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!

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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.

5 Stages of Losing Interest in Your Draft Novel #SundayBlogShare #writers

I think this describes me at the moment with my story. Hoping I will fall back in love with the current story.

BlondeWriteMore


Starting your draft novel can feel great. It is very similar to the start of a relationship. In the early days it’s all about spending as much time as possible with each other and having fun. Then the magic starts to fade…

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#Writing Update

Featured Image -- 1674Word Count: 705 words

So a bit of an improvement over last time but not by much therefore, another quick update really.

Those words have been on her last couple of weeks of home life and I have finally started on her journey to school! Well, I say that but really it’s just her waking up, remembering she is leaving to start a new adventure and getting dressed. Also, her cat has decided to use the word worms to describe people he sees below them. I am hoping that is actually funny but I will see eventually.

I have no idea what it is over the past week but I’ve had the time to write but I just seem to procrastinate and not write. Maybe it’s all the free time, maybe it’s the freedom, maybe it’s something else but for now, I just need to focus on actually using that time productively and just writing.

Part of that procrastination has been thinking about July and wondering if I should start another story or rewrite another one but I keep circling back to actually wanting to get this story written. Get this draft done at least. I think it’s born out of the fact I have struggled to do just that. Life has been through a few changes as of late and over the last couple of years which I think has contributed to me struggling to write and complete stories. Now I am settled, maybe it means I will finish a draft. Or maybe it’s just a good intention that will go.

How’s your writing going? Better? Worse? Had thoughts about July? If anyone has any advice about sitting my butt down and writing and maybe even completing a draft of a story at least, I would appreciate it. Have fun and I hope all the words come to you.

Camp #NaNoWriMo April 2016: Days 23-26

CNW_Participant

Current Word Count: 21,339 words

FMC is still on her shopping trip but that’s because getting her uniform equalled her finding out more about Halowin, how she got in and getting advice about extracurricular activities. Getting her lunch meanwhile has revealed another bad deed her family committed against the family owners of the diner but all of this has actually resulted in Hallie gaining 2 possible friends. Her return to the hotel gets her thinking about relationships between her and others and she concludes that she may find someone in the future who does actually love and care for her. Of course, this means her love interest (who has shown up briefly already) is about to have his full introduction.

It’s all good information but I have already concluded that this is going to be a pain to edit. I mean, I am on 21k words and the real story hasn’t fully started. Of course, that’s a consideration for later. Also, when I was last wrote an update, I said that the story took place in an AU, high fantasy location. Writing a bit more has revealed that no, it is firmly in this world. I am glad I realised this now as it means I can focus on the story again and have fewer concerns about this should I go back to editing this draft.

So whilst not a lot has really happened, information is being gathered and I have no doubt things will work out. How are you feeling in these last few days? Close to target or just writing for the story now? Will you continue with the story or are you putting it aside? Feel free to comment below.

A Question about Rewriting

Muslim Beauxbatons student by Celeste Doodles. Source: Celeste Doodles Tumblr Page.

This isn’t a post so much as me asking for advice. I hope folks don’t mind.

I recently started rewriting an old story, a story that I started in college (that’s 16-18 for folks outside of the UK) and only finished in 2012 as part of my NaNoWriMo for that November. The rewrite was inspired by the picture, left, on Tumblr of a Muslim Beauxbatons student, by Celeste Doodles. (If you click on the image, it takes you to the page of the original picture). It got me thinking about my FMC in the story and her appearance.

Now, I have thought about rewriting the story in question a few times, mostly through changing the FMC as well as some other characters but none of the angles seemed to work. As I said, when I saw the picture, it got me thinking about the FMC and her appearance in the first instance. I considered giving her a headscarf and then thought, why is she wearing it. The reasoning I have come up with since after talking to others for her headscarf is to do with vanity but I am also considering maybe giving some underlying spiritual reasoning. (She’s not going to be Muslim as she lives in another world to our own).

From this, my mind turned to other aspects of the character in general. That led to me reconsidering other parts of the story and the new set up that I have developing from those decisions makes it fairly far removed from the original story that I had written over the years.

I know changes to characters and the story are normal during the rewriting process but I am wondering how big changes to the story a writer should make from one draft to another? Should they be far-reaching, heavily changing lots of aspects of characters/story all at once or should the changes come slowly and be introduced slowly over a succession of drafts?

Curious to how others view this issue as I am a little intimidate with how big the changes are whilst also being comfortable with it. It’s crazy.