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.

Advertisements

#Writing Update #MondayBlogs

Sherlock WritingWord count: 1,310 words

Quick apologies for not posting sooner. Been very distracted so things have dropped by the wayside. Oops. Time to catch up then. In saying that, I’ve not had a bad start to the month.

As I said in my earlier post, I am experimenting with writing scenes out-of-order so I have ended up writing one of the ending scenes where my FMC is with her siblings and cousins for possibly the last time and meets her father for the first time. It’s clunky at best but it’ll do for now as a first draft. After finishing that, I moved back to where I had left off at the end of June with my characters on the train meeting and got some words written but I think I may need to skip past it a little with just a note and move to writing the sorting bit and the school introduction and stuff. So more description, more introductory stuff but it’s words, it’s world building and it is a first draft, sort of.

Who knows? It might give me a buffer and might propel me towards my 5k target. Considering I need to write around 13k words to get back on track for the year, it could be a good idea that I am about to write so much exposition.

How is everyone else going? Taking the month off after Camp or trying to keep the momentum going? Here’s hoping you are well and that I find some motivation. It seems to have run off somewhere.

The Confessions of a Writer

Been tagged to do this by Niina at Northern Chapters so I figured I would give it a go.

d7a3e-writing

Rules of the tag:

  • Please link back to A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly’s post, so that the original rules are always accessible to anyone who is curious and wants to participate!
  • Acknowledge the person who tagged you in your post.
  • Tag your friends and fellow writers – it’s up to you how many!

The Confessions of a Writer Tag was created by Nicolette at A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly. It is a ‘get-to-know’ the writer interview tag, dedicated to spotlighting the creative process, works in progress, and connecting to other writers.


 

When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?

I aspired to be many things as a kid from a vet to a nurse to a pop star, all the usual little girl ambitions. I wasn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the pack at the time and had no interest in anything remotely academic. It took a teacher pointing out I was good at writing that something seemed to start to click in my mind. I did start writing but the switch wasn’t fully turned on though until I discovered the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. After that, everything clicked into place.

What genre do you write?

I gravitate mostly to fantasy and crime with romance sub plots in most of my stories. Family drama, social commentary and thriller also make appearances in a few of my stories, something that didn’t hit me until a tutor pointed it out. I have attempted forays into the science fiction genre but they rarely work out well to be honest.

Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?

I’m working on my magic school story from July Camp NaNoWriMo. Anyone who follows my blog will know it started just from an idea after a failed sci-fi story and has continued since then. The story revolves around a teen girl, coming from a dark magic family involved in criminality, trying to escape and be different. Not sure what I will do with the story later. We’ll see.

What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?

The first story I chose to write was a fan fiction based on Flint The Time Detective, about one of the detectives called Merlock Holmes and his daughter. It never was finished and is absolutely awful, with stuff borrowed from the Cardcaptors/Card Captor Sakura, Lord of the Rings and the Malory Towers series to name but a few. It did have the first version of the school my FMC from the above answer attends so it was not all bad really.

What’s the best part about writing?

Creating new things and exploring the world through the written word. One day, I want to explore the world myself, not just through stories.

What’s the worst part about writing?

Hitting a wall in the creation of the first draft then editing and rewriting. Ugh! Necessary but still hate it.

What’s the name of your favourite character and why? (This can be from a book by another author or from your own work. Book crushes are perfectly acceptable here as well).

Oh! I have no idea! I love characters like Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third from the How To Train Your Dragon books by Cressida Cowell because he’s not your typical hero, and Hermione Granger, because she was smart and her description is very similar to how I was as a kid. Those sorts of characters appeal to me.

How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?

I tend to write in the evening most days because it is the only free time I have available to me in a typical day but I do prefer to write and work on an afternoon. I’ve run my errands, had something to eat and drink, checked the news and e-mail, etc. I can just sit and write (and watch some YouTube and television). It’s a routine that was developed at university and has proven the most productive.

Did you go to college for writing? Or if you haven’t been to college yet, do you plan to?

I did Professional Writing at university (or college as it is in the USA), with the idea that it would set me up not just for writing in general, but was applicable to other jobs too. I’m not working as a writer in any capacity at the moment sadly but I do have ideas and career plans that relate to writing, even just part-time.

What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar errors?

Has to be grammar mainly but the others drive me up the wall too, especially if it is in a document or something that you would expect to be correctly spelt, punctuated, grammar checked and formatted correctly.

What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?

It’s actually a philosophy quote by Confucius that applies to every part of life: “It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” In other words, keep writing!

What advice would you give to another writer?

I hate the advice write what you know. You could write about everything you know very easily and quickly and end up stuck. I prefer the advice write not what you know, but what you would like to find out about. Write about the things that you want to find out about. The world is a big place so explore it!

What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?

My friends are usually my first port of call for help but I also follow a lot of Tumblr prompt and advice blogs, such as Write World and Writing Cafe, as well as seasonal picture blogs that have some stunning picture ripe for prompts, Rayne Hall’s Twitter (her books are brilliant too) and love using Seventh Sanctum.

Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?

Love to read, watch a lot of TV, films and stand up comedy, like Call The Midwife, The Big Bang Theory, How To Train Your Dragon 1 and 2 (I love Toothless!) and comedians like Russell Howard, baking and chatting to friends.

What is the best book you’ve read this year?

This year has to be Lockwood & Co: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud! Second in the series with a cliffhanger to match the first book, The Screaming Staircase. I am in love with this series!

What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?

Has to be Kingsman: The Secret Service. The church scene! The church scene!

What is your favourite book or series of all time?

It changes but I do default to Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society by Adeline Yen Mah. Mah weaves a beautiful story of a girl playing her part in World War 2 in occupied Shanghai with wonderful teachings from Chinese philosophy and culture.

Who is your favourite author?

My all time favourite is JK Rowling as she is also my heroine.

What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?

Mostly just to write, as I haven’t been in a place to do so for a while due to life. More focused goals are to hopefully get my second NaNoWriMo win and to keep writing my Camp story.

Where else can we find you online?

Aside from here, my main ones are Tumblr and Twitter but you can also find me on NaNoWriMo.


 

Finished! I am tagging Kit from Where Landsquids Fear To Tread, Lizzie from mylittlebookblog, Diane from Tales from Baggins Bottom and Charles from Legends of Windemere. Anyone who I haven’t tagged but would like to do this, go for it!

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.