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??

 

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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!!!!!

Progress Report: Draft 6 Week 2 (6/2016-6/26/16)

WEEK 2:

WIP: OOTW

Weekly Word Count: 10,183/17,500

Monday: 1,565/2,000

I set a higher-than-normal goal for myself today because of my YASSS GONNA WRITE ALL THE WORDS determination. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite make my goal. I had a little later-than-usual start time for work, so I did manage to get in about 400 words or so in the morning. However, I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep over the past week or so, so after lunch today, I took a nap and OMG I slept for a half an hour longer than I meant to. I woke up SUPER groggy (bleh) and had to wait about a half an hour for my head to clear again (I also drank some iced tea!) I was about to start writing when my dad came home, not realizing that he was supposed to pick up Husker Pups from daycare (*clutchy face emoji*). So, my mother sent me to fetch Husker Pups and by the time I got home, it was time for dinner. So with all that going on, I didn’t get to start writing until around 6:30pm. All in all, I’m still feeling pretty good about how much I wrote and how it went. A little jerkier than my previous chapter, but I’m hoping it’ll smooth itself out and gather some momentum as I keep going. I’m going to try and stick to my higher word counts this week, but we’ll see how that goes!

Tuesday: 3,005/2,000

All in all, a pretty steady, flowy writing day for me. It was super exciting because I unexpectedly got the day off work, so yaaaaaay! Writing all the words!!! Anyways, I feel pretty good about what I wrote and I’m happy with the progress I’m making!

Wednesday: 3,023/3,000

Yay! Another pretty solid day! I had a great time working on this scene/chapter! It wasn’t the easiest scene to write at first, but once I got into it, I really started liking it! It also took me down some paths that I didn’t expect it to, but in a really great way! As always, happy to be making progress! I met my goal a little bit earlier than usual so I rewarded myself by watching a bunch of Leigh Bardugo interviews for a few hours and somehow by the end of it, I was watching Phantom of the Opera videos, which is kind of funny because Leigh once told me that she HATES Phantom of the Opera and Andrew Lloyd Webber (yes, it kind of broke my heart to hear that, but it’s okay because Six of Crows killed me anyway!) So very ironic that Leigh Bardugo and Phantom somehow got linked on YouTube.

Thursday: 590/1,500

Friday: 0/3,000

Saturday: ~500/3,000

Sunday: ~1,500/3,000

Oh boy guys… Did not do so well this week. The first part of the week was fine–great, actually, but then, I hit a bit of a schnag halfway through the week, which was actually a result of many things. The first was that I made a wrong turn in my ms and it took a little bit of time for me to figure out how the scene/chapter actually should have played out. That meant deleting words and rewriting a couple of chapters I had written, which is always hard to face, but I’ve done it now and it’s all good (or at least, dear God, I hope it is!!!!!) The other one was that I was exhausted. I hadn’t been getting much sleep at all and it finally caught up to me. I was so completely slammed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So sleepy and tired. So I slept most of the weekend.

I’ll admit, I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to write as much (although, woah, granted, I made a pretty high goal for myself, looking back….). This week was pretty optimal in that I had very little work. Unfortunately things don’t always pan out the way you want them to (in fact, the days where I plan to do the most writing are usually the ones where I get the least writing done…). Anyways, hitting a rough patch happens in every manuscript and while it has taken away from my momentum, I’m determined to get it back! If there’s anything that you learn from writing is that you don’t let the bad days define your writing. I’ve been obsessively watching Leigh Bardugo interviews latelyand she talks about momentum a lot and how important it is to not let a bad day become a bad week become a bad year and on and on. I FULLY believe that. SO HARD. It’s very easy to go into what I call “spiraling”. It’s easy to pile on the bad things and just focus on everything that is going wrong in your life. I’ve definitely had those days where I’ve thought “everything sucks right now and everything in my life that could possibly go wrong is going wrong.” It’s true that there are bad days. And as cheesy as it sounds, you’ve got to stay positive. It’s very easy to go spiraling if you let yourself. Not to say that staying positive when times are tough is easy, but it’s what you have to aim for.

Like Ron Weasley says, “DON’T LET THE MUGGLES GET YOU DOWN!”

(The Muggles being bad days in this case 😉 )

Anyways, wow… I did not mean to go all gung-ho on you guys, but I guess I needed to get that out there! Here’s to a better week and hopefully even finishing up this new section!!

