As much as I love writing, and I think I would always write no matter what happens in my life…it sure is nice to see it in living color, and be able to hold my book. =)
Archive for the ‘writing’ Category
I have a lot of motivations for writing but the one that wins is: I have a lot of stories I want to tell. So whatever thoughts I have about how to actually get someone to read them, is anyone reading them, and so forth what I try to remember is: it all starts with writing them.
In that spirit, I stopped outlining book 2 (I didn’t outline book 1 at all) at chapter 30 and began to write last night. I wrote the prologue. That’s something else book 1 didn’t have. It had a very linear progression. This has a prologue, goes back in time, runs through the events of the prologue, and concludes.
Before I wrote the prologue I thought that I should skip writing it now and write it either at the point that it occurs or at the very end, because I’m bound to make changes to what I think will lead up to those events or occur during them, so there’s no point to writing it now.
Turns out, I was right. Instead of writing a good gripping prologue I tried to add some character development and make it to engaging with some humor. Gripping, not ‘oh I like these people’ was supposed to be the point.
So it’s there, on the page, followed by bullet-point notes of how to fix it. Which I will leave alone until the time I should write it.
But it feels great to be off to the races and crafting the story!
Novel 1st draft – done!
I finished it last Sunday evening and have subsequently spent this entire week typing…and typing….and typing. And I’m still not done!
I’ve typed over 110 pages this week, in between work, family, and fun, and have about 30-40 more to go. Then it’s on to editing and more editing.
Excited to see it coming together!
I’m close enough now that I’m going to go out on a limb and say the first draft will be complete 1 week from today.
But immediately I have to put a caveat to that and say that it won’t actually be readable that day because more than 1/2 of it will only be in a spiral-bound notebook that is rarely out of my sight.
It makes me more than a little nervous that I have 100 hand-written pages (closer to 125 when typed) that exist on paper only. I’m a product of this time – while I love the feel of pen and paper I only feel something is permanent when it’s in an easily reproducible computer file.
So, one week until the draft is complete, at least another to type it up, a couple of weeks more to implement changes I already have in mind…might be ready for real editing at the end of June.
The pace is slower than I like but I know it would be a grave mistake to rush it out and not try to make it the best it can be. I’ve learned a lot from the short story and I want to make sure those lessons are put to good use.
I wonder how long it will take to give it a real name? Calling it no-name-novel, or novel-of-40-names, is getting a bit awkward.
Two issues have cropped up since I posted my short story several weeks ago.
1) There’s another Wendy Young. She has a book out. It’s not similar but to avoid any confusion I am considering opting for a middle initial on my work.
2) I would feel downright AWFUL if someone bought a short story thinking it was a novel so I’ve been considering ways to work in ‘A Short Story’ or ‘A Novel’ on all covers.
Hence, the dueling versions below.
Each day I draw a little bit closer to an exciting and scary milestone: self-publishing a novel. I’ve been writing every day for about 2 months now and the first draft is 80% complete. It’s a huge, rewarding undertaking but for someone so goal-oriented it’s a very hard one as well.
I love lists and check marks (or rather ‘strike out’ lines in my case). I love completing even minor tasks in order to feel the flush of progress.
So, I wrote a short story in two days. Edited it in 3-4 (with the help of lovely family and friends), designed a cover in a day (with the help of my super-lovely husband), and then published it – 1 week from first word to pub – on Amazon and Smashwords.
I won’t lie and say I didn’t have some hope it would take off but I knew the publication was more for me than anything. I needed to know something was out there. I needed that experience.
It didn’t take off. The highest it’s been on Amazon is around 40,000th place. (Yes, I did mean to include that many zeros). But I did learn from it. A lot.
First, I learned the technical aspects of publishing it. That’s invaluable. I learned how to create a cover, how to format for Amazon and then do the opposite for Smashwords. I learned how to set up author pages, payee details, and set up a Facebook page which is largely incomplete still – I can’t even get a url until I get enough likes. I learned so much more that I’ve already forgotten.
