More Resolutions-y Stuff!

I’m too lazy to write a real blog post, so I’m going to do the latest Beautiful People post, which is about resolutions and stuff! Yay!  I did technically already do a resolutions post, but I like some of the questions in this.

These questions are from Beautiful People.

What were your writing achievements last year?

I made it through draft two of Oracular.  That was about it.  But that was a lot, so hey.

Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?

Finish Sleeping in Cyberspace.  Make it through draft three of Oracular and hope that the story when I’m done with that pass-through will actually be coherent.  And…write some novellas.  Okay, that’s actually three, so if you want a one-project answer, then I’d say finish draft three of Oracular.

List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.

  1. Less procrastination.  I think this basically explains itself.  I spend a lot of time doing things like “oooh, Pinterest” and stuff, but there are also countless hours I spend doing basically nothing because I just don’t want to write (or anything else).  If I just cut some of those down, I think it would be so much more.
  2. World-building.  I did already post about this a little, but I really want to work on my world-building and…really figure out how in the world people world-build all the way to the end without getting sick of the world.
  3. I want to write something funny for once in my life.  My writing style tends to be very serious, and while I normally don’t have a problem with it, for once I’d like to write something humorous.
  4. Read more…I don’t feel that I really read enough last year.  Eheh, guilty.  I’d like to change that this year—and keeping track of what I read would be great, too.
  5. Find more confidence in myself (and get better so that confidence is well-founded). Confidence is probably one of the biggest things holding me back, so I would like to change that.  But, of course, I would like to actually be good and be confident in it—not just think I’m good when in reality I’m terrible or something.

Are you participating in any writing challenges?

I don’t know yet?  I may or may not do NaNoWriMo this year.  It’s too early to tell, really.  It’s possible I will try again to write the sequel (all the way through, this time, instead of just pieces) for Oracular for NaNo this year, although maybe I’ll have another project  by that point.  (You can always count on the plot bunnies to find you, that’s for sure.)  Maybe Sleeping in Cyberspace will have a sequel.  (I think it has potential for a sequel because of the way I’m setting up the world.  I just don’t know if my characters will allow me to write a sequel.)

What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

As of about a week ago, I found two possible CPs for Oracular and we traded the beginnings of our novels.  We’re still in the “trial run” stage, so I don’t know if it’ll actually turn out, but I’m hoping!

Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

Yup.  I got three writing-related books for Christmas, actually.  I can’t remember their titles off the top of my head, but I would like to read them.  (One is basically a “here’s info about guns for writers” (this is for my sci-fi WIP), and the other two are on character traits.)

Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

One?  Just one?  Um.

Um.  After going back and forth a little, I decided on Iaelie Crestal.  She was one of the first characters I “got to know” while planning Oracular, but while writing the second draft, I started to realize that I didn’t actually know her as well as I thought I did, and I think I might be misrepresenting her somewhat.  (Weird, I know.  I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen with a character.)  So before I start truly editing draft 3, I want to get to really get to know her, and do her character justice.

Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?

That may or may not be how I’m approaching editing.

Actually, that’s not totally true.  I don’t have a fully-formed plan, but I have some vague ideas, and I’ll be fleshing it out better once I’m closer to editing.  Right now, I shan’t worry about it.  (I’ve always wanted to use the word “shan’t” in a sentence.  I think I just fulfilled something on my bucket list, teehee.)

 

As for querying?  No.  I don’t think I will be at a stage to even think about querying until next year at the earliest (and probably not even quite then, depending on how well draft three fixes up the plot).

Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?

I’m actually writing about the relationships between teen/young adult siblings at the moment, and I can’t say I see a whole lot of that in fiction.  Or at least YA.  Not that there aren’t siblings, I just don’t see a lot of stories where the relationship between siblings is all that relevant to the story.  Seeing more of that would be nice.  Especially good relationships.  Of all of the sibling-relationships I can think of, most of them seem to be “my brother turned evil and now we’re mortal enemies” or something.

Good, strong, healthy relationships between siblings.  Or just familial relationships as a whole.  (Turns out, it’s hard to have a character have a good relationship with their parents when the parents are dead.  And…a lot of parents end up dead in YA fantasy.)

(I think it would be nice to see more ordinary, platonic friendships, as well, but I like the idea of familial relationships right now.)

What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

…a lot.  ‘Nuff said.

Mostly, I want Oracular to be readably coherent and have a world to stand on.  I also would like Cyberspace to have a finished first draft, and plans for edits, and I also would like to have some more short stories written (see bar on the right), but the main project is Oracular.

