Monthly Archives: December 2012

2013 Goals

With 2012 coming to a close, I figured I’d take a few minutes to jot down some of my goals for the upcoming year. I didn’t do so well with most of my goals for 2012, but writing down resolutions that I don’t follow through with is sort of a tradition for me. Besides, it’s always good to keep an eye on the things that you’re working towards, right?

1: Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks – and update on the site.
I didn’t quite make it this year, but I got really close. I read 48 books, and I have another half hour of the next Dresden book to listen to before I’m finished with it. I’ll finish that on the way to a party tonight, which means I’ll have finished 49 books, only three away from the goal. If I hadn’t gone several months without really reading, I would definitely have made my goal. I also realized that I was posting my reviews but forgetting to link those reviews to the 52 books in 52 weeks site. I’ll be better at that next year.

2. Read at least 10 New Adult books.
New Adult focuses on protagonists who are between the ages of 18 and 25 (usually). They tell the stories of people who are out of high school but still don’t have their lives figured out. More details can be found here – 2013 New Adult Reading Challenge.

3. Finish editing the following novels:
For Real This Time
Tilt Your Head and Smile
Degeneration
Alone
Choices

4. Finish writing the following novels:
God’s Love
The Story of Em
Together
Better

5. Do something to advance my writing every day.
This includes writing, reading, editing, outlining, reviewing novels, finding new writing blogs, learning more about publishing steps.

6. Participate in more challenges like Pitch Wars.
I’m not sure how many contests like this are out there, but I’ve never really looked before. That’s going to change in 2013. I learned a lot just by following the Pitch Wars people. I imagine I’ll learn a lot more the more competitions and contests that I participate in.

7. Become more social…on the Internet.
I should probably try to be more social in real life, too, but the main thing I want to focus on this year is finding other writers and expanding my knowledge about other writers and writing blogs. I’ve already started following more people on Twitter. I’ve added a few more blogs to the list that I check regularly, but I’m always looking for ways to expand that base. And that brings me to my next goal –

8. Find CPs/beta readers.
I already have one novel that’s ready for people to read. I have another that’s only a week or two away from that point. It’s time to start finding people to read them. That means I should probably stop lurking on CPseek and actually post something.

9. Exercise regularly.
Okay, this isn’t writing related, but it’s still part of what I want to do this year. I have an elliptical downstairs that my parents bought me for Christmas last year, and I’ve only been using it for the past two weeks. I’m going to continue using it 3-5 times a week, depending on if I’m working or not.

10. Continue to eat better.
Again, not writing related, but something I plan on continuing in the new year. And, all right, I wanted to end with 10 resolutions instead of 8. In April this year, while doing research for Script Frenzy, I decided to become a vegan. I stuck with being mostly vegan at home and vegetarian away from home until NaNo, when I went back to how I used to eat because it was easier when I was around other people and going out to write-ins all the time. Now I’ve gone back to vegan at home and vegetarian when I’m elsewhere. I’m looking up healthy recipes and trying new foods. 2013 is mostly about writing for me, but I also want to work on becoming healthier. We’ll see how that goes.

So there you have it. My goals for 2013. What about you? Do you have any goals for the new year?

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Book 48: Half-Assed by Jennette Fulda

Title: Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir
Author: Jennette Fulda
Page Count: 256
F/NF: Non-Fiction
Genre: Memoir

Rating: 8/10

Goodreads Summary:
After undergoing gall bladder surgery at age twenty-three, Jennette Fulda decided it was time to lose some weight. Actually, more like half her weight. At the time, Jennette weighed 372 pounds.

Jennette was not born fat. But, by fifth grade, her response to a school questionnaire asking what would you change about your appearance” was I would be thinner.” Sound familiar?

Half-Assed is the captivating and incredibly honest story of Jennette’s journey to get in shape, lose weight, and change her life. From the beginning—dusting off her never-used treadmill and steering clear of the donut shop—to the end with her goal weight in sight, Jennette wows readers with her determined persistence to shed pounds and the ability to maintain her ever-present sense of self.

