Writing Progress – 4.9.18

It’s been a while since I wrote any fiction. I have about five unfinished manuscripts at various stages that I started over the past five years. This month I decided to pull out of the mothballs and commit to working on that one story every night with a minimum of 100 words.

Tonight I was 26 words under 5oo which is more than I had expected to write during that hour.

Finding time to write these days is hard.

No, wait, that is an excuse.

There have been some nights where I just sat at the screen and stared it down doing nothing but surfing Facebook and Twitter.

Some of the textbooks that I have to read for school are so boring that I find myself nodding off within a half hour of sitting down to read. There is still one and a half years left until I have my Bachelor degree and another year after that for my MBA. Going back to school was the most wished for item on my bucket list since graduating high school 35 years ago.

Pupils writing on the blackboard in a village ...
Pupils writing on the blackboard in a village school in Laos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One month left until I will be attending my first college graduation. Five years after graduating high school, I had given up hope of ever returning to school for that degree. Instead, I got married and had two wonderful children. College became the forgotten dream. I had a pretty good paying job back then anyway, or so I thought. Each time I found another job, my income continued to decline instead of rising. I never made the connection until being forced from my job because of the economic conditions. No one would hire me at my age. Phiff!

Hard work has gotten me to where I am today with my education, and I remind myself I only have a couple of years left until I am back to writing three hours a day.

Until then, one hour can either give me a hundred words or five hundred words. If I get lucky, a Nano word count would be nice.

 

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Sunday Scoopful and #ROW80

Can you believe it is already the third Sunday of the Month? Where did the days go? Next week is Thanksgiving.

Being the third weekend of the month means that yesterday was the third Saturday of the month, and it was the day my other writing group meets. The Monadnock Writers’ Group meets every third Saturday of the month from September to June at the Peterborough, New Hampshire town Library, downstairs. For all but two months, we are entertained by a speaker, a guest who shares tidbits about what it means to be a writer. We have had screenplay writers, poets, artists, photographers, and others who have something to share with the art form of writing.

This weekend we were visited by Judson D. Hale, Sr., The current editor-in-chief of The Old Farmer’s Almanac and Yankee magazine and is Chairman of the Board at Yankee Publishing. He shared tidbits of what an editor faces when it comes to submissions. He gave many example of queries he has received over the years and why he told the person no and why he said yes to a story. He said it was all in the blurb or tag line of the story on whether or not he found the story to his appeal. If the story line sounded boring he would say no, and if they gave him a blurb with juice to it, he would say yes. It wasn’t the subject matter that made the difference it was all in the way it was presented.

Judson had some genuinely excellent points, and he shared his witty humor with us along with some of his favorite quotes.

So who is doing NaNo-ing?

*raises hand…

ROW80 Check In:

I’m still NaNo-ing. Yep, that’s right. I haven’t given up hope just yet, even if I missed writing a few days this week.

Remember, my best is writing a first draft in 90 days. So, if I can beat that best, then I win my own personal goal, even if I don’t finish the work in progress in due time to make the NaNo goal.

Today I am happy to report my 5k for today. I might finish the first draft by the end of January.

I did have to go and revamp my plot outline before I could go any further. It is so helpful to have that plot point by plot point all figured out. The characters may not always behave the way you might want them too, but if the goal is there already for them to get to the rest of the character building falls into place.

It does not matter if your character is not as strong as you wanted them to be. They can still be kick ass and sweet and simple too. The most crucial thing is to make your characters likeable. Then you can pick the characters off one at a time if they don’t want to behave.

I must say, I can’t kill off characters as easily as Suzanne Collins did in Hunger Games. As I read her book I was miffed at how easily she was able to kill them, one after the other. In the end, I found myself saying – out loud – huh? Now why did she kill him off, I kind of liked him? He must have been a terribly crummy boy for her to do that to him.

Now I am learning the art of killing off characters (lol). At the 20% point of the work in progress, I have successfully managed to kill off one character. I wonder how many more characters that I can kill off by the end of the story.

Happy NaNo-ing and may your WIP treat you well for your next ROW80 check in.

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