And NaNoWriMo Approaches Again!

NaNoWriMo is quickly approaching!  Aaaaaaaahh!

As I write this, I still have about five more chapters left of last year’s novel to edit.  Five chapters.  Sounds like a lot and like nothing at all at the same time.  Considering I have school and only about two weeks to edit it, on my end, it feels more like a lot to do.

But…whether or not I complete it before NaNoWriMo starts, I am still going to try for NaNo this year.  This year is probably going to be the hardest one of all.  Again, because of school.  Ugh, when did school decide to become such a huge pain?  How does the rest of the world deal with it?

Hmm, they probably don’t do lots of school and NaNoWriMo and have a family life and draw and have all of the other random hobbies I have.

Anywho, I have absolutely no plan for NaNoWriMo this year or how I’m going to win.  The only thing I know for sure is that I’m sticking with 50k this year, and not going for 100k like I did last year.  I’m going to write the sequel to last year’s novel, even though said novel…still has five chapters left before I’m done with draft two, and I should probably be spending time editing that more instead, but I know nothing about the plot of book two and I’d really like to know where the plot is going.  So I’m writing that.  As I said, I know nothing of the plot.  I have a…vague idea of the beginning, a possible vague idea for a couple character arcs, and then an idea for a random scene that’ll be somewhere in the middle.

That’s about what I had when I wrote the first book, so I’m really not worried.

I do not have any sort of plan on how I’m going to manage school and NaNo, though.  Probably, I’ll just do what I’ve been sort of doing up until now—which is procrastinate from both school and writing and find other things to do.  Oooh, idea for a drawing!  Let’s draw that!

Ahem.

So anybody else doing NaNoWriMo?  If you’re still in school, how do you balance between the two (or do you at all)?

 

 

Looking Back at August: By Far The Longest Month of the Year

So.  August is finally over!  I swear, August was like the longest month ever.  I am so sick of it now.

August was pretty crazy.  Obviously, there’s school starting up, and that was exciting.  Not.  Actually, kind of scary, since I’m experiencing things I’ve never experienced before.  Fun.

August was also hot.  We had a mild (ish) July weather, so August decided to be as miserable as ever.

August also had lots of fun medical stuff.  My sister got sick with something similar to strep throat.  And I have suffered from headaches for a week and a half with no sign of ceasing.  (And it turns out, I might be following in several family members’ footsteps and have migraines.  Or maybe it’s just cluster headaches.  We dunno really.) I also had fun with a CT scan and four MRI scans! Yeah.  (The short version of that story was that the doctor decided she wanted to look into a minor abnormality I have, and see if there’s something medically wrong causing it, or if it’s just…a thing I have.  The results came back today as being perfectly fine and I don’t have a secret tumor or something growing in my head or anything.  I am perfectly healthy.  Aside from some allergies and these blasted headaches.)

But I doubt any of you care about all of that! How about the writing?

Writing.  Well, I’m right on with my goal.  I have less than 40k left to edit.  20k for September and 20k for October, and then I should be finished just in time for Halloween and NaNoWriMo.

When I first started editing, I wrote an outline to follow.  It was a fairly simple outline, only having the chapters and vague scenes that needed to happen for the plot to progress.

That way there was plenty of leeway.

So of course, my characters have decided to be a little rebellious.  I keep having scenes pop up that definitively aren’t part of the outline, and things happen, and oh gosh the emotions.  One character in particular keeps having horribly emotional scenes and it’s so darn sad.  But really, I think the novel is coming out better for these little unpredicted moments.

Hopefully things will continue to go smoothly.  Or, well, as smoothly as a second draft can be—’cause believe me, this is loads better than draft one, but still not half as good as published works.

Monthly Progress

Sooooo…it is August!  And August means… Camp NaNo is ended!

I won, with a total of… I don’t even remember my word count.  But since I was editing and not freewriting, it really doesn’t matter.  The point is, I edited the amount I needed.

A few months ago, I decided that my goal was to be completely done with draft two by the end of October.  Basically, be all done with draft two in time to write something else (the sequel) for NaNoWriMo.

In order to do that, I have to edit roughly 20k each month.  So what’s my goal to do this month?

That’s right, edit 20k.  I have roughly 50k left to edit (which is slightly less than half the novel), but the second half has less plot issues and inconsistencies than the first half, so I’m hoping that it’ll be a lot quicker to edit than the first half. (I’ve been editing since March or so, so you can see how long the first half took to go through.  But it was mostly rewrites and rewrites are kind of hard and slow.)

