Posts Tagged ‘plans’

The Depths of Summer

Hey hey, squiders! Look I’m remembering to post twice this week. It’s a miracle! Or something.

I’m actually feeling pretty good. Yes, this summer has been a bit of a mess in terms of, you know, productivity or consistency, but the last week has actually been really good. It’s like examining my goals actually helped me focus or something.

Funny how that works.

We’re into my second week in the critiquing marathon and, unfortunately, the last week. That’s my own fault for not being on top of things, though being super busy/out of town for all June would not have made it so I could participate anyway. So far the feedback I’m getting seems positive, so that’s good! Encouraging even.

Last week I also wrote the second part of a serial story I’m writing for Turtleduck Press, about a scientist in an underwater station after the surface of the Earth has become unlivable. That’ll go live on Sunday, and my editors on that were very complimentary, so maybe I’m not a hack after all.

This week I’ve been focusing on World’s Edge so I can hit my camp goal of 10K. I’m at 9K on it, so just need to do another thousand tomorrow, which is doable. I’m at about 87K on the draft out of a planned 100K, so we’re almost done!

I’ve got the whole thing detail outlined to the end, so it should be fairly easy going, unless I get into that weird mood where I’m almost done with a draft and hence cannot focus at all. Which is a distinct possibility, but maybe we can just push past it for once.

I will need to plan out what I’m going to do after the draft is done. I need to plot out and write a novella for Turtleduck Press, but I should also focus on editing Book One so I can, you know, stop hiding from it.

I might be able to do both at once, if I compartmentalize, but it might be worth it to just focus on one thing. But do I outline the novella first, or focus on the edit first? I know from experience if I bounce back and forth I’m not going to get anywhere.

Maybe I could do a really intensive edit through August and then do the novella in September. Maybe I’ll plan on that until I have reason to do otherwise.

How are you guys doing? Hopefully it’s not too hot where you are. It has been very hot here and I do not like it. But I maintain hope that we shall see the end of summer soon, and that it’s not one of those years where it’s hot into November.

Moving Forward

Hi, squiders! Sorry about missing Tuesday. It’s been kind of a rough week, but I don’t really have an excuse.

But anyway, we’re in to March! Crazy, right? I know everyone’s focused on how it’s been a year since the world essentially turned upset down, but isn’t that insane? I can remember the last time I did a number of things–we went to the movies on March 8, to the theater on March 12, out to dinner on March 14. No one thought we would still be here a year later, not then.

ANYWAY.

February was a loss, really–I did write some alternative openings for Book One, but with the waiting on feedback and my inability to focus, not much else got done.

Last thing I want is for March to go that way as well. And it could–I am still waiting on feedback. But I’ve come up with a solution.

Do you remember World’s Edge? I worked on it for Nanowrimo in 2019. (Lots of info there, if you’re interested–character pics and worldbuilding and the works.) As a refresher, it follows Marit, who’s taken passage on a ship to escape something back home–a ship that’s attempting an ocean passage no one has successfully made in centuries.

I finished up Nano with about 55K out of a planned 100K.

So, Kit, you might ask, how does this solve anything?

Well, World’s Edge takes place in the same world as the Trilogy and hence, Book One. About 700 years before hand, yes, but same world nonetheless. Which means I can work on completing this draft of World’s Edge without getting too far from the Trilogy, which means, when I have everything I need (and find a direction), it won’t be too hard to switch gears back to revision on Book One.

And I’ll be doing something instead of going insane.

Of course, now I have to figure out where I was and what I was doing. I’ve read back through the current draft. It cuts off rather abruptly, but really I should expect that by now. Hopefully by going through my outline and notes I’ll be able to pick everything back up and get going.

World’s Edge was on my list of things to do this year anyway.

So! Onward!

What are you working on this month, squider?

A More Complete Plan (and Tournament Follow-up)

Okay, so first things first–I did end up playing in my Among Us tournament final. Two of the original top ten couldn’t play, so I got moved up. And I came in 8th overall, which is, like, a million times better than I thought I was going to do.

Now I can never play in another tournament again to maintain my streak. >_>

In writing land, I’ve finished my readthrough of Book One. And I, uh, also read through Book Two. Meaning I’ve read the whole trilogy over the past few weeks, except I remembered I didn’t start at the beginning of Book Three, so I may go and read the part I skipped, just because.

The beginning is definitely 90% of the problem on Book One. I’ve got it sent out to two betas now as well, with hopes that they’ll get back to me by the end of the week with their thoughts (and hopefully some suggestions).

The other 10% is filtering and crutch words and general clean-up. I’m considering looking at a service like ProWritingAid or other basic editor, where it will yell at me when I do lazy writing. Do you have one you use and like?

