Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Yikes Moment!

I hate having "yikes!" moments.  I had one yesterday.  I was working on the first draft I had let sit for ages.  I had put each scene on a post it note, had made post it notes for the scenes I knew I still needed to write and then laid them all out.  After about thirty minutes, I had rearranged everything in the order I hope it needed to be in. 

Then I made a list(I like the feeling of checking something of that list).  I was going to start with writing the missing scenes.  I already had a shadow of an idea of what would happen in each scene so I wasn't intimidated. I even wrote the first scene I needed.  And then...

It happened!  My "yikes!" moment.  I had thought I was over 2/3's of the way through this novel.  Which means, with a goal of approximately 55,000 words, I should have had more than 37,000.  I didn't.  I had around 34,000.  Then came the realization that I was most definitely not going to reach 55,000 with the few measly scenes I had thought I had left.

Uggggg!  While I don't regret approaching this novel in a pantser way, I do regret not plotting it!  I know, I know, they are the opposite.  I loved the creative freedom I allowed myself.  I dislike having to come in now to clean up my pantser self's mess. :)   Oh the life of a writer.  When you work by yourself, there is only one person to blame, lol.

Keep on. Don't give up.  Be diverse.  Use what works and don't forget the other stuff, cause it may work next time.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Flash Fiction Time!

I opened my eyes but the water made everything blurry.  Sort of like my life.  Chest burning I knew I would have to come up for air soon.  It could never be that easy, to just relax and take a breath, make it all go away.

The banging was muffled by the water.  I heard it anyway.  My mom was checking on me.  The water melted away as I sat up in the bath tub.  IF I didn’t answer soon enough, she would bare in.  I couldn’t bring myself to blame her.  She just wanted to see me still alive, to see my wounds were healing.  She wanted to know on the outside I was getting better so she could pretend inside I was getting better too.

“I’m fine mom.”  My voice was still hoarse, but firm enough she didn’t insist on coming in.  I don’t think I have any modesty left, aft the time I spend in the hospital.  I think I’m just cruel enough not to let her pretend I’m “all better.”

I probably should have let her in.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Six Month Check Up

In January I wrote a blog reflecting back on 2015 and setting goals for 2016.  Since it's halfway through the year, I wanted to take a look back at my goals and see where I'm at.  I wanted to see if those goals were still relevant. Here's what I've found:

January                                                                   June

My goals for 2016 are to:
1. Finish my incomplete first draft     Eeek!  While this is something I still want to do, I keep             putting it off for something else. I still want/need to finish it, but something else has caught hold of my creativity.

 2. Finish the 2nd draft of my fastest first draft    I finished the 2nd draft, sent it to my beta reader, got it back, started on the 3rd draft and fizzled off.  A) I despise editing  B) Something else has got a hold of my creativity! C)I just don't know if there's much else I can do to this story. D) I'm using my something else as an excuse not to prepare a query and synopsis.

 3. Query a total of  100 agents for the novel I finished in 2015  So I'm like at 50-60 and I have had, literally, no bites what so ever.  I can't change the query anymore.  I'm considering self publishing the story.  I'm holding off because if I got an agent, it's important to have some other "stuff" in my back pocket.

 4. Tease out some sort of plot for my fantasy novel.  Yeah, so here is where my creativity lies, except it's not quite what I planned.  I'm kind of doing this as I go along, and the way I'm putting this story together has allowed me to have that freedom...

 5. I would love to write at least half of a first draft for my fantasy.  Yup, so I dived into the world of self publishing (I really need to write a blog about my experience so far.)  I have self published 2 short stories.  They are actually the back story to this fantasy, but it feels right.  I needed to get these stories out to get to the story I started with.   I chose to write short's cause they are relatively easy to churn out.  It is way easier to edit ten thousand words verses fifty to sixty thousand words.  This is where my creativity is driven towards.  And just when I finish one and think I need to walk away and work on something else, the next story begs to be written.  I've got draft 2 of my third almost finished(it's resting for a few days before I go through one more time and then send to my beta reader) and the outline of my fourth story is already weaving it's way through my mind.  These can be "stand alone" but my hope is if readers find one in the middle, they will go back to the beginning and get sucked in!

 I have to be realistic though. This year I will probably go back to work. I'm currently job hunting. These are lofty goals for a stay at home mom, let alone a working mom. I'm not going to sacrifice my family. And I'm not going to sacrifice this creative flexibility I've found.  This still holds true.  At this time I have a job that starts in August.  Writing is hard enough to do right now and it will get harder.  I'm going to have to be a little more focused and organized to accomplish all my goals.  Because right now, I've only accomplished 1 1/2.

June 2016 Revised Goals:
1. Self publish two more short stories, essentially completing Jael's stories.
2. Decide whether or not to self publish the story I have currently unsuccessfully queried so far this year.  If so, have a marketing plan and book cover sketched out.
3. Finish my incomplete first draft. (This is going to require some backing up.  I allowed myself to approach this in a pantser style and it served me well until I got to where I stopped.  Now I'm lost.  I'm going to have to outline this draft to figure out the end.
4. Fastest first draft: A. Finish the 3rd draft, B.  have a query and synopsis and C. begin querying.

 Keep on keeping on! Reflect, set goals and be flexible! This writing thing is a marathon, not a sprint.