Thursday, May 21, 2015

Spring Writing Bootcamp Check-In #7 (and Faith)

Word Count Update
I've been working on A Secret Project for the past two weeks. I sent off the first draft of it today and hope to have the final version completed by the end of the month. I can't say much else, but I'm counting this! It's one of the hardest things I've ever written. 

In regards to the WIP, I was distracted again. This seems to be a pattern. I did manage to get several scenes together and have a better idea of where the story is taking me. I think I'm going to restate that a new goal of reaching 20,000 words by the end of the Bootcamp and actually is more realistic from past experience. (What was I thinking?) However, this genre is completely new to me and it's proving to be a bigger challenge than I first imagined. (When is writing ever simple?)

Other things
I decided to unplug more from the internet this. I've realized that I've been busier than I'm used to and I needed time to recharge my inner introvert. I think it's so important to listen to yourself about what you need because no one else will do it for you! For the last year, I struggled with some health issues and I'm finally feeling like I'm able to reclaim my life back a little by little. In that time, I collected bad habits that I'm doing my best to break. I'm determined more than ever to work on my writing, and as you can see, I'm still struggling. However, I keep telling myself that I'm writing again and that my voice matters.

A friend and I were talking about querying and writing the other day. She brought up the difference of hope and faith for writers. Hope is wanting something to happen, but faith is confidence that it will happen. In the past year, I've hoped for something happen. It's time for some faith. 

Two more updates left, including the final reflection post. May isn't over yet so let's get to work!

Natasha

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spring Writing Bootcamp Check-In #6

Word Count Update
It's slowly coming along! I've fixed the timeline issue to get things back on track! I have the book split up into the different months of the schoolyear and broken up into scenes instead of chapters for the time being. That was really helpful when I was writing about that snowstorm too early.



Last week, I put together the synopses of the three projects I've written and need revision. I added a short writing sample and sent it off to my critique partners to get their opinions. It was pretty apparent to all of us, after looking at everything, what I will work on next. It's also the reason why I've decided with no uncertainty that first person isn't the right voice for me. How do I know this? One of those novels is written in first person. Like one of my partners pointed out, everything is there. It just doesn't seem to move. It's disappointing, since I've actually worked on that most recently, but sometimes you have to let things go for a while. (Not sure why I learned that lesson the hard way. This isn't the first book I've written in first person and decided that's the problem.)

Other Things
This week I've come to the conclusion that my favorite writing resource at the moment is Chuck Wendig's blog. Whenever I have an issue or need a break from something bothering me, I go over to this blog and I find something that boosts my confidence faster than a shot of espresso. I have promised myself  at the end of this novel, I'm going to reward myself with a few of his books. I just need to decide which ones! For now, I have the blog to taunt me. Go read it too!

Natasha

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Spring Writing Bootcamp Check-In #5 (and Free Comic Book Day!)

Word Count Update
I'm really happy with my progress in the past week. This is the first time a book I'm writing isn't progressing in chronological order. I created an outline of the school year for my characters and realized I was writing about snow in October. Yes, snow can happen in North Dakota that time of the year, but that wasn't what I wanted. I finished up those "snow scenes" and backtracked to homecoming and Halloween. It's funny how these characters are working against me! This book is character-driven so I'm at their mercy. Please be gentle, my loves!

I wrote at my local library this week and there were so many words! It would be ideal for me to write this book there since it worked out so well. The bad news is my back and hip didn't like the chair that I sat in. I haven't felt like that in quite some time! I have a bad back so I need to be careful where I sit (my local Barnes and Noble and their bench seating works best for me). There aren't other choices at this library for me to sit unless I want everything on my lap. There is another library a little further from my house I'll try next week and it's by where I like to go hiking. Crossing my fingers that they have better seats and I can go there a few times a weeks. We'll see how it goes! I want to mix things up since I don't want to spend a ton on beverages.

YA Buccanneers challenge
I shared my favorite piece of writing advice above and I've been taking it to heart a lot lately. Maybe it help you in your writing days ahead! 


Free Comic Book Day 
My husband Joey and I volunteered at our local comic book shop, Southern California Comics, for Free Comic Book Day. We were dressed up as Spider-Gwen and Spider-Man. We went down the long lines of people to entertain them for the first few hours of the event. There were also local vendors and food trucks. It was a nice little event!

My favorite part of the whole day was the family of four little girls. The three older girls (the littlest was a baby) took pictures with both of us, but then they each had to have their own picture taken with Spider-Gwen. Since she's such a new character, it's always so fun to see people cheering her on!

Natasha

Friday, May 1, 2015

Spring Writing Bootcamp Check-In #4

This week wasn't like the past three weeks. It was nice taking in the quiet of work days. My favorites are always hanging out at my local Barnes and Noble cafe (the benches are great for my back) or at a local library. The thoughts of what needs to be clean or figuring out how to work with a cat in my arms keep me distracted from my tasks. I've always been like that since college. I loved hanging out at the library with the large windows, the warm corners of the student union, or the local bookstore where I could browse books during breaks. 

Sometimes, you can't ignore what works and makes you happy.




Word Count Update
I've reached 10,000 words and I have been working out some of the kinks while they come along. For example, I went to my old high school's website where I found the classes and requirements. They haven't changed much, but my main characters would take classes I didn't have any interest in doing or didn't have time. It was fun to figure out how it might work into the plot and give me a better understanding of who they are. Since I usually write fantasy, I've never had to think about things like that before. It's funny how flashes of memories come to me about my own high school experiences during the research. 

I've also been using the program Write or Die to help block out everything during my writing time.  It takes up the entire screen and it keeps me on task. It's a great way to get into the zone and stay there for a certain amount of time. I work best with spurts of writing. I also use Strict Workflow in Chrome to time manage. It's crazy how much trial and error I've had to go through to decide on what works. Taking the time to listen to what I need has been a huge help to my process.

Here's to more words or whatever your goals may be in the next week!

Natasha

Currently... Update Edition

It's ridiculous how long it's been since I've updated here. Life seemed to pick up and fly. I decided maybe the best way to upda...