Wednesday, May 2, 2018

April Update

Melissa:
So I thought I'd talk about my process a little bit. When I wrote this story I started it with note cards that had ideas to touch on and scenes to write scratched on them. I shuffled them around to make a story-line and added more as the story went. This lead to the bare bones, and I mean BARE BONES, of a story. This is the strategy that got me from beginning to end. Where people outline, I start writing with ideas on things to touch on and let the story become its own. After finishing this process, the details in between need touched up and adjusted.

The first round of re-writes was where I printed the bare bones out and wrote in changes, new scenes, adjustments, and so much more. The story grows in size and starts to take on life as I fleshed out some moments between the characters and even gave more depth to the characters.

After this, I typed the huge round of changes into my document. This was like a round of re-writes itself as I made a few more changes. I even fleshed things out a little more where I just had notes to make changes. I even left questions about things to look into.

That's where this round of re-writes comes in. See, my mind breaks the story into different levels. There's many things that feel important to touch on in; Christmas, personal, romance, and a worrying aspect. The romance and some personal touches were addressed in the first round of re-writes. The second brought more to my attention. So, this round is more adding and adjusting for the worrying aspect. And a touch of the Christmas one too. And... Well, it is on all the points too. lol. But I know the worry details need to be brought to life.

When I was trying to piece the worry aspect together, I came up with an idea. I just needed to see if what I was thinking could be done. This is where "I'll call a friend" comes in handy. I did just that, chatted about it, and came to a huge realization that could totally work! I even had a character I wrote in that I thought I'd have to eliminate along with a whole scene, it didn't feel connected to the rest of the story. But! My subconscious had another idea with adding this scene, I just had to figure out that piece. I did and I was so excited!

This all brings me to Camp NaNoWriMo. I know, a long path to tell you how I did. But It's the path I've been taking, for a few Camp NaNoWriMo's now. ;) This is where I want to add in the worry aspect I feel is needed more of.

How did Camp NaNoWriMo go?
I wanted to write 30 minutes a day. With life, it's what works best for me. I didn't think I could sign up for that so I started with the hours category. I was bummed that you have to do 30 hours in a month. But, while in my cabin chat I mentioned this. A fellow camper told me the minute option would work. And it did! I hurried to switch my goal to 900 minutes in a month, which would be 30 minutes a day.

I had some rocky days with life in full swing. Weekends, that use to be my writing time, has become hard to grab minutes with everyone home and all we are doing. But, I did it.

Goal:  900 minutes of re-writes
Accomplished:  901 minutes of re-writes


How far am I in my story?
Maybe half way. I'm guessing. I find it hard to figure out when working on the computer in Scrivener. I could do the math, I guess. But...it takes time I don't want to spend on math. lol. I do feel I've fixed up and added items in that smooth scenes out. I do still have work ahead of me though.

I will note that I think working a half hour a day helps keep me going. I stay excited about what I'm working on and don't feel to be overwhelmed with what I'm working on or that other things are forgotten about (working full time and family, there is always something left in the dust). I get through a section, have time to think about it and how it relates in the book. When I come back I can add to it or move on. Sometimes I go longer because the scene takes me longer to get through. But I make notes and make adjustments that night and the next. This worked out really well for me as re-writes can be daunting.

Of course, this is NOT the end of re-writes. There's still a lot to iron out and make flow. There is more work to be done, but I feel that working on these different aspects and adding them in fills in the story and what I'm working towards. After all this, and some help from a friend, I can then iron out the special moments and make them spark.

Did you do Camp NaNoWriMo? How'd it go? What was your goal? Do you have a process for re-writes? Please, let me know in the comments.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

March Update:

Melissa:
And...I thought I posted this. *head desk*

I'm sorry for my addle brain these days. I'm thinking I have to many irons in the fire and I'm not sure which ones are red hot, ready to remove. Ugh.

So the month started slow. I was getting caught up with real world, mundane life things. Things seemed to be coming into line. Then, my grandma took a turn for the worse. We knew the day was nearing but you never know when that day will be. And you are never truly ready for it. Watching someone dwindle away is hard. We visited and spent time with her. And we spent time together as a family for the funeral.

As you can probably guess, I really didn't get any words or re-writes in. That happens. I did start pulling information for re-writes and had a new idea come to mind that would add a new layer to my current WIP. I got to chat it over with a dear author friend who helped me bring it to life in my mind. Now to add the hints, worries, and result to the story in re-writes.

