My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Posts tagged ‘novel’


I still haven’t finished editing my chapter for critique. I’m up again a week from this coming Thursday and we’re supposed to have our stuff posted two weeks ahead of time. I’d completely forgotten that I was up in two weeks, mainly because we’ve had to cancel a few of our sessions due to winter weather and I got thrown off track. I fully planned on finishing this weekend (I completely re-wrote the first half of the chapter on Friday) but it was so busy…Saturday was the Cornhole Tournament at church and I had to make the hot dogs for lunch, then my parents and aunt came to visit (along with their massive 74 pound black lab, Jack), so Saturday was pretty much out.

Sunday morning was church, then in the afternoon, Phil’s cousins came over (they generally come over every Sunday afternoon), one to go and play WoW with Phil, the other to play Animal Crossing on the Wii (she’s only ten).ย  I tried to do a bit of writing then, but maybe got a paragraph done.

I was going to do the rest of it today during some of the slow times at work, BUT I realized I left my jump drive in my other purse (because you know, I’m always switching purses…and sometimes I forget to transfer everything over).

Who knows if I’ll get to it today; there’s laundry waiting to be put away at home and tonight is another dog training session.

I’ll have to try, though I’m thinking it’ll probably be tomorrow when it’s finished.

Oops. ๐Ÿ˜›

A Rather Productive Writing Weekend

Well it was a productive weekend for me, at least when it came to writing.

How long has it been since I’ve said that? ๐Ÿ˜›

I edited and re-wrote the bulk of my chapter for critique, though even after a brief re-write, I realized it still has a TON of work to be done on it (namely in being more descriptive…something I always struggle with). I realized when I first went through editing it that the second half of the chapter didn’t really make sense…it had my MC going to visit the merchant’s area of the small mountain village she lives in for the first time. It was interesting, until I thought how it wasn’t very smart in the scheme of things.

She’s in this tiny and remote mountain village for a reason–she’s being hidden from people who are searching for her. She also stands out quite a bit, being half American in a town that’s all Japanese, and her looks as well as her dress would definitely create a bit of a stir. So, I decided to delete that half of the chapter and change it to something else, something that came spur of the moment and was written as such ๐Ÿ˜›

After that was done, I ended up jotting down a few notes for the third and final section of the story (these notes were mainly written in the car on the way to the in-laws house for dinner–and no I wasn’t driving :P–as well as written during church…I know, I should have been devoting my full attention to the sermon, but I couldn’t get the story voices to stop talking!) ย I also came up with a new beginning, one that eliminates my dull prologue and starts the plot catalyst within the first two chapters or 30 pages. That happened thanks to my blog-reading addiction and coming across Agent Kristin’s blog entry on queries and the importance of the plot catalyst being introduced early on in the manuscript.

I also added a new character to the beginning as well, replacing another character I had in that segment. She will be important as she’s my MC’s only close friend (besides her mother, who dies right before the beginning of the book) and someone she views as a sister. The character just came out of no where really, but she came as subtly and as welcoming as a summer breeze. She’ll also be very important later on in the story.

I often wonder how much more this book will change as I keep moving along. I can’t even remember what the “original” idea was, though the main fragments are still there.

I’m also incredibly thankful to my blog addiction. I’ve learned so much about the publishing world in these short months because of it. I believe it’s helping me craft a better story ๐Ÿ™‚ But I have to be careful not to spend too much time researching…something I end up doing too much…

The Quest for a Title

I currently have a working title for my novel but I’m really on the hunt for one that is stellar.

Titles give me the biggest headache when trying to think of them ๐Ÿ˜› I had a few I came up with but they all sound so…eh.I’m thinking, looking for things in my prose and waiting for the Muse to perhaps bless me with a little gem of one but nothing so far but silence. ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway, what are some of your ways that you come up with a title?

Maintaining Motivation

Now that NaNo is over and the rush to hit 50K has past, I find myself wondering: will I be able to maitain my motivation?

It’s sad really. The first draft of this book should have been completed a year ago…but December came and for some odd reason, I turned away from the book and didn’t work on it.

I have throughout the year submitted some of my written chapters for my weekly critique group, but I only ever worked on those chapters, rather than finishing the book.

Now I’m wondering if the same will happen this year.

I don’t want it to happen again. I need to get this finished…and I’m so much closer to that finish line that was elusive last year. It’s on the horizon–I can see it in the distance. Yet I can feel myself growing tired, desiring to stop and sit on the sidelines once again.

