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.

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!

Belated #Writing Update

Sherlock WritingCurrent Word Count: 7,286 words

Firstly, sorry for the disappearing act over the last fortnight. A case of writers block combined with life stuff has meant that I haven’t blogged here and writing has slowed to a snail’s pace. Granted, I have increased by word count by about 3,000 words but those words are still mostly world building.

My FMC has discovered that her family and that of her grandfather’s business partner are more linked than she had realised but that raised more questions for her. I ended up taking a detour whilst figuring out part of the answer for some of those questions which led to me reconsidering a storyline and the pairings for the story, wrote an extra little thing, realised I was going down the wrong road, and deciding to go back to the original ideas.

After all that, I returned to being stuck and having no idea where to go next. Writing ended up taking a back seat whilst I dealt with IRL stuff. Yesterday though, something clicked and I got 753 words written. Those words led to the revelation of the cat familiars name, Constantine, and that he has a dark personality but can also act like a teenage girl. I commented on Twitter that the Skull-in-a-jar from Lockwood & Co. is proving rather influential of the cat. Whether that continues, I will just have to see. I am re-reading Hollow Boy at the moment so it is possible.

The fact I have written anything is partly because I have accepted that I will have to jump over some time to be able to write. This hopefully will mean I will be able to get on with the bulk of the story much quicker though I know have another problem upcoming that will stop me once more. The main thing is that I am writing again.

Hopefully everyone else’s writing has been more fruitful than my own. Here’s to a better end of the month, even if it is just one or two words.

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!

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2015: Days 27 & 28

Camp Winner 2015 Banner

Day 27: 15,298 words

Day 28: 15,667 words

To say I’ve flapped about trying to find my feet with Twitter, I have to say I am pretty proud of my words counts.

I’ve been retreading some old ground with more character discovering and my FMC worrying about her place at school and within the family but with her setting off to school now, I can definitely feel myself moving into new territory, I say hopefully now! I’ve ended using description of the family’s parents in relation to my FMC to describe her because I am god awful at description, especially for characters and how they look. Also had the father show he wants as little to do with her as possible and finds her embarrassing but I can’t help feeling there is something underneath all that in regards to the father. Maybe I will discover it later, maybe not. We will see.

How much writing I will get done today and in the next few days may well be down to how easy or otherwise Windows 10 is to install and use.

How to Hashtag Blog Tweets.

If you are a newbie to Twitter like me, this is definitely worth a read.

Hugh's Views & News

Howdy folks, it’s me, it’s me, Ronovanee. Okay, so it’s Ronovan, but Ronovan didn’t rhyme. Hugh is letting me hijack his blog for a moment. Just don’t tell him I did it, cause he doesn’t know I snuck in. Remember, everything that follows are my opinions and not Hugh’s, so if you disagree, it’s all on me. OOOooooOOo I rhymed that one for real, oh what a thrill. o,O (All images created by me. My apologies in advance.)

I want to start off by saying blogging isn’t a game of numbers for me. I know for some it is and you can tell who those people are. They are the sad people that belittle others who do things because they believe in them instead of doing them for gaining followers and views. In the words of the masochistic dog to the flea, “Bite me”.

What is Hashtagging?

Many people like…

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Social Media Marketing

Flicking around the web, I’ve come across two articles from Barnsley-based Social Media Agency, Bigfoot Digital explaining how a business (or indeed, a writer) can promote and market their products and blog content.

The first is looking at how you can make sure any Social Media accounts you have or want to open will have positive impact in increasing traffic to your blog and, for writers, gaining new fans. The article also includes tips on the sort of things you should be posting to your Social Media streams. Have at the check list by going to A Checklist for Every New Social Media Account You Open.

The second is looking at 4 ways you can create links to your content from promotion on various Social Media websites to the naturally made links when people find and like your stuff! Check it out by visiting 4 Types of Links: Why You Need Them and How To Get Them on the agency’s website.

I hope these links are helpful to people.