#ROW80 Check-in and #WIPpet Wednesday – April 22

This week I had a little trouble keeping up with my goals. I’m not way behind, but I’m not quite where I would have liked to be.

  • Stay on track with Camp NaNo – ehhh, I’m a couple of days behind at the moment. I have been writing every day, but only between 100 and 200 words. I can’t give exact figures at the moment because it’s all still handwritten.
  • Write 1000 words of history essay pending response from course convener – at time of posting, I only have about 799 however, I wrote a plan last night with estimated word counts for each section and I think that will help. I’m aiming to hit 1000 tonight.
  • Write a new forum response for history – I’ve just got to finish it off and post it.
  • Read half an hour a day – I expect it averaged out. I finished Jackaby by William Ritter.
  • Visit 50% of WIPpet Wednesday posts – done!
  • Visit 5 ROW80 blogs – yes!
  • Read over lecture slides for three MUSC8017 lectures – I did this, and it didn’t enlighten me about either of the remaining assignments in the slightest. I’m just glad the next assignment is based on an external document that has nothing to do with the course, though there are aspects of that I’m also confused about.

There are still maybe eight weeks left of semester (my final assignment is due June 9) but I’m basically at a point where uni work has to take precedence. I have discovered that doing a musical where the performances are around the same time as final papers are due is a terrible idea. However, it is too late now to back out of either thing, so I’m just going to have to do the best I can. I was doing a Wednesday night casual sport thing with some friends, but I’ve told them I will rejoin in June, as I have too much on my plate at the moment and need those evenings for studying. I did have my first little Masters-related cry yesterday. It wasn’t a cry, really, just a bit of a stress out about things.

I have come to the conclusion that Camp NaNoWriMo has not been so much a month of planning but of brainstorming. The story I set out to plan has taken at least two turns and is now very different. In a good way. Good guys have become bad guys and vice versa, magical police procedural has become more the story of two characters (not police-types) out to stop the nasty magical character before everything goes completely downhill, all the while having to deal with the issues they have with each other… It’s a much more personal story for all the characters.

On that note, since my characters have all swapped their character arcs in the past few days and have new back stories, very little of what I’ve written up until now is still relevant. For today’s WIPpet, I’m going to have to take you right back to when Rosa and Frederick Merrow first met, or at least, properly interacted. I’ve got 4 paragraphs because it’s the 22nd and 2 + 2 = 4. And it’s also the fourth month and all that. It’s a hot day and Rosa thinks she’s wandered far enough from the house to not be disturbed on her afternoon off.

She had been dozing off when a crack of twigs behind her made her jump and spring awake. The figure of Frederick Merrow emerged through the trees, a large dog by his side. Rosa had taken off her shoes and stockings, and now she scrambled to try to at least replace her boots, as her skirt would possibly disguise the fact that her legs were otherwise bare.

Her movements attracted Frederick Merrow’s attention, and he stopped walking, looking over at her. His expression was initially bemused, but it quickly transformed into a grin and he chuckled at her efforts.

“Please, don’t feel you ought to cover up for my benefit.”

Rosa’s cheeks turned a dark scarlet, and she felt as though she were completely naked, not just stocking-less, in front of him.

Given that I’ve turned him into the villain, and he’s more “total jerkwad” than “roguish charmer”, this scene now feels a whole lot sleazier.

If you are wondering what on earth this WIPpet thing I keep referring to is, wonder no longer! WIPpet is a portmanteau of the acronym WIP (work in progress) and the word snippet, and every Wednesdsay, we share a snippet from our WIPs that somehow relates to the date. The linky is here; do join in! The fabulous K. L. Schwengel is our host and many thanks go to her for keeping us all in line.

Now I return to ROW80 and my goals for the coming week. I have this 2500 word history essay due Thursday of next week, and a museum significance report due the following week. Thus, I really need to get the essay out of the way this weekend. I do have a birthday party to go to on Sunday, but I’ll probably excuse myself after a couple of hours. My Fair Lady chorus members are all a little annoyed when today we were informed we now have a rehearsal on Monday, where we didn’t before. It would have been handy having that extra spare night.

