#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.

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Monthly #Writing Update

Sherlock WritingFinal Word Count: 3,190 words

Not a complete disaster but I just seemed to hit a block last month. All those words to convey the characters from the train to the sorting ceremony with very little drama really plus the funeral stuff for the end of the story. Still, I do wonder why I hit such a big block.

I know tiredness is one potential point that caused it but beyond that, I don’t know. I had the first week of August off and I had days to just write and I would have thought going to see Wicked would have been enough to push me on but apparently not. Everyday it felt, I would sit to write and nothing would come out. All I would do is write a few words, delete them, rewrite, delete and so on but never actually writing anything and advancing me on. Even giving myself permission to write out-of-order didn’t help. I think it may have been a hindrance. Perhaps I am too used to working in order.

Over the last few days though, with September 1st and Back To Hogwarts coming, it did seem to push me on. It perhaps says something about the story and possibly my influences as a reader and writer.

Plan for this month then? Just try to push on and keep writing. After all, I am around 16,000 words behind for the year so far. So, not much then(!) Plus, I am aware that life is about to become exceedingly busy and writing will have to fall by the wayside. I have even dropped my own personal target for November and NaNoWriMo from the traditional 50k target to 25k though that may yet drop again. Either way, if I want to end this year hitting that target, I need to be catching up words now and even getting ahead.

How about you guys? Was August good for you or too hot to even think? Planning for NaNoWriMo? Other? Do comment below.

#Writing Update… Or lack of!

d7a3e-writingCurrent Word Count: 2,312 words

So the reason there hasn’t been any writing updates is because of life stuff and lack of inspiration. Every time I have sat down to write, I have hit a wall. I try to put one word in front of the word but always ended up backspacing. I have no idea why I have struggled really but I am proud to say I have at least been writing something just to push me on.

The idea to try to write non-linear is proving difficult but I think that is down to me having grown up being taught to think and write in a linear fashion. Perhaps I need to learn how to break free and experiment more in unconventional ways. If anyone has any advice on this, it would be welcomed.

Will this slump continue? I don’t know. All I know is that my 5k target is unlikely to happen, even with the bank holiday weekend and knowing that I am writing just the right thing with the 1st September on its way. (My owl with my Hogwarts letter still hasn’t shown up!) Right now, I think I just need to get writing.

Monthly #Writing Update

Image Source: Insider Monkey/Google Images

I wasn’t able to post on Saturday as planned so figured I might as well wait until today, the last day of the month, to post and do it as a monthly thing. I have started using the Write All Year Excel sheet to track my word counts and other little things so it just feels right to do it like this. The main reason I am not doing it tomorrow is because I have errands to run and it is 1st September, Back to Hogwarts Day, so I suspect I will be distracted and will forget. It does mean that this is not a full monthly update.

Whether or not this will be the only Monthly update or it continues, I don’t know.

Weekly Word Count: 2,963 words

Monthly Word Count (so far): 8,081 words

So I am still shy of my 10k target for this month but either way, that is a lot of words.

I didn’t exactly do all of my aims from last week. The idea story does have some mileage in it but I ended up putting it aside and the plans to completely rewrite the first chapter of my Novella MS in favour of my Camp story. I do want to go back to the idea story with the magical spy character but I suspect it is going to come down to motivation. The Novella MS will just have to stay on my list of things to do.

The Camp story meanwhile, keeps being pushed on and on. I don’t know why I seem so fixated on it. I am just really enjoying writing it. Maybe it is because of the time of year or maybe it’s because the story keeps throwing up new ideas and announcing stuff I was not aware of was included in the story. This might sound weird to a planner but to someone like me, who plans but also allows the characters to take the lead on stuff, it can happen. It is not without its problems though.

There is a definitely Hogwarts feel starting to come to it as the characters announced that there were houses at the school, based on personality. I am not entirely happy with the personality aspect nor how the pupils are divided up between them: observations from staff, Head Boy and Girl and the Prefects who then decide who goes to what house. I am trying to think of a much more magical way for it to happen and no, a Sorting Hat is not an option! I have looked to see how places like Harrow and Eton house their pupils but it came down to complimenting the current cohorts in those houses in terms of skills, academic and sporting.

If anyone has any suggestions that might help, comment below.

Two other things have cropped up that have stopped me writing. One, the look and layout of the school buildings. I have found pictures of a building in New York that I feel is right for the school but also encompasses the equilateral and uniform design of Georgian mansion architecture. I can see it in my head because of those pictures, stuff I did at school and my local area however as I had my characters start exploring the school, I realised I needed to review parts of the design to figure out where everything is, like shared and separate facilities. I might need to do some drawing out of some stuff but for the most part I think it is sorted.