That works for me. :)

So we move forward. And, as if there's not enough to do in life, I decided to jump into Camp NaNoWriMo. Yep. I signed up. I found that if I sign up for minutes, I can set it so I'll work on my project 30 minutes a day. Which is what I want with life happening around me.

I'm in. Here's to April camp fires at Camp NaNoWriMo.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

January & February Update:

Melissa:
So, I'm figuring you are guessing this post is not going to share I've been productive one. It is for January and February, after all. And I'm a few days late into March when posting. Okay, half a month late. Well, you are right.

I've been working on getting caught up around home after the holidays. I swear each year takes more and more effort to get back on track. I haven't figured out why, seeing the Kiddo is older now. (Don't you tell me it age catching up with me.) I like to think I'm keeping myself too busy. ;D

I've also been working on content editing work and photography. So there is a lot of time wrapped up in both of those. With the photography, I've picked up programs that help touch up the photos. I took a few classes online to learn Photoshop, twice a week for four weeks. That was time consuming as I practiced what I learned.

I feel I'm starting to get things back on track so before the end of this month (March) I should be able to get back to re-writes.

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year Resolutions 2018 (2017 Results)

Photo By: Melissa @ Spellbound in a Flash (Me)

Happy New Year!!

Hard to believe another year has rolled by and we are looking at twelve new months. Where does the time go?!

I thought I'd share my resolutions for 2017 with results. *bites nails* I'll copy the resolutions as I typed them at the beginning of 2017 and type results in blue. Drum roll please....

1)  Write/edit every other day. (except when working on editing jobs, which are worked on daily) I know it's said to write daily. But writing daily seems to stress me out more. I went through a period a few years ago that I wrote/edited every other day. It might have been slow moving, but I didn't feel stressed and it seemed to give my brain time to digest and move on with what I'd written, making it all fit together better.
I started to do this. I didn't hold to the every other day schedule though. I looked back through my monthly posts for 2017 and I did get many hours in on projects, which helps.

2)  Finish Christmas Warmth. I started this in November for NaNoWriMo, and stopped with the holidays. This is a small goal, one easily reached, as there isn't much to add to the story to bring it through to a conclusion that's sitting in my mind.
I did finish Christmas Warmth in the beginning of the year! A win! I didn't have much to work on, so knew this would be an easy win. It's now ready for a full round of re-writes.

3)  Get re-writes of Christmas Spirit done. There are many things that need to be added to the bones of this story, things I missed in my thinking when writing it. So, I'll need to add and adjust the story in this first pass of re-writes. It could easily take me all year with my pacing.
I did get through Christmas Spirit with one round of re-writes! I worked on paper copy then went to the computer and made more changes while typing in the changes. I'm actually working on a another round now. Woot! It's not a complete win as it's not finished to send off, but I didn't know how many rounds I would go with this one.

4)  Write a short story. I have this idea that I started to research and stopped. I want to research it again and outline it. Maybe even get to start writing it. It's a secret project but I can say it's got steampunk in it. ;)
I did not get to this story idea. And...I think I know what this was to be, but I'm disappointed to say I'm not 100% sure what story this was to be. 

5)  Send something to a friend. If things go well this year, I'd like to get something to a rough point to send to someone to read. This is a first for me. I've sent no words to anyone to read. I've had no faith in my words to send them out, even to a friend. I want to overcome this fear.
I did not do this either. I was hoping the round of re-writes with Christmas Spirit would bring me to a point where I could send it to someone to help me with the next rounds. But, I've got another round to get through as there are things I want to tie in through the book first.


It's hard to face the music. I know I didn't follow through like I had hoped. But I did get a few huge goals completed, that being headway on Christmas Spirit and Christmas Warmth.

Now, on to 2018's Resolutions.

These resolutions are going to be similar to 2017's. I am determined to get my Christmas Business series up and going.

1) Write/re-writes/edits every other day - I still like this schedule. It's easier on my stress levels and helps me keep up with working.

2) Finish re-writes on Christmas Spirit - I want to get through this one round of re-writes and get help from friends on it.

3) Send Christmas Spirit to someone to read - This is so I can get another set of eyes on it to help iron out those tough, rough spots and flow of the story.

