October 2021 Challenge - Build a Writing Habit!

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

Helix

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Day 9: It's been a bit difficult to write because there's a rodeo going on in the park across the street. The endless commentary is no problem, because I have a lot of experience ignoring loud, prattling men (see also: academic staff meetings), but the music is disrupting my concentration. Still, I now have a plot for a story involving a rodeo, so the day was not wasted.

Also another piece for Medium.

Go, everyone!
 

Lea123

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This morning, I've managed to go through 4,000 words and edit out some careless comma splicing / speech errors.

I'm trying to keep myself grounded and edit my way through this but I'm also dying to write some more of book 2.

I know that's it for me today, I'm off out this afternoon and won't be home until tomorrow.
 

TStarnes

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Day 8
Was closer to goal today, although I'm making it so I'm going to have to seriously put down a lot of words on Extraction to catch up on all the missed word counths

The Sword of Jupiter: 1,388 words deleated, 659 words written. I might slow down on this since I have to wait for the cover to get done. 7 Chapters to go.
The Trumpets of Mars: No outlining done
Fanfare: 2,459 written. Surpassed my goal on this and made good progress.
Extraction: No words, again.
 

karasunoyashi

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Drive by.
Day 9- 100 words. It's been a busy day. Tomorrow I have a minor procedure, so I probably won't get any writing done. Hopefully I'm wrong.
 

Taylor Harbin

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Well, I procrastinated until the ninth hour. After such a long and tiring week I felt I deserved a chance to not spend the morning on my rigid routine. But I still got a page and a half today! I have identified some points earlier in the story that, when tweet, would lead to more natural exposition and help move the plot. But I still don’t know how this is going to end…
 

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I'm on the road since Tuesday and unable to do the work that needs to be done for book #2, but I did bring my notebook along and have started brainstorming specifics for the third book in my trilogy.

In other words, bright new shiny thing. :) I'm excited to see where all these cool ideas go.
 

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Day 9: 462 words
NaNo prep brainstorming - not exactly the idea I thought I was going to go with, but I generated some new things I think I'm excited about and it feels like a full story, which the other decidedly was not anywhere near yet.

Wait. Helix - rodeo in a park? I've been to rodeos and I've been to parks, and my experience with both is not fitting inside each other nicely. I'm probably imagining too many trees and playgrounds in this park. But they do seem like more interesting obstacles than the usual barrels and such. And oh, you think roping a calf is tough? Try this squirrel...
 
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Cindyt

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Day 9

WORD COUNT 309

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET (Draft 3) – Edits. Cut fat and added meat. Lost draft 2 and found it hiding under a different dock title. I restored the part pages, lengthened the chapters, and reduced the chapter count in Part One: The Shadows Before.
 

TStarnes

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Day 9
Not a day off, but I did slow down today to take care of family stuff. still got some writing in, but only focused on 1 book to work on today.

The Sword of Jupiter: Held off working on this today.
The Trumpets of Mars: Held off working on this today.
Fanfare: 2,047 written. Just off goal, but for a day off, not bad.
Extraction: Held off working on this today.
 

Nether

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Day 9 was... ugh, wth? 2,276, literally the same thing as yesterday? How does *that* happen? Being within 3 words of a previous total was weird enough, but the same number (when that number is more than 0) is just bizarre.

I thought there had to be some kind of mistake, but no, that's actually right. I was up to 24,658 overall words today. Yesterday I was at 22,382. And the day before was 20,106.

Usually I'm not even within 30 words of a previous day, and it's pretty common to vary by hundreds of words. Of course, today was a complete mess. I had got to something like 1,658 early on, and kept thinking that I either had more done or had a lot more time. I was thinking that it was a Saturday so I could probably break 4k or 5k words, and let myself catch up a bit, but... ugh, not so much. I took a nap that ran long, and that killed a lot of my time near the end of the day. (Which is largely a reflection of my sleep cycles being off from not really sleeping last weekend.)

Beyond that, I was going to bore everybody with the details before deciding against it, but I'm leaning towards some long-term planning across all of my projects to avoid issues like I'm having right now.

Just the salient points real quickly: Back when I got back into writing last November, like countless other writers I wound up binging Brandon Sanderson's BYU lecture series (which is most likely the best free writing lecture series on the internet). I took a great many pieces of his advice to heart -- including writing every day (when possible) and limiting myself to one thing at any stage at a time (ie, only drafting one book at a time, only planning one book at a time, and only revising one book at a time).

Eventually this evolved into me planning my next project while drafting the current one (and aspiring to edit/revise a previous one at the same time). I would sometimes get ahead of myself a little by planning out more than one future project (books 4 & 6 both got planning documents when I was writing either book 1 or book 2). Unfortunately, the problem with this structure is that I wasn't always finished with the planning for the next one by the end of a manuscript's first draft. Sometimes I'd try to plan something out while working on a shorter or transitional project, but I really dislike downtime between books (and the other stuff got in the way of planning), so I've often just been starting with a rougher idea of what I wanted to do (which mostly worked out with book 7 since I finally mapped an overall story out early on into it, but I still have tons of gaps in book 8).

