Monthly #Writing Update #amwriting

d7a3e-writingI know. New Years Goal failed about the blogging part! Life taking priority once more.

On the upside, final count for last month was 4,669 words. Not too bad going. It does mean I have already started creating a buffer for myself that I strongly suspect I am going to need.

Majority of what was written was about the raid of the house and FMC going to Oxford to be with her grandparents. Also ended up writing background stuff for two other characters, the traditions that the my FMC’s family and my MMC’s family have before getting stuck between two possible ways for the story to go. The first revolved around my FMC’s father showing up and sharing a brief bonding moment over the FMC’s cat and the second, which had just one sentence written before I abandoned the idea, was intending to start the romance story line earlier than intended but it felt too soon and possibly forced. Stuck where to go, I jumped back to where I had left it before and started writing about both FMC’s first day at school.

Might seem a little odd writing two versions of the story but I had no idea which way to go and, after tweeting about it, @Draebox suggested writing each to see which one worked. It didn’t fully work but it did help. Writing background stuff did help as well, both for word count and for background, even if most of it will disappear at a later date possibly.

My word count goals were created or even copied over from/using my data from last year but after this last month and considering how life is and could go over the next few months, I think I might have to consider adjusting them further or even just suspending my belief that I will hit them. The main goal for this year is just to get a draft completed. I also failed to write on 18 days this past month. Granted it means I wrote on 23 days of the month but I know there were days that I could have written on, even if it was just writing a few sentences into an e-mail on my phone. That would still have been a few more words and a bit more productivity.

In that vein, I think I need to look to finding a community and joining in with challenges that will help that goal as well as finishing the draft. I hope these links will help anyone reading too.

As well as the NaNoWriMo challenges (the Camps in particular), I have signed up to a new challenge on the DraeBox website called The Free Story Starter 14 Day Challenge. You can find all the details in the link. For me, I am hoping it will help me to keep pushing and make sure I write everyday as well as helping me prepare other materials for agents, etc. I have also been participating (when I can) in the #Storycrafter chats on a Sunday run by @Writerology. The community has been very welcoming and I am hoping to take part in more. Finally, there is a challenge I discovered through the Storycrafter chat this past Sunday that started today. Called #FebWIP and run by @reagancolbert97, it asks questions to be answered from the protagonists POV. From looking through Reagan Colbert’s Twitter timeline, she runs the WIP challenge through the year with different themes.

For the next month then, I will be aiming to write on as many days as possible, doing the above challenges or participating in chats and hopefully, continuing to build on the buffer I have created for myself.

How did your January go? How was your word count? Do you take part in the above challenges or chats? Plan to? Have others you take part in? Do comment below.

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New Years Goals 2017 #SundayBlogShare #Writing

Happy 2017 folks! Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year!

New Years always brings a flurry of hope and optimism with them. After the last year, I think we all need it! This optimism leads to people making resolutions and promises to themselves and others. If you have been around here long enough, you will know I don’t do resolutions. I break them the moment I make them! Instead, I set myself goals I want to achieve. These are either for my own well-being or in the interests of improving my writing.

To say the least, I have had limited success with the goals I set myself last year.

Try to write something every day or every week. Writing every day is not easy. I was either being too lazy or life was taking too much of a priority. Looking at my spreadsheets, it shows that, on average, I wasn’t writing 11 days each month. I was achieving my word counts most months, until I gave myself a new word count after achieving it. This was a short sighted move. I ended the year with a deficit of 4,848 words. I am still proud of that when I compare it to 12,700 word one I went into November NaNoWriMo with.

It hasn’t been all bad on this front. I have been reviewing my word goals every three months. This has proven helpful. It made me reset some of them because of life and how that was going to impact on my writing. This is something I wouldn’t have done without the Word Nerds talking about it in their videos.

Post once a week, every week on this blog. Partial success again that fell by the wayside at the end of the year. I did achieve this, putting November and December aside. I was writing or reblogging something roughly once a week.

Read more. Uh, yeah. I am calling this one a failure. I did read stuff, like the Rivers of London comics and started reading books but did I finish them? Not many. Going by my GoodReads Reading Challenge, I set myself a target of 25 books and read 23. Some were rereads, like Doctor Who Writers Tale: The Final Chapter, quite a few were comics, like Kingsman and Green Arrow New 52 Vol. 1, then there were indie books like Witch At Heart and Preternatural Affairs. So a mix and I did complete some books but I still feel like that I just didn’t read enough or finish enough books.

