Posts Tagged ‘Writing Goals’

Welcome to this week’s Weekly Writing Wrap-up. It was an interesting week, for me and I met one of my goals for last week. Let’s dive right in.

Let’s start with Development first for a change. This was the goal I meet last week. I wanted to have at least two days of Development for Long Live and my Superhero Epic web series. I got two days, but only my superhero epic was worked on this week. I was able to get through part 3 of the outline I had and collect the bullets that I want to keep and not keep. I kept pretty much every bullet, the ones I didn’t, were merged into others. I even wrote down ideas for flashbacks to help flesh out important the main protagonist turned antagonist turned protagonist. There are many relationships with a few girls who are important to what is going on.

I do want to talk about his origins in this story without being locked into the restricting nature of stories that origins stories have. By the time we meet Cade (that’s his superhero name) he has gone through a lot. I feel it is important that we see how Cade is influenced leading to the events of this story. I am not sure if it will be several flashbacks told throughout the whole story or if I will use it as an arch of the overall story.

If you want to know what I am talking about. Well, you can check out Worm (The link takes you to the table of contents) a web serial. This where I got the idea to do this as a web series. You can see that the story is broken up into arcs. I will be doing something similar. I can’t say it will be 30 arcs and an epilogue. The story will be as long as I feel it needs. Before I go any further, I do plan on having this be the start of my own superhero universe. How many stories will take place in it, I don’t know. I have at least three other stories in mind, plus ideas for a few others. Time will tell.

My next step for this story is now to start breaking up the story into arcs. I know the first part needs more than it is to make the events be what I want. Once I have my arc’s done, it will be developing a scene list for the first two arc’s maybe even the first three.

Moving on to Writing, I wrote four days in a row. But one of those days doesn’t count. What!? I wrote Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Sunday doesn’t count as that was part of the week before. So I didn’t meet my goal of writing four days. I will say it was very fun and easier to write as the week went on. Wednesday was probably the easiest to write. However, I hit another stumbling spot that caused me to stop. I could have continued writing Thursday, as what has me thinking is not my next scene. It’s how I end the section I am in. There is no real conflict. I reveal two people who Taryn is trying to find out and that they leave. She doesn’t get to confront them or even try to stop them.

That comes in Taryn’s next section. So, I am working through if I should move the first few scenes of that section to my current section. I believe it is section three. That way the section will end with some action in a section that is very emotional. I am leaning towards it, but haven fully decided. I will truly make that decision when I get to the last current scene of section three (or whatever number section I am actually on).

I have to say I am feeling a little guilty. This past week I started learning Swift 3. If you don’t know what that is, it is the programming language used in all MacOS and iOS apps. I found the course on Udemy for $10. I have been looking for a class that is actually current not out of date by the time I get the class. Anyway, the instructor says to learn it you need to code every day. So I have, yet I should be writing every day, but I am not. So I feel guilty.

That leads me to this week’s goals.

Weekly Goals:

Writing

  • Write four days this week ($30 fine if not achieved)
    • Write five days this week ($30 spending reward)

Development

  • Develop three days this week
    • Two of those days are on Long Live

There you have it. You have my goals for the week. Once I have my arc’s done for Warlord of New York City, I am going be posting a writing schedule. I have decided while writing this post, that I am going to be writing the next two books of the Veil Trilogy and all three books of Forbidden Realm. They won’t be back to back. Long Live will be placed in there somewhere, as will other arcs for Warlord of New York City. That is something you can look forward to.

That’s all for this week. Check back on Saturday, for the next post in our last sub-series in our year long Worldbuilding series.

Welcome to the first Weekly Writing Wrap-up of 2017. This will be a short one, well because I have been slacking. Let’s dive into it.

Writing, I got one chapter done of editing on Seeing Through the Veil. Boy was it tough. Two-three weeks of not touching it getting back into the flow of the events were touch. Something tells me when I need to spend a little more time on that chapter when I go to polish. Sadly, I only got around to writing yesterday. Not how I would have liked to start 2017 off, but oh well. I plan to finish my new schedule by the end of tomorrow and really stick to it. For the first time in a long time, I have a non-changing work schedule where I can plan around. Seeing through the Veil takes priority.

I may not have gotten much writing done this past week, I did get a little more development on my multiverse. Well, kind of. I got more flow of the events down. What I need to do is wrap up the events I working, because it leads to an important event in my multiverse. From there, I plan to take what I have come up with and really dive into it a little more plunge it into a Scrivener file. Then I will move on to some other elements that I hadn’t planned for. I will look at those ideas and flesh them out and then bring the two together, to see how they might go together. Beyond that, I will keep in mind the main thing everyone one wants and start gathering ideas for the actual plot for the grand master events that are going on. Also, what characters from other series will play larger roles and new characters.

