Plotting and Pantsing

As we near the close of NaNoWriMo 2016, I finally feel as though I have wrapped my head around my writing style [took me long enough]. I’ve tried pantsing and I’ve tried plotting, and while they’ve lead to successful NaNo’s for me in the past, it was really this year that I feel I’ve hit my stride as a fiction author.

Yet, I’m significantly behind when you look at word count.

At first, this bothered me. But now I realize that it doesn’t matter.

I thought I was alone in the way a story came together for me, but I recently read an article on Diana Gabaldon and learned that I am not. It was quite reassuring to discover that another author writes scenes and then later pieces them together to create a story.

And so I went with that this year, creating scenes and letting the plot come together on it’s own.

I was then able to take those bits and pieces and create an outline after the fact which then allowed me to further develop the story and plot.

I pantsed it and then planned it and it really worked for me.

After this month, I will be stepping away from it to work on my next nonfiction book, then return to it for editing. It’s about time.

Dear Words

Dear five thousand extra words,

I know it may be asking much, but your sudden yet magical disappearance would be greatly appreciated. Your existence is currently making my life somewhat more difficult than is necessary and I’ve decided to write about three hundred more words just to tell you this.

Listen, I hate to have to cut you out myself because, well, let’s face it, I feel like I need you. And you and I both know that no one wants their feelings hurt. You may be five thousand words too many, but I truly feel like you belong right where you are! The problem is that I just can’t have you around right now.

I am truly sorry to say this, but I really need you to go. It would be better for both you and I, our future, and the possibility of you returning one day. In fact, I can confidently say that the sooner you leave, the more quickly the chance of your return will come. If I decide to pursue a further degree or even expand my dissertation into a book, you’ll be welcomed back with open arms.

But for now, let’s just make this easy for both of us. If you leave, we can remain friends. If you decide to stay… Well, let’s just say I’m hoping it doesn’t come down to that. And for the record, it isn’t you. It’s the word count. It is always the word count.

I hope this doesn’t affect our friendship because I know I will need you in the future. Whenever writer’s block comes around, I hope you’ll have my back. I’m sorry it didn’t work out and I hope things will be better in the near future.

Sincerely,

Your friend, the verbose writer.

Thoughts on Working or Writing Through Self-Doubt

I have been working diligently behind the scenes as of late, ignoring my blog, Twitter and Facebook. As I put my head down, working on projects that were important as they were income-generating, I struggled with something that has often been capable of holding me back in the past.

Like many artists, writers, or creatives, I go through phases where I find myself wondering just what the heck I am doing. Why I am doing it? Is this what I should be doing? Is it how I should be spending my life? Where did all that time go? Why haven’t I finished my novel? Why haven’t I picked it up in weeks? Months?

These moments of self-doubt creep up on me and while they used to be paralyzing, I’ve found that working through them can help me push them aside. I can’t let them stop me. It would be an endless cycle.

Just Because Your Writing Career Doesn’t Look The Way You Imagined It Would

I have always aspired to be a writer. At a young age I had a very clear vision of what that would be. And while I must admit that I did go on to become a professional writer, it just wasn’t in the way that I had hoped.

I was certain that I would be an author. That I would write books in the fantasy/science fiction genres and that would be that. I had no idea that I would become a copywriter and that the majority of my work would be to write marketing copy and blog posts. But that’s what I do now.

It was a constant battle to remind myself that while I wasn’t doing what I had hoped, I was still a writer.

I’d love to do nothing but write fantasy books, but it isn’t realistic. Fewer and fewer author are able to make a living entirely off their careers as fiction writers. And it isn’t just in this particular industry that this problem exists.

I see many of my musician friends who have been relegated to taking day jobs to support their music career. And I often see them view it as a failure.

In all honesty, I used to feel that way about my writing career. Working at a job that wasn’t writing what I wanted to write was a failure. But really, when I think about it now, it wasn’t. I’m still writing. Even if it wasn’t what I originally envisioned. I am writing. And that’s worth celebrating. Or, at least, worth reminding myself that I am doing what I wanted even if it doesn’t look the way that I wanted it to look.

So for now, I am going to continue keeping my head down. Working at my job, writing marketing blurbs and posts during the day. Heading home and working up the motivation to open up my fantasy book and keep at it.

I cannot wait for inspiration to find me. I must go out and find it myself.

It’s Been a While

Hey there,

It’s been a while since I have last been here to update my site. I apologize for it being so long between updates.

I work full time and so I haven’t had as much time as I would like to work on my book the past two months. Nor have I had the opportunity to write any of the blog posts I have had in mind for this site.

But rather than continue to apologize for having neglected this space for far too long, I will instead leave you with some interesting reads from around the interwebs.

Recent Reads: I finally got around to reading Dune. I wish it had not taken me so long to get to, but either way, I am so glad that I finally read it. Highly recommended if you, like me, missed this great work of fantasy/science-fiction.

Recent Revelations:

A Quick Update

Well, hello there. It seems that I have neglected this space for some time. Sorry about that.

NaNoWriMo is done and I needed to take a bit of break before I decided it was time to delve back into the 50,000 word monster that I created during the month of December.

It has been 10 days and the time away has been refreshing. I am ready to get back into it.

My book is quite a mess and so I am going to have to do some restructuring before I can even think about editing. But you know what? I am totally fine with that. I am looking forward to leaping back into this project. A bit of a break was just what I needed.

Progress

I recently discovered this awesome progress bar widget and I thought it would be fun to do a quick update with the progress of my various projects.


Fantasy Novel


NaNoWriMo 2014


Short Story

Overall, I am behind on my NaNoWriMo project this year, but it is still early on so I hope to catch up soon.

A Quick Note

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, so I won’t be frequenting Twitter and this space as often as usual. I hope to check in with weekly updates.

If you’re participating this year – good luck. If not, happy writing either way.

See you on the other side.

Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo 2014

I write quite regularly. Even with my job I try to hit a minimum wordcount each and every day and I like to think that I do quite well at it.

Despite writing x amount of words a day, I write without deadlines. This means that I can tend to spend an endless amount of time working on my novel ideas and stories because I do not have a set date for when they need to be “finished.” NaNoWriMo is a great way to give yourself a set date. On November 30th, one should have a “completed” novel (or at least a significant chunk of one).

I’ve been playing around with an idea for an historical fiction novel for some time and even though I’ve invested a year into my fantasy novel, I think I’m going to take a break and try my hand at NaNoWriMo this year, giving my second novel idea a chance.

In preparation, I’ve been doing quite a bit of research and so I’m going to use these last two weeks or so to try to outline this one in advance (I typically write, outline once I have a feel for the story, and then continue writing).

If you feel inclined to join me on my NaNoWriMo adventure, you can find me here.

Random Thoughts

1. I am now 2/3rds of the way through finishing my first book and I think I’m going to have to take some time away from it before I begin editing so that I can come back to it with fresh eyes.

2. I have officially filled up every bookshelf I own and I currently have to navigate around piles of books on the floor and on my desk. I may be overdue to buy another shelf. Personally, I feel as though you can never own too many books (especially if they are books you enjoy), so for the moment, I don’t mind the mess too terribly.

3. I’m going to try out NaNoWriMo this year. If you’re participating, let’s be writing buddies!

4. Some days I feel like this more than others:

5. Lately I’ve been making an effort to do a lot of free writing and it’s resulted in several ideas I plan on keeping for later. Writing daily is the best habit I’ve picked up both for brainstorming and for overall improvement.

6. Great (but older) post from Alexandra Bracken on why not everything she writes needs to be something she submits.

Anyway, back to writing!