Writer’s retreat accountability update for week 1

June 12, 2017

Well, it looks like I wasn’t good at updating every day, but I’ve been working hard!

Tuesday: Finished scene: 550 words.

Wednesday: Started a scene outline for generation ship novel. 7 scenes, 267 words

Thursday: 5 more scenes for outline, plus a prompt question. 189 words

Friday: Outlined 8 scenes, 249 words
Revose for 2 scenes on Magic Milkshakes

Saturday: Finished revising third scene for Magic Milkshakes.
Questions for the end of the outline

Sunday: Finished draft for the outline. (Revisiong from earlier versions. 279 words, 11 scenes)
Started second new scene for Magic Milkshakes: 317 words

Will be starting on my week 2 progress today! 🙂

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Ready Set Write… just in time for the end?

August 25, 2014

Okay, it’s time for Ready Set Write again. RSWCoffee75I’ve only done this a few times, but apparently it’s time to wrap up for the summer already!

How I did on Last Week’s Goals

Exceeded them! I said I wanted to work through six critiques, and I finished off the entire stack, which I figure was at least eight. And I figured out a bunch of great stuff that will make my story better, once I actually figure out how much I’m ready to change with the next draft.

Summer Recap

Well, I think I’ve done pretty well. I went to two amazing writing workshops this summer, drafted four new short stories, finished two quick revision rounds for “TimeBubble Blues” and got started on some revision for ‘Gotta Have That Look.’

Favorite Line from my WIP

I’m going to pick another line that one of my critique partners from Young Gunns picked out as liking:

“I dunno, Jimmy,” Stephanie said. “I never thought you’d be one of those kids who chose to look like somebody we’ve all seen on the tabloid shows.”

The Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week

Trying to figure out how much I’m willing to change for this revision. I’ve got lots of great ideas, involving big changes to the plot and some of the characters. Not sure yet how they’ll all fit together, or if they all will.

Something I love about my WIP

The premise, with teenagers getting genetic therapy injections to look like anybody they want. 🙂

Okay, I guess that’s it for me. Click here if you want to join in, or check out other writers doing Ready Set Write!


Ready Set Write, my week 2.

August 18, 2014

Okay, it’s time for Ready Set Write again. Let’s go RSWCoffee75‘write’ to the headings…

How I did on Last Week’s Goals

I finished my draft! And – well, I broke ground on revising ‘Gotta Have That Look’ based on the feedback I got at the Young Gunns workshop earlier this summer. That’s not much, but it is ‘measurable progress.’ 🙂

My Goals for This Week

Work through six more ‘Gotta Have That Look’ completed critiques from Kansas.

Favorite Line from my WIP

From ‘Gotta Have That Look.’ This was a line Jean liked enough that he wants to make it the opening line of the story somehow:

“It’s always hard to recognize people after a long weekend,” Bryan said.

The Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week

Hmm, not sure what to say here. Making time to write? Getting myself excited about revision?

Something I love about my WIP

The secondary characters, who are Jimmy’s best friend and his new girlfriend Stephanie.

Okay, I guess that’s it for me. Click here if you want to join in, or check out other writers doing Ready Set Write!


I’ll give this a try – Ready Set Write!

August 11, 2014

Well, I spotted this blogging thing and decided to join in. Apparently calling it a ‘writing intensive’ is enough for everybody else doing it, though that phrase makes me ask ‘an intensive what?’ 😉 But they’ve got good headings of what to share, so here goes.

How I did on Last Week’s Goals

Well, I didn’t post any RSW goals last week, because I didn’t do it, and the goals I sent to Team Ambitious were for that two-week round, all about revision, and I didn’t really get anything done on them yet. But–I started a new story! And I did some work on the ‘How to Think Sideways’ course and worked on two story critiques, so that’s not nothing.

My Goals for This Week

Finish the draft of the xylophone story. Make some kind of measurable revision progress.

Favorite Line from my WIP

This is half a paragraph, but I can’t resist sharing it all:

“Petra was at the near end of the near bench, and at the far end of the other was Angelo, looking like he thought he was in charge–as always. He waved for Nicholas to come and join them, but Nicholas had a better authority to follow. Yes, even a cat was better at being in charge than Angelo.”

The Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week

Getting over the post-workshop crash from TNEO week in New Hampshire, especially since it was such a busy and stressful workshop–in good ways, but still I was tired when I got back home.

Something I love about my WIP

The idea I came up with during the A-Z challenge. This is the Xeroxxing Xylophone idea. I got some great help from Jeanne and others during the TNEO brainstorming session fleshing it out.

Okay, I guess that’s it for me. Click here if you want to join in, or check out other writers doing Ready Set Write!


A quick update…

March 31, 2014

First off, I reached my 50 hours target for revision in March, with – well, let’s say, with a little time to spare. 🙂

In April, you’ll hear a lot from me, between A-Z challenge posts and Weekend Writing Warriors, but you probably won’t hear much about my Camp Nanowrimo process in between that. Never fear, though, I’ll be plugging away at “The Gnomes are Missing” and hopefully having a blast.

