It’s June

Ah! How did I seriously let so much time pass between updates? You know what it is — it’s a case of persistent procrastination. It’s always saying, “I’ll do that tomorrow,” and then tomorrow never being any closer than it is today. So yeah, I really need to work on my effort levels. You’d think that gets easier with age, but it doesn’t, at least not in my case.

Right. So. That being confessed… I am still working on my second draft of the current WIP. I’m more than half way through however, and in addition to quite a few large changes, I’ve also been working on the query letter for it and have also changed the title.  I am so not waiting until the last minute to get a query put together this time. I still have to do a summary and that will be enough of a pain – which is what I’ll likely do on my next full read-through once this draft is done.

Now I just have to figure out genre and age level it’s for… I think I might go back go MG (I teetered toward YA), and it may possibly fit into ‘dark fantasy’ as a category.

In other news… New job is going well enough. I’m much more comfortable there and I feel like I’m getting the hang of things. I also want to go back to school this year if I can manage it, which will really tie up whatever free time I thought I had. Ugh, the things that we do for our futures, eh?

At any rate, I want to try and pick up adding posts on a weekly basis again (or maybe semi-monthly I could manage better?). I think I’ve given myself more than enough time to slack off. The hardest part of updating is coming up with what to write about, so that’s what I’m going to do for the next week: think about what I want to write about on a weekly basis.

Wish me luck.

It’s been a while…

I haven’t updated in some time, and that was for a variety of reasons. I’ll start from the top and most obvious reason: holidays! Ugh, what a wonderful and stressful time of year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years Eve to the fact that I left the country for a couple of weeks – this was just a horrible time for me to log in and update. I know, I know; I should have make some posts ahead of time and timed them to publish during that period, but… well I am just not that organized or ahead of the game yet. Maybe next holiday season.

BUT, things are mostly back to normal now. Mostly. My job situation has very recently changed as well, so that too is a shift in my usual normalcy. Hopefully this change won’t be too life altering. One job went away but a new one popped up at just the right time. I’m not really a believer in fate and all that, however it did seem a little ‘meant to be’. I’m looking forward to the opportunity and challenges this new position will bring, so fingers crossed!

Back to more relevant things though: I did manage to finish my WIP rough draft just before my trip to Germany. That was in around the second week of December. Not in time to qualify as a win for NaNoWriMo, though I did still make my own deadline, which was to finish before I left. I didn’t get much done in edits while I was away, but since my return on December 31st, I’ve been making good progress. I’m about 2/3s the way through my initial mark up.

I printed the whole thing out: 290 pages, and around 54k words. Why’d I print it out? Well, I find marking up my work by hand is more helpful. I can see the entire book better, and it’s just easier in my opinion. I do hate wasting the paper, but to combat that I print out 4 sheets per page, so it really cuts down the amount of paper I use.

So yeah, that’s all the stuff that has happened since November. I finished a book; traveled to Germany, saw some movies, and started a new job. What a way to start 2018!

I hope everyone else had a great start to the new year, and hopefully we all see good things coming our way.

Crap, it’s #NaNoWriMo, I swear!

Bah! I absolutely, totally and completely forgot to post. I blame it on National Novel Writing Month!! I’ve been trying to remain an active participant, so it’s probably safe to say my posts may be spotty until the new year, because after November there’s xmas and a trip to see family.

That said, NaNoWriMo is going well so far and I’m 15k words in. It’s for the WIP I’ve been working on, but after some serious though I had to make some large, critical changes that have taken some time. I’m nearly caught up with where I stopped however, so soon it’ll be new words until I hit the end.

Can I get it done by the end of November? No clue – but I’m sure as shit gonna try.

Outlining vs Pantsing

Do I outline, or do I pants? It’s a question many a writer has asked before, and I’m no different.

I’ve done both, but I find my primary method is to outline. This of course has it’s drawbacks though. While I have a clearer picture of where my story is going and how it will end, it also steals away any surprise/suspense I have. It’s something I’ve struggled with, and I hate that feeling I get after I’ve finished a full outline: boredom.

This is why I’ve been trying something slightly new – a modified approach, if you will.

Normally in my writing process I follow these steps:

  1. Base idea origination: this is the bottom line ‘pitch’ in my head that starts the whole thing up.
  2. Basic main character conception.
  3. Ideal ending generation.
  4. Random event generation: this is the point in which I just start writing out all the random scenarios I think would be fun or neat to read/write.
  5. Event coordination: I then take my random events and start to put them in a more coherent order when it’s clear that scene D can’t happen until A B and C are in place.
  6. Filling in the gaps / Outline: At this point I have the scenes that mean most to me and the order (which is still adjustable in many cases) that I’d like to see them in. Now the time between those scenes need to be filled in, connecting all the dots together to create ‘the story’.
  7. Drop it like it’s hot: Right around this time that feeling of boredom sets in now that my entire story is already laid out. Sure it’s more like a lengthy synopsis, but I feel like it’s been told and writing more gives no satisfaction. So I have to drop it for a bit until that feeling goes away.
  8. Write the rough draft.
  9. Hide it in a folder for a month or three.
  10. Revise.
  11. Edit and revise again.
  12. Revise again.
  13. Get a second opinion: this is where a writers group or beta readers REALLY shine.
  14. Edit and revise again.
  15. Rinse and repeat as many times is necessary or until my sanity gives out.

So anyway that’s basically the full list, but with my current WIP I have decided to stop somewhere between numbers 5 and 6. I have my characters, my ideal ending and my random events already, but instead of doing a full outline all at once I’m going to try and do it a couple chapters at a time with plenty of room to pants-it.

Hopefully this will keep me intrigued all the way through. Sadly I haven’t made much progress since last week for various reasons, but I’m hopeful that I can dive back into it here shortly.


Regarding PitchWars:

Still no word on this which can mean 1 of two things: 1) my first chapter / query just wasn’t engaging enough or 2) my submission didn’t actually go through. I’m more inclined to think it’s #1 due to the number of competitors I was up against, but the hopeful part of me wants to consider #2 as well. I don’t recall getting any message after submitting, but then again I don’t know that I was looking out for one either.

In the end, it’s been a week and I think by now most of the mentors have chosen the stories they’d like to request more for, and mine was not amongst them. But I’m honestly okay with this. I’m trying to work on my current WIP, and while I’d like the old one to be out of my hands already, this gives me more time to do ‘stuff.’

I sincerely wish all the people who were accepted the best of luck though, and I hope all of them find an agent!

Scrivener

So I’ve had Scrivener for well over a year now and haven’t used it once. Why? Mostly because I bought it while I was already in the midst of a 4th draft being handled in Word, while my next project was steeped deeply in Google Docs. I had actually forgotten about the program altogether, and it wasn’t until yesterday (2 chapters into this new project), that I remembered it.

Thus began the great migration! (extremely exaggerated)

I copy/pasted all my stuff into Scrivener, so for the duration of this WIP I’ll use it and see what I think. Hopefully it’s as amazing as it sounded upon purchase, but after I’ve used it for a bit I’ll leave a more in depth review on how I feel about. It’ll be interesting to see if it can knock good old Word off the pedestal. Google Docs might have done so if not for the following:

  1. Holy crap does it lag when you have over 100k words!
  2. Less customization.
  3. And while this is Google Sheets related versus Docs, I still count it, and Sheets has nothing on Excel. What does Excel possibly have to do with writing you ask (or not)? It’s fantastic for outlining is what! Maybe I’ll share a picture of one of my more complex ones sometime…

At any rate, fingers crossed! I’m looking forward to seeing if it’ll be my new favorite tool or not.