Category: HTRYN

How I Did in 2016…and Goals for 2017

happy-2017

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had/is having a good holiday weekend.

This is, of course, the obligatory re-hash of my 2016 goals, as well as a public declaration of my goals for 2017.

In 2016, my goals were:

Writing:

1) Finish Witches HTRYN. Didn’t happen. I started work on it, and realized that I have to re-write the story from scratch (mostly).

2) Finish 1st draft of Siren Song. Done! (More or less.)

3) Finish 1st draft of The Fall.   Nope. I did write some of it, but not much.

4) Start Camelot  Done! (To the tune of 1 chapter, a sort-of prologue, and some brainstorming.

5) Revise Casting Shadows. Didn’t even look at it.

6) Finish copyediting classes and make X dollars at it per month. Also no, although I did work on the classes some.

7) Have 500 followers on this blog. Only up to 314.

8) Have 200 followers on my personal blog. Only up to 199.

Reading:

1) Read Gone with the Wind. Done!

2) Read 1 book per month from my TBR shelf. Done!

3) Read all books on the reading list for my American Women Writers class (8 total). Done!

4) Read one classic per month. Done!

5) Read one book of poetry. Done!

6) Read 2 books per month to review. Done!

7) Read one inspirational book per month. Done!

8) Read 75 books total. Done! Actually, I read 128 books—WAY over my goal—which I’m pretty happy about. You can check out my books on the 2016 Goodreads challenge here.

Goals for 2017

Writing:

1) Finish draft of The Fall.

2)  Finish draft of Camelot.

3)  Finish Witches revision.

4)  Self-pub something or find agent.

5)  Revise Chasing Shadows.

6)  Publish/sub Chasing Shadows.

7) Do/win NaNo (with the Southern Fic story).

Reading

1)  Read one book per month set in a different culture or by an author from a different culture.

2)  Read 100 books.

3)  Read one classic per month.

4) Read one spiritual book per month.

5) Review 5 books per month.

6) Read one book from TBR pile every other month.

7)  Read Battlefield Earth.

Mid-Year Goal Update

At the beginning of the year, I set quite a few goals for myself (not resolutions). Eight goals in each of three separate categories, one being reading and one being writing. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how I’m doing on those goals, since we’re halfway through the year.

Reading goals:

1) Read GWTW.
2) Read 1 book per month from TBR.
3) Read all books on AWR list.
4) Read one classic per month.
5) Read one book of poetry.
6) Read 2 books per month to review.
7) Read one inspirational book per month.
8) Read 75 books.

I haven’t read any of Gone with the Wind since January, so I better get on that. I have read one book each month from my TBR pile.  I successfully read all of the books on the reading list for my American Women Writers class. I have read a classic per month. I have not read any poetry. (Oops.) I’ve read and reviewed at least two books each month. I’ve read at least one inspirational book each month. And I’ve currently read 69 out of my goal of 75 books.

Writing goals:

Writing goals:

1) Finish Witches HTRYN.
2) Finish 1st draft of Siren Song.
3) Finish 1st draft of The Fall.
4) Start Camelot.
5) Revise Casting Shadows.
6) Finish copyediting classes and start making money at it.
7)  Have 500 followers on this blog.
8) Have 200 followers on my personal blog.

 

I’m still working on the revision of Witches. Siren Song is outlined, but I stopped working on it, and started writing on The Fall again. No progress on Camelot. No progress on Casting Shadows. I’m still working on the copyediting classes. I’m still chipping away at the blog goals.

Verdict:  I’m doing okay on my goals, but I need to get it together and get on all of them!

Weekly Update: the End is in Sight

This week has been plenty busy. Craziness at work (which should soon be resolving itself in a very positive way.). Trying to get everything for the first week of classes done, as well as the reading done for the second week (Just about have that complete.). And perhaps I should pack sometime today, since I’m leaving for Atlanta tomorrow. Perhaps

However, HTRYN Lesson One is going well. Sort of. It’s a bit depressing, but I should finish the first pass through Witches today. I’m seeing a lot of the same issues. Being aware of them is the first step to fixing them, right? (Here’s hoping.) I’m seeing a lot of telling-not-showing, and there’s more distance from my characters than I’d like. I do have an idea about fixing one issue that’s been bothering me somewhat for a long time, however.