(Book Two is a whole ‘nother can of worms, but I finished the most recent draft in 2011, so it’s old writing style-wise and because it’s working off of plot points that no longer exist. But we’ll worry about it more when Book One is done.)

Anyway, I think all three of the options we talked about last time are still on the table, plus my spouse suggested starting with a later scene and then going back to the beginning. Which is a totally viable strategy, so I’ll give it a try. He suggested a scene near the end of Book Two (hence why I re-read Book Two) but I don’t think that will work (he may be remembering an earlier version of the scene), plus I don’t know about using a scene from a different book. That may be too far in the future.

Have you ever seen that? A multi-book series that starts with a scene that doesn’t show up until a later book?

Hmm, decisions, decisions.

My plan of attack going forward is to go through my beta comments and consolidate them (to see if I’ve missed any options or spots that other people think are problems), then to write a couple of alternative first scenes to see if they work any better. And then hopefully I’ll hear from my betas and we can discuss things.

And then, perhaps, the path forward will be clear.

How are you guys doing? Projects going well?

Fizzling Out of 2020

Hey, squiders, can you believe this hellscape of a year ends tomorrow? Me either! I really mean it. I’m finding it really hard to process that, come Friday, we’ll be in 2021.

All my writing groups are starting new challenges for the new year, talking about their new goals and their new plans. And I…am not feeling it.

Last year, I had so many plans. I was so optimistic about the year to come, full of hopes and dreams. I recently went back and re-read my posts from December and January. I really had no idea. I mean, I suspected my husband’s health problems (he’s doing much better now!) but I still thought I’d have time. Both small, mobile ones would be in school full time for the first time after all. I was going to get so much done.

But then everything fell apart. I’ve had less time than I’ve had in years. Everyone was home all the time, and always seemingly in need of something.

I got things done, sure. I did manage a whole Nano, despite everything. I’ll do a formal wrap-up/goals next week sometime, or maybe the week after. But I didn’t get what I wanted to done. . A lot less than I wanted to.

Part of me wonders if it’s worth it, to give in to hope and plans and all that jazz. Maybe I should just pick the next project and go, and not worry about planning a bigger picture, at least not until things even out.

I did pick a word for 2021. It’s Polish. My education year went well–I’m pleased with what I did, and I learned a lot. But now I’d like to take what I learned and finish some things off, focus more on making projects the best they can be. Get some projects done and out the door. Revision and editing do take me more time than drafting, but I hope if I practice, I can streamline my process and be able to get more done faster.

Anyway, we’ll have to see how it goes. And I suspect that, after I do sit down and make some goals, I’ll feel it a little more. But, for now, well, we’ll have to see.

I hope you have a happy new year’s, squiders, and I’ll see you next week and next year.

The December Blues

First of all, I apologize for this not going up yesterday. We had an area-wide Internet outage that lasted for eight hours. I may have gone a bit stir-crazy, because of course everything I needed to be working on required the Internet in some way or another.

(I ended up playing three grand prix circuits with the smaller, mobile one on Mario Kart and reading an entire 400-page mystery novel.)

As I alluded to last week, December is always a rough time for me, creativity wise. I mentioned Nano burnout, but I’ve since realized that it’s a combination of that plus the looming new year. A new year, despite being an arbitrary measurement of time, brings the promise of new things and new accomplishments.

(I’m trying not to get ahead of myself, but I’m toying with the idea of reading specific books each month–one book off my over-burdened bookshelves, one book related to writing in some way, that sort of thing.)

(And also starting some sort of regular drawing practice. To justify the amount of fancy pens/pencils I have bought lately.)

So I’m a little burned out on writing because of pounding out 50K in November, and I have ideas of things I want to do but don’t quite feel like I can, because it’s not January yet. And it leads one to a weird limbo state that is, honestly, a creative sinkhole.

That being said, I have made goals for the month. They are:

  • Write an additional 15K on my Nano story. Historically it has been hard to keep going on the Nano story post-Nano, but every time I hold out hope that this is the year that it actually happens.
  • Put out my fourth nonfiction book (this one is on writing consistently) and its associated workbook.
  • Finally finish updating my email list and its automations.
  • Start drawing now–don’t wait til January.
  • Read 4 additional books, which will get me to my yearly 50-book goal.
  • Outline next SkillShare class.
  • Start programming again.

I bought a Python bundle from Humble Bundle last month, and I’ve only done, like, two exercises and I’m already frustrated with it. But practice makes perfect, right? Or provides more aggravation. Time will tell.

Of course, December is also a wash because of lack of time in general. Family things, and Christmas prep, and all that jazz, eating my life. (I think I’m going to make fabric bookmarks for people this year, but that does mean I need to get supplies and get sewing, if so.)

