August writing round-up

Previously in monthly round-ups…

Total new words for July: 12,890

My goal for August was a fairly complete vomit draft of the fanfic project, which I knew would be around 25k. So, er, you can probably guess my goal did not get met. I also admitted that I’d be surprised if I did meet that goal, so I guess this isn’t a shocker. And I probably did better than it feels, baring in mind how busy I was in August. Between prep for my trip and my trip, I only had a few normal days this month. So getting nearly 13k words with all of that going on was pretty incredible, really.

Goals for September

Only one, again: finish the fanfic project and get a start on edits.

I’m not throwing any word goals at that, although I estimate that it will be at least 10k to get a vomit draft done. This time, I’m feeling semi-confident that I’ll make my goals happen. I’m starting to hit all the big action and coming-together-of-plots stage in the fic, and my writing always speeds up when I reach that point. I’m out of the sticky middle of doom.

My dad is coming to visit for three weeks this month, but there will be a week in that time when he and my mum are away exploring the north of the province, and I should have plenty of time to get some writing done. More than usual, if it’s just me and the cats in the house!

So this is me: I will finish this fanfic project and get a healthy start on the edits by the end of September. Watch me put my determined face on and do this thing!

July writing round-up

Previously in monthly round-ups…

Total new words for July: 26,654

My only goal for July was 25k new words on the big fanfic project. That was it. And look at that! I got 26.6k!

I should confess–almost 3k of that was actually on the first chapter of a new book. Woops. But I still got a huge number of words on the big fanfic project and it felt good to really get into it at last.

The new book? I’m loving it and itching to focus on it, which should provide the motivation I need to get my arse in gear and finish the big fanfic project by the end of this month, so it can be my sole project for a while.

Getting new words out is the part of writing I love best (I can hear so many other writers cringing because they love editing, but I’m sorry, I’m a new words girl), and after months in edits, the chance to just let fly and *write* has been glorious. July was a resounding success, one I didn’t expect to get because I had so much going on at the same time.

I’m crediting part of my word glut to Scrivener for iOS. It’s already making that much of a difference to my workflow–I can see it in my day-to-day metrics, where there’s a sudden jump in productivity since I installed it. Hopefully that’s not a temporary bump!

August goals

My goals this month are simple: write the big fanfic project and have a vomit draft pretty much done by the end of the month. That means this is another 25k goal month. If I’m on track with that, I’m allowed to goof off a bit every now and again with the next couple of chapters of my book, because I need to let myself have a treat 🙂

The potential roadblock is my upcoming trip: I leave next Wednesday for England, where I will spent several days at Nine Worlds Geekfest in London (such fun!) and then a couple of days with a friend in Jersey, before spending my remaining time until August 27th at my dad’s house. Based on previous experience, I may not get much writing done at the convention. And even my dad’s house may not be uninterrupted writing time: I’ve got family to visit, a Prom concert to attend, a day trips to Oxford and London planned, and a day at the Harry Potter studio tour.

So while my goal is 25k and a completed vomit draft, I’m going to be kind of stunned if I achieve it. Make that, incredibly stunned. Cross your fingers for me?

June writing round-up

Previously in monthly round-ups…

Total new words for June: 3,665

Yeah, you are not reading that number wrong. There were not many new words in June. My big plan to get the novel rewrites finished on the first weekend and then put it aside and play with fanfic did not happen.

Not that I didn’t work, but I’ve been rewriting and editing and rewriting so much of it. I’m one scene away from finishing all those edits and rewrites, at last. It’s the final scene of the book, which no longer fits with the rest of the book so needs a from-scratch rewrite. When you write a book with no firm outline and introduce a ton of problems with internal logic and weak character arcs, you get a mess. That’s my learning from this experience. At least the book that I’m getting at the end of this process is better than the vomit draft, but that doesn’t take much! Hopefully my first readers will be able to tell me where it still doesn’t work, because I’ve lost sight of it after all this.

The one concrete thing I did achieve from last month’s goals was editing and submitting a story to Lightspeed. Phew! That was the one I would have been annoyed with myself for not doing.

3k of my new words were on the fanfic project and the rest were a scene for the next book I want to write, jotted down to get the words out of my head. That’s…really not what I planned. And now I’m going to be rushing headlong to get the fanfic project done by my deadline, which has become the story of my summer over the last few years. Ah, well.

In an effort to make sure July doesn’t go totally off the rails despite Tour de France watching and a big visit from my sister, I’ve joined Camp NaNoWriMo. My goal is 25k, which would get me a long way towards writing that fanfic project.

That’s my goal this month. No other plans: 25k on the big fanfic project. Everything else takes second place in my priority list, even the edits.

