Resolution Update — November 2013

I love the idea of National Novel Writing Month. I love the community that comes together in support of each other. I love the madcap dash to write that book now before the idea dissolves into the ether!

I do not love that every November I seem to have huge work commitments that eat up all my spare time and energy. Plus there’s the holidays and I have a large family, so Thanksgiving means either hosting a dozen people for dinner or traveling out of town. This leaves little time for writing.

This year was a little different. I didn’t have huge work projects, but I did have a personal commitment to finish the manuscript of Trust Me, I’m A Lawyer so I could submit it by the end of the month. Because that was my priority, I didn’t sign up for NaNoWriMo this year. Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 3.25.24 PM

But, somehow, I still managed to write and at the end of November, I had logged 15,087 words. That’s nearly 300 more words than my monthly goal of 14,795. So yay! And I finished the revisions for Trust Me and submitted the full manuscript. Now the waiting…

So what did I write this month? A good chunk, 3,270 words, was rewriting scenes in Trust Me. Another 4,784 was on the first-person WIP that is still untitled. And 7,033 words was an outline for a story that one day, I hope, will be book No. 4 in the Twin Rivers series that begins with Trust Me. This last idea grew out of something that my friend’s ex-husband did several years ago, but when I was recently re-telling the story to someone, I got angry all over again. So I decided to put that energy to good use. It’s been productive and cathartic.

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 3.24.49 PMAnyway, I’m now at 136,748 words for the year. My goal was to reach 180,000 words in 2013, and it’s looking very doubtful that I’ll make it.

In the next month, I’m going to do my damnedest to reach my yearly goal, though if I make the 15,000 word goal for the month, I’ll be thrilled. I’ve completed 8 chapters in the first-person WIP and since I have an outline, it’s flowing pretty well. I’m planning to focus on that WIP until the end of the year.

Of course, I’ll be squeezing the writing in between parties, baking, tree-cutting, decorating, gift-wrapping, and all the other fun things that happen this time of year. And with that thought, I think I’ll take a break from the keyboard and start pulling down Christmas decor from the attic.

Just add caffeine

Fortune10 Keen MindSounds like a recipe for trouble, but I’ll take it. This might be the best combination of assets for a fiction writer. Just add a good cup of coffee and I’ll be off and running on my new project.

Which is what I’m going to do today. Somehow, despite deliberately not joining NaNoWriMo this year, I have managed to write about 14,000 words so far this month. I won’t get to 50,000, but I’m going to keep writing. Some of this was from the rewrites on Trust Me, but most of it is on a new WIP. That active mind is actually a little hyperactive and when combined with a keen imagination, all sorts of wonderful things can happen.

Nova Scotia sunset

Nova Scotia 41
Nova Scotia, September 2013

Still around, but busy revising the finished draft so I can submit it. Unfortunately, I’m taking a couple days away from that task for the day job. So here’s another vacation photo while I’m off doing difficult job-related things. I am very happy that I opted out of NaNoWriMo this year. It would not have been pretty.

Resolution Update — October 2013

I didn’t expect to have much to report this month and well, that just about came true. I got the manuscript back from my second beta reader, so I dove back into edits on Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer. Because of that, I didn’t write much last month.

Still, I did write 5,968 words in October, most of that in the first week before I had Trust Me back. Most of that, 4,192 words, was on a lite-paranormal romance that I think will turn into a novella. This is out of my normal area of expertise, which would be suspense and humorous romance. It’s been fun to explore a new sub-genre and develop the supernatural world where the story is set. I also wrote 234 words on the sequel to Trust Me, and 1,542 words on a contemporary novella that I started a couple months ago. I’m not sure where the novella is going, but I’m more than half done with it, so I’ll keep working on it and see what develops.

I’m at 121,661 words for the year so far, which is 68% of my goal. To make my goal of 180,000 words in 2013, I’ll need to write about 58,000 words. That sounds… crazy. But no one ever accused writers of being sane.

So after I wrote nearly 6,000 words in the first seven days of October, I took the comments from my second beta reader (Thanks, Deb!) and started working her suggestions into the manuscript. As I was finishing the revisions using the comments from my second beta reader, I realized that I was not working on the same version that I had revised with the comments from the first beta. And now… ugh. I don’t even know. I guess I need to compare them side-by-side? Blergh.

