NaNoWriMo 2017: Day One

Well, despite a slow start I’ve have a good day with 2252 words on this years NaNoWriMo story. We had a Write-In tonight which helped a lot. There was a few new faces as well, which is always nice.

When I started this morning I did struggle. I was half asleep, and feeling the early affects of a head cold and quite honestly, not really in the mindset to be writing. At lunch time I did a little better and then evening I just knuckled down and got on with the writing at hand. I even managed to add a few words to a separate short story that I’ve got to have done soon.

So a good start to the month. I’ve got another Write-In tomorrow night so I’m hoping I can have another 2000 plus word day again.

 

NaNoWriMo 2017

NaNoWriMo is now just a couple of days off, am I ready? Yes and no, I’ve not done a lot of work in preparation, as it’s a rewrite I’ve got a good idea of what I need to do. This is a story that I wrote a few months ago but it came out a lot shorter than I was expecting. I’ve thought on it a fair bit, and I know where the weak areas are, and how I think I can strengthen them. I did a lot of prep for the story but didn’t put much of that into. It’s also a story that I’ve got a good idea for the basics of the sequel, so if this comes in shorter than the 50k I can move onto that.

I’m not too concerned about hitting the 50k (although I’ll be aiming for it hard), what I’m aiming to achieve is a draft that has a cohesive story in. The last few years I’ve felt like I’ve been all over the place when doing NaNoWriMo. This year I’m determined to have a good, strong draft come December 1st.

I’ve got two short story submissions to work on, one of which I’d like to have a first draft done of by this time next week. I feel like I’ve got the experience with NaNo now to be able to drift off onto other pieces and still be on target, although I’d like to be done with the first one before Wednesday.

What I’m planning on doing again for NaNoWriMo is a daily blog post with my days word count and overall total. As well as my thoughts and how I’m feeling as I’m progressing.

Bring it on!

Sunday 29th October 2017

This last week has felt like another slow one but I’ve written 7765 words this week. I’m kind of shocked by this. In no way does it feel like I’ve written that many words this week. I do wonder if it’s because I’ve working on three different projects this last week (technically I’m working on four but one hasn’t been touched this week).

I am honestly shocked at this word count, but pleased. I’ve got two short stories which have deadlines for submission. The other two are my own novellas which I’m working on. Those two won’t get much attention for the next month, NaNoWriMo is coming. I will keep working at the two stories which are for submissions, but the novellas will wait till December. I think I’m close to finishing one of the shorts, but the other is still in the earlier stages of the story. Thankfully the one that’s nearer done is the first that needs to be completed.

I’m going to try and get that one done tomorrow and Tuesday, but if I don’t I can make time over the next week or two to get it done.

Overall, a damn good week.

 

NaNoWriMo 2017 Is Quickly Approaching

With NaNoWriMo less than two months away now I’ve just done a little math to see if I’m going to have finished handwriting this WIP in time to start typing it up when NaNo begins (yes I know thats bending the rules but I won’t tell if you don’t). So far I’ve written, roughly, 17,000 words. That’s about 2000 less than I thought. It’s about 49 days till 1st of November and the words per day break is 678 words.  That is doable, but I fear I haven’t got another 33k of content for this first story. I have got a lot of flashback scenes to write but I’ll probably do those when I finish the story and then add them in where they’re needed when I get to the editing process.

I do have a fan fiction piece that I can do for NaNoWriMo if I feel this WIP isn’t ready for NaNo or just isn’t long enough. Something I might do though is to start on the second book in what will be a trilogy and then break it up when I start editing. One drawback to doing this is when I come to continue working on the second book then I might have lost the rhythm of the story. I think this has happened in other cases where I’ve stopped halfway through a WIP, but I’ll have to see what happens. I know I’ve got a lot to add when I start typing up the WIP, so I’ve got words there.