Instead of just choosing my next project (or two) while working on my current one, I'm thinking I need a much longer term plan across everything. This way instead of planning project-to-project, I *should* have things ready well ahead of time. (Granted, book 6 had planning that was done early yet that was a misfire, and book 5 had minimal planning at the start, so... maybe the theory is flawed, although I'll have to test it out.)

At this point, I've more or less committed to my plans for the rest of the year (the werewolf story is next, and then the Christmas thriller/horror is after it).

And yes, this is the SHORT version of it. The longer version which I quickly typed out then saved in a word doc when I realized "That's a lot of TMIs" included references to projects and a rough timeline. The only really relevant part there is that I have a cosmic horror-fantasy and a dark-fantasy in the early planning stages (and intend to sporadically build out those planning documents in coming months).

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Helix -- While I'm sure being across from a rodeo is a distraction, that also sounds awesome.

Lea -- I didn't say it earlier, but welcome to the party. And I can certainly relate to the temptation of putting off editing in favor of drafting, because I do that non-stop. Your self-control is apparently better than mine.

Karasu -- Best of luck with the procedure.

Taylor -- My day's writing also got killed by procrastination, so I know that struggle =x

Woolly -- Have fun

Cindy -- As always, I'm in awe of your ability to stick with the editing process.

TStarnes -- Even if you're not moving as quickly as you want, you're still getting a reasonable amount done.
 
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Taylor Harbin

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I’m worried about my research assistant. I haven’t heard from him yet and hope he hasn’t gotten sick. He was very enthusiastic about my novel’s premise and I’d hate to have to find someone else. At the same time, since I’ve discovered Bernard Cornwell and his Sharpe novels I feel guilty for working on short stories and not doing more research. I just hate reading books on the computer.
 

Helix

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Day 10: a struggle today. But I managed half of a complicated piece for Medium, and about 750 words of fiction.

Hope to get back into it in a serious way tomorrow.
 
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Pterofan

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Day 10 - Finally worked on Book #7 this morning! Only a couple of hundred words, but it beats the daily flash I've been writing up until now.

Mostly, I wanted to report on a happy accident: my female lead is named Delia (she started out as Cordelia, but I shortened it). "Delia" is from the Greek, "from Delos" and is used as a name for Artemis, who was born on Delos. Her twin brother Apollo was god of the sun, while Artemis was the goddess of the moon. The Delia in my book is the woman who falls in love with the werewolf, who has his own specific relationship with the moon.

Seriously, I didn't know any of this when I picked out her name and started writing. I only learned about the Artemis/Delia connection this morning. But dang, I couldn't have named her better if I'd researched it. Thank you, serendipity!

Second Moon - see? Choosing the right character name does make a difference.

Helix - was this an actual rodeo? With bull riding and everything? I thought the animal rights people had put an end to those. Or high insurance costs.
 

Lea123

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Seriously, I didn't know any of this when I picked out her name and started writing. I only learned about the Artemis/Delia connection this morning. But dang, I couldn't have named her better if I'd researched it. Thank you, serendipity!

Second Moon - see? Choosing the right character name does make a difference.
I've done this before and I just take it as a sign that I'm on the right path. That's such a cool connection; it's so strange how things work out sometimes!

Day 10 - Despite sleeping on a sofa last night and then deep cleaning my daughter's room when I got in (cue hurting my back), I've managed to edit 5,000 words. Most of which, I've managed to go through whilst sat on my daughter's bedroom floor waiting for her to fall asleep. The tapping of my laptop is probably more effective than white noise now. Not sure how I'm going to roll / haul my ass off the floor though. Might have to stay here all night... :e2tongue:

I'm going to 'reward' myself by looking at book 2. I've already written some snippets of the prequel, book 2 and 3 over the year but now book 1 is more 'solid' plot wise, it'll be fun to see how book 2 changes.

Update:
I never did reward myself with a sneaky chapter write of book 2.
Read through just shy of 10,000 words in total but now it's bed time.
- Some sloppy sentences were tidied.
- A couple of minor locational issues resolved (a character's mug was cleared in one scene, yet she drank from it in another...)
- Removed some waffling.
- Made sure an item that was given to MC was then mentioned again as it is significant but I felt it kind of 'got lost' in the story until the ending. It bugged me.
- Checked A's tattoo locations were consistent, started to draw a (terrible) body map to help me out.
 
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Taylor Harbin

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Almost got two pages today but stopped short so I could pick up again tomorrow. Speeches are great for hitting those quotas.
 

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Wrote approximately 5k words yesterday. Read like a "history of" lesson rather than a story.

Copied it, cut the majority and have another 5k today, about a page of 12pt font reworked, most new to add more conflict. Still some "history of" lesson vibe rather than story, but getting better.

Sci-fi, so the history of something that has not yet even happened and might never happen, though I expect some group will attempt to terraform some planet eventually.
 

Cindyt

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Day 10

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET (Draft 3) – Edits. Mainly, the first five chapters are now just three. They are longer, but not exceedingly so. That cut my chapter count down to 25.