So I basically plan to have six more chapters edited by the end of the month.  So by the beginning of September, if all goes well, I should be starting work on chapter thirty.

How did Camp go for everybody else, if you participated?

 

World-building and Editing

I discovered this week that it’s important to finish world building before going onto the huge, plot-changing edit that is draft two.

Hmm.

Over the last Camp NaNo, I worked on editing.  Most of the beginning needs to be rewritten, so that’s mostly what I did—lots of rewriting, and only editing the occasional scene that I thought I could keep.  Around the last week, however, and in the weeks following Camp, I got stuck, though.  There was this one character, Tiri, who’s voice I just couldn’t quite capture.  She has a personality, and a sort of strong one, and she seemed to be pretty willing (mostly) to do what I wanted her to do, but it never came out right.  As if it was forced.

First off, when does a well-developed character ever willingly do what the author wants them to do?  I don’t know about other writers, but if my characters seem real, then they never do what I want.  Ever.

Secondly, if she was willing, then why did she sound forced?

It occurred to me that the problem, or at least part of it, was that she had no motivation. Sure, she had reasons  for doing what she was doing within the story, but not really motivation.  I’m pretty sure there’s a distinction.  I might have a reason to eat lunch, considering that it’s lunch time, but I’m not motivated to get out of my chair and actually eat something until I start feeling hungry.

So then I got to work backwards.  This was what I wanted her to do, so what could make her want to do it?

After lots of rambling at a friend, who’s probably dreading looking at her email and NaNoMail now, I finally figured out how to motivate her.  Turned out to be something as simple as taking advantage of her “the more you want me to do this, the more I’m going to do the opposite” stubborn attitude, plus introduce the stakes a little earlier, and I got her exactly where I wanted her.

Mostly.

The other problem with her was that I realized I was trying to put her into situations where her personality was struggling to show through.  She’s very hands-on and physical, and probably an extravert, and so sticking her in a situation which forced her to isolate herself—yes, that caused a little bit of conflict, but not quite the kind I wanted, and it only allowed me to show a small portion of her personality.  As a result, in the first draft, she was horribly flat and I actually quite disliked writing her.

That last problem isn’t completely fixed, but I think I might be able to tweak it somehow to at least be better.  Hopefully.

What does any of this have to do with world-building?  Well, nothing, apparently.

Mm.  Those stakes I had to introduce to get this character where I wanted her?  Those stakes didn’t exist up until, well, a couple of days ago.  The first draft had absolutely no stakes at all.  One character almost had stakes, but then I didn’t actually integrate them in, and so…there were none.

Big mistake.

So obviously, I had to figure out what the stakes are, and then figure out how to integrate them into the story.  For each individual character, too, since most of the characters don’t even meet each other until like 50k into the story.

For this one character in particular, the best way to introduce the stakes was actually to throw a party.  Well.  The world she lives in, the people there are known for being somewhat sort of obsessed with festivals and parties and celebrations.  So, I throw a party, and introduce some stuff, and voilà!

Wait.  I actually know nothing about how these people throw their parties.  You know, things like, is it indoors or outdoors?  Do they dance?  Is their music?  Food?  How long do they last?

Most people who know me in real life know that I’m not a party-person.  I tend to avoid them if I can, actually.  So this sounds kind of backwards, me writing about a society that loves their parties.

Eh.  The point being, I had some world building to do before I could go any further.  And, of course, by figuring out how the party goes, it actually affected two other chapters that I’d already finished rewriting and editing.  So what do I get to do now?

Go fix them.

Basically, the lesson learned here is that it’s kind of pointless to edit something without really knowing what you’re doing, because you will end up going back and fixing it again soon.  That’s all fine and dandy for first drafts, but not second drafts.

Anybody else make that mistake?

On Beginnings and Being Late

Sometimes, I really despise beginnings. They’re so hard, and yet, in my four years of writing, I’ve written about a dozen times more beginnings than I even have written middles. I should be an expert by now.

I’ve been trying to edit my beginning for a few weeks ago, and I’ve been so stuck. I edited my prologue, and I’m immensely happy with it. It might be a little confusing, because I did kind of introduce some concepts of my world-building and then not explain it all (but my one beta-reader didn’t say anything about being confused, so maybe not), but then I got to chapter one, and I’m just like… “Aggghhhh!”

