HEY OHHHHH!!!! :D

Long time, no see, dear blog!!!

MUAHAHAAH! For once that is not true!!! I have returned in a week!

I thought I would write a blog post today concerning some of my new goals with Fox Story! When I initially scheduled this story, I meant to be done with the second draft by the end of February… And that was my lower limit goal. I had planned to revise once more and depending on how that went, I was going to send it out to CPs and get feedback  in March-ish? And revise with their notes and possibly be querying by June? Perhaps even May if all went very well?

[EDIT: JK!!!! Hahah, I actually just checked back on the post that I wrote for when I first started this story–this one–and ya know what? I gave myself LOTS of time. Clearly Past Me was smart and gave me PLENTY of time to work on this story. Haha, this is actually making me chortle–yes, CHORTLE. Apparently I planned to query in September, not in May/June. I think May/June was what I was working towards as I was working on Draft 2. Ha, I find this highly hilarious for some reason. I guess I’m not as behind as I thought! Why does it still feel like I am ages behind??? Bahahah, more chortling! Okay, anyways, read on! :D]

Well, obviously, that’s not going to work. And while it was a little saddening to see time fly by and with it, my goals/deadlines, I suppose it was all for the best. And either way, I’m back on track and ready to write!!!!

I mentioned on my most recent post that I decided to start over Fox Story from scratch! Anyways, the past week or so has been spent brainstorming and figuring out what I truly want to do in my book. I reread The Wrath and the Dawn and also ended up rereading The Winner’s Curse, which is another FAVORITE FAVORITE and always provides so much inspiration and awe for me. (I’m starting my reread of The Winner’s Crime tonight, by the way!!) I’ve enjoyed rereading these books again so much and I feel so inspired by them!

I started rewriting this morning! To be honest, it’s always scary starting a new draft–especially after coming from a super long break–and I kind of had to force myself to get writing. But

ANYWAYS. Wow. Let’s get back to my original point of this point!! GOALS!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀

APRIL-JULY:

  • Draft 3 – I want to finish this draft, at the latest, by the end of July! Now, seeing as I’m aiming for about 90,000 words (less if I can), that should be ample time! Of course, there are always things that crop up unexpectedly that cause deadlines go awry, but as far as I can see, there isn’t much standing in my way at this point! 😀 I really do think I can achieve this goal! Since I started rewriting today, that means I have 112 days to finish my book (yes, I did the math) and seeing as my goal is to try and write about 1,000 words per day, this should be very doable, even if I have days that I’m not able to write as much as I’d like!!!

 

  • That said, it would be AWESOME if I could finish earlier. Say… Like end of June? Which would give me about 81 days? Don’t know if this is quite a goal that I can achieve, so let’s say that’s my upper limit goal!

 

AUGUST:

  • CPs – Yayay!!! Hopefully, by August, I will have a draft ready to send to my CPs and be able to get some amazing feedback from them!!

 

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER:

  • Draft 4 – Of course it will depend on what sort of feedback and how big the notes I receive are, but I’d love to try and finish implementing their critiques by the end of September or so?

 

OCTOBER:

  • Query – MEEP! If all goes well and according to plan, I should (hopefully? maybe?) be querying in October! *clutchy face*

 

Of course, who knows if this will all work out the way I want it to? I guess good news is that I’m not really so far behind schedule that I thought! Hehe. Anyways–you know me–I love goals and I love seeing these written out and it’s making me really excited. I’m feeling pretty good and even though it’s always a daunting task to have to rewrite a book, I have to say, that nothing beats feeling like you’ve made improvements! And while I know that this is going to take many more drafts to get right, I know that the first couple of chapters I revised today are INFINITELY better than what they were. And that in it of itself makes me super happy!

Let’s hope the good spirits keep on rolling! Thanks for reading, everybody!!! 😀 ❤

First Draft Done!

Or at least… I think I’m done?