Opinion:
I really enjoyed this book. I’ve seen a ton of stories about people who have lost weight and how great it is because fat people are horrible and disgusting – it was nice to read a story about a woman who wanted to lose weight but still respected other fat people. She talks a bit about the Fat Acceptance movement, which I think is great. She acknowledges that BMI is just a number and that it’s not a perfect indicator of health. I really liked that. One of the reasons I’ve felt guilty about trying to lose weight is because I don’t want to add to a society that says that you’re only worth something if you’re thin and pretty. But, like Jennette Fulda, I realize that there’s a difference between losing weight because you’re unhealthy and losing weight because you want a guy to like you or because you want to wear pretty clothes (not that those can’t be supporting factors). I’m also glad she hated using the word “diet,” as she’s absolutely right that it’s not about depriving yourself or changing for just long enough to get to your goal weight. It’s about changing your lifestyle.

Fulda never mentions which diet plan/lifestyle change she was following, though if you’re familiar with certain diets, you can figure it out. If you look on her website, you can tell that she recommends a lot of South Beach Diet books, which is the diet that I figured she was on. I sort of wished that she would have gone into a bit more detail about what she ate. I understand why she wouldn’t want people to think that her way was the only way, but it would have been nice to see more of what she did.

I also didn’t like that it wasn’t chronological. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it was a bit annoying. When I put this book on my wish list, I thought it was going to be more of a story about what she was like and how she decided to lose weight and then her struggles along the way, and while that was definitely part of this novel, it wasn’t quite how I imagined it would be. That said, it was still a really interesting novel, and I definitely enjoyed reading it.

2012 Recap

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?

Book 47: The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

Title: The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
Author: Carolyn Mackler
Page Count: 244
F/NF: Fiction
Genre: YA Contemporary

Rating: 9/10

Goodreads Summary:
Fifteen-year-old Virginia Shreves has a larger-than-average body and a plus-size inferiority complex. She lives on the Web, snarfs junk food, and follows the “Fat Girl Code of Conduct.” Her stuttering best friend has just moved to Walla Walla (of all places). Her new companion, Froggy Welsh the Fourth (real name), has just succeeded in getting his hand up her shirt, and she lives in fear that he’ll look underneath. Then there are the other Shreves: Mom, the successful psychologist and exercise fiend; Dad, a top executive who ogles thin women on TV; and older siblings Anaïs and rugby god Byron, both of them slim and brilliant. Delete Virginia, and the Shreves would be a picture-perfect family. Or so she’s convinced. And then a shocking phone call changes everything.

Opinion:
I read this book in about five hours. I was hooked from the beginning and couldn’t put it down until I finished it. This is exactly the sort of book that I’m trying to write. I just hope that mine ends up half as awesome as this one. As a formerly fat teenager (and currently fat adult), I could definitely relate to Virginia. Yes, she complains a lot, but that’s what you do when you’re a teenager – especially a fat teenager with no friends and a guy you like but are afraid to be seen with in public.

This book has a great message. It’s a bit heavy-handed at times, but not so much that it really bothered me. Virginia doesn’t change overnight, but she slowly starts to realize that she’s not the one who needs to change, and she starts to feel more comfortable in her own skin. I’m 23 and am still dealing with the sort of body image issues that Virginia’s dealing with. I think this would be a great book for teenage girls who feel out of place because of their weight. As it turns out, she’s not really as fat as I first pictured her, but I’m okay with that. At the end of ninth grade, I was about 30 pounds overweight, and I wasn’t happy with myself. After years of yoyo dieting, I’m considerably more overweight than that, and I probably could have avoided that if I had just learned to be happy with who I was. I was glad to see that Virginia avoided that fate.