And that’s why I’ll be spending the first part of November revising, delaying my entry into NaNoWriMo. Which is fine, really. I want to finish Trust Me and get the finished manuscript out to an interested party. (I just have to add that I can’t say that without smiling, particularly because of who the interested party is. SO HAPPY!) I haven’t yet chosen a WIP to focus on in November. I have two WIPs with completed outlines, but it would be nice to jump into the sequel to Trust Me, too. And then there’s that paranormal WIP that’s been tugging at my sleeve.

At least I’ll have a little more time to mull that over, while I start my revisions again.

Happy NaNoWriMo to those participating! Good luck!

And now, to the red pen!


The Muse beckons

I am so close to finishing the revisions on Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer. I am up to Chapter 22 and have about 120 pages left. Thank goodness for beta readers who can catch everything from typos to plot holes. Now I need to decide whether to combine two scenes into one, which I hope will tighten up the middle, and I need to rewrite the last chapter to wrap up some loose ends.

While my Inner Editor is trying to focus, my Muse is already starting to look ahead. Yes, I do hear both of their voices, like a pair of bickering sisters. In the last week, the Editor has been winning. I’ve been really productive, getting through large chunks of the book in each sitting. But the Muse, she tugs at my sleeve and points out all sorts of new shiny ideas.

Look at the calendar, she says. It’s almost November and you know what that means — National Novel Writing Month is almost here!

Yeah, Muse, I know. I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo many times in the past. But right now, I have a finished novel that needs to be revised, polished and sent off by November 11. That’s going to cut into my drafting time for NaNoWriMo.

Ah, but remember that excellent character I gave you? the Muse reminds me. The impetuous one? With good intentions, but a bad track record? She’s going to be so much fun to write. You don’t want to put that off.

Well, I may not want to, but I have to. I have these other characters that you gave me and I’d like to get their story published.

Yes, but how about this? *Hands me a fortune cookie.*


You’re good, Muse, very good.

I am, aren’t I?

Fine, one hour. Then I’m going back to revisions. Then you’ll leave me alone until I finish this project?

Oh, yes. I promise. I won’t bother you unless the next idea is really good and perfect for you…

Resolution Update — September 2013

I didn’t expect that September would be a very good month for writing. I had a two week vacation planned, which meant I would be away from my keyboard during that time. Plus, the first half of the month was busy at work because I was preparing to be away. Yet, I managed to exceed my goal for the month and was struck by inspiration while away so I have ideas for three more books. Yay!

First, the stats.Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 10.12.44 PM

My goal for September was 14,795 words. I wrote 20,847 words. That brought me up to 115,693 words for the year. My daily average was 695 words per day, but that’s a little misleading because I only wrote 14 days in September. So that’s actually *looks for calculator* an average of 1,489 words every day that I wrote. My best day writing was 3,600 words and my lowest daily word-count was 183. I’m now at 64 percent of my yearly goal of 180,000 words.

I focused on two projects last month — one was a first-person POV mystery/thriller (14,392 words) and the other was a novella idea (6,455 words) that struck suddenly and out of the blue and I’m not sure how to describe it. A lite paranormal romance? Sure, that works. I think it’s going to be a novella, but we’ll see.

I also received comments from a beta reader on Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer and should get the other beta reader’s comments in the next couple of weeks. Then I’m looking forward to reviewing their suggestions and reworking that manuscript in October.

Until I get to dive back into Ben and Lindsey’s story, I’m going to continue writing on the two unnamed projects as inspiration hits. My goal for October is to write 15,288 words and to write daily, even if it’s just a few words. I’d also like to make my plans for NaNoWriMo. I have two WIPs that are fully outlined, including the first-person project I wrote on this month, and I think I may use one of them for November. Or maybe I’ll take one of the ideas that hit me while on vacation and just run with it.

Resolution Update — July 2013

This was a really good month for me. Probably the best writing month ever. Not only did I surpass my monthly word-count goal, but I also accomplished one of my 2013 goals – I finished a manuscript. I have a finished manuscript of Trust Me, I’m A Lawyer.

2.  Finish and edit TMIAL
This is the project formerly known as the novella. My intermediate deadline for this resolution is Feb. 14 — because Valentine’s Day seems like a good a day as any to finish writing a romantic story.

