DONE WITH MY MONSTER DRAFT

AT LAST. AT LONG, LONG LAST, MY FRIENDS!!!!!!

(I tried to think of a good title for this post for about ten minutes, but inspiration isn’t striking, so I’m gonna call it like I see it!!! Hahah!)

There was a time when men were kind. When their voices soft and their words inviting–

Har har har, I kid!

But in fact, there was a time when I thought this draft would never end and this day would never come. I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED MY DRAFT OF FOX STORY!!!!!

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*collapses*

This was a really hard draft to complete and there really were times that I thought the end seemed so far away. Even when I was nearing the end, I felt like I was no closer to finishing this draft because it was going so, so slowly. In addition, my motivation was dipping low. Every time I was writing, the words had to be pulled from me like teeth. I think I was writing only a couple hundred per hour, which made me go like this:

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It was frustrating to say the least.

There were couple reasons for this, one of which is that I started over a few times while in the middle of this draft, as seen in this post here. And I don’t think I blogged about it, but I end up going back to the beginning again towards the end of April when things got stuck and I realized I was going to have to go back. While I don’t regret doing this because it was all for the better, it made this second draft–which is already the most grueling part of the process–even… gruel-ier. And if at all possible, I’m going to try not to do this again.

I know there are some writers who revise as they draft (Laini Taylor comes to mind) as well as a few of my writer friends and it works for them. But for me, I need to have a sense of completion. Even though there will be many drafts to come, that sense of finishing a draft is what keep me going. It’s when a story feels never-ending that I lose my steam. I started this rewrite way back when in November. It’s July now. That’s… nine months! And I really thought I was going to go crazy.

I’m so excited to be finished with this second draft. (I actually have no idea what number to call this draft, since I went back a few times? So I’m just going to stick to Draft 2). It’s still very awful and it needs so much work–especially my third act, which is in major need of reconstruction as it is very rushed and disjointed–but it feels so good to know that I am done with this round.

Anyways, I feel like I’ve learned a lot (as always) writing this draft and I wanted to share! So here goes!

 

Reading is Integral to Writing

I cannot stress how important this is. I honestly had no idea how much my reading affected my writing, but I was proven time and time again during these long months that when I don’t read, my writing suffers.

For the first time ever really, I went through a really bad book slump toward the end of April and beginning of May? Timeline is a bit murky, but regardless, I was having the toughest time reading. I’m not sure what exactly caused this slump (and we may perhaps never know! I do have my suspicions, but I’m not going to get into them today 🙂 ) but it was kind of brutal. I wanted to read so badly, but every time I would start a book, it failed to suck in me and inevitably end up putting it down.

I came to an all-time low when I realized that I had still not read Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh, which was one of my most anticipated reads from, as you know, one of my favorite authors! Normally, I would have been so excited that I would have binge-read it immediately. And yet, it sat on my shelf, unopened. This might not seem like a big deal, but it hit me hard because that was just very unlike me. And even though I had been waiting for Flame in the Mist ever since it was announced, I had absolutely no desire to read it.

(For the record, I still haven’t gotten to Flame in the Mist, though I have plans to binge-read it very soon… perhaps as soon as today, might I dare say?!!)

During this time, I struggled hard with writing. The words were not coming. I was procrastinating and dreading having to open my laptop. I dragged my feet and whined a lot.

I struggled with trying to read a lot of different books before ultimately putting them down. I would finish a few, but it still wasn’t quite hitting the stop. Somewhere in between there though, I began my reread The Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. I read these books as a child (around ten or something years ago?) and enjoyed them, so when Thick as Thieves came out earlier this year, I decided the time was ripe for a reread!

I don’t know how to tell you guys, but this series is everything to me. Particularly, King of Attolia. I literally can’t talk about it–or even think about it–because I get overwhelmed by the emotions and it makes me cry every time. Literally. I love them so much.

Anyways, I became utterly consumed with these books and suddenly–everything was a little bit better. The words came easier, I got into the flow of writing. I had ideas for subplots I wanted to weave in for my next round of revisions and thoughts for what I wanted in a sequel.

It felt like taking a breath of fresh air after being held underwater for a long time.

