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!!! 😀 😀 😀

 

Ready. Set. Go. : Draft 4

Come Monday (aka TOMORROW), I will be starting Draft 4 of Faerie Story!!!!!! GULP. This is kind of what I feel like:

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There really isn’t much purpose to this post except that I felt like I had to officially announce my start! I’m excited for these next round of revisions! It’s been almost two weeks (12 days) since I last looked at my WIP! I’ve been spending my small break catching up on that never-ending TBR of books, brainstorming, and going to the gym! I did a lot of thinking about characters and backstory and world and while I don’t feel as though I’ve got absolutely everything in place, I feel like I’m ready to hop back into my draft. (Let’s face it–I could easily procrastinate forever and ever by brainstorming and never start on my revisions!) I’m not sure how long this draft will take me nor what kind of things I’ll find when I read over my draft, but for now, I’m excited about it. Sure, I have my dark moments of doubt when I realize just HOW MUCH I need to fix and doubting whether I’m really up to the task! But hey! I won’t know unless I try! And guess what? I can take as many drafts as I need to clean this mess of a story up. I don’t have to fix everything at once. That’s the beauty of writing. I can take it piece by piece. It’s only when I forget that I get completely overwhelmed by HOW CRAPPY THIS STUPID DRAFT IS!!! So gotta remember!!! 🙂

That said, I’m super excited to see where I’ll be by the end of Draft 4. Draft 1 was TERRIBLE. Draft 2 was equally GARBAGE. Draft 3–still horrible, BUT, it’s actually starting to take shape and look like the story I’ve been wanting to tell! As you can see, progress has been very very slow–but it’s there!! So Draft 4? Who knows what’ll happen!!!

Regardless of what happens, I AM SUPER EXCITED!!! So there!!! 🙂

PLAN OF ATTACK (aka Draft 3 is DONE!!!!!)

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! GUESS WHAT??? After about six months, give or take, I have finally, finally, finally, finished my Draft 3 rewrite for Faerie Story!!!! Okay, technically, I cheated because I skipped a scene and totally rushed the ending but I’M CALLING IT. Draft 3 is DONE!!!!! Which means, that I get to organize my next Plan of Attack, AKA Draft 4!!!!!

As you can probably tell, I’m REALLY excited! I have a ton of work to do with my story still, but I have now finally gotten to the point where I am actually revising instead of rewriting the whole dang thing!!! I’m in the midst of taking my break/simmering period right now and I want to make the most of it! So, I thought I would organize my Plan of Attack and share it on the blog!

1. Read Craft Books

I am a HUGE fan of reading craft books. I always ending up learning new things and even when there are some things that might seem really obvious or they’re things you already know, I always find that reading books about craft always open my eyes to new things. One of my favorite books is Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass! I LOVE his outlook on writing and find it very empowering. (Seriously, I recommend it to EVERYONE. It is such a good book!!!!) I will be rereading his book in preparation for my next round of revisions as well as some of his others books that I’ve borrowed from the library!!!

2. Revisions

I’m so so so excited that my story is finally coming together, but there are TONS of things that I see that I need fixing. I’ve got the basic skeleton of my story put together, but I need to smooth everything out now!

Plot: I think I’ve got the major gist of it in place, but I definitely need to go back and make sure everything makes sense and that I haven’t overlooked any huge plot holes or anything like that. I also want to make sure that nothing is too repetitive (which I kind of suspect it is at this point) and that everything flows smoothly. It’ll also be nice to read back over what I’ve written and make sure that I was completely delusional and that it isn’t ALL crap 🙂

Subplots: In the writing of my story, lots of subplots have cropped up that I haven’t fully developed! Definitely need to go back in and really think about which subplots I want to keep and grow and which I want to do away with!

Character: I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on Leda (my main character), but I could definitely use some going deeper with some of my other characters (and probably still a little more with Leda as well). I want to spend some time digging into each character, making sure their motivations make sense, making sure they stay true to their character, and all that schtuff. Along the same lines, I want to make sure that my character interactions are all making sense. I want to work my main characters’ relationships with each other, make sure nothing’s moving too fast or too slow, or too suddenly.

