Monday, February 17, 2014

Writing Update - January


Well, I joined RoTaJanNoWriMo in an amazing writer group I'm part of on Facebook. These amazing people help push me along. I set a goal of 25,000 words in January. And I hit it! Woot, woot! *do a little dance* I actually went over by a few words. I rounded out January at 25,250 words!

Total word count for the month:  25,250
Words in Christmas Spirit:   23,597
Short SciFi Flash Fiction:    559
Short Fiction:                      1,094

Awesome right!?! I'm excited. I was worried there at the end that I wouldn't hit 25k, but I pulled through. I do feel as if I'm not going to get finished with Christmas Spirit anytime soon though. I am at a total count of 30,948 at the moment. I'm looking to closing out at about 70k. It feels as if I've been trying to write this one forever now. But I'm not giving up. I'd love to close the book out by the end of February. Will it happen...I don't think so. I think too many words and a shorter month along with all sorts of family stuff (nothing bad, just normal parenting stuff) going on I won't get there. But it won't stop me from trying.


*leaning in* I want to tell you a secret. *looks around* *whispering* I'm starting to feel a shift in what I'm wanting to do in the evenings. Shh. Don't tell anyone. I'm noticing I'm not wanting to blog as much as I use to. I want to write. Shh, sh, sh. *waves hand* But...don't tell anyone. Okay? That's our secret.

A big secret. I enjoy doing both, but I feel the shift of what I want to do with my time. Amazing. And I love it.

So, for February I've set a goal of 20k words for myself. I'm wanting to get a six-below draft done to let simmer and get back to Jayda's story. I'm in the mood for fantasy.


Wait...what? Did I just read that serious admission up there? I did! And I totally get it. Melissa and I talk about this often: the need for time to do all the things we want to accomplish and the utter lack of any extra to be squeezed in for writing, specifically. It's a large part of why I'd stepped back from daily or even weekly blogging quite some time ago. In the end, there's only a limited time available for soooo many tasks, it becomes about prioritizing the dreams :)

In furthering my own dreams, I'm back to school for the second term of my Creative Writing course, as well as an additional course that involves watching  movies and writing about them, blog style, which is ironic now that I think of it :p

In CW, we had to hand in a ten page short story on our return to class, then we got to workshop the pieces with the entire class reading and commenting on them. This was a very cool experience, seeing what outsiders see about your story and what they notice that you might have completely overlooked. I had the desperate desire to get in there and red pen my fellow classmates' work (because I have a silly compulsion about grammar and spelling) but it was more about flow, content, rounded characters, and so on than it was getting the spelling right. I guess the idea is that there will be an editor down the road to fix those little details (if any of us become that lucky.)

After the workshop, we had to take our stories home and edit them accordingly. THIS was difficult. I got a decent grade on my first version but needed to add in some details about the characters. So how do you do this without screwing up the whole story? This is the biggest issue I've encountered in the NaNo projects to date, so it was a lesson I was anxious to learn. The simple answer to the question is: very carefully. That's not a lot of help, right? Well, it's a matter of reading and re-reading to make sure that the details are consistent and that the flow, tone, theme, etc. are maintained after stuff is added in. It isn't easy but it is rewarding when positive feedback is given by the re-readers. Now, I have to work on using that skill in much bigger projects...

So, while I haven't added anything to ANY of my WIP's, I have worked towards increasing my skills. In a funny twist, I thought the movie course would be a breezy elective that would up my GPA and help me get to my degree a little quicker. What it's ended up doing is making me pay attention to the fine details of filmmaking, what a scene conveys about the overall story, etc. I'm hoping this will actually translate to better details in my writing down the road, increasing my ability to add in descriptions and appropriate settings, that kind of thing. Cool, right?

In the meantime, I'll be virtually shaking pom-poms to help Melissa hit her word target over the next month.