Deccceeeemmmmbbbbeeerrrr.

What do you think, Squiders? Do you feel like December is a black hole, eating all your time? How do you deal with the weird limbo state between the new year and the old one?

Hooray for Flash Fiction

In the interests of full disclosure, this post was supposed to go up yesterday. However, we lost power for several hours and nothing was charged, so you get it today instead! (Sorry.)

Hi, guys! It’s the end of July (now the beginning of August), however the heck that happened. I have had a very good couple of weeks since we stumbled home from our road trip. I’m finally feeling a little more like myself, and I’ve gotten quite a bit done.

I finished the last nonfiction book, and am currently putting together betas for the books/workbooks.

I made three finalized drawings for the Landsquid picture book as examples for an illustration portfolio (so now I only need to type up the manuscript and put together a list of places/agents to submit to, and then…I think I’m good to go?).

And I wrote the middles and ends of five short stories for my flash fiction class. While the class wants you to aim for 500 words a story, the first two are around 1000. That’s on purpose, since I’m submitting one to an anthology and planning on using the other one as a freebie for my newsletter, so I wanted them to be a little more substantial.

I’m pretty pleased with all five stories, truth be told, though two of them are only borderline spec fic and so I’m not 100% sure what to do with them.

But, best of all, I wrote.

If you remember, after certain traumatic events back in May, I was having a really hard time with fiction. So having five completed short stories feels really nice.

And since we’re into August now, we can talk about plans for this month! Or at least for next week, because that’s about as far as I’ve gotten. WriYe is doing a challenge called 7DN (or Seven Day Novel), where you write a minimum of 15K of a novel in a week. It must be a new project, and it should have some semblance of a complete arc.

I’ve got a horror/scifi idea I’ve been poking which I think would be perfect for the challenge, so I need to outline that here in the next few days. And I think the challenge will be a good indicator of whether or not I can give Nano a try this year.

How did July go for you? How’s August looking?

Halfway Through the Year

Madness!

(Thanks to everyone who offered encouragement about both PowerPoint and my class in general on Tuesday. You’ll be happy to know that I did finish the class and now just need to record the audio and get the thing posted.)

(Even thanks to Rick, who expounded on the value of using an overhead projector. :P)

Where is the year going? It’s half gone. It’s half gone and I am not being nearly as productive as I would like to be.

May was a wash, of course, due to certain unfortunate circumstances that we’re still dealing with, and June hasn’t been much better around the small, mobile ones being out of school (and some of us having been too eager when signing people up for summer camps). February was my surgery, and there was the car accident in March (insurance guy is not currently calling me back, go figure).

I think, maybe, around mid to late July things will start to calm back down.

But, I mean, is anyone ever exactly where they plan to be in terms of productivity for the year? Maybe. Maybe there are people out there who are better at estimating how long it takes to do something and how much time they’re likely to have to do said thing.

It’s not all bad, though. I’ve gotten things done.

  • I finished my serial story, which I’ve been working on since 2009.
  • I have edited almost all my nonfiction books (on the last one) and have made all associated workbooks/journals.
  • I finished the dummy of my first picture book and have done some editing on it.
  • I’ve written a few new short stories, one of which was published on June 1 (here).
  • I’ve been working on getting critiques on books that are in the revision stage (expecting one back sometime in the next few weeks, yay!).
  • I’ve been working through a writing class that I bought ages ago and have a decent start on a new novel.
  • I’ve been writing drabbles in established universes for fun and practice.

So not terrible. Not where I wanted to be–I did want the nonfiction stuff ready to do a few months back–but it’s not nothing. And we’ll keep on trucking, and everything will eventually get done.

(And then we’ll start new stuff and the process will be neverending.)

How’d the first half of 2019 go for you, squiders?

Flash Fiction to the Rescue

Morning, squiders! I talked a bit last week about how I’m having issues working on fiction with all that went down last month, and I think I’ve made a plan moving forward.

A couple years ago, I took a flash fiction course from Holly Lisle (you can find it here–it’s free). I was a little annoyed at the class set-up (you write all your beginnings, then all your middles, and then all your ends, and she recommends doing between 5 and 10 stories at a time) but I can’t argue with the results. I got four usable stories out of it, and I sold three without much trouble, which is pretty dang good odds.

(She also has a short story class–here–but I have not taken it and so cannot speak to its effectiveness.)

I’d remembered the class for some reason recently, and in my current state, it seems like as good a thing to go through as anything. I think I can tweak it a bit to aim more at 1000 words than the 500 the class is set up for, and also tweak it to get some stuff for specific projects.

I worked through the first part of the course yesterday (essentially identifying potential character motivations and the characters themselves) and already feel like I’ve got some solid ideas kicking around.