I had my second experience with this just a few days ago when I started reading a book that I wanted to like but found that I was very apathetic to within the first couple of chapters. I forced myself to continue reading in the hopes that it would catch my interest; it was not long before I started dreading opening this book and as a result, I stopped reading.

And once again, my writing suffered for it. The feet dragging began. The lack of motivation. The words did not flow, but eked.

When I noticed that I was dreading reading, I knew it was time to stop. I don’t DNF books often and rarely do I do it consciously (many times I will just put a book down with the intention of coming back to it later and then never do), but this one had to go.

I picked up Finnikin of the Rock instead and decided to reread. And it was the best decision I could have made. First of all because I LOVE the Lumatere Chronicles and because Melina Marchetta is absolutely brilliant and I cannot get over how good these books are. And secondly, because I was able to write again.

Coincidence? *shrug* Maybe–

“Oh, Sherlock. What do we say about coincidences?”

“The universe is rarely so lazy.”

–but I don’t think it is.

I hear a lot of authors–published authors mainly–say they don’t have time to read anymore. That always made me sad because I could not imagine not reading for a sustained period of time, but now, I understand just how important it is to keep reading and in particular, to read/consume books/movies/tv shows/music–anything really that speaks to you and inspires you. It made WORLDS of a difference when I was reading a book I loved. I cannot emphasize this enough. I know sometimes, it can seem like you’re “wasting” time reading when you could be writing, but wow. Reading is so, so integral to writing. I had no idea how much I was inspired on a subconscious level. I had no idea how much reading inspired me to write.

Writing starts with reading: This is truly one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned and I am so grateful for it.

 

Magic Hour

“Magic Hour is when actors look their best.” 

-Titus Andromedon

Or in the case of writing, magic hour is when writers write their best. This one is more of a personal revelation for me, but I realized while writing this monster of a draft that I write best in the evening and night time!

This was HUGE for me. I am a morning person and consequently believed for the past few years that I wrote best in the morning and during the day. Because of this, I always stopped writing at about 8 o’ clock or so, give or take? I went to bed early so that I could get up early in the morning and write all day. It makes me laugh now because wow, I could not have been more wrong. I write best when the sun has set. I think of all the Magic Hours I must have missed and just laugh.

In hindsight, this was kind of obvious and I don’t know how I went this long without realizing it. It’s so clear to me now. It’s just easier to get into the writing groove during the evening for some reason. I don’t know whether it’s because I know everything I have to do is done for the day or what? I don’t really why but I’m not going to question it too much! Conversely, I realized that my worst time of day to write is the afternoon. Again, this should have been obvious to me considering that after lunch is when I get super sleepy and tired. And as for mornings? They seem to be the happy medium between the two! I don’t get into the writing flow as easily as the evening, but it’s a lot better than the afternoons!

This information has been vastly helpful because now I am allocating my chores and other tasks to the afternoon when my brain isn’t working and making sure that I keep my mornings and evenings in particular, free to write!

 

Random Fact

This isn’t anything I learned from writing, but I just thought I’d note that last night was the latest I have ever stayed up to write! I think I finished my draft at around 1:30 am! I have never stayed up that late before to write! I usually stop writing anywhere from 9:30-10:30pm and go to bed at around 11pm after reading for an hour or so (like I said, early bird!! 😀 ) Anyways, I don’t know why I find that so interesting but I do > . <  New record!!!

 

Anyways, those two things were the biggest things I learned from writing this crazy draft. They were both such great revelations and I’m so glad for them! I’m so, so excited to be done and I can’t wait to start a fresh round of revisions! I’m planning on spending the next few days reading through what I have (and cringing a lot) and taking notes on what to fix and all that jazz. I’m really excited because I think–knock on wood–that I’m finally at the point where it’s going to be more revising than it is rewriting, which is my favorite part of writing!

Oh! One more thing!!! I’m also super excited because though I cannot afford it and probably shouldn’t have, I bought some new candles as a reward for finishing!!!!! I recently discovered my love of candles and the mad, obsessive buying has begun O___o  It’s super nice because I’ve been lighting them when I write and it’s definitely so cozy and writerly! I am super excited to try these new bookish candles and can’t wait for them to arrive!

Wow, this post a lot longer than I’d intended! I’m going to stop here! And as always, I’m going to try and be better about posting, but no promises! Thank you all for reading!!! ❤

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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!!! 😀 ❤

Update: December!

