#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/07/24

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WRITING:

Camp NaNoWriMo and JulNoWriMoTweeting updates with @JulNoWriMo and #CampNaNoWriMo. Every Friday until September 21st, I’ll be writing update posts for WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER.

Fractured Tales Series Word Running Total for July: 60,170 words

Totals from April, June, and July: 224,029 words

 

Headway on the outline revision and HOPEFULLY steering this ship in the right direction. Believe it or not, it’s okay to be excited and terrified at the same time. I am and I’m okay with that. 🙂

This next bit goes in my unofficial Edification Category, but it falls under the WRITING umbrella:

1) I’ve taken part in Savvy Authors Summer Hike hosted by the wonderful Cathy Yardley and it’s another great way to have ongoing support and accountability as I achieve my writing goals. Since I surpassed the 50K word count goal awhile ago, I decided to spend the rest of the month revising my outline. It’s going to be like playing Jenga or Tetris with words. [SIDEBAR: I looked up the proper links to associate with the games and found this. Amusing, considering my previous sentence. I had no idea it existed.]

August, rather than WriMo myself into a black hole of Writer’s Burnout, I’ll give myself a little extra time to make sure my outline is solid. It’s something I’ve never quite done in previous WriMos. I shall not pants my plots anymore. Not even Bermuda shorts. I need to be rigid to ensure a smoother writing experience. My goal is to write and polish the first fifty pages of the novel by September 1st. That’s 12,500 and far less pressure on myself than I’ve been dousing since the start of the year.

2) I went back to that scary wildebeast of an assignment. There’s still a ways to go yet but I’m making progress in the outline’s refinement. Progress is always a good thing.

 

There are other activities and challenges that I’ve taken up and I’ll post updates in the next couple of posts. Good things ahead because it’s all things writerly.

 

READING:

Currently reading:

FLIPPED 331920     THE SPARK 15798364

Next up:

WIRED FOR STORY 13126099     THE SUPERNATURALIST 45432 

(Although, I have read a few pages of each to get a taste of what’s to come.)

  

Total books read since June 23rd:

Fiction: 9

Non-Fiction: 3

 

Not freaking out that I haven’t finished a book yet this week. I have my own to work on. I’ll be a Beta Reader for fellow writers’ manuscripts and I think that’s an interesting endeavor. I’ve done it in the past and it helped me appreciate the skills I’ve learned and honed, as well as appreciating a story as a reader. I say this counts as as part of my reading challenge. I’ll be pulling double duty because there will be edits and critiques involved. Reminds me of a teacher who asked me if I wanted to be an editor. I certainly wouldn’t mind. These tasks, reading and editing, they’re just a couple of ways for me to improve my own writing.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA-ING ;) (formerly known as BLOGGING):

Check-ins on Angelina C. Hansen’s blog for #wipmadness continue every Monday In July. I’m a newbie compared to how long my fellow WIPsters have been at the grind. This week we celebrate book deals, query submissions, and just getting the words on the page. We should all be proud of our efforts. Three Sunday #ROW80 check-ins and four Mid-Week Check-Ins, so far.

I’ve been on the lookout for insightful articles and websites for my FRIDAY FORAGE series. I’m not sure if I’ll post them during my summer writing challenge but it couldn’t hurt. The interwebs are a cornucopia of knowledge. I’m enjoying the scavenger hunt, so far.

 

OTHERS:

Duolingo is something I’m going to take a peek at on the weekends.

Speaking of… staycations. Weekend getaways either geographically or just in your own backyard. I highly recommend them. Get this, after the zany non-stop action with The Keysmashing Tots, you’ll never guess… I. Had. Fun.

Unbelievable, I know. But fun was to be had, rest was taken, my eyes, my back, my carpal issues. Come Monday (technically. Sunday night when I got back to the tykes), I had renewed energy and out of the gate, the words flowed with more ease than in the last fortnight. As part of my writing goals for the summer, I decided that, come August, I’ll take the weekends off, or at the very least, keep Saturdays as a catch-up buffer day, but Sunday is a writing-free day.

Did I mention how highly I recommend this?

 

How’s your July 24th?

Week in Review – 2013/07/15 – 2013/07/21

ROW80Logocopy

WRITING:

Camp NaNoWriMo and JulNoWriMoTweeting updates with @JulNoWriMo and #CampNaNoWriMo. Every Friday until September 21st, I’ll be writing update posts for WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER.

Fractured Tales Series Word Running Total for July (as of yesterday):  52,984 words

Totals from April, June, and July (as of yesterday): 216,843 words

I aim to tackle that writing assignment again in the workshop that helped me see the error of my ways. I also have more specific goals to outline as it pertains to another writing group’s summer session. When those are up and running, I’ll post them here.

