Category Archives: CampNaNo
I’ve been a very bad blogger lately. Actually, I’ve been a bad writer in general. I was supposed to be working on the second draft of DEGENERATION and planning my camp project, which I’ve been calling 2,000 MILES, even though I’m not sure if that will be the title I go with. I was also invited to join a Facebook critique group, so I should have been reading those works and posting my critiques.
Instead, I’ve been doing nothing. Well, nothing writing-related. I had a big project for school that was worth 25-40 percent of my grade that I had to do. That was due on Tuesday, and I’m glad that that’s out of the way, but it still took up a lot of time. I’ve also been sick all month, so I haven’t really felt like doing anything. I get up between 4 and 5 most mornings and go to work. I generally get done between 2 and 3 and then have class from 5 to 8 Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Thursdays I go and observe a middle school class from 8 am to 4 pm. Fridays I go to my boyfriend’s house and hang out with his parents. And then on the weekends I’m just so tired.
I’m going to be better now, though. Starting next week, work decreases drastically, so I’ll have a lot more time and energy. There’s a week before Camp NaNo starts, and I’m going to do my best to come up with an outline before then. If it doesn’t happen, I’m not going to rush it. I know a lot about my main character and love interest, but I don’t really know what the actual plot is going to be. I definitely need to work on that. I think this weekend I’m going to watch a documentary on the Appalachian Trail. I also have a fellow NaNo friend who recently set off to walk the trail, so I should really catch up on his blog. I can read about what he’s doing on the trail and steal the most interesting parts for my novel.
This weekend I also need to write up some book reviews. I finished two novels this week, and I should really review them before I forget what I wanted to say about them. One I really enjoyed, and one had a lot of potential but just ended up annoying me. I’ll get to those later on, though.
I have so many things I should be doing. Yet here I am, watching Miss Congeniality instead. Maybe I’ll be productive afterwards.
It’s that time of year again, the time when people sit back and reflect on everything they hoped to accomplish over the year and compare that to what they actually accomplish. I will be writing another post soon about what I hope to accomplish in 2013, but for now I will reflect on my goals for this past year.
1. Find a job that doesn’t make me want to murder all those around me.
Yeah, this didn’t happen. I still work as a school photographer. However, I did complete my first semester of grad school, which means I’m one semester closer to getting certified to teach high school English. Not a new job, but a step closer to getting a new job, so it’s not as bad as it could have been.
2. Finish the novel I wrote for 50k weekend.
That would The Story of Em, which is still unfinished. I have an outline for the rest of it, and I actually really like this story, but I’ve been working on other novels, so I haven’t finished this one.
3. Edit both novels that I finished this NaNo.
Those novels would be Tilt Your Head and Smile and Learning to Lie. I rewrote Tilt once, so I will consider that a partial success, even though I only got halfway through the edit of the rewrite. I also haven’t edited Learning to Lie. I still like the idea of that trilogy, but I’m still not sure where I want it to go, so I’ve decided to shelve that one for now while I work on the novels that I actually know how to write.
4. Win Script Frenzy.
Yes! Finally I did something that I said I was going to do. And, okay, sure, I wrote a huge part of those 100 pages on the last day of the month, but I still finished. RIP Script Frenzy. I’ll miss you.
5. Win both sessions of Camp NaNo.
Didn’t win either. I finished a novel for the June Camp (about 48k) and gave up halfway through the novel for August Camp.
6. Keep a blog going for an entire year, writing at least once a week (if not more).
I’m going to count this as a success. There were a few weeks where I didn’t write at all (mainly during NaNo and the beginning of December), but this will be my 125th blog post, at least 100 of which have been posted in 2012, so I consider this a success. This is actually my most successful blog ever, so I’m happy with it.
7. Build up a portfolio so I can actually apply for writing jobs.
This didn’t happen, either. Since I decided to become a teacher, I’ve sort of stopped looking for writing jobs. This probably won’t change, as I plan on spending most of my time next year working on my Master’s degree and writing/editing/reading novels.
8. Read 52 books in 52 weeks.
If I read 1 book a day for the rest of the year, I will achieve this goal. It’s not impossible – especially considering the fact that I read one book in 5 hours today and only have a few chapters of the next Dresden book to finish, as I’ve been listening to that one in the car – but I’m not all that sure that it will happen. Still, 47 books in 52 weeks is still respectable, especially considering how many books I read in 2011. I hope to do better next year, but I’m not doing to beat myself up over it.
