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NaNoWriMo: Day 11 (2019)

11 Nov

I’m taking this whole thing one day at a time. I wish I was looking ahead more, but it’s not looking good.

Today’s word count: 2 090
Total word count: 18,773

I got done what I needed to for the day, but I didn’t get ahead as I would have liked to. I’m just not feeling very motivated to get further ahead than the day requires to keep me on pace. I keep thinking an exciting scene will push me ahead, but it’s not doing it.

I’m still nervous about finishing the story before 50k. I think I’m rushing ahead too fast. I’m sure there are scenes that belong in the book that I’m missing but I don’t know what they are right now so they’re going to stay hidden. That’s what editing is for.

Tomorrow is going to be hard. I have a workout before work, I’m working late, and I have a meeting right after work. I doubt I get any writing done tomorrow. Maybe a few hundred words, but I’ll be behind by the end of tomorrow. I’m trying to be optimistic but it isn’t going well.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

NaNoWriMo: Day 10 (2019)

10 Nov

Nothing ever works out the way you want it to, does it?

Today’s word count: 1,616
Total word count: 16,683

So I got less than the requisite 1,667 but I still hit the target for the day. Maybe I’ll squeeze in a few more words before bed, but I doubt it. I was exhausted today and I can’t point to a good reason. Maybe too much turkey last night? We had Friendsgiving and were out later than expected. Today I had a girls get-together which took away some writing time, too. I struggled with my exhaustion to even get this amount done.

I’m feeling OK about my story. My pacing is going pretty well. I’m at my first disaster scene and I’m about to really launch the story into motion so it’s exciting. I always try to stop in the middle of a scene so when I come back to the story, I’m excited about it and already have some momentum going. Hopefully, it gets me going quickly when I start again tomorrow.

I have a free evening tomorrow so I’ll try to get two chunks of writing done and I’ll make another attempt to build a buffer. This is getting hard but I’m glad I’m staying on pace. It’s good not to be behind.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

NaNoWriMo: Day 9 (2019)

9 Nov

This daily posting thing isn’t going well, is it?

Today’s word count: 3,395
Yesterday’s word count: 0
Thursday’s word count: 1,578
Wednesday’s word count: 912
Total word count: 15,067

As you can see, it’s been a bit hit-or-miss. Today was a big hit! But that’s because yesterday was a huge miss. I left the house before 5AM and didn’t get home until after 9PM. Other days have been okay, but nothing super stand-out.

Today my husband has been a savior. He did a bunch of house chores so I could concentrate on writing. He’s at the grocery as I type this. I think I’ll get a big chunk done tomorrow, too, so I’ll be a bit less stressed moving into the week when I’m busy.

Last time I did NaNo, I was super ahead all of the time. I was really motivated, too. This year isn’t as great and I’m struggling with that. I hope I can have a few more good days like today so I can be comfortably ahead instead of struggling to stay on track. I’m hoping to get a template to use for these posts going forward so I can do them more regularly, too. I’m too overwhelmed with NaNo to do some traditional posts so these might be all you get for the rest of November.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

NaNoWriMo: Day 5 (2019)

5 Nov

I’m going to try to post daily about my progress to keep myself honest and you all updated on how it’s going.

Today’s word count: 2,133
Total word count: 9,182

It’s not the day I was hoping for, but I’m still happy with it.

I didn’t make it to the write-in today. My husband got home later than planned and I made a big dinner so there was no way I was making it to the library by 7. I also had to cut my writing a little short this morning to get to the polls when they opened at 7 and vote before work. Though that did allow me to come straight home and get a little more writing done, so it’s not all bad.

I’m afraid I’m not pacing the story well. I’m moving forward pretty quickly and I’m not yet to my first plot disaster, but I’m getting close and I think it will move really fast from there and I’m worried about ending up short of 50k. I’m not sure what I’d do if that happened. Maybe write a sub-plot and not bother to integrate it into the story? Maybe write a short story that’s completely unrelated but gets me the word count? There are options.

I don’t think tomorrow will be as successful, but I should be optimistic, right?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writing Check In- November

5 Nov

One of my goals for this year was to write more. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world!

There’s good and bad news. The bad news is that even though it’s completely ready, I haven’t submitted my manuscript to an agent. I’m hung up on my hook and I don’t like it so I’ve been putting it off and waiting until ‘inspiration strikes’ to submit. I know that’s never going to happen but it’s what I tell myself while I work through it. I’m so close but emotionally distanced from finally hitting ‘Send.’

And now for the good news. I’m writing this ahead of time (31-Oct) but by the time you read this, I should be on day 5 of NaNoWriMo! I’ve decided to do it. I spent October outlining what I hope will be a fun period piece that I think will last at least 50,000 words and keep me engaged the whole time. I think my mistake with my last NaNo was not doing something I was excited about. This time, I’m pumped. I think this will be a blast of an adventure story.

So there are ups and downs. It seems like more downs than up right now, but I’m optimistic that my update to you for December will be ‘I’m a NaNo winner’ and that will be a very big ‘up!’

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

NaNoWriMo: Day 4 (2019)

4 Nov

I’m going to try to post daily about my progress to keep myself honest and you all updated on how it’s going.

Today’s word count: 1,678
(Yesterday’s word count: 2,079)
Total word count: 7,049

Maybe every other day is a more realistic cadence for me to be posting about this. I seem to keep forgetting on odd-numbered days.

Yesterday went well. I had a lot of downtime between appointments on Sunday so I wrote in three chunks and it helped me go forward. Today was a lot harder. I had to go hole up at a coffee shop after work before I met a friend for dinner and then again after I got home, finishing up just now with some sore shoulders from sitting all day.

