Look at me: for the second Sunday in a row I’m talking about writing! Yay for New Year’s goals that last longer than a week…
The truth is, I haven’t started actually writing this story yet. But I’ve completed five weeks’ worth of worksheets for Holly Lisle’s How to Write a Novel Class, and now I have an actual idea (or three) of what this story is about, in addition to knowing more about my characters and the conflicts. (To be fair, what I knew about them before this class was basically zero.)
And I know what my first scene is—along with my second. This story is not about quite what I thought it was, and it will be interesting to see how it develops. I’ll be starting the first draft this week, so here’s to hitting my writing goals…the same week my semester starts.
…well, actually, Sunday is for talking about writing. As opposed to books and book reviews, as I do every other single time I post. I basically haven’t mentioned writing in like the past year. That’s because I haven’t really been writing—grad school and working full-time keeps me busy—much less have I felt like talking about this fact.
But not being creative makes me cranky and changes who I am, and I don’t want that to be my reality anymore. So, I’m getting back into writing. Baby steps, right now, but it is forward motion (in the words of Holly Lisle).
I’m doing some very basic work on a new story, and I’m hoping to get things ready to start writing very soon. I’ll be posting writing updates weekly to keep me motivated.
Sometimes, the writing comes easily. Sometimes…it feels like running a marathon with 10-pound weights on each foot: impossible.
This week, it has been both for me.
I did manage to get at least some words written every day Monday-Thursday, although Tuesday and Thursday only saw a handful, nowhere near my goal. Yesterday, I was mentally done with the week, and I didn’t even try.
Today…it’s been going fairly well. I only have 500 words to go to meet my word count goal for the day…which was initially 0, but since Tuesday and Thursday were barely productive, I knew I needed to make them up today. So, 2,000 words so far today, 500 to go.
Feeling a lot less completely overwhelmed with life and work and school as a result.
This week was fairly productive, considering it was the first week of grad school (Eep!). I did a tiny bit of writing—1,000 words or so—in The Fall, plus outlining 10 scenes in it as well. Having an outline made the writing flow pretty well. Something I know, yet I still started writing this story with no outline. Smart move, there.
I did a little outlining in the Witches revision, also. I’m sort of feeling my way with that, since I’ve revised the story several times, and this is more of a re-write than a revision, but I’m using the current draft as a guideline. We’ll see how that works out. My voice and style have changed significantly since I originally plotted the story.
Yesterday I attended a local authors’ event with a friend. It’s part of the library’s Year of the Book promotion. Each author had a table, and they each spoke for 10 minutes.
My friend and I went because we both love Rachel Caine’s work. (I’ve read The Morganville Vampires series, the Weather Warden series, the Outcast Season spin-offs, and her re-telling of Romeo and Juliet. I’ve been wanting to read her The Great Library series as well.)
Somehow, by sheer luck, we arrived about 15 minutes before Rachel’s talk, just in time to hear Sarah MacTavish. (I feel like I’ve heard of her, but can’t swear to it. I read SO MUCH that authors sometimes get a little bit mixed up in my mind sometimes.) I enjoyed her talk, and the short chat I had with her afterwards, and bought her book, Firebrand. Young adult fiction about the Civil War from an author who carries her supply of books in an R2D2 suitcase? I’m sold! I’m looking forward to the read, just as soon as I wrangle enough time from my schedule for it.
My purchases for the day:
It’s been quite a while since I purchased physical copies of fiction. The bottom two books I bought at the event, the top three at B & N beforehand. I was so excited when I got home, but I had serious reader’s indecision: What to read first?
Answer: Firstlife, by Gena Showalter, because I’m hoping to get approved to review the second book in the series, and because I’ve been interested in this one for a while. Isn’t the cover gorgeous?
Confession: I read the entire thing last night. Loved it! The concept is so unique, and the characters compelled me from the first page. You should definitely read this!
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?
I finished up the outline for Siren Song in January, and then promptly didn’t write a word until… late February. My “goal” (which I frequently find myself ignoring) is two 500-word sessions a week. I can remember writing 10,000+ words a day for NaNo years ago, so 500 words twice a week should be ridiculously easy. Should be.
As it turns out, actually making myself sit down and write is almost impossible. But this morning, I made that my first priority, and wrote 1,000 words.
Not setting any records with that, but I’m thrilled with it.
I also started outlining my final project for my capstone class, which is a short story based on the mythos of Camelot. I’m actually looking forward to writing it, and using it as backstory for when I start writing the Camelot project sometime in the future (because my Muse gave me a fantastic idea with that months ago).
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!
It’s true, I really am too busy to write (fiction) right now. I know that sounds like a cop out, but it’s not. Really.
School starts next week, and I’m going to be out-of-town M-F for work, so I have to attempt to get everything done for the first week, plus the second week’s reading, this week. So there’s that. Plus, an hour-long commute to work right now. Let’s not forget trying to work out, eat healthy, and not let the house become a complete disaster.
So, while I may not actually be writing fiction, I am outlining Siren Song (just a general phase outline), to the tune of 5 scenes a day. And I’m almost done with that, which will make the actual writing so much easier!
I love when my stories surprise me. On Tuesday, I had a character I never even thought of saunter onto the screen and inform me that he was there to provide conflict (And also scenery. Of course.). So there’s that.
I hope everyone else is getting more writing done than I am.
How is not writing inspiration to actually get words on the page? Well….
I set weekly writing goals, as a way to keep motivated. But, let’s be honest, work, school, and frequently sleep come before writing. This results in me feeling guilty and leads to resentment. Which makes me less likely to actually want to write, if things do not go according to plan or even remotely according to plan).
If I’m feeling guilty because I didn’t get my words in on Monday or Wednesday, then I feel like I have to make up those words today, and I just don’t have time for that many words. So I resent the prospect and end up not writing today, either.
However, if I give myself permission to not write whenever it’s necessary, without the idea of having to make those words up, then that instantly makes my brain less stressed. Which means I actually feel like writing.
Does this make sense, or am I just making excuses?