Happy New Year

I hope everyone has a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.  Have fun and be safe.  2017 is going to be amazing.  So many good things to come…

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2016 Wrap-up

Imagine my surprise when I logged on to do some updating and realized my last post was in November of 2015.  That pretty much sums up how my writing has gone for the last year.  Non-existent.

It’s been a crazy year, in a good way.  we decided  in the fall of 2015 to sell our home and move out to the country on some acreage.  We closed on our sale in August of 2015 and then moved into a rental while we looked for a lot to purchase.  That only lasted a few weeks and we had to move yet again into another rental (because of problems with the first one).  We bought a lot and started construction in October.  We closed in March of 2016 and have been living here ever since.  We absolutely love it.  Going from the world’s smallest subdivision lot to almost 4 acres was quite the eye opener for our kids.  It’s a lot of work, but I love it.  We installed our own sprinkler system, planted our own lawn, grew a garden, brought my daughter’s horse over, and made lots of new friends.  In short, it has been awesome.

But, the downside with all that going on is my writing suffered.  I literally have not made a single keystroke on a story this whole year.  In the months leading up to November and NaNoWriMo, I debated with myself many times if I was going to do it.  I really wanted to, but my heart just wasn’t in it.  I was so busy, in fact, that the first couple days came and went without my even realizing it.  It finally dawned on me around day 4 or 5.  I debated again whether I would do it.  Even though I really wanted to, I didn’t have a plan.  I decided that I would at least sit down that night and punch out some words so that I wouldn’t keep digging myself into a hole.

However, it had been so long since I finished my previous book (Moonstones), that I couldn’t remember enough of the specifics to make a decent go of it.  After several hundred words, I realized it just wasn’t possible to work on Moonstones 2.  Not like that.  I briefly considered finishing Seconds, the novel I started for NaNo 2015.  But, that was in the same boat.  I literally hadn’t read a word of it for a year.  It just wasn’t possible.  At least with Moonstones, I had been in that world for so many years that I had a lot of the backstory banked.  Seconds was cranked out over several weeks in November of 2015 without any outlining or planning.  After I won NaNo, I had a memory dump and almost could remember nothing of the story.  Obviously, I had the gist, but not even close to enough to start writing.  I couldn’t even pick up where I had left off.

So, I gave up.  It was harder than I thought, actually.  I took a lot of pride in winning over the last several years, and it was sad to admit defeat. That was over a month ago.

But, something important happened.  A little spark ignited, a spark I hadn’t felt in a long time–the desire to write.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve fanned that little spark, slowly getting back into the writing mindset.  I’ve visited writing blogs of authors I follow.  I’ve figured out how I could rearrange my daily schedule to have dedicated writing time each day.  I updated the progress bars on the blog to show my current projects–there are others, of course, but those are the main ones for now.  And, I spent the last couple days re-reading my unfinished draft of Seconds so that I would be ready to start writing this coming week.

I’ve had many writing goals over the years.  Some I’ve met.  Some I haven’t.  But, either way, it’s time time to set some new ones.  I’m putting them here as a reminder to me. Hopefully it will make me more accountable as well.

GOAL NUMBER ONE is to just write.  Regularly.  I plan to finish the first draft of Seconds over the next couple months.  That will give me two fully completed first drafts.  Then come the re-writes with the ultimate goal of having both novels either submitted to publishers or e-published this year.  That’s GOAL NUMBER TWO.  Seconds is the shorter of the novels, and I’d like to have it ready to go by May 1.  GOAL NUMBER THREE is to get some short stories submitted to magazines or websites.  I just need to generate some words and get my name out there.  GOAL NUMBER FOUR is to get started on the sequel to Moonstones.  It’s a big epic fantasy, and it’s going to require a lot of time.  GOAL NUMBER FIVE is to make it to some Cons this year (at least one).

I know those goals are lofty and will take some tweaking and refining as we go along.  But, I’m never going to reach my ultimate goal of being a published author and full-time writer if I don’t start writing.

Wish me luck!

Scott

Day 29 NaNoWriMo

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It happened.  I finished.

50,050 words written in 29 days.  There is something tremendously fulfilling about completing this challenge.  This is the 4th year I’ve won.  I love it every time.

As usual, I built up a good buffer at the beginning of the month which I had to rely on later in the month when things got busy.

I wrote 6,500 words in the last two days.  I technically had through tomorrow to finish, but I really wanted to wrap up today.  So tonight ended with a 2460 word sprint.

