October 2021 Challenge - Build a Writing Habit!

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

Lea123

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I suggest you research Sensory Processing Disorder.
I taught a child with this last year (certain sounds quite severe; the touch element is also interesting). It has blown my mind.

DAY 11:
I've been at work all day. I've had to mark 25 stories the kids have written. It's been painfully repetitive and I'm just sick of the educational process by this point.

I keep finding the thought of writing gets me through the day but then I get home and I'm either too tired or the poop has the fan and by the time I sit down to write or edit it's 9pm and I need to go to bed...

I know the weekdays are harder and slower and I tend to binge write / edit at the weekends but it's so frustrating. Sat wishing I was an influencer or something who could just pop a book out because they can. Then realised the attention would be crippling and I'm much better huddled in my blanket with my cold coffee, Peppa Pig in the background and a story that moves with me and isn't forced by a deadline.

I mean, if anything happens with this and in the future, there are book deadlines, this will all seem like a blissful dream and I'll be all nostalgic and stuff.

Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey...

Written 100 words (a minor rewrite). Edited 1,828.

Not what I wanted but it's better than nothing.

I also ate a HUGE cookie. :e2woo:
 
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PraiseRao

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This is a cool thread. So last month I launched my pen name and website. I also ordered physical prints of my beta copy which are due to arrive in 3 days!

Habit is always better then motivation because motivation can fade.

I have a habit down but my problem right now is that my manuscript has/will go to beta readers and the time for them to read it. That means I don't work on that manuscript for a bit. It was crunch and now its idle-ish. Because I have a pendulum going I am working on a prequel to the story that has gone to beta. I am an outliner, so I am working on preproduction stuff in that regard.

I keep a physical planner that the first thing I do after I wake up for a bit is write down what I need to do that day. I work in "writing sprints" or Pomodoros. Which for me is a half hour her Pomodoro. I do a set of 2 with a 5 minuet break in between and then take like an hour off depending on whether or not I am crunching. I aim for a certain number of Pomodors a day.

August was amazing with the output of numbers. So was September possibly the two highest Pomodoro count ever!

I outpace the entire 25 minuet Pomodoros that I did in 2020 although I started tracking in February. I doubled the Pomodoros, possibly tripled by now I am not good at math. 34883M compared to 10727M.

Onward!
 

TStarnes

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Day 11
Still took a partial day off for family stuff, but made progress.

The Sword of Jupiter: Cut 770 words, wrote 1,939. Down to just 5 chapters, almost done. Also got cover options back and I think I'm close on this. Definitely going to make my end of month deadline.
The Trumpets of Mars: no work done on outline.
Fanfare: Didn't work on this today, since I want to focus on The Sword of Jupiter and Extraction.
Extraction: 667 words. Need to go harder on this, since I have to make up all the days skipped, but progress made.
 

Nether

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Day 11 was 949 words... and I wish that a typo :x

I hadn't written during my normal big session, and then was working on other stuff (fiddling really) between proofing book 6 (where I only got through another 7 pages), plotting OCOS, and crit partner stuff. And then I figured I'd take a half-hour nap this evening which wound up being a nearly 2-hour nap which killed my writing time. So yeah, not a great writing day.

I will mention that OCOS seems like it'll be an exciting future project. I might try planning it out with a very-thick outline -- basically a condensed version of chapters which I can expand on when I actually draft it. I've figured out three characters, including two POVs, so far. I was so hyped that I was thinking "Maybe I can do this in December instead of that Christmas slasher!", only to realize I still need more POVs, I don't have a real chain of events for any storyline yet, I need my worldbuilding, and I need to detail the magic system. (At least some of which I might figure out as I outline.) It's definitely a project that needs to happen several months out.

I'm also starting to hit crunch time for that second short story. I'll probably go over it a little today, and then a bit more tomorrow. Even if the structure is fine, the prose definitely needs work.

************************
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************************

Gatteau -- I love that concept, sounds very cool.

Lea -- Supposedly teaching can -- for a few reasons (overlapping creative processes, taking work home, etc) -- be a harder job for writers, so it's understandable. And I imagine influencers might have a harder time than you'd expect since they tend to be involved in a lot of content generation which can tap into the same creative part of the brain. (Granted, a lot of authors have to be a least one-part influencer as a means of self-promotion.)

PraiseRao -- I definitely agree on the subject of habit. Most of the time I seem to run into problems is when I begin to disrupt my established routines (at least, when I don't have an alternative chosen. And the other issue is when I don't really plan ahead of time.)
 

