A little update on my manuscript: I didn’t finish on time. The last couple of days I put a lot of pressure on myself to finish by my deadline and that’s all I could think about and struggled with the next words. Coming off a vacation would hopefully leave me ready to finish the last 18K words.
Did I finish my novel on time?
I originally planned to finish my novel Dec. 15. However, a graduate school application was due on the same date. In the beginning, I attempted to do both. It was a little stressful; I was trying to rewrite the beginning of Torque as well as finish the current draft.
So I decided it would be better concentrate on making my writing sample the best it could be. During my lunch break at work, I would hack away at it—mostly with editing, making sure I used the correct words and so on.
And those that read my previous post about school, know that it didn’t work out in my favor. So now, this brings me here: a couple of months into the year with a new deadline. March 28, 2018.
I’m thousands of words behind my writing schedule, according to the days I marked in the Scrivener app, which are Monday through Saturday. Sunday was intended as a rest day, but not so much now.
In order to combat this, I’ll be dedicating my mornings to writing sessions until the deadline. There will be a couple of days where this may not be possible, but I will make it work.
In the past, when I participated in NaNoWriMo, I journaled about how the sessions went and where I stopped if I had go somewhere. I thought it would be best to pick this little habit back up, just to document how this all went.
I decided to keep the short entries contained to my bullet journal near my new word count tracker.
I’m also taking the approach of writing in scenes and out of order. The scenes are things that have been on my mind for months or days and are easier to get down on the page. This allows me to fill in the blanks and spur motivations to link what’s written.
I should’ve started writing out of order months ago. I am a little over 94K words in, with about 40K to go. It’s a little overwhelming to think about, but I have scenes written down for the majority of my remains chapters.
When the deadline passes, I’ll make another blog post in April about how finishing my manuscript went.
In my head, I’ve kept up with my word count and I’m breezing along to finishing my novel by Dec. 15, 2017. In reality, I’ve skipped at least 14 days of writing due to being tired and not knowing what’s next (trying to make each scene mean something for the end product). When I restarted, I was stuck on chapter five and six for the longest time, telling myself I will get to it later. But certain events in my life pushed me to stop messing around and set a goal. 130,000 words here I come!
I am now in chapter eight (of 18…maybe) in Torque. The last month has been the fastest I’ve ever gotten chapters done, and had less slumps. It’s clear I need to keep the momentum going so I don’t have as many.
I’ve been using Scrivener’s word count tracker to help push me to write between 750 and 900-plus words, for the days that I’ve selected as writing days. Since there have been days that I didn’t plop a single word onto the page, it adds words for the next day so that I can make up for it. Which is nice in a way, but if I wasn’t committed to being done by my self-made deadline, I’m sure that my word count would be way higher. And looking at my goal for the day can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, but as long as I split the writing to before and after work, I reach my goal.
I’ve also been using my book map to keep me on track plot wise. I noticed the other day when I went to Starbucks that I never really finished my detailed outline; breaking each chapter down by characters introduced and mentioned, and a detailed look at three important/ focal points for the book.
While I am all for planning, it’s not realistic of me to try and finish the outline. In the book map, I break it down with a one sentence summary (for both of my main characters, chapter conflict, storyline notes, characters introduced and mentioned, and if there are any important plot points for it.
I know this sounds like more work than the detailed outline, but it works for me. I did my best in the book map to keep everything brief so it wouldn’t take so long to do. As mine is in Google Sheets, it’s easy to adjust and change and I always have access to it.
Since I am trying to write 130,000 words by the end of the year, I need to keep my focus on that, but I will do my best to do one full post and a writing prompt for the rest of the year.
I will eventually have a second Write Reads post on here soon, but until then, check out the first one and let me know what you think.
Maybe it’s good to start small. But for some of us, we decided that we would start with a large manuscript.
Once you finally realize what you’ve done, you’ve already told so many people that you’re working on a novel. You probably feel kind stuck right now.
And to be honest, I’m right there with you. The words used to flow from my fingertips, but my wondering mind makes it difficult; I keep thinking of ways to make it better/ edit before I even finish the book.
I never want to give up on it; Torque is my first novel I wrote when I was younger and finished it. I wrote it out of being inspired by (albeit, I am a bit embarrassed to admit this) Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight.”