Oh, I’m also going to be doing the open mike night in James Street North Wednesday evening, reading two flash stories, “I heard Dad’s voice” and “Welcome to Your Revolution.”

So yeah, that’s what’s up with me. (Or part of it.) Probably won’t be juggling What’s up Wednesday until April is over.


EdMo hours update and and a look at the schedule

March 22, 2014

Hours spent editing in March so far: 34 and 49 minutes

I don’t think I’ve actually talked about my NaNoEdMo schedule here before. I’ve built a special Excel spreadsheet to set my day-to-day editing targets, because it isn’t as simple as 1 hour, 37 minutes every day. I have more time available for editing on the weekends than weekdays for instance.

So, I set up a schedule with three types of days: weekends, weekdays, and Comicon. I knew I’d be crazy busy for Comicon, so that Sunday I only gave myself a target of an hour. Actually, I think I did a little less, but I’d done extra time the day before.

The weird thing about the schedule, though, is that there isn’t a single target per type of day otherwise. I’ve set up two formulas. For one, I’m only committing to doing 2 hours per weekend day, and I set the time for a weekday to make up the balance of getting to 50 hours in the month, which comes as a little less than an hour and a half on a weekday. For the other schedule, I only commit to an hour on a weekday, and set the weekends to make up the balance, which is over 3 hours every weekend day.

And generally, I don’t worry too much if I’m caught up on at least one of these schedules. They pass each other every week or so, so it doesn’t matter that much. If I’m actually ahead on both schedules, then I know I’m doing pretty well, and if I’m between, then there’s the second ‘stretch’ target a little ahead of me, encouraging me to keep going.

edmo_schedule

 

So, I guess that’s about it. 15 hours, eleven minutes to get done over the next nine days!


IWSG: The Revisions Edition

March 6, 2014

Welcome Insecure Writer’s from far and wide! So, I’m six days into my personal version of National Novel Editing Month, and even though it’s been hard to find the energy to log revision time, I think I’ve been doing pretty well. I’m nearly at 10 hours out of the 50 hour challenge now.

I’ve been bouncing around with my revision projects so far, mostly between going through the Holly Lisle ‘How to Revise your Novel’ course on a second manuscript, “The Angel’s Charlie”, and a follow-my-gut approach to revising a science fiction short, “Gotta Have that Look.” I wrote this version of GHTL during Odyssey, based on an earlier Camp Nanowrimo short that I sent to Jeanne while preparing to attend the workshop, and I both loved and hated the feedback I got on it. I finally broke ground on the revisions back in December or so, and I actually really like some of the changes I’ve been making to it over the past few days. Hopefully I’ll be able to send it back to the Team Ambitious crew in a week and a bit, see what they think of all the new stuff.

One cool bit that I was able to take from the ‘How to Revise your Novel’ course and apply to GHTL was the Holly Lisle three-part fix for talking heads: establish the setting, give a character a prop, and involve a gimmick. (I won’t explain that in detail here: Go buy the course for yourself!)

I’ve been counting other stuff as EdMo time too; if you’re going to reach 50 hours in a month, you have to dig deep. I’m not going out looking for lots of critiques to do in March, but whatever critiquing I do for other writers counts. I’ve also been planning another rewrite of Orpheus, hoping to expand it for the I Am the Abyss anythology. And I’ve been looking for other shorts to revise, finding Jeanne’s feedback on my Odyssey application piece, “The Time Bubble Blues”, and updating a list of every short story I’ve written over the past 4 years or so.

So I guess I’m not feeling that insecure about my writing just now, it turns out. 😀 What about you?


NaNoEdMo Eve (again?)

February 28, 2014

Well, it’s the last day of February, so tomorrow will be March 1st, and NaNoEdMo is starting all over again. My approach to revision and editing has changed a lot in the last year, (mostly on account of Odyssey,) but I’m still looking forward to getting 50 hours worth of editing in over the month.

So far, my revision possibilities list is fairly brief:

  • The Angel’s Charlie. I started working on the Holly Lisle HTRYN program with this manuscript last March, and then never really got back to it. It’ll be nice to get back to that.
  • “Gotta have that look.” Hopefully I can get the revision of this to a place where I’m happy enough with it to submit it to Team Ambitious by mid-month. (It’ll need to be good, since they all saw a draft back in the summer.) Then maybe I can submit it in the spring, get it working for my Race Score.
  • Expand “Orpheus and the Cameraman” for the Abyss anthology. Since the anthology call is for novellas of at least 10k, and my current draft is just over four thousand words, (from a first draft of 2k,) that’ll be a lot of expansion and new words, but I think the premise has enough to support that, and it’ll be nice to get to write some new scenes while still technically editing for March.