I still have probably 30k words left to finish the story.  It has turned out to be a LOT more fun that I thought it would.  I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

The plan is to hopefully get the first draft finished before the end of the year.  Then, come January, I can start my first round of revisions.  Not sure whether I’ll do this book or my fantasy that I finished previously.  They both need done, though, so we’ll see.

I’ll write more when I have time.  But I wanted to at least throw out a quick status update because I haven’t been on here in a while.

#NaNoWriMo #amwriting

More updates to come soon.

NaNoWriMo Day 15

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The big 15.  Today is the halfway point for NaNoWriMo.  I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks and that the month is half over.  The time has flown by.

To give you an idea of where we should be at, the goal for day 15 is 25,000 words.  As of today I am at 32,172, a buffer of just over 7,000 words (that feels good).

We are supposed to average 1667 words per day.  My average is 2144, which is not bad considering that I did not write on 3 of those 15 days.  That’s right – big fat zeros.

The good news, though, is that I only have to write 1115 words per day for the rest of the month to finish.

But enough about the boring numbers.  Let’s talk about the story.

So, as you know, I have been flying by the seat of my pants, literally.  Each day I am excited to find out what was going to happen in my story.  As I neared the 30,000 word mark (approximately 1/3 of the way through my novel), I started getting concerned.  I liked where the story was going, but I really had no idea what the end game was going to be.  I had been kicking around some very general ideas in my head, but none of them were tied to anything specific in the story.  It is actually something that has weighed heavily on my mind the past few days.

Today, however, I sat down to write for fun and didn’t even think about that stuff.  So, there I was, writing away, fingers flying across the keyboard, and all of a sudden it just happened.  I realized what had to happen for the story to be complete.  That revelation immediately led to a second that I definitely was not anticipating but which adds a very good element to the overall story.

I actually stopped typing for a second and just smiled as I read back over what I had just written.  WOW!

So the good news is that I now know what I have to do.  The bad news is that I still have to make it happen.  But the story is quickly progressing in the right direction.  I no longer feel like my story is a ship without a rudder.

So, for what it’s worth, I thought I would give a little status update.

I’m so excited to find out what’s going to happen tomorrow.

JSE

NaNoWriMo day 11

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Goal: 1667

Written: 4645

Today was a HUGE day for several reasons.  First. I wrote over 4,600 words.  That’s a lot of words.  The Gettysburg address was 272 words.  The Declaration of Independence has 1,458 words.  Heck, the entire constitution only has 4,543 words (according to Google – I didn’t count myself).  Now, before you get all uptight that I’m comparing my YA dystopian to the US Constitution, I’m not.  But, most of you have read or at least seen the constitution and have an idea how long it is.  Back to my original point.  That’s a lot of writing for a single day (especially a day when I worked at my other job).

Today is also a milestone because I hit the 25,000 word mark on my story.  Thats 25,000 words in 11 days.  That’s close to an all time record for me.

This novel won’t be done at 50,000 words.  Right now I’m guessing it’s going to come in somewhere around 75,000-90,000 words.  A good length.

They say that when you enjoy your job you never have to work another day in your life.  I’m feeling that way right now about writing.  This story is really fun.  I look forward to it each day while I’m working, anxious to get back to my mac in the evening so I can start writing.  So I can find out what happens next.  Remember those old Choose Your Own Adventure stories?  I used to love those as a kid.  Every so many pages you’d be faced with a decision.  If you chose to do X you had to go to page 23.  If you chose Y you had to go to page 37.  That sort of thing.  You never knew where your choices would get you.  I feel much the same way with this story.  Not the slightest clue where it’s going, but I’m so excited to find out!!!

As you can imagine, my fingers are tired.  I’m going to wrap it up.  Wish me luck for tomorrow!

NaNoWriMo Day 9

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It’s been a few days, so I thought I would drop a quick update.

Goal: 1667

Written: 2368

As of today, I should be at 15,000 words.  But, I am at 18,609, which gives me just over two full days of buffer. I had three, but I wasn’t able to get anything written yesterday.  I need to get that built up again.  Tomorrow is going to be a really busy day, and I’m worried I may not get much done either.

I don’t know if you’r like this, but for the first 7 days, I wrote every day without fail.  I couldn’t wait to write each day.  Then, I took yesterday off.  Today it was much harder to get back into the swing of things.  They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.  Maybe I just haven’t written consistently enough to get back into the habit of writing.

The story is coming along nicely.  Because I’m doing pure discovery writing and have no roadmap as to where this story is going, I’ve had a couple of really fun and unexpected plot lines develop.  I’m excited to see how they pan out.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a quick update.  #NaNoWriMo #keepwriting