PraiseRao

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Planning is fantastic. I always start the day with a rundown of what I need to do in my physical planner. I also use it to keep track of my Pomodoros (sessions). I am just happy about my crunch in the past couple of months. I should probably take a break, but I don't want to lose momentum. So I am still doing things just a little more slowly. To work on planning ahead of times, sometimes it is good to look behind you. So, for example, annual/quarterly/monthly/weekly reviews. You can look back upon what you have accomplished, and then set the quarterly reasonable goals and see if you are on track. Then you know what you need to do in the time you need to do it. Then you can try to stay on track. When you do your reviews you also do your projections. Good luck.
 

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I taught a child with this last year (certain sounds quite severe; the touch element is also interesting). It has blown my mind.

DAY 11:
I've been at work all day. I've had to mark 25 stories the kids have written. It's been painfully repetitive and I'm just sick of the educational process by this point.

I keep finding the thought of writing gets me through the day but then I get home and I'm either too tired or the poop has the fan and by the time I sit down to write or edit it's 9pm and I need to go to bed...

I know the weekdays are harder and slower and I tend to binge write / edit at the weekends but it's so frustrating. Sat wishing I was an influencer or something who could just pop a book out because they can. Then realised the attention would be crippling and I'm much better huddled in my blanket with my cold coffee, Peppa Pig in the background and a story that moves with me and isn't forced by a deadline.

I mean, if anything happens with this and in the future, there are book deadlines, this will all seem like a blissful dream and I'll be all nostalgic and stuff.

Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey...

Written 100 words (a minor rewrite). Edited 1,828.

Not what I wanted but it's better than nothing.

I also ate a HUGE cookie. :e2woo:
Dang, girl, that is an amazeballs mixture of awesomeness and OMG here have a gin l 😄

I wrote nothing but work sciency stuff today.
 

Cindyt

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Day 11

ADDED WORDS

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET (Draft 3) – Edits. Restored part pages. Renamed PART ONE: THE SHADOWS BEFORE because it was one a plural away from Stephen King’s first section of IT. I know titles can’t be copyrighted, but still… So, I renamed it BAD MOON RISING. For now. Because there’s a lot of rock going on in the story and it fits Part One’s plotline. It’s coming together faster than the historical I published in January, but I do have more experience now.

Praise - :welcome:

Moon – Looking forward to your return!
 
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Helix

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Day 12: Last day of fine weather for a while, according to the Met Bureau, but we'll see. I'm always happy for rain, but all too often it goes north or south of us or gets caught on the wrong side of the mountains.

  • another short non-fiction piece submitted
  • half a Medium post done
  • a hour or so of looking for potential markets
  • reading
 
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The Second Moon

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Day 11 - 1,999 words on A Universe of Color (you have got to be kidding me! I was one stupid word short of hitting 2K!!!)

I have decided to write YA. And they won't be novel-in-stories like my MG and adult works. My YA stuff will be novellas.

Cindyt - Aw...Thank you. :giggle:

PraiseRao - Welcome! This is a great thread.
 

CMBright

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No writing yesterday, but I did sign up on the NaNoWriMo site for the November challenge on Monday.
I also managed to figure out character arcs well enough to "plot" out a novel, kinda. Neurodiverse makes planning as hard as learning a foreign language.
 

Lea123

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Dang, girl, that is an amazeballs mixture of awesomeness and OMG here have a gin l 😄

I wrote nothing but work sciency stuff today.
Thanks, a gin is needed! I can't tell if that was aimed at my giant cookie or my verbal workload vomit, ha! 🤣

DAY 12 -
I've got an impending appraisal for work and have a generally uneasy feeling I'm not doing something as well as I should be doing... but no idea what it is so I can't rectify it.

I can't concentrate on writing today. I wrote about 50 words of drivel and decided to stop myself before I got cross. Even editing is just not happening. I know if I force myself it's going to be a terrible job and it'll need redoing.

Sat reading Terry Pratchett - Equal Rites.

Tonight:
- Sleep at a decent time
- Sit down and organise my work to-do list to see if I can spot something I've forgotten to do (done, it hasn't helped)
- Find my appraisal documents and start filling them in (not done, ha)
- Plan my PPA lessons so I can spend Thurs morning working on my novel (not done)

~ Edit: I did read through just under 2,000 words, change some sentence structures and delete ye olde crutch words. Now to attempted the 'sleep at a decent time' bit.
 