Beyond that, I have nothing else to do. Something new I am going to try this year is to set deadlines okay more like target dates to complete certain things. Like my schedule needs to be done by the end of tomorrow. Seeing Through the Veil I am targeting around February first or second week. Once I get my schedule done and keep to it, I may get the draft done by the end of January, which would be so much better.

Please check back soon as last week Craft post will be posted shortly. Check back on Friday for this week’s Craft Post, we will be starting a new sub-series. Not sure what it is, so stay tuned.

signature2017

Welcome to this weeks Craft Post the last of 2015. Well, actually last weeks was the last one for 2015 as this is my year in review post. I am going to look at my yearly goals I set out to achieve this year and see how I did. I will follow this weeks post next weeks with my Writing Goals for 2016. This will probably be an additional post or fill in for my writing wrap up post on Friday not sure. If you’re are new to my blog, and wonder why I am saying goals and not resolutions please read lasts years post on Why New Years Writing Resolutions Are A Waste Of My Time & Yours. I don’t do resolutions for writing or any other area of my life. I thought about re-writing that post again but there is not point.

Let’s jump right into my writing goals for 2015, I only have four of them and if you look to the left of your screen you will see the following. (Only if it is before January 1, 2016. After that my new writing goals will be posted.)

  • Write a 1,000 words 3 days a week.
  • Have something to publish by the end of the year.
  • Write three short films, and film one.
  • Free content for this blog and Review Blog

As I look back on 2015, this was a good year for me writing wise and it is not because I achieved all my writing goals this year. Actually, I only achieved two of them (clearly the ones that are bold). My biggest goal was to go back to the basics that every author or experienced write I have talked to or read says. Write daily. I never learnt that lesson and it was alway spread out and sometimes my months. I wanted to learn this so I set myself a goal of writing a 1000 words for 3 days a week. Yep failed on that for most of the year. It wasn’t until this fall that I actually started writing something and still writing. In that time I went from writing three days a week to seven. Not a 1000 word each day, sometimes other times not. Since October I have written all seven days accept once and that was one week ago from yesterday. I didn’t like that feeling.

The other one was come up with free content for this blog and my review blog. Again, I just started doing that in October, and that was only for this blog. I did post a few reviews on my review blog, but not like I wish. I am still counting it as success. If I went all of 2015 without posting on that blog I wouldn’t. So, in the last three months I have achieved two goals of the four. I don’t have something ready for publication or have I written three short films and filmed one. I did write on short, just not three.

You maybe asking yourself why I think this was a good year of writing if I just achieved my two of my writing goals and barely? I will tell you why, because this year I spent more time developing other projects and discovering my love for other stories I have been wanting to write for years. Marks of Eilira has sucked me dry of all creative and writing desire for years and while I still enjoy that story it was too broken to fix without getting so massive distances from it. Thanks to that, I was able to look at other stories. Now, I know the overall story for my Daemonium series, I got new creative ideas for Forbidden Realm that is going to bring some life to that story in new ways that I never thought it could. I came up with a larger story idea and created my World of Five Worlds and mapped out and I am not writing the first book from my first ever book series Seeing Through the Veil as part of that story arch. My larger story I wanted to write connecting all of my worlds together is finally taking shape in a new way, an awesome way. Most importantly, I am starting to develop a schedule for my writing on how to write a book, and develop another series completely different from it. Something I will need to be able to do if I want to be able to get all my stories I have done in my life time.

Yes, achieving two of my goals I had post are great, especially since around the time I start to write Seeing Through the Veil and posting more, I started to think I was not going to achieve any of them. That was going to be a hard pill to swallow being basically in the same spot I was last year. However, I achieved more goals then I could have possibly posted and have had for a very long time. I wish I had posted more of them, but oh well. Now the task is to come up with new goals for 2016. Trust me I have many, but how many will get posted and how many won’t because I forget them before I write my post.

I hope everyone had a good writing year, and hope as this year comes to a close and you look back on the year, you achieved what you wanted. For those who didn’t, use that feeling of failure/regret/anger whatever you’re feeling and use it to help you do it this year. For those of you have achieved what you wanted and more, use that to keep moving forward in the coming new year. Check back after the New Year for my new writing goals for 2016.

isight-2015-12-27-15-11.png

Awe, it feels good to be without the extra pressure of NaNoWriMo. Today is the last day to hit that 50k goal or your own personal goal. I hope that is going well for everyone and that you are walking away with more confidence in your writing ability and as well writing every day is possible. If you won, make sure you take advantage of the goodies you will get for winning. If you did not, there are still many goodies you can still use. I highly recommend Scrivener and Aeon Timeline.