I know what happens in the chapter. Or what needs to happen. But everything I read says, “In late, out early.” Well, how late is that supposed to be? If I start the chapter right when the action starts, then that’s all fine and dandy, but I feel like then I have no introduction of the character, and so this plot-twist-like thing that happens in the chapter doesn’t feel real surprising, because the reader doesn’t know who my protagonist is before this reveal. Or maybe I’ve just got the wrong perspective, because I keep thinking of this thing as a plot twist, even though, technically it isn’t, because it’s not twisting the plot, because there is no plot in chapter one, so what this is is actually my inciting incident! It’s what gets the plot going somewhere, at least for this one character.

I considered trying starting it before the plot twist, but I’m afraid that’ll be boring and it might make this chapter too long. Heh. Plus, I have to figure out how to introduce this other character and some more world-building concepts, and it all kind of gets overwhelming.

I think what I’ve decided to actually do is start the chapter after I reveal the plot twist, because then I can still start with action and I can start with my protagonist’s emotion and his feelings about the whole thing (which I feel might be a better, more interesting way of introducing his character).

Still, it’ll be hard to balance, what with me still having to introduce…everything else.  I was told that I’m somewhat decent at giving out information without info0dumping, though, so I’m hoping that that one time I did it right wasn’t a fluke or something, hehe.

Anyway, yeah.  Beginnings are hard to write.  And apparently…rewriting them is not any easier.  We’ll see how editing them goes when I get to draft three (because I really hope I won’t be rewriting it again then).

Editing and All of the Things Stopping Me from Doing It

First off.  Notice the red bar on the right side of the page.  It’s full.  It’s also not even at 30k.

That’s basically how my writing is going.  I had expected that project to be a novel, but it just wasn’t going to do that.  Not enough story or something, I’m not even sure, but it decided to be novella instead.  When I edit it later on this year, perhaps I’ll figure out how to make it novel-sized…but then again, maybe this story needs to be a smaller size.  I’m not sure yet, but it really doesn’t matter so much, actually.  I’m not disappointed.

Maybe that’s just because I’m excited that I finished another project.  After almost two years of not finishing a single thing, I’ve now finished two decent-sized projects in a little over three months.

Speaking of other finished projects.  I’ve gotten a little bit overwhelmed with all of my world building in my other novel, and I decided…that should probably be enough.  There is one thing I still need to figure out, since it’s somewhat relevant to the story, but I can work it out later.  So for now, I’m going to actually start editing.

Gosh.  At first, staring my 100k novel, I wasn’t even sure how to begin the editing process.  I mean, what should you do first?  I know from reading other writers’ experiences in editing—and from a little common sense—that I need to edit the big stuff before I worry about the little stuff.  How much sense would it make to start correcting my grammar in a scene that might not even stay in the novel?

Yeah.  So.  I figured, I’ll start with my characters.  I have five viewpoints in this novel, and I noticed they were very much out of balance.  One character was the narrator for…twenty-something chapters, while another character had only six chapters in her PoV.  That didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, especially since six chapters, in this case anyway, really isn’t much room to work with for her character arc.

So, I decided to start with character arcs.  I started writing outlines for each character, but started struggling with how they weaved together.  The five characters don’t always spend the whole novel all group together, but group up and split apart several times throughout the book.  So each character’s individual story depends a lot on how the other four go, so trying to write an outline for each is…not exactly easy.

Here’s the best part, though.  I realized that I actually can’t really figure out what their character arcs are because not all of them even have goals in the first place.  Hmm.  That’s problematic.

So I guess, I get to work on character development a little bit.  Some day, I’ll actually start editing this thing.  Some day soon, I hope.

A Mishmash Post of Plot Holes, World-building, and a New Project

So, in my last post, I mentioned that I was rereading my NaNo novel, and taking notes/asking questions, as if I was my own “alpha reader”.  I’m finished with that now, and I can say, it worked as well as I had hoped it would.  Since I took a break from the novel for a month before I did this, I was fairly well distanced from the novel, and I could look at it from the perspective of a reader, of sorts.

That was encouraging.  I was looking for problems to fix, and I certainly found plenty of them.  However, I found more problems with the story, rather than problems with the writing, and that is hugely encouraging, at least for me.  See, I wrote this novel in a single month.  Thirty days.  I did some world building and some character development, but no actual planning, and I had no clue what the plot was until, well, I got there.

So, I expected lots of problems.  Plot holes, and inconsistencies, and flat characters, and things that just don’t make sense, and all things of that sort.  Did I find them?  You bet.  But what I didn’t find were issues with my writing style itself.