How about you? How did June treat you, and what are your goals for July?

March writing round-up

Previously in monthly round-ups…

Total new words for March: 13,526

I said that March wouldn’t be a 25k month, and I was completely right about that! I did manage to hit the one goal that I’d set for myself, though: I wrote “The End” on a very rough novel draft. So that’s done, and I’m counting March as a success on the basis of it.

I didn’t get any editing done, but that’s because I took a well-earned break after I finished the WIP. I did some light editing on a fanfic project over Easter and sent it to my beta reader, but that was it. I really needed a break, it turned out.

But now it’s time to get back to it and work on some things. I have goals to set and achieve!

My plans for April:

  1. Edit a short story and send it out for a second round of reading. If possible, get it out on submission, but that depends on the speed of the second reading!
  2. Write at least 15k new words. There’s a new fanfic project that I need to get a serious start on, if I’m going to hit some deadlines.
  3. The novel I just finished has had some time to think about its sins. By the end of April, I want to have the major structural edits done and have it out with a couple of beta readers.
  4. Finish the major edits on the F/F superhero novella and send it out for beta reading.

Most of my plans involve editing, which is part of the reason I’ll be working on a fic project when I need to put down new words. It’s a good break, a nice change of pace, and it should be a good way to keep my brain from overloading as I work on everything else.

So, that’s my month and my plans. How was March for you, and what are your goals for April?

February writing round-up

Previously in monthly round-ups…

Total new words for February: 25,093

February is a short month, so beating January’s total was a complete surprise, particularly after my dismal start to the month with a couple of days of writing missed completely. I didn’t push myself, I didn’t write like a demon, but somehow I managed to write 5k more than in January. Even the extra day due to Leap Year can’t take the blame for all those words!

All my new words were on the current novel, so I’m doubly pleased, and it looks like I’m on track to finish that within the next couple of weeks. I’m currently writing the big action-packed chapter that ties up a lot of the adventure plot, and after that it’s just weaving together the other threads and writing the HEA and I’ll have a complete vomit draft done. I’m anticipating that I’ll be well over my 90k estimate/target, but as I know there are a lot of bits that need cutting and pruning, I don’t feel too worried about that. The good first draft should be closer to the right length.

After I’ve written “The End”, my plan is to take a couple of days off to decompress and let my brain recover a bit, and then I want to take out the superhero novelette that I wrote last year and whip it into better shape. At the time that I wrote it, I was vacillating between whether it was Serious Literature (TM), or whether I was writing an F/F superhero romance. As a result, I think that I ended up landing in a muddle. So my current plan is to rewrite a fairly good chunk of it, turning it into a novella, and really embrace its identity as an F/F superhero romance. If that doesn’t work, I can try it another way, but honestly?

I think that I like my current plan best 🙂

Why aren’t I diving straight into edits on my current WIP? I’m too close to it right now. I need to have a bit of time away from it so that I can see it fresh. Some people might be able to turn right around an edit something immediately, but I’m not one of those people. I’ll let it sit for a few weeks, make notes whenever I think of something I want to consider, and I’ll be able to think about it more rationally when I go back to it. If everything goes according to plan–a big if, I’ll admit–then I’ll be spending April kicking it into shape before sending it out to test readers for early feedback.

March definitely won’t be a 25k month, but it should be a productive month even if the word tally doesn’t show it.

How did everyone else find February? And do you have any March goals?

January writing round-up

Inspired by, among others, NJ Fraser and Cherie Priest, I’m going to try out the idea of putting my actual word-like progress into stats and round-ups on this here blogging thingamy. I’ve been tracking my daily words through spreadsheets for a couple of years. It helps me stay accountable to myself and cheers me up when I think that I’ve had a bad month and see the progress I really made despite some bad days.

This year, I’ve also set up a spreadsheet to see a month-by-month comparison of how I’m doing. And thus, monthly progress reports!

Total new words for January: 20,369

This is a month where I lost several days to a wonky back and didn’t get off to my usual flying start due to New Year being very New Year. That total looks absolutely smashing to me, when I take all of that into account. Yes, I have usually been closer to 30k per month, but 20k looks great. And even at this rate, a first draft of an average novel is achievable in four to five months from start to finish.

Not all of those words were actually on the novel. A couple of thousand were on fanfic, and a few more thousand were on a novelette. I added ~14k to the novel, so it’s now just over 56k, which still feels pretty great after all the issues I’ve had this month.

My aim for February is to achieve around the same. If I get more, I’ll be delighted. If all 20k are on the novel, I’ll be over the moon. If I get less…well, I’ll assess why it was less at the end of February.

For now, I’m just going to celebrate that January wasn’t as much of a disaster as it felt, and see what February brings.