Writing Update #6: I finished my novel!

Word count: 84,094

I just finished writing the first draft of my novel! Woohoo!

I’m so happy this stage is finally over. It’s taken me about ten months to complete the draft, which is ten times longer than I’d originally thought. However, I wasn’t writing the whole time and took a few super-long breaks in between.

Drafting has had its fun times, and not-so-fun times, but now I’m ready to move on to the next step: editing. I’ve never edited a book before so it’ll be a big learning experience. I’ve already started the first read-through of the manuscript, and let me tell you, there’s a lot of work to be done. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to it. After all these months of rough-drafting, my inner editor, a relentless perfectionist, is itching to be let loose on my writing.

My goal is to revise this book over the summer and come September, have a (for the most part polished) manuscript. We’ll see how that goes. I’m feeling pretty optimistic at the moment. 🙂

Writing Update #5: Almost There

Word count: 72,042

It took a good amount of motivation to start writing again after a month-long break from my book (and blog), but I’m finally back to working on it.

It’s been a long journey- over six months, to be specific. I’m so ready to finish up the first draft and jump into the uncharted territory of editing. I’ve never edited a novel before, but I’m looking forward to learning- and letting my perfectionist self out. Yeah, the one that has been going silently-but-surely insane for all of the times my grammar was garbage or I showed and didn’t tell, or couldn’t remember someone’s name and put brackets instead.

I estimate to have about 17k words to go until the end. So close, yet so far. I just gotta keep on trekking!

NaNoWriMo 2016

I’ve gone off the deep end. I’ve finally lost it.

Why?

I decided the night before November 1st that I was going to attempt Nanowrimo. It’s not like I don’t have a ton of homework, tests, essays, and of course, finals to worry about. Not to mention other general life-things like eating, sleeping, and exercising (just kidding, I wasn’t doing that anyway). But I’ve somehow got it in my head that I have to try.

Coincidentally, I have about 50,000 words left to write for my current book. Which sounds perfect, right? Well, the only issue is that it took me over three months to write the first 45,000 words.

Well, what can go wrong? The Earth will not stop turning if I don’t win, so I might as well try.

As of today (day 3), I’ve gotten 2,493 words down. I’m behind, but optimistic.

I wish you all luck with this year’s NaNo if you’re participating! I’m excited to see how this month turns out.

P.S. If you want to follow along or be writing buddies, here’s the link to my NaNo account 🙂

 

Writing Update #4: Halfway There!

Word count: 45,008

I’m officially halfway through writing my book. Woohoo!

My intended word count goal is 90k, but it’s looking like I might run over given the fact that I haven’t even reached the midpoint scene yet. Oops. My new deadline (I keep moving them further and further back) will now be December 1st. I’m hoping that’s realistic enough.

It has been a roller coaster of a process so far. There have been weeks where I wrote only one or two days, and then other weeks where I could afford to write a lot. It’s not very often I get to do that, though. I just try to find time to write whenever I can.

For example, there’s these 3 days in the week where I have about 35 minutes in between two classes. There’s not really much you can do in that amount of time, so I use it for a word sprint and see how much I can write. My record is 540 words. Even though it doesn’t seem like much, I’ve learned that even a little bit of writing here and there can really make a difference.

It helps that it’s a structured writing time because when I leave it to myself to write “whenever” it usually gets pushed aside.

I’m learning a lot about scheduling and organizing time through doing this project. (And, of course, writing!) Hopefully I’ll improve my productivity skills for the future.

Writing Update #3

Word count: 37,689

Wow. It has been a long time since my last update. I’ve just entered my sophomore year of college, and I’ve been inundated with schoolwork and an endless to-do list. But I’m still writing! Albeit very slowly, but as long as I’m making any progress I’m happy. 🙂

Balancing schoolwork (and life in general) with writing is definitely a challenge. My goal so far is to write five days out of seven. I tried to get myself to write every day, but some days it’s just impossible, so now I’m trying to be more flexible.

I’m really excited about this book and looking forward to finishing the first draft and getting to edit, which is my favorite part of the writing process. At least, line-editing is. I’ve never actually done a full rewrite/edit of a manuscript before, so that will be a whole learning process in itself. I can already point out a lot of problems that will need revising. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to it.

