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October 2021 Challenge - Build a Writing Habit!

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

Cindyt

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Day 24

DEDICATED DAY OFF FOR THE LORD’S DAY

OLD PHOTOS FROM GEORGIA (and Georgia Genealogy) – I am a Visual Storyteller. I post a photo of an ancestor and tell a nonfiction story about their life, which includes research and edits just as any story would. Therefore, I add the word counts here. I should have said something before now but didn’t (just as I don’t always mention the historical paperback). I will here on.

Neither – You're most welcome. I’ve yet to start with a murder in the first chapter, but would if it came down to it. Stephen King didn’t mention the first killing in IT until the 3rd section of the prologue. John D. MacDonald sometimes waits several chapters before his first murder. If your opening sentence hooks the reader, you can use clues and tone to pace up to that first death.

Woolly – I once wrote waste instead of waist ala He put his arm around her waste. My baby sister was the one who spotted it on the WIP. Like to never lived it down. I’m also good at typos like / instead of a period and leaving out articles, FCOL.

Helix - :Hug2:

Lea – 1840 is a good word count.

Sissy's closing on her house tomorrow! :snoopy: We are set to move on November 6. I won't be here after that until we get the internet hooked up.
 

Nether

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Day 24 was 3,069 words. The first two sessions (well, really just the second session since I didn't do much during the first) brought me to a little over 2,400, and then I did a bit more at the end of the day to hit the quota and target.

No pages proofed, but I did some crit partner stuff.

And I'm bummed that my Sunday is gone. Really slipped away from me. Feels like October is driving a race car, and I know the speed limit signs get knocked down at the end of the year. Hell, where's the last decade or two go?

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Woolly -- I hadn't really thought that, but I realize I have a death in book 6's first sentence (and early into book 4). Meanwhile my horror novels take a while before anybody dies (the WIP is the fastest, since a murder occurs during the second POV chapter).

Cindy -- It's too bad new houses can't come with the internet pre-hooked up.
 
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Psychoclown

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I knew there was a good chance I wouldn't get much done today. I had a poker tournament that I was hoping would take up a good chunk of the day. And it did. I made it to the first cut off (top 20%) and that means I'm qualified for the national tournament in January. Missed making the top five by nine spots. That would've paid out some cash as well.

Anyway, I got home, watched a movie with the wife and kids and fell asleep on the couch. But I woke up and with everyone else asleep was able to sit down and knock out 531 words. I jumped ahead a little bit to do a piece that came to me while I was in the shower this morning getting ready. Its the start of chapter 4, but I still need to go back and finish off chapter 3. Still, it feels good to have got something down despite the busy day.

Lea - I do enjoy that feeling when you're out somewhere or doing something and inspiration hits you. You feel like you're floating when you finally get sit down and pour it all out onto the page.

Taylor - 11 pages! Wow that's awesome.

Cindy - That's a cool idea. How far back do you go when picking ancestors to write about? I've gotten a little into my families genealogy and its an interesting hobby. My Dad's family goes way back. We have one ancestor who was among the first 5000 or so European settlers in America. He was a carpenter who went from settlement to settlement helping build the towns.

Nether - Sounds like your busy. I'm impressed you get as much done as you do. Proofing, critting, and writing.

Wolly - Congrats on completing the proofing.

Helix - Always good to get the taxes done. And good luck on finding a taker for that piece you're working on.
 
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TStarnes

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Day 24
Yesterday and the whole weekend went really well. I've already managed to complete at least one of my goals and made progress on everything else

The Sword of Jupiter: Book is out and released. I can now put this one behind me.
The Trumpets of Mars: 3/4 outlined, but it's a little thin. Need to look at expanding some of the character arc subplots
Fanfare: On track. 3 days in a row at +2,700 words a day.
Extraction: Also on track, with 3 days of +750 words a day.
 
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Nether

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Day 25 was 3,183 words. Did a tiny amount during the first session, a lot during the main session, and -- having already hit my quota -- I then raced the clock to write a little more to hit my target.

No pages proofed, no crit partner stuff done. Instead, I wound up watching some SelfPubCon lectures; the virtual conference was over the weekend, and I forgot to tune in while they were broadcasting live, so I watched one or two videos last night, and then a few tonight. So far the material hasn't been incredibly valuable, but hopefully the other ones I'm going to watch will be a help (since I'll likely need to self-pub at least some of my work, given that I seem to over-produce).

