October 2021 Challenge - Build a Writing Habit!

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

RaiscaraAvalon

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I will be participating next month for sure!

Noticing some negative self-talk in here - celebrate every word, guys. It's okay to miss your word goal sometimes - life happens. Enjoy the experience. <3

The only things I've written lately are forum posts and messages on Messenger. Oh, and journal entries! My current one is at 235, though it may grow as I'm having some trouble sleeping - which really stinks when you have to be up at 6am...
 

TStarnes

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Day 27
Spent more time outlining today, eating into my writing time, which means I missed one of my writing goals, but still made progress across the board. I've switched around when I plan on releasing these two, so I'm going to be switching up the goals on both (double the goal on Extraction and cutting Fanfare by almost a thousand a day)

The Trumpets of Mars: Very close to finishing the outline (as usually, it's coming in at almost 40k words)
Fanfare: 2,770 words written
Extraction: 754 words written. Another slight miss on the word goal for this one.
 
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Taylor Harbin

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I am nearing the 20-page mark. Almost finished with this draft!

Meanwhile I’ve been trying to crack the time travel story and failing. I just can’t come up with a plot that would make for seamless world building and exposition.
 
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Woollybear

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Nothing from me. Wheels are spinning. I had a nice time at critique session yesterday and enjoyed all the excerpts (while providing no written words of my own.) I hope by Sunday or Monday I'm back in the groove.

Carry on.
 

Lea123

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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.
Childfree as in my own child. After a day at work, I'm usually using matchsticks to keep my eyes open and taking it one word at a time. I mean, who teaches 30 kids and then has their own?! Who does that?! Me... :LOL:

DAY 28 - 1,000 words read through. Not enough time in the day today...
 
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Taylor Harbin

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I stayed up way past bedtime tonight, but after six days at clocking in at 7500 words, my new short story is complete! I've never rewritten a folktale before, but despite the numerous typos and lots of things I forgot to insert, it's a relatively clean draft.

I'm going to go crash now...
 

Nether

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Day 28 was 3,263.

Book 8's ending is shaping up to be a bit of a mess because the pieces aren't quite in place. Because the timeline is so condensed, certain things haven't been able to happen so the individual payoffs for each character's story aren't lining up exactly. I'll probably need to revise a good chunk of the ending.

The other problem is that I'm taking a little too long to get to the ending. I'm at 78,100 words and I'm at least 5 POV chapters out from finishing, probably more. It may wind up going 95k+ which would mean a much heavier revision down the line to trim the length since horror tends to run shorter... although it's more supernatural drama than horror.

Again, it'd be a non-issue if not for NaNo, since normally I'd be fine taking it out a few extra days. Instead, I'll probably go into crunch time.

In general, I'm thinking I'd rather draft a bad ending I can revise down the road than leave it without an ending.

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TSarnes -- 40k words meaning just the outline? That's a good amount of detail.

Noticing some negative self-talk in here - celebrate every word, guys. It's okay to miss your word goal sometimes - life happens. Enjoy the experience. <3

I find that consistent, productive motivation requires a mix of positivity and negatively. If you don't hold yourself accountable (which requires some negativity), you aren't necessarily going to be able to push yourself.

That said, not everybody necessarily wants to push themselves. It really comes down to what each writer is looking to accomplish.
 

TStarnes

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Day 26
The month's almost over and I'm only about a thousand from my 75k word goal.

The Trumpets of Mars: No work done on the outline.
Fanfare: 1,849 words written. Hit and went over the new goal.
Extraction: 1,667 words written. Also Hit the new goal and went over a bit.
 

Nether

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Day 29 was 2,877 words.

MS Word hadn't crashed in almost a week, so it decided to conk out on me today. I was working on some critique partner stuff, and I think I only last maybe the last five comments I'd made.

Otherwise, I forced myself to do some critique partner stuff -- despite being in crunch mode -- just because I haven't finished it and I really should have it back to them this weekend.

Book 8 should be nearing a conclusion soon. I'm not sure how many POV chapters it's going to take to get me there, so everything is a little hazy. I might change several parts of the ending to wrap things up. I hadn't really figured out the set-up for that anyway since it required a character figuring out 1-2 key plot points, which he had to convey to another character so they could get a third character there.

Instead, I might build it more around that third character, and change where the final confrontation happens. The stakes will be far lower, but I'm not sure where a person is supposed to get a ton of explosives on short notice, particularly when he's unfamiliar with the area... although I guess the alternative would require me to do a lot of research that could get me on a FBI watch list.