  • Complete essay by Sunday night
  • Polish essay on the following couple of days
  • Write a review of Jackaby and schedule the post
  • Finish forum response
  • Decide on item for significance report. Email course convener and also have chat to people at work about it.
  • Visit 50% of WIPpet Wednesday posts
  • Visit 5 ROW80 blogs
  • Reply to comments on this post

Doesn’t seem like much, but watch me fall apart in a quivering heap in next Wednesday’s post. I’m going to leave it here, but be sure to check out other ROW80 posts. I’ll see you soon!~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday April 8

I’ve managed to be pretty productive in the last week! Hurray! I perhaps should have done a bit more studying over my time off, but I decided to enjoy the time instead. I head back to work tomorrow and I can get to work on the next essay then as well.

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      • Read 1 hour a day and finish A Wicked Thing – I just spent Friday reading and finished it then.
      • Complete text-to-speech run-through of AMCF (8 chapters, so maybe 2 a day?) – done! Though I did it all yesterday, because I procrastinated up until then. But this means the interiors are all done and I just to worry about the exterior. Exciting times!
      • Finish review of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – done!
      • Write review of Cress by Marissa Meyer – done!
      • Write review of A Wicked Thing once finished reading – done!
      • Make a list of books in uni libraries that may be useful for history essay – sort of? I initially chose an essay question that was a comparative question, and I could find lots of books on one aspect of the topic but not the other. So I’ve changed topics, and stocked up on books for the new topic today.
      • Spend an hour each day doing uni readings – haha. Yeah. Well.
      • Try to dot-point an essay plan – see previous couple of points.
      • Remain on target for Camp NaNoWriMo (approx. 334 words a day = 2333 words by the end of Tuesday) – yes! More on that below.

It  would seem that no matter what I set out to write, some kind of epic and/or tragic romance always manages to make its way in there. This has happened with my Camp NaNoWriMo plans. I was supposed to be revamping and planning in more detail my WIP from last November’s NaNo (you know, the one with Armand and Bianca, and Josephine who was turned into a statue for 500 years and finally escaped?). I’ve accidentally ended up with a sympathetic antagonist, when I was going for “evil for the sake of evil” (almost – she did still have her own motivations). In her case, the romance is more on the tragic end of things.

As part of the Camp NaNo stuff, I’ve written some important scenes from this antagonist’s back story. It’s from this that I’m taking today’s WIPpet. I need you to imagine a large homestead on a farm out in middle-of-nowhere Australia, around the end of the nineteenth century. If you need an example, I have the Monte Cristo homestead, which is purportedly the most haunted house in Australia, in mind. Rosa is young and naive, and a member of the household staff. Frederick Merrow is the head of the household, and has been teaching Rosa magic in their spare time (there’s a pretty extensive back story for him as well, how he got into magic, etc, but I’ll go into that at a later date). My WIPpet maths is eight paragraphs for the 8th of April.

“It’s all about the right mind-set, you see.” Frederick put his index and middle fingers against Rosa’s temples. She felt herself blushing from the contact. “You have to believe you can do it or it won’t work.”

She glanced up at him. “I believe I can do it. It’s just… well… I still feel like I shouldn’t.”

“If God was going to smite people for performing magic, Rosa, he’d have got me years ago. You’ve got nothing to fear.”

He removed his fingers from her head, and stood, moving around to Rosa’s side of the table. He squatted down next to her and put an arm across the back of her chair to balance himself.

“You can do this,” he breathed in her ear.

smurf-vela-candleShe wanted to do this. She wanted to prove to Frederick that she was a worthy student. He believed she could do it, so she had no reason not to believe it herself. She stared at the unlit candle between them, willing it to light. In her mind, she saw the same candle, a flame flickering at its top. She closed her eyes, focusing on that image until her head was pounding.

There was a faint whooshing sound, and then Frederick’s hands clasped her shoulders. She opened her eyes and saw the flickering candlelight.

“Was that me? Did I do that?”

I haven’t actually figured out yet whether they would be on first name terms yet (particularly Rosa calling Frederick that), but given that this is unlikely to be in the actual finished work and is mostly just for my benefit, I figure it doesn’t really matter. I’m also yet to entirely figure out the magic system, so I’m just rolling with what comes to me right now.

I am actually loving Rosa more the more I write of her, and I have a feeling it’s going to be much like when I played Abigail in The Crucible last year. Everyone else was like, “Wow, what a bitch” and I was all “YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND.” Which is still how I feel about Abigail.

WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by the very fabulous K. L. Schwengel. All you need to do to participate is post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date (eg. 8 paragraphs for the 8th of April. I went simple, but encourage creativity). Then link up with us here. And on that subject, you can learn more about ROW80 here.

Anyway, time for this week’s goals.

  • continue with ROW80 goal of 250 words a day/keep on track with Camp NaNo.
  • Read for half an hour a day
  • Read uni readings for at least one hour a day
  • Make a bullet-pointed plan for the essay and email it to the course convener for feedback
  • Reply to all comments received on this post
  • Visit at least 50% of fellow WIPpet Wednesday post
  • Visit at least 5 ROW80 posts

I think that’s all I need to work on this week. If anything else comes to mind, I’ll add it in later. I’m going to go now and consider reading about Britain’s involvement in the Seven Years War, though its more likely I’m going to watch something on Netflix. (Netflix is still new in Australia. For those of us who didn’t know there are free VPNs out there, anyway. Don’t judge.). See you later!

~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday –

row80-2So I did a thing on Sunday night. I deleted my July 2014 Camp NaNoWriMo story from the site (obviously I kept the words). There is so much about the story that I need to figure out before I can continue with it, and I would rather not write waffle for three weeks and then fix it. I would prefer to research it and plan it properly, and then sit down to write it, knowing exactly what I am doing.

With that in mind, I’m returning to my old ROW80 goal of working on WIPs in theory for one hour, two nights a week. Sometimes it ends up being more than that on several nights a week, sometimes it’s four half-hour periods over the week, sometimes it’s something else… I don’t really mind as long as I feel I’m doing some solid work each week.

I was on the info desk at work yesterday morning, but everyone seemed to pretty much know what they were doing, so I brainstormed a few things that need considering for Unicorn Love (the title of which is likely to change now that the story has, but I’ll keep referring to it as that until I come up with a replacement) and I actually ended up with something resembling a plan. Well, the first part of a plan. There are still some aspects I need to work out. But yay, plan!

In other writing-related news, I’ve finally got Edy proofreading A More Complicated Fairytale for me! Okay, so he’s only done three pages so far, but he’s being very ruthless (I was a little horrified at first by the amount of red on page 2), so I’m rolling with that. I shall continue to be a naggy girlfriend of the “Oh, you’re beading? You could read some more. Oh, you’re knitting a beanie? Why don’t you read another chapter?” variety [yes, he does both these things], until it’s finished, but at least a start has been made. He tells me that as he is not working Friday, he will do a blitz then.

wednesdaybannerI think that’s about it for a ROW80 check-in, so onto WIPpet Wednesday. You may remember the square-jawed lad mentioned in last week’s excerpt. He and Lexie, my MC, well, neither of them will admit any feelings for the other, so there’s that, but they are also the two oldest in a group of street urchins living on Sydney’s streets in the 1890s. When David is arrested after an alleged robbery, Lexie lies to save herself from also getting in trouble, and David ends up with a prison sentence. (This will probably change slightly, as in my new plan, she’s not actually at the trial and he’s pissed at her for other reasons, but this is what I have written for now).

In this scene, she’s sneaked into the police station where he’s being held overnight (the desk sergeant is old and drunk and thus asleep) to apologise for not being there for him.

Her eyes were beginning to adjust to the dim light but she still grasped the handrail and took her time on the stairs. There was no use ending up with broken bones from a nasty fall. That would help no one.

She reached the cells, and cast the lamp light over the nearest couple. They were empty.

“Who’s there?” David’s voice came to Lexie from the third cell down.

“It’s me,” she said, walking the rest of the way.

David was standing up in the middle of the cell, about a foot away from the door.

“Oh,” he said, and Lexie stopped when she heard the disappointment in his voice. “Come to get your knife back, then?”

“My what?”

“The one you stabbed in my back.”

“What was I supposed to say? ‘Oh, yes, your Honour, I was there, I was his accomplice?

“You could have thought of something that helped me as well as you!”

Poor Davey… If it makes you feel better, she’s going to attempt to change the course of history so you don’t end up in prison for six months…? Aphrodite is still hanging about in the new version of the story, though I’ve switched to calling her Venus, because for some reason in my head, Aphrodite = vain and vacuous but Venus = glamorous and elegant, and that’s what I need now.

