Thursday, December 31, 2015

One Writer's Resolutions

First of all, Happy New Year, Auld Lang Syne (whatever that means) and all that. 

I almost can't believe it, but 2015 saw my first draft finished-ish! 

Never mind the "ish" part and the fact that it's crummier than our bowl of leftover Christmas cookies--I'm raising a toast to the 465 pages I wrote in under three months! 

The big question?




 I had plans to start a complete rewrite on the 1st, but after spending my Christmas break working on plot issues and new outline, I've determined I'm not ready to return to that crumb bowl just yet. 

Right now, my strongest desire is both broader and vaguer (vaguer? more vague?):

I want to improve my writing.

I've come up with ideas and made my News Years resolutions (or rustytutions as Tigger calls them)  
based on those ideas.
  • Write a scene a day, where both character and writing are (verymuchso) active. 
  • Portray unique, different characters each time.  
  • Write for an hour a day (fifteen minute chunks)
  • Keep up two thousand words a day (five hundred words in fifteen minutes).
  • Look for an online writing coach (yes, I'm ready to spend money on this 'hobby').
  • Keep up a daily longhand journal for recording scenes or funnies that happen in daily life, but write them in my own storyified, writerly, glory.

That's it!

And yes, all my resolutions are writerly focused. 

Do you think they should be anything else?

Follow me on facebook to see how long these goals last. 

Happy New Year!
Drink one for writerly goals! 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Bookish Day (omg, what even is my life?!?!!)

Last Tuesday started much like any other: shower, breakfast, coffee, internet.

Then BAM, this shows up in my fb feed:

It's happened and I totally wasn't ready for it.
James Riley (a super nice author who's chatted with me every time I've written him with my younger sibling's assessment of his novels) combined his two fabulous worlds in this seven page short story
 I was excited as the younger kids to read the cross over.

Story Thieves was the first book to capture 6yr old Donna's attention.
Book 2, the Stolen Chapters, comes out Jan 19th, and we can barely wait!

Next, with a ding of the doorbell (that's a lie, we don't have a doorbell), the nice UPS man delivered my early Christmas gift to me, maybe my favorite books of all time:
I licked the covers and cuddled these books for a long time...
(no, not really! Gosh, how weird do you think I am?)
 Can you believe that's the first time I've ever bought books for myself?
Me neither.
That's some amazing self control right there.

 Then, I brought kids into town for their skating lessons and swung by the library.
My book was in!
The Novice by Taran Matharu. 
It's fun to read (and critique) a debut by another young author. (Don't worry Taran, I'm enjoying it so far!)
While I was there, I also picked up this book again. I'm in revision stages with my story, and looking for help. This book is so good. Maybe I'll buy it someday. :)

 When I got home, I went back to my amazon cart and hovered the mouse over the "buy now" button on these books. Instead, I read more rave reviews, drooled a little, and then went on my way. I mean, I just bought four books. (For fun though, and these are like, educational, right? My wallet disagreed.)
While revisiting K.M. Weiland's helpful writing blog, I uncovered a path through cyberspace, that involved signing up to a writerly newsletter, getting emailed top secret codes and whatnot and, boring story short, I uncovered both these two 350pg. books for free download in a one time giveaway!
Bless my lucky stars.

I was still reveling in my victory, reading the first chapter of Structuring Your Novel, when another email pops up.



No. It can't be.

This writerly God in my favorite fiction world wrote me an email?
I was in so much disbelief, seeing her name on the bottom of the email, that I barely comprehended what she was saying.

Congrats? Address? Sign? Where? Who?

And then my fangirl-fuzzy brain comprehended the words: "you won".

The beautiful, the brand new, the book that won't even be out until Jan 26th, and I am getting it this week signed by THE Jennifer A, Nielsen, (creator of the amazing Jaron, thief/prince, Ascendance trilogy books.)

And I'm just like... what even is my life?

Now, a few days later, I'm tempted to go back and reread my response, but I'm too afraid to actually do it. Not because I fangirled so hard she probably thinks I'm 14, but... I don't remember proofing my response. The spelling is probably worse than a second grader.
*Oh gawd*

 Incidentally, younger sis has just finished reading Mark of the Thief (bk 1) and was asking  about the next book. She's been talking up the awesomeness of Nic (main character from bk 1).

Jennifer has the ability to create amazing characters. 

And after that incredible bookish day, I'm convinced anything can happen, so I'm just gonna ask:  

Santa, if you do exist, all I want for Christmas is that ability. 


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Where Am I?

In regards to writing, I don't know if there's a category for where I'm at. 

Despite 465 pages, I didn't officially finish draft one, yet I'm done writing it.

I read it over in one fowl sweep, which was a roller coaster for sure. I came away deciding there's not much to salvage there (ouch!).

  I'm oddly determined nonetheless.

I've gotten busy with Christmas rush now, but in the back of my mind, there's a weak drizzle of brainstorming happening. I'm doing all I can to feed that weak storm, because I hope to have my new plan and outline ready by Jan 1st to start a complete rewrite.

As overwhelming as that is, I'm actually excited about all that I'm learning about writing active prose, the emotional character arc, staying in deep in POV, and so much more. 

Basically, I didn't get anything right in my first draft, in character, writing or plot, and realized it all needs to be redone and I'm still enthusiastic. 

I must be brain whacked.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

End Nov WIP updates

Well, I was supposed to finish before Dec. and I didn't, but not through any fault of my own. 
I never missed a day, and my lowest word count was on my birthday at 1,400. Because, reasons. 
Every other day, I managed to eek the button over 2k, even when I really didn't feel like it.
I'm deep in the climax now, and really enjoying it, but never expected it to take this long. The plot just kept going (because, reasons) and I felt like I was following along behind going "hey, wait, you were supposed to stay under 100k!"
I'm going to sharpen my editing scissors after New Years and scale this puppy back!

There's some other editing I know I need to do right off the bat too. For instance, I thought I had my MC so thoroughly figured out, and then he went and changed personalities on me midway (because, reasons), so now I have to figure out which character he really is and hold him to it.

I hope to finish the first draft in a few days and then focus on Christmas.
I'm very happy on both accounts!

Okay, gotta run, because (you guessed it) reasons...