Okay, so I didn’t really accomplish as much as I wanted to this past year. Still, I’m happy with a lot of what I did accomplish. I wrote more than 242k for NaNo. I wrote 2 novels and 1 novella in a month. I ended the year with 5 completed novels, 1 completed novella, and 3 short stories. I submitted some short stories to contests. I wrote a query letter. I entered my query and novel into a contest. I didn’t win any of the contests, but I learned a lot, and I got over my fear of letting other people read my stuff. I still have a long way to go, but I’m putting myself out there and taking risks, and that’s a huge step for me.
I’m not making as much progress as I would have liked, but I’m still making progress, and that’s the important part.
What about the rest of you? Did you accomplish everything you wanted to in 2012?
I kept putting off writing another post about writing until I, you know, wrote something worth talking about. Since I haven’t written about writing in a while, though, you can probably guess that I haven’t been that successful. In fact, Camp NaNo-August was a spectacular failure. I wrote 26k, and I only finished seven chapters, including the prologue. That said, I’m still further than I’ve ever been with this story before, so I’ll try to focus on the positives. My new goal is to finish this draft this month. I’m going to try to write a chapter a day, regardless of how tired I might be after work or how much homework I may have to do. I really want to finish this draft.
I’m also trying to work on outlining the novel I plan on writing for NaNoWriMo. I wrote a short story on this topic for my thesis in college, and I’ve been coming up with more ideas for how to make it a novel. I have several notebook pages filled up with notes, and I’m starting to get more of a feel for the characters. It’s highly political in nature, so I’m not going to go into too much detail about the project. I’ll just say that it’s a young adult dystopian novel set in the United States around the year 2070 – and, no, I’m not trying to write the next Hunger Games or anything like that. I’ve just always liked dystopian novels, and the story line would work best if the main character was still in high school.
While we’re on the topic of NaNoWriMo, the 2012 merchandise is in stock. I’m really tempted to buy the thermos and the new t-shirt, but I’m going to wait and use them for motivation. If I hit 50k in November, I get the shirt. If I hit 100k, I get the thermos and the shirt. It seems a bit unrealistic to think about writing 100k when I haven’t managed to write that much in a month since January, but I can always write more during NaNo than I can during other months, so its’ not completely unrealistic. After all, I did write 222k last November. I can probably write at least 100k this November, even though I’ll still have class in November.
I’m actually not as concerned about grad school as I was. My classes are a lot of fun, and one of them seems like it’ll be really easy. I have to research a bunch of different things, but there are really only like two papers to turn in, and neither will be that long or difficult to write. It’s mostly a giant discussion on the reading of the foundations of education, and it’s been interesting so far. My other class requires more work but still doesn’t seem that difficult. The reading is interesting, and most of the assignments are very informal – such as write a two page paper on the pros and cons of technology in the classroom. I’m looking forward to continuing both classes, and I’m already trying to create a work schedule that allows me to do most of the work in October so that I can focus more on writing once November hits.
I really do love my region in November. Normally I hate living in the South, but November is the one time of the year when I’m thankful that I do. Our NaNo region is awesome. The OLL actually wrote about our region recently – The ML’s Guide to Writing in Atlanta: Writing on Their Minds . As mentioned in the article, we averaged 5 events per day in November, and there was almost always at least one other person in the NaNoLanta chat room, ready to start a word war and offer other encouragement. It’s hard not to feel encouraged to write more. I just wish I had that sort of motivation on my own. It would help if I weren’t always so tired all the time.
Today’s objectives are to finish writing chapter 7 of Let Go (the new title for Keep Going), find a teaching standard that I would like to eventually write a lesson plan for, and read chapters 9 and 14 for my foundations of education class. I’m excited for the start of a three-day weekend. Hopefully I can finish writing the next three chapters of my novel this weekend, at the very least.
I seem to have some sort of mental block with this novel. This is the third time that I’ve attempted to write it, and I’m having only slightly less trouble writing it this time than I have in previous attempts. Part of my problem is that this book is primarily about how we see people, and how our perceptions change once we get to know someone, and I’ve never been very good at slowly changing characters’ minds.