Something I’ve got to do is stop thinking about hitting the 50k. I know I can do that, I’ve done it three years on the spin but each year I’ve hit the 50k the stories have been very disjointed. This year I want to be able to get a cohesive story done, and have hitting the 50k as a secondary goal.

NaNo is still a little way off, so I’ve got time to see how I do. I think if I’m not confident in this WIP being ready to be typed up then I’ll go into the Fan Fiction piece I’ve been thinking about.

Making Progress

After a very difficult week on a personal level Owen and I made some serious progress with the Space Watch yesterday. We’d batted a few emails to and throw this last week and wasn’t getting anywhere and made more progress in a twenty minute phone call on Friday night than we had done with a dozen emails. We arraigned that Owen would come to my house and we’d go through the draft, which we did. It took us about five hours (with a few interruptions here and there) but we got through it. I read it allowed and made red-pen notes for alterations as and when I saw them and Owen weighed in with plot problems, character details, and world building. All the disagreements we had on the story we’ve resolved and the only heavy lifting that is needed now is to re-write the final scene, and make the final edits. Owen wrote his version of the ending and we’ve realised that if we merge the one I wrote and his then we should have a stronger ending. I’m going to do that today and get it emailed off to him. Then once he’s okay’d it I’ll get it into the text of the story and then go through and make the edits we made yesterday.

The week as a whole has been a loss. As I said at the start of the post it’s been a bad week on a personal level, there has been a couple of good points to the week but I didn’t get much writing done at all. I did get some more work done on an outline for a story that Owen and I will be working on. The story itself is outlined, and now I’ve just got to work on character profiles, some world building details, and go through it and tweak a few things that have changed due to world building and character details that I’ll be adding. I did have a really good conversation with a few of my writer friends on Facebook about character gender in reference to one of the characters in the story and it really opened up some ideas that I’d never thought about and I’m going to run with one of them because I think it’s going to work really well for the character in question and give an insight to a species that is in this universe we’re creating. That said I haven’t ran the idea by Owen yet, so he may totally veto it. I think he’ll like it though.

I’m back in a period where I haven’t written anything for a few weeks again, and I’m getting twitchy about it. I’m actually thinking about moving this years NaNoWriMo idea to next month and start getting stuck into that once I’ve finished the edits on The Space Watch. It feels like a long time since I’ve just got cracking with something. Aside from the short story for an anthology submission I’ve not really written anything for quite some time which wasn’t working on already written drafts that needed work. I know all this prep work that I’m doing will pay off, and the editing is all part of the process but I’d like to just get some writing done. Hopefully I’m doing the right thing with working on outlines and when I have a first draft done it’ll be cleaner and more coherent and not need extensive editing.

That all said, time to get cracking on with my ‘to-do’ list for the day.

 

Good Morning, Good Sunday! 16/4/17

Good morning! Well, it’s another Sunday morning, the dog is snoring at my feet, and the cat is nowhere to be seen (probably stretched out on a bed somewhere). I can hear the birds singing in the garden but that is all the sound I can hear right now. I live in a rural area and this time of the morning on a Sunday is quite often very peaceful (as I said that a car went pelting up the road at a silly speed). Anyway, this last week has felt somewhat slow, writing wise. I’ve not written a huge amount of words but I have written everyday and have averaged about 300 words a day (I’m not including yesterdays words in that). So I’m pretty chuffed with that. It’s felt like an odd week where I haven’t got much work done, but I was quite pleased when I saw that I’d done that much this week.

This last week has seemed to have gone by in a flash, but aside from Wednesday when I had a Write-In, I’ve not had an especially busy one outside of the day job. That said though, I only really had Monday and Tuesday night’s to write. I did do a few words at the Write-In, but not many. My brother and his family have just moved house, so on Thursday night I helped him move a lovely sofa they have, which wasn’t easy but we got it out the old house and into the new one. That took a bit of doing. And then on Friday we moved the bulk of his furniture. So Thursday and Friday I didn’t get a lot written, but I wasn’t expecting to because of helping my brother out. Last night I just flaked out, but I did write 600+ words in the morning before I went to work.