Anyways, this post has taken me way too long to type. I’m going to head off now, finish my glass of Baileys and try to have an early night. If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date (today mine was 16 sentences for the 16th) and then link up with us here. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. ROW80 (the writing challenge that knows you have a life) is the brainchild of Kait Nolan and you can read more about, and link up with fellow paricipants, here.

Goodnight!

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#WIPpet Wednesday – Plot twist

On the left is a picture of my yesterday evening. I am a bit poor now, but I can confirm at least that the Bailey’s was a good life choice, and I expect the Pratchett collection will be, too. When I first started reading Discworld, I was really a bit young to understand the satire, and as such enjoyed them on a superficial level, but still found them a bit hard-going. I think now is a good time to get back into it.

Anyway, you know how last Wednesday it was July 2 and I had plunged into Camp NaNoWriMo the day before without really any idea what I was writing, but the story was promising to be a fun, light-hearted thing with Greek Gods and romance and fun times? Suddenly on Monday it found something of a plot and has suddenly taken a turn for the dramatically romantic. Also there is now time travel. And after Camp, this may end up being quite a different story. Possibly no Greek gods. Possibly steampunk. But I’ve gotten quite attached to my romantic leads now, so at this stage I’ll be sticking with it post-July.

So onto WIPpet Wednesday. Today is the 9th, and 9 is a multiple of 3, so I’m going to give you three sentences from Unicorn Love (title is also probably going to change when the story does). In this scene… well, Aphrodite is basically messing with Alex’s head. The third sentence refers to the fact that Alex hailed from Sydney before Aphrodite recruited her as a cupid, a bit over a hundred years ago.

Aphrodite’s gaze wandered around the food court before settling on a man a few tables away. At first, Alex thought the goddess was eyeing him for herself, but then she actually took in his features and felt her stomach drop for the second time in as many hours. She recognised the short brown hair and the square jaw all too well, and for a moment she was seventeen again and back in the Sydney she used to know.

I’ll admit I’m a fair bit behind on Camp NaNo, as I’ve only been getting about 250 words written a day than 500. However, I am focusing on the positive: 250 is better than none at all, particularly when I’m not entirely sure where my story is going and playing it by ear. I also spent most of the weekend cleaning my house because I had guests arrive on Sunday, and they are hear until Saturday. Since one of them is a friend of mine who has now moved to England and the other is his girlfriend, I’m actually spending time with them rather than writing. Since at the moment he thinks the next time he’s likely to be in Australia is October of next year, I’m not feeling too guilty about not writing. They are seeing How To Train Your Dragon 2 tonight, but I opted out, so I’ll get a bit more done tonight, hopefully.

On that note, I might leave off. Edy needs the computer to do some work stuff, and I might indulge in some more Baileys, and write some more, or figure out which of the books in that photo to start reading. To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow correlates (however loosely) to the date, and then join us at the linky. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. The paragraph above is essentially my ROW80 check-in. You can read more about that (“the writing challenge that knows you have a life”) and sign up here. Now I shall be off!

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#WIPpet Wednesday – introducing Unicorn Love

First of all, here is an article about a bunch of famous authors who dressed up as their favourite literary characters. There are photos. This is a thing that happened. Neil Gaiman’s is my favourite (which may have something to do with the fact that Badger is my favourite Wind in the Willows character)

nanowrimo_logoSo yesterday I wrote a big deep and meaningful goals post for the rest of the year. Well, for the next five months, since I have no idea what I’m going to feel like doing after NaNoWriMo. You can read that here. I was feeling really scattered and listless in regard to my writing; I only wrote 2879 words in the entire month of June, and I kept thinking about the stories I’ve started recently and not finished. The more I thought about it, the more upset I started feeling about everything. So I wrote a list, because lists are nice. And I’m feeling much better now.

While I didn’t really go into it in that post, I’m also making sure that I make this half of the year more about me. I’m taking it a bit slower at work (still getting everything done, just not necessarily blitzing through it like I normally would) and I’m going to start eating better, too. Admittedly, the eating better was supposed to start yesterday, but we had a party at work on Monday and there were leftovers, so… yeah. Working on that one. I’ve also got three days off approved for the beginning of August, and Edy and I have spent this evening booking a little trip away for ourselves, which will be really nice. I’ve only had two days off in the five months I’ve been in this job, and we’re entitled to four weeks’ annual leave, so I figured I ought to start using it.