Worldbuilding: Oof, do I need to work on some world building!! I have some of it in place (I think?) but I do want to deepen the world and get the most out of it! The main thing I’m concerned about at this point is the magic system. As of now, THERE IS NO MAGIC SYSTEM put into place. So, one of my main goals with this round of revisions is to brainstorm a good magic system. It’s been really hard to try and use magic in the story without having any rules, so this will be one of my number #1 things to do!!! I need to determine what kind of magic I want, how that magic will work, and what rules that will need to go hand and hand with said magic! This has been one of the reasons why part of my plot have been a bit murky… So yes, definitely something I want to fix!!

Umm… And this is kind of embarrassing, but considering I started and intended to have faeries in my story, quite shockingly, there seems to be very little differences between the faeries and the humans in m’book. Haha… So yeah… I need to make a firm decision about whether the faerie aspect of the story is what I really want or whether I/the story would be okay without faeries (which seems silly to say since I call it Faerie Story, but oh well, I guess that’s besides the point). It will be a rather big decision and I’m having a tough time determining how I feel about it, so I guess I’ll have to really try and weigh the pros and cons of this before coming to a decision.

Pacing: This kind of goes hand and hand with plot, butttttttt, I’m sensing that one of my biggest problems with Faerie Story is the pacing. Of course, I’ll have to see what I think of it when I’m reading through it, but if I’m remembering correctly, my beginning (Act I) is horrendously long and slow. That is another thing that I want to work on with these next few revisions. I want to tighten the pacing and make sure that everything is flowing smoothly.

And well, that’s the basically what I’m going to work on and figure out in the next coming weeks and months! I don’t expect to fix all my problems in this round of revisions, but it is what I want to keep in the back of my mind and hopefully get at least a few things from this list checked! And of course, goals and deadlines are the life of me, sooooo to end, I’m going to state my anticipated/hopeful deadline! I’m going to give myself plenty of room to get Draft 4 done and say that I want to finish by the end of May, by the absolute latest!! Buuuuut, ideally I would like to have this draft finished by the end of April! Will that happen? Possibly no. I’m not sure how long it’s going to take for me to figure out solutions to these problems and what other roadblocks I might encounter with this round, but I’m determined and hopeful and excited!

Well, I am off to read some more of Writing the Breakout Novel and getting absolutely PUMPED for my revisions!!! Bye everyone and thank you for reading!!! Hope you have a lovely Saturday!!! 😀 😀 😀

~P.S. I ended up changing my color scheme to this awesome turquoise-y color because I thought it felt super springy and boy, am I ready for spring!!! Whaddya guys think?? 😀

Life Update: Oct/Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb/March

Woooooooow, it has been FOREVER since I’ve last posted on my dear poor blog and even longer since I’ve done an update! Haha, man, I was on such a great blogging streak for a while there, but it looks like I’ve fallen off the wagon!! Anyways, here is a long, overdue blog post on what’s been going on in my life!

What I’m Writing: 

Faerie Story, what else?!! It really does seem like I’ve been working on this story for about forever. In fact, I started drafting this project just about a year ago (January 2015) and while I took breaks to work on other projects, I’m now spending all my energy on getting this thing into tiptop shape!!! Right now, I’m revising Faerie Story and by revising, I really mean rewriting for the third time. I didn’t actually mean/think I had to rewrite it again, but it kind of turned out that way and I’m actually very okay with it (I’ve probably already told you guys this and forgot I told you guys this… but whatever!!!). I feel like the story is FINALLY on track and going the way I always wanted it to. I feel like I’m falling in love with this story all over again and I’m excited that it’s FINALLY coming together. It’s been a very long process, but I hope in the end, I’ll have something that I can be proud of. I’m super close to being done with Draft #3 and while I missed my deadline (end of February), I’m just happy that it’s almost done. Hopefully after this round, it will truly be revising and not rewriting… again. I’ve still got tons and tons and tons of work ahead of me, but I’m optimistic!!