NIGHTMARE IN BLACK – Edited publishing imprint

CINDY WIGGINS TAPIA (author page) – Updated

BtownBaby (blog homepage) – Updated

Nether – Thanks.

Taylor – Here’s hoping your research assistant is all right. :Hug2:

Ptero – I’ve had weird stuff happen to me like that. A Native American saying goes like this, Every story seeks a worthy writer to give it voice. Maybe that’s where the strangeness comes from.

Helix – Grats on the 750 words of fiction. What is Medium?

Lea – Grats on the edited 5000 words. That’s BIG.

CMBright – Awesome word counts!
 

Nether

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Day 10 was 1,777 words. I had thought about taking an off-day -- and even skipped some normal sessions -- but ultimately decided to just do a little more after looking over a few topics on the Writers Block board, at which point I decided that any progress would be fine.

The problem now is that I don't have much of a middle planned. I could probably at least partly get around that by just jumping forward to later scenes, but it's going to mess up the feel of the overall timeline. (Although I could just have things not work out in one of the subplots to drag things out a little bit.)

Oh, and I went with a less dramatic split for one of the romantic subplots. I figured it was easier and more logical for the ghost to slip and say something he shouldn't know than to just arrive at that point by other means. (The real issue is less keeping them apart but instead ultimately bringing them together. I suppose the alternative is to never actually bring them together... although that's probably not a satisfying story arc.)

Given that I'm at 26.4k words, I'm maybe 30-35% through the novel. Even without planning it, I ratcheted up the stakes when I was about a third of the way through. I should probably plan for everything to go wrong at the two-thirds mark then finish it off in the last third. That should help to keep it structurally sound, even if my POV use is a little shaky. The main mortal hasn't got much time, mostly because he the ghosts drive the story.

Otherwise, I realized when I was talking about code-named projects, I had planned to use COS for one of them... only to notice that it's the same abbreviation as an older project. Now *that* I'm surprised I forgot. It's not a project that's going on the roadmap for quite some time, because I think I want to plan it carefully and improve my craft before I get into it.

And I've got to get back to revising/polishing that other short story. And I've got to do some more proofing. And I have more crit partner stuff.

At the same time, since I’ve discovered Bernard Cornwell and his Sharpe novels I feel guilty for working on short stories and not doing more research. I just hate reading books on the computer.

While I haven't read the books, I fell in love with the Sharpe tv series, which was absolutely amazing (at least, from what I've seen of it -- I never saw the later seasons).

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Ptero -- It's always kinda awesome when things just weirdly work out with names.

CMBright -- Grats on 5k word day (or days?). I'm more than a little jealous since I haven't had one of those in a while (not since 7/31 apparently)... even though I keep thinking that I'll pick up the pace on a weekend.
 
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TStarnes

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Day 10
Took today off, although I still wrote 265 words on The Sword of Jupiter and got back another swing on the cover of the book. So some progress even on my day off.
 
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CMBright

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</snip>

CMBright -- Grats on 5k word day (or days?). I'm more than a little jealous since I haven't had one of those in a while (not since 7/31 apparently)... even though I keep thinking that I'll pick up the pace on a weekend.

The first was definitely a 5k word day. The word processing program gives a cumulative count and I'd looked when I started.

The second day, I didn't look as I was cutting, rewriting, and adding.

Congrats, ~1,700 words is pretty good for a day off writing.
 
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Helix

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Day 11: getting back into it.
  • Medium article #8 for the month
  • 350 word non-fiction piece to be submitted tomorrow
  • I also accidentally deleted another 350 words of some fiction. Oops! (Not sure that counts as an achievement.)
 
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karasunoyashi

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Well like I figured, I was pretty out of it yesterday, but I still got 100 words in. They weren't great words, but they exist, so they count. Today I got around 300 words in. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be back in my usual form.
 
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Taylor Harbin

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Another page done. Getting close to the end…or what will serve as the end until the rewrite.

My researcher answers me! He said he’s fine, apologized for the delay, and we’re back on track.
 
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Gatteau

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Day 10: 631 words of brainstorming
Also, research: I'm developing a character I've been calling a "tactile kleptomaniac" (she only steals stuff that feels good in her hands) and trying to find out if that's a real thing, or I could make it like a real thing. It looks like I could base it on kinesthetic synesthesia, but like a hyper-aware version. I haven't decided if this world has magic yet, if her "gift" should go in that sort of direction, or she's just special.

Word counts and progress lookin' good, everybody!
 
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CMBright

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Day 10: 631 words of brainstorming
Also, research: I'm developing a character I've been calling a "tactile kleptomaniac" (she only steals stuff that feels good in her hands) and trying to find out if that's a real thing, or I could make it like a real thing. It looks like I could base it on kinesthetic synesthesia, but like a hyper-aware version. I haven't decided if this world has magic yet, if her "gift" should go in that sort of direction, or she's just special.

Word counts and progress lookin' good, everybody!

I suggest you research Sensory Processing Disorder.
 
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Elizabeth George's book Write Away