HOORAH!!!!!!

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!!!!!

Stick a Fork in Me…

… I’m done.

(Or if you’re a vegetarian… Eat me! I’m done!)

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 7.07.56 PM

Yep, that’s right. DONE!!! I’m done with my first draft of my Beauty and the Beast retelling!!! I finished last night and it ended up clocking in at about 100k!! (It was actually probably a couple thousands words below that cause it turns out that there was some stuff that I took out that got added to the compile list, but because I have this insane desire/obsessive need to have my manuscript be 100k and not a word under, I didn’t take it back out! I know, it’s weird.) It’s good timing too because I’m taking a summer class that starts next Monday. It’s Abnormal Psychology and part of me is afraid that I’ll forget to go to class on Monday. This happens a lot to me and I’ll actually get stress dreams where I either sleep in late and miss class or just forget about it. It’s actually kind of funny once I wake up. Anyways, anyone take Abnormal? Everyone I’ve talked to says they liked it and said it wasn’t that bad, so I’m looking forward to it a lot actually considering there are a lot of interesting topics. Oh, boy, I digress….

But I’m done and I’m super excited! The draft is basic complete crap if you think about it; there are so many things to fix and so much not-good stuff, but I’m still happy. I already know that I’m going to really work the beginning and the end in revisions and smooth/streamline stuff in the middle. And I know that something I’m going to have to look for when I go back, is to make sure that my main character doesn’t annoy me cause I kind of got the feeling that when I was writing, she was kind of dramatic and a back and forth a lot and I’ve definitely read books where I’m annoyed cause the character keeps making decisions that go against themselves and all that–so definitely something to watch for. But we’ll see how I feel about her once I read through it, which probably won’t be for a few months because I’m going to go back to my manuscript that I finished in March and I’m going to start revising there. It’ll be weird to go back and I’m pretty scared of revisions. It’s just kind of overwhelming to think about all the stuff I have to fix and I’m like how?? Tell me?? But I think (hope) it’ll work itself out when I’m actually going through the process! 🙂

Now that I’m done, I think I might take a week or two off and just binge watch/read the crap out of anything! I’ve been hearing about a lot of great tv shows, so I’m definitely going to watch those (If you have recommendations, TELL ME! :)). I’m thinking about watching Daredevil? Or maybe The 100? I’m having a hard time choosing.

I will also be binge reading a bunch of stuff (again, if you have recommendations! :)). I still have a lot of stuff from the library I haven’t gotten to, so those will probably be the first things to go to! I’m reading Shutter by Courtney Alameda right now, but I think after I’m going to be reading Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee. I got that at the library ages ago and still haven’t gotten around to it.

All righty, I’m going to go laze around all day now! 😉 And since I promised, I’ll post Part 2 of my LDStorymakers Recap later today (so you’ll definitely get sick o’ me)!

Bye! :)))

Queen ADD

Merhhh…

As the title suggests, today I’ve been Queen ADD. I seriously cannot focus today! I’ve been sitting at my computer for hours and hours, adding a word here and there, but basically I’ve been staring aimlessly or checking Twitter every couple of seconds, but mainly looking up funny gifs and laughing at them maniacally.

So as another method of procrastination, I thought I’d post on my blog about my unfocusedness… But the thing is… I AM SO CLOSE TO BEING DONE WITH THIS DRAFT! Like sooooo close! Like ~3k close! So even though writing is so not working today, I keep sitting here, typing at the speed of a snail, hoping that lightning or inspiration (I’ll take either) will strike and I will suddenly write like the wind! So far, it hasn’t happened, and it’s looking super unlikely, too… Which too bad cause yesterday was AWESOME!

I’m also starting to think Wednesday’s are cursed because the same insane inability to concentrate hit me last week. CURSE YOU WEDNESDAYS! I really hope this is a temporary thing, cause I need my Wednesdays! I don’t know what’s going on.

But I guess I’m just going keep on pounding out the words cause… I really want to finish! And I feel sort of obligated to my story, too.

Either way, I hope things pick up tomorrow. But if I can’t finish today (which is growing more likely with each passing moment), I will DEFINITELY finish tomorrow!

