Saturday, June 28, 2014

First Draft - Completed

Wow. It's been a long three months. I've been officially composing Untitled Fantasy's first draft since March and had begun brainstorming and character interviews a month or two before then. That means I've been working on it for the past six months (approximately).

And it's finished.

Three months.

I can hardly believe I've finished the first draft. You'd think I'd be excited but, right now, I'm sort of in a state of disbelief. It has finally happened. I came in at 60,010 words. I thought I had finished when I was just 500 words shy but I like even numbers so I went back later. Those last 500 words were some of my favorite to write.

All of today's writing flew by and I wrote the bulk of them (if memory serves) in two hours. I figured the last of it would flow like crazy, but I honestly was surprised at how much they just poured out of me.

Final stats:
Untitled Fantasy
6 Months
60,010 words

The Moment Before the End

As I write, I have Untitled Fantasy open on my desktop, waiting for me to begin typing the last 3,443 words. I worked all day yesterday, so I didn't get my 1,000 words in but I was able to think about the ending some more and figured out a better direction and one I am entirely too excited about.

I wanted to savor this moment before I finished Untitled Fantasy. I have the rest of the day with nothing to do (except renewing library books and vacuuming) therefore, it's my goal to get the last few thousand words in today.

I've been thinking about Untitled Fantasy's chosen ending for quite some time. I honestly didn't have a clue about how it would end until this past week. I keep trying to think about when I started Untitled Fantasy. I began brainstorming and outlining sometime in January I believe and actually started writing in March. (I think... it's hard to remember.).

Before beginning Hector's POV (which I consider to be the draft's real beginning writing wise), I wrote four chapters in Rachel's POV. Those first few thousand words flew by and poured out of me and I knew that this idea was one I wanted to see all the way through to the end.

 I also experimented with Hector in that time too. My vision of him has changed since then so his chapter is much different from the rest of the novel and not included. But I kept every one of those chapters because they helped me discover the characters and the novel itself.

Untitled Fantasy may or may not ever see the light of day (I hope it does!) but I will be forever grateful for the experiences it provided me. I still doubt this novel a lot but I keep reminding myself it's a first draft. With that mindset, I'm pretty proud of this draft. I'm sure it'll change a lot during revisions; and I hope it does, because it can be so much better than it is right now.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

50-60K Update

I haven't reach 60K quite yet. I'm a little more than 3K off from it. I believe I hinted that I thought Untitled Fantasy's first draft might end up with more than 60K but from what I have planned and from what I've written, I'm going to hazard a guess that that's not going to be the case.

Of course, this novel has surprised me several times so who knows? But I'm pretty sure this time. I'm so stoked to finally be finished with the first draft. I just want to finish, give it some time and then read it so I can figure out what I have. I'm oddly excited to start revisions. This might be because I'm not quite sure what it is exactly that I've written. I know that sounds odd but this novel has thrown so many curve balls at me, I kind of don't. If that even makes sense.

Plus, I'm anticipating it's finish on either Saturday or Monday, which means, yes, it'll be done before Camp NaNoWriMo! This also ups the likelihood of me actually finishing Rogue Beings this July.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Return to Camp NaNoWriMo

It's Camp NaNoWriMo time again. After April's hideous performance, I have decided to return once again and give it another go. But, first, here's a sort-of interesting fact for ya'll: I've participated in Camp NaNoWriMo since its beginning in 2011; in that time, I've only finished one of those novels.

Here's a more comprehensive outline:

July 2011: The Memory of Trees (mystery)
I was already half way through this novel when Camp NaNoWriMo began and successfully completed the second half.

August 2011: History of Races (high fantasy)
I had already completed the first draft for this novel and was planning on revising it. I didn't get far.

June 2012: Across the Ribbon of Time: Pricilla's Story (high fantasy)
I almost reached 18K with this one.

April 2013: Rogue Beings (high fantasy)
I had started this back in November 2012 but only reached the 52K mark and didn't finish it that month. I was supposed to finish it in April. I almost reached 3K.

April 2014: Untitled Fantasy (high fantasy)
This is my current project that I keep blogging about and am hoping finish in the next couple of weeks. I almost wrote 9K in April.

So there you have it - a list of my failed attempts (well, with one success). You never truly fail until you stop trying though so I'm giving Camp NaNoWriMo another go. I originally wanted to finish Untitled Fantasy before July but I don't think that's going to happen. Still, I think it'll be almost done by then so that's fine.

Therefore, July will hopefully see the finishing of two projects, Untitled Fantasy and *drum roll* Rogue Beings! I'm actually not too far off from finishing Rogue Beings. Ironic I know. I should just sit down and finish it. I've been thinking about it a lot lately and am dying to work on it. As soon as I finish Untitled Fantasy, I'm going to throw myself into finishing Rogue Beings, which is a stand-alone novel.

