Friday, March 21, 2014

First Draft Celebration #2

It's time to celebrate another small victory, I've officially reached (and passed) the 20K mark in Untitled Fantasy. Something wonderful things have happened, some that I even love. I've finally been able to introduce a minor character that I love. Seriously, I really like him.

If I can just convey his personality right... that's the key. In other news, there's one scene in particular that I absolutely love. I'm sure it needs some more work but the bones are there and it was awesome to write it. I'd say fun but that feels like the wrong word because it was actually a rather serious scene.
Anyhow, I'm off to go do some stuff that's been waiting for me.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Vision for Spring 2014

So I was scrolling through my "Bloglovin' Weekly" email and decided to look at a couple of the posts. One in particular really spoke to me: 5 Intentions to Set this Spring. The third and fourth ones in particular got to my writerly heart.

Yesterday, I wrote 5,000 words in Untitled Fantasy, and could have kept going but decided to stop because, you know, I had to be able to function the next day. I haven't had such a wonderful writing day in a while and almost have a total of 17K. I'm sure you can imagine the serum of motivation burning through my veins.

Moving on...

The third thing listed in the above-mentioned article is to "see a new project through to the end." I am so ready for spring (which seems to come and go at will lately) and this statement makes me happy for some reason. I was already planning on having Untitled Fantasy's first draft finished by the end of April but just thinking about starting and ending this spring having accomplished the first stage in the writing process and being deep in the second is invigorating.

The fourth item is, "embrace your passion." Yes, yes, yes! This is something I've set myself to do this year.

"Whether it’s a hobby you’ve loved for all of your life, or something new that makes your heart thump a little harder, embrace something that ignites a flame within you."

Source: 5 Intentions To Set This Spring | Free People Blog

Those words, "something that ignites a flame within you" perfectly expresses writing to me. Often I see statements that writers have to write but writing has never been like that for me. I could live without writing. But writing does ignite a flame inside me different from everything else I've ever experienced. For me, writing is hopeful and exciting.

Therefore, this spring, those are the two things I absolutely will accomplish. I will see a new project through to the end and I will embrace my passion. Yes, I won't finish all of the edits and revisions for Untitled Fantasy during this time, but writing has several different stages, and I will see the first one to the end this spring.

Friday, March 7, 2014

First Draft Celebration #1

I finally crossed the 10K mark in Untitled Fantasy this week. I know that's not really all that much but this makes me happy. Writing a novel can be long and hard and things should be celebrated. So, every 10,000 words I write, I'm doing a celebration post. These are happy things.

Things are starting to flow now. Also, I'll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this April so the goal is to have the first draft finished by the end of it. I'll be working on it in the mean time so, hopefully with my work in March and April, that shouldn't be a problem.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Permission to Suck

In my last post I expressed how difficult it is to allow the first draft of Untitled Fantasy to suck. I've been browsing Sarah J. Maas's and Erica Cameron's blogs lately. By browsing I mean, looking at their journey from aspiring writer to published author just because I was curious. If any two ladies can give you hope, it's them.

Miss Cameron rewrote and rewrote Sing Sweet Nightingale about a million times before and after she got her publishing deal. Miss Maas originally wrote Throne of Glass as an adult novel and literally cut thousands of words from the novel's original 250K. I haven't dived into Miss Maas's revision journey as much but from what I gather, her revisions were no less intense.

These two ladies would never be where they are today if they hadn't given themselves permission to suck. If they hadn't finished those first drafts, we'd never have the above mentioned novels. I don't know about the rest of you, but both novels are so good. I'm still reading Sing Sweet Nightingale but I'm not worried about loving it. Of course, I absolutely adore the Throne of Glass series, which happens to be one of my all time favorite high fantasy series ranked right up there with Tolkien. Oh yes, I love it that much. I'm not comparing the two but I love them both and will end up rereading them more than once in my life. They're both among my go-to high fantasy series.

Now to my point. I sat down and wrote for about an hour yesterday before allowing my sick self to nap and I fell into it. I was absolutely elated. I told myself it would be what it would be. I couldn't stop it from being a first draft. So I wrote. The important thing here is that I fell right into it (and it's been too long since that's happened). I was drawn into the story. I was there in that scene. Visualizing it wasn't difficult at all because I was there with my MC. I was in both character's minds. Any questions that popped up were answered seconds later. And that was wonderful.

The change? I gave myself permission to suck. Not in those words but basically, yes. That was it. Now why did I bother talking about the above authors? Because they give me hope that out of my suckiness, I can produce something amazing. Someday.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Writing for Me

I've been sick for the past three days (working on day four here) which has given me some time to think, not as much as I would have thought though since it turns out when you're super miserable, all you can do is lay somewhere, maybe watch t.v., and slowly die.

Okay, that was a bit dramatic, but you get the point.

While pondering why it's been so long since I've become immersed in a novel while writing it, the thought occurred to me that it's been a while since I've written only for the enjoyment of it. I love the concepts I'm working on. I'm eager to explore. But I want everything to be perfect and I know that no matter what, it won't be. I want to share this story with people someday so I keep thinking about the future when I really just need to write it for me right now.

So there we have it. Perfectionism and future dreams are making this even more difficult  than it already is, which basically means it's all my fault. Go me.

I was hoping to write the past couple of days but I've barely been well enough to read. I still feel awful today but it's better than it's been in two days, so there's that. I've been using this time to mentally coach myself into forgetting about the future of this story (which is hard) and just writing it because it's a story I want to see unfold - to let go of all my expectations.

C.S. Lewis said, "I never exactly made a book. It's rather like taking dictation. I was given things to say."

For some reason, this really speaks to me right now. Right now it feels as if I'm trying to force the words and story to say what I want it to say instead of just letting it be what it is. Every draft has a beginning and sometimes it's really crappy and that's hard to accept sometimes.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Writing Habits

It's pretty well known in the writing world that authors basically have habits or "musts" when they sit down to write. Some people need just the right music. Others have to have a special item. Some people need to be wrapped in a cocoon of silence.

Recently, I've been trying to identify what habits help my creativity. I've tried playlists but music is usually only helpful if I need to block out a bunch of background noise. Then the music is there but I've basically zoned out. If it's already silent though I don't need music unless there's something else bothering/distracting me.

To be honest, it's been so long since I've lost myself in my writing that it's pretty discouraging. The words just aren't flowing at all. I know there's a bunch of things I WANT to do but I don't know if any of them are really conducive to my creative process.

I WANT to outline but I find myself only able to outline to a certain degree.

I WANT to just write the novel but I'm afraid that it'll turn out horrible if I don't outline it.

I WANT to have a playlist for my novel but I can't find anything that really helps or matches my novel's mood.

I WANT to write but nothing is flowing right now so I find myself trying to get out of it but working on other projects. Or reading... because, you know, I'm behind again...

I've been trying to strip all of these wants away and letting myself just write and see what happens. I keep telling myself this all takes however long it's going to take. Nothing is going to speed this process along. And it's this moment in time that I find this article on the great J.R.R. Tolkien both inspirational and scary.