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CMBright

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A bit of arranging of in my work in progress, and a thousand or so words in it.

Prepping for NaNoWriMo with a bit of world building currently clocked at ~900 words and counting.

And it's only a bit after 2pm in my neck of the world.
 
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Nether

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Day 12 was 3,115 words (EDIT: Word crashed later on, so I lost the shorter late session, knocking it back down to 2,771 words). After yesterday’s dismal word count, I decided to – borrowing a page from Community here – “bear down” and do some writing. I made reasonably good progress during my normal session -- about 2,771 words -- and then I was half-asleep during my late session, but I did enough to get over the daily target (although either way I had the quota done)

I had planned to space things out with some additional minor events, but I'm just going to get to one of the major plot points a bit sooner. Granted, I also realize that timing it this way creates more of a parallel with something else that's happening.

And I'd been waffling on how to handle a particular misunderstanding, where both characters misinterpret something but there's more of an onus on one character than the other given the nature of the misunderstanding. Instead of going with a half-measure on the result of the misunderstanding, I'm just going to add fuel to the misunderstanding because otherwise I'll have to jump through hoops to introduce a related plot point later on. If an agent or publisher is interested in the book, I imagine I'll *probably* have to change this scene but for now I think I want to go this direction and I'll work out a back-up plan to get me to where I want to be later on.

Right now I'm at 30,499 words, so I'm around 38% done which is a little past where I should be story-wise for reaching the points I'm going to hit, although the final story arc might be shorter anyway. The final act brings together all the POVs, subplots, etc, and should wrap things up pretty cleanly. Some of the stuff involving themes will probably need to added/polished on the rewrite, though. I'm not sure I'll really be able to touch upon them while drafting, although the framework is there.

Oh, and I still haven't finished during a first revision on that second short story, and I'm not sure how many more pages I've proofed from book 6 although I'm only through 26 pages so far out of 320. I just need to get the 50 done for now to send out that one query, and then I'll just finish up the rest by the weekend... after I finish fixing up the short story.

-----EDIT---- Word crashed (again) and I lost all of the late-session progress. ARRRGGHHHH... Because I was half-asleep, I can't remember half of what I said (and although it was only about 300-400 words, it was relatively important). And whatever proofing I did has to be redone just in case.

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************
************************

Moon -- Grats on the almost-2k, and best of luck on the move to YA.

PraiseRao -- Yeah, I keep a spreadsheet to track my daily progress, where I am in relation to quotas/targets, completion levels (to help make sure the story is hitting the right points at the right time), and so on. It's great for challenging myself, but it can be demotivating as hell when I look back at projects where I wound up finishing quickly. (Granted, the daily liner notes are helpful, since the section on the manuscript I drafted in 19 days has notes discussing the difficulties I faced and how early on I debated canning the project. Sometimes I forget that a certain amount of struggle is inherent to writing.) In this case, I know my progress has been consistently down the entire book. And while it's a little frustrating, I probably shouldn't stress too much about it.
 
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TStarnes

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Day 12
All of the progress was on 1 thing, but I made a tone of progress, including finishing a book.

The Sword of Jupiter: The edit is done and it's with my proofreaders. The cover is done and finalized. I was seriously behind at the start of this month, and I wasn't sure I was going to make it. I'm seriously relieved.
The Trumpets of Mars: Nothing, focused on getting The Sword of Jupiter done.
Fanfare: 467 words. Not close to what I need but I at least got some done.
Extraction: Nothing, focused on getting The Sword of Jupiter done.
 

Taylor Harbin

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-----EDIT---- Word crashed (again) and I lost all of the late-session progress. ARRRGGHHHH... Because I was half-asleep, I can't remember half of what I said (and although it was only about 300-400 words, it was relatively important). And whatever proofing I did has to be redone just in case.
Day 12 was 3,115 words (EDIT: Word crashed later on, so I lost the shorter late session, knocking it back down to 2,771 words). After yesterday’s dismal word count, I decided to – borrowing a page from Community here – “bear down” and do some writing. I made reasonably good progress during my normal session -- about 2,771 words -- and then I was half-asleep during my late session, but I did enough to get over the daily target (although either way I had the quota done)

I had planned to space things out with some additional minor events, but I'm just going to get to one of the major plot points a bit sooner. Granted, I also realize that timing it this way creates more of a parallel with something else that's happening.

