So I made myself a book cover…

This is some of what happens when I really don’t want to be productive, but need to be more productive than browsing Pinterest.  And hey, this is totally inspirational, right?

image copyright to Shim

I was going to try to write up some kind of back-cover blurb thingy to share in this post, but ohmygosh those are so hard to write.  (It probably doesn’t help that I’m only in the middle of the first draft, so…heh.)

So instead, here’s a…shorter blurb-thingy.

Former thief Ceveth and his two older siblings are contacted by someone named Izi who offers them the heist of a lifetime—break into the most secure building in the city, the city hall treasury, and steal an unidentified item  As a reward, Izi promises them a fresh start to their lives—and the only way to keep from ending up in prison for the rest of their lives.

(And for anyone who’s curious, I shared an excerpt of the first chapter over here.)

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Aaannnnddd…Results!

So.  For about a week or so, I’ve been trying to write a minimum of 500 words everyday on just one project.  I won’t say I wrote every day, but I did the best I could with a cold and school and life in general, and it finally paid off.  (Yes, I know, it’s only been a week.)  Yesterday, I wrote a total of 2214 words.  In one day.  On one project.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I haven’t written that much in one day on one project in months.  Sure, maybe I wrote a decent amount on the first day of NaNoWriMo, but that was way back in November.  And that’s, what, five months away?  Six?  Oh, gosh, that’s even further away than I’d thought…

Anyhow, I wrote a very nice amount yesterday, at least compared to my normal amounts, and I’m happy with it.

I haven’t written a single word yet today, though.  I was doing school all day… (Ha, Kiwi.  You aren’t the only one doing Operation S.T.O, apparently.)  The only reason I didn’t get really stressed out by all of that was actually from some really good advice.  (And if I didn’t say it before, thank you, Liam.  You just saved my life, almost.  Heh, it felt like it, at least, when I managed to not completely panic.)

Anyway, now I should probably go write.  And not steal my sister’s cookie dough before she bakes it…

Outlining Again and Actually Writing a Little

So…follow up to the rather down post from yesterday.  Despite all of the problems I’m facing, somehow, I just can’t give up on my writing.  I guess I just have too many stories that want to be told.  In other words, when I couldn’t sleep last night, I decided it was as good a time as any to try to figure out what was wrong with the outline for one of my stories.

Turns out, the problem was actually that there were several plot holes that were subtle and overlapping themselves in such away that it just confused me—which only frustrated me and prompted me to not deal with the story at all.  I’ve mostly fixed it, now, though I’m still confused by it.  I couldn’t even tell you exactly what the plot holes were, really. It was kind of weird.

Somehow, fixing that outline seemed to open up a wall.  Suddenly, ideas and inspiration came crashing down on me, all day today.  In fact, over the course of the day, I’ve written roughly 1.8k, which is more than I’ve written in…a long time.  Usually, lately, the most I can get in a single day is about 1,500 words.

I feel strangely good.  I’m not doing terrific, or anything.  For example, I keep getting distracted by the Internet.  (Which is probably why I’m writing this post instead of bumping that word count up to 2k.)  I’m also still having a little trouble really getting into my character’s heads, and I know I’m going to have to do a lot of editing to get rid of this internal monologue that crept its way in, but I’m actually writing!

Okay.  I should probably stop wasting time on my blog and go get that number up to 2k, eh?

So-So Productivity and Scrivener

Well what do you know.  I abandoned my blog again.  Unlike last time, I have a more legitimate excuse—I’ve been dealing with both lots of family drama and also trying to fill out my high-school transcripts.  Talk about stressful.

Anyhow.  Doing Camp didn’t quite work how I intended it to.  Meaning, I’m not doing as planned, but once again am stretched out between four projects.  Again.  I also haven’t kept track of any form of “word-count” at all, which means according to the Camp website, I have written a whopping zero words.  I’m not terribly worried, though, because I really have done more brainstorming and outlining than actual writing—and it’s kind of hard to convert that into a word-count.

Besides.  I didn’t want to do Camp to write a novel.  I just wanted to use it to motivate me to do something.  That something might be a lot of weird things and with absolutely no concentration on one project, but it’s still something, isn’t it?

I’m going to blame part of my not-as-productive-as-I’d-like-t0-be-ness on Scrivener.  I got the program for Christmas last year, and it is an awesome writing program.  Never before have I been able to organize and sort my writing and notes and everything so well, and I’ve started to have trouble working in anything else.  Which means, whenever I have to let one of my siblings have a turn on the computer, suddenly the program I use on my tablet, Pages, which I’ve used for years, seems very incompetent and I’m struggling to write anything in it.

Gah.  Even notebooks seem pathetic now.

Okay, that’s enough ranting.  I’m curious, though, what writing programs does everybody else use?  I hope I’m not the only one who doesn’t use Word. (Granted, I can’t use Word, since I have a Mac, but still.  I could use the Mac equivalent, Text Edit, except the very idea gives me the shudders.)

 

Aaannnddd…I’m Back! For Now…

So, it’s been about two months since my last post.  Wonderful.  Not really sure why I abandoned my blog, but I did.  Anywho, I’m back now and—surprise, surprise—I’m again having writer’s block.  One story has so many issues, I don’t even want to think about it.  Another story I did a bunch of character development for and then…lost all motivation to write.  The last story I just have to get back into, but I’m having trouble because I lost my momentum.