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Psychoclown -- Thanks, I'm trying to make up for lost time. There were decades when I hadn't finished anything. And while time on one activity takes time from the other activities, doing any one activity for long spans of time can be rough (except maybe drafting).

TStarnes -- Grats on the book release.

Woolly -- Did you finally get to the 1k words?
 
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Cindyt

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Day 25

WORD COUNT 504

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET (Draft 3) – Edits, new scenes added to an old scene. I’ve got one or two more planned in later chapters. It’s still looking fairly good given the fact I focused on new middle and end chapters and gave grammar and typos a hit and miss in the second draft.

HISTORICAL EBOOK (formatting for paperback version) – edited chapter 9

GEORGIA (and Georgia Genealogy) – Four Generations of the Standridge-Dorsey Family

Neither – It would be ever so much more convenient if they did. But is a rural city with less than 8,000 people, so maybe they can come do it sooner than later.

Psycho – I took a name from a maternal grandmother’s family reunion book and traced it back to the 17th Century—and stumbled on his and other family members who landed in Masseuses in the 17th Century. We have an American Revolutionary soldier who fought with George Washington and a famous Indian fight who battled Crazy Horse at Rosebud Creek.

Taylor - WTG on finishing a page after work!

Moon – A poem is a poem is a poem!

Woolly - Good writing!

TStarnes – Congrats on your book release!
 

Helix

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Day 26: Started very well with a notification that a piece I'd submitted on 12 October had been accepted.

But then I had to spend quite a lot of time on some admin here, followed by an even larger amount of time working my way through a labyrinthine government website. Cracked the shits in the end and rang them. Solved in about 10 minutes by a really nice customer service operator who was efficient and kind.

But I digress.

One more piece for Medium (#14), and a big chunk of the rewrite on a rejected piece. The latter has to be finished by Friday.
 

Psychoclown

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Completed chapter 4 of the novel. Still have to go back and finish chapter 3, so that's on tomorrow's to do list. 361 done words there. And I think its my favorite chapter so far. Haunted dreams are fun to write, at least if you ask me they are.

Went through and did a second draft of my short story. "Say My Name" is the title and I posted in the SYW Horror section if anyone wants to take a peak. But I ended up adding 412 words to the text in that re-draft and at least partially fixed some of the problems I saw in the original draft. I'm still a wee bit short on the word count, but I've already received some suggestions that easily let me get what I need and probably more.

Also took that third idea and wrote a brief teaser intro. Posted the first three sentences here in a thread for such things and got some positive responses, so I think there may be something worth pursuing. I'll have to think the story through a little more and map it out. Right now I have just a very broad concept and some ideas for how it opens, not so much for how it ends.
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TSarnes - Congrats on the release. That has to be exciting.

Taylor - Its one more page than you had! I know it can be hard to be creative after a long or challenging day.

Woolly - Did you make it to a 1000? If you didn't, I'd give yourself a pass. After all that proof reading a day off is not a bad idea.

Moon - Thanks to you the world has another poem in it.

Nether - Anything that involves working on writing or the business of getting published is profess in my book. Hope the next set of videos help a bit more. Plus almost 3,200 words. I remain impressed by your output.

CindyT - Several works sound like they are progressing nicely. Keep up the good work! I have a couple Revolutionary soldiers in my family. Most are from the Carolinas and I haven't yet confirmed where they all served and fought. One Ancestor I looked up served under Andrew Jackson in the Seminole War in Florida. We think he was paid with a land grant in Alabama and was one of earlier settlers in that part of the state. We were able to find his grave down in Alabama.
 

TStarnes

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Day 25
Completed all of my goals with some room to spare. A good day of writing.

The Trumpets of Mars: Figured out what to do for the character arcs. Getting close to finishing the outline
Fanfare: 3,098 words written
Extraction: 1,588 words written
 

Woollybear

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Nether--No, I did not. As luck would have it, the formatter incorporated my 47 changes and sent me the new version pronto, so instead my eyes glazed over while perusing the new PDF.

I think I wrote about 380 bad new words. Really bad words.

I woke this morning to the first draft of a cover for my novel, though, which was great. I generally like it but have sent back four items to adjust. I spent an hour looking at pictures of older men to try to figure out why the cover model didn't look right. I kept googling "Hefty old male models' and such, and LOL. Browser history. But the cover is good and will be better and that kept me from writing today.

Then the formatter got me back a new version (V4) and I actually uploaded it onto my KDP author dashboard so that I could order a bound proof to proof. It's not published but it's hopefully being printed and shipped to me, so that I can read through this (final?) version like that.