And I'd been waffling on how to handle a particular misunderstanding, where both characters misinterpret something but there's more of an onus on one character than the other given the nature of the misunderstanding. Instead of going with a half-measure on the result of the misunderstanding, I'm just going to add fuel to the misunderstanding because otherwise I'll have to jump through hoops to introduce a related plot point later on. If an agent or publisher is interested in the book, I imagine I'll *probably* have to change this scene but for now I think I want to go this direction and I'll work out a back-up plan to get me to where I want to be later on.

Right now I'm at 30,499 words, so I'm around 38% done which is a little past where I should be story-wise for reaching the points I'm going to hit, although the final story arc might be shorter anyway. The final act brings together all the POVs, subplots, etc, and should wrap things up pretty cleanly. Some of the stuff involving themes will probably need to added/polished on the rewrite, though. I'm not sure I'll really be able to touch upon them while drafting, although the framework is there.

Oh, and I still haven't finished during a first revision on that second short story, and I'm not sure how many more pages I've proofed from book 6 although I'm only through 26 pages so far out of 320. I just need to get the 50 done for now to send out that one query, and then I'll just finish up the rest by the weekend... after I finish fixing up the short story.

-----EDIT---- Word crashed (again) and I lost all of the late-session progress. ARRRGGHHHH... Because I was half-asleep, I can't remember half of what I said (and although it was only about 300-400 words, it was relatively important). And whatever proofing I did has to be redone just in case.

************************
************
************************

Moon -- Grats on the almost-2k, and best of luck on the move to YA.

PraiseRao -- Yeah, I keep a spreadsheet to track my daily progress, where I am in relation to quotas/targets, completion levels (to help make sure the story is hitting the right points at the right time), and so on. It's great for challenging myself, but it can be demotivating as hell when I look back at projects where I wound up finishing quickly. (Granted, the daily liner notes are helpful, since the section on the manuscript I drafted in 19 days has notes discussing the difficulties I faced and how early on I debated canning the project. Sometimes I forget that a certain amount of struggle is inherent to writing.) In this case, I know my progress has been consistently down the entire book. And while it's a little frustrating, I probably shouldn't stress too much about it.
I never trust computer programs. I always have to do my first drafts on paper and then save multiple backups when I transition. I’ve been burned too many times.
 

Helix

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Day 13: I had planned to work on my website, but got sidetracked. Luckily the sidetrack was productive.

  • #9 for Medium;
  • outline of a non-fiction book proposal, which will probably take a week to put together; and
  • prep for NaNoWriMo
(I thought I had posted this!)
 

Lea123

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DAY 14:

Really pleased with work / life / novel balance today. Smashed out some cleaning / daughter's bedroom sorting whilst she was asleep in the morning. Then went to work and the range after that. Came home, wasn't tired (weirdly) and knew I'd regret it but I sat up and read through 2,500 words. Rewrote a small section to include a scene that links my MC with a friend. Their connection / loss throughout the rest of the story always bugs me as I don't feel like the reader is as aware of their closeness. Anyway, hopefully that is being resolved now as I've given him more 'air time' in the first two chapters before he meets a swift end.

Didn't tick it off as a completed task as I always worry doing any work that late at night isn't done properly. Apparently, I was right to be cautious, one paragraph made 0 sense...

DAY 15:

Energy crash. Real life commitments were a drag... just cba today.

Managed to read and reread a chapter goodness knows how many times. I'm too tired to even write a random scene for my own enjoyment. Hopefully, tomorrow will be more fruitful.
 

Taylor Harbin

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Today was awful for writing. Bad night sleep, and I have had nausea and a stubborn headache since morning. Crashed and slept from noon to three and it’s my wife’s birthday. I want to be helping her get the house ready for company but I just can’t catch my second wind.

24 pages into my time travel story and I think I’ve messed it up again. Nothing feels right. Too contrived. Too….not what I thought it would be. Argh! How do I keep missing the target?
 

Nether

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Hooray for AW being back. Felt weird to not do a status update, almost as weird as it feels when I try to go a day without writing.

And speaking of not writing, day 13 was 1,745 words (or 2,052 counting the stuff I wrote after I lost that data… and I guess technically those words should be ascribed to one day or the other, but probably not both because at least some of the effort was effectively duplicated).

The 1,745 was just during the standard session. The early session was just a quick attempt to write what’d been lost (although I went into more detail) and then I skipped the late session despite being under even my quota, since I was just really exhausted. It was a conscious choice, even if it’s one that puts me further behind on the whole.