Anyway, so as you may have gathered if you read the other post, Camp NaNoWriMo is a go, though I’m only aiming for 15500 words (500 words a day, easing back in slowly). As such, Afflicted is on hold, and we’ll see if I return to it (I was always calling it a post-show project, and by the time July is over, my group will be working on its next production, so I’ll have probably moved on…). My Camp story is one I found on the Adopt A Plot forum because I actually had no clue what I was going to write. It’s called Unicorn Love and if you want a synopsis, here is my Camp Page, but I’m hoping it (or at least the premise, anyway, as well as the reason for the title) is fairly obvious from the snippet. I’m sharing seven paragraphs for the seventh month but don’t worry, they’re short (fewer than 200 words)!

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Cupid, frustrated, breaks his bow. National Gallery, Athens, Greece

“I want out.”

Two hands smacked down on the glass desk, knocking aside the nameplate which displayed the name “Aphrodite” in a curly font that would have been considered unprofessional in any other workplace. The tip of a bow swung unsettlingly close to Aphrodite’s head, but she held up a dainty hand and it lost its momentum mid-swing.

The Goddess of Love raised her eyes to meet the gaze of the woman in front of her. Her perfect features creased in an expression of concern.

“Alexis, darling. Whatever is the matter?”

“Am I the only one who sees how pointless this job is now?”

“Alexis, a Cupid’s job is never pointless.”

“Really? Do you even know what it’s like? You’re not down there! You’ve got all this!” Alexis motioned around the glass office. All that could be seen out the windows was blue sky and a neat ring of fluffy white clouds around its base. “You don’t see the couples you brought together splitting up after a month or a week or some crap like that! Finding true love in this day and age is about as likely as finding a unicorn grazing in your back yard.”

Gotta say, somewhat-vacuous-but-secretly-knows-exactly-what-she’s-doing Aphrodite is very fun to write. Some of the world-building to do with the gods and the heaven-as-a-bureaucracy theme will have to be sorted out properly post-NaNo, but for now I’m just having fun with it. Which is to say, I’m slightly scared because I actually have no idea how the plot is going to go, but we’ll see. There were two people in today’s excerpt who will probably end up becoming characters, even if only to serve as padding. But I actually need some more characters from probably tomorrow onwards, and might as well use the ones that have already been foreshadowed, right?

I also had a moment earlier today where I was like, “Wait… Aphrodite is Greek… but isn’t Cupid Roman?!” but I’m ignoring that fact for now. Not even sure it really matters in a story like this.

Anyways, this post has turned into a bit of a mammoth thing, so I will finish up here. If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, just post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow correlates to the date, then link up with us here. We welcome new participants with open arms! 😀 All right, I’m off!

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Cupid image by Tilemahos Efthimiadis used under Creative Commons 2.0. Copyright 2009. Source.

Heading into the second half of the year

Today is July 1, the first day of the second half of 2014. Since finishing the edits on A More Complicated Fairytale in April, I haven’t really written anything amazingly useful, and have spent the past few days leafing through notes I’ve made on stories I’ve never completed and wondering (read: stressing about) whether I’ve only got one complete story in me and I’ll never finish another one (don’t worry, I’m 99.9% confident this is not the case, I just every now and then let that o.1% get to me… like when the only thing I’m writing is fanfiction and I’m only writing a few hundred words every few days on it).

A More Complicated Fairytale, when more work was being done on it. I had a big think about this on the weekend and as a result, I’ve decided to try to work out what I want to achieve in the next six months, and how I might go about achieving it. So, without further ado:

Ongoing Goals:

  • Not a writing goal but putting it here nonetheless: return to using My Fitness Pal as a way to track eating and hold myself accountable if I am over-indulging/encourage myself not to over-indulge.
  • In months where I’m not participating in a NaNoWriMo-type event, return to previous writing goal of two nights a week, sitting down for an hour and working on writing. I usually end up achieving more than this when I’m really into a project, but two hours a week doesn’t feel like work when I’m not on a roll.
  • Participate more fully in ROW80 again – post check-ins on Wednesdays, as well as try to visit five blogs after each check-in.

July:

  • Camp NaNoWriMo, 500 words a day on new WIP “Unicorn Love” for a total of 15500 words by the end of the month.
  • Organise (or at least make a proper start on organising) a cover for AMCF
  • Have AMCF proofread.
  • Bribe Edy with cake (or similar) to achieve said proofreading.