So, no writing today either.

It's a strange week anyway. Lots of strange odds and ends here, like rain, and some friends had a get-together (which is strange) and so on. I'm doing some meals this week for shut-ins. Just stuff.

Oh. Writing this out reminds me that I have the e-copy of the short story (40K words) ready to upload to amazon, and the 'cover' is done, too. I should upload that so it's off the to-do list. It doesn't go live until January (various strategies at play for marketing) but I think it's done and ready to go.
 
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Cindyt

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Day 26

WORD COUNT 562

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET (Draft 3) – Leaped over and added two new scenes to Chapter 31, tying up two subplots.

HISTORICAL EBOOK (formatting for paperback version) – Completed Chapter 10

Psycho – Sounds like you had a productive day. Daddy’s people came from two Texas outlaws that rode with Jesse James. And Mama’s family were mountain folks who intermarried with the Cherokee. One married General George Crook who fought Crazy Horse during the Battle of Rosebud Creek in 1776. We also had a traveling ancestor, a journeyman basketmaker. I’m not sure about what era he lived in.

Layla – Hiiiii! Good to see you. WTG on edits!

Taylor - WTG on 1.5 pages done!

Moon – I so miss having a dog.

Woolly - Good luck with the KDP proofread!

Helix - WTG on getting your piece accepted!

TStarnes – Congratulations are in order!
 
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Nether

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Day 26 was 3,851 words.

I had meant to work on some crit partner stuff -- and had even started on it -- but went back to drafting book 8. I'd already met my 2.5k word quota for the day before that, but I'm just trying to get this thing finished already.

October is drawing to a close, and still more than two or three days out on finishing book 8. I'm just under 71k words now, and it looks like the manuscript could still hit 90k+. Best-case scenario *might* be staying under 85k. I've just about hit a point where I can wrap up several things at once... although I realize I might have hit another road bump, because I can't use my timeline to connect two events just yet. Ugh. And I had just written a set-up that would have worked.

Before that last writing session, I forced myself to proof a few more pages because I'd gone a few days without making any progress. I wound up proofing 7 pages; I didn't get through more because I had to revise a few sentences due to either repetition (eg, I used "was" twice in one sentence, which I didn't like, and "place" twice in a single paragraph) or lackluster sentence structure. And there were a few minor typos. Not sure why these pages were sloppier. While I could polish the prose, it's also part of a section I'm still tempted to rework.

Oh, and this was supposed to be a quick drive-thru so I could get back to drafting. Well, I guess it was still quick, but just wordier than I expected.

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Psycho -- Thanks. And I'll have to check out your story.

TStarnes -- Geez, you have some heavy writing days. I'm trying to think of the last time I had a 4,500+ word day.

Woolly -- Having to worry about cover art is one thing that scares me away from self-publishing :x
 
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Psychoclown

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I like the format of using the titles of the various WIP to report their individual progress ...

Scarlet Hill - I was stuck on this one all day. I had started chapter three and skipped ahead to write 4 before 3 was finished due to a strong burst of inspiration. When I came back to 3 today, I had nothing. I knew roughly what I needed and had an idea, but the execution was sorely lacking. I wrote a bit, stopped, tried to polish and rework what I had, but nothing.

I felt like I should've just moved on to chapter five and come back later, but my brain was fixated on this road block. I couldn't even attempt to move on. All day I was rolling it over in my head and getting blanks. But then a sudden burst of inspiration hit me and I quickly went and jotted down the idea in my notebook as I couldn't sit down and write at that moment. Just now finished it off and it ended up being another 1238 words, finishing off the chapter.

"Say My Name" - This one is on pause. I'm waiting to get a detailed crit before taking a swipe at a third draft. Though I did find a second invitation for submissions that this would fit nicely if I rejected by the first call that sparked this story's creation.

"The Last Days and Deeds of Jasper McAllister" - Pretty sure I'm going to go forward with this, hence I decided to come up with a title. I did a little brainstorming. I have a rough idea of how I need it to start, but still have to work the specifics. I'd love it if I could have this mapped out by the time I get back from Vegas. I'm bringing my trusty notebook in case of any moments of inspiration.

Speaking of, this will likely be my last post in this thread until I return.

.................

Nether - If you're feeling inspired and the words are flowing, take advantage of it!

CindyT - My Dad's family mostly immigrated to the Carolinas and then moved to Tennessee/Alabama/Mississipi around the early 1800s to settle what was then the frontier. Funny thing is on his side we can trace every branch at least back to the Civil War, most much further back. My mom on the other hand, her family history is full of dead ends. Getting past her great grandparents on all branches has been difficult to say the least.

