My goal for this month was to finish up the first draft of The Fall. The story is completely outlined–using my favorite, a phase outline–everything is fresh in my mind, I still like the story…but for the past few weeks, forcing myself to sit down and write has been kind of like pulling teeth.
Today, I figured out why: the story that’s outlined, that I’ve been writing, is no longer the story I want to tell.
Don’t get me wrong, I still want to tell this story. But the story is no longer about what I thought it was about. So, I have all these little glimpses and glimmers of the other story in my head, but I don’t have my trail mapped out. I’m close to finishing the current draft, but there’s really no point, since I no longer want to tell the story.
So, I’m going to stop writing this story. Give myself a break for the rest of the month to deal with the huge, looming reports due at work. Continue outlining the Witches rewrite, but stop all of my other writing efforts as I focus on the job and school for a couple of weeks.
And bump The Fall to a bit later on my list of writing projects.
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.
|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.
|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!
I’ve kind of been struggling to get words on the page lately. (Ironic, since it’s summer, and time off from classes was supposed to mean time to write…) I switched WIPs, from Siren Song (which is currently outlined) to The Fall (which..is not. Not even remotely outlined. Sigh…)
I’m just having some trouble getting myself motivated.
But I saw this post over on Ana Spoke’s blog, and it piqued my interest (Is that even the right word? Google did not help me at all here.)
Has anyone used Scrivener? Any tips/suggestions/thoughts?
The Muse is being mischievous.
I haven’t gotten much writing done this week (if any), between working six days and wrestling with trying to decide whether or not to start drafting another story. I’m still pretty torn. The Muse wants something new to play with, but she still likes Siren Song, too.
So…I think I’m going to get Siren Song outlined as I continue writing bits of it (I have an outline for the next couple of thousand words anyway). I’m also going to work on brainstorming, then outlining The Fall and the Camelot story. Then…I’ll start drafting at least one of those ideas, albeit in smaller chunks than Siren Song. This will keep the Muse entertained and engaged. I’ll also continue to do my POV-edit on Witches, then do an in-depth edit when I finish that.
Just out of curiosity, how many projects can you work on at a time? (Not physically simultaneously, just, you know, during the same general time frame.) I’ve read about people with more than one WIP at a time, and the idea is slightly…mind-boggling to me.
I’m editing one project, Witches, and writing Siren Song. But…I still have The Fall rattling around back in there, and then there’s that new Camelot/King Arthur/Guinevere story the Muse wants to play with….Sigh. Don’t get me wrong, my writing goals are not very intense right now. If I get in a couple of 500-word sessions a week, I call it a good week (the habit is what’s important to me right now, after an extremely extended hiatus from writing.). I also don’t want to lose the emotion I have for those other two stories. Not when holding on to my motivation has been so tricky anyway.
The idea I’m currently considering: continue editing Witches of course, to the tune of about 5 chapters a week. (This is just really a pass to change it from 3rd-person POV to multiple 1st-person, not an in-depth revision.) Continue writing (at least) two 500-word sessions on Siren Song a week. One session with The Fall. And one with the Camelot story. Every week. To facilitate this, I would also want to actually outline all three stories before starting to write the other two. I don’t have any sort of outline for Siren Song, so this would undoubtedly be beneficial in that regard.
Is this insanity? Has anyone tried writing multiple stories like this at the same time?
Real Life Update: I started my new job last week. This week, I was in Dallas for training. Wednesday morning, I had a brief visual disturbance (double vision) that scared the crap out of me. My doc wanted me to get checked out, so I had a brief eval from paramedics, then spent several hours in the E.R. at Baylor Dallas. CT and everything was clear, so they released me. My new boss came to check on me. I was horrified, but that was awesome of him. I’m off until Monday to rest (so I missed almost all of Wednesday, and all of Thursday, but that’s it). I feel fine. No issues since, and they’re pretty sure it was stress-related, but I see my neuro next Friday to get his take on it. (In case anyone is wondering, I had a stroke two years ago without warning. Haven’t had any of these issues in about 15 months.) I took it easy yesterday–pedicure and a nap–and I’m taking it easy today as well. I feel fine, but I think a nap is next on the agenda.
Writing Update: Got my words in on Siren Song last week. I’ll get a few more today/this weekend, as well as some editing. My Personal and Professional Editing class should be interesting. This week, we learned about Style Sheets (which I’d never heard of), so I’ll be grabbing that idea and running with it. If you’re interested in how editing has changed, our textbook is Editors on Editing (ed. by Gerald Gross), and the essays are pretty fascinating to me.
I started the new job Wednesday. So far just basic stuff like safety videos, which is normal for the healthcare field, but I did go see my new clinic very briefly on Thursday. “Wow” is all I can say. It’s beautiful!
I’ve gotten a bit of writing on Siren Song done this morning, with more on the agenda for the day. I think I can play in this world for a good long time, with loosely-related stories set in the Mystic World. (At least, that’s what the Muse told me this morning.) I’ve already revised two chapters of Witches today. Mainly just a POV switch, with some thoughts for a deeper revision to come. I’ve started doing some reading for my editing class as well, and learned about style sheets: the formal name for the set of notes I’ve been keeping on this story for years. Good to know.
Okay. I’m off to get back to work on both stories again.
Okay. I admit it: I’m not happy with Witches because it’s written in third-person POV, not first-person (which is what I’ve been writing in for years now). I admit it. Happy? It actually doesn’t make me happy (and yet it does. Both at the same time. I may have some identity issues.). Changing third-person to first-person is not the hardest thing I can imagine revision-wise. (I’m not saying it’s easy, just “not the hardest”.) However…doing alternating first-person view points well (and clearly) can be tricky. And I need about six POV characters to tell this story fully.
That’s a lot of character voices to keep straight. Not to mention, formatting the manuscript so as not to confuse readers. Because, like juggling six viewpoint characters isn’t enough, they’re also going to be in different countries, which will be need-to-know info. That won’t be difficult at all.
To be fair, most of the book will be in Kahleena’s or Bali’s POV, a good chunk will be in either Casimir’s or Julien’s POV, and the rest will be in Siobhan’s and Eodin’s. So, I need to make it clear at the beginning of each chapter where we are and whose head we’re in. I’m going to re-start this revision with that in mind and keep on keeping-on.
Suggestions are welcome.
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.
I’ve decided that I can’t go through the rest of the HTRYN process with this version of Witches. The distant POV and voice are just too much for me to ignore comfortably, even while revising. And the little voice in my head–I think it’s the Muse’s other personality–is jumping up and down and screaming so loudly that I can’t think straight. I even gave up on reading through the last ten chapters or so. I don’t think I have a copy of the very first draft of Witches, which is probably a blessing, but my writing has changed so much since this version, that it is proving difficult to read. My voice is SO different now!
I know it’s not always possible to “fix” a first novel, but I think this one is salvageable. If not, at least two of the characters are going to be extremely angry with me…
Update: I just found my original first draft of Witches. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to read it…