So, I need to keep myself motivated…somehow. I need to focus on that finish line, getting the first draft completed. I need to make every day like NaNo, even if I only get a thousand words written.

I am hoping to get my first draft completed by the end of the month. By midnight come the 31st of December, I want to have those words “the end” written.

It’s going to be difficult for me–more so than it was during NaNo. Perhaps I’m not what some would call a “true writer”; one who would have the discipline enough to keep writing every day. It’s that discipline that I know I am lacking–but something I have to find if I ever have the hopes of being a novelist.

So, I must still keep that inner editor locked away and search for that motivation to keep going–and finally type “the end” on this draft.

So, my question to writers out there: how do you keep yourself focused on the goal?

Another Word Count Update from Yours Truly

Ok I’m beginning to run out of creative titles for these posts ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway, today seemed easier to get the word count out. I managed to get 2,505 more words written, which surpasses my goal of 2K a day. Today I wrote a scene where Kaiyo finds out about her father’s roots (that he too is also illegitmate, just like she is, which of course doesn’t sit well with her). That was an interesting scene, though I need to punch it up a bit later on.

And the first time since I’ve started NaNo, I wrote a chapter from the antagonist’s POV. It ended up flowing even better than the earlier stuff I’d written today, probably partially due to the fact I involved myself in a 30 minute word war with my sister. Anyway, I’m especially excited about the scene because I’m actually using a real person from history to be a part of it. The man Kaemon, my antagonist, goes to see is Mitsuru Toyama, the leader of the Dark Ocean Society or the Genyosha.

What reallyย  makes me excited about it (I know, I’m a history geek) is that everything flows so well! He was known to have involvement with organized crime groups (like what Kaemon and Kanamoto, Kaiyo’s father, are a part of) and was seen as a very influential figure, as he was very ultranationalist. In fact, he was also implicated in the attempted assassination of the foreign minister Okuma Shigenobu in 1889. So of course I’m using that in my novel, as Kaemon’s gang/organization were the ones responsible for carrying it out (no one knows who actually threw the bomb, so this is where I get to really use my artistic license!).

So yeah…I get really pumped and excited when I find little tidbits of history that fall into place exactly where I need them to be ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok that’s it for today!

Official Word Count: 14,074

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Blog

Ok, so yesterday I just had to vent a bit, but now that Election Day has come and gone (praise the Lord!) I can now completely devote my mental energy to my NaNo novel.

Too bad the mental energy isn’t translating into gripping prose…

I seem to be rather down on my novel quite a bit earlier than I was last NaNo. It took me at least until the second week; it’s five days (almost six) into it and I’m already at that point.

I can’t seem to get the thoughts to flow correctly or add up coherently on the page. I’m fairly certain I repeated myself way too much already.ย  That and the story direction keeps changing, so it’s morphing into something that’s hard for even me the author to make sense of.

Whenever critique groups start up again, I am tempted to tell them that I’m scrapping the storyline they initially critiqued and starting over, since it’s already changed so much and they’re going to be utterly confused when they get back into it.

Bah. I hate this; I wish I didn’t feel this way so soon into NaNo. Hoping it will go away fairly quickly and that my prose doesn’t sound as stilted, forced and crappy like it does now. Sigh…

Official word count: 11,569

Day 2 of the NaNo Adventure

I crossed the 4K mark today (thanks to a little bit of haiku, which added a few dozen words). I also challenged my little sister to a word war while at my write-in.

Of course, she won. ๐Ÿ˜› 724 versus 901 in 30 minutes. And of course she is past the 6K mark, but she’s been really working ahead since she’s in college and has classes during the week that she has to focus on. Still, I’m very impressed ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, official count for today: 4,218. Just shy of 2K by about 18 words. Still, it’s close enough for me.

I must say the write-ins are very beneficial to be a part of–it helps get the creative juices flowing when around other NaNoers.

I’m hoping to go to a few more write-ins this week, but not sure how many. I figure it’s better for me to go to them than to stay home and be tempted by my birthday present–the Wii Fit. I’ve been playing that a lot the past two days…and actually feeling kind of sore from it ๐Ÿ˜› Apparently my balance is awful though; it even asked me if I had trouble tripping over my feet when I walk! (Embarrasingly enough, I do…clumsiness is inherent trait in me, passed down from my father).

