Tag Archives: creative process

Goals for January and 2019

Well, hello out there! It’s been a long time since I did anything except Wednesday Words, Rainbow Snippets, and Snippet Sunday posts, hasn’t it?  I’m too lazy to go back and look but I’m pretty sure it’s been months.

I’m going to try to do better. In fact, that’s one of my goals for the year.

And speaking goals, let’s get right to the heart of the post, shall we?

Goals for 2019 are:

Write 100 words a day every day.
I know that’s not much, but it’s better than no words a day, and is actually attainable. And goals should be attainable, right? And I’m hoping to do it every day, not skip a day and make it up the next. I want it to become a habit.

Finish and publish Onyx Sun.
The door to my computer hutch has several sticky notes on it with things to remember to work into the story.  I’d like to get them off of there.  And I’d like to turn Onyx Sun loose on the world.

Finish (and publish?) Hedge House.
I’ve been posting snippets from it so that should be motivating me to get the first draft done.  And I have a couple volunteers to beta read it (one of whom has read a very rough partial draft already) so that’s more motivation.  The de-motivating factor? The fact that I know there’s a lot of revision needed in the form of adding scenes to it.

Finish edits of The Academy of the Accord, Book 5
This book is giving me all kinds of trouble. I can’t get the opening scene to cooperate and there’s some stuff in the middle that is just not cooperating with how the world works.  It’s printed and in a binder and has sticky notes flagging pages every where (it’s quite colorful) and I really need to finish this edit before I can move on in the series. I need to remind myself that it’s not a final edit and I’ll be going back through all the books at least one more time. (Although I’m not sure that last bit is exactly motivating.)

Assemble and edit The Academy of the Accord, Book 5.5
Yeah. After I finish Book 5 it’s on to the patchwork book. I’m pulling parts of this from the original(ish) version of Book 5 and some of it is side scenes that I wrote that didn’t quite “fit” in Book 5, and some bits and pieces may have come from other books now too. It’s a mess but it’s kind of needed. And eventually I’m going to have to renumber it.

Keep up with snippets blog hops!
I’ve been good about posting my snippets on my blog and posting the link to the groups but not so good lately about making the rounds each week.

Monday and Friday blog posts.
If I check in twice a week it will maybe keep me on track for the other writing goals.

Miscellaneous:

There are some other writing projects I’d like to finish this year too, but I think I’m probably already setting up more than I can handle.

Like an urban fantasy that just needs to be a little longer (it’s not novel length and I think there’s a lot of stuff that needs added to make it clearer to people who aren’t inside my head).

And a trilogy without a name that is done but needs a first round of edits.

And a novel that is done but is the first of a trilogy. (It didn’t start that way.)

And sequels to write.

But, yeah, all of those are waiting until I get some of the above stuff done. I’m only one person, I do have an Evil Day Job, and other (non-writing-related) goals to work on.

 

Goals for January:

I’m starting small. As long as I write at least 100 words a day each day this month I’ll be happy. Hopefully I’ll apply those words to Hedge House, and not to the plot bunnies that are hopping out of the magic hat so fast you’d think I was trying to pick a NaNoWriMo project.

 

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The Answer Is

142.

That’s how many words I have for Camp NaNoWriMo so far. And that means I have to write 1572 words per day to finish on time. I can do this! That’s less than the 1667 words per day for NaNoWriMo in November.

Only it’s going to be more than that because I’m not going to get 1572 words written today before I have to go to work. I need to finish this blog post, set up my Rainbow Snippet post for tomorrow, and catch up on last week’s Rainbow Snippet blog hop.

Hopefully I can get some writing done at work tonight. (Maybe even that 1572 words I need to aim for so I’m not falling too much further behind.) I’m going to try, at any rate, and at least I seem to be regaining energy and interest and want to get back to it instead of avoiding it like it’s housework or something.

Outside of that, we’re in for another heat wave this weekend, with temps near 90F so tomorrow we’re going to go look at air conditioners.

Oh, and the grass still needs cut. I just haven’t had time to do it before work. Maybe I can stay up long enough when I get home tomorrow morning to get at least part of it knocked down.

 

 

 

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Camp Progress

(Or the lack thereof.)

It’s Friday, six days into Camp NaNoWriMo, and I have written exactly zero words.

The weather has been hot and miserable (we had a heat index in the triple digits on Wednesday, which is almost unheard of here) and I think my mind melted.

That’s not to say that I haven’t been THINKING about writing, because I have. I have some hastily scribbled notes about stuff to go back and add to what’s already written. I think I’m going to end up with a very disjointed 30,000 words by the end of the month.

