Updates

2017 Wrap Up and Plans for 2018

Time sure does fly. I thought I would update this blog one more time before a new year starts and I feel like I’ve completely let something slip. So here’s a progress update on my projects and where I plan to go from here. Spoiler: They’re going really good!

The One That De-Railed Me

I’ve been lovingly calling this project “Catch an Angel by the Wings” and then it was streamlined to “Clipped Wings.”

This project turned out to be slightly less than a break from my frustrations and more of a whole new idea. I ended up capping the first draft of this project off at around 102,000 words/361 pages (hefty I know). I was not expecting to have a finished project by the end of August but there I stood with something I was pretty proud of. Not to mention that it was a full, stand-alone plot line.

I’m now about 100 pages into a very intense plot edit, which is about to hit the bulk of the issues with the draft. To say I’m cautiously optimistic about it would be an overstatement. (It’s driving me crazy at the moment).

The One That Won’t Sit Still

My ever “in-progress” project, which I had been calling “Safe Haven” but that title just doesn’t seem accurate anymore, is still sitting unfinished. A breakthrough finally caught my attention the other day.

The morning after a writers’ group meeting, I was washing my hair and it seemed to seep over my mind like the water over my hair. And so, I have a new beginning. For the fourth time.

It also changes the entire POV to first person. So, I’ll be doing an entire rewrite of that book when I have my ideas sussed out. This books, series, idea of mine, only ever gets me past the first seven chapters and then changes its tune.

Someday I’ll figure out what it wants to be about. When I do, I know it’ll be worth the struggle. Some ideas just don’t sit still.

An Overactive Imagination

Of course, the year wouldn’t be complete without my overactive imagination butting its head into everything. I attempted a new genre for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and failed. While I still love the idea, the plot, and the characters, I think that “traditional” fantasy just doesn’t sit well with me. I’ll try again when I have my world set a bit better.

Along with that, my NaNoWriMo plot from last year came sneaking back into my head and begged for attention. I didn’t give it more than a quick jot of notes for the fixes it offered to the horrible plot mistakes I had made during my whirlwind month of writing.

Various short story ideas came to mind. Likewise, I had multiple nibbles at my consciousness for longer stories. All of them begged for full control of my creative energies. However, as I want to focus on one project, I am trying desperately to keep my flitting imagination from nabbing the upswing that comes with consistent creativity.

Plans

I am a serial planner with terrible follow through when it comes to personal projects with imaginary deadlines.

That’s why I enjoy participating in NaNoWriMo so much. Joining a critique group has also helped me keep a more consistent editing schedule with expectations that I will bring a certain amount of pages every other week. While my imagination loves to be spontaneous, my personality is all about the plan.

My goals for 2018 are simple (if I make any more specific promises I will probably break them):

  • Finish the first draft edit of “Clipped Wings”
  • Write a short story for submission somewhere
  • Start the new draft of “Safe Haven”
  • Read more

It looks like a lot, and it probably is, but if I finish even one thing on that list I’ll be happy with where my year went. Honestly, I’m pretty pleased with my year in writing this year. A year when a draft is finished is always a good year.

Let’s see where writing can take me next year.

Work-in-Progress

The Project and The Plan

pexels-photoStarting a writing project is like opening a new world. The story-line is a life with a blank slate, the characters like meeting new people, and every word is a new adventure. It’s thrilling and terrifying.

Though excited to start a project, I seem to be cursed with a horrific case of procrastination. Many of my personal projects, including my stories, fall to the side in favor of literally anything else. My previous retail job asks me to come back to help out? No problem. Friends suddenly want to hang out all weekend? Sounds great! New show just came on Netflix? Better watch all of it to stay on top of things!

Most never get picked back up again. Journals, blogs, and especially long-form writing projects seem to get hung up in the stir of daily life. I could blame being busy, but that would be giving myself too much slack. You can always sort out what’s most important to you by what you make time for.

The real issue is my lack of a deadline.

The Project

My current novel has been a “work-in-progress” since I started it for National Novel Writing Month in 2013. I dropped it, unfinished, until a year later. I have been re-writing and editing ever since. Years working on the same novel feels suffocating when you have no deadline to work toward and no real direction for it.

This past year I made a goal for myself to finish my “work-in-progress.” It wasn’t a New Year’s Resolution, because I don’t think change has to be dictated by the flipping of a calendar. But, I decided I want this story to be through enough drafts so that when somebody asks “Hey, how’s your novel going?” I can look them in the eye with a smile and say “I just finished it. Now, I’m just polishing it up.”

(Also, I just desperately want to work on something else).

The Plan

My previous draft had roughly 30 chapters in it. I plan to change the majority of the second half of the book, but I’m hoping to still keep it at 30 if possible. So far, I’m at 8 chapters of my third draft. (It would technically be a fourth draft but I’m not going to count the jagged-edged tragedy that was my first, unfinished draft).

My deadline for myself is November. I want to be able to start a new project in November with a clear conscience knowing I didn’t leave unfinished drafts on the back burner.

Progress: 8/30

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