Have you ever wondered how authors spend their day? Do you wonder how authors get a book out every year or maybe more? How do they turn off their internal editors? Have you ever wonder how you would spend your day if you didn’t have a day job? When you write, do you have that internal editor nagging for you to go back and edit your work?

Today, I am going to help you set up a writing schedule. Something I did back in April and then ignored. There is no better time to talk about this then now, with NaNoWriMo coming to an end. If you were successful and writing every day, you will want to continue that. If you don’t, then it will be a struggle for your next novel.
Want to know why you should have a writing schedule? I can tell you, if you are anything like me. I hate them. I hate having to be somewhere or do something at a specific time. I like to do it when I want to. Sad thing is, I get a lot more done when I have a schedule. Here are some reasons to have one.

•        Most published authors have one, even if it is very loose
•        If you want a career from writing, you will need one
•        It forces you to write
•        It will force you to be productive, not just by writing but other areas of your life.
•        You will walk away each day feeling like you accomplished something.
•        Keeps you busy and thus it keeps your mind working on those pesky story problems in the back of your mind.

There are many more reasons, but I hope you get the idea. As I mentioned already, I hated schedules. Why did I decide to make a schedule? Several reasons.

First, I needed to write every day and I wasn’t. Thanks to some pretty powerful motivations, I am. One of the major reasons was, having to post on my Weekly Writing Wrap-up post on Fridays that I didn’t make my week. By the way, I did make my last week, just not at the time of the post. Having to post that I failed was a very strong motivation. Second, one of my yearly goals was to do so, and by October I was convinced I wasn’t going to  achieve it. Actually, I wasn’t going to achieve any of them and some of them I am okay with. This I was not. The final thing that motivated me was my friend Vince, who I met working at my summer job. That kid wrote every day on his book and finished it and got through the second draft in thirteen weeks.

Other, were simple. I was looking at what I wanted to accomplish as a writer. I want a long full career. If you have read this blog long enough you know I have a lot of different projects in the works and I want to write them all. The only way I was going to accomplish this was to have something to guide me. Yes, my schedule is flexible. Though if you look at it, it doesn’t look like it.

That brings me to how to make one. There is a few things you need to know to be able to do this. They are as followed:

•        The best time to write
•        What you want to accomplish currently and in the future
•        What things outside of writing are important to you?
•        How much time you have
•        How much time you are willing to put into it.

Kind of vague, don’t you think? I hope so I wanted them to be. You can’t create a schedule if you don’t what you want out of your writing. What you want to accomplish. These things only you can answer. I’ll cover your best writing time in a second. What do you want to accomplish? Don’t know, here is what was in my mind when I developed my schedule.

•        I wanted to write every day
•        Develop multiple projects at the same time
•        Revise my writing from the day before
•        Read during the week
•        Have time off on the weekends and evenings for other interests

That is what I wanted and still want. I would also love to be able to write two novels at one time. It was one of the reason I gave it a shot for NaNo. Not easy to do and something that will take a lot of effort and practice to do. Once I knew these things, I could make my schedule. No, I didn’t forget about the perfect time where I feel inspired to write.

“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning. ” – Peter De Vries

You can choose when you’re inspired. My best times to write are around 10 am. Between 1-4 pm. 6-7 pm and before I go to bed. I’ll admit, the before bed is only because I have put it off and I need to write only a few words to say I wrote. Though sometimes I get inspired.

If you are the very artsy and think and believe inspiration comes when it comes. Good for you. I completely disagree with you, but will admit there are times when something comes over me and I just need to write. If I waited for that, I would never achieve anything I want to achieve. Note, if there is a time where you really feel inspired on a semi-regular basis, that is your mind telling you that is the best time to write. You won’t always feel inspired, but your brain has warmed up and got something.

Once you know when you should be writing, and this will change based on if you can afford to stay home and write and not have a day job. You can plug into your day activities to accomplish your goals. A picture of my current schedule that needs to be updated is below.

Here’s the best thing about having a schedule that you created. It’s not locked. You can change it to fit your day. You wake up and you write first thing after you have breakfast. Not feeling good, coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. Didn’t get the best nights sleep. Okay. Maybe you do something like check emails, or see what some of your writing sites have up. You know you can work on development then but proses you can’t. Do that, and write when you are normally would develop.

One last good thing about setting this up now, is when you succeed and publish your novel and have fans emailing you with questions. Have deadlines with your editor, you won’t have to set this up and feel panicked to get so much done. You will have the structure already in place to do it all.