Another problem (and probably the main problem) is that this book has a lot more dialogue than any of the others that I’ve worked on. I don’t dislike dialogue as a whole, but the dialogue in this book is more difficult because one my characters is one of those peppy people who can talk to anyone and is always giggly and happy (or at least almost always is), and that is so completely not like me at all. I was at my boyfriend’s house all day on Saturday for a family get-together, and I was extremely proud of myself because I spoke one time. That’s how much I hate talking to people. I’m not good at it. In a work setting, it’s different. I’m considered loud at work because I’m the one who gets people attention and tells them what to do. When it comes to personal situations, though, like with friends and family, I clam up. It’s not that I don’t like people – I just don’t know what to say. Which makes it extremely difficult to write about a character who does know what to say.
That said, I’m working on it. I’m currently at 21,464 words. I’m about 10k behind where I should be for Camp NaNo and 17k behind where I should be for my personal goal of 60k. But I’m also further into this draft than I ever have been with a draft of this novel, so I’m not completely devastated about that. I wrote a little over 3k yesterday, and I’ve written about 1,500 words today and still have a little over four hours before I have to leave for school, so I’m hopeful that I can get closer to where I’m supposed to be. If I write about 3200 words a day, I can still hit 60k by the end of the month. I’m not entirely sure that’s going to happen, but it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility, so I’m going to go with it.
I’m not going to let myself get distracted anymore. I read and reviewed four books and a short story in the past two weeks. While I’m happy I got some more reading in before school, I should have been focusing on reading AND writing. I’ve finally finished all of the library books that I had out, so at least I don’t have to worry about finishing them before their due date anymore.
In vaguely related news, my first day of grad school is today. I have classes Mondays and Thursdays from 5 to 8 pm. I already have the syllabus for my Thursday class (Planning and Organizing Instruction for Secondary Education, for those who are curious), and I’m already freaking out a little. Two tardies (15 minutes or more) equals 1 absence, and 2 absences mean that the highest grade you can make in the class is a B, which is the lowest grade you can get and still pass, according to this program. If you get lower than a B, you have to retake the class, and you can only retake two classes before they kick you out of the program. And, okay, sure, I never got lower than a B+ in any of my undergrad classes, but I’m sure their standards are higher in grad school.
My main concern is actually getting to school. Most people with jobs go to the same place every day and therefore know how long it takes them to get to school from work, so they would know beforehand if it was possible for them to get to school on time or not. I, however, don’t have a normal job. I’m at a different school everyday. Some days I’m five minutes from home. Some days I’m two hours from home. Some days I get done at noon. Some days I get done at five. It varies that much. I’ve already talked to my team lead, who agreed not to put me at middle schools on the days I have school (since middle schools don’t usually get done until 4, which means I almost can’t get out of there before 4:30 or 5), but there’s only so much she can do. Thursday, I’m going to be way up in the mountains. It takes an hour and fifteen minutes to get from that school to my school, and that’s without factoring in traffic. That school day ends around 3, which means that it’s possible that I won’t get out of there until 3:30, which would only give me an hour and a half to get to my school before I’m late. I’m hoping that that school will get done early, but I’m still freaking out that I won’t make it to class on time.
Oh, and one of the textbooks that I bought from eBay probably isn’t coming. It already charged me $40, and now it says that the member is not longer registered with eBay. Since I already paid, the only thing I can do is wait a week and see if the book still shows up. If it doesn’t, I can get my money back. Of course, I don’t have a week because class starts today and I probably need to have read something by the next class, so no matter what I’m going to have to buy another copy just in case. I guess it’s better to have two copies than none, but it’s still a pain in the ass, especially because now only the expensive copies of the book are available.
And now that I’m done freaking out about something that I can’t do anything about right now, I’m going to focus more on writing. The plan is to at least finish this chapter and the next chapter before I have to leave for school.
Yes, it’s only the fifth day of Camp NaNo August, and I’m already behind where I’m supposed to be. According to the NaNo calendars I’m using as my background, I should be at 8,065 words today. Since I’m aiming for 60k this month instead of 50k, I should really be at 9,670. I’m actually at 6,511. I’ve written the prologue and chapter 1, and I’m at least halfway through chapter 2, probably a little more. According to the Camp site, I have to write 1,611 a day to finish on time. I can do that easily if I actually focus.
I generally get like this when NaNo starts. For the week or so beforehand, I’m excited to start working on this new project. Then the day before and the day it starts, I panic and realize that I haven’t planned enough and that nothing I write is good enough, and I drag out the writing process. I sit at my desk with my coffee, but instead of writing, I watch TV. I watch movies. I play games. I read blogs. I start making notes on other novels I want to write in the future. I pretty much do everything but write.