August:

  • Decide whether or not to continue with Unicorn Love depending on how July goes.
  • Brainstorm and write an outline for AMCF companion, An Eventual Happily Ever After.
  • Read over the version of AEHEA from last year’s NaNoWriMo, decide what might be kept.
  • Publish AMCF?! (I had August in mind as a publication date at the beginning of the year and if I get myself into gear, this is totally still possible)

September:

  • Work on new version of AEHEA (and Unicorn Love if I decide to continue with that as well), following two hours/week goal.

October:

  • Continue work on AEHEA and ULnanowrimo_logo
  • Decide what I will write for NaNoWriMo
  • Start planning NaNoWriMo.

November:

  • NaNoWriMo madness!

December:

  • Take a bit of a break, but don’t let up entirely.
  • Work out a better December goal closer to the time, and when some more progress has been made.
  • It feels a bit too far away for me to make any kind of goal right now.

Even though the new round doesn’t start until next week, I’m using this post as my ROW80 Goals Post for round 3 as well, since I’ve pretty much listed my goals. Hopefully I’ll see you around there as well! 🙂

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#ROW80 – Trying to figure things out

I’m having trouble figuring out what my goals for Round 3 should be. I’ve made a list of things I want to work on over the next few months, but I don’t know how to work these into actual goals. The list is this:

  • Finish first round of edits for Caught in a Bubble (my 2011 NaNoWriMo manuscript) in time for my friend, K, to take over with the second draft for her editing course, which starts in August.
  • Complete the second draft of Not So Imaginary, a little 13000 word piece I wrote a few years ago and started polishing up, but never finished.
  • Rework Making Friends of Enemies (the WIP I started for the June Camp NaNoWriMo) for a modern-day/future setting.
  • Write the fanfiction I promised people (this should honestly only take five minutes, as I promised 100 word drabbles, I just have to catch up with my fandoms first).

There is also the issue that the next few months are going to be fairly busy for me. I’m vocal coaching for/performing in the chorus of a musical, so I imagine at least two nights a week will be tied up with that. My choir is also working on a production that will take place at the end of August, which will mean at least one evening a week, two in some weeks as I am understudying one of the leads. There is also the possibility that I will be moving house, though we are still waiting for confirmation on that. So yes. I’ve still got just under a week to figure things out, and even then, maybe I’ll take a week or so to figure out what I think will work best for me this round. I definitely want this one to be more successful, and I’m definitely trying to manage my time better in this second half of the year so that Iwill have more time to concentrate on writing.

Anyway, I was writing this on my lunch break, which has now ended, so I guess I should go back to work. Sad times.

#ROW80 Check-in: Reflections on Round 2

This was supposed to be my final check-in post for round 2 of ROW80, which finished on Wednesday. Except I had things on, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, so I’m only just getting to it now.

This round and my first were very different. I struggled with my goals a lot more this round, as can be seen from the fact that I posted 6 times during the whole round. This was mostly because I didn’t want to burden the rest of you with a “Woe is me” post twice a week, which is what it would have basically turned into. However, just because I haven’t done as well this round, doesn’t mean I haven’t learned anything. The things I have learned this round have been just as valuable as the things I learned in the last one. They are, in no particular order:

a)      Don’t get too down when goals aren’t being met.

I was in quite a funk over this at one stage. I didn’t think there was any point in continuing editing my NaNo story from last year, and I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with any new projects I started. Thus, no writing got done, and the cycle continued.

However, these breaks often resulted in renewed inspiration and vigour whenever I came back from them. And sometimes, even when I wasn’t meeting goals, I was still getting something done, such as planning for my new WIP. I needed to remind myself every once in a while that these parts of the process are just as important.

b)       “No novel was ever too short.” 

When I first started editing my NaNoWriMo novel from last November, I was convinced that for every word I took out, I had to add another one, so that the word count would end up much the same. This was proving difficult, considering I had to delete the best part of a 3000 word scene, but I was determined. Then I read a great article about editing which said to be ruthless with cutting things that aren’t necessary, and included the tip “No novel was ever too short.” This was the best piece of advice I could have been given. And if I end up publishing a novella rather than a novel, that is not actually a problem.

c)        To thine own writing voice be true.