Participate in as many writing/National Novel Writing Month events as possible. Done and dusted on the NaNoWriMo front but definitely not on the writing event front. I participated in the DraeBox Writers Club challenge, which was a lot of fun. I will be again this year and I am looking forward to it. I am not resetting this goal for this year though. Instead I am replacing it.

Reason being, I think the universe has been trying to say something. Few recent experiences have made me think this. Firstly, I was talking with good friends of mine about drafting. We noted that we seem to always be starting or restarting drafts but never finishing them.

Secondly, I have been seeing tweets about committing to finishing 1 draft of a manuscript in 2017. It’s just typical I can’t find any of them now. This is what got me considering this new goal.

Thirdly, as I was writing this and reflecting on the past year, I realised something. I have spent more time on just one story than I have done in a long time. That story is the dark witch story. I have had some detours but I have always gone back to this one.

Spending so long on it, talking with friends and seeing the tweets have made me want to get at least one draft done. I want to be able to say I have finished something.

So my goals for 2017 are:

  1. Write something at least once a week, every week.
  2. Post once a week, every week on this blog.
  3. Read more and finish books.
  4. Complete at least one draft of one story.

What goals are you setting or pursuing this year? Had any luck with your goals or resolutions last year? Wishing you all the best for 2017!

Monthly #Writing Update

3278e-writerFinal Word Count: 6,465 words

I am quite proud of that total despite not writing for 9 days and it cut some of my deficit.

Most of what I wrote was exposition stuff, description and explaining how the school works. It’s not exactly the most interesting but necessary. I also went off track too by writing a scene from later in the story and a scene that really belongs in a possible sequel. They explore a possible story line that I am still figuring out and don’t want to discuss at the moment as discussed in my last update. I have also been reconsidering certain characters and their portrayal and who they are really. That could be an interesting experience as the changes are things I have never attempted writing before.

This is only an early draft so what’s written now will get rewritten hopefully and some story lines, characters and ideas may get stripped out.

I have also spent the end of last month working on a suggestion from Draebox of having a second project to work on when I hit a block on the first. Currently, that project is looking like it could be my NaNoWriMo/November 2014 and very little progress has happened however I have had a breakthrough on it. The second project may change yet but we will see.

Overall, last month was quite successful and the exposition will help me later. Having a second project could help so what I discuss in these updates could vary. I will try not to make it confusing. Aims for this month? Get as much written as possible to delay any issues that will present themselves over the next two months due to life stuff. I will be incredibly busy so writing will fall to the wayside. It is inevitable but if I can get ahead now, that will help a lot. No plans to take part in NaNoWriMo fully but I will try to enter some words some days.

How was last month for you? Plans for this month? Entering NaNoWriMo in November. Don’t be afraid to comment below.

#Writing Update

d7a3e-writingWord Count: 2,544 words

Just a quick update having realised I haven’t posted any sort of update on here. Been very distracted with actual writing, life and the Draebox challenges. If you’ve read my Twitter feed, you get an idea of what’s been going on.

In terms of story, there isn’t really a lot to tell. The characters have been sorted and are taking in their new surroundings and the garden party that has started the year. Very Hogwarts-esque but that is unavoidable I think. It’s a definer of the trope arguably so all magic school stories will be compared to it. For me and this story, having houses and an opening ceremonial meal just fits. I am thinking of taking it more along a Malory Towers line which had a house system  as well if not the meal so it still works. I have also had a few more ideas for different characters which could yet be dropped but that’s the fun of drafting, you can try things out before setting the story permanently.

Going forward, the main goals are to keep writing, read the books I received from Draebox and just keep going. I want to get as much written as possible right now because I know I will be seriously hampered in my ability to write from mid-November to Christmas. I have had to drop my target word count for November to 2,500 as I am not sure how willing to write I will be with how tired life is going to make me. The drop in target has also let me drop my deficit from 16,000 to 3,600 words. Much more manageable.

How are things going for you? Good? Bad? Comment below.