Most of the writing that I do have so far is based on the chapters I already had from previous attempts to write this novel. The first time I tried to write this novel was NaNo 2008. I wanted to try pantsing a novel, so I wanted to start with a character and just see what happened after that. I ended up with four characters (which eventually evolved into three), and I had an overall outline in my head before NaNo even started. I got about 10k in and then quit. I tried writing this again back in August 2010. In order to prepare for NaNo, I was going to try to write a novel over the span of August and September. I got about four chapters in before I gave up.
Now I’m more prepared. I understand most of the characters. I have a clear view for the first several chapters at least. Now I just have to deal with the fact that it’s never going to be as great in my head as it is on paper. The rational part of me knows that that doesn’t matter, that it’ll get better when I edit it and that my second draft is always better than my first, but the other part of me is still afraid to keep going. I think part of my problem is that I’ve now done a bit more editing with Tilt, and I don’t want to make it harder for myself later. Both Tilt and Learning to Lie had to be completely rewritten, and I’m afraid that most of Degeneration will be, as well. I already know that The Story of Em will probably need to be tossed, or at least reworked, if I want to make it a completed draft. Part of me just wants to slow down a bit with this one and see if perhaps I can actually keep the first completed draft of this one. Obviously it will still need editing and reworking, but I shouldn’t have to redo the entire thing.
I think that’s throwing me off, though. I should just write. If it ends up needing tons of editing later, that’s fine. Editing Tilt is actually proving to be rather enjoyable. I have tomorrow and Wednesday off work, and possible Tuesday, as well. I forget how slow the first few weeks are. My plan tomrrow is to get caught back up with where I’m supposed to be. That means a little over 5k and 4 chapters (since I wanted to write at least 1 chapter a day). I’d rather keep up with the chapters than the word count, but I’d be happy either way.
And tomorrow, the TV stays off.
Camp NaNo starts in less than an hour. I’m tempted to stay up and start writing exactly at midnight, but since I have to wake up around 5:30 tomorrow for training, I probably shouldn’t. I am, however, tempted to wake up at 5 instead and write for a little bit. We’ll see how I feel in the morning. I might just go back to sleep for an extra half hour. At the very least, I’m bringing a notebook and my notes for chapter 1 with me so that I can write at work.
Just the returning photographers are going to training tomorrow, and there’s not really anything that they can tell me that I don’t already know. I mean, I worked a job already yesterday, so it’s a bit late to try to train us. The only new thing I noticed was that there’s an extra alignment line thing that shows us where to crop the bottom of the picture to. They could explain that in an email. They don’t really need to call us all in and make us sit there for eight hours. But whatever. That’s why I’m bringing a notebook. The notebook will also be useful when they make us sit through that incredibly boring sexual harassment video that they make us watch every season, even though corporate only demands that we watch it once a year.
I’m a bit worried that I haven’t prepared enough for Camp. There are still a few details I’m not exactly clear on, and I haven’t decided exactly how to deal with the fact that the last like eight chapters of the book switch back and forth between Samantha and Chloe and completely ignore Natalie. Oh, and I’m still not entirely sure what I want Samantha’s relationship with another side character to be.
On the other hand, I also have descriptions for all of the main characters and several of the main side characters. I understand their motivations and know what they want and what they’re afraid of. I have an outline that summarizes all the major events by month. I have another outline that breaks up what will be in each chapter. I have another outline that just lays out all the important dates and what days of the week those events occur on. I asked two different Facebook friends for help on what two of my characters would be doing for their senior projects. I have plenty of information to draw on. I’m way more prepared than I’ve been for novels in the past. I’m just nervous, I guess.
My goal for the month is 60k or a finished first draft. I’d like the finished draft more, but I would also like to bring my total word count for 2012 up to 300k, and 60k this month would do that. That’s a little more than 1900 a day, which isn’t horrible if I actually stay focused and write at least one chapter a day.
I originally wanted to be finished with the first round of edits for Tilt before Camp started, but it looks like that’s not happening. I am pleased with what I’ve done so far, though. I’ve made markups of the entire manuscript, and I have a new outline of each chapter with notes for things to add and things to delete. I started trying to type up the changes as I went, but once I hit chapter 12, I ran into bigger problems, which led to a lot of shuffling around and major rewrites, and it was just easier to read the whole thing and tag problem areas as “delete” or “expand” and just deal with it later.
