Saturday, August 24, 2013

#WiPMarathon Check-in 3

Last word count: 26.5k
Current word count: 30k

WiP issues this week:  This week it seemed like every word was a struggle.  I have an outline but I'm still not sure if it's "enough".  But, this is pretty much it.  I'm almost finished "draft zero".  But Steph, it's only 30k.  Yes, yes, I realize that.  My goal before I query this is 50k and I always add about 15k in revisions.  That just how my mind works.  I get the bare-bones of the story on the page, then revise to add in everything I've missed.  So for now, I think I'm going to do one read-through to add in some brief things that I've missed then let it sit for a while so that I can see everything I'm missing.  I already know of a few more scenes I want to add, just not where in the story, so those might get written separately, or I'll wait until I go back for revisions.

What I learned:  How to push through.  My mind wasn't cooperating this week, but I made sure write a little bit every day even if it was only 500 words.

What distracted me:  My own want to be finished draft zero.  I would stare at the page and just think about how much I wanted to be done, lol.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Three things I learned from rappers (and how it applies to writing)

I was discussing rap with one of my friends who is really into music.  She loves rap, so she was telling me her favorites and why.  I don't really know rap very well (except for Watch The Throne, which is awesome).  But she was telling me her theory about what makes a good rapper.  It comes down to three things: flow, meaning, and beats.

Basically, most rappers have two out of the three (except for Kanye who has all three, which is why he is the best, in her opinion).  So I started thinking about this.  Macklemore has beats and meaning, but he gets tripped up on flow sometimes.  The duo Karmin have beats and flow but not meaning, and I can definitely tell in their music that that is what's lacking (though I still really enjoy it).  It can apply to musicians too, but is changed slightly to: beats, emotion (meaning) and lyrics (flow).  Demi Lovato has beats and emotion, but her lyrics aren't the best.

So how does this apply to writing?  Well, I think you need all three things in order to have a good novel.

Emotion to me is having good characters that you can root for and invest in. You have to feel something for them.  It's not just having quirks or interesting traits because while those are cool, to really be invested and care, there needs to be emotion.

Lyrics are two fold.  To me they include the writing and the voice.  Both are necessary to produce a good novel.

Beats is a little more abstract.  In a song, what do beats do?  They're the background of the song, but also the backbone that pushes the song forward. So in this analogy, beats, to me, would be setting and plot. Setting in the sense that it's all encompassing and plot in the sense that it's the backbone of the story and moves it forward.

So for me, those are the things that are most important in a story.

What about you?  What do you consider most important?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

WIPMarathon Check-in #2

Last word count: 22k
Current word count: 26.5k + outlining

WiP issues this week:  I was still sorting out issues from last week, wondering if I'm going in the right direction.  By the end of the week, I finally decided to just WRITE and figure it out in revisions.  Sometimes it's just so much easier to see the whole work, when it's, you know, whole.

What I learned:  The point of first drafts is to just get it on the page.  It's going to be messy but it's fine.  I didn't really learn this this week, but it was something I had to remind myself of.  Sometimes you just continue writing and figure the other things out later :)

What distracted me:  Definitely WriteOnCon!  I was busy critiquing other queries and tweaking my own.  (Thanks to everyone who made suggestions!)  So now I really have to focus up and on this WiP instead of having my head-space in two places with two WiPs.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

WIPMarathon Check-in #1

Last word count: 18k
Current word count: 22k (plus brain-storming)

WiP Issues this week:
I had a lot.  I almost wrote a post on this, so maybe I should just describe it here.  Writing has been particularly hard for me because I just finished second draft revisions of a different WiP and I'm getting back to one that I haven't worked on for months.  I re-read what I had (~18k) and read through my outline and finally started drafting.

And then I began to doubt everything about the WiP.

I couldn't wrap my head around it.  This WiP is different from anything else I've ever done.  It's NA, contemporary, and character-driven.  And it's about loss.  It's sad.  And as I'm writing it, I don't know if I'm going in the right direction.  I'm second guessing everything.  I even thought about changing it to magical realism.  (I decided against it because I thought it would lose some of it's meaning, and that's the main purpose of this WiP).  I switched to reading contemp books, but I'm still just not inspired.

I don't think I'm in the right head-space for this WiP.  When I started writing this months back, it was cold and gloomy, dark.  It was winter and I was completely feeling the WiP, that this story had to be told.  And now I'm not so sure.  I'm not sure if it's because it's summer, or if I've fallen out of love with the story, but I'm considering putting it away and working on something else.  This is unusual for me; I'm not the type to leave things half-finished.

So maybe I just need to re-outline, maybe I need find that feeling, that head-space again.  Maybe it's just not its time to be written.  Maybe I need to wait until winter.  Or maybe this needs a complete rewrite.  So I'm unsure whether to push through, re-outline, or start something new (and wait for the winter).  Gah.  So that's where I stand right now...

What I learned:
I've been trying out WriteOrDie, and omg, it's been awesome.  Basically it forces you to write without stopping (otherwise an unpleasant sound goes off) for a set amount of time that you choose.  I used it a few times and it has upped my word count in such a short amount of time.  They might not be the best words, but they are on the page, which means they can be revised!  If you only have a short amount of time to write (say on a lunch break), I'd definitely recommend it.

What distracted me this week:
I posted my query for my YA SF (my previous WiP) on WriteOnCon's forum, so I've been critiquing other queries and trying to fix mine at the same time.  (It's here if you want to check it out!)  So that also distracted me from this new WiP.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

#wipMarathon Intro

So I finally finished the second round of revisions on my YA SF, so while that is out with CPs, I'm getting back to my NA wip.

MARATHON GOAL:
Ideally I'd like to finish the draft.  Right now it's at 18.5k and I think it will be about 50k, so 31.5k in all.  So about 1k a day.

STAGE OF WRITING:
This is the first draft, so I'm just trying to get words on the page as fast as possible!  I've heard a lot of good things about Write Or Die, so I'm thinking about trying that.

INSPIRATION:
Life, pretty much.  This wip is different than anything I've ever written because it's contemporary and it's NA.  It deals with life after college, loss of a parent, and how to move on when life has just started.  I've titled it WHAT BECOMES OF US.

WHAT MIGHT SLOW ME DOWN:
Work, doing revisions on my YA SF.  I've never been able to juggle two books at once, but I'm going to try if I have to, but I'd like to get WBoU done before I dive into revisions again.  We'll just have to wait and see!