At the very least, my goals for two out of three writing challenges have already been met as I’ve exceeded the 50K word count I set for myself this month. I’m going to spend the rest of the month restructuring my plot outline to make sure that the scenes I wrote fit organically and that my character and overall story GMC is ironed out. Next month, I’ll work on my revised plan. More preparation, less stress, I think that’s a better combination for what my schedule is looking to be for the next few months.

READING:

Here’s what I read this week:

22232     lovestargirl

Currently reading and on deck:

FLIPPED 331920     WIRED FOR STORY 13126099     THE SUPERNATURALIST 45432     THE SPARK 15798364

Total books read since June 23rd:

Fiction: 9

Non-Fiction: 3

The numbers aren’t bad considering I’m unofficially taking part in the 30 Books in 90 DaysSo far, I’m ahead of schedule in that regard. The good thing, too, is that all the reading has helped with my plotting issues in my current WIP. The reading continues.

SOCIAL MEDIA-ING ;) (formerly known as BLOGGING):

Check-ins on Angelina C. Hansen’s blog for #wipmadness continue every Monday In July. Three Sunday #ROW80 check-ins and three Mid-Week Check-Ins, so far.

My FRIDAY FORAGE was–to me, at least–shining, shimmering, and splendid. The week began on a low point and ended much better for me. With everything happening with my writing and home life, it’s good to remind myself that it’s okay for goals to change, to make certain adjustments here and there as life throws those ever-loving curveballs at us. The end goal remains the same, it’s just the method of getting there that changes.

OTHERS:

Duolingo is going to have to wait awhile longer while I fix my WIP glitches.

On the upside, this weekend involved a cleansing staycation at a hotel and I was treated to a much needed massage. It’s nice to have getaways with the Mothership and Sisterhood. Two days now without diapers and the children’s voices and scampering about were of those I didn’t know. It’s like I’m in a different country but the brain is recharging and the excitement to write is returning. Tomorrow–or rather, tonight–is already the start to another intense week, but I think I’m better prepared for it this time.

Tonight, the weekend ends with the Sisterhood and I taking part in a feast of fowl, a banquet of birds. Seriously. According to the blurb from the restaurant, we’ll be dining on 8 birds served 13 different ways.

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Is the eighth bird chicken? They didn’t even show the eighth bird, why?! Please be chicken. Egads. I think the only chicken at this dining experience will be me. Here’s to new experiences, right?

#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/07/17

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WRITING:

Camp NaNoWriMo and JulNoWriMoTweeting updates with @JulNoWriMo and #CampNaNoWriMo. Every Friday until September 21st, I’ll be writing update posts for WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER.

Fractured Tales Series Word Running Total for July: 46,695 words

Totals from April, June, and July: 210,554 words

I’m getting my butt kicked in one of my workshops and I mean this in the nicest way possible. I’d rather suck it up now and work out all the kinks, plot holes, chasms–toMAYto, toMAHto–in my WIP rather than after a year of slogging away at a series that won’t quit and won’t stop branching out in subplots. I’m not saying subplots are a bad thing. They’re great. But imagine your favorite tree. You go and visit it at the park. One day, you see the branches are taking everything over, it’s stifling, there’s no other room to grow. Worse yet, the roots are coming up through the grass, snaking their way in all directions. The tree trunk? That used to be my plot line. My current WIP predicament? The attack of the killer tree. It’s a B-movie with a horrible ending. Don’t watch it. I won’t.

So, back to the butt-kicking. I’m still working on the Series, of course. But rather than intermittent ‘fixes’ akin to a cork in an active volcano, I’m going back to the basics. Remember how I said I used to be on the fence between plotting and pantsing? Well, this mess has compelled me to get off the fence and head back over to Plotville. I gave in to too much flexibility when it came to those “what if” questions and what began as a simple hero’s journey mutated into a foxtrot quickstep square dance limbo with two left feet. Ya feel me?

I’ll get it sorted. I have some challenges that extend through August to give me the rest of the summer to get back on track. And back on track I shall be or I’ll end up running out of horrid clichés to blog!

READING:

In other news…

Here’s what I read this week:

22232

Currently reading and on deck:

lovestargirl     FLIPPED 331920     THE SUPERNATURALIST 45432     WIRED FOR STORY 13126099

Okay, I know not all the books here are from my last post. Due to recent events of aforementioned flogging and restrategizing–if it’s not a real word, I’m making it one–my WIP, I found I couldn’t get through reading a fairytale inspired story anymore. Until I’m out of my plotting fog, I’m steering clear of fairytale inspired tales.