I’m also less than five scenes from finishing the outline of Siren Song! I’m really happy about that, even if it’s not the greatest outline ever. I’m hoping there will be less wandering about with an actual outline to work from. (Knowing my tendency to get distracted, I’m almost positive that will be true.)

I’m off to finish things up so I can enjoy my sort-of-mini-vacation!

New Year, this Time with Some Actual Goals

Happy new Year 2016 Images (20)
(I do not own this image.)

Happy New Year!

I used to make very complicated, intricately planned-out lists of resolutions every year. A few years ago, I stopped that, but this year I decided to give it another go. I ended up with three separate lists (Life, Writing, and Reading), each with eight goals.

Here are my Writing goals for the year:

1) Finish Witches HTRYN.

2) Finish 1st draft of Siren Song. 

3) Finish 1st draft of The Fall.   

4) Start Camelot

5) Revise Casting Shadows.

6) Finish copyediting classes and make X dollars at it per month.

7) Have 500 followers on this blog. (I can dream, right?)

8) Have 200 followers on my personal blog (It’s a goal.)

HNY

Here are my Reading goals:

1) Read Gone with the Wind (for at least the 25th time. I normally read it every year, but it’s been a few years.).

2) Read 1 book per month from my TBR shelf.

3) Read all books on the reading list for my American Women Writers class (8 total).

4) Read one classic per month.

5) Read one book of poetry.

6) Read 2 books per month to review.

7) Read one inspirational book per month.

8) Read 75 books total.

Winning Against Inertia

I’ve started working on the revision for Witches.  Which means I’ve done two chapters so far.  It’s…interesting.  The first few chapters are pretty clean, actually. I’m altering my old voice to my new voice, but I usually write first-person these days, and this story is in third-person…which is a bit of a challenge for me.  If I didn’t need multiple viewpoint characters to tell this story, I would definitely be changing the POV as well.  But I don’t think a story written from the viewpoints of at least four characters would work that well in first-person.  (Plus, that’s pretty confusing.)

So.  Two chapters down, 67 to go.

I’m considering the idea of graduate school when I finish my bachelor’s degree next December.  My school offers an online master’s degree in journalism, which is intriguing to me.  I believe words have power.  And journalism, or at least this degree, can help me to use them.  So.  Mulling that over a lot.

I also got some writing done today on Siren Song.  Win!  I broke the inertia all the way around today.  It’s been a good day.

Too Good to Be True

So, I started revisions on Witches on Sunday, using HTRYN.  I haven’t touched this story in years, and, in fact, have actually forgotten large chunks of it, so reading it has been an experience. In the first lesson of HTRYN, you’re looking for places the characters, story, or world went wrong (or places they went right). I remember the first time I used it to revise a story:  I had red ink all over the pages, with notations of things. This time…the first few chapters have a few scattered marks, but the rest of the 20 chapters I’ve read so far have nothing. Nothing.

This concerns me. Oh, the story isn’t perfect, not by any means. But it’s written in a far different voice and POV than I use now, and that is what bothers me. It feels off, but not wrong. I’ve found a few “wrong” things: like a couple of details that don’t mesh well with the worldbuilding, but the story/plot itself seems to be sound. So…

I still have a lot more reading (and lessons) to get through, but as it stands now, the main thing seems to be that I’m going to have to fix the voice. I’m not as worried about that as I probably should be, because I would fix that a chapter at a time, which isn’t an overwhelming idea.

I have zero experience with this result from revisions. Anyone have any thoughts?

Finally…Progress!

I finally started writing again!  Granted, it was probably less than 300 words this morning, but it’s a start! Before I could write a single word, I had to re-read the entire (That makes it sound like so much) 67-page draft to get a feel for the characters again. That’s the problem with forgetting you even started a story and then trying to start it again:  you forget you ever knew the characters, much less the plot you had planned (assuming I had one planned.). SO I read the draft, then wrote a few hundred words. Not much, I know, but a start, and I know exactly what happens next, which is why I stopped where I did:  so I can actually start during my next session. I’m really happy to be writing again.

Today I will also start working through HTRYN with the draft of Witches. Wow. You know, I thought I was going to be working on a 300,000-word monstrosity, but it turns out, once I opened a document I hadn’t looked at in I-don’t-even’know-how-many-years, that this, the third version of the story, is only 188,000 words. Still way too long, but a definite improvement over my first thought. Whew.  Instead, after using a 10-point Times New Roman font, as well as single spacing it, the printed MS is only 269 pages. That I now have to read through as if I’ve never heard of these people before (And, let’s face it, after a break of years, that’s pretty accurate. I hope we’re old friends again soon.).