And I got a rejection back on that second short story (second one I've mentioned in these topics, not second overall), and I was fairly ticked about that because the boilerplate mentions it's not within the guidelines. It's for a mirror-themed anthology, and my submission incorporated (and featured) multiple mirrors, as well as a character's mirror image. I at first thought I goofed on the formatting, but I checked the formatting guide they referenced, and I'm compliant, so it strictly must be content. A normal rejection is whatever, but this is just annoying and insulting ("We're sorry, but your submission does not meet our guidelines. Please carefully review guidelines for any market before submitting, including subject matter and manuscript format.."), particularly given that the guidelines for the subject matter are long and a little vague.

I'd like to say I'm sick and tired of short fiction markets -- and part of me is -- but I'm still planning on submitting to a few other things. And from time-to-time I get the urge to write a short story. (Although anything 2k+ words I wind up wanting to do as something much longer.)

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TSarnes -- 75k across everything or just on one project? Coincidentally enough, I just broke 76k words (on book 8) for the month myself on day 28.
 
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Lea123

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I'd like to say I'm sick and tired of short fiction markets -- and part of me is -- but I'm still planning on submitting to a few other things. And from time-to-time I get the urge to write a short story. (Although anything 2k+ words I wind up wanting to do as something much longer.)
The rejection issue sucks, I'm raging for you.

I'm also really envious of people who can write short stories... mine seem to go on and I'm trying to cut down and edit but still ending up with more words than I had originally... :ROFLMAO:

DAY 29
I was in the writing zone and decided to limit myself on here as I'm so easily distracted at the moment. I ended up staying awake until midnight and got a solid 5 hours writing in with a short break to down some mint tea... then couldn't sleep. It's half term and that's fine, it's how I think / create best. It's not so great when I need to be up at 5:30 to get to work etc.

So, I ended up with:
- 4,000 word rewrite.
- 2 scenes combed through for minor punctuation errors and some continuity alterations.
- Accidental character backstory idea that works and I'm sat here wondering why I didn't see it all along. Poor Grit... I feel like he's been waving and yelling at me for months and I've only just heard him.
- Broke the 200,000 word mark which is not okay BUT there are some chapters marked for cutting out, I just need to get to them first and put them in the 'cut' folder.
 

TStarnes

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Day 27
Preparing for a day job work trip, so didn't have a lot of time to write, so missed a bunch of goals today.

The Trumpets of Mars: Mad a little progress on it.
Fanfare: 0 words written. Ouch
Extraction: 778 words written. Only half the goal.


Nether: On the outline, yeah it is long, but I treat my outline almost as a first draft and outline down to the scene level to work out not just the story arcs but things like pacing. The 75k was across 2 stories + a bit that still had to be finished on another one the first few days of the month. Next month I should be writing 3 stories, so that number will go up.
 

Lea123

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Day 30
- Read through the mass I wrote last night. It'll need another comb through on my final, pre beta read I imagine but I want to be further into proofing the rest of the story (I've lingered so long in the first 1/3 I'm getting bored). I'm glad I rewrote the chunk I did. There needed to be a bit more action, what I'd done originally didn't sit right.

- 3,000 words read through and chopped down.

I love the target / word count bit in Scrivener but it's quite sad watching the counter decrease and go from green to orange and then red... Must have got rid of 100 words worth of crutch words alone from when I went on a writing spree.:e2woo:
 

Gatteau

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Day 29: 585 words
More backstory for my upcoming NaNo MC - she's starting to feel like a whole person, pretty cool.

Cindy - your genealogy stuff sounds so cool! My mom has been doing that with our family for a few years, every time I talk to her, it seems like she's telling me about some cousins she found in Sweden, or ancestors in the Revolutionary War, or an entire village in Poland that may be related... I don't quite have the patience for it, but I love seeing the results.

Woollybear - Covers sound exciting!

Taylor - Yeah, time travel has to be one of the toughest plot structures to figure out. Probably why I keep pushing mine back every time I need a new project to work on...

Nether - I have a feeling most writers must end up on watch lists sooner or later. My current project involves a lot of heist/con/safe cracking related research - may not be the biggest red flags, but I'd probably be suspicious of me at this point too...
 

Helix

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Day 31: I've had the past few days off and am not resuming writing until tomorrow.