The second story still needs another two passes, particularly since I’m not changing much each time. It probably needs some work on the prose, but the timeline is too short at this point to really workshop it or anything. I’ll do what I can, and then roll the dice. As it stands, it might just be rejected for not coming close enough on theme.

********************
*****************
********************

Day 14 was 2,537 words.

Day 13 I did a bunch of skipping ahead in the narrative. I’d have a small amount of scene, jump, small amount, jump. Day 14, I filled in some of the gaps (when I wasn’t distracted – I had some serious focus issues early on).

I’m not sure I necessarily liked how some of it turned out, given that I had a very different vision for some of the scenes. The only thing I’m still onboard with was changing where one scene was set, because it makes a few things feel less contrived (although there’s *still* a contrived feeling with how the timing works out). And, of course, the new content doesn’t necessarily line up perfectly with day 13’s additions.

Still feeling a little under-enthused by book 8. Partly because the most interesting plot thread may arguably be the ghost just going around killing people (and making bad jokes about it), which isn't something I could just have on its own anyway. If I wound up heavily revising, I'm thinking I wouldn't use the ghosts as POVs mostly to play up the menace where even the more benevolent spirits arguably have an unsettling edge. And as much as I try to make one particular spirit more sympathetic, it's hard to get around some of his behavior... then again, if American Horror Story can get away with character portraits of borderline villains, I might not be *entirely* off the mark.

Otherwise, I also went ahead and submitted that second short story. I feel like it may have a little further to go and probably would have benefited from some second opinions, but unfortunately silly little me didn’t think to use the SYW forum in advance of an announced AW forums update. While I thought the fix would be faster, that’s really on me for not planning better. And, honestly, I should get in the habit of soliciting feedback for my short fiction before submitting them, and it would be a better way of testing the waters with SYW (or I could just bug one of my critique partners, but I’m behind on one of my latest exchanges and don’t want to feel like a jerk).

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Moon -- Why'd you call it quits on YA?

Taylor -- I'm also reeling from a bad night's sleep. I had about 6-7 hours collectively which is way too much for me, so my head has been fogged as a result. ((And to your previous response where you mentioned writing things on paper first, I have abysmally bad handwriting (and I write much more slowly than I can type) which is why I just stick to a screen for everything; in this case, the issue was that I somehow didn't save the document before taking a break, which I imagine just came down to being tired).
 

Cindyt

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Day 14

WORD COUNT 80

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET (Draft 3) – Edits

Moon – What are you going to write? I've never been interested in writing anything but Adult. I do enjoy having children, teen, and young adults subplots in my adult fiction, though.
 
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Helix

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I can't remember what I did while the forums were down. Probably struggle with my urge to check to see if they were back up again.

What I do recall was a rejection for a piece that I had expecting would be rejected. (But I still had my fingers crossed.) Aaaaand an acceptance of sorts for one of the micromicrofiction pieces. (It was actually a 'highly commended', but I get paid, so I'm happy with that.)

I'll be back later with the day's update. (As Schwarzenegger said in the first draft of 'Terminator'.)
 
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Nether

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Day 15 was 2,447 words.

Just a little short of the daily quota, but not nearly as short as I thought I was going to be. In general, my progress on book 8 has been a lot slower than I would have hoped. But if I can at least keep my dailies at 2k-2.5k I should finish with enough time to participate in NaNo (which is more a symbolic thing than anything, considering I've finished a few first drafts in under a month now... although with my word counts being down, it could be more of a struggle).

Anyway, I finally finished this batch of critique partner stuff. I think it's just 2-3 more exchanges before we're done with each others' books. Unless we really speed up, I don't think we'll be done in time for me to make changes and query before the end of the year, so I'll probably be sticking to querying book 6 (which I hadn't done nearly enough so far).

As for book 1, I still haven't had a full request or any questions from any of the potential pitch wars mentors and the month is halfway over, so that might be a lost cause at this point. In general, it was a bit of a long shot since that book skews a little younger and it might need a bit more work, but there's also just the fact that you're only submitting to four potential mentors and everybody's tastes are going to be so different. All the same, book 1 is probably the one I'm most emotionally invested in just because it was intended to launch a series. And obviously that's not the end of the story for the book.

And on a final weird note, Word crashed again tonight... and brought back the version of a document I'd lost a few nights ago. This program drives me crazy at times.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away