Tilt now sits at 96,575 words, down from the 101,478 words that it started at. In case anyone cares, that’s a net decrease of 4,903 words so far, and I’ve just finished fixing chapter 18. There were originally 39 chapters, but I’ve made notes to delete four of those. I’m on page 94 out of `189 (1.5 spaced, Garamond size 11 font, 0.7 inch margins, in case anyone’s curious). I’ve also just wrapped up December 2010. This means I’m pretty much in the middle of the novel no matter how you want to look at it, which is pretty exciting. I’m rather pleased with the draft so far. It doesn’t feel quite as…stifling…as it was before. April talks to people. She’s not just shut up in her room for half the book. Quite an improvement.
I’ll probably still end up making changes during August, but I’m going to try to focus more on writing Keep Going. I’ll finish editing Tilt in September. Then I’ll probably work on editing Degeneration. I’ve also been coming up with more ideas for the short story I wrote for my thesis class that I’ve always wanted to rewrite as a novel. I’m starting to see that world more clearly, and I look forward to getting more notes down on paper for that one. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be writing that one for NaNo this year.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. For now, I should simply try to get some sleep so I can wake up early and write tomorrow morning…I mean so that I don’t fall asleep during training.
Whenever I actually sit down to focus something writing-related, I’m reminded of how little time I have left before the summer is over and I have to start work and school. I have just over two weeks before training starts and five weeks before school starts. I’m trying to get ahead of my 52 books challenge, since I probably won’t have time to read much for fun during the fall, and I want to write the first draft of Keep Going (and find a new title for it), and I want to start editing Tilt Your Head and Smile and Degeneration.
I’ve decided to see how much of Tilt I can edit before Camp NaNo starts again. I decided to print draft 2. I’ve made some notes on the copy I have saved on my Nook, but it’s not the same. I like making edits on a hard copy. I have the notebooks I’ve already designated for this novel, the fine-tip Sharpie pens that my boyfriend got me for Christmas, and the sticky notes that my boyfriend’s mother got me for my birthday. I also have my soundtrack for this novel and my Script Frenzy mug full of tea. I should be all set to edit now.
Most of the editing articles I’ve seen advise against making line edits until you have the overall plot down, but I can’t work like that. I can’t see a mistake and then not fix it. I’m making notes as I go so that I can keep track of all the scenes and characters and whether or not they work in the novel. I’m also making notes of things that I need to add. I already know that I need to include more interactions between April and those close to her, so I’m trying to find places to insert those scenes. I’ve never had to make big edits like this before, so I’m a bit worried. In the past, I’ve just thrown the entire draft out and rewritten it. I don’t really want to have to keep doing that, though. From what I remember about this draft, I’m fairly happy with the overall structure of it.
I’m also happy with the outline I have for Keep Going. I’m planning on 33 chapters, including a prologue and epilogue, although I doubt I’ll refer to them as such in the novel. I’m a bit uncertain about the end, as the events of March 2009 are told pretty much exclusively from the points of view of Chloe and Samantha, but there’s not really much I can think to do about it at this point. I’ll just go with the outline I have and worry about it later. Either I’ll think of something to add involving Natalie as I’m writing, or I’ll try to fix it when I’m editing.
That’s proving to be one of the difficult parts about writing a novel with three main characters: I have to keep up with what all of them are doing and come up with complete storylines for each. Chloe and Samantha are easy to figure out, as they’re really the main main characters, but I’m having issues with Natalie. She’s important, as Chloe and Samantha wouldn’t really interact all that much without her, but I’m not really sure what to do with her towards the end of the novel. I didn’t have this much trouble when I was writing Learning to Lie, as those three main characters were all doing pretty much the same thing, at least for the most part. They had their own motivations and back stories, of course, but they were all on a quest to find the truth, so it was easy to find things for them to say.
Of course, I also wasn’t as concerned with keeping the number of chapters for each character even. I knew that Kali and Loki were my main characters and that Melina was a main supporting character. I suppose there’s not really a reason I can’t treat Natalie the same way. Besides, their numbers of chapters are fairly close. Samantha has 13 chapters, Chloe has 11, and Natalie has 9. It’s not like the other two each have 12 and she has 5 or something like that. I suppose I could just stop counting chapters and just have each chapter be a month and then have the scenes switch points of view.