And I feel as though if I take a step back that I won’t come back to it. But I am going to push these feelings aside to keep writing it. I’ll do my best to balance it with another manuscript but I’m going to finish Torque.
I think I’ve rambled on for a bit, but I wanted to explore ways for writers to keep going or take a step back without feeling they are abandoning their manuscript.
I guess the obvious would be to reread what you have, but don’t make any edits. Realize what you fell in love with when you first started writing. If you start to make edits, it’s possible to become critical of what’s there. There is such as thing as over editing.
— Alyssa Flynn (@WordsbyFlynn) April 21, 2017
Fill in the blanks
Write specific scenes — whether you plan to fit it in your manuscript or not. This will keep the brain moving and could add more depth to character. If you are adding the scene to your book, hopefully it will excite you to get to fill in the blanks. A writing prompt is also a good way.
Plan or pants?
If you’ve planned things out with an outline — forget it. It may restrict the writing by sticking with the plan. If there is no plan, create one. Your novel may need some direction — it doesn’t have to be detailed, just mention three important actions you want to happen. ( Three is a good number because there is less of a chance to make the outline too complex or overwhelming.)
Like Nike’s tagline: Just Do It
Put that butt in that chair, or favorite writing spot and just write. Push through the feelings you may have, no matter how rough those sentences, hell, even chapters, are. Don’t give up.
Step back and reflect
As mentioned in a previous post, Making the most of your time, hop into another project. It may be time to step back completely. It doesn’t make you a failure. Even if you don’t hop into another project, use that time to reflect on another.
And if any one of those people you’ve told about your novel asks you how it’s going, say it’s fine. Sometimes keeping it to yourself can lessen the pressure of a large manuscript.
P.S., if you’re not already, follow me on either of my Twitter accounts and Instagram.
***This review is based on my own experiences and not paid to do a review for the app. These are my honest opinions of the app***
As writers, I am sure some of you have heard of the Scrivener app. And if you don’t have it, you should definitely try it. Below I am going to review the app; what I liked, what I didn’t like — you know, all of the things that go into a review.
30 Day Trial:
No one would ever say this, in the history of trying free trials, but this was the best one I’ve tried. Why? Because it only counted the 30 days once you opened the app. Most trials would start once you have opened the app or program — which would be a huge bummer if you hadn’t been using it everyday. Seriously, all trials should be like this. I don’t even think there were limits with what I could do with my documents.
And in those 30 days, I fell in love with how powerful and simple this app can be. Then I bought it. The best $45 ever!
Keeping it together:
Organization: Writing with this app has been so much easier than writing in Word. I had to have so many papers around me that it was overwhelming, or have many Word documents up that it sucked my battery.
In the app, the user has the ability to customize how they want to it — it can be a powerful tool for efficiency. Users have the option of choosing from different templates, such as ‘Novel’ or ‘Novel with Parts’
View options: I get the best outlook in having three options to view my projects: document, subdocuments and outliner. Plus the draft view which encompasses all documents of one folder under a long view that’s good for a continuous read.
With the document view, of course the user can view the work that is selected. The subdocuments view gives a traditional flashcard look. The outliner view though it has the same flashcard content, gives the writer the option of labeling each document under a folder.
Scrivener also has a split view option, which comes in handy when trying to recall something in a previous scene of chapter.
Icons: This is a bit self explanatory, but the icons make it easier to identify and keep track of what’s being written in one Scrivener document.
Lean, mean writing machine:
Composition Mode: This is as distraction free as a user can get with this app — it works better when the internet is off! But the user can either choose the tradition black background or a desired photo. In this mode users can change the transparency of the paper background, choose where to put it (left, center or right) and how much zoom is need to view the text.
It also gives the option of switching between documents and using a tool called “Inspector” as well as give basic information of word count and characters in the document.
Research folder: This is one of the best tools. I’m using this tool the most for Torque at the moment and it has come in handy as I write a few scenes out of order. Writers are constantly using searching for things to be accurate or close to it , so all a writer has to do is drag and drop information they’ve downloaded to their computer into the research folder to easy access to information.