4) Start re-writes on Christmas Warmth - This one depends on what I learn about Christmas Spirit. I really want to get Christmas Spirit done but want to start on Christmas Warmth as well.

5) Outline for Christmas Wishes - Okay, I don't really outline, but I do make rough plans on where the story will go.

6) Join NaNoWriMo in November - I so love the rush to get through 50,000 words and really missed it in 2017. I want to get the rough bones of Christmas Wishes started in NaNoWriMo so I have something to work on in the future.

7) Exercise - This is unrelated to writing, but so very important in all angles. Exercising helps give me a release for stress and frustration, but it also gives me energy to keep up with all I have in my plans.

This year I have very specific ideas for what I want to do. I feel I'm getting closer to wanting to get a book out to shop around, so these steps are very important to get there. (And see if the book is really ready, along with me.)

What are your resolutions this year?

November and December Update:

Melissa:

November:
NaNoWriMo is past. I didn't do a traditional NaNoWriMo project, but I did set a goal tracker for 30 hours in the month to work on re-writes. And I passed!

I accomplished my 30 hour goal!!

In those 30 hours, I finished the round of re-writes on the printed pages I had of Christmas Spirit. I also finished typing in the changes and started a new round of re-writes on the computer. Exciting! This was a lot of work accomplished, or so it felt to me.


December:
What month is it!?! I'm saddened to say I did nothing in December in the way of words. We started the month with head colds and then the holiday time grabbed on and spun us away. We have been busy with so many different things for the holiday, so all other things have taken a back burner to life.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October Update

Melissa:
I had plans... Ugh.

Goal:  15 hours Re-writes on Christmas Spirit
Actual:  8 hours Re-writes on Christmas Spirit

So, I started out good. I figured half an hour a day and if I missed it would be easy to make up. Then we had an away football game that was a couple hours away. And then another one. The weekends were a wash with driving, game, and photos. (I take and touch up photos for the guys on the team with Kiddo.)

Then the biggest hold up happened. Scrivener locked up. Yep. This is that one thing no one wants to see happen. I couldn't get into my project. AT ALL! My heart sunk. I thought I was going to have to type every word and character all over again. And lose all my character and places details. I took a breath and tried to relax. I sent an email to Scrivener, hoping for all hope they could unlock it. It took five days and emails to get there but we did. *phew* I was so relieved when I finally was able to see words on the screen again.

So, I did get some work done. Not as much as hoped, but closer to what I expected. We can always hope for more.

I'm not officially doing NaNoWriMo in November. I don't have a plot board or ideas down to work from to hit 50k words in sprint writings. But I am taking the month to work on words. I set up a Goal Tracker for November of 30 hours of Re-writes/re-read for Christmas Spirit. I want to get this book to a rough draft that can be worked from and move forward with it.

Plans for November:
Goal:  30 Hours Re-writes/Re-read of Christmas Spirit


As for Scrivener locking up, would anyone be interested in a post to how I was able to fix it? Of course the help center told me what to do, but I could share the details with you if you're interested.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

August and September Update

Melissa:

I was on such a great roll. And then it all comes to an abrupt end.

By that statement you can probably guess I didn't get anything accomplished in the two months this post is for. True. I've been working on for-pay content editing work. And, somewhere along the way I got swept up in life and events happening. A wedding for a dear friend's daughter. Football season. And all sorts of things that go on from day to day. I've started diving into my photography which takes time as well. I've been going to free functions to practice and better my craft with the camera. Which all has left little time for writing.

I'm sitting at the beginning of October telling myself I will not do NaNoWriMo this year. I will not. (reminder for me) Reason, I've not planned out the next novel I plan to write. I can't dive into the next one without some guidance. I don't really outline, but I do have a direction in mind when I start. And I have a rather (RATHER) loose idea, but that's it. I will, however, work on edits.

We are four days into October and I've managed to get two hours in on typing in re-writes, and making other changes. I created a Goal Tracker for it on the NaNoWriMo website. (I totally love this new feature!)

Goal:  15 Hours of Re-writes for Christmas Spirit (at least, if done sooner I'll dive into more works).

I'm hoping for half an hour a day. If I get behind, I should be able to make up lost time on weekends. (cross your fingers) This will be the same plan for November, though hopefully more hours to work toward.

Here's to doing ALL THE THINGS! Have a great October!