So, this week, I’m pretty much off (Work. I’m off work.), and I have ambitious plans (Don’t I always?). Yes, I’m going to take advantage of the time to get ahead on school assignments (I’m writing two essays, starting another, and beginning work on a leadership project, in addition to a plethora of textbook-reading), but I’m also going to get in six solid writing sessions. At least that’s the plan. And six brainstorming sessions as well. My own personal NaNo, if you will.
I’ve tried to be realistic about my goals for the week and not overload myself, and I think I’ve succeeded. I don’t think it’s too ambitious. Just…bigger in comparison to my “normal” weeks. But I’ve got the time off, and I intend to use it to advantage.
So. Big goals this week. I’ll check in next Sunday with the results.
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?
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.
I started the switch from third-person to first-person on Witches yesterday. Have you ever paid attention to how many times you use some version of a pronoun in your writing? No? I hadn’t either. Trust me, the answer is: a LOT. Sometimes, it felt like I was changing every other word. At others, I wouldn’t touch two or three paragraphs at a time. I like how the switch to first person lets me deeper into the characters. I like it a lot. Two chapters down yesterday, three on the agenda for today.
Plus some writing. I wrote about 1,500 words Sunday. That’s not an extreme amount, but it’s a very solid chunk for me currently. I’m pretty happy with that productivity level (Which, BTW, is actually 3-days’ worth of words that I didn’t get in last week. 500 words four times a week is my–admittedly small–writing goal these days. I can remember doing 10,000+ word-days during NaNo years ago. Sigh…)
So, writing and revising, before school starts in a few weeks. What’s on the agenda for you?
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…
So, I’m almost finished with my first read-through of Witches (the third version). I’m not making many notes as I go, though. Nowhere as many as I thought I’d make. It’s not that the draft is clean. Far from it. It’s that the entire draft feels wrong.
What do I mean by that? I still love the characters and the story, but the POV and voice are far different from what I write now, and, as a result, this draft feels…I don’t know, clunky, distant, impersonal? Now I have to decide if I should continue on with the HTRYN process, or go back and update the voice and POV with what I know now.
This story was the first one I ever started to write, and even if it doesn’t ever see the light of day, I would like a version that I’m happy with. I am not happy with this version.
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?