There are some parts of the book that I felt weren’t really developed as much as I would have liked, and there were a few parts that I felt were a bit unrealistic, but the parts that I liked were enough to make up for the parts that I didn’t like.

Book 46: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

This is the only book that I have ever preordered. I read the summary, and I knew I had to read it. It wasn’t until I finally had the copy in my hands, after waiting for months, that I learned that his book was already published in Australia under the name “Good Oil.” I wish I had known about this years ago – I could have asked my friend to pick me up a copy when she was studying abroad in Australia. 😀

Title: Love and Other Perishable Items
Author: Laura Buzo
Page Count: 243
F/NF: Fiction
Genre: YA Contempory

Rating: 10/10

GoodReads Summary:
Love is awkward, Amelia should know.

From the moment she sets eyes on Chris, she is a goner. Lost. Sunk. Head over heels infatuated with him. It’s problematic, since Chris, 21, is a sophisticated university student, while Amelia, is 15.

Amelia isn’t stupid. She knows it’s not gonna happen. So she plays it cool around Chris—at least, as cool as she can. Working checkout together at the local supermarket, they strike up a friendship: swapping life stories, bantering about everything from classic books to B movies, and cataloging the many injustices of growing up. As time goes on, Amelia’s crush doesn’t seem so one-sided anymore. But if Chris likes her back, what then? Can two people in such different places in life really be together?

Opinion:
I absolutely loved this book. I am also biased, as the reason I love this book so much is because it brings me back to myself at nineteen, working a crappy job alongside a cute, funny guy (coincidentally named Chris) who was four-five years older than me and completely out of my league, even though we talked all the time about everything. Reading this book was seriously like reading an alternate universe fan fiction of my own life. It took me several days to really get into the book because I had to keep putting the book down in order to giggle over another similarity that I had read. When I finally did get around to actually reading it, I read it fast. I laughed. I nearly cried. It was a great book, one that I am very glad that I now own.

I’m not sure what my opinion would be if I couldn’t relate so well to the characters, but I’m pretty sure that I would still have enjoyed it. Amelia is awkward at times and gets a bit carried away with her anger, but that definitely seems like something a fifteen-year-old would do. Hell, that’s something that I still do sometimes. I didn’t agree with her idea that feminism screws over women, but I’m glad that feminism was talked about. I loved the conversations that she and Chris had.

I also love that we got to see things from both Amelia’s and Chris’s points of view. I definitely preferred reading things from Amelia’s point of view, but it was still great to see things from Chris’s point of view. It was rather sobering but at times hopeful, as well. I was definitely routing for Amelia, even though the age difference is rather huge at that age. And it was nice to see a novel that focuses on a girl with a crush on one guy, rather than a girl who has to pick between two guys. It was realistic, and I was definitely a nice change of pace.

If you’re a fan of realistic young adult contemporary novels that focus on the romance and not much else, you will probably greatly enjoy this book. If you’ve ever suffered from prolonged unrequited love, you will probably enjoy this book. If you prefer action books where the romance takes a back seat to a gripping plot – then you probably don’t want to read this book. But everyone else definitely should. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read in 2012

Okay, so it’s been rather a while since I participated in Top Ten Tuesday. I wish I could blame NaNo, but I’m afraid it’s actually been longer than that since I stopped. Still, I rather liked today’s topic, and I’m going to do my best to keep up with this from now on. I’ve been neglecting this blog too much, and it’s time that stopped.

Top Ten Tuesday is a cool meme created by the people over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is the Top 10 Books I Read in 2012.

And here are the books…in no particular order.

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This was the first book that I read this year, and it was definitely one of the best. I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book, but I’m glad I finally got around to it. I definitely understand why this is such a big phenomenon. I loved the second and third books, as well, but I think this one is the best. Since I only have ten spots, I don’t want to use up three for this series, so I’ll just leave it as book 1 with books 2 and 3 serving as honorable mentions. If you haven’t gotten around to reading this series yet, I would recommend it.

2. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
I’ve read this book before, but I reread it this year, and I liked it even more the second time. This definitely isn’t a book for everyone. It definitely falls under the “literary fiction” category, as it’s mostly about one girl’s life in a boarding school. Not a lot happens other than day-to-day stuff. I love this book because the main character, Lee Fiora, is so incredibly awkward, and she reminds me a lot of myself. She’s so afraid of saying something wrong or stupid that she doesn’t say anything at all – that is, until she says something that makes everyone hate her.

3. The Ultimate Vegan Guide by Erik Marcus
Back in April, I was doing research for Script Frenzy, and I came across a bunch of videos that made me decide to go vegan. This was the first book that I bought after that. The Kindle edition is 99 cents, and it has a lot of really helpful information about making the transition to a vegan life. If anyone’s interested in going vegan, or at least wants to understand why people would chose to be vegan, this is a great book to read.

4. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
I absolutely hated the main character in the beginning of this book, and yet I never considered putting the book down – and that doesn’t usually happen with me. This book kept my attention the whole time, and the characters felt real to me. I really enjoyed this book. The transformation of the main character was slow and believable. If this teaching thing actually works out for me, this is definitely one of the first books I’m putting on my shelf for the students to read if they choose.

5. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
This is the best fairy tale retelling I’ve ever read, as it’s not just the story of Cinderella. This is the first book in a four-book series, and I have high hopes for the rest of the series, the next installment of which comes out in February. The characters were quite realistic, even the mean ones, and I just love the world that Meyer created. And, okay, I have a bit of a soft spot for books that started as NaNo novels. 🙂

6. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
This is another book that I’m going to have on my classroom bookshelf, provided I manage to find a job as a teacher after I graduate. The girl the main character has a crush on kills herself and leaves behind thirteen tapes detailing why she did so. I couldn’t stop reading this book. I had to know why she did it. I definitely didn’t agree with the choices that she made, but I thought it was really interesting to read about it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I’ve heard great things about John Green, and after reading this book, I understand why people love him. I definitely plan on reading more John Green novels next year, as I loved this one. The characters were interesting and funny despite the horrible situation they find themselves in, and I really liked this book, even though it definitely had me crying in parts. John Green certainly has a gift for making you laugh in one sentence and making you want to cry in the next sentence.

8. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
I’ve read all of Sarah Dessen’s novels this year, and while I enjoyed all of them, this is the one that sticks with me. I like that the other characters have their own issues, as well, that it’s not just about the main character. It deals with the same subject matter as Speak does, though it deals with it in a way that’s much more interesting to read (at least in my opinion, though I know I’m in the minority with this opinion).

9. This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
This is the first zombie book that I’ve read, and I loved that it still mostly about the characters and less about the zombies. The characters were flawed in realistic ways, and I really enjoyed this book, at least for the first three-fourths of the book. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the ending, but I’m glad I read this book. It’s not one of my favorites out of all of the books that I’ve ever read, but it’s definitely one of the ones that stood out this year.

10. Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
Okay, this one shouldn’t actually be on this list, as I’m not really all that far into this book, but I’m enjoying it so much so far that I would be remiss not to include it. I see so much of my nineteen-year-old self in Amelia, and I have to keep putting the book down to giggle about how much I can relate to her, and that’s why I feel that I have to include it on this list. Even if I end up hating it (which I doubt I will), I absolutely love the beginning of it enough to earn it a place on this list.

What about the rest of you? Have you read/enjoyed any of the books on my list? What are your favorite books that you’ve read this year?

Book 45: Godless by Pete Hautman

I actually read this book back in November and didn’t want to waste NaNo time writing a review, so I decided to put it off until December started. Seems I managed to forget about it for quite a while. I’m actually not sure how it’s this far into December already. This month has gone by so fast, which is weird because I haven’t actually done anything productive with my time.

