Friday, May 2, 2014

Writing Update - April


**Beginning of April:
So, I'm working on re-writes. Skyla Dawn Cameron has pushed me out of my comfort zone and wants me to share some writing with her. *deep breath* This is something I struggle with. I don't share. I have no faith in what I write, and reading what I have...I believe it's justified (at this stage). I'm struggling. I have no idea what method works best as this is the first time for me to do hard core re-writes. But, I'll get there. I will get some of this done and share it with Skyla. That's my first step in improving and facing my fears. My goal, by April 15th to have something to send her - no matter how small.

In the beginning I decided I didn't like Jayda's story anymore. It's a disaster and I don't know what the definite rules were again. Then I decided to dig in and tear it apart. I'm keeping the concept of everything but rearranging when things are shared - moving to what I think at this time is the appropriate scenes. Haha, funny. I realized I was doing a major info dump at the beginning, and that wouldn't work. I need to gradually come to it all, not smack the reader in the head. And that's what I'm trying to do.

I've used colored stickies with coordinated colored pencils. I've marked the different sections with different colors; what is to move to where and world info that I need to work in with what everyone does to explain why. Will it all work out in the end? We will see. I'm sure my method will change a number of times as I go through the story.

**End of April: got complicated. I know, it's not an excuse but it did take from my me time. I spent loads of hours going over the first 3,000 words of the story. Probably too much time. I ended up taking what I had and re-wrote it all. Added, deleted, adjusted, and flat out re-did it. So that's started and I need to get on to the next section. I still have notes on the side that I want to add in, whether in this section or later I'm not sure.

I did, however, give up on the colored pencil thing. I do have stickie notes with things to add along with scrap papers everywhere with ideas to add in. *sigh*

I've been tracking my word count two different ways. The count I'm going to list below is actual adjust to original count. On my tracking for RaToJanNoWriMo group I've been tracking the reading and changes. They calculation is:
     (words edited before changes) x 10% = Y
     Y + (changes, whether - or +, make +) = count

I still didn't have a great count at the end. I think only 3,500 words total. This re-writing is the part I don't know how to do it. I try to not spend too much time as the draft I have is horrid! But to get a story to a point that it's useful. I know I'm going to have to do many edits to get it to anything reasonable, but... Oh well. Onward I go.

I will mention...I have been getting an urge to write shorts again. I miss doing the Flash Fiction Fridays and when I see some of those images at Pinterest, well I want to write a short few thousand words. I think I'm going to have to do so for a month, create a bunch of different stories as the mood strikes me. Maybe after I get through Jayda's story once.

Also, you may have seen the first post, but my Flash Fiction buddies are back at it! Blodeuedd, Jackie, and I have been wanting to get back to these and finally have. I'll post my shorts here with a teaser and link to Jackie's post. We'll also link Blodeuedd's site if you'd like to visit her as well.

My Final Counts for April:  2,131
Total actual additional words:   1,729
Short story:  402

It's nothing to call home about, but it's a start. Being it's my first time going back through a story and trying to make something of the mess I have, it's a good start. For me anyway.

May is a big month of events for me, school picnic and BALTICON!!! lol. I'll work my best at getting through more sections, and getting the first...6k? to Skyla to laugh at.


I was going to start my part here with a lament about not getting anything done because of illness, end of school stuff, and whatever other excuses I had. That is, until I realized that I'd actually done the Flash while it was still April! So I have a word count!:

Flash short: 723 words

The sad part was that I was trying very hard to keep it within the 250-500 word range. Oh well, maybe on the next one, right? The important thing was that I wrote and published (as much as LiveJournal can be considered publishing) something. I will take it!

In other news, I finished up my courses at school for the 2013-14 Fall/Winter term. I managed to squeeze out an A in my Creative Writing course and was told by the professor that my short story was the strongest of all my work. It gives me a little extra confidence building which will hopefully stick with me in an encouraging fashion, outside of the school format, to keep up with my writing. The shorts mentioned above will hopefully aid in stirring up the creative juices. Meanwhile, the novels I'm reading now (I'm trying to make up for lost time) are intended for a little de-stressing as well as further research in what to do (and not to do) throughout a large project. I'm excited to get back to edits and have another complete draft done in the foreseeable future.

With respect to my "reading for research" notion (it isn't really mine and it's definitely not original, it's just that I'm more aware now,) I want to mention the use of metaphor and imagery in the books I read in the latter half of April: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) and Proven Guilty & White Night by Jim Butcher. I enjoyed the Galbraith book for its simple mystery (though she took over 400 pages to break it down.) When it came to metaphor, I found my eyes going a bit crossed at times, particularly when a muddy puddle was used to describe the state of the case at one point. The beginning idea seemed to fall apart the more it was being explained. In contrast, Butcher can write the heck out of metaphors, making them surprising, culturally relevant, and just plain fun at times. I haven't been big on the use of these writers' tools but I will be paying close attention to other books to see if I can learn from them and improve this facet of my own work.

Going into May, my plan is to write the Flash shorts, work on edits, and read as much as possible to expand my horizons. I'll add pom-pom shaking to the list, to keep Melissa working as best she can to meet her goals :) Let's see what happens from here...


  1. Congrats on that A, Jackie! Awesome job. And see, you are wanting to get back into writing again - hence the 723 words rather than 500. ;)

    That is interesting what you learn about the metaphors. It's good to see a difference and learn from it.

    Well, here's to May!

    1. Thanks :)

      Here's hoping we can keep each other on track too!

    2. I might need a boost to stay on track here in May... *sigh*