I need to stop worrying about a novel I haven’t even written yet and start working the novel that actually needs to be edited. I can’t just keep writing first drafts – or even second drafts, for that matter – that don’t go anywhere. Getting the first draft on paper if, of course, important, but that only matters if I actually do something with the draft after I write it. I wrote the first draft in two weeks and the second draft in four. Hopefully I can at least get the first round of edits done in two weeks.
I’m pleased to say that I’ve finished the first draft of Degeneration. I actually finished it yesterday. I meant to write about this yesterday, but I spent the rest of the day watching Twin Peaks with my parents, so I was a bit distracted. Back to Degeneration, though. It currently sits at 47,879 words. According to most of the sites I’ve found online, this is within the normal range for a young novel, so I’m going to try not to be too disappointed in how short it is, especially since I know it’ll get longer when I edit it.
Despite what I said in the last post, I’ve decided not to go back and edit anything right now. I think I need to distance myself from this novel for a little while. It probably won’t last for too long, but I at least want a few days when I think of something else first. Maybe I’ll work on one of the short stories I’ve been meaning to write. Or maybe I’ll work on outlining another novel. Keep Going has been on my mind a lot lately, and I will probably be ready to work on the outline soon.
I’m not entirely happy with the way Degeneration turned out. There are some parts of it that I really like, but I think I’m still afraid of making my characters suffer too much. I’ve let Adelyn convince me that she really doesn’t care that her family hates her, but that’s not true. She says that she doesn’t care, but when she’s around them, she still wants them to like her, and that’s not really all that evident in the novel. Without that honesty, the book is just…boring. I don’t want to make Adelyn suffer, but without that suffering, the book lacks any real feeling.
This is the first draft of this novel, though it’s the third draft of the story. After two screenplays, you’d think I’d have a better understanding of what I’m writing about, but I’m still having problems. The first draft lacked drama. The second draft lacked flow. The third draft lacked emotion. The good news is that at least now I have a better understanding of what it’s supposed to be.
Sadly, I always have a clear understanding of what I want the story to be when I’m planning. Then I go to write it, and it just doesn’t work out how I want it to. I think this is where my lack of planning comes in. I’ve always had outlines, but they’ve more been a list of events that should occur in each chapter. I don’t include transitions or notes on my characters’ emotional states or anything. I think that’s part of my problem. My outlines aren’t detailed enough. I used to get really detailed in my outlines, and then I’d never write the story, and somehow I took that as a sign that outlines don’t work for me, when really I think I was just a stupid kid who hadn’t found a proper story to work on yet.
First, the writing. My goal for today was to get caught back up to where I’m supposed to be for Camp, as well as finish the most dramatic chapter in the novel. I’m pleased to say that I accomplished both. I wrote 4,390 words today, bringing my Camp WC to 38,399 and Degeneration up to chapter 16 and 45,614 words. I have another chapter and a half left to write, as well as a chapter that I skipped the first time around and had been planning to go back to add. I thought about writing it, then realized that it didn’t really fit and thus skipped it the first time around. Then, as I was working on the new outline for the novel, I thought of more things to add to that chapter to make it fit, so I made a note to go back later.
Of course, now that I’m reaching the end of the novel, I’m realizing that what I had planned for that novel doesn’t really work anymore. The MC’s father was a main part of that chapter, and now that I’ve decided that her parents are divorced, that doesn’t really work for that chapter anymore. I’m not really sure where I want to go with that chapter anymore. I might end up just skipping it all together, or I might end up going back and changing it to fit with my new knowledge of the characters. I’m not really sure which at this point.
I know I’m going to have to change quite a few things with this story. I was originally going to try to fix all those problems later, when I had left the story alone for a while, but now I’m thinking about going back and adding some things in now, especially considering I won’t be able to hit 50k without either working on another story or going back and adding more to this one. I realized the other day that there’s not really any reason for people to be emotionally vested in these characters, and I’ve thought of several scenes to add that would help with that. Of course, that would involve making Adelyn and her family stay there for most of a week instead of two days, but I think that will work better. You can’t really get a good sense of her family and how they interact with each other in 36 hours.
In other news, Julie over at Word Flows was kind enough to give me the One Lovely Blog Award. I’m flattered. If you haven’t read her blog yet, you definitely should. She’s such an inspiration. She’s written at least four complete drafts since November – and edited most of those at least once-and she’s still planning her next novel. She never stops. It’s incredible to read about, and whenever I feel down on my writing, I read her blog, and I want to write again.