Or at the very least, I’ve reached the end of my story! I finished my first draft last Friday, I believe, which was the 21st of October! It’s a little bit ahead of my intended schedule, which would have had me finish Sunday of this week. But I have to say, I’m happy with the way it turned out. This current week is a busy one for me: I’ve got three author events I want to attend, as well as a test, and a whole new batch of homework! It’s perfect because I can focus on non-writerly stuff for this week, which will also double as my week break from writing–which of course, will mean that I will be ALL FIRED UP for next week, which will mark official start of revisions/rewriting, which I am really excited for!

Anyways, the first draft of Fox Story ended up at a paltry 40,594 words! I aimed for around 60k, but I’m happy with what I have. I wanted to try and have a short first draft this time around–and goal achieved!! I do indeed have a short first draft!! I’m not quite sure how I feel about it however.

My confusion over whether I am done or not stems from not quite feeling “done”. I think this is because I skipped a lot of scenes that I didn’t know how quite to write and leaving some blank spaces where I knew which scenes I wanted, but didn’t know how to execute them.

[Edit: I actually left this blog post unfinished and now it’s a week later and I can’t remember what else I wanted to say… Oops! Uh, I’ll wing it???]

Anyways, uh… Haha, I don’t really know where I was going with this… So I’ll say this!!! (OH WAIT I REMEMBERED!!!!) I don’t know how well this whole “Leigh Bardugo-ing” is going to be honest. It might turn out that this whole thing doesn’t work out and I would have been better off writing my 100k first drafts full of crap. I don’t know yet! I’m just going to see how this goes! The very worst that can happen is that this method is terrible for me and now I know that my process entails writing really really long first drafts that I will have to completely rewrite! Who knows?! Of course, I’d love it if it turned out to be great, but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens!

In other news…

I’ve started my revisions! It’s going to be an entire rewrite (I’m pretty sure)! I started revising this past Monday after my week-long break and so far I’ve revised/rewritten a couple of chapters. I’m not really happy with them (to say the very least) and I can tell it’s not the Right Story yet, the writing is absolute crap and it burns my eyes to try and read through it, but that’s okay. If there’s anything I’ve learned from writing my Faerie Story is that, revisions take time. It takes a lot of time and thinking and daydreaming and wondering to get it right. It takes layers and layers and revisions upon revisions, sometimes rewriting upon rewriting. The revisions I’m doing now are NOTHING close to what I want my story to be–but it’s a whole lot closer than my first draft. Even as I rewrite and revise, I know it’s going to take about a thousand more rewrites and revisions to get the story I have in my head down on paper. And then probably a hundred more rewrites/revisions to make the words pretty and all.

This whole process might have been daunting to me once (and it still is sort of daunting right now), but you know what? I feel pretty good about. I can be patient. I understand that this will take months and months to get right and hundreds of thousands of wrong, ugly, crappy words and tons and tons of time. But I know that with enough patient and enough persistence and work, I’ll get the Right Story eventually. So for now, all I can do is keep writing. And that’s just fine with me!

As always, thanks for listening to be ramble, guys!!

What are you guys working on? How’s it going??

 

It’s So Crazy, It Just Might Work

Hello!!!

Has it really been a month since I’ve updated the blog??

I guess so, because it’s September now!!! In the meantime, I’ve kept myself busy with work, school, volunteering, and getting started on Fox Story. If you read my previous post, you might remember that my original goal was to start drafting Fox Story at the beginning of October. Well, it turns out that I might start drafting… say, in just a few days because I’m getting a little bit restless.

I’m not sure whether it’s because Fox Story revolves more on romance than Faerie Story or whether it’s because it’s been so long since I’ve straight-out brainstormed/outlined a book, but I’m struggling. I feel like I know my characters and their arcs a lot better than I did for Faerie Story when I was first starting, but with this one, I feel like I have less of a grip on what happens in my story. I have some ideas of what I want to happen–little random snippets and scenes–but I’m having a tough time connecting them. I know the beginning well, I know the ending well, but everything in between is a giant question mark.

And ya know? Brainstorming isn’t helping me out too much on this front. I’m not getting as many ideas as I would like. I have some ideas and scenes planned out, but nowhere near the amount as I did for my other books. For my last two books, I outlined vigorously and basically had ever scene I wanted to write in the book planned, so this not-very-intense outline has gotten me a bit weirded out.

