Catching Up

I haven’t posted for a while for a number of reasons. Some are good reasons and some not so good reasons which I’m sure you have heard more than enough about. So I won’t dwell on that!

I’ve been working on the story I started during NaNoWriMo and since I’ve been at home, I’m making good progress on it. I decided to use the Camp NaNoWriMo April 2020 as an added incentive to keep going. I’m woefully behind but it’s working. They don’t have it set up to record by time, which is what I’m doing since it’s revision but they posted a neat conversion chart and I’m using that to keep track of what I’m doing.

I had set myself a deadline to get the first full revision done by the end of July and I should make that deadline if I stay disciplined. I admit that some days are easier to concentrate than others. So I just roll with it.

There were a few major scenes and plot points that I knew loosely while writing that first crazy draft in November. I’ve pretty much figured out the entire story and now just need to put it all together. I’m treating it like a giant puzzle and mystery. Where to put key parts that I hadn’t included in the original first draft and how to weave it all together so the entire story matches how I imagine it to be. Sounds easy. Ha!

I’ve also gotten to know the characters better. Their history and backstories. They’re becoming real people. There are still details that need to become clearer but now they each seem to have unique personalities.

I also find it fascinating how much the story has changed from my first vision of it. It now only resembles the original in a basic way. The focus has changed and grown. Very exciting. This is one of my favorite things about writing fiction.

The first draft was written by scene and/or chapter, each in its own file. I find it easier to revise and focus on little pieces at a time. It’s much less intimidating. Now I’m looking forward to making it all one long story.

I have handwritten notes and have added lots of comments in the files themselves. I use the comment feature which makes any notes stand out and easy to find and work on. If you haven’t tried that, I highly recommend it! I make notes to go back and fix something or add a detail later as I go along so I don’t get bogged down and distracted. So lots of work to do and I’m still motivated and excited by this project.

I hope you are all writing and creating. It helps make this crazy time just a little easier to deal with when you can make something to call your own.

I would love to hear what you are working on whether it’s writing, drawing, sewing or anything else you are making. Whatever you are doing, take good care of yourself and hang in there.

NaNoWriMo Day 17

Day 17

This was a tough week, no doubt. I fell behind on my word counts and boy does that add up fast! So this is just a quick check-in to let you know I’m still writing. Today I reached slightly more than the halfway point.

This week I jumped around a bit in the writing timeline. I got stuck at one point and jumped ahead to keep the words going.

Today I did more out of order writing but  the story is falling into place nicely now. That is in big part to help I got from the Young Writers Group. I asked them to help me brainstorm what could happen after giving them a very brief synopsis of the story and they came through! There were some laughs because some of the ideas were really out there but all of a sudden one of the ideas was good and everyone kept adding on to it. I was typing like crazy to keep up. So a huge thanks to that group!

Another thing that’s helping me is a book that I bought. It’s the No Plot? No Problem by Chris Baty who started this whole crazy thing. The book is funny and but also very helpful.

As of today, day 17, my word count is 25,709!

If you are participating, how are you doing?

And again, if you have any tips to share, I’ll take them.

Keep on writing!

NaNoWriMo Day 9

I’m writing this nine days into the NaNoWriMo challenge and so far so good.

I started with intentions of keeping notes about how I was doing day by day but I haven’t had time. I did do that for the first couple of days and here is what I wrote then:

November 1: I was off work so I devoted a lot of time to getting my project started. But I haven’t written anything this length seriously for a long time. I won’t lie; the first hour I wrote pretty quickly but it was just crap. I took a break and gave it some thought. I needed to get in my main character’s mind and get out of my own way. Stop overthinking it and just write a scene.

And that’s what I did for the second hour. And it just flowed and it worked and I almost doubled the required daily word count that I need to finish this. I ended on a very upbeat note.

I jotted a few notes about the next scene/chapter for the next day.

November 2: I worked all day so I couldn’t do any writing until after dinner. But in a way that was good since I had time to think about the next scene and where I wanted it to go. I wrote for a little more than an hour and got down 1486 words.

This scene will now tie in with some writing I had done a long time ago. This is the first time I will see if I can tie this new idea with the old one and make it all work.

After that first day most have been pretty much the same once I got going.

Is it easy? No. I’ve figured out that I do well for about an hour and then I need to stop and regroup my thoughts. It’s a learning process.

Is it any good? Ha! I’ll see when I’m done if any of it is good but I’m not thinking about that right now. I’m just trying to get the whole story down.

Are there sacrifices being made to do this? Absolutely. But most of those sacrifices are not that important. I really don’t miss watching TV in the evenings. I will admit that I’m missing my video game play time more than I should!

I did give up going to friends’ house today to catch up on my word count since I had fallen a little behind the last couple of days. It’s difficult to get much writing done after a full day at work. It was hard to not go and laugh with good friends. When I explained why, they were supportive. They are the best.

More than anything I’m mostly surprised at my determination to do this at all, let alone actually do it. For some reason, right now, this means a lot to me. 

Also, this week I had the second meeting of the Young Writers Group at work. There are four young ladies who are participating and we had a gentleman who came as well. I don’t think he realized it was for young people but he was more than welcome and I think he had a good time. Everyone is welcome to support each others’ writing. All together there were six of us sitting around the table comparing how we write, what we write and giving each other tips.

One of the reasons I enjoy the company of teens is because they have so much energy. And this group is no exception. Three of them were typing away at their stories while the rest of us talked but also adding their comments to the conversation. Amazing to be able to multitask like that!

After about a half hour, we decided to use the rest of the time to write. What is it that is so energizing about sitting in a room full of people being creative? It’s wonderful.

And my word count so far? 15,908

Not too shabby.

How are you doing?

And if you have done this before, do you have any advice?

Good luck to all! Keep writing!