Two Weeks

What’s up with the past two weeks as a hiatus from blogging? I have no idea. I’ve been busy, but I wouldn’t think so busy I would forget to blog for an extended period of time.

Oh well. There is always another chance to get back up and start over. I started reading No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty. It’s about writing a (short) 50,000 word novel in one month. NaNoWriMo has become quite an event in November, and I’d like to participate again this year, though the baby might get in the way. Then again, it’s exactly like the principle of the original challenge to have life posing obstacles that make it difficult to accomplish.

It’s only 1667 words a day. I know I can do 500 right now, though stringing sentences together has been difficult with the amount of sleep I’m getting from night to night. I bet I could work up to it by November. Any takers?

Editing…

Writing, or editing. It’s always one or the other that ocupies my time.

I took a chapter from 3600 words to 2500 today. Most of it wasn’t correcting passive voice, either, though I did manage that. My NaNo Novel from last November has a lot of things that need tightening, and it needs added conflict.

The difficult part is sometimes knowing what to cut and what to keep. It’s YA, and since it occurs in school I think I should have some details of school (I like to do little school details here and there), but I don’t want to beat the kids over the head with it, either. There is a balance between how much school and home life is good, I’m sure, but I haven’t found it yet.

I figured out the parts I want to focus on for this story, and I’m trying to dump the rest. I had an unrelated spelling test, so I deleted it in all its gritty glory. (Oh, don’t worry, there’s a copy. I always keep a copy of the original version in case I get rid of too much or I need to change the focus later. No use trying to remember what it was. I can compare drafts if need be.)

My original estimate was 2500 words per chapter, so I find it amusing to hit that now. I think I should be able to do that with most of the chapters in this book. Some of them are under right now – one of the drawbacks of a writing spring – but at least the story is down so I can tweak it as needed. I find it much easier to focus on the essence once it’s written.

Writing sprints like NaNoWriMo give a good opportunity to get the story down. Just can’t forget that it’ll need a few good edits when you finish.

New Year’s Resolution

… or something like that …

This year I’m going to complete another novel, science fiction this time. I may take part in NaNo again, but I’m going to decide that at a later date. I love the competition and the friendly cheerleading to get to the goal, but I also know I need to focus on a specific goal and not just a wordcount. However, NaNoWriMo rules state it must be a new project, so I figure I’ll worry about that next September or October.

Until then, Audrey calls!

To my other writing goals for the year, I think I may try more songwriting. I will definitely be writing a few more short stories. I’d like to be one of those writers who sends out several submissions a week, but I’m not sure how fast I can write, edit, and polish them – especially with a novel on my hands.

I think the novel is the more important focus for my long-term goals, so the short stories might be the part to slide. Several of my current short stories could be expanded into novels; it’s difficult to make the choices sometimes.

I’ll be flexible and I’ll keep writing. that much I know!

NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, takes place in November. Thousands of writers all over the world attempt to write 50,000 words during the month. It averages to about 1667 words a day, and most of them don’t make it.

Today I finished the novel. Full length novels are generally 70,000 to 120,000 words, so making the word count doesn’t mean the novel is completed. Lucky for me, I decided a YA novel would be good for the challenge and guessed it would be finished near that 50k mark.

My rough draft is 51,147! I have 20 chapters, maybe 21 if I split it a little differently. Editing starts in December, or really whenever I want to now that I’ve finished. I’m finding new ways to write and outline this year that have really helped my efforts.

My average per day I wrote (and I didn’t get to write a few days in there) was 2557. All right, I admit I’m a bit of a nerd and I keep track of those things! My personal best today was today: I wrote 7678 words.

I’ve listened to a lot of people who have strong opinions about this event. Some of the nay-sayers think they need to write quality rather than quantity. I think I can understand that, but I know I’m the type of writer who needs to get the story out of my head before revising it. Sometimes, it takes a completely different turn than I’d planned at the beginning and I like seeing how it all comes to life. When it’s down on paper I find it easier to polish the story and really hone in on what I want to say and fix mistakes. As long as everyone understands it will get a rewrite later, maybe two, or however many it takes to get that gem to shine.

So I’ve been cheering on my friends. This year we prepped together. We challenged ourselves and we planned celebrations. I made it, and I hope every one of them does, too. Then we’ll edit. Some of us will even try to publish them. Wish us luck!

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