I do wonder if it’s a matter of concentration and focus. Or maybe because I haven’t been as diligent about brainstorming/outlining as I have been in the past. Or maybe it’s just because this book is different and requires something different?? I have no idea! I guess I’ll find out soon. But like I said, I do think I understand my main characters of Fox Story better and I feel like I understand their emotions better, so I’m not at a total loss… (I hope).

Anyways, the title of this post is “It’s So Crazy, It Just Might Work,” because I’m going to try to draft this thang before Crooked Kingdom comes out. AKA finish my draft by September 26th, so that when September 27th hits and Crooked Kingdom comes out, I can binge-read it all in one giant glorious piece without having to feel weirdly guilty about not writing. So, roughly, it gives me about 20 days to write it since I plan on starting next Tuesday (September 6th).

Things to note about this crazy plan:

1.It might totally not work (i.e. backfire completely) and there’s a very high chance that I will not achieve this crazy goal. Life has been rather busy of late with school + work + volunteering + PT school applications, so while I am hoping to be able to churn this thing out, who knows if I’ll have enough time to do so.

2. I’m going to try very hard to keep this draft SHORT. In the past, my first drafts have clocked in at about 100k (*clutchy face*!!) For this draft, I would really love to keep it in the 50-60k MAX! I end up throwing out ALL my words and rewriting from scratch anyways, so why write so much? However, I do tend to be long-winded, so who knows if this is a viable plan, but hey! I’m going to give it a shot!

3. I’m RIDICULOUSLY excited for the release of Crooked Kingdom, so if that isn’t a good incentive to get this story drafted, I don’t know what is!

*DEEP BREATH*

I think that’s it. Hahah, I’m not gonna lie. Typing this all out is making me the teensiest bit nervous. But hey! The absolute worst thing that can happen is that I don’t finish. And let’s face it, if that happens it’s not the end of the world!

Woo!!! All righty!!!! Wish me luck!!! I’m heading into the deep, dark Drafting Cave and may not emerge for quite some time!

See yaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

Fox Story Goals

It’s that time again! WOO! Goals!!!

My awesome CP Amanda and I have created a calendar to share our goals, but I also like having one place where I can see my goals, so I’m writing up this post as well!!!

So, here’s my game plan!

 

August-September:

  • Research- unlike my other projects before, Fox Story is going to take a lot more research than I’ve ever done! I’m really excited for it and I’m determined to really get a solid foundation before I start writing! I’ve ordered lots of books, I’ve been listening to podcasts, reading poetry, myths, literature all in the name of research!
  • Outline- during this time, I shall also being outlining my story! I’ve got a basic idea of what I want to do, but I’m definitely going to have to do some brainstorming and outlining to really get my story in place. Of course, research will be helping me out a lot during this time!

 

October-November:

  • Draft- For once, I’ll possibly be drafting during NaNoWriMo! Ideally, ideally, I would like to finish this draft in a month. With work (and with how my first drafts in the past have been rather lengthy), I’m not sure how possible that actually is, but I would definitely like to get this draft done as fast as I can!  I’ve given myself a couple of months, by which I should most definitely have a first draft complete, but the sooner the better!

 

December-March:

  • Revision Round 1- I’ve found that the Second Draft (aka Revision Round 1) is always the most arduous, longest process! I’ve given myself four months to get this second draft in place. Per my experience, this has been a complete rewrite for me and I’m prepared to do it again! Again, if I finish sooner, AWESOME! But I have found that the second draft will be the slowest and I don’t want to rush revisions, so if four months is the time I need to get it right, then so be it!

 

April-June:

  • Revision Round 2- Then onto Draft 3! This (again, speaking ideally) should go much faster than the first round of revisions! And again, I’ve given myself a lengthy amount of time to get these done and therefore (hopefully) shouldn’t have too much trouble staying on deadline!

 

July:

  • CPs- Hopefully by this time, I’ll have a draft ready to send to my CPs for some feedback! Of course, it’ll depend on how busy they are and how soon they can get back to me, but I would love to have this back as soon as possible and get going on their feedback!

