paragraph (I had the opening lines in my head right away) and about 2/3 of an outline. I meant to get to work sooner (although I’m taking a detour to write a fun short story), but I just haven’t been able to. So why not? I’ll do my best to finish the outline before November and make it my NaNoWriMo entry. (Sorry if I “break the rules” by having 150-ish words written before November begins, ha. I promise not to count myself as a “winner” unless I get 50,150+ words done.) I will NOT feel sad if I don’t get 50,000 words done. I will NOT force myself to work on Thanksgiving and every single day in the month. I’m just… writing.

So add me if you’re partcipating!

I actually wrote a pitch for the WIP while I was at it. That’s a first for me. (I don’t often share pitches online before I’ve even written anything!)

~removed~

Posted in Writing

NaNoWriMo!

So November is National Novel Writing Month and I imagine that a lot of you who read this blog are lost in worlds of your own creation, aiming to have at least 50,000 words on the page (or the screen) by the end of month. I’d love to hear about any stories you’re working on! Share a link to your NaNoWriMo profile if you like.

I’m also curious to hear about NaNoWriMo success stories. Who’s reached the word count goal in the past? Did you go on to finish the novel? Did you query, publish or self-publish or move on to a new work? (Or both?)

I’m asking a lot of questions and would like to share my own NaNoWriMo experience, but I don’t have a proper tale to tell! I’ve never officially participated in NaNoWriMo. This year I’m too busy with work writing and I’m juggling three WIPs (one YA, one MG and one “classified” short project) and don’t want to start yet another new work.

In the past, though, I sort of participated twice–I’m thinking 2007 and 2009 (but don’t quote me on that). I didn’t think I could officially participate because you’re supposed to write something brand new, if I understand correctly, and I was in the midst of my never-ending first draft for a YA book (120,000 words in the end and still not half way finished, ha) that took me nine years to finally abandon once and for all, after I mined the very best 5000 words or so and melded it into my first completed novel. So both of my unofficial NaNoWriMo experiences I worked on that manuscript, only I didn’t follow the rules in another way: I wasn’t aiming for 50,000 words. I was just determined to write half an hour a day at minimum in honor of the occasion, and that’s what I did. I even kept that up for some time into December.

I did also have similar experiences earlier this year. For one, I wrote 58,000 words in nine days early in the year when I had the inspiration for what would become my first completed draft of a book. In August of this year, I eked out almost another 50,000 words on a WIP because I had less work than usual. This time, it took me the whole month, and not every day of writing went smoothly.

And of course, I write tens or even hundreds of thousands of words each month for work, but that’s not quite the same!