It’s certainly not Valentine’s Day, but it’s done. Finishing a manuscript was also one of my unfinished 2012 goals. And 2011, if I had been tracking my goals back then.

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 3.18.56 PMI wrote a book.

Sometimes I have to just write that out and let it sink in for a few minutes because I am so damn pleased with myself.

OK, back to the resolutions. I have gone through Trust Me with my purple pen and am making those changes in the electronic version now. It will go out to my critique partner next week for her review and I’ll focus on writing a synopsis and blurb.

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 3.18.39 PMI finished Trust Me on July 15 and then spent the last two weeks editing. But I did manage to write 17,152 words this month, which was more than my goal of 15,288 words. I’m now at 51 percent of my yearly goal, with 91,726 words written this year.

Most of my work this month was on Trust Me, with 9,192 words on that project. I wrote some notes on a sequel which amounted to another 576 words. And I had an idea that hit me in the middle of the night (again) and jotted down some scenes and a sketchy sort of outline for a new project, for another 7,384 words.

I’ll probably write more at length about the editing process later, but in short, it’s been challenging and I think I may have converted from a pantser to an outliner because making large changes to structure is much harder than I anticipated. I will again recommend Scrivener for making it easier to move scenes and chapters around, though.

So, to recap:  1) I wrote a book, and 2) there’s more work to do, but I wrote a book.

Bring on the red pen!*

July2013 28Here it is — all 396 pages of the first draft of Trust Me, I’m A Lawyer. I printed it out and it didn’t fit in the binder I bought. So back to the office supply store, where I stocked up on editing supplies.

Taking the advice of many seasoned writers, I changed the font before printing this draft. It’s already helped. I’ve found several minor errors that I had read a hundred times and never noticed.

I have a long weekend ahead of me and hope to get some major structural changes nailed down. Then, I’ll print another draft and mail it off to my critique partner with some lovely thank-you gifts for tackling this project with me.

July2013 27
Not pictured: Chocolate, booze.

And once that package is in the mail, I’m looking forward to stepping away from this WIP and diving back into one of the many other projects on my computer.

* Well, not red pens. I don’t like using red ink. It looks so harsh. I have purple and green editing pens at the ready. It’s a kinder, gentler editing pen.

Resolution Update — June 2013

It’s not the goal I wanted to announce this month, but I can officially cross one item off my list of New Years Resolutions for 2013.

5.   Submit something    A leftover from my 2012 resolution. It can be anything — a writing contest, a query to an agent, submission to a publisher. Just put something out there to show what I can do.

I submitted something to a contest. My entry barely made it in under the wire, but I hit send. That’s a big deal to me. It also softens the blow of having not met my monthly word-count goal in June.

I did make some progress in my WIP, and wrote 9,304 words. Of that, 2,212 was on the sequel to the WIP that I’ve nearly finished. Sometimes the voices just won’t leave you alone. Hmm, that makes me sound unstable. Let me rephrase that:  The voices of my characters were speaking loudly this month, so I wrote some banter between the two main characters. I jotted down a few sentences in another project, just to make a note to myself about setting and description. And I wrote 7,010 words on Trust Me.

I wrote on 15 days in June. The first couple weeks were not very productive. I was stuck on a pivotal scene — so much so that I wrote it three times. I finally found a version that I like, so I am now moving on to the finale and then the resolution.

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 6.28.58 PMScreen Shot 2013-06-30 at 6.28.42 PM I’m behind on my yearly goal, which is to write 180,000 words in 2013. I’m 41 percent toward my goal for the year and I should be 50 percent done. I also only accomplished 63 percent of my monthly goal, which was to write 14,795 words in June.

I have a couple long weekends in the next month and my work schedule isn’t crazy, so I’m hopeful to make up some ground. I’ll also be participating in CampNaNo in July, but not with a 50,000 words goal. My goal will be to finish the last scenes of the current WIP, which will probably total fewer than 5,000 words.

And then? I’ll probably do some revisions and then ship it off to my critique partner. And while its away, I will either work on the next book in that series or maybe the previous NaNoWriMo project that I’ve outlined. Or who knows. Maybe more voices will make themselves known and make me tell their stories.