Writing and Editing

Short Story Adventures

​Before earlier this summer I’ve never really written short stories. At least none that I really enjoyed writing. But so far I’ve written two and I actually like the feeling of having accomplished something. (Not that writing novels isn’t an accomplishment). It’s just nice to say that I finished a story. 

I actually finished one this morning. (On day three of my new writing schedule for the month). I have a goal of writing one a week, which I might have to change if these trends continue. Anyway I was 157 words short of my 500 words/day so I had to start another one because I didn’t want to drag out the ending of the first one.

My 2nd short story prompt of the week. Thank you Pinterest.

The new story is going ok. I think it got weird fast (I’m stopping at the end of each line whether the sentence is done when I hit 500 words) so I’ve only written about half a page. Do you ever get that feeling about your writing? How do you fix it or get past that feeling? Maybe I’ll start it over tonight or think of a way to move it in a different direction. 
How is your writing coming along? 

Writing and Editing

September is Swiftly Approaching

​A new month is coming up and I have some goals that I’m working on. I’m starting to prepare for NANOWRIMO (I know it’s two months away).So I’m trying to get back in the habit of writing everyday. 

I’m putting off my novel idea until November, so this month I’m writing short stories. I started my first one tonight and I hit my daily word count for the night. (I’m super excited about it). This month I’m shooting for 500 words a day, next month I’m going to up it to 1000 and in November I’m either going to do 1667 or 2000, I haven’t quite decided yet.

This is my short story of the week. I’m hoping for it to be around 3000 words.

Anyway, I’ve recently discovered bullet journals on Pinterest and I thought I would give it a try. My rationale being, if I actually do it, it should help me stay organized and stay on track. (I have a hard time with commitment so we’ll see how far it goes). I’m also keeping track of some personal habits that I want to get back into the habit of doing, that have nothing to do with my writing. 

September habits I’m trying to form.
September: Week One

Do you have a monthly journal? What kind of items do you include in it? Also have you participated in NANOWRIMO? What have you done to prepare for it? 

Books and Such

Reading Update

I finished the book I was reading on my Kindle two nights ago and I needed a new book to read before bed so I started Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. 

I’m only one chapter in, but I’m actually liking it so far. (I know, I sound surprised, I don’t usually read the classics, I know, I know, my loss). It’s also helping build my vocabulary. I’ve highlighted six words in the first chapter alone. Thanks once again carterwheeler99 for the recommendation. 

Now I just have to finish my “real” books so I can start another book from my list. I’m also reading After You, by Jojo Moyes. It’s the sequel to Me Before You. I honestly think she should have let the story end when the first book did, but now I’m sucked into the story so I have to see how it ends.  I’m also reading Publish This Book: The Unbelievable True Story of How I Wrote, Sold, and Published this Very Book, by Stephen Markley. I know what you’re thinking, “You’re still reading this book?” And my answer is, yes because I just bought my own copy of it so I could write in it without owing the library money for damaging their copy.

The books I’m currently reading.

What have you been reading? How are you liking it so far? 

Writing and Editing

I’ve Been Thinking

​Well sort of. I have one novel (if you want to call it that) that is ready to be published. It’s got a beginning, middle, and end that make sense,  it’s all polished up, and overall I’m ok with it.

Enter problem one: I feel like it might be too predictable. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve read it too many times and it’s just me being paranoid, or if it actually is.

Enter problem two: I don’t think it’s long enough. It’s just over 46,000 words, which sounds like a lot but I’ve done research and novels range anywhere from 45,000 to 90,000. I realize that my story falls into that category (barely) but I feel like it needs more. However, I don’t want to add words for the sake of adding words and I don’t want to force the story. 

I feel that if I fix problem one it will help with problem two. What do you think I should do? Do you have any suggestions for making a story less predictable?  (And don’t just say throw in a plot twist). I realize that I’m asking for help on a story none of you have read. Might you be interested in reading it?

Books and Such

Reading List

​Yesterday I came up with the idea to write down all the books that I need/want to read in the near future. This was after I recieved a few recommendations from jrhandleyblog and carterwheeler99  So when I came home from work last night I started my list. 

It is nowhere near complete as I was mainly looking at the books I have (both actual books and Kindle books, yes I’m one of those girls. I’ll discuss my views on that if you’re interested at a later date). 

Many on this list are guilty pleasures (Nothing erotica on here, I hope, just books that looked good based on the cover) however there are several of the classics too. (I’ve been scolded too many times for not having read any. I can discuss my views on that too if you’d like). I also like reading books about writing so there are a few of those on my list too.

Now I just have to finish the five books I am currently reading and then I’ll be able to get going on my list. 

Page 1
Pages 2-3
Page 4

As a disclaimer. The order of these books is subject to change base on my mood and if I really like the first book in the series and I have to finish it. Otherwise, I’m hoping to stick to this so I don’t skip over books and still wind up not having read them. I’ll keep you all posted, maybe once a month or so and let you know how I’m doing. 