Title: Godless
Author: Pete Hautman
Page Count: 208
F/NF: Fiction
Genre: YA Religious (sort of)

Rating: 8/10

Summary:
Fed up with his parents’ boring old religion, agnostic-going-on-atheist Jason Bock invents a new god — the town’s water tower. He recruits an unlikely group of worshippers: his snail-farming best friend, Shin, cute-as-a-button (whatever that means) Magda Price, and the violent and unpredictable Henry Stagg. As their religion grows, it takes on a life of its own. While Jason struggles to keep the faith pure, Shin obsesses over writing their bible, and the explosive Henry schemes to make the new faith even more exciting — and dangerous.

When the Chutengodians hold their first ceremony high atop the dome of the water tower, things quickly go from merely dangerous to terrifying and deadly. Jason soon realizes that inventing a religion is a lot easier than controlling it, but control it he must, before his creation destroys both his friends and himself.

Opinion:
I’ve never read a book where the character’s lack of religious belie f was a huge focus of the story, and it was a rather nice change. The characters all felt very real, even with their flaws. I know that I tried to create my own religion when I was younger, but it didn’t really go anywhere. It was sort of fun to read about someone else’s attempts. It definitely showed some of the ridiculousness of organized religion, as well as the dangers.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t the most amazing book I ever read, but it was still a good read, and I would definitely recommend it to people who want to read a book about a different religion.

Editing Weekend

As some of you might know, I recently applied for Pitch Wars, a contest where you pitch your novel to agented authors and editors, and they pick one entry to read and critique. I submitted a pitch for my “New Adult” novel about three college roommates who learn about each other and themselves. My novel wasn’t chosen, but I received some really helpful feedback from one of the mentors I queried – Miss Dahlia Adler. I may not know exactly how to fix my query letter, but I know what to fix, and that is a huge help!

Between November 26 and December 3, I was reading through my novel and making some changes. Since then, I haven’t really done anything as far as writing is concerned. I have enjoyed the break, but now it is time to get some work done. I am going to start by editing the second novel I wrote for NaNo: For Real This Time. I haven’t really given Maggie much attention since I finished the first draft, but I think that it’s her turn. I printed out the draft and have it in a binder. From what I remember about the novel, it actually was a decent first draft – I just hope I still feel that way after I start reading. I hate wasting paper, but I find editing so much easier on paper.

This weekend, my boyfriend and his parents are going out of town, and I am staying at their house to take care of their dogs. I have decided to use this time to get a jump start on my editing. I’m going to try to do my first read through this weekend. I have pens and highlighters and sticky notes and a notebook. My goal is to go through and make notes on parts that need fixing. I am also going to look at the novel scene by scene to see which parts should stay and which parts need to be added. My goal is to have all the changes marked down on this draft before I type it into the computer. I think I often get bogged down with how much I have to do, and I end up getting confused and quitting. I’m now going to take this step by step. This method worked well with Tilt Your Head and Smile (or at least it did before I stopped editing to work on Camp NaNo and never started back up again), and I’m hoping it will work this time, as well.

If there’s one thing Pitch Wars has taught me, it’s that writing one draft isn’t enough. If you want to be a writer, you have to keep going. You have to fix the first drafts. It’s important to write a lot, yes, but you’ll never get anywhere if you don’t edit. I went to school to be an editor. This should not be the part of the process that stumps me. I currently have seven completed drafts and four incomplete drafts. I’m much closer to where I should be now than I was last year (at least I have finished drafts now), but I’m still not where I should be.

My goal for the rest of this month is to get a decent draft 2 of For Real This Time. I already have a decent draft of Let Go. It’s time I start taking this seriously. I’ve learned a lot this year, and I’ve accomplished a lot, but I still have a lot to do and learn. And I’m looking forward to waking up early tomorrow, waving goodbye to my boyfriend, and then diving straight into editing.