I plan to get some writing done tomorrow morning and maybe go to my first write-in in the evening. I usually get a lot done at those and it would be good to have another 2k+ day.

The plot is moving well. I think I’m a little behind where I thought I’d be, but I think there are some other parts that are going to move faster than I anticipated so I’m running with it. Once I hit 50k, I can slow down, but I don’t want to stop until the story is done. It’s better to be over than under, right?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

NaNoWriMo: Day 2 (2019)

2 Nov

I’m going to try to post daily about my progress to keep myself honest and you all updated on how it’s going.

Today’s word count: 2,054
(Yesterday’s word count: 1,238)
Total word count: 3,292

I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday. My husband and I are preparing for our big annual Halloween party tonight and posting this got away from me.

But I’ve begun! I was excited to type about 600 words before work yesterday and get some more after dinner. I spent a chunk of time today getting my count up to where I wanted it (above 3K) and I might have a few more minutes to squeeze in more later today, but I’m not counting on it. We’re going to be very busy until our guests start showing up.

The story is going well so far. I wrote my prologue and I’ve moved on to the first chapter. I introduced a character I didn’t intend to in the prologue and excused him in chapter one. I think he’s going to appear again later but I’m not sure where. He’s got a lot of potential and I do plan to use him, it’s just a question of how.

Not a ton of problems with plotting or character development so far. I like how it’s going and I’m feeling good about the outline I put together. I can only keep my fingers crossed that things continue to go this well.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writers’ Group: Writing Outlines

29 Oct

Writers’ group was interesting last week. I was one of two people who showed up! Thankfully, I had something prepared for once. I was looking into standard outlines in preparation for NaNoWriMo and I had some good notes to share. I’d like to think that the notes I shared were perfect for the one person who showed up but I think I’m a bit optimistic in that.

The purpose of an outline is to help writers write better first drafts. Some people won’t write outlines and will instead use there ‘zero draft’ as an outline to write a better second draft. I feel like NaNo ‘pantsers’ are putting this together. There are four major types of outlines. Synopsis Outlines are the type I prefer. You outline the whole book in a paragraph or series of bullets and know the steps the book will take from beginning to end. I like this roadmap as a way to guide myself through the book. An In-Depth Outline is usually much longer, up to 10,000 words. This gives the writer a lot of detail about where the book will go and provides a lot of direction for the writer to follow. The third method is the Snowflake method, which I won’t go through here because I’ve talked about it before and there’s a lot written about it elsewhere. The final outline method is the Bookend method where the writer has an idea of where the book will start and where it will end but doesn’t give any details about the middle. That allows them a lot of freedom while writing but gives them something to aim for in the end.

There are some tips for helping with an outline no matter the type the writer chooses. The first is to develop the premise, a one-sentence summary of the book, and keeping that in mind. I think this is helpful when writing the outline and also for a Bookend outliner. The second would be to pick your framework. This could be a flashback, multiple points of view, or present tense. There are a lot of different stylistic choices to make before the first sentence is formed. The final would be to define the characters. What motivates them, what makes them tick, and how their relationships are formed with other characters.

Well, that’s my contribution to writers’ group for the month. Next month is NaNo so there won’t be much to share. Maybe I’ve helped someone else.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writing Check In- October

8 Oct

One of my goals for this year was to write more. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world!

I delayed writing this post a while so I could have something to report. I didn’t get a lot of writing done in September. It’s a very busy fall for me, more so than I can remember before, even without school. My goal of making time to write was washed away with a new job and figuring out a new schedule. I’m adjusting well enough, I think. It will take a bit more time.

I haven’t done any writing but I made some small adjustments to the new ending of my novel and I’m satisfied with it. I’m going to start submitting! I picked an agent I want to submit to and I’m working on the submission requirements she has. It will take me a little time but I’ll have less to prepare next time (hopefully). I want an agent to take me seriously so I’m being sure to meet all the requirements each has. After I finish with this one, I’ll submit to two more and then wait for feedback before I move forward.

I’m also seriously considering doing NaNo this year. I need to get moving with my next book, whatever that is, and NaNo is a great time to do that. 2015 was the last time I did NaNo and it feels like a good time to get back into it. I need to do some research about the period I hope to write in and start developing some characters. I have a few ideas, but nothing that could be a fully formed story yet.

So there are my minor steps forward. I’m always optimistic about making more progress than I do, but at least it pushes me forward.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writing Check In- September

10 Sep

One of my goals for this year was to write more. My husband had the suggestion of making a monthly feature to talk about my writing and how it’s going. It helps keep me honest(ish) and lets you all know when my masterpiece will be released to the world! I’m running a little late this month because of the Labor Day holiday but I’m still here!

I had a much better month! I was lucky to have two weeks scheduled off as I changed jobs and I used it to get a lot of things done around my house, including writing. I finished the next draft! I’m feeling really good about the book now and I think I’m going to try submitting it to an agent and see what happens. So my next steps are getting my query letter, samples, summaries, etc. ready to go. I wish there was a little more consistency in what agents asked for, but it also makes us work for publication, so I understand.

It would be great if I could get going on another project. Being in the editing and submission phase is fun, but I like the process of creating. I have a workbook that is supposed to help you craft a novel and that might be a place to start. I’ve had a few ideas bouncing around for a while, but nothing fully formed and ready to be a novel. Maybe I need to finish a short story first. Or work on getting one I’ve finished published. There are a lot of different ways I could go right now, though having something in process sounds the most fun.

If anyone has any suggestion on how to work on a new piece while keeping up with an old one, I’m all ears. I want to keep writing as a part of my routine but I’m nervous about getting overwhelmed as I head into a new job and a change of my routine.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!