writing

Writing Progress

man wearing black and white stripe shirt looking at white printer papers on the wall
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The Goal: To finish my first draft 

So far: I’ve read over my novel and found problems. I’ve gone back to my notes and worked out a plot using sticky notes. 

 

Last Week I didn’t make much progress at all. I was tired, headachey etc and then worked for 5 days when I really wanted to get to work on my novel. Was too tired after work to do it.

It’s great my novel is starting to feel like my real job and my actual pays-the-bills-job feels like it’s a side gig. Complete role reversal. 

Tuesday I finally got to it. After putting my scenes up on a board I realised I don’t have many scenes with one of my main characters :/ This is one way that having a board with all your scenes on it, notecards or sticky notes really helps. I also realised I don’t have much going on in the middle and end, although I kinda knew that anyway,

My solution to this was to go back and look at my character notes. I know my characters, apperance can be hazy and I’m hopeless with names. But I know them. Although I wanted to spend more time figuring out what this main character wanted. I was focused on my villian and my protagonist and this one got a bit lost.

I had to think what does he want? What is he going to be doing in the beginning of this story before his other scenes? And thinking about who he is, was and is going to be. Then that gave me some ideas for scenes that I can add to my plot and move the story along.

I am constantly thinking of all these questions to do with my novel. And I get ideas for different things when I’m working on something else. And they all end up being a scene, or a moment in the story.

What’s next?

All this working on character and plot seems to take forever and I’m starting to worry about how good my novel is going to be style/writing wise. I want to get it all done so I can get to the writing of it but I don’t want to write blindly, I’m going to keep chipping away at the problems and eventually I’ll get to a point where I know all I need to and can continue with the actual writing.

Small Steps. Small Steps.

I’ve been finding these videos helpful from Jenna Moreci the one on plotting and characters helped me a lot.

If you blog about your writing, share your posts below. I like to read writing blogs and chat about writing.

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writing

Writing Progress

person typing on typewriter
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My goal for this year is to finish the first daft of my novel. I finally started working on this last week you can see my blog post about it here.

To reach my goal I’ve been reading over the pages and pages of handwritten and typed up scenes I wrote last year (and maybe the year before I forget) I’ve made notes on the narrative and wrote down thoughts or problems that need fixing. It’s all so disorganized that I was reading scenes from later on in the story when the beginning was not done. I knew it was messy but I didn’t really realise how much story is actually missing!

It wasn’t easy as I’ve been having a week where I really can’t sleep. And the first day I started working on it this week I was struggling. I took a break after half an hour but really could not get motivated when I continued after that break.

It didn’t help that I thought that I had a lot of missing scenes and that they might be in a blue notebook which I searched for but couldn’t find. It could still be in a moving box but I don’t know.

I was feeling daunted about continuing yesterday, I couldn’t do anything due to work but the idea of it…

But then today I was fine. I read over the loose pages in my novel file. Making a note of good scenes, ok scenes and scenes I liked but need tweaking. I am happy with my progress but there is more to read over. More loose pages and on Scrivener. I did find one or two scenes I’d thought were lost but I’m still wondering if there’s more in that notebook!

Thinking of how much there is to do and trying to remember what I’ve read over is daunting. It’s best not to look at it as a whole but think what the next job is, do that and then focus on the next one. 

My next task is to continue reading the rest. Once I’ve finished reading I’m going to write a plan. And find that notebook, which involves an epic (it seems) organising task. (Did I mention my lack of sleep this week?)

I wrote a new scene today 😀 and I’ve had ideas and thoughts that will help my plan. So I’m happy with my progress this week.

I’ve been putting stickers on my calendar to mark the days I’ve worked on my writing. I thought I’d use cookies but today I put a cake on there. I felt I deserved it, it’s a little childish but looking at stickers on my calendar makes me feel good about what I’ve done so far. Which really helps when I’m feeling otherwise.

Let me know about your writing progress, goals and successes in the comments. Catch- up soon. 🙂

writing

Update: 2019 Goals. My Writing Goals

I’ve found a new goal for 2019! I keep saying I want to listen to music more, I finally got around to buying a new album I meant to buy last year (Seether: Poison The Parish) and a new mp3 speaker so that’s a new goal. Listen to music more, maybe buy more music too (a ‘new’ Bowie album 🙂 )

I’m reading Catcher In The Rye this year, I mentioned it on readitswapit book forum where I often join in with a classic a month and the person organising that has added it as a book choice for March! Great!

So I’ve been thinking about how I can meet my writing goal to finish my novel. First I need to read over the thousands of words I’ve already written, most is already typed up into Scrivener but I write by hand and sometimes on my typewriter and then use my laptop (I like writing by hand but then typing it up takes ages and I didn’t finish! But I love writing in Scrivener as it’s great for random ideas and scenes and more organised than on paper).

If you make a goal you start by breaking it down into smaller goals. So I think my first goal will be to read over the first few pages, nothing strict just  easing into it. Then I’ll try to read more of it in the next sitting. (In theory).