NaNo Wrap-up

I meant to write this yesterday, but I ended up going to the regional TGIO party and helping my boyfriend’s family set up Christmas decorations and stuff of that nature, so I didn’t really get around to it. So, here we are. December. For the first time, I’m actually glad that NaNo’s finished. I sort of lost interest in writing during the last few days of the month. I learned about this Pitch Wars contest, and since November 26, I’ve been more interested in editing one of my manuscripts to prepare it for that contest than I have been about writing more first drafts. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Now for some numbers from the past month.

Total number of words written: 243,374

That’s not the 250k that I was aiming for, but it’s still 20k more than I wrote last year, so I’m still pleased with it. At least it’s an improvement. And I know that I could have reached my goal if I hadn’t gotten distracted those last couple of days. And if I had prepared more ahead of time. I had planned on working on three novels. I was going to write drafts one of Alone and For Real This Time, both of which I thought about be about 100k. Then I was going to finish up draft one of Let Go for 50k weekend. I wrote about 45k of it for Camp NaNo, and I wasn’t even halfway through with what I was going to write for it, so it seemed like a good plan.

The only problem with my plan was that none of those novels turned out as long as I thought they were going to be. I’ve never written short novels before, but this time I ended up doing just that. I think they’re going to get longer during the second drafts, as I’m sure there are things that sounded good on paper but didn’t end up working in actuality. The fact remains, however, that even after I added another novella for my Day One project, I still didn’t hit my goal. But let’s focus on what I actually did manage to write:

Choices – 30,531
For Real This Time – 72,000
Alone – 70,000
Let Go – 35,000 (total novel 79,970)
Together (sequel to Alone) – 23,199
Other (short stories and new novel attempts) – 12,644

So I now have 3 finished novel drafts, 1 finished novella draft, 2 complete short stories, 1 incomplete draft, and 3 more novel/short story attempts that ultimately went nowhere. Still, I’m pretty happy with what I did manage to write. True, I should have finished Together, but I really didn’t think that I would get that far. Alone was just supposed to be one book originally. Then I realized that there was too much going on to be just one book, so I broke it into two books. I didn’t really think that I would get to book two, so I didn’t really plan it out much. I have a general idea of what the plot is, but I didn’t break it down into chapters like I had with book one, so I had trouble trying to write it. I don’t need to have every line of dialogue planned out before I write, but it’s helpful for me to have more than just the overall storyline.

Still, I’m quite pleased with most of what I wrote. Choices was my Day One project. It didn’t quite make 50,000 words, but I still managed to write the whole thing in a day, and that makes me happy. I still like the storyline, just maybe not the exact words that I wrote. I’m still glad that I wrote it, and I definitely learned some things about that story that I wouldn’t have if I had planned it out ahead of time. In fact, the title of that story was taken from a few scenes that I thought of at four o’clock in the morning, when I was half asleep, and it tied the entire story together. So I’m actually pretty happy with that one.

I’m also happy with the other novels that I finished. I like the short stories that I wrote. I’m not so happy with the stuff that I wrote during that last week, but I kept writing, and that’s what matters. I wrote more this month than I ever have in a month before, and I’m going to try to focus on that instead of the 6.7k that I didn’t write that would have taken me to my goal. This has still been a great month for writing. There wasn’t a single day that I didn’t write, so I’m happy with that. And now for some other numbers:

Most words written in a single day: 30,531 (Day 1)
Least words written in a single day: 1,468 (Day 29)
Average words written per day: 8,112
Most words written in an hour: 4,306
Number of days it took me to hit 50k: 4

Those are good numbers. I’m going to be happy with those. I hit 50k two days sooner than I did last year. I completed 50k weekend two years in a row. I wrote more words in a single day than I did last year. I managed to write 4k an hour twice. I managed to write some first drafts that I actually like. I mean, sure, they need major editing, but I might not have to completely rewrite them all. Of course, I thought that last year and I ended up rewriting that one, but I’m hoping that’s not the case this year. Of course, I guess I’ll find that out when I read over my other drafts. 🙂