Of course, the challenge will be to see if the writing actually comes.

On the nonfiction front, I apparently got lazy on the last book when doing the posts on the blog, or else underestimated how much content I was leaving for the book itself. I’ve already written 3000 new words and still have two more new sections to put in. I’m also unsure about the book layout in general. Blargh. Things to have betas look at, I suppose.

I’m mostly annoyed because this is the last thing to get done before I can move into the beta stage, and it’s taking longer than expected.

How are you guys? Specific plans for the week or month?

Looking Forward to June

Oh, squiders, as you know, May has not been good in these here parts. And I can’t help feeling a little resentful about having my life upended, because I had such good momentum going.

Even now, weeks later, I’m still struggling to get any fiction written. I wanted to get a horror story into an anthology by today, but I’ve only managed 1000 words in the past week. I feel really bad about it–I hardly ever miss deadlines, but my spouse has pointed out that this particular publication seems to have similar calls fairly regularly, so if I don’t get the story done today (unlikely) I can probably just push it to the next call. (Or, honestly, I could change some names and try some other horror publications.)

I did manage a couple of things this month:

  • I got going here at the blog again
  • I finished the last nonfiction workbook
  • I’m most of the way through the last nonfiction book (admittedly the longest of the series)
  • I researched children’s book publications
  • I wrote 1000 words in the horror story
  • I read 6 books
  • I submitted short stories to their markets (admittedly much later in the month than usual)

I mean, not amazing. But at least I got up and got going again. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, so if nothing else I can be proud of that.

Now I’m facing the summer. Holly Lisle is running a summer-long challenge that sounds great, but I’m just not sure I’m in a good place to participate. I want to finish up the nonfiction stuff (and work on the Skillshare classes that are going to go along with them), but honestly that won’t take the whole summer, and I don’t know if I have a fiction project I want to dedicate myself to (especially since fiction hasn’t been going well).

But she does recommend setting writing times/days for consistency, so maybe I can take that aspect of it and apply that moving forward.

So here’s my general plan for June: I’m going to focus on nonfiction. I’m going to finish the last book, I’m going to find betas (let me know if you’d like to beta any of the books/workbooks! I’ll probably post when I’m ready so you’ll know whats available), I’m going to get my first Skillshare class done (and maybe a second one!).

On the fiction front, I’m going to ease back in. I’m going to work on finishing my horror story. I’m going to write some drabbles and shorts. And if things start flowing better, we’ll re-evaluate doing some longer pieces.

And here’s to June being smoother sailing than May.

Any plans for June, squiders? Thoughts about getting back into fiction writing after suffering trauma?

Plugging Along

Well, squiders–Lord, is that more yellow? auuughhh–there’s been nothing past the initial contact on the journal class. How long do you think before I ping them? Tomorrow? Or do I need to wait until next week?

(I did check out the other teacher’s class, but it’s $100 and I’m especially not spending $100 on something I have already paid for.)

(Also, it’s my turn to make playdough for the smaller, mobile one’s class, and Goddess, there is nothing I hate more in life than making playdough. We picked yellow, which was a mistake.)

(Also, how am I allowed to make playdough but I am no longer allowed to make cute snacks? Is it because we can pretend the kids aren’t eating the playdough?)

I mean, it’s probably no skin off their backs if they ghost me. It’s not like I can call my credit card and ask them to take off some charge from two years ago. Also, I think I paid with Paypal.

So cross your fingers for me, squiders, that I hear from them soon and that it is good news.

I’ve also collated the posts for the first three books (story ideas, common writing mistakes, and outlining) and put together a list of other things to do:

  • Cover design
  • Find reviewers
  • Create freebie for email list (if you want on my author-specific list, it’s here)
  • Check picture permissions and make sure to attribute them
  • Add thank you pages to the backs of the books
  • Research categories and pricing

I’ve been so busy thinking about writing/revision I forgot about the publishing aspect. Ahahahaha. Ha. Ha. Except now I’ve done that, hooray.

I mean, I still need to do the writing/revision but now I have the big picture in mind.

(If you’ve made workbooks/journals previously, squiders, what software did you use? And did you use normal binding, or a coiled binding, and if you did a coil one, where did you publish it?)

(Stupid missing class.)

Also, it’s the end of February and so I find myself needing to think what I want to spend the next month on. The nonfiction books, yes. They will get done come hell or high water. Four years is more than enough time to spend on a project. But then there’s so many other options–the landsquid picture books (going okay, just procrastinating, which is silly, because it is silly to procrastinate things that are your own ideas that you want to do), maybe a new adult project. I should do some editing on other books, but I’m not feeling motivated. And I’d like to get more feedback before I do anything drastic.

Things to ponder.

Spring looms, squiders. Any plans?