Inspector tool: I would call this the hidden gem of the app. Why? Well, say the user is in composition mode and wrote something in document or project notes area (among other things), it super convenient that the writer can do it without exiting composition mode. When the writer not in comp mode, then the inspector allows the user to look over the synopsis or image and switch between project and document notes also without leavinf what’s being worked on. It also has slightly different features in normal view.
At least not yet:
As awesome as this tool is, I have not had a chance to use the other features like keyword or quick reference. I’m sure there are other tools that I have not mentioned because I’ve been enamored with the others. If you have Scrivener, and you see a tool that could be useful for other writers, leave a comment below.
What could make the app better:
Every app is not without its issue though. One thing that annoyed me was when I decided to work in my customized comp mode. In my experience if a photo is left up for too long in, it will cause delay between what I type and when it appears on the document. If this could be fixed or even have some kind of warning, it would be great.
When the app updates, it doesn’t update all previous versions of your documents. It does update once you open them and it only take a few minutes.
You can find out more about the app and tutorial videos at its home site Literature and Latte.
I plan for Ghost Kings to officially launch sometime in February, with postings at least once or twice a month. Thanks for reading and see you in a couple of weeks.
You guys already know what I’m about to say in this post, right? About me going MIA after a few posts at a time. Hey, it happens — we all have lives to attend to outside of the Internet. But I wanted you let you all know that I am more than halfway* through 50K for NaNoWriMo. And I’m not even close to finishing Torque. I am currently about to wrap up chapter four, but I am having difficultly doing it.
It’s mainly because I switch between two POVs of my main characters, Cori and Ace. I can get caught up in the whirlwind of emotions for Cori that when I switch to Ace, I’m struggling to detach the two characters. But alas, this is something that I will have to fix later. I can’t waste anymore time because I got behind last week, and I am still being for this week.
But to all the writers out there taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge (and those who aren’t), I wish you the best in finishing what you’ve started. Whether it’s the end of this month or even two years from now.
Just write on!
*30,705K and counting
The reason why I decided to talk about these three is because I find myself thinking about the story lines often. They are all in three different stages as far as writing. Torque is the most developed out of the three; The Ghost Kings has a few pages written but still needs development as I write; and Spirits is not as developed and has the least written as far as the story goes.
I hope you all enjoyed my late video. I’ll be back on a normal schedule on Monday – with a regular written blog post. Feel free to subscribe on YouTube and leave comments below.
I’ve come to realize why it’s hard to write, and why it may be hard for others to write. The expectancy of x amount of pages for chapter or book.
When someone expects a certain amount or as a writer, you pressure yourself to get the amount you want or need, it can take the fun out of writing. It can make your writing area into a stressful environment. Which is not very productive.
It’s all some writers, like myself, can think about when writing. It started to make me feel unmotivated when I tried and write Torque.
I’ll be making short updates about my novel and possible short stories. I will be keeping track for my own reasons and in case you are interested.
This post will be a lot shorter than usual, but I wanted to update something for Sunday/ Monday before I post on Wednesday again. (If posts are not up Sunday, Monday is the day.)
In my previous posts, linked below, I may have talked about my novel that I am currently struggling with. I am not sure if I mentioned the name, but I did post about the starting words of chapter 1. But I have named it Torque. The reason why I chose this title is because of the physics definition: a twisting force that causes rotation. I wanted to make a connection with physics to my main character and I also like the idea that torque could be an idea for catalytic events. In my novel, my main character (of course) is that catalytic force – that twisting force.
And her name is Cori.
When I had explained what my novel was about to others, I had a hard time trying to tell them. Mainly because, like other writers,I am protective of my work. Recently, I finally made a little summary for my portfolio director – it’s not exactly what I want to say, but it gets the point across.
Cori is half human and half of an experimental vampiric-like race. She is aware of the strange things happening around her and her own abilities but only to an extent and becomes a catalytic force in an impending war.
I know, the word vampiric stands out, but that’s how I originally started it. After so many changes to the plot, character, names – I wanted to keep it. I also have not thought of a name for the vampiric-like race. Well, a new name. I had several before, but that can be a separate post.
I intend for Torque to be a fantasy/ action series (four books) for adults. I currently have 3,089 words for chapter 1. Keep checking the bottom bar for current word count.(Or my struggle of the same word count.)
But until Wednesday, comment below.