The only reason I jumped onto Spinelli’s sequel was because I was moved by the first story, had the second one already and wanted to dive in while the characters were fresh in my mind. It’s told from a different POV and in a different format, but I’m quite enjoying it. Also, I’m enjoying MG/YA fiction, probably because they’re among my favorite reads. No worries. My ever expanding TBR list has a wide variety, but I think I’d like to start here and work my way to the grittier stuff later.

At least I can continue my nourishment through reading while enjoying other genres, as well. The diverse writing styles and voices are inspiring and giving me just the right amount of motivation to stop beating myself up over minor setbacks. 🙂

Total books read since June 23rd:

Fiction: 8

Non-Fiction: 3

SOCIAL MEDIA-ING ;) (formerly known as BLOGGING):

Check-ins on Angelina C. Hansen’s blog for #wipmadness are every Monday In July. Some of my fellow WIPsters are going through rough patches, while others are hanging from rafters with glee. We’re all in it together and I love it. Two Sunday #ROW80 check-ins and three Mid-Week Check-Ins.

I was hoping that FRIDAY FORAGE would be shorter than last week, but my inner monologue demands to be heard. Fingers and toes crossed, it will be shining, shimmering, and splendid.

OTHERS:

Oh, dear, sweet, neglected Duolingo. Does it count that the senior member of The Keysmashing Tots knows the word ‘stars’ in both English and Spanish already? Again, thanks to Dora and Diego. To his credit, children are known to have a knack for languages at a young age. I’d love to be a linguistic sponge. I’ll keep at it. I don’t think it’s too late. Of course, now I’m picturing SpongeBob. Great. :-/

Oh, and that thing I mentioned about Stella, last time? Erm, is there a movie entitled ‘Stella May Have Gotten In Over Her Head’ or the sister movie ‘Stella Jumped the Gun’. Grrr, plot holes. I’ll fill you yet.

And how are you on this fine, sweltering hump day?

FRIDAY FORAGE – 2013/07/12

WEEK THREE: WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER

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Fractured Tales Series Word Running Total for July: 33,357 words

Totals from April, June, and July:  197,206 words

I have the following book titles for the Series and currently reworking Bk1 after separating a subplot to Bk2. The third book is just ideas, at the moment:

BOOK 1: AARALYN’S SONG (FORMERLY BOOK 1: HAMELIN)

BOOK 2: THE CURSE OF BRIAR ROSE

BOOK 3: AND THEN THERE WERE SEVEN

So, you know how too much of a good thing can also be a bad thing? Welllllll… okay. It’s like this. How can I not be enamoured with all the possibilities that a fairytale universe provides? I’ll have story ideas, plots, subplots, and character mash-ups to last me a year. HOWEVER, as the saying goes, I think I really need to divide and conquer on this one. Yes, so many twists and turns are great. The new takes on old favorites (good and evil) are a joy to write, but I need to maintain a streamlined flow of ideas and not get ahead of myself. <– this is my self pep talk.

Yo, Self! Are you listening? Write the story that wants to be told and stop listening to all the whispers. Each character will have their time to shine–if they’re worthy! haha That’s another thing. I need to put the brakes on the characters. Here are just a smattering of mashed-up and/or retweaked characters I have so far in Book 1 (and I’m not even including minor ones). If I add the rest I have for the series, I’ll run out of bandwidth!

Aaralyn – inspired by the Pied Piper

Jaron – her father, abdicated his position as Heir to the Throne of his Kingdom, currently living in Hamelin, a town far, far away

Caleb – her brother, taken by a group of thieves who attack Hamelin

Melantha – her mother (and rogue witch, but I’ve recently revamped her and am considering, ugh, more on that in a later blog post)

The Old Woman – lives in a gingerbread house and nurses Aaralyn back to health after an ambush that results in Caleb’s abduction

Jack – forced to kill giants because an unknown group holding his sister Jill hostage. Killing giants at their behest is to keep her alive.

Ali Baba – a boy who first appears to Aaralyn in a dream, then when the town is under attack; currently cursed as a magic carpet

Morgiana – a friend of Ali who was once a fairy, but was cursed as a genie in a lamp

Robin of Locksley/Sheriff of Nottingham – this mash-up is inspired by my love for Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark, he’s Aaralyn’s godfather and Jaron’s best friend

Queen Aerwyn – Jaron’s mother; formerly a mermaid, chooses mortality for the love of a human,

King Brage – Jaron’s father, who’s currently at war with Aerwyn’s father, the King of the Water realm for, you know, the whole forbidden love thang

Rapunzel – has a bad history with both Aaralyn’s family but more recently with Jack. She’s a magical water creature and her hair is actually tentacles. She can change her form for certain periods of time.