July's monthly goal will only be 20K though. Honestly, I'll be happy as long as I finish both novels.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Good-Bye Part 2, Hello Part 3

It's been a while so I just wanted to check in with ya'll. Unfortunately, I was only able to write two (maybe three) days last week. Hopefully, this week will be more conducive to my plans.

Surprisingly, I've decided to split the rest of the novel into a part three. We'll see whether or not that sticks but for now, while I'm writing the draft, it helps so I'll run with it. I'm actually now switching POVs from chapter to chapter and anticipate my two main characters meeting very soon.

This story sure does like to throw me curve balls though. I've come up with something interesting today but I haven't a clue what it means yet or how it fits in. I'm looking forward to learning and figuring it out though. It's more like the characters revealed something than like me making it up. I actually tried to get the character to say something different but nothing seemed to fit so I just went with it. These things tend to be good surprises in the end, as long as you use them properly.

In other news, Little Brown Books for Young Readers approved me for Salt & Storm on Netgalley today so you can imagine my excitement over that, especially since I didn't think I'd get it.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

First Draft Celebration #5

Dudes, I'm super excited here. I hit 50K this morning! Actually, more specifically, I have 51K. That means only 9K to this draft's goal! You know what this calls for right?

That's right. We need some straight up JLaw celebration there. Part 2 has been an absolute joy to write so far. None of it has been particularly difficult but I wouldn't say it's been easy. I guess its just kind of been happening. The words come at a steady pace, not fast or slow. Okay, sometimes they are a bit slow but I've simply employed techniques I've already learned and have been able to work myself out of those awkward, "what next?" moments.

I have an idea of how to end things (which I happen to be working out in my brain while writing this post) and I think it's not bad for a first draft. Considering the fact that I've had to do a bit of searching for this novel's heart and purpose, I would say this isn't too shabby.

I'm most excited to see what I've got all together and am beginning to think the draft may be a bit longer than 60K, which is totally fine. We'll see what happens but yay for 50K!

Also, I forgot to tell you but... Bloomsbury did end up approving me for Heir of Fire on Netgalley! Very cool and exciting! Can't wait to read it now! I've got a couple of other books I've got to read first but after... *rubs hands eagerly* I finished In the End last night and loved it! Five stars baby! If you haven't read In the After go do so now. In the End will be out on the 24th.

Monday, June 9, 2014

New Goal - Great Results

It's been a full week since my last update and I had some time so I thought I'd go ahead and give you another! I haven't quite reached 50K yet but I'm less than 3K away. I've recently changed my daily word count goal from 2K to 1K (excluding Sundays, which is a rest day - if I write, then bonus words!). This has actually helped a lot since I write best in the morning and my time is limited.

The fact that I know I can write 1K in an hour really helps my productivity. Every morning, Monday-Saturday I officially have a date with my manuscript from exactly 9-10 AM, then I have to move on to other things, whether or not I've met my word goal.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I work best on a deadline. Plus, 1K seems a lot more manageable because it seems so small to me. But after avoiding writing because of my 2K goal... I've realized I could have finished by now if I'd simply written 1K a day.

As for the actual story, I'm really loving part 2. Part 2 is kind of how the entire idea originally came to me though so it seems natural that I'm loving it so much and that it's being nice to me. I wouldn't say the words are flowing easily; it's difficult sometimes to find the right ones, but I typically know where Rachel needs to go when I'm writing so that helps a lot.

I feel like the world is coming together pretty well and I'm having a lot of fun of creating the details as I write. I know the basic structure and how things work there but the actual design? I kind of have an image and atmosphere I'm going for but I don't know details until I'm writing. I literally thought, "oh that's cool." at least once today while I was writing these details.

Yeah... that's how I roll.

I think it also helps that I just finished Divided by Elsie Chapman Saturday night and read like half of In the End by Demitria Lunetta yesterday. Divided was excellent and In the End is amazing. I love how great books recharge your writing batteries.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy June and Celebration #4

It's been too long but I've finally hit and passed 40K the other day! It's like the end is now in sight and writing doesn't seem so arduous now that I've passed 20 and 30K. Thank goodness for small mercies! My goal is 60K for the first draft. I'm kind of pantsing part 2 though so we'll see where it takes me and how far. I have an idea of what I want to accomplish but as for what actually happens... Well, I've already been surprised so who knows? I do anticipate adding a lot more once I begin piecing Hector's and Rachel's POVs together.

In other news, I've switched by major from Early Childhood Education to Marketing, which is also insanely exciting. There are a bunch of great books to read too which is amazing. I am hoping to get approved for Heir of Fire on Netgalley though. My month would be made if that happens. Just sayin'... BUT I am finally digging into my ARC of Divided (which released May 27th) and loving it even though I'm only 33 pages into it.

Back to writing... I'm hoping to reach 60K by the end of the month so wish me luck!