Anyhow, the weather has cooled off some so my energy level is picking up. And I’m on night shift this weekend so I’m hoping to make up some lost time (and words) between now and Monday.

I doubt I’ll get all 9k written by then, but I’ll be happy with 6000 words. Or even one thousand at the rate I’m going.

(At the rate I’m going, even one word would be progress!)

 

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I’m Building a World!

(Man, if those words don’t give you a god complex I don’t know what will!)

So, anyhow, I did some world-building this weekend. (See what this series of blog posts is doing to me?)

Not for my Camp NaNoWriMo project, mind you, (although I did work on its outline a little) but for an idea that’s been kind of kicking around on a back burner for a while now.

Settings are usually my weak point, but that’s what this one started as – just a setting. No people, no plot, just a place.

The place now has some people (well, two named people) and a history and a (main) religion. And the start of a story line. (There are people in the story line, too, but they don’t have names yet.)

Unfortunately, the story line probably isn’t enough for a novel so I’m still not sure what’s happening with the whole idea, but at least it’s a start.

And even more unfortunately I think there are two novels set there – one back when the place was new and one later, after things got codified a bit more. And, actually, it would lend itself well to a series of short stories.

(No, it doesn’t have a name. The working title is Sanctuary. (Or Haven or Refuge or Oasis. Apparently I can’t make up my mind.)

As much as I want to start working on this story (because it’s shiny and sparkly and oh, look, a squirrel!) I don’t think I’ll start writing it yet. It needs some pretty intense world building.

The city (or whatever it is) is a melting pot of different races and nationalities and cultures and religions and what-have-you, and I need to know about all of them.

Will the reader know about all of them? Probably not. At least, not all at once.

But I need to know.

And for once I would like to have everything settled and sorted before I start writing.

Just to see what it’s like.

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World Building, Sort Of

Since I touched on world building on Friday I thought I’d write a bit more about it for today.

There’s just one small problem…

I don’t know what to say about it.

When I write something that is science fiction or strictly fantasy I tend to make things up as I go, which leads to some interesting problems, so it’s a bad habit that I should probably try to break.

When I’m writing something that is more along the lines of paranormal or urban fantasy I actually do a lot more research than I do for SF&F.

Why?

Because people can fact-check it and I don’t want to look like I was making it up as I went.

So, anyhow, there are some questions I want to tackle on this subject:

Why is world building important?

How much is too much?

How little is not enough?

But I’m not going to tackle them today. It’s way too hot and my brain has melted and my body is in process of doing the same.

I’m on night shift this week so I’ll write about them when I’m in air conditioning.

 

 

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Idiot or Genius?

I’m either an idiot or a genius.

Okay, let me back up some and admit that I have done absolutely nothing on working on The Academy of the Accord this year, despite my stated intentions to get them all ready for 2nd round edits by the end of the year. Part of that goal was to have Book Five’s changes entered by the end of January.

That, um, hasn’t happened. In fact, it hasn’t even started to happen.

But I just loaded the Word doc onto flash drive, and have the binder with the edited print out ready to take to work with me tonight. I’m on four night shifts in a row, so with luck this will be done by the end of the run.

It makes so much perfect sense that I’m kind of embarrassed that I didn’t think of trying this before now.

I have more room there to spread out the pages. I have better lighting there to try to read my handwritten notes. I (usually) have more uninterrupted time there (on night shift).

And suddenly I’m excited to be back to work on it. (And eager to go to work tonight.)

Truth be told, I’ve been doing very little of anything related to writing, other than poking at Song and Sight and a few other WiPs a little bit. I just haven’t been feeling energized or focused on much of anything related to writing.

Why?

I’m not sure.

I want to write, but I just haven’t been able to get moving. Opening a Word doc just feels like too much effort and it feels overwhelming.

I truly hope that this marks a turn around, the beginning of the end and the beginning of a new beginning.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll even be able to get back to work on Onyx Sun.

Or the Other Mages trilogy.

 

 

 

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Halfway to Nowhere

The fifteenth? Already? The month is half over already? And my goals for the month are… not halfway done. Not even halfway started.

*sigh*

I do have two days off in a row coming up, though, and then I’ll be starting to work some night shifts so I’ll have time to write with minimal interruptions.

(Now, if I can just convince gmail to let me access it from a strange computer. I appreciate the added layers of security, but sending a secret code to my cell phone when I work in a jail where I can’t have said cell phone isn’t very helpful.)

Anyhow…

That “sort of” plot bunny is growing by leaps and bounds. I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing, given the current state of my pile of projects, starts, and novels I’m ignoring.