Another thing that cropped up whilst I was having two characters argue was the social structure of the magical society. It is probably going to be along similar lines of class structures within society like upper, middle and lower class at its most basic but not quite. It was a bit silly to think that this wouldn’t come up as a hierarchy of sorts with the schools is already at major play. Another thing is that one of the characters in the argument I suspect is titled so I may need to look up maybe died out titles within aristocracy or perhaps invent new ones. Is that possible?

This month, I definitely did not meet all the aims and goals I set myself but I feel I also succeeded in doing a lot too, including attending my first NaNoWriMo Write In. My local group does them year round so it’s great to be able to jump in without the pressures of NaNoWriMo itself. Hopefully, I am going to be able to attend more now I have actually managed to navigate and get there and back without hiccup. With a new month beginning tomorrow and the run up to Halloween, NaNo and Christmas as well as the events themselves, it could be a very interesting time to say the least for how much or little continues to be written.

Writing Update

Handwritten words aside, I’ve got 2,610 words down. Not a lot but in among everything else, I am quite happy with having got quite a bit written. Using the WAY excel sheet has helped with keeping track and wanting to write even when I haven’t for whatever reason.

I have hit a slight wall with this train scene where it is supposed to be my FMC worrying she is going to be found out as coming from a dark magic family. I think I may have found a break in that wall which may or may not help. On the upside, sort of, procrastinating has helped with trying to refocus on the FMC of who she is. I think I may have lost sight on who the character is so has produced a block on me.

The first was realising that perhaps my FMC is a good Slytherin if she went to Hogwarts. I can’t help thinking that she is probably ambitious, cunning and resourceful, the traits of a Slytherin. I may discover that isn’t true but right now I think I need that guide. Something else that is helping me with the FMC is finding a song that I think fits her. The other day on YouTube, I listened (and my have sang along to as well) a deleted sing from Wicked called Making Good, which I think fits with my FMC:

She has her plans and ambitions. She doesn’t know what she wants to do but she wants to be doing something that will make people remember her as something other than the weird kid from that dark magic family. I just can’t help thinking that this song and the idea she would be a Slytherin will help me.

Pushing On, Keeping Going

Image Source: GoodSearch Images

As you might have guessed from the title and the last post, I am carrying on with my Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m not writing a lot each day it must be said, partly because I have been exploring Twitter and Windows 10. You probably know the feeling. Pretty, shiny new things! Must be explored!

I am very goal orientated in life, as well as writing as I have noted on this blog before and I knew I would need to find a way to keep me going with this story. That’s why I attempted to join Write All Year but it didn’t work for some reason. No e-mail confirmation, nothing. No idea what happened there but I was able to get to the Productivity Goodies page and downloaded the annual word count tracker despite it being eight months into this year and that is already having an impact, just like the word count tracker excel spreadsheet I found on the NaNoWriMo forums.

Maybe it’s the sight of seeing bar chart and pie graphs as well as being able to see an overview of the whole year that is inspiring. Maybe. All I know is that it works for me and whilst it works, I will use it to help me.

I did manage to 1,036 words written overall last night, focusing on the start of the FMC’s journey to school with the MMC and also having the characters talk about apparent pupil numbers on this, the first part of the journey to school before starting to talk about sports. When I got to that point, I was too tired to continue writing and instead starting figuring out a potential magical sport for the school to play along with some other possible sports clubs. I think it’s safe to say JK Rowling did such a good job at creating Quidditch that it made it difficult for my tired brain to come up with anything to do with broomsticks without potential copying Quidditch in some form.

I think I am onto something though so we will see.

Thoughts from today whilst pottering around doing various things included concerns about characterisation and plot. I think my FMC has opened up too early and I need to reinstate her frostiness which leads to plot. She’s frosty in fear of being discovered to be relate to her dark magic family but once she is discovered, everyone starts isolating her, forcing her to become warmer and potentially have to go against her family even more to show she is a good person to her fellow pupils. Also thinking maybe my current MMC might need to abandon her (not sure I like the character any more to be honest) but maybe a new one or two appear, backing her up for some reason. Maybe she defends them from bullies or some such.

Of course, all this is just thinking and I am just going to let my characters and the story guide the writing. I find it’s the best method for me sometimes when writing the first draft.

Are you continuing with your Camp novel? Are you revising or working on something else? How do you keep yourself going and accountable? Feel free to comment below.