I mean, there are issues.  I have more mistyped-words and typos than real words, and there’s plenty of things like info-dumps and blank descriptions and whatnot.  However, the thing is, my writing could be improved, and it wasn’t really good, but it didn’t strike me as being oh-my-goodness-that’s-horrible-how-could-I-ever-have-written-that kind of bad.

Does that even make any sense?  I guess my point is, while the novel had it’s fair share of issues—and then some—I know that all of those issues are ones I can fix, and I know I can get this novel into a readable state.  It’s not like my ’12 NaNo novel, that I don’t think I’ll ever touch again.

So, I’m encouraged.

On a different note, one thing I found through this reading process was that I didn’t have nearly enough world-building.  I hardly knew that world at all when I wrote about it.  So, before I really start editing, I have to fill in that world-building.  (That’s why the little editing bar on the right of the page has been staying consistently low, even while the other two bars go up.)

World-building is, in a word…odd.  I’ve never done much of it in-depth before, not to this extent, and it’s kind of overwhelming.  I realized, though, that the more I got to know about the world, the more I began to really, really love the world, and then the more fun the world-building became.  I now understand why people get world builder’s disease.  Hopefully I won’t end up that far down, though.

Anyway!  On unrelated things… The writing’s been good, as you can probably tell by the lower two word-count bars on the right.  I’ve been able to consistently write every single day, though there was one day where I’m not completely sure I met my 200 word goal.  It might have only been 100 or so, but I think there were other things going on that day and I couldn’t do more than that.  So, I counted it anyway.

Also, for that one novel, the progress is coming along nicely.  I hope I’m about half way through the novel, though since I’m mostly pantsing this one, it’s hard to tell.

Unsurprisingly, with my multi-projects-at-once self, those two novels aren’t my only projects. I recently started another novel, and I’m only about 3k into that one.  I know I probably shouldn’t let myself multitask so much, but I’ve kind of learned that it’s really hard to not do it, so I’m letting myself for now.  I don’t think this new novel will take me very far before I get stuck and will need to sit back and figure out where I’m going, in which case I can step back and go back to solely working on my other projects.  That’s why I’m not bothering to put a bar up for it in the side, even if I am working on it as well.

So…I think that’s it.  This is kind of a mishmash post, isn’t it?  Heh heh, oh well.

Updates and Whatnot

I’ve been struggling lately with blog posts, mostly because any time I think of something to post about, I then think, “Nah, why would anybody want to read that?” and then I don’t post anything.  But really, since when did I post things that were particularly all that interesting?  If I was that interesting, I’d probably have more followers.

Ha!  As if I’m in this for the followers.  I don’t even know why I’m doing this.  I guess because I got bored a few years ago and thought, “Hey, let’s make a blog.”

So, really truly, I have this blog to talk about writing.  So I’m going to talk about writing, and if I do it in the most boring fashion ever, well, then, I can say I succeed at being a bore.  I’m doing this for myself more than anything anyway, I think.

With that all out of the way, I suppose this post is mostly an update on my writing and such.

First off, sometime since January 1st, I decided that I was going to set a goal of trying to write about 200 words every single day.  It’s a very small amount, but that’s the point of it.  Even on busy days, I can write that much early in the mornings, so I know I can do it every day.  Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t try to write more.  However, having such a small goal makes it easier to feel accomplished each day, no matter how much or how little I’ve written.

Yesterday, I wrote almost 3k, and it was awesome.  Especially since I didn’t even realize I’d had that much until I sat back and glanced at my word-count.  Today, on the other hand, I’ve written only roughly 250 words, yet I still feel accomplished.  I wrote, and I met my goal, and I’m satisfied.  I’ll still write more tonight, but if I feel I need to do something else for the evening, I know I can.

I guess what it is is that I can easily make my goal, which means I can spend my day doing more than just writing.  That’s especially good for school days, when I don’t even have the whole day to get done everything I want to get gone.

So, there.  I have a little bar on the right side of the page of my consecutive days of writing, starting January 1st.  My hope is that that bar will never drop down back to zero even once this year.  I have no clue if that is a far-fetched goal, but I will do my best to make it there.  And if I don’t make it…

This gif amuses me way too much.

 

Anyway.  On another note, I’ve started editing my NaNoWriMo novel, Oracular.  Well, ish.  (There’s another bar on the right side tracking my progress, in case anyone’s curious.)  I haven’t actually edited a single thing in the novel yet.  What I am doing, however, is basically being my own alpha reader.