I hope this post helped you and would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below. Check, back on Friday for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up post.

isight-2015-11-27-11-29.png

It is day two of National Novel Writing Month. How is it going so far? Are you enjoying the writing? What is your word count? Still going strong? Do you want to give up and cry because you barely got 150 words yesterday and you don’t know how you’re going to get 50,000 by November 30th?
Hopefully, that last one isn’t you yet or at all. Today is my Craft Post and I wanted to focus on NaNoWriMo in more details and what is its purpose is, because while it is only day two I bet somewhere in the country people have already have given up. It is nice to be able to hit 50k in 30 days, it’s a really good feeling. I did it two years ago, and with any luck I will do it again this year as well. I don’t know the history of the Monthly Challenge, but I do know you probably find it on NaNoWriMo.org. I do know the purpose behind it. The purpose is to write.
In our lives it can be hard to set time aside every day to write and get that story you have raging in your head out on paper. You might think, there is so much to do before I can write it. I need to develop world, and the characters and of course I am doing fantasy so I need to have kick ass magic system with an awesome map that I have no idea how to make… If you’re anything like me you do need those things, and that is what October is for. If you didn’t get time to do that, well do it now in your free moments. But first write that outline, get to writing.
The first thing you need to remember is that you are a writer and writers write. If you’re not writing, then you can’t call yourself a writer. This challenge is to get you to do some actually writing. Now that we have covered that part, let’s talk about the goal.

50,000 Words, A You

#*@( Kidding Me!!!!

        If you have never written 50k before that is a lot of words. If you have, you know that 50k is still a lot of words. I have written over a million, and that is still a lot of words to do in a month. Here’s what I tell everyone who are not use to writing a lot of words or writing a novel. Start SMALL! What is a big number to you, but you know you can do? That is you goal. If it 10,000 words in 30 days, make that your target. In December do it again, then in January up it by 5k. Maybe 25,000 you know you can hit, aim for that.
As nice as it is to win the challenge, if you can’t make and you believe you can’t make it, you won’t make it. Start small and if you hit your goal before the end of the month double it. The point of NaNo is to write and to write every day. Is that something you struggle with? I do/did/probably still do. It was only in the past three weeks I have been able to position myself in my own writing to write every day, even on days when I only write 235 words. National Novel Writing Month Challenge is for that reason alone.
For those who are worry that the words aren’t going to be any good. Unless you’re trying to write a second draft, which I don’t recommend. You words are going to suck anyway, it’s a first draft. More commonly called a dump draft. It were you go out into the outhouse and just take a stick dump. The only thing that will probably be worth keeping is that you will know your story better and your characters. If that is all, awesome, but if you’re lucky and have a sentence or a paragraph or even a whole chapter that is worth keeping. That is great.
This last part is for those NaNoWriMo haters or naysayers who bash the challenge because the words aren’t going to be good, or whatever the reason they don’t like it. Do everyone a favor and keep it to yourself. If you don’t like it that is fine, but you don’t need to drag down people who do enjoy it. Encourage your fellow writers and help answer questions. For those who come a cross one of these Negative Nancy’s not they are usually those who have already given up and watch others to fail to justify their failure or those who don’t have the balls to give it a shot. Only a handful will be snobs who think they have figured all there is to writing and going to look down on those who don’t to feel better about themselves. Ignore them and keep writing.

wpid-isight-2015-11-2-18-48.png

This is part two my long post on New Year’s Resolutions, though it focuses solely on goals for writers based on their writing level. Before I get to those suggestions, I want to point out that for many new writers you will be learning to form a new habit. Some people think it takes about 21 days to form a new habit based on base research from the sixties. Well we now know it takes roughly 66 days on average to learn a new habit. That is just the average; it can take between two and eight months. I think this alone explains why so many people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions. They try to form a new habit and don’t give the time-needed daily to form that habit for the time need.

Please note there may be skills or habits I suggest you form in lower skill levels you don’t have yet, but you have been writing for a long time. No I am not suggesting you are only a beginner if you haven’t formed this skill or habit yet. This is based solely on what I wished I learnt when I finally started to take my writing seriously. I have habits I still need to form all over the five levels.

Beginners:

Defined. Never written beyond what you had to for school.