Moral of this story?  I need motivation.

Again.

Oh, wait!  Camp NaNo is in about a week!  What better place to get motivation than there?  Even if I don’t really want to write a full novel in a month this time, it’s not as if it’s the first time I’ve been a rebel.  Actually, I’m pretty sure this will be my fourth time.

So, I think I’m going to actually write that novel that I was supposed to try to write in December, after I wrote an entire outline for it in November.  That didn’t quite happen due to character development issues, as well as a few other things, but hopefully I can get it this time.

Here’s for hoping.

Writing Needs Motivation, Part Two

When I want to be, I can be a very stubborn person.  I’ll admit, when I don’t want to be, I can give into things far too easily, but that’s beside the point.  When I’ve really put myself into something, I’m not going to just go and give up.

So, as you can probably guess, I’ve still been trying to write.  I did some brainstorming with a friend of mine, fixed about half a dozen plot holes, and I started to feel confident again.  I wrote an outline for my story, and although it’s not as good as the outline that I wrote for NaNoWriMo (which is kind of ironic, considering that most of what’s written during that is…not very good at all), I think it’s not too bad.  Of course, when I started writing it, I was immediately unhappy with it.  Nothing came out how I wanted, even remotely.  It didn’t even sound how I wanted it to.

It didn’t occur to me what the problem was, however, until earlier this evening.  After deciding to take a bit of a break, I decided to rewrite a scene that I’d written a few weeks ago, and immediately, it came out disastrous.  Frankly, I’m not even sure what went wrong—probably a mixture of things, really.  So, I decided to go read one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors, Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan, but it only seemed to make my own writing seem worse.  I think I write too wordy, with long sentences, but it throws my flow off, and even with all of the words, I lack description.  Oh boy, description is definitely one of my weakest points.

As I realized that, my first thought was, Well, there goes my chance of trying to go somewhere with my writing anytime soon.  Then, I realized something else.  I want to publish one day.  I’m not trying to, say, get on the Bestselling list (though that would be awesome), because I doubt that would ever happen, but I would like to share my stories with the rest of the world one day.  But, of course, if that’s why I keep writing, then am I ever going to get anywhere?  Probably not.

Frankly, it embarrasses me that this has become what’s making me keep writing, so, I’m going to change it.  I am writing for me, nobody else.  I have a story to tell (or three), and I’m going to tell it, whether it takes me three months, or fifteen years to do so.  I’m only a teen, right?  I have my whole life ahead of me, and I sure don’t need to rush anything.  In this case, quality over quantity.

So, I’m going to take about a week break from writing, to separate myself from my stories and all of the frustration that I’ve been facing with them.  I’m not sure if taking a break from writing entirely is a good idea, but I’m not sure it’ll really hurt anything.  And, considering the fact that half the family (including myself, possibly) are fighting off the flu, I’m not sure I’ll be able to write much this week.  Plus, I think I might try to be more analytical in my reading, and try to pick up some tricks and things (which, admittedly, probably means that I shouldn’t keep reading an average of three or four books a week).

NaNoWriMo Day 25: Oh Boy…

I have to admit something.  I am a NaNoRebel.

How so?  Well, originally, I was supposed to be writing a prequel, and I was going to follow all of the rules.  But then I got so bored and frustrated (Week Two Blues to the extreme, apparently) and I gave up.  Terrible, I know, right?

So, there it is.  My terrible, horrible secret.  Instead of writing a novel, I wrote 20k in one novel, wrote a 37-chapter outline all the way to the end (which I have never done before), and then wrote another 12k for the story I wrote the outline for.

A part of me feels guilty about it, but at the same time, I don’t think I should feel guilty.  NaNoWriMo is about writing a novel in a month, right?   But it’s also about giving people the motivation to write a novel in a month.  So, okay, maybe I didn’t write a full novel.  I didn’t even write on one novel.

However, I did write.  After a month of not having the motivation to write, I finally did write.  So, okay, maybe I’m screwing around with the rules here, but I still got somewhere and I’m happy about it.

Plus, I got my little siblings to join with me, and they’re following the rules completely.  My eight year old sister just got to her goal this morning on the YWP site (as well as finished the story), so she’s very excited.  My brothers are still a ways from their goals, though, so that might not work out the greatest.

Procrastination, Motivation, and Inspiration—See a Pattern?

Procrastination. Sometimes, I wonder if it’s worse than writer’s block. Or maybe they’re connected. After all, often you procrastinate when you have writer’s block.

Today, I’ve done nothing but procrastinate. I’m supposed to be writing, and yet I can’t. I know what happens next, so that’s not what the problem is. I like my characters, so I shouldn’t be bored. I have setting and everything worked out, so it’s not a lack of details. I just…don’t want to write it.

And so what have I done most of today? I wrote the beginning of the outline for my Camp NaNoWriMo novel, which I don’t even need to worry about until July. Great. I know sometimes thinking ahead is good, but it’s May! I still have all of June!

Perhaps I’m just trying to keep July from turning out the same way April did…

Anyhow, I believe I’m going to use Erin’s brilliant idea to give me some motivation to keep writing. Because I’m fairly certain that’s all it is. I have no motivation. And not much inspiration, either, but you know what they say. Writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

Hmm.

There really is a pattern there. Procrastination, motivation, inspiration, perspiration. I think I need more -ation! Or maybe less of it…