Another major (although not as high priority as the Academy of the Accord stuff) is to organize all of those projects, starts, and novels I’m ignoring. I think I’ve settled on putting them all into a three ring binder, organized alphabetically by title, working title, or some kind of word combination that will give me some sort of hint as to what it’s about.

I think that’s going to be another good project for downtime at work, maybe on evening shifts, at least until I find the concordance for The Academy of the Accord so I can get back to work on it.

(Some people need to find themselves. I just need to find my stuff.)

 

 

 

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One Week Left

So much for catching up! A couple so-so days of writing, plus losing most of Wednesday with cooking for Thanksgiving dinner (two nurses in the household – holidays happen when they happen) and I started yesterday 8414 below par.

I had a good writing day yesterday, though, to the tune of over 3300 words, so started today 6912 behind. Now if I can just have a few more back-to-back 3K days…

I’m not sure it’s going to happen today, though. I have about a thousand words done and lots of time yet, but I’m running just enough of a fever to feel like crap. But I will push on. I want to get at least two thousand words in for the day.

I’m liking my revision of how the story is playing out as far as Zin and Boyin meeting, but I’m really dreading revising the beginning of this thing.

I’m dreading revising the middle that I’m writing right now, too, because a lot of it is just stuff to get words flowing and is probably going to need to be cut, but there is enough good stuff popping up that I’m not ready to throw in the towel and skip ahead just yet.

Besides, if I do that then I’ll be missing the fun of getting there, not to mention that sometimes things happen that I can use later.

(No, I’m not pantsing this. Yes, I do have an outline. Yes, the outline is being followed. Sort of. Sometimes.)

And meanwhile I have a million ideas for other creative projects crowding into my head, and fingers itching to hold a crochet hook.

One more week…

I’d better get writing.

 

 

 

 

 

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NaNoWriMo Rebellion

 

No, I’m not being a rebel. I’ve started a new novel and I didn’t begin writing until the first.

No, it’s my characters that are being rebels.

In addition to the name issue, there seems to be some marital discord.

There wasn’t supposed to be. They were supposed to be in a loving relationship and she was not supposed to be a bitch.

On the other hand, her being a bitch is going to work out quite well.

Eventually.

Eventually being the last book of the main series.

*sigh*

On a brighter note I’ve managed to stay slightly above par so far. Barely, but still above par.

I just keep thinking that I should be further along because I’ve had two unexpected days off this week. The little boy that I ride the school bus with is in the hospital.

On one hand, my paycheck is going to suck. But on the other hand, more writing time. Except I don’t seem to have been doing a lot of extra writing other than staying a little over where I need to be.

In my own defense, though, I lost a couple hours on Wednesday getting my Work Box assembled. (Former landlord came and helped or it would still be in pieces on the floor of the front room.)

And today I had to do a shopping run and that ate about four hours.

And it doesn’t help that this is one of those times when words are being dragged kicking and screaming from my head to the screen.

I’m hoping that tomorrow and Sunday go better so I can get a nice cushion built up.  I’d like to be about 5k ahead of par. (I have blog hops those days, though, and have to clean the rat cage.)

But I’m pretty sure I’ll be off on Monday too, and probably Tuesday. (He’s supposed to be discharged on Tuesday but they’ve changed that before, so I’m kind of pantsing my work life right now.)

So, back to the grind. I still need to write 829 words just to hit par for today and I have a little under three hours to get it done. That’s less than five words a minute though, so I think I can make it.

Good luck to everyone else doing NaNoWriMo.

 

 

 

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The Day After Tomorrow

Less than two days until NaNoWriMo and I am…

…baking.  (Pecan pies, in case you’re wondering.)

Does that mean that I have a fully fleshed out and highly detailed outline all ready to go on November 1st?

Um…

No.

I have an outline that is… passable. Usable. It has some logic flaws yet (although it has a fewer of those every pass through).  And it’s going to cause a few minor problems for the main series as far as things to change here and there.  But, for the most part, it will work.

Names are still… in negotiation.

Will I have tomorrow to finish getting everything lined up and perfected?

Um…

No.

Tomorrow I’ll be baking pumpkin bars and a chocolate cherry upside down cake, and cooking a ham and mashed potatoes and gravy.

And finishing the assembly of my Work Box 3.0 (which I haven’t touched this evening).

And hopefully thinking up names.

Or maybe I’ll head over to Serendipity and see if their generators inspire anything.

One way or another, I will be starting writing on November 1st. I might be able to stay up until midnight, but that’s a little unlikely since I’ve reverted back to my morning person ways and am usually awake by 6:00 in the morning even on my days off.

But I will start on the first. And hopefully I’ll get 5000 words written that day because I’m not sure how my day job is going to affect my writing on work days.

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