Writing After a Break

(I do not own this image, but the words are TRUE.)
(I do not own this image, but the words are TRUE.)

Have you ever taken a break from writing?

I have. To be honest, the “break” I just finished up was more of a three-year hiatus than anything. There were a lot of reasons for it–depression, a major health issue, school–but that doesn’t make me feel any better about taking it.

The thing is, I miss writing. An ex of mine used to tell me I needed to write if I started getting too grumpy, and that’s probably true. (Kind of explains my moodiness lately, as well.)  Blog-writing helps stave off the attitude somewhat, but getting eyeball-deep in fiction will almost for-sure “cure” the problem.

(I do not own this image.)
(I do not own this image.)

I’m eager to leap back into the thick of things, to pull a blanket of words over my head and just snuggle into them. Except, of course, I have no idea where I was going with the Siren story….

Not to mention, I want to revise Witches, and I haven’t touched it in years.

So, I think a bit of planning is in order, first. Wait. Pre-work. I meant pre-work. I already have a plan:  do all the things! NO. No. I need an idea of where the story is going, first, before I dive in and start writing. Otherwise, I’ll end up with another 300,000-word monstrosity to revise.

Okay, new plan:  HTRYN for Witches, brainstorm a general outline for the Siren story and work through HTTS for it. Okay. I have a plan.

Now I just need to implement it.

Getting My (Writing) Ducks in a Row

So…School is out. Vacation is over. Real life has started again. That means it’s time to get back to writing. Yay! In that direction, I went through the “Writing” folder on my computer on Sunday.

And found 67 pages of a story I don’t even remember writing, for NaNo 3 years ago. I read probably 15 pages before I believed that I actually wrote it. It’s a YA about the Sirens and Spartans, but set in the here-and-now. It was kind of like having an out-of-body experience, reading through something I have no memory of writing. (The writing took place about 6 months pre-stroke, and I stopped when my depression got really bad).

Yesterday, I found the story notebook for my newly rediscovered story. That’s the good news. The bad news…in it is one piece of paper with 40 words on it. Mainly character names. No plot ideas, no outline, nothing else. Also some printed out research on sirens and the like. It appears that I will be basically starting from scratch, because, let’s face it, I’m totally sucked into the 67 pages of MS I have. I was seriously like “Did I write this? It’s really good!” Guess what just got bumped to the top of my to-write list?

That’s not strictly true. I want to get going on The Fall again, too. I’ve only got a few chapters written, and I need to change some stuff that my Muse gave me over the past few months when I wasn’t supposed to be writing (my Muse is, apparently, a rebel). An outline would, perhaps, be helpful. Or, heck, even a basic idea of where the story was going. At this point, I’m flailing around in the fog, only able to see two steps in front of me.

I also discovered a tiny bit of another story, along with its notebook and partial outline, as well as a good bit of notes for a third story. I think 4 WIPs is a bit excessive, even for me. My Muse either fainted from excitement, or went on strike, I’m not sure which.
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Let’s not forget my to-be-revised list, which grows ever longer. Sigh…Think I’m gonna start with Witches,  though. Cutting down that 300,000 word behemoth is going to be…tricky, but the characters are talking to me. Or, possibly, I’m hearing voices….Yeah, it could be either one.

Writing question of the day:  does anyone else juggle multiple stories at the same time?  Some tips would be helpful. And very much appreciated.

Vacations are Good for the Soul (and the Muse)

You know how I’ve decided not to worry about writing at all for the next four weeks, until the semester is over, so I don’t risk a brain meltdown? Turns out that taking an “official” break from writing has my Muse playing with story ideas.

Yep. True story.

Apparently, my Muse can’t wait to get back to work on Witches–which I haven’t looked at in years, and Chasing Shadows, which is more recent, but still not something I’ve thought about in like a year. Looks like I’ll be taking those two stories apart and revising them this summer. Plus working through HTTS with The Fall. I’m actually really excited about working on Witches. It was the first thing I started writing. I love the characters to pieces. I love the world. I love the plot. I even have the first draft of the second book written as well. I think the draft of Witches I have is over 300,000 words, though, so clearly there is a lot of work to be done, sigh.

But the Muse is stoked, and already at work in the back of my mind.

I can’t wait for the semester to be over!