Side note: I’m also going to the dentist tomorrow morning. I got like four reminders for it, so clearly they want me to show. I actually don’t mind the dentist that much, probably because they tell me I have such beautiful teeth and it strokes my ego… Hahah, okay….

Well, I’m off! Back to staring at my word doc….

Bye!

Update: May!

Hi everyone!

Yay! It’s a new month! I can’t believe it’s already May! The year has gone unbelievably fast! And, aah! It’s going to be summer soon, which I am super excited for!

Anyway, here’s what been going on!

What I’m Writing:

I am in the midst of drafting my new WIP (My Beauty and the Beast retelling!) I am about 36K in right now. I’m a little worried at this point because my beginning is suuuuper long! I always seem to have a hard to with beginnings–they always seem to be so slow and take forever! I don’t know what it is! But, fortunately, I have finally gotten to the point where things are getting exciting! I kind of worry that my book’s going to end up being really, really long–especially since it’s taken 36K to even get to this point. Or maybe it just means my beginning is waaay too long… But I guess that’s what editing is for, right?

What I’m Reading:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

OMG GUYS THIS BOOK IS SO SO GOOD! Obviously, I love, love, love Sarah J. Maas. I have no words for how amazing she is! A Court of Thorns and Roses is already one of my absolute favorite books! There are just too many good things to say about it! To say I love the characters and that the plotting was wonderful is such an understatement.

One thing I love about it is that though you can definitely see where the fairytales (Beauty and the Beast, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and Tamlin) come into play, the story is original enough that it’s exciting and fresh. Also–I saw none of it coming! Because I knew they were based on fairytales, I had guesses as to where the story might go and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was wrong!

And… Through some weird witchery that is the amazingness of Sarah J. Maas, I somehow ended up buying two copies–TWO COPIES!! I don’t even know what happened! But I regret none of it! Plus, look at that cover! It’s absolutely gorgeous!! How can you resist?

Anyways, if you haven’t read it, READ IT! So good!

An Ember in the Ashes

Again! Another great fantasy book! This book had a lot of hype around it, so I was a bit wary… But luckily, it lived up to the hype! It was one of those books I just could not put down! I had so much fun reading it and I feel like the story was pretty original!

I am desperately hoping for a sequel! I had the lucky honor of meeting Sabaa Tahir when she came to my local bookstore (she is incredibly nice and so adorable!), and she did mention that a sequel was in the works, but her publisher was waiting to see how well Ember would do before signing for another book! That said, seeing as Ember hit the NYT Bestsellers list at #2, I’m really hoping that sequel will pan out because–ah!–that ending!!

My Current Music Obsession:

I feel bad for only posting Taylor Swift music (I swear I do listen to other music), but what can I say, she’s the queen! I don’t always listen to music when I write (it really depends on how I’m feeling), but for the past couple of days I’ve been listening to Out of the Woods on repeat. I really love this song! So intense and so powerful, it’s haunting! My absolute favorite part has to be the bridge!

Remember when we hit the brakes too soon/Twenty stitches in a hospital room

When you started crying, baby I did too/When the sun came up I was looking you

Remember when you couldn’t take the heat, I walked out and said I’m setting you free

But the monsters turned out to be just trees/When the sun came up you were looking at me

It is totally part of my playlist for this new WIP and it is the song that I think epitomizes my story the most.

Anyways, well here it is!

What I’m Watching:

Yup! You guessed it! Still stuck in a Friends rut! I’m watching season nine right now and I can’t believe how funny it still is after watching it like a bajillion times! I’ve also been watching the episodes with the DVD commentary with David Crane, Kevin Bright, and Marta Kauffman and it is absolutely amazing! Though sitcom writing is completely different than novel writing, I love watching them! I’ll actually devote an entire post to this topic one day, so more to come!

Well, I guess that’s pretty much it for now! It’s gonna be a busy couple of weeks for me! I’m going to the LDS Storymakers Conference this Friday and Saturday, so I’ve been trying to write desperately since I probably won’t get much done. I’ve never gone to a writer’s conference before though, so I am excited/nervous for it! I’m hoping to learn a lot and hopefully meet some cool people as well!

And then after that, I’m leaving for Mexico next Wednesday with my family, so again, trying desperately to keep up with my writing because I probably won’t be getting much done during vacation!

Okay, now that’s really it for now!!

Thanks for reading! I’ll see ya guys later!