 

July-August:

  • Revision Round 3- Again, though this will be highly dependent on what my lovely CPs have to say about Fox Story, but I think my goal will be to finish implementing feedback by the end of August!

 

September:

  • Query- Eep!! Hopefully by this time next year, I will be ready to query!

 

 

Now, of course, this is all very tentative. It all depends on how well the story speaks to me and how fast or slow I work! While I know what I need to do and my deadlines for researching and drafting are pretty set in stone, I’ve found that making goals for revisions are much harder for me. Ha, in the past they’ve taken me longer than I had anticipated. Of course, I tried to take that into account as I made this schedule, but sometimes you just have to see how it rolls!

I’ll admit, seeing the amount of time I need to get this story right made my heart sink a little. To know how long it’ll take it. But as much as I want to be impatient and how much I want this story to be done fast, I know I’m being realistic. I take a long time to write and if that’s what I need to get a good story, that’s what I’ll do. So yeah… Even though it makes me sad that it’ll be a long, long, long year before I can send my story out, hey, it’s what I gotta do!

(Oh and FYI, I know I wrote down only three rounds of revisions (for the sake of goals), but WOAH, I know I’m going to need more than that!! It’ll probably be closer to like fifty, ha ha….)

Well, hope you enjoyed seeing my goals! I certainly had fun writing them out!

Have a great Friday, everybody!! I’ll see ya later! 😀

A New Direction

Hi everyone!!

So last week, I was at Leviosa Con where I got to pitch to some wonderful, wonderful agents. Pitch sessions can be nerve-wracking, but the best part of it always is being able to talk with the agents one-on-one and getting know them personally, rather than through a computer screen. It’s always such a great experience and I’m super happy with how my pitch sessions went this time around. I learned a lot from them, but most of all, I came away with very valuable advice.

One of the agents I pitched to asked me what my next project was and so I told her about one of the ideas I’ve been playing around with. It’s an idea I got about a year ago (almost exactly, funnily enough) and one of the ideas I’m most excited about. So, I was happy to hear that this agent found my idea interesting as well and in fact, said she was more interested in this new project than my current one. She gave her reasons for it, which I very much agreed with as they were things that had been running through my mind as well.

Ever since then, I’ve been thinking a lot, a lot, a lot about the advice I was given. I just couldn’t get it out of my head. It resonated with me so much.

So after much, much deliberation, I’ve decided to put Faerie Story aside and focus on my new project.

[Fun side note: Faerie Story no longer has faeries in it, but that’s a conversation for later!!]

It wasn’t an easy decision to make in that I feel like I’ve worked on Faerie Story for a long time and put a lot of effort into it and it’s not fun to give that all up. It wasn’t easy in that my pride was saying NOOOOOOO YOU CAN’T STOP NOW. It wasn’t easy in that it kind of made me sad to think about shelving a project I’ve been working on for about a year now… BUT, it was an easy decision in that I think I knew where my heart lied (laid? lay?–I never know–EEP!!!!)

The advice this agent gave to me rang very true. It was something I had always thought about, but at the time, it was more important for me to learn to revise and stay with a project than skip to a new one, no matter how excited I was about it. However, things are different now. I’m confident that I can revise a project and stick with it even when things get hard, which no doubt, they always do. I’m a little frightened by this new course I’m taking and it definitely is nerve-wracking, but in the end, I’m content with my decision and I really think I’m making the right decision for me. I’m really excited about it and it’s a story idea that I’ve loved from the very beginning–most likely my favorite idea. It’s never happy-making to abandon a project, but it’s not going to be for always. I love Faerie Story enough that I know that it is something I will go back to. It’s just not the right project for me right now.

Soooooo, onwards and upwards! I’m excited about this new direction and I’m excited to see where it will take me! It’s going to be a long journey, but I feel good about it!

Anyways, I just feel like I needed to write this post and officially get it out in the air. A kind of good-bye post to Faerie Story and hello to what I will now be referring to as Fox Story.

As always, thank you for reading my crazy ramblings!