The problems that will arise are:

  • I might hate what I’ve written and get discouraged
  • I’ll end up making copious amounts of notes which will be helpful but slow my reading down
  • How long will it take to read through it anyway?

But I have to read through it so I can end it. So I can figure out what’s going on as I didn’t have a plan and it’s a mess. A mess!!!! 

Small steps, small goals: READ THE FIRST FEW PAGES. GO BACK AND KEEP READING. 

Solutions:

  • Small steps. Read it over. Bit by bit.
  • The notes will help the story and maybe reading it will help me think of more ideas
  • I will finish it even if it’s terrible!
  • Find quotes to help me keep going, a survival kit would be an idea but that will just result in procrastinating.

I have no idea how long this will take so there’s no deadline. I’m hoping that I’ll just be happy with the progress I’ll be making rather than beating myself up with no finished product which is what I usually do.

I could take little breaks from it and even work on short stories at some point but only when I’m happy with my progress.

I want to get to the end of this year and finally feel like I’ve done something, that I’ve finished the first draft. I say every year I’m going to be a more productive writer and read books and make goals.

But this year: one writing goal. No books, no miracle cures (I did start that podcast not sure what to do about that at this point continue or quit, I hate quitting) or long to-do lists or goals.

I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

*************************************************************************************

Ok so since writing this I’ve started reading my WIP. It is a mess because I’m a pantser it’s just flitting from one scene to the next. Some scenes are ok but there doesn’t seem to be a direction.

Any advice on how to fix this appreciated :/

My writing itself I’m liking (needs lots of tweaks but it’s ok) but the story needs work. I have conflict and setting the scene in the beginning but I’m not really sure how to improve it. Also at the moment my brain is tired from reading and staring at a screen 🙂

I really wish I’d planned this as I went, it’s a lot like a NaNoWriMo novel bits of scenes and ideas because I was free writing.

I’m wondering if after I’ve read over it I should make a plan and start fixing these problems maybe that would be better? Or should I just finish it and then work on that on the rewriting stage but if I do that I’m concerned I’ll compromise on quality.

I knew this was going to be a lot of work and my plan is still to read over it and make sense of the story and make notes as I go. Maybe then I’ll have a better idea of what to do.

How can you make a story that hasn’t got a plan, a pantser’s story, into one with more of a direction/structure?

I started off thinking the writing isn’t as bad as I thought. Then I realised how directionless is it 😦 And the negative trumps the positive. I’ll keep going.

I’ll keep you updated…. I have a review on it’s way very soon.. 🙂

writing

Writing Progress

It’s time for the Insecure Writers’ Support Group blog hop, I won’t be answering the question  What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey? but if you follow this link you can find other writers who may be and see what the Insecure Writers’ Group is all about.

I haven’t had much time to write for my blog lately, that’s why this is short and sweet. But I’ve been working on a short story instead. And I’ve made some progress. It’s getting to the end of the first draft slowly.

I do need to change the characters names, I’m hopeless with names and I need to give them more thought. When the first draft is done and I’m in the stage of fine tuning I’ll find new names 🙂

Feeling happy that I made time to write today, though sad not time to write the review for this blog.

I’m made some progress with my story.

Small steps towards my goal of finishing it. Small steps to getting publication success.

Hope you’re meeting your goals and making progress too.

writing

Writing Wednesday: the perfect writing desk

I’m shopping for a desk for the first time ever. Never really had my own writing space before, the space to be organised and keep all my files and papers. And more importantly a place for my laptop and typewriter. Neither have a proper home at the moment. They’ve never had a proper home.

Where to buy?

I don’t think you can buy desks in shops these days so online is the only option. I thought about IKEA but searching on there brought up desk legs and worktops 😂 which tried my limited patience.

The ideal desk is probably something vintage, to suit my vintage typerwriter something like these:

Princes Risborough Desk

 

 

Maybe? I found these on Wayfair, it you search on Pinterest you can find even more of these types of desk… a writer’s dream…

But I can’t decide if I want a vintage style or something more practical. This one seems to have the vintage style:

Desk

But then others have more space for storage:

Desk

 

I’ve got some time before I need to buy one-when I move- so no rush yet to make a decision. Can’t wait to finally get my own space.

I need one big enough to keep my laptop and my typewriter  but I haven’t even thought about how big it would need to be.

Do you have a designated writing space or desk? Share your links in the comments 😀 Recommendations appreciated.

writing

Writing Wednesday: trying

Always want to write when I don’t have time but then can’t get motivated when I do.

 

I had a creative moment, a little success,  I decided to go back and continue doing the exercises in this book:

Image result for back to creative writing school

I thought that doing an exercise might help to encourage my creative brain. I enjoyed the exercise, I had to think of names for two characters, answer a few revealing questions and then write a scene. It was good, I was surprised how quickly the ideas came to me. The first time you sit down to write it always the best when it’s all new and it’s flowing well. Sometimes I’ll be sitting for ages trying to think of anything. But then it’s been a while and my creative brain has been itching to be exercised.