At the moment, I’m reading the novel, start to finish, and taking notes on it.  My thoughts on a character’s reaction to something, notes on places where the world-building is thin, questions whose answers could prompt changes in later parts, and all that stuff.  When I’ve gotten all the way to the end, then I’ll start sorting through things.  I have a lot of world-building ahead of me, because I realized I had holes all over the place.  My magic system I didn’t even begin to touch on, and that really shows, and I have things like characters righting things down on paper even though I specifically noted that trees are sparse enough in this country that they can’t make paper, particularly not for everyday use.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Once I have a more solid world to build on, I’m going to have to sort out my characters.  I had five viewpoint characters, and it was a struggle to balance it—a struggle that I failed miserably.  One character had roughly fourteen narrated chapters, while another had four or five.  Scrivener has a handy Collections thing that I can use to sort out the different narrated chapters, and I’ll be sorting out each character’s arc and better balancing the chapters.

After I’m done with that, I don’t even know.  To get to this part, I’m pretty sure I’ll be rewriting most of the beginning, at the very least.  Hopefully I won’t have to rewrite much of the middle, and I don’t even know with the ending.  That will probably get rewritten mostly, as well, though I’ll know better when I finish reading it.

Maybe by that point, I’ll be willing to let someone else read the novel.  (Hello, Peace.)

Anyway, so that’s where I am for now.  I’m feeling confident, if a tad bit overwhelmed.

New Years, Anniversaries, and Stuff Like That

While most people are making posts about their “New Years Resolutions/Goals” and whatnot, I have something else to be excited about today—it’s the day I officially started writing.  December 31, 2010.  I’d been writing a little before that, but I’d never taken it seriously and I didn’t do it consistently.  But that one day, everything changed.  (And it didn’t include any attacks from the Fire Nation.  Err…never mind.)

So, New Years Eve is, for me, my writing anniversary.  This year, I’ve been writing for four years.  It seems kind of fitting for today to be the day I look back at what I’ve accomplished for the year, doesn’t it?

So.  The beginning of the year, was, well, uneventful.  I wrote, but I didn’t write anything memorable and I didn’t really make any progress in writing.  I hardly learned anything, I completed absolutely nothing, and my confidence suffered greatly.  My blog suffered, too, I think, because I mostly posted complaints about this.

In June and July, I took a break from blogging while I went on vacation with the family (and I got to see more of the US in those two weeks than I’ve seen in my entire life).  I participated in Camp NaNo in July.

In August, or thereabouts, I did the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my writing life, and I killed two of my favorite darlings.  The character that I’d started my writing off with four years ago, as well as her “partner-in-crime”, neither of whom had a real story, and because of that, when I tried to write them, I wrote a whole lot of nothing.  Giving them their “happily ever after” and saying goodbye to them was the best thing I’ve ever done for my writing, because it forced me to move forward, but also the hardest thing.

In September/October, I wrote a…I’m not even sure if it’s a short story or a novella.  It’s like right there in the middle between the two.  However, I think that that story might have been one of my best works, ever.

In November, I participated in NaNoWriMo, and I completed my first novel in a year and a half.  The novel has a lot of flaws and weak points, and probably more of those than strengths, but I’m confident that I can make it something to be proud of with a lot of editing.

So…looking back?  This year has been slow.  And it hasn’t been my best year.  I could have done a whole lot better.  But I think this is ending on a higher note than it started off with, so I’m content for now.  Even if I wasn’t content, though, I don’t exactly own a time machine to go fix the year with, anyway.

Now, as for next year.  Do I have writing goals?  Of course.

  • In January, I plan to start editing my NaNoNovel, Oracular, and this time, I want to actually finish the editing process.
  • I want to finish one of my other long-time novels, Half-Cursed, and possibly edit that one, as well.
  • I want to do my research on traditional publishing versus self-publishing, and make a decision as to which one I want to do—and start preparing for it, hopefully with one of the two novels I mentioned above.

Those are the main ones.  I don’t have any particular reading goals, except to read a lot.  There are a few other goals, however, including some school related ones…

  • Do well on my school work.  I’m in my junior year, and I want it to count.
  • Finish up my drivers ed course and get my driver’s license.
  • Perhaps figure out what I’m going to do concerning college and whatnot.
  • Keep up in my German homework…at least do a little every day, including over the weekends.  If possible.
  • Exercise more.  I want to be able to do some every single day, but I don’t know if I can reasonably expect myself to do that, so at least several times a week.
  • Work on my self-esteem.  ’Nuf said.

And so…there it is.

Say, Kiwi, still need that link? Heheh.