And now for the rules of the award:
Thank the person/people who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
Share seven possibly unknown things about yourself.
Nominate fifteen or so bloggers you admire.
Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know and link back to them.
I’ve thanked Julie and linked back to her site. Now for the seven things about myself:
1. My favorite TV shows are Arrested Development and The West Wing, though I love anything by Aaron Sorkin – even the shows that aren’t really that great. I’m really looking forward to seeing The Newsroom. I’m hoping it’s more like TWW and less like Studio 60.
2. I haven’t kept in touch with any of my friends from high school – aside from the occasional Facebook comment, and even those mostly come from people I sort of knew, not the people I actually hung out with. And I actually like it better that way.
3. I hate confrontations. Whenever my boyfriend’s parents start ranting about politics, I keep my mouth shut and close my eyes and try to think about something else. I get furious and offended whenever they speak, but it’s better than starting a fight.
4. I’m terrified of the garbage disposal. I can use it without freaking out, but for some reason I’m terrified that if anyone else uses it, they’re going to end up chopping their hand off. It doesn’t make any sense, I know, but whenever someone else in my family turns on the garbage disposal, I either have to leave the room or plug my ears, close my eyes, and hum to myself until it’s over.
5. I’m also terrified of guns, which probably makes a bit more sense than garbage disposals. I’m afraid that someone will accidentally shoot the wrong person. This was never a big problem until I learned that my boyfriend’s brother has several guns. I’m now afraid to walk upstairs unannounced whenever we’re over there. I also almost cut my hand my pressing my nails into my palms the day that his father started playing with the gun when he was sitting right in front of me. Yes, I know that “playing with” isn’t really accurate, and that since he was in the army and has worked for the government for years he probably knows how to examine a gun without firing it, but it still scared the hell out of me.
6. Math was my favorite subject in high school. I loved my English classes and teachers best, and I loved reading all those different classics, but math was the easiest, and the homework I looked forward to the most because it required the least amount of energy. I almost took a math class in college just so that I would have homework that didn’t require hours of reading. Sometimes I wish I had followed through with that.
7. When I was thirteen, my sister bought me a fish. It cost twelve cents, and I named it Remus Lupin. I was very sad when it died three days later.
And now for the blogs. I’m not sure if I have 15 of them, but I’ll see how many I can name. Some of these I’ve been following for months. Some of them I’ve only read one or two entries from and have liked.
There are probably some blogs that I’m forgetting, but it’s almost two o’clock in the morning now, and I’m rather tired, so I’m going to leave it at that.
Today’s Goal: 30,006
Today’s WC: 27,049
I’ve been having some trouble writing recently. I was all excited about what I was doing, and I turned what was meant to be the shortest chapter in my novel into the longest chapter, and the one that I like the best so far. And then I started the next chapter, and I’ve been dragging my feet ever since. I just feel like this scene isn’t all that important overall, but I don’t want to just jump over it because the story only takes up two days and skipping 5 hours of time is rather a lot. I finally finished the chapter, and I’ll probably take it out later, but I’m glad to say that it’s finally done and now I can get on to the good part of the novel. If I can write at least one chapter a day, I should finish this week, which would be exciting.
And now onto my weekly ponderings…
I was talking to my boyfriend’s mother the other day about his brother. She was telling me about how he used to write when he was younger. She showed me a story he wrote in middle school and then went on to explain that he always had so many ideas that he could never find a way to tire them all together, which meant that all his stories just sort of fizzled out and never actually came to a conclusive end.
I’m the same way. I try to fit too much into my stories. I want to be able to relate to the characters, want to write primarily for myself, but I’m trying to fit too much of my real life in there. Not every main character has to be exactly like me. That would be boring. I don’t need to fit everything into one story. I can spread it out, focus on a certain part of myself in each story.
Degeneration deals with family and fear.
Tilt Your Head and Smile deals with unemployment and expectations.
For Real This Time deals with weight and acceptance.
Keep Going deals with college and friendship.
The Story of Em deals with desire and doubt.
Each of those stories focuses on a different part of my life to some extent. Some are entirely fictional with a main character who shares a personality trait with me. Others are at least half autobiographical. I’ve found that having them listed out like that help me focus on what’s important. There’s a lot more to the stories than just those two words that I picked for each, but I like having that reminder to keep me from getting too off track.