It’s been a reaaaaaaaaaaallllly long time since I’ve done one of these update thingys (I think March was the last one?) which is too bad, because I actually like doing these!! Hehe, anyways, lots of things have been a happening, so I thought it’d be nice to actually catch up on everything that’s been happening since March in an official post!

But first things first… I know it’s been a month and a half since the 2016 elections have come and gone and initially, since it had passed, I wasn’t going to bring it up again… but that felt kinda icky to just let it slide by, so here I go!

I don’t have much to say other than that this is horribly disappointing, shameful, and I still have a hard time believing it. I am not at all into politics (I find it really boring) but that was the thing: This election was not about politics. It was about basic human rights and equality vs. racism and hate. Perhaps this is my privilege speaking, but I never, never thought this would happen. I was really excited and proud to live in a time where I got to see the first black president and the first woman president become elected. I was devastated that this didn’t happen. A part of me is still in a very shocked state, while the other part of me feels kinda numb and perhaps a little bit in denial. I’m not a very eloquent person (ironic considering I wanna write), so I don’t know if I can ever truly express everything that I want to say, but for now, I think that’ll work.

And if it wasn’t clear before, this is going to be a loooooooong post. So bear with me 🙂

 

What I’m Writing: 

I am working on the second draft of Fox Story! I won’t lie. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve learned that the second draft is always in the most grueling, most arduous part of the writing process. Not only in terms of the actual writing, but this is the point in which I struggle SO hard with motivation (not having very much of it) and procrastination (having waaaay too much of it). I hardly ever feel like writing and most of the time, I find myself letting myself get distracted by other, more fun things. As a result, it’s been a slow process, especially with the holidays getting in the way. However, I am determined to do better in the coming days and I will get this draft done! YEAH!!!!!!

What I’m Reading: 

Reading has also been slow this month… I don’t know, I just haven’t felt like reading much! I’ve learned this is just the way reading life is, so I’m going with the flow! However, I have read some books that I adored!

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Windwitch by Susan Dennard

I have long awaited this book ever since I finished Truthwitch last year! Truthwitch was one of those books for me that you want to love so so bad and are afraid it will let you down. Luckily, I LOVED loved loved it. It was at the same time everything that I wanted and nothing like I expected. My favorite part about it was how very classic it felt. I’m not really sure how to explain it better than that, but it had a distinct “feel” to it that I absolutely loved! Anyways, Windwitch was just amazing as the first, if not more amazing. Again, I was a little nervous that it wouldn’t be what I wanted it to be, but worry not, my friends. It was amazing. You will not be disappointed. If anything, you will be astounded by its sheer brilliance.

 

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A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Eep!!! Another book that I was dying to read. Okay, first of all, just look. LOOK AT THAT COVER. How could you not want to read it? Also the description. A tournament in which the prize is a wish??!!! I was actually really mad I didn’t think of that idea first because HOW COOL IS THAT. I just love that concept. Anyways, I loved it! The writing is gorgeous, the story unique. I think it was even better than The Star-Touched Queen! Part of it also reminded me of the k-drama, You’re Beautiful (my favoritest drama ever, in case you didn’t know!!), and literally right after I finished, I had to watch the last episode of You’re Beautiful and then sob tearfuls. So yeah! Read it! You’ll love it!

My Current Music Obsession: 

 

THIS. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS SOONER? HOW HAVE I GONE MY ENTIRE LIFE WITHOUT THESE?

Hands down, this is THE BEST–THE BEST–Disney medley I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. It is so freaking clever how they connected the songs and you can tell that they put actual effort into this and I am so astounded by how creatively and how beautifully they produced this. Not only are the lyrics so beautifully woven together, they’ve also connected the songs with the notes. Every single time I watch this, I am so in awe. How brilliant is it???

Once upon a dream/ is a wish your heart makes.

When the prince of the my dreams comes to/look at me. 

I would break my family’s heart/don’t fail me now.

Finally they’re opening up the–what’s that word again? (gates)–street.

Wandering free, wish I could be, part of that world/what I’d give to return.

 And to think I’d complained of that dull provincial town/and you’ll never hear the wolf cry. 