  • 1) First Drafts are not Final Drafts.
  • It amazes me how many first time writers think the first draft is their only draft. What they wrote is pure gold. Sorry, it isn’t. Not even Stephen King can do this, don’t believe me read his book, Stephen King on Writing.
  • 2) Writing anything is the goal.
  • Writing anything is your goal; you need to get in the habit of writing, who cares if it is good. Once you learn to write, then you start working on making it better.
  • 3) Learn to Write Daily
  • You need to write everyday, but starting off that could be too much. Start off writing three days a week for thirty minutes.
  • 4) Don’t be in a rush
  • Remember it takes between 2-8 months to form new habits. Don’t add days just because after a few weeks you seem to be able to do it. I say wait three months before you add another day or up the time. After that you will still to have feeling of when you should start adding days.
  • 5) Novels aren’t the only thing to write
  • Novels aren’t the only things you have to write. Short stories, novella, are just a few. Google “Novel Lengths” if you don’t know what a Novella is.
  • 6)Track your Word Count
  • As you write post how many words you wrote for the day somewhere. I suggest Excel and the date. This will come in handy later.

Novice

Defined. You are no longer a beginner once you have formed the habit of writing on a regular basis.

  • 1) Focus on Word Count
  • This doesn’t mean you wait until you can write seven days a week. I personally think it would be better suited, but once you have the habit of writing, you could start focusing on this. What I mean by focus on word count, instead of writing for a certain amount of time, your goal changes to so many words per day. Stephen King goal is 2000 words per day. Once he has them he moves on to other things he has to do that day. (He edits in evening).
  • Suggestion. If you kept track of your word count when you started, you can find your average words per day. Once you have that I would add 2 to 350 words to it as your new goal, with the idea of doubling the average by the end of the year.

Intermediate

Define: You write every day; you found your number of words per day that you feel comfortable stopping at for the day.

  • 1) Deadlines are your friend
  • If you ever get a your novel published, you will have deadlines you have to meet. Starting to set up deadlines for yourself now will help you when you have a publisher breathing down your neck. Make sure you have some kind of fine setup if you don’t make your deadline, because if you are late on your deadline they will fine you.
  • 2)Writing a good first draft
  • Once you have gotten good meeting your deadlines, start focusing on making the first draft someone good. An example will help you know what I mean. Most of my first drafts suck, to the point where I need to rewrite majority of the whole draft. I have treated my first drafts as get the damn story out. I always will, but I am not going back and editing what I wrote the day before to make it so there is less work to do in the second.

Writers

Defined: You can work within a deadline, note have to rewrite the whole story from scratch in the second draft, write every day, and found your word count goal.

  • 1)One Novel
  • Work on one novel at a time. This is my problem I have so many damn projects in the works, I sometimes jump from one to another and never get really anything done on any of them.
  • 2)Feedback is Key
  • You need feedback to improve, and not feedback from ass kissers. You need people who will tell you’re your writing sucks if it sucks, and it is good if it is good. Chances are you will have areas that need work and others that won’t. The best people who to read your work will be honest, tell what needs to be fixed, and how to fix it. Well, maybe not everyone will be able to help you with that last one. Other writers will.
  • 3)Know when hold them and when to fold them.
  • With feedback, especially from other writers, they will give you thoughts on how to fix issues on how they would fix them. You will need to learn how to know when one of your ideas is just not working and give up on it and find something else, and vise versa, know when to hold on to one even when everyone else is saying it doesn’t. This will form over time, and always, take any advance on changes from other writers and make it work for you.
  • 4)Know when to call a quits
  • This is not quit writing, it is when to quit on a novel. You can only work on a novel for so long before nothing you can do will make it better. Sometimes you just need to toss the damn manuscript into a file cabinet and forget about it for a few years while you work on something else. Moving on to another Novel doesn’t mean you cant’ come back to it in a few years when you will have fresh eyes again.

Advance
I don’t think people need a definition for this, another name for it could be author, but not required. Usually, advance you are either on your way to getting published, have published one or more novels, either self-published or by a publisher. These days, it really doesn’t matter; you have something out there for people to buy. What can I say to people who fall into this level? Not much, since I am not here, but I am going to try.

    • 1)Switch it up
    • Instead of just writing what you always write, let’s say Fantasy stories for elementary school kids. Try something else, like writing for young adults, or sci-fi for child. You may have to learn more about your new readers or genre before you write. Will help you grow in a new area.
    • 2)POV
    • Go from writing in third person to first, or first person to third. About going from writing in one character POV to having many characters POV. It will help you know more about your characters and how see the other.
    • 3)Genre
    • Kind of suggested this in the first one, but I’ll say it again. Change up your genre, especially if you are having trouble writing the same genre you have always written. Writing something different could breath new life and take you to a new level, also it requires learning about that genre.

That is all for my suggestions, hoped they helped. I hoped you enjoyed my post on New Years Resolutions. In the next week or so I will be posting my writing goals for the year, so check back for those.

wpid-isight-2015-01-1-13-01.png