But then I tried to continue with a story I’ve been working on and my brain decided it didn’t want to know, which causes me no end of frustration.  The heat isn’t helping me either, just giving me a headache so I admitted defeat for the moment.

This story  has an ok beginning but is in scraps and bits of scenes. I know what will happen and how it will end but the story is just not wanting to be written down. I might’ve made the mistake of typing it up too soon, I always find it easer to write with a pen and paper, the words flow more, inspiration comes easier than when I’m staring at a screen.

I have another story that has gone so far but I need to know what my character is looking for before I can continue it, mindmapping might help there or spending time figuring out who my character is.

It’s so frustrating feeling like you’re not getting anywhere (espeically when you know you won’t have time at a late date to write) knowing you have these stories inside you but it’s a battle sometimes to get them on the page. It will be worth it in the end, I will carry on trying because giving up is what got me in this situation to begin with.

Share your thoughts and your writing stories in the comments.

Take a look at the book Back to Creative Writing School by Bridget Whelan, it’s full of helpful advice with exercises to get you writing, perfect for every writer. I have the ebook.

writing

Writing wednesday: in a writing slump or where to start with your writing?

Background, Blank, Book, Bindings

I’ve written posts on here about being inspired and overcoming writers block. Lately I’ve hit a slump and it’s got me to thinking again about what causes it and how to prevent it and get back to writing again.

I took a week off from writing my novel -which turned into a month- after CampNaNoWriMo intending to work more on some short stories. But (as usual) that didn’t happen.

I am going to get over this slump and get back to it!  I’ve set little challenges for myself in this blog to get back to it.

Why not do the challenges yourself, write your own blog post and/or share in the comments if you feel brave enough. 🙂

First challenge, try to figure out what was holding me back and what I could do to turn it around:

What causes a slump/stops you from writing

Not having a goal or having unrealistic or far reaching goals 

My goal is always to have a short story published, so whenever I write it’s with that in mind. I think that this has made me worry more about the quality of my writing and push myself hard. But when I don’t then send anything out that sends me into a downward spiral.

Solution: I’ve set a smaller more reachable goal, just to finish a story. And an even smaller goal to just think of a new idea and work more on a story I will be sending to a competition in November.

Having a knock to your confidence can also result in a slump. 

I was reading over the stories I was working on and I wasn’t happy with them. It knocked my confidence and that made me not want to work on them anymore.

Solution: find someone to read these stories and tell me if my thoughts are right. Get a critique. Or set them aside and work on something else, coming back to them with a fresh eye and making the changes I need to.

Challenge: What’s holding you back?

You only fail if you stop trying. What’s holding you back? How can you overcome these obstacles? I’ve listed mine below and I’ve already mentioned my solutions. What’s yours? 

  • Thinking that my writing is not good enough
  • My goals are not realistic, I need to break them into small goals: instead of a goal of sending a story out change it to finishing a first draft or think of an idea.
  • General negative thinking.

 

Challenge: List your achievements.

One of my obstacles is my negative thinking so this challenge will help to change the negative thoughts and make me focus on the postive.

What’s your achievements? They don’t have to be writing related, anything you’ve done you felt proud of. Here’s mine:

  • Won a short story competition a few years ago
  • Met my goal and won CampNaNoWriMo 2018
  • In previous months I met my weekly word count writing goal
  • I write and post regularly on my blog 🙂

So what next? I’ve worked out my obstacles and thought of how I can overcome them. I’ve mentioned changing my goals. These are some ideas I’ve probably mentioned before:

  • Find a writing prompt and use that to start writing or mindmapping an idea
  • Read over old ideas and stories to find hidden treasures to be rewritten or reimagined
  • Free write- set a timer and write until it stops
  • Read some great books which will help to get the imagination working again
  • Be kind, give yourself some space to help your imagination. You will get there.

My stories usually start with an image of something in my mind that sparks the idea and gets me writing. How about doing something different? How about mindmapping? Think of a theme or a word and put it in the centre of the page thinking of all the ideas you can come up with that could be made into a story. Write anything, even if it’s silly, this is meant to be creative so get out the coloured pens and have fun!

I don’t usually plan my short stories before I write, so maybe my challenge and my mini goal for the next week should be to come up with a new idea and maybe plan out a story. I could use character exercises and try to do things differently from how I usually do them. Encouraging myself to be imaginative and enjoy the process. 

Sometimes you just need to remember why you love writing and what brings you back to it over and over again. You need to make it fun again.

So there’s my thoughts, one day I will be writing in this blog about my successes. If you feel brave share your own challenges in the comments or links to your blog posts. Share your words of wisdom and your successes. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there we go. I am going to get back on track. I had a new idea recently, I’m letting it stew for a while and not forcing it. I’m wondering where it will go Hopefully I will finish some stories soon and maybe have something more positive to write about 🙂

. Share your writing successes and woes in the comments below or any advice you have.