Didn't do too badly this month: 16 pieces for Medium, some of which will provide foundations for longer articles elsewhere, and two sales (one online, one print). But I'm aiming to hit bigger numbers in November. Onwards, peeps!

Great work, everyone! Nether, good luck with your next short story submissions!
 

Cindyt

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Day 30

WORD COUNT 618

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET (Draft 3) –

HISTORICAL EBOOK (formatting for paperback version) – Finished Chapters 11, 12, & 13

Psycho – oops, hope my two outlaw ancestors weren’t with them.

Woolly - WTG on 800 words!

Gatteau – Grats on 585 words! Your genealogy sounds very interesting. You must be proud. I find the search fascinating.
 

Gatteau

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Day 30: 968 words
More backstory, and some brainstorming.

Helix - Congrats, have some delicious tea!

Cindy - There were definitely a lot of pretty interesting people in my past, it's very cool to almost feel like I know them.
 

Nether

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Day 30 was 3,541 words.

The "D" key ripped off the replacement laptop (first it jammed, then it came off when I was fiddling with it), which is all kinds of annoying. I grabbed an old normal keyboard to plug into it, but carrying all of this around is going to be a pain, as will be balancing it, etc. Plus I'm not used to a normal keyboard because I've spent at least the last 5-8 years using laptops. I'll have to look and see which other keyboards I have, or buy one where the keys sit flush against the keyboard (and possibly a wireless version).

I guess there's never a good time for something like that, but it happens when I'm scrambling to finish book 8, scrambling to finish crit partner stuff, and readying to write book 9 during NaNo.

Anyway, when book 8 is done, I'll probably want to do a continuity edit on it later in the week because, probably due to the condensed timeline and overlapping events, there's a stupid amount of continuity in it, probably more than anything else I've written. I'm trying to keep track of who knew what when and where, which is worse than book 5 somehow. (I might want to stay away from multi-POV novels in general for a while.) Part of it is simple stuff, like characters referring to each other solely by nicknames, relationships, or their longer first names -- and I decided on that approach a bit later in -- but there's some heavier stuff that could feel like plot holes (or might even be plot holes).

Anyway, I didn't get as much done as I hoped. I'm closer to the ending, but... it's getting a little tight. Plus I'd wanted to kick back and read some scary stories on Halloween.

I'm also really envious of people who can write short stories... mine seem to go on and I'm trying to cut down and edit but still ending up with more words than I had originally...

I used to like writing short stories (and loved reading the really short ones) -- although for a long while I just wasn't finishing them -- but I think my mindset shifted when I moved to long-fiction, and now I just tend to think in terms of long fiction.

I guess where my disconnect has always been, both as a reader and writer, is where short stories hit a certain length. Even when I'd go through anthologies, if I saw something was over 10 pages, I would either hold off on that story or skip it altogether (because it just feels like an awkward length).

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Lea -- Sounds like you had a productive day. And that's 200k words on the novel itself? I keep thinking I'll eventually write a long fantasy novel, but... I think I probably would play it safe by sticking to no more than 130-140k words.

Gatteau -- I imagine a group of writers would make an interesting heist crew with their unusual set of knowledge. (And the robbery itself could be research for a book!)

Helix -- Grats on the sales

Also I guess Happy Halloween, everyone!
 

Imaginaryist

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ha! found this thread and posting the last day of the month, but as far as my goal.
1. come out here and post something (hopefully useful) daily.
2. write (not out here) daily.
3. work on my novel 3 times a week (reading and fixing all the problems I have is like rebuilding a body from scratch, and expecting it to know English and hold down an intelligent conversation with you afterward).
 

Nether

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ha! found this thread and posting the last day of the month, but as far as my goal.
1. come out here and post something (hopefully useful) daily.
2. write (not out here) daily.
3. work on my novel 3 times a week (reading and fixing all the problems I have is like rebuilding a body from scratch, and expecting it to know English and hold down an intelligent conversation with you afterward).

You might be late for the October one, but you're just in time for the November edition

 

TStarnes

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Day 30
I think I might have gotten off on my day count, because yesterday was definitely day 30.

The Trumpets of Mars: Finished the outline, ready to start writing
Fanfare: Deleted almost 3k words and realized I need to completely re-write 3 chapters. Something I'd put in my outline just doesn't work in practice and re-reading the section I'm really not happy with it.
Extraction: 1431 words written.
Going Home: Started working on the outline for this