Well that’s all for today; my wet hair is drying quick and if I don’t use the hair dryer, it will be a mess tomorrow!

Awaiting Midnight

Midnight tonight signals the start of NaNo (as well as my 24th birthday)! I’m going to try and begin writing some then, even if I only get a few hundred words. I tend to stay up late on any given night anyway (on average going to bed around midnight or so) and normally I’ll stay up until 1 or 1:30 on Fridays and Saturdays.

Anyway, not sure how much coherency there will be to my late night writing, but it’s fun to actually do so for NaNo.

Before then though, I need to crank out as many chapter summaries as possible; I’ve gotten a few past the point I ended at during last NaNo so I won’t be writing blind ๐Ÿ˜› However, I’m thinking I won’t come anywhere near close to writing the rest of them, so I probably willย  just have to follow where the story takes me. Normally it’s difficult for me to write without some sort of basic outline, but it’s not impossible. Besides, most of my summaries end up changing a great deal as I am actually writing. My characters end up doing things I don’t expect, which I know every writer at some point has experienced.

I’m also realizing that I think my novel will be way too long with the course I was following, so I think I’m going to do a number of major changes (such as Kaiyo never discovering her father’s identity and profession until much later on). It’ll take out bigger chunks and hopefully speed the story along, as I think it’s kind of plodding along now.

I’m wondering if I should make her father’s identity a mystery to the reader as well but I’m still on the fence with that one. Part of my thinking is if the readerย  knows his identity for most of the book, they’ll get frustrated seeing Kaiyo never discovering it. But then I’m not sure how much the reader will like being kept in the dark for a longer period of time without becoming annoyed as well. I can’t dwell on that now though or else it will take away precious thought space on the edge of NaNo.

Anyway, good luck to all of the rest of you out there embarking on this month long novel adventure!

Let the Madness Consume Me

A little more than a week and the NaNo craziness begins!

Not only that, but November 1st is also my birthday (I’ll be the big 2-4 this year). What can be better than birthday cake, word counts and word wars?

I am hoping to get more of my chapter summaries done; the goal is to finish those but I’m uncertain if that’s going to happen. I am trying, though I’m normally utterly exhausted from work when I get home at 4…and I only work five to five and a half hours a day. It’s hard for me to want to do anything but laze around on the couch during the week. It’s sad; I need to push myself more despite the exhaustion.

Work has been a little on the crazy side, considering now I’m the “official” office admin assitant (the PC term for secretary). This past week there have been times where I seriously had to remind myself to breathe as there was so much to keep up with!

I’m still missing things here and there; if not for the former AAย  (who stil technically does a lot of the AA work and helping me transition) I’d be making mistakes left and right. I’m getting things slowly, but there is SO much that I have to remember it’s insane.

Let this be a lesson to anyone who desires to work in the real estate industry ๐Ÿ˜› It’s ever changing and ever frustrating.ย ย Agents can be very demanding, though most have been very understanding that I’m still learning and that it’s not going to happen overnight (in fact it’ll probably be another six months before I feel truly confident). The industry is constantly changing though, especially with the slow economy (even though I wouldn’t think that by the number of closings I am processing on a weekly basis). Still, I shouldn’t complain, as it is a job and I do work with many good people.

So I’m trying to balance myself between the madness of work and the impending insanity of NaNo–though I’m looking forward to the latter ๐Ÿ™‚ Cranking out 50K + words in a month could be considered a mark of insanity, too…then again, I’ve not met one writer in life that doesn’t border on the sane/insane line ๐Ÿ˜› It’s what makes us be the wonders that we are ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m Going to Try

I’m going to give an honest effort to try and work on some of my novel this weekend. I’m not sure if I’ll work on the chapter summaries for NaNo more or try to edit one of the chapters that may be getting critiqued in the next few weeks.

We’re supposed to be heading up to church camp this weekend for our church’s small campout (about 30 people show up…that’s half of our church :P). Considering there’s really not much to do there, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to work on the computer some (the cabins have electricity and showers otherwise I would NOT be going up there this weekend with the cool fall weather nights). I suppose we’ll see.

Not sure how much time I’ll have Sunday, as we’re going to a cabin that my husband’s aunt and uncle are renting. But I’m hoping that evening I’ll be able to get something done.

Well I have to get going…violin lessons in a half hour!

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