More importantly, I learned about ‘sampling.’ I had naively focused on telling a story (hah) and not on researching how people discover stories (still get low marks on that one) or how they make the leap into actually paying to read it. Smashwords requires you to allow sampling and with a story that only truly makes sense at the end, it has hurt me a lot. It is important to remember, however, and I already know how I will rework the beginning of the novel with this in mind.
Lastly, I learned that I know nothing about marketing. But that will come as I don’t think pushing a short story will get me far anyway. That will be a tough lesson when the novel, something easier to market, is ready to read.
Many learning experiences will come (such as how to get people to actually review what they read) and I look forward to the journey.
“Novel-of-40-names” is coming soon….ish
Never soon enough for me!
I tend to be very hard on myself, constantly evaluating whether something is moving me forwards, moving me backwards, or simply moving me sideways. In reality that is probably hard on those around me as well, as my evaluations (remember, hard on myself) are not always accurate.
Blogging, reading, house cleaning….. so many things that truly *are* important are put in either the sideways category, at best.
But those ‘sideways’ or ‘backwards’ tasks frequently have vital roles that aren’t immediately measurable. If I spend an hour getting my Daily Mail fix I’m in a much better frame of mind to do the things that must be done, or those that I want to do.
Similarly, when I can check off a task like “fix the flipping blog!” then that frees up another little corner of my mind. It seems unimportant, but turns out to feel like a giant leap forward.
Outdated links have been removed, new widgets added, and I’ve rediscovered a few things about Blogger I hadn’t used in more than 6 months.
This, plus a fun trip to the zoo today to celebrate my wonderful little boy’s 2nd birthday, do not directly advance my writing but I will be the better, and ready to do the ‘work’ I love, when I’m done.
I have another 40-50 pages to write on the novel, 60+ to type, and another 25 page short to type as well. Loving this progress!
It’s almost anti-climactic to finally have a piece available, knowing that that major battle (to get a single person to read it) is still to come. But it is there and that is something I can appreciate and still be excited about. There are so many stories still kicking around: it’s just the first that made it out. The novel is exactly 100 pages now and another short story will likely be typed up this weekend.
All in all: Loving it!
One Final Night on Amazon Kindle
Just a quick update to say the family stuff isn’t gone, but it’s been moved. We will be sharing the address of our family blog soon, but not to the world at large.
For now a blurb to say this blog is returning to it’s roots – writing – and there is more to come soon!
I’ve fallen into a bad habit, here, of just posting weekly belly pictures and monthly appointment updates. I swear, there are more things going on in my life than just my stomach! (pretty much)
I used to write here, often, about my latest writing endeavors. There is more than one reason why I have posted nothing of the sort lately. Mainly – I do paid freelance work now, and spending hours researching and writing various articles sort of sucks the juices right out of you when it comes to your own stuff. I’ve been doing other things with my free time, in the last 2 months, that unfortunately don’t trend that way.
One big thing is that, since becoming pregnant, I’m really needy for my husband. When at home, I would much prefer to spend all my time with him than do anything else. I’ve always been one that valued my alone time, even in marriage, but that has completely flipped during pregnancy. Now he’s the one saying “When can I do (whatever solo thing he wants to do)?”
But the writing is not dead. I have multiple ideas, and a lot of notes jotted, but no tangible words that anyone can read. Last weekend, my friend and I made a deal that we would both write something. And….we both flaked.
Hopefully, that won’t be the case for much longer, for various reasons. One, I really want to write again. Desire is a big chunk of motivation. Two, I’m starting a new freelance job that is permanent and hopefully effectively full-time once the baby comes. This job does not involve mass article production. It involves lots of little goals and projects (a great thing for my list-checking, goal-oriented personality) that should free me up mentally to use my creativity on my own stuff. The big prayer is that it is financially successful enough to free me up in time as well, so that I have the ability to really devote myself to the creative pursuits. I miss writing my own stuff. I loved the script writing of the summer a lot and I want to get back to the story-telling!