What I’m Reading: 

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Tides by Betsy Cornwell

I finished Tides just last night! My lovely CP Amanda (AKA MANDA PANDA) actually sent this book to me (and made me cry and sob and feel all good inside) because she knows I’m pretty obsessed with anything to do with mermaids or half-human/half-seacreature stories!! (I KNOW, ISN’T SHE THE BEST? GREAT, THANKS AMANDA, I’M GETTING ALL EMOTIONAL AGAIN!!!!) But I loved Tides! I had such nostalgia for it even though it was my first time reading it because it is exactly the kind of book I would have picked up when I was a kid. It had everything that I wanted and left me with such a good feeling.

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Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts was also any amazing read!!!! I had heard good things about this book and so naturally, I was a little wary of the hype. But no worries! I LOVED it!!!! The writing style (though still very clearly YA) totally reminded me of Jane Austen. I loved the hate-to-love romance with Teach and Anne and the entire story took me by such lovely surprise! Highly recommend to everyone!!!

These are my most recent book loves, but other books I’ve read and LOVED LOVED LOVED over the past few months: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin, Kings Rising by CS Pacat, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, and Truthwitch by Susan Dennard.

My Current Music Obsession:

My music seems to be rotating through three things: Taylor Swift, Big Bang, and The Phantom of the Opera, which happens to be my most recent obsession. I’ve been listening to The Point of No Return on repeat for days now and I’m still not over it. Of course, I’m perpetually obsessed with Phantom, but I’m not sure what triggered my most recent round. Anyways, I’ve been watching this version with Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karminloo a lot, a lot.

 

What I’m Watching:

I recently finished rewatching Arrested Development for about the bajillionth time (yes, I have FINALLY FINALLY moved on from Friends… for now…) and now I’m rewatching Parks and Recreation. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I forgot how great Parks and Recreation was!!!! For some reason, I still haven’t watched the very last season (I don’t know, maybe I’m in denial) but I figured, I’ll start at the beginning and finally make my way through to the end!!! Love Leslie Knope, love Amy Poehler, love this show so much!!!! I can’t believe that I ever forgot how hilarious it is!!!!

What’s Happening:

Merh…. Not much? Still been working, still been doing the same old, same old routine. I’ve been going to lots of fun book events where I’ve met SO MANY lovely people and authors and found a great community of readers and writers that I didn’t even know was there. I’ve met new friends and writers and I’m so excited about it!!

I got my rejections for PT school, which is kind of a bummer, but honestly I’m okay with it.  I’ve got a good plan for what I’m doing to strengthen my application, which unfortunately means taking some more classes (meh) during this summer, but it definitely won’t be bad at all! I’ll probably also be doing some volunteering and whatnot!

Well, that’s pretty much all that’s been going on with me! I’m hoping that once these revisions are finished I’ll have a lot more time to commit to my blog, but… don’t get your hopes up quite yet 🙂

All righty! Thanks for reading everybody!!! I’ll see you again soon (I hope!!!)!!

Friday Goings!

Hello!!!

So YAY!!!! Yesterday I wrote some schtuff about goals and writing and all sort of other stuff and now I will report back!!!!

Dance-wise: OMG I WENT TO CLASS!!!!! And it was GREAT!!!!! I had so much fun and I cannot wait till I get to go again (which unfortunately because of my work schedule will be next Thursday)!!!! Bahaha, as was predicted, there was nothing scary or nerve-wracking about the class. The teacher that I thought was going to teach didn’t, but it was an awesome class and I also know this teacher from before and I loved her class. I’m not sure if she remembers me… She might?? Either way, it’s all good!!! Yay!! Also, I felt surprisingly good. My stamina has gone WAAAAAAAAY down and I can definitely feel it, but other than that I didn’t feel too shabby!! Haha, after some jumps my calves started cramping and I’m definitely going to be sore tomorrow, but hey!! NO PAIN, NO GAIN!!! (Hahah, okay, so that’s not strictly true, but it certainly is fitting for today 😉 )

Writing-wise: Yay!!! I (think) I finished my “first” chapter! Well, technically it’s my second chapter because there was a good place to split it (so I did)!! But for now, the very first part of the beginning is written! It’s hard to tell because I’ve changed a lot, but I think my beginning might be getting longer… I’m not sure yet, but I am slightly worried, just because long beginnings/starting too early seems to be one of my greatest strengths! Haha, and unfortunately it is a strength that I do not want!! But for now, I’m happy with it and happy with where it’s going, so I’m just going to focus on the now and focus on the later… later.