Merlin – a wizard who is an old friend of Robin (and taught him a few tricks)

Nimue – another water creature but she’s allies with Aaralyn’s family

Okay, new plan. I can do that, right? I’m halfway through Camp NaNoWriMo and JulNoWriMo and I’m pretty sure I’ll hit 50K by midweek, if not before. Since this is an ongoing journey, as is the entire WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER challenge, I say yes.

1) I’m enjoying this exploration of characters but I need to really hone in on the story I want to tell first.

2) As much as I enjoy discovering connections between events in Book 1 to an story arc in Book 3, I should focus on getting out all the words of Book 1 first. Well, duh. I know it’s an obvious statement and yet…

3) I must spend time analyzing the characters I have and make sure they have a solid purpose in Book 1 that helps move the story forward. I don’t want to have them there just because I think their new mashed-up version is cool. I’m thinking of writing side story novellas to complement Book 1. BUT THEN PLEASE REFER BACK TO #2. One beast at a time, no?

4) My flexible plotting needs to be less flexible. I’ve always loved structure with wiggle room, but I don’t want to wiggle onto a different tangent. I need to spend a day–sans The Keysmashing Tots, so that means tomorrow–and go over all the key points of the book and make an outline that flows towards a resolution rather than branches out into a world of possibilities. REMEMBER: A standalone novel with series potential. The story should be complete in and of itself, regardless of what I think may happen beyond the words THE END.

5) Don’t sweat over it too much. I tend to overthink things and end up getting the blahs when I’d rather be having the YEAHS! (That made sense, right? I’m sure you know what I mean.)

So that was me this week. A frenzy of words, both written and read (I’ve been reading up a storm for a different challenge) and a frenzy of activity with The Keysmashing Tots. So much for having Saturday to completely veg out. Have you seen the list I just wrote for myself above?

Ah, the writer’s life. I’m such a masochist. ;-P

#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/07/10

ROW80Logocopy

WRITING:

Camp NaNoWriMo and JulNoWriMoTweeting updates with @JulNoWriMo and #CampNaNoWriMo. Every Friday until September 21st, I’ll be writing update blog posts for WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER.

Fractured Tales Series Word Running Total for July: 28,329 words

Totals from April, June, and July: 192,148 words

Tried different POVs this past week. Might continue this way because the story is too grand to have my protagonist in every scene. Also, I’m sure I’m not the only writer who’s had a ‘middle of the night’ epiphany linking events from Book 1 to events in Book 3 (which is but a twinkle in my eye, at the moment… twinkle and brief outlines).

READING:

Loving my reading revival. Here’s what I read this week:

20120201-book-storytellers-daughter     483445

Currently reading:

20120201-book-beauty-sleep     76171     22232

I just realized how disparate these titles are. LOL

Total books read since June 23rd:

Fiction: 7

Non-Fiction: 3

SOCIAL MEDIA-ING 😉 (formerly known as BLOGGING):

Check-ins on Angelina C. Hansen’s blog for #wipmadness are every Monday In July. One Sunday #ROW80 check-in and two Mid-Week Check-Ins.

Friday, I’ll continue my new column FRIDAY FORAGE and will go through my third week of summer writing updates.

After attending an Author Chat at Savvy Authors, I learned many new things that will go towards mending my love-hate relationship with Facebook and how to best forge a relationship with readers out there. Author C.J. Ellisson was faboo–people still say that right?–and is hosting Reader Clubs. I joined her event for July and it’s coming up on July 24, 2013. I suppose I should have mentioned this in the Reading section above but it’s social media related as I’m linking to the impending awesomeness over at Facebook.

These are writing related but also part of my edification as a writer. Aside from my continuous workshops–super helpful when I get the chance to work on assignments–I also joined Ali Luke’s Writers’ Huddle and am cozying up in Holly Lisle’s Forums for that added oomph, support, and accountability. They join Joe Bunting’s Story Cartel Course and Dr. John Yeoman’s Writers’ Village. I’m in good company.

OTHERS:

In the words of Grantaire, “I am agog. I am aghast.” Okay, so here’s the deal, Duolingo. I’m not mad at you. I’m not ignoring you. Promise. When my brain’s more sorted with my Fractured Tales Series and all the words of other fine authors that I’ve been absorbing, you and I will have words. And hopefully in Spanish.

Week two of July is almost up and I’m getting into the summer writing groove. Whatever ailed the household is almost gone. In fact, I’m more than ready to kick it to the curb already. Press on, I must.

And how are you today?