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June 2021 Challenge - Build a Writing Habit!

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Magnus

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Aaaaand we're BACK! :snoopy::snoopy::snoopy::snoopy::snoopy:

(They kept my favourite emote as well!)

This is a thread open to anyone who wants to build a long-term writing habit, which can include writing, editing, research, etc. or anything else that supports your writing like self-care or just putting bread on the table.

By sharing your efforts here you'll get some accountability to help boost your motivation. And you'll be part of a community of fellow habit-builders who encourage and support each other!

Feel free to start the month out by stating your goals and to chat a little with the other participants as you report in. But it's up to each person how they wish to participate in the thread.

Here are some tips to start you on your path:

Set achievable goalsThis is by far the most important rule. Set your goals so that you can reach them consistently. That generally means aiming lower than you think; you'll want goals you can hit on the days you're feeling less motivated. Hitting a small goal will give you a confidence boost and set you up for success the next day, building momentum. A good goal is a little bit challenging but doesn't overwhelm you.

Accept failure and move on – Even with a small goal you'll inevitably fail some days. Don't worry about it. Failure is a natural part of improvement. Try to figure out why it happened and how you can prevent it in the future. Then forgive yourself and move on. Don't stack your goals, but start fresh the next day.

Be patient and persistent – It takes a long time to build a strong habit, and sometimes you won't notice the progress you're making day-to-day because it happens in tiny increments. Keep at it. Sticking with the habit gets easier with time, but that being said: don't trust it to run on autopilot. It's when you've think that you've 'made it' that it's easy to stumble. If you keep at it, your progress will be slow and steady; it's the only type of progress that lasts.

Be adaptive – Not everything that works for others will work for you, and sometimes what works for you changes with time. Always be ready to mix things up if you're stuck in a rut. Does reward work better than punishment for you? Is it better to get the writing out of the way or to get other stuff done first so you can relax? Do you perhaps need different goals for different days of the week? Do you need skip days? A good habit is one that works for you.

Let's get back into the WRITING GROOVE, folks!
 
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Cindyt

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Hiiiiii, EVERYBODY! :hi:

So glad we're back! :Jump:

My June goals are:

  • Continue work on A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET with an eye toward late 2021 publishing date
  • Continue writing & publishing Growing Up Buford articles.
  • Do something every day to sharpen the writing habit

I edited and added wordage to A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET most of the days we were down. Plus, I wrote the Growing Up Buford Blog article Bad Boyz.
 
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Cindyt

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Missed you guys bunches!

Day 10

WORD COUNT - 459

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET - Billy Estrella and Carolina Allen are on the run from the serial killer.
OUR TOWN BLOG - Reposted the Kaitlyn Head murder article on the hometown Facebook groups in honor of her 31st birthday today.

aurora – Good to see you.
 
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ChaseJxyz

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Hooray for this thread! Excited to be back.

June goal is to do something for 1 of my projects each day (it's not always words in a text editor as you'll see...). I've actually been keeping a log for the newest one and I can see I've worked on it every day this month besides the fourth.

Day 10: <Inspect> - Took notes/discussed parsers with the programmer, started reading Twisty Little Passages (academic book about interactive fiction). Made an actual release on GitHub
 
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Cindyt

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Day 11

WORD COUNT - 1,055

RESEARCH

  • Top selling SUVs of the 1980s. I chose a black 1985 Chevy Blazer Tahoe which sold like hotcakes back in the day.
  • Ways men greet each other besides a handshake. Decided DEADco SA Rhino is a Star Wars fanatic and uses the Vulcan salute—raised hand with splayed second and third fingers.
  • I went looking to see if there was such a beast as a cold sun—and—did you guys know, contrary to what most people believe, the sun is really cold. Look up Cold Sun.

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET - I left off where Billy, Carolina, and Rhino were headed toward Billy’s hideout in a jungle acre in Coconut Grove.

Magnus – Thanks for starting this thread up so fast!

aurora - Best wishes on achieving your goal!

Chase – Sounds like you had a productive day. Best wishes achieving your goals!
 

ChaseJxyz

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Cindy: Sounds like some good work got done!

Day 11: <Inspect> - I tried to play another ye olde IF game and, boy, did I hate it. I very much do not want to be that obtuse or difficult to figure out. I also started replaying the first Zero Escape and completed one of the routes today. I previously played the PC version which was fully voiced, but now I'm doing the original Nintendo DS version, which has much lower graphics, but has lots of text written out. So it's more "novel" than "visual novel," while the PC version is very "visual novel but there's puzzles sometimes." Since what I'm going for with <Inspect> is "novel but there's IF game mechanics sometimes" I'm paying close attention to pacing, how information is dispensed etc for my own work. But with Zero Escape it's 3rd person limited and <Inspect> is first person, which is what most visual novels tend to be. Game design is tricky!

I also got An Idea in the shower and wrote out a quick 1.1k fanfic and posted it, which felt nice. I've been thinking so much about other people's media lately that I know I can absolutely get caught up in making some giant 30k thing, so I have to keep myself from writing any. The only exception is if it's a very clear idea and I can pound it out in one sitting, which is what happened today.
 