I just finished the last of my modest goals for Feburary, dreaming up some story ideas that I’ll be tossing out when the A to Z challenge starts in April! Of course, I still have to figure out some of the trickiest letters in the alphabet, but there’s time for that.


Discovering a new revision process

August 2, 2013

It’s often hard for writers to figure out what process works for them. Natasha posted to a blog chain sharing a few thoughts on her process a few weeks ago, and Storywonk Sunday devoted most of their podcast last week to talking about process, including their concept of the ‘Frog Box’, which I love; it’s a feature on their website that prompts you with process ideas to try, that other Wonks have sent in.

I stumbled across something new in terms of process for revising while I was at Odyssey, and apparently it’s stuck with me. The first thing you need to understand is, I’ve done a lot of critiquing before going to Odyssey, but aside from the few in-person writer’s circles I’ve gone to, most of it has been with electronic manuscripts; the novel swaps forum on Nanowrimo.org and the CSSF short stories workshop rely on email, and critters.org has a hybrid system where you can get manuscripts emailed to you or download them off the website, and send them in either way as well.

At Odyssey, everything was hard copy. You printed out your story when it was ready, Jeremy the work-study writer made fifteen photocopies, stapled them, and handed them out to everybody at the morning lecture. We made notes in pen on the hard copy, typed up and printed our overall critique of the story, and handed in the critiques and the marked-up manuscript back to the author after everybody had said their piece in the circle.

It’s a system with a lot to recommend it; there’s no confusion over possible multiple copies emailed out, or any possibility of somebody not getting the manuscript critiqued because the college wifi decided it didn’t like their laptop. Also, it means that it’s a lot harder for anybody to keep copies of somebody else’s work, which I can understand a lot of workshoppers being concerned about.

I have issues with pens. I’ve been holding them an unusual way ever since I was little, my handwriting is horrible to read, and for most things, writing in pen on paper saps my creative energy like a black hole sucking up everything that comes near. But marking up a printout in pen is never the worst thing. I’ve been able to critique in pen on paper before, and I did some of my Block Revision last summer with pen and paper–but when I needed to write long passages I had to switch over to the Alphasmart.

When I was working on a story to submit in week 2 of Odyssey, after I’d come up with a first draft, I was having a hard time looking at what I’d written on the computer screen and figuring out what changes I needed to make before I submitted it. So, somewhat whimsically, I printed it off and tackled it with my official Odyssey pen as if it were somebody else’s story I were critiquing, and that worked quite well. Like with Block Revision, I wouldn’t write many words on the manuscript, but generally with just a short scribbled phrase I could tell myself what I needed to know to expand on a scene or insert new action. I did that with every piece I submitted for the rest of Odyssey, and for the story I abridged to read at the Flash Fiction Slam in Nashua.

I guess I hoped that after being home from Odyssey for a week, I could go back to editing by staring at the computer screen. Either that, or I entirely forgot about this new approach. But I went back to the paper and pen approach for my new revision of ‘Masterpiece’, and it’s still working great. Something about having a pen and a printout really brings the best out of my Inner Editor; who’d have thunk it. Maybe he’s just trying to find his own thing and emphasize how different he is from my Inner Pantser, who’s all about fingers on the keyboard. Whatever. As long as he’s willing to perform, I don’t mind killing a few trees for him.


A Holly Lisle giveaway announcement

July 30, 2013

Okay, big news today! Holly Lisle is unveiling the new version of her “How to Revise your Novel” course with a big giveaway. Everybody who enters gets a copy of a free new lesson, “101 Worst Things That Go Wrong in First Draft.”

I’ve learned so much from “How to Revise your Novel”, and I’d recommend it to anybody who has a broken first draft and isn’t really sure how to fix it… especially those of us who’ve survived Nanowrimo and then think “Well, now what?”

And there are lots of other great prizes in the giveaway…

  • ONE grand prize winner will receive entrance, free of charge, to all three of Holly’s major courses: How To Think Sideways, How to Revise Your Novel, and How To Write a Series. (Winner may not be a current member of any of those courses.)
  • THREE winners will receive entrance, free of charge, to How To Revise Your Novel. (Winner may not be a current member of HTRYN.)
  • FIVE winners will receive, free of charge, a bundle containing every single ebook in Holly’s store, fiction and nonfiction both (courses not included).
  • FIVE winners will receive, free of charge, a 2-course combo of How To Motivate Yourself and Writing Discipline.
  • TWENTY winners will receive a 25% off coupon, good for any single shopping cart purchase in Holly’s store (not valid for course memberships).

The contest is over at 11:30 a.m. EST on Monday, August 5, but don’t wait. Click here to sign up today.

DISCLOSURE: I may receive compensation for some of the recommendations I make on this site. But I’ve taken this course, and I stand by my recommendation for it.

P.S. If you sign up for one of Holly’s courses while you’re there AND you are one of the winners of that course, your payment will be refunded, so don’t worry about waiting until the prizes are announced before signing up for anything that interest you.


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