This week I’ve got today to get some work done, and tomorrow is a bonus day. As it’s Easter Monday we get a Bank Holiday (same with Good Friday), so no day job. I’d like to have put a big dent into my FanFic piece. I’ve barely touched that this week and would like to make some serious progress with it.  The majority of the work I’ve done this week has been on the short story I’ve been playing with. It’s over 3000 words now and I like a lot of it, although I’m not sure about how strong it is. It’s a story in Owen and my Assembly universe and at worst it’s a great character piece which is letting me flesh out a character we’ve got plans for in the future, and at best something we’ll put out one day, probably in a collection.

I am thinking through to NaNoWriMo a little. I know November is a long way off but it’ll be with us sooner than we know, and I’m seriously considering writing the zombie piece I’ve just done the primary outline for. I’m thinking of this story because I always assume I’m going to be able to do more than I can during a year. It’s about seven months till November and I’m not sure we’ll be able to get The Space Watch locked down by then, I’m also going to try and submit to some anthologies this year so I’d like a little time to be writing for them as well. I’ve also got one Assembly story I’m working on the outline for, and I’d like to get another couple of outlines done for next year. I’m also thinking like this as a way to start planning what I’m writing. I’ve tried to do that a couple of times but it doesn’t play out like that. Partly because I wasn’t outlining at all, or anywhere close to the depth of outline that I need to have. So, if I decide to do this zombie story for NaNo this year then I know I’ve got over six months to spend more time on the outline, I don’t think I need that amount of time but I’ll know what I’m doing and what time frames I’ve got to work with.

Having that amount of time will also give me time to work on any submission calls I come across, as well as some short stories I want to work on in addition to outlining and planning future pieces.

I’d love to be smashing out a thousand words a day and writing where the wind takes me, but I’ve been doing that for many years and it’s not working for me. I’m hoping this steadier, more prepared, approach will prove fruitful.

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Snoring like a steam train!

Looking Forward At 2017

Not to start on a negative note, but I am already behind where I was hoping to be. I’d wanted The Space Watch done by now so I can get onto the next project but that’s not how it’s gone. I don’t think I’m going to be setting dates to be done by just yet. I think it’ll be a case of once one is done then I’ll move onto the next one. If I set targets by date and I don’t hit them then I’ll get demoralised and that can lead into falling into a rut easily.

I’m trying to be realistic with my expectations for the year. I’m going to try and have The Space Watch done by November, and one other novella length piece. That’ll probably be something with Penal Earth (NaNoWriMo 2015). I’m not happy with what I’ve got right now, but I know what I want to do with it now. I can see turning the book I’ve gotten written at the moment into two and then add a third which will make up a trilogy. Then I’ve got a few ideas of where I want to go forward with stories in the world I’ve created there after the trilogy has been wrapped.

I’m not sure what I want to work on for NaNoWriMo just yet, and I know it’s quite sometime off but I want to be ready for it this year. I thought I was ready last year but not even close. I’m tempted to write on an idea I’ve got that’s been inspired by war children. That’s the piece I was planning to work on at the start of this year but I’m not nearly ready for it. I’ve got a lot of research and building work to do to be ready for it. This is something that I’ve learnt from FanFiction (and spoken a lot about) but having much more depth in my work and I need to lay groundwork before I start writing.

I am going to work on a few short stories and novelettes during the course of the year, but I don’t want to set myself targets that I’m not going to be able to achieve.

This year I just want to keep some focus on what I’m writing, and not to loose momentum. I spoke in my post Looking Back At 2016 about getting into ruts, and I’m going to try and keep alert to it and if I see it coming I’ll do what I can to stop myself falling into it.

Reading wise I’ve set my Goodreads challenge and I’ve gone for sixty books again and intend to hit it and not just get halfway like I did in 2016.

Now, it’s time to start writing!