A particular shout-out to my loveliest, bestest, wisest friend and incredible CP, Amanda, who gave me the advice I needed to get going in this new direction and, especially, for being excited about it! <33333333 It was everything I needed hear and more!!!

 

Progress Report: Draft 6 Week 1 (6/13/16-6/19/16)

Hi y’all! Long time, no see!!! I’ve been hard at work at revising my never-ending Faerie Story! I am now officially on Draft 6! I usually keep a little log of how many words I write each day when I’m drafting a project in my writing/ideas journal, and since in this round of revisions I’ve discovered I need to do some new drafting, I thought I would record my daily word count on my blog! I’ve actually thought about doing this for a long time, but I guess I just never got around to it! I’m going to try to post what I’ve decided to call my Progress Reports weekly and I’m hoping I can keep up with it!

So how I have this organized is that I have the project that I’m currently working on, my weekly word count goal and how close I got to that goal, and then it is further split up into daily word count goals, and a little explanation of how writing went that day.

A lot of this week, I don’t have little logs for mainly because I didn’t write them down and I can no longer remember. So I’ll say this, writing went really well for most of the week! The words flowed smoothly and it came at a steady pace. I found that I was able to meet my goals without too much difficulty, which always makes me happy.

I made my daily word count goals depending on if I have work, how many hours I’m working, if I have school, homework, and/or other obligations. On the days that I work/school, I’ve decided to stick to a 1,500-2,000 word goal, which should be doable (except on Saturdays when I work all day instead of my usual 6-hour shift, in which I decided on a 1,000 word daily goal). On the days that I don’t work, I’m shooting for at least 3,000 words! Which comes to a total of about 15,000 words per week!

My overall goal is to be able to finish drafting this new section by July 5th, AKA the day before my CPs, Janella and Maddy, and I head off to Vegas for Leviosa Con! I’m guesstimating that my new section will end up being about 30k max of new words, which, with my daily/weekly goals, should totally be doable. In fact, I’m really hoping I’ll be done in less than 30k words (because OMG, I fear this book is getting too long), but with writing, you never know! I will say that I’m pretty good at guessing at my word counts… But we’ll just have to see!

Well, here is my Week 1 Progress Report!

WEEK 1:

WIP: OOTW (AKA Faerie Story)

Weekly Word Count: 11,569/15,000

Monday: 2,320/2,000

Tuesday: 1,519/1,500

Wednesday: 3,177/3,000

Thursday: 1,500/1,500

Friday: 3,053/3,000

Today was one of those days I found myself struggling with writing. I was writing a scene that just wasn’t going well for me, mainly because I wasn’t sure how I wanted the scene to unfold. I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to get caught up in very minor details and they are the scenes that hold me back from writing smoothly. In this case, it was a scene in which I needed to get my main character from the palace to right outside the palace. Seems super easy, right? It really should have been easy. I don’t know why I struggle so much with the small, inconsequential details. They are always the things that trip me up during every single step of the writing process from brainstorming to drafting to revising and the reason for it is because I just don’t know what I want from the scene. I usually need to be able to picture the scene in my head (and I don’t even need to see the scene, I just need to be able feel it… Omg, that makes absolutely no sense at all… Forgive me.)

I really could not picture it. I didn’t know how I even wanted the scene to unfold and because of it, it was sooooo hard to write. I tried to force myself to write in all through the morning and managed a paltry 400 words that I was not happy with. In the end, I ended up  deleting most of the words that I had written and then altogether ditching that scene. I skipped ahead to my next chapter (in which a new character’s POV comes into play) and aaaaaaahh omg, it felt soooooo good. It went really well and I surprised myself by reaching my goal of 3k words! (Which I did not think I would be able to reach because of my failure of a morning). Anyways, I guess the moral of the story is, if it’s not working, stop trying it force it to work and just keep moving. I kept trying to write that terrible scene because I truly believed it was something I needed. But when I wrote the next chapter, I began to think, “Wait, do I really need that previous scene?” To be honest, I’m really not sure if I need that scene–I keep flipping back and forth between YES OF COURSE I NEED THIS SCENE and NUH UH, YOU DON’T NEED IT, SILLY! For now I’m just going to skip it and if need be, I’ll fill it out during my next round of revisions. Yes, it does stress me out that I’m not able to make a solid decision on whether that scene stays or goes, but… Whatever, right? Problem for Future Erin (Future Erin will no doubt end up cursing Past Erin… but oh well! At least I’m prepared! 😉 ).

