January, February & March 2017 #Writing Update

 
 
Happy time zones folks. Life likes throwing in surprises and spanners and that has led to me not posting here. Writing wise, I have been much more successful.
 
Save for any words I write today I am on 17,926 words for the year. My target for the end of this month (March) for the year was 7,500 words. Whilst it is good over all that I am nearly 10.5k ahead, it is even better with Camp NaNoWriMo starting tomorrow. It is looking the next month is going to be very busy for me so having a buffer that I can use is going to be very helpful. The buffer is intended for the end of the year but if I have to use some now, so be it.
 
Majority of what I have written in the last three months has been my FMC’s first week of school, meeting classmates, teachers and first lessons. Seems a lot of words to spend on it but I am also aware that this draft is an absolute plantser mess! I have accepted that. I am focused on getting it written, not getting it right. The next draft is for tightening up and getting the big picture stuff sorted. I have also written some stuff that happens a few months later in story time. It connects with what I had written in December.
 
When I have not been writing, my mind has been on world building, new ideas and solving certain issues that had come to mind. Particularly, my thoughts have been about certain secrets and possible plans for the future. I may actually write some of the future stuff now, if only to get the ideas out of my head. My focus though is on completing this draft though.
 
Plans for the next few months is to keep writing, keep pushing for one completed draft of this story. Right now, I am reconsider certain word counts. A certain life surprise means the original goals I had set are now unlikely or pushing it too far. Take next month for example. I had planned on getting 10,000 words written during Camp. That goal has had to be revised down to 5k to accommodate it whilst also giving me the push to keep writing despite it. In May and June, I have set a target of 2,500 words each. These goals are based on what I wrote last year. All things considered, I am leaving them as is for now. They are attainable and any extra words will add to the buffer.
 
How is your writing going at the moment? Planning to enter Camp next month or in July? Had any problems or is everything going well? Do comment below.

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.

#Writing Update

Sherlock WritingWord count: 312 words

After suffering from cold and dealing with rl stuff, I am actually proud of that total. It’s not perfect nor ideal but it’s better than none. Therefore, this update is going to be a short one as expected.

In terms of story, my FMC and her fellow first formers have just met their new house leader. Having received the cold shoulder from her fellows, my FMC is talking to said house leader, who is questioning her over her reluctance to try new food.

There is potential character growth seeds here but whether they grow or not, I don’t know. The conversation may well get ignored. Speaking of which, I have also been thinking about an idea that I am wondering if I could pull off with my FMC’s mother. It has potential for wider effects on characters and character relationships so I am treating it as a possibility.

In other news, I have joined NaNoWriMo once more but have resigned myself to the fact that 50,000 words is never going to happen. I learnt my lesson from last year that a November NaNo is never gonna be completed fully with everything else going on. I will be writing and logging word counts (staying with this story) instead and cheering everyone else on from the sidelines.

Plan for now though is to write, catch up and just get rid of this cold. A quick question though if you would be so kind to answer: years or forms? I keep flip-flopping and was wondering if anyone has any ideas. The story is set in an AU Britain where magic is known and out there but regular humans have a habit of turning a blind eye to it. Be grateful for any responses.

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.

NaNoWriMo: Preparing To Write A Novel In A Month.

If you need some advice on relating NaNoWriMo next month, have a read of this!

Holly Evans

nanowrimo prep preparing to write a novel in a month

NaNoWriMo – when a large collection of writers gather around the world to write a novel in a month!

When you put it like that, it sounds crazy and intimidating doesn’t it? An entire novel, in one month! Don’t fear, I’m here to help.

First things first, take a deep breath, you can do this.

Secondly, let’s think about this logically. Don’t think of it as one huge undertaking, it’s not an entire novel, it’s a series of chapters, a collection of 1667 word bites. That’s manageable right?

If you write 50 words per minute, you can get that chunk done in under 40 minutes! That completely do-able right? Say it louder! Yes Holly, that’s completely do-able!

Great, now you have to can-do attitude, we’ll have at look at some methods to help you achieve that goal.

This isn’t my first NaNoWriMo, I’ve actually forgotten how many I’ve done, I’ve…

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Writing Narrative Endings – Infographic…

I know we are only 3 days into Camp NaNoWriMo but here’s a little something about endings that might be worth thinking about.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Extract from an article by Kristine Nannini – elementary school teacher, curriculum writer, educational blogger, and founder of Young Teacher Love.

image

How many writing pieces have you read with the words THE END scribbled at the bottom? Yes, I know it’s the end. I always tell my students that they don’t have to tell me it’s the end. I should know it’s the end if they’re writing a good ending! The first time I see this in a student’s writing, I write THE END on a piece of paper, crumble it up, and throw it in the trash. It’s like a mini ceremony to say goodbye to THE END, and it sends a strong message!

Barry Lane said it best in his book Reviser’s Toolbox: “Don’t write endings, find them… Endings grow from beginnings and reveal themselves through clues within the story, characters, or ideas.”

The Infographic below was sourced from her…

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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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