Woolly - Reading your posts always reminds how much other stuff is involved in being an author other than writing.

Moon - You need ideas before you can write. Keep those brains a storming!

Taylor - Way to go.

TStarnes - Impressive output.
 
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Helix

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Day 27: started with a rejection and ended with an acceptance, which is the best way around.

Otherwise, it was mostly getting together notes for some other pieces. Nothing completed.

Good work, everyone, and for those of you struggling to get down words or feeling you're not getting anywhere, remember that each step takes you closer to your goal.
 

TStarnes

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Day 26
Slight miss on my word goal and no work done on outlining the new book, but still pretty productive overall, so I can't complain.

The Trumpets of Mars: No work done on the outline.
Fanfare: 3,204 words written
Extraction: 737 words written. Slight miss on the word goal for this one, but still on track.


Nether - I got a little overzealous with the deadlines I set for myself, and it's starting to catch up to me. Normally my daily word goal is closer to 3k.

Psychoclown - Thanks. I've had really good writing days lately.

CindyT - Thanks. You know a weird bit of convergence, my great-great (I can't remember how many greats) grandfather lost his leg when he caught a stray bullet in a train holdup by the James-Unger gang. Wounded bystander isn't the same as actual outlaw...but there you go.
 
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Lea123

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DAY 26 was a drive by. I had house stuff to sort out and if things aren't right then I can't write productively.

I sorted out my writing playlist for book one and played a mindless game on my phone to get through some hormonal rage. Always feels like a day wasted but then today, looking back, it was worth it because I had the energy to over work today. :Clap:

DAY 27:

-Proofread 6,000 words. Sounds like a lot but I started at 3am when I couldn't sleep and finished after lunchtime with a short break for cramming my face with food. On the days where I'm child free, it's not unheard of to write 10,000 words because I can wall myself off and just go for it. I love this book, my characters and the entire world I've built so it's not a chore. I don't need to sell my novel, although I want to one day... it's just nice to be in the blanket with my cuppa and a stack of biscuits.

I've been considering rewriting the first chapter for a few days now but don't know if I should just leave it and see what happens at a beta read level when the rest of the book is checked. I'm torn between giving too much away but also not giving enough away. I've always been told to show not tell and then I panic I'm spoon feeding the reader information...

Anyway, I'm halfway through a Ken Follett book and he's feeding the reader bits of backstory etc. so I'm thinking I'm now overthinking. YAY BRAIN!
 
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Nether

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Day 27 was 3,858. I was going to note it as being a bit less, but then I remembered something I jotted down this morning and would up just incorporating most of that as is.

Just going to keep it as a quick drive-by today (which sounds more exciting than a drive-thru).

Rather than go a bit longer or make substantial revisions to get the story where it needed to be for a pivotal moment, I decided to just not incorporate one side of it because that one particular element technically doesn't have to change and I may -- or may not -- reference back to it later. The larger issue is I've been building to things going completely off the rails, which prompts the villain to take drastic measures. I'm not 100% sure I can reach that point in a close enough manner. However, I've already set up reasons for several characters wanting to turn on him, so it might not be necessary either way.

Oh, and I neglected to mention it in yesterday's update, but as of 10/26, I've caught up on my overall word quota; not that it matters as much right now, given the secondary deadline. (Although if I was at my target, I'd likely be done now.)

Anyway, I'm just under 75k words, and... it's still looking dicey that I'll be done by November :x :x :x

I didn't proof any new pages, and I barely made any more progress on that crit partner stuff. And I still haven't done any more planning for book 9 despite only having a few days left. It's going to wind up being one of these things where I start the book, and then figure out where I'm going with this at least 3-5 chapters in.

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TSarnes -- After I finished drafting my fifth book (which wound up being very fast), I settled on a 3k words/day quota. However, drafting book 5 was quick because I had some 8-9k days on the weekends, which skewed my overall average to like 4.6k words/day... which didn't so much work out on my sixth book (although I later averaged over 3k/day on book 7). So I've been kinda see-sawing on my dailies. I like that you're able to keep to your overzealous deadlines.

Lea -- Child-free meaning days you aren't teaching, or days when your own kid is off somewhere else? And personally, unless I recognize that there's something seriously wrong that I know how to fix, I just leave it for critique partners/beta readers to go over.

Helix -- Happy to hear things worked out after all.
 
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Elizabeth George's book Write Away