I’m still far away from the finish line, but it’s nice to have a goal to shoot for. It keeps me motivated. That, and coffee.

Writing Update #2: Motivation

Word count: 20,721

I’ve been making slow but steady progress in writing my novel lately. I’m happy to have made it this far in a short period of time, but every day has been a mini-struggle to find the motivation to keep going strong. (Especially when it’s so nice out!) So I’ve been trying out various methods of motivating myself to write.

One thing that has kept me moving so far is having a set deadline. My goal is to reach 90,000 words by the end of August. Although it’s becoming clearer to me that I’m not going to be able to finish the first draft by then, it’s still helpful for me to have a clear goal in mind.

I’ve found that the websites Pacemaker and Final Deadline are very helpful in keeping me on track and organized. You can set deadlines for projects and measure your daily writing progress. They have fun graphs and things to look at if you’re like me and get a little obsessed with statistics and word count goals. Best of all, they’re completely free.

I’ve also tried writing on a word sprint website called myWriteClub that hosts global word sprints. It’s kind of fun seeing how much you can get done in a short period of time. You can also see other people’s writing progress while you write for a bit of inspiration and competition.

The last thing I use to find motivation is other people. I love reading blog posts and watching vlogs about other writers working on their own projects. I’ve always found it interesting and inspiring to see other people working towards their own big goals and dreams.

What do you use to motivate yourself to keep writing? Have any tips?

Have a great weekend!

 

Writing Update #1

Word Count: 8,032 (yay!)

So it’s been one week since I started my novel and it’s going pretty well. I’m almost up to writing plot point one. I was off to a great start but fell behind towards the end of the week. I’ve been busy packing and preparing the past few days because…

drumroll

I’m leaving for Europe today! I’ll be gone for the next three weeks train-hopping through Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy with my best friend. I’m super excited! (Which explains why I’m writing this at 1:00 a.m. instead of sleeping.)

I’m bringing along a blank journal, a book, and a notebook for the long rides. I’m hoping to write every day, whether it be journaling or working on my book. I even taped my entire outline into the notebook for convenience. Given it’s a trip and sometimes I just don’t get time to write, I’ll be happy if I get even a little further in the story.

That’s all for now! See you all in three weeks 🙂

 

 

Novel #2 Outlining: Plot

Finally, after months of planning, I have finished the outlining for my novel and I’m ready to start writing!

For the past week I’ve been plotting. First, I compiled my plot notes and created a list of scenes that I thought might go into the book. Some were important scenes while others were completely random.

Then, I wrote every scene on an index card and proceeded to organize them into a coherent order.

I like using the index card method because it’s easy to rearrange scenes and get a bird’s eye view of the storyline. I also like being able to physically move them, rather than just cutting and pasting on the computer.

Now I’ve just printed out all of my notes and outline. All I need to do now is just start! 🙂

I’m so excited!

 

 

Novel #2 Outlining: Notes!

As far as my biggest goal of this year is coming along, phase 1 of my second novel’s outlining is underway. And by underway, I mean that I am taking notes, and have been- albeit slowly- for the past six months. They’ve been collecting in various notebooks, scraps of paper, phone apps, and, of course, my head. And now I’ve taken to transcribing them onto my computer.

I’ve realized now how many notes there actually were. (A lot!)

After several days, I have managed to collect them into one massive document of 10,000 words. It’s full of character ideas, random excerpts, notes-to-self, and a lot more.

Now what?

Now I’m going to begin making a character bible, a big document describing the characters in detail, to refer back to at later points. I’m going to have to sift through all of the notes I have so far and pick out what I would actually like to use. Then I’ll build off of what I have with more ideas.

I know already that my secondary characters are going to need a ton of fleshing-out. The only character I have mostly figured out is the main one. XD

My first novel was very plot-driven and all of the characters were two-dimensional. So this time I’m trying to focus on developing characters first, and then plot. To learn more about this I’m reading Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll begin building a more substantial outline. Well, I guess I have to start somewhere. 🙂