Event-wise: Wooooo! As soon as I finish up my blog post, I will be outta here and hopefully be back with some pictures to share!!

Well, I guess this concludes my report!!! Be back later!!! Byyyyyyeeeeeee!!!

Excuse My Absence

HI BLOG!!!!

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. But I didn’t really have much to talk about and thus, I did not really feel like I wanted/needed to post anything. But now I do!!!

It took a while, but I have finally returned to revising my Faery Story!!! And also, I’ve just realized that I’ve been spelling “faery” when I’m talking about my Faery Story, and yet when I’m in my manuscript, I’ve been spelling it “faerie.” Hmm… lots of thinking to do… Should I change it?? Faerie Story… Hmm.. Maybe I will? Haha, this is totally not even important… But whatever!!!

Anyways, what I meant to say was that I’m back to revising!! I’ve been working on my first chapter, which has been giving me trouble, and it’s been slow progress for a while. A lot of it is because I’ve just been slacking. I haven’t really gotten into “the groove” yet and after a break, it always takes me a little bit to get back into the routine of things. I also had a bit more PT stuff to take care of and I started a new job, which made writing kind of complicated. But now that that’s all done, I’m finally starting to get back into a regular writing schedule!!

[Note: In fact, because I LOOOOOOOVVVVVEE making super intense schedule, I made one for each day, planning out my day in detail (that’s right, by the hour!) and it helped me soooo much!!! (I do this pretty often when I feel overwhelmed by stuff or need to learn a new schedule! 🙂 ]

It’s been slow that past few days and I’ve still haven’t been writing as much as I’d like, but today was a pretty good day!! I feel like I, AT LAST, have a beginning that I think might work. Of course, it’s hard to tell until I actually write and then read it over or whatnot, but so far, I’m liking it. I think it still might be moving too slow, but at this point, I think it’ll be better if I send my first chapter out once I’m done revising it and see what my CPs and writerly friends think of it!!! I got about 1,200 new words written today and am now almost finished with the first chapter and I’m feeling pretty good about it!! 😀 I’m hoping to have it completely done by tomorrow and keep up the same amount of productivity!!

And, also… This is completely unrelated to writing, but I think I’m going to take a ballet class tomorrow. Most of you probably don’t know this (obviously because I haven’t mentioned it before), but I used to dance! It was MY LIFE AND LOVE for about ten years of my life, until I went to college. Anyways, I’m kind of nervous to go back. I intermittently attended some classes throughout the last five years or so, but nothing compared to what I used to do and it’s probably been at least two years since I’ve gone to a class now, so obviously, I’ve lost all my strength and flexibility and all that fun stuff. But I’m also really excited. It turns out I really miss dance. Muahaha, the reason I haven’t gone before was because I was too scared, but honestly, there is nothing to be scared or nervous about! Anyways, I’m kind of hoping this one teacher that (at least in the past) teaches on Fridays, will be teaching tomorrow because I really like his classes!!! Woo hoo!! Crossing my fingers!! (Though, it’ll be fun regardless of who the teacher is 🙂 )!

In addition, tomorrow I’m going to be seeing Mackenzie Lee for her This Monstrous Thing launch!! Frankenstein honestly isn’t my thing, but I’ve heard excellent things about this book from my friends and I cannot wait to meet her!!!

Well, that’s all I have to report tonight!!! Yay!! I don’t have work tomorrow, so it’s going to be writing galore!!!! Nighty night!!! 😀 😀 😀

Ps~ I’m also hoping that since I’m writing again, I will have more desire/reason to post, but we’ll see!! 😉