I know I don’t really have to explain this because it’s really obvious in the video, but I thought I’d point out my favorite parts (which coincidentally happens to be the whole thing……. O____o)!!! 😀 Also, SO BRILLIANT when they go from For the First Time in Forever back to Part of Your World. It never fails to crack me up!

I could talk about this for months and months. And months. I’ve probably watched this literally 30 times. I love it so much. I could listen to it forever and marvel at how wonderful it is.

Also, Laura Osnes. Wow. She really needs to be a Disney Princess. I don’t understand how she’s not one already. She’s amazing! Her voice is so perfect! She was made to be a Disney Princess. (PS~ Big, big shout-out to my CO-G, Janelly Bear, for introducing me to Laura Osnes!)

What I’m Watching: 

OKAY ANOTHER NEW HORRIBLY BIG OBSESSION: THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES.

WOW.

Talk about brilliant. It is the best retelling of Pride and Prejudice I have EVER seen. It is so creative and just a perfect translation. The moment I saw Ashley Clements on screen, I immediately thought: LIZZIE. The way she looks, the way she talks is exactly how I would imagine Elizabeth Bennet were she living now. I have a feeling I’ll be talking about this more in the future and most likely in more depth (because I just have sooooooo much to say about this show!!!!!!), but just WOW. The character arcs, the little nods to the original, the medium, the sheer, sheer brilliance of it.

I binge-watched the entire show in just a day. A DAY. So get thee to Lizzie Bennet Diaries!!! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!!!!

What’s Happening: 

Actually… quite a lot. About a month ago, I QUIT MY JOB. While I loved loved some aspects of my job, I had a TERRIBLE boss. I was always nervous when he was around because he’d nitpick at every little thing. He’d yell at me for things that did not heed yelling. He treated us (the aides) like we were servants and morons.

The last straw was way back in September. I had forgotten to put the bike pedals back on the bike the previous night and when I came in the next morning to work, my boss exploded. He yelled at me and threatened to fire me in front of a patient and that was when I had this epiphany. I suddenly realized: I don’t deserve to be treated this way. While this seems obvious, it was actually a huge epiphany for me. I realized he treated me–and my co-workers–like complete trash. None of us deserved to be treated like this.

Not only did he yell and explode over nothing, but once he was mad at you, he would make personal attacks. He’d make snide comments and nitpick even more. He’d “test” me and ask me questions to see if I’d get them wrong, he’d interrupt while I was working with patients and say that I was doing something incorrectly, even though it’s how I’d been doing them all along. He’d do an “inspection” every night and make up a list of everything you’d done improperly. In addition, he would misunderstand things (not intentionally, but still) and somehow I’d be blamed for it. He also blamed me for a lot of things that weren’t my fault.

I bring this up because I just want to say: You do not deserve to be treated this way. You shouldn’t be looked down upon because the position you serve is “lesser.” Don’t let anyone treat you like that. I don’t care if it’s a boss, a “friend”, a family member, a random person–it’s not okay.

I constantly think of this quote from Sirius Black:

If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals. 

It’s so very true and so very revealing of what a person is like. I will never forget that.

I worked there for over a year. It’s shockingly easy for behavior like this to become your normal. I’d somehow forgotten or never quite realized until that moment that I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. I’d forgotten that it wasn’t normal for your boss to yell at you because of a tiny thing no one else notices. I’d forgotten that you shouldn’t be super nervous when you’re boss is around. I’d just kind of accepted that that’s the way things were.

I miss working for the therapists there (who were so great to me and the only reason why I stayed there as long as I did), I miss the patients, and I miss the work of it, but I’m glad for the change for many reasons. I’ve just started my new job and am enjoying it. It’s a hospital instead of an outpatient clinic, so it is different, but it’s been great so far! I love the people that I’ve met and I’ve met some hilarious patients!

 

Well, I hope everyone has had a wonderful winter holiday!! The new year is just around the bend, and how exciting is that! Because it means… SHERLOCK SEASON 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO SO SO EXCITED.

Anyways, that’s what’s been going on with me! I’m going to try and be more consistent with my updates, but I also know better than to make any promises because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I am very fickle and impulsive with my blog! But thank you all for reading and have an amazing day!!!! 😀

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??

 

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!!!!!

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!!! 😀 😀 😀