There was a pep talk on this subject in Round 1. It struck me then, and it has struck me again recently. My November NaNo has a modern-day setting. My main characters are therefore also modern-day and my own age or a little bit older (mid-twenties, basically), a little bit snarky, fun, and basically similar to people I know. My June Camp NaNo has a medieval setting, and the main character is only seventeen. While I had many, many thoughts and feelings for this story, the fact is that writing for this kind of story is not what comes naturally to me, and I’m pretty sure it shows. This is one of the reasons I haven’t done as well with it over the month of June as I might have hoped. However, this realisation led to my muse poking me and telling me I should just adjust this story to a more modern-day setting. It probably could be done, but I’d have to figure it out, and for the moment, I’m just writing bits and pieces in the original setting and I’ll decide later what to do about it.

So! I will be back for round 3. I’ll be editing my completed manuscript, perhaps reworking the June one and I have a couple of other ideas for things swimming around in my head, so maybe if I have time to plan them, they’re a possibility as well. I haven’t really sorted out what my actually goals will be, but I’ve got a week before the round starts. I am helping out with a local musical and might be moving house, so they probably won’t be very strenuous goals. But yes. I was finishing this post. Going now! 😀

#ROW80 Day Early Check-in

Well, I have my computer back, which is lovely, but gosh, have I become lazy. With the lack of computer, I had been handwriting my Camp NaNoWriMo story, and since I don’t hand write as quickly as I type, I got behind. I had grand intentions of using the three day weekend that just passed to catch up, but only wrote a little over 3000 words for the three days. I was running around doing errands and things and wore myself out, but yesterday I was just sitting in front of the TV, watching movies. And playing on Tumblr.

So now I am approximately 4 days, or a little under 7000 words behind (13169 total at time of ceasing writing tonight, rather than 20000, where one aims to be by Day 12). I was a bit upset about this today, but having just compared this to my November stats (that was my first NaNo), it’s not really that different. With that one, I went home for a weekend and didn’t really write for three days. That was on November 9. I wasn’t on par again until November 27. So there is still hope. Lots of it.

The words for this one aren’t coming as easily as they did in November, though. Which has sort of renewed my passion for that story, and I think if I tried, I would be able to get back into editing that one… My friend’s offer of editing it for her editing course still stands, but it would be nice to give her a ‘polished’ second draft, rather than the half-edited first draft I have at the moment. Her classes don’t start til August, so that would give me all of July, and by then perhaps whatever still needs doing on this June novel will be fresher and ready to go.

I saw a really good quote a while ago, in an article or blog post or something I was reading about editing. It was basically talking about how you need to be ruthless and chop out everything that needs chopping out without getting nostalgic or anything, and then said, “No novel was ever too short.” This really hit home for me, since I had been worried about having to cut out large chunks of this particular story. If I want the story to make sense they have to go, but I had been worried about keeping the word count the same. I read this around the same time that I read an amazing book that was only 175 pages long, so I had that proof right there in front of me.

Anyway, this post feels a bit half-finished and cobbled together, but I am writing it at 11:30pm, so I am cutting myself some slack. I shall be off, and see you all after the actual check-in, and stuff. Goodnight! 🙂

#ROW80 Check-in – Camp NaNo begins and lulzy spam

Istill don’t have my computer back (hopefully today or tomorrow), so I’m once again checking in from work on Monday morning. I basically spent the last week planning my Camp NaNoWriMo. That of course kicked off on Friday. I was lucky in that my boyfriend let me make use of his computer quite a bit, so I didn’t have to try handwriting 1667 words a day (though there was a fair bit of handwriting going on – I even did that writerly thing of sitting in a cafe with a hot chocolate and a notebook for the first time). Saturday was a slow day but I managed to write about 2700 words all together and got myself back up to par (a bit over, actually). I’m sure the last section at least will need lots of editing, it was about 10pm when I was finishing and I was practically falling asleep on the keyboard, but was determined to get that last little bit out.

That’s all I really have to report on the writing front, but I just wanted to record this comment that was in the spam section when I logged into WordPress this morning. I found it hilarious.

“The next time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I know it was my choice to read, however I really thought youd have one thing attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could repair if you werent too busy looking for attention.”

Well done my friend, that’s definitely going to lure me into clicking on the link to your homepage. Have you heard of flattery? That’s what most spammers go for. Try it.