Posts Tagged ‘writing challenges’

Messing Around with Other Genres

Squiders, I cannot find dumbbells anywhere. I guess it’s yet another victim of the pandemic supply chain issues (are we actually doing anything to fix for those for the future? Or just pretending they’re not happening?), but it’s ridiculous. I just want 8 or 10 pound weights and they are out EVERYWHERE.

Not that that has anything to do with anything.

The changeling story continues to not get anywhere, but admittedly that’s because I haven’t had any time to work on it. Instead, I’ve been working on a challenge for WriYe, where one person writes a log line, which goes to the next person, who writes the outline, and then on to the final person, who writes the story.

We’re calling it Tag! You’re It! I wrote a paranormal log line, the outline for a fantasy story, and got a straight contemporary story to write.

I don’t think I’ve ever written anything straight contemporary in my–no, wait. I did kind of once, a joint young adult story, that we ran with no speculative elements because my friend’s character was from a straight contemp YA story, but that was okay because 1) joint story, hooray, and 2) it took place at a summer camp which is one of my very favorite settings, and I should use it more often (but with speculative elements, woot).

ANYWAY it was a little intimidating. Especially since the outline I got was super detailed, way more so than I ever work off of, and then I had a bit of a crisis because I just did a straight phase outline with, like, ten points on it when I wrote my outline and then I wondered if I had not pulled my weight, but now that people are starting to post their stories (and the log lines/outlines they were given) I see that the outlines really run the gamut.

Anyway, it was an interesting exercise! The story that came out of it wasn’t anything special, but hey.

Otherwise, I’ve read How to Write Mysteries and am in the middle of How to Write a Mystery, both of which are older books (early to mid ’90s) that I inherited from my mother. (My mother wrote when I was younger, which is part of the reason I write. She wrote children’s books, though, so I’m not quite sure why she had writing books for every genre under the sun.) The publishing information in them is definitely dated but I think the mystery parts are fairly solid. And, well, I read enough mysteries to kind of know how they go these days.

The idea is that I’m going to write a cozy mystery here in the near future. (Possibly for Nano. If Nano happens.) A paranormal cozy, but still essentially a cozy. I’ve talked before about how I love mysteries but find them intimidating, and the books are good from that standpoint. The current one has examples of planning documents to help see who’s where at what points and how to dole out information.

(Actually, some of the planning docs seem generally helpful and I’m thinking about applying some of them to the Changeling story to see if that helps it roll along.)

It is still intimidating, though. But, hey, I’ll do the best I can and see where we end up.

Try anything new yourself lately?

Trying Out a New Challenge

It looks like writing around life is winning the nonfiction topic poll, so if you want one of the other ones more, now’s the time to vote! I’ll probably start that up next week.

So, it’s April! Yay, April!

April is one of the Camp Nanowrimo months, so like most camp months I have signed up with a random goal (in this case, 15,000 words). I appreciate that Camp lets you pick whatever word count you want, but unlike Nano itself, it doesn’t have a lot of momentum behind it so success is random. Looking back at my camp history, I’ve “won” 3 out of 9 attempts. (I also reached my word count goal an additional time but apparently didn’t verify for a win, and didn’t write anything another.)

For a random statistic, 10,000 words seems to be my most common goal, and also the one I hit the most. One year I picked 50K and only wrote 2K, and another I wrote 18K but had a goal of 30K.

There’s really no excuse. Unlike some challenges, Camp lets you update/change your goal up until the last five days or something.

This April, aside from Camp (the 15,000 word count goal is for working on the sequel to City of Hope and Ruin, finishing up the rewrite of Book One, and writing a short story), I also signed up for a challenge called 30 Days of Writing run by Shut Up & Write.

Thus far, I’m not terribly impressed by the challenge. I get daily emails with writing prompts, but if you guys have been around for a while, you know I hate random writing prompts. I believe writing prompts have a place and a purpose, but if I’m trying to work on my fantasy novel, giving me a prompt to write a journal entry from an animal’s point of view is next to worthless.

I’ve got to wonder if they’re useful to anybody? I suppose, if you’re starting out, that any writing might be good practice. But it does seem like a pretty small percentage of people who could be participating in the challenge.

(There’s also the argument that forcing yourself to write every day may not be the best thing for everybody.)

Doing anything new and fun this April, squiders? Participating in Camp or this 30 Days of Writing thing? Thoughts on either?

ROW80 Round 3 Goals

Howdy, squiders. How’s your Thursday? If American, excited for your extra Friday off? If not American, uh, you can mock us for losing to Belgium? Though that’s just mean, you should be ashamed.

Anyway, as hinted at on Tuesday, I’m working on an edit. It’s a young adult paranormal novel, and it’s been a really long time since I’ve touched it, and that shows. I’m having a hard time getting into the right mindset, and everything’s just moving really slow. Hopefully as I get a little further into things, it’ll start to flow better, but for now, everything’s painful.

A Round of Word in 80 Days (ROW80) is starting their third round of the year on Monday. For those of you who haven’t forgotten about this since earlier this year, ROW80 is a writing “challenge” that runs in 80 days bits. You can set your own goals and have to check-in on the main website periodically.

I did Round 1 back in January-March, and it worked pretty well at the time. Of course, at that point I was writing first drafts and I think writing challenges and word counts go along swimmingly, so we’ll see how it goes with editing. Now, ROW80 requires goals to be quantifiable, and it looks like I will have approximately 28 chapters when done with my edit, so I’m going to count by chapters. I have two done, and hopefully will finish one or two more before Monday.

So, goals:

-Edit 26(ish) chapters on Bleachers
-5K on scifi serial
-Outline new novels (3)

I’m hoping one of my writing communities starts a short story or prompt challenge for the summer, because that’s always fun, but it won’t make any sense to make goals based on that until then.

What have you been up to, squiders? Anything fun? Any goals for the summer?

April Fools!

I can hear you now. Kit, you say, shaking your head, do you have a ceiling turtle gnawing on your brain? It’s still March. April 1st is next Monday; you blog on Mondays. You could do an April Fools post then.

Let me say to you: I don’t get April Fools. I can never think of anything good. All the ideas I have are invariably cruel in some way, and I would never actually do them.

But we’re not talking about that.

April Fools is a writing challenge that happens in – you guessed it – April. You can pick any word count goal you want, starting at 500 words and going up to whatever (I have seen people declare – and make – 300,000 words. And then I never saw them again, so I assume they died in the process.), and there are fun things to help you along, like pips and status bars (usually available every 5K). There are also word count clubs so if you’re only doing 5K you don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the people doing 70K.

I know April is a bad month for writing challenges for a lot of people because of school and finals and oh, God, it’s so pretty out, so what’s nice about AF is that is allows you to count words written for school or work, if you so choose. (I never choose.)

For those that like to stick closer to Nano Central, April is also the month for their screenwriting challenge Script Frenzy. (Or Screnzy, as I like to call it.)

For those that are torn, you can count your Screnzy words for AF. Just saying.

Writing challenges, go!

Oh, I do want to apologize for missing Monday’s update. I had a big project I needed to get done, and then my brain died. (Possibly from ceiling turtles.)

Next week is going to be Kit’s Grammar Week, so if that appeals to you, stick around! Tell your friends! Send me flowers!