Saturday: 0/1,000

Sigh. No writing for Erin today. I had work all day and then took Husker Pups to her puppy social class. I had been planning to write at least a little, but that plan got thrown out the window when my dad and I went up to Park City for the Savor the Summit festival. My aunt and uncle own a Thai restaurant up there and I love the food (ahem. I love FOOD)! Needless to say, I had a great time–the weather was wonderful, the food was awesome (my favorite will always be the purple sticky rice dessert, omg SO GOOD), and I found a great new little indy bookstore! So overall, while I’m feeling pretty guilty about not getting any writing in, I don’t really regret it.

Sunday: 0/3,000

Oh boy. To start off, this was a rather hefty word count goal. I do have the entire day off, but because it’s the weekend and my father is home, things tend to get hectic and distractions are flying all over the place. Because this Sunday was Father’s Day, I ended up do absolutely no writing. My aunt and uncle came over for lunch (which we called brunch to sound fancier) and stayed for a few hours. I had planned on doing some major work in the morning, but my dad asked if I could help him out with some work. Because I’m selfish, I said no, but then felt bad about it, especially since it was Father’s Day, so in the end, I helped him with work. So… Did not get any writing in this weekend, but silver lining: It’s really got me resolved to do as much work as I can this coming week. I’m very determined and I’m going to get in some serious focused writing time in.

So that was my writing week! Hope you guys enjoyed! SUPER determined to do even better next week!!!!!

Draft 4 Status: DONE

Hey guys!!!!!

Just a quick to note to say… OMG I FINISHED DRAFT 4!!!! I’m not quite sure how it happened, considering I thought I was hard-pressed to finish by this week, but somehow, I powered through it last night (seriously, I worked for about eight non-distracted hours–how did that happen??? I don’t know!!) and I finished!!!!! WOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Yay!! I’m super excited!!! Again, there are sooooooo many things I still need to work on. Namely, the ending… It’s still a bit rushed and needs some flushing out… The magic system thingy, which I have still not quite figured out yet… And I think I need to use some Scrivener magic to see if the subplots and the character relationships are working as I need them and see if the pacing is smooth…

But OMG!!! It’s coming together!!! (I think… I hope!!!) My biggest fear with revising was that I would be incapable of making anything better and instead just turn my ms into a different, but equally sucky draft. Actually, my lovely friend, Amanda, sums this up quite well in her recent blog post! This was the exact conundrum I faced… Clearer on 1? Or 2? Or 3? Or 1849295798978?? Haaaaa. But like I said, I think it is getting better a little bit at a time and that makes me happy!

And now that Draft 4 is done, I’m going to take a few days off and BINGE-READ ERRRRRRRTHING!!!!! I’m reading Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry right now (OMG who is such a darling and I LOVE her–RT recap post to come!) and I think I’ll read Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman (I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages!)… And then… Cold Magic by Kate Elliott, which was highly highly recommended to me by one of my favorite people in the world, Katy (AKA Pool de Ghoul, AKA Poolie Ghoulie)!!!!!!!! I was pretty much sold when she said that there was an arranged marriage in there. Muahahahah!!!! Love me some arranged marriages. Also fake marriages. And other things to do with marriage. I don’t know why that particular trope appeals to me so much, but haaaaa, I guess you guys can expect one from me in the future!!! *wink wink* 😉

Anyways, I feel like I’m getting off track, so to sum up: Draft 4 is done, binge-reading extravaganza is in place, excited to get back to the story with Draft 5 and get this Faery Story as good as I can get it!!! And most of all, I’m excited about it. Yay!!!!

Ooh, one quick note, my friend Akshaya has a cool post on her blog as well about critique partners, in which I contribute a few notes!!!! So give that a read, if you so feel like it! 😀

All right, over and out!! See ya guys later!!! 😀 😀 😀