Are there any books that you think I should add to my list?  What are you reading right now? 

Agent/Publisher Search

Agent Search

​While I was on my medical leave a few months ago, I started the process of searching for an agent to represent my first novel. I queried 7 agents (apparently, I thought I only contacted 6 but whatever) and I double checked my email and I’ve heard back from everyone. I am now the proud owner of 7 rejection emails. It’s fine, sort of, as I wasn’t expecting to find an agent on the first try. 

Anyway, now that I’ve heard back I’m ready to start my next round of sending out letters, and I’ve learned some things about the process. (For example I’ve learned what simultaneous submissions means, I know it sounds pretty self – explanatory). 

That all being said, does anyone have any recommendations for where I should go from here? I started with this book,

The book I used to start my search.

and I know it’s out of date, but it was still very helpful. (I thought I was ready when I bought it, but I wasn’t). Also might anyone be interested in reading my letter to see if it makes sense and/it needs anything? I’m more than willing to repay the favor.

Writing and Editing

Word Count

​I’ve been writing. I took the advice of jrhandleyblog and I stopped trying to micromanage all of my characters and I just wrote. And it felt amazing! 

I’m going to tell you what I did but first I have to figure out what I want my daily word count to be. (Don’t worry, I won’t tell you everyday how many words I’ve written, maybe I will weekly or once or twice a month I haven’t decided yet). Anyway I could make my goal 500 words, which is about 5 pages in my little notebook, 

My little notebook. I can get about 142 words per page. I am a Star Wars nerd by the way. We can talk about that later if you’d like.
or I can make it 1000, which I’ve been able to do in the past so I know it’s obtainable. However I’m still sort of recovering from wrist surgery (I had carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists, but it was taken care of in May) so I don’t want to push too hard. Maybe I’ll shoot for somewhere in between. 

Anyway, tonight I wrote 808 words. It’s the most I’ve written in one sitting since before May. I knocked out 5 note cards and I decided to move one and add another. 

I know I skipped number 5, I decided to move it. I’m really loving the ease of this kind of “outline,” and I think I’m definitely going to do it again.

So regardless of my word count goal, I’d say tonight was very productive. Now I just have to get back in the habit of writing everyday again. 

What do you like to do to form a new habit? Also, what do you think about my word count? (Keep in mind that I work 40 hours a week also, so it has to be obtainable).

Writing and Editing

Maybe I Wasn’t Ready to Start Writing

I think I’m just procrastinating, but I don’t think I’m ready to write quite yet as I’m still coming up with characters. (I know I said I was done with the pre-writing a week ago). I’ve got the main ones named for the most part; I need a couple surnames yet. I’m also working on their descriptions.

My characters so far.
Now I’m trying to think of some of the other people I’m going to need in the story. This probably isn’t that critical to the actual story, but like I said earlier I’m just putting off the actual writing. That, and I’m enjoying using the note cards, perhaps a little too much. Maybe I should just write the whole story on them instead of a notebook. 

Do you go to these lengths of character development or do you just dive right into the story? When do you decide that enough is enough?

Writing and Editing

What’s Your Style? 

​First off, I would like to apologize for  not writing to you guys lately. Life got a little busy. 

I usually write the story from beginning to end. I’m thinking about writing this story scene by scene, not necessarily in the order that it all happens. I’ve never written this way before so it could be fun but it has the potential to lead to many problems. (Not that writing from start to finish doesn’t have its own problems).

I have a few scenes that I want to write so I can take out some frustrations, but they don’t happen until much later on the story. I’m not sure if I want to wait until I get to them (although I’ll probably have the same frustrations then) or if I should just write them now and take out my current issues. 

What do you guys usually do? Have you written this way before and has it worked out ok? 

Writing and Editing

Starting my First Draft

​Today is the day. I’m done with all my brainstorm session and I’m finally starting the actual writing.  At least I will on lunch hour. I just need to come up with three names yet, but I have five hours between now and lunch to get that squared away. I might have the heroine’s name, but I’m not 100% sure that I like it yet. So I just have to come up with the hero’s name and the antagonist’s. I’m not worried about the minor characters as of right now.

Anyway,  I’ve got the setting (at least a couple of basic places. I’ll go into more detail as I write, and I know about what time period). the major plot points from beginning to end are figured out, although I’m not sure about a couple of them. I think I just wrote them to fill the note cards, but we’ll see what happens as I go.

My story as indicated by note cards. Now I just have to fill in the details.
I’ve also got my notebook and pen so I’m prepared that way too. In the past I always had to use the same color pen for an entire draft and it was fine, but this time around I might change colors when I change points of view. (It depends on how far I get this afternoon and if I can find another color pen in my purse).

Getting ready to write.

How do you guys come up with character names? Do you have a favorite website or book that you use?