April Swanson

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Team! So glad to be back. I've really missed this thread! Huge thank-you to Lisa for getting things up and running again (and hope all is well with Mum).

Sooo ... June goals: to work on both Book 5 in my fantasy series and a little side WIP. Oh, and I need to keep laying the groundwork for my next fantasy series too.

Magnus: Thank you for starting the thread again! And yup, that is the best emoji :)

Cindyt: Great to see you again :) And awesome 1k!

Hello aurora! Good to see you're back :)

Chase: Great to see you! And another amazing 1k. I think I'm the only writer in the world who's never had a good idea in the shower. (What do you mean by 'IF' game?)

I got 3k on my side project yesterday. It's a contemporary book I started writing to have a break from fantasy. It's been a lot easier to write without having to worry about magic and stuff. Don't get me wrong--I love my magic. But writing fantasy is hard!
 
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Magnus

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Good to see a trickle of people finding their way back here. Hopefully there are more to come!

I'll join in at some point, when I feel ready to make the commitment. Honestly I haven't been writing much lately (for reasons), except for my RPG stuff. So when I feel ready to get back to my fiction writing, I'll be here.
 

karasunoyashi

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I'm excited to be back! My goal for this month is just to write.

Day 12: let's call it 300 words
Day 13: 500 words for today and we are only two hours in. But now I must get some sleep.

Can't wait to read all the messages letter.
 
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Kerry56

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This was a nice surprise, finding the forum back up and running. I've missed this thread in particular. Glad to see April, Cindyt, Chase and other familiar faces.

I haven't been writing much the last couple of weeks. I started a new story last month, but bored myself so much, I had to stop. That one is going on the scrap pile, and is another example of how hard it is to write a logical time travel story.

Next up is editing one of my earlier books and preparing for self publication. Cover art is a huge problem, as always, but I've been putting it off too long.

Hope everyone is doing well.
 
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ChaseJxyz

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April: IF means Interactive Fiction. Think stories where you type in what it is you want to do. It's the closest thing to what it is I want to do so I'm doing a lot of studying on the narrative techniques. Also great work on 3k!
Magnus: Looking forward to you joining us when you're ready :)
Kara: Awesome work!
Kerry: Hopefully you learned a few things to take with you on future projects; that way it won't feel like a total waste

Day 12: <Inspect> - I hung out with the programmer again and did some good talking. Her girlfriend is also into crime/true crime stuff, so talking about the things that are serving as the inspiration for this work helps me put my vague ideas into words, which then makes them much more actionable. I also did another route for 999. <Inspect> will have multiple routes/ends and there's probably some ways small mistakes can build up so that you/other important characters die prematurely. So far I've mostly been thinking of the "true" ending/best route, but I can't do that forever.

I had started planning out a visual novel that had some puzzles last year, mostly because I was mad/frustrated how a game series handled THEIR puzzles, and most of my game design document was "don't do this thing, don't do that thing." By playing Ye Olde interactive fiction, I'm starting to build up my own list of "don't do this thing"s. One was a detective game, and I read all the supplemental material, which had a bunch of clues/evidence, which was awesome! I was taking notes and everything! But nowhere had a list of commands you could do. Like you could say >analyze [object] and then a police officer would pop out of nowhere, take the object, and come back a few hours later and say "oh it had traces of [chemical that killed victim]!" and it would be an important clue. But NOWHERE said you could do that! I had to find out from a walkthrough! I get wanting to have a seamless experience and letting the player figure things out with their own brains and not being told to hold B to crouch, but I also don't want to hurt players for not being genre-savvy or not playing certain games beforehand. One of the things that was really important to me for the visual novel was that puzzles not require prior knowledge, like what the rules are for poker or the titles of Shakespeare's various works. It's really crappy to assume that your players have the same cultural/knowledge background as you do. Games and stories should be accessible and I really want to strive for that.
 

Cindyt

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Day 12

WORD COUNT - 728

Had I not been nodding off at the keyboard I could have reached 1K.

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET - Carolina’s PSTD showed up at the Italian restaurant in Fort Lauderdale and showed out all the way to the hideout in Coconut Grove. Billy reactivated into DEADco and SA Rhino joined them at a Starvin’ Marvin. He will guard Carolina while Billy is off investigating the disappearance and likely murders of three women.

Magnus – always enjoy your comments!

Kara – Hiiii! I’m excited to see you! Nice work!

Kerry – Hello! Good to see you! Good luck with the editing, pub prep, and cover.

Chase – WTG on the shower idea that turned into 1.1K! Love the bird icon links!

April – GURL! I know what you mean by “having to worry about magic and stuff.” I love writing the historical, but I would not want that to be my forte. I want variety. That’s why I have another Billy Estrella book lined up. Then who knows? I might try my hand at science fiction a la end times.
 
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ap123

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Hi! Wanted to pop in and touch base, but not ready for writing every day. It's good to have AW back, and see people finding their way back here.
I'm writing sporadically, working--sort of--on a novel-in-stories.
 
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