NaNoWriMo 2015 a.k.a. the year I’m not participating

What? WHAT? Yes, after much debate (with myself) I’ve decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year… Well, not officially anyway. As much as I love how the mad bouts of productivity and sky-high word counts that I magically (robotically?) seem to dole out every November or during other write-a-thon events, I’m trading in my word count for an email that I can send to my CPs/beta readers finally declaring, “Hey, I finished revising my novel. Have at it!” Basically this year I’m taking a page out of Jen Ellision‘s book and participating in my own little National Novel REVISING Month (NaNoReMo).

Whenever I had to write an essay in high school or university, I would write like the wind, but when it came to revising? HAHAHAHAHA. This is honestly Classic Lindsey, and since I don’t have an ~official deadline for my novel, obviously I’ve been taking my sweet time in revising it. I keep procrastinating for whatever reason and ohhhh how tempting it is to start fresh on a new project. BUT NOT THIS YEAR. This year I’m going to finish what I started three years ago. This year I’m going to finish what I put on hold EVERY YEAR because of NaNoWriMo.

In other news, that schedule I made for myself back in late September? I haven’t been sticking to it as strictly as I hoped, but I’M NOT MAD AT ALL. Of course on the week I decided to create that daily schedule, my workplace declared that we could start banking extra hours to allow us extra days off during the holidays. Sometimes I go in early, sometimes I stay late. Strangely enough, my unpredictable work schedule still allows me to follow every item on my daily schedule… EXCEPT THE MORNING WRITING SLOT. I was able to get in about a week’s worth of sessions before I switched to sleeping an extra half hour instead LOL. That’s something I’ll need to work on this month.

Today is November 1st. The plan is to make yet another daily schedule somewhat similar to the NaNo 1667 words per day one. Today, I think (I HOPE) I will go to a Starbucks or something and just focus on getting that done before anything else. Wish me… Strength. Pots of coffee. And candy.


May the 24th be with you–wait, what?

One of my 2015 goals should have been updating this blog more often than the 5 odd times each year, but ahh sometimes I just feel like I have nothing to ~report, you know? Like at this point in time and space, I’m not writing 24/7 or even 15/6 due to working FT and other Life Duties. Progress is steady, but slow-ish… and do I really need to blog about revising a single chapter or finally conquering a pesky paragraph of dialogue? I mean, that’s what twitter is for, right?

DESPITE THE ABOVE PONDERING, I’ve decided that I should definitely document progress or whatever at least once in a while, sooo here goes~

The first draft of my current work-in-progress ETERNITY CHASERS has been written. Right now, I’m doing the first round of revisions, i.e. my own read-through and my own major editing of the entire manuscript. Basically during the first draft stage, I write like the wind. It’s almost like word vomit except not as gross, but pretty messy. WORDS EVERYWHERE which basically equals me devoting a lot of time to clean up. That’s how I roll, and that’s what works for me. It’s just a slooow process since I tend to go into perfectionist mode and will literally spend days on a single paragraph until I think it’s as good as it can be.

I’ve split ETERNITY CHASERS into four parts (the first five chapters can be found here actually!), and right now I’m hardcore revising the second part. Yup, I’m not even half way through which is frightening to me. Like am I EVER going to be finished? WHY IS THIS TAKING ME SO LONG? DOES IT MEAN I’M NOT CUT OUT FOR THIS? WHY AM I SUCH A FAILURE BLAH BLAH BLAH. You know how it is. Whenever these questions plague me, all I can do is think about my 2015 Rules to Live By. Be positive! Shake it off! Keep trying! Endurance is key and I need to keep going NO MATTER WHAT. I know I can do this, and I want to do this. And in time, I will.

My current goal (ahahhahaha goals) is to be finished revising this by the end of summer. Crossables crossed that by the end of August, I will be able to email my CP(s…? More on this below) and be like, “YO, MY MS IS FINALLY READY FOR YOU TO READ AND TEAR APART. HAVE AT IT!”

Yeaaah, so as of now I only have one official CP (the dauntless/wonderful/hilarious Jen Ellision). Jen is and has been super helpful and encouraging with all of my random, manic texts and emails. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t care about finding other CPs because I already have a great one. However, I know that I need at least ONE other. I do have beta readers (hi, family! hi, friends whom I pushed this task upon!), but I know I need someone else to crack open my MS, help mend the cracks and polish this baby up. I am not entirely sure where to begin the search, but this is definitely something I will have to think about soon.

Aaand that’s pretty much the status of Writing Things.

In other news, I’m off to New York City on Tuesday for BEA 2015! This will be my fourth year attending and excited would be a grave understatement for my feelings about this upcoming trip.

Revise-a-thon: Sunless Saturday Edition

Good morrow, fair blog. So. Another Saturday, another revise-a-thon. It’s a perfect day to stay indoors and kick this manuscript’s butt into gear because it is gloomy outside. It’s mid-April and we’ve fully been having winter storms all week. I know I live in Canada, but winter storms in April?! As T.S. Eliot wrote, April is the cruellest month. Anyway.

First, some quick pre-revision stuff:

• Last month, I had a brainstorm explosion with regards to this idea. Since then, that story has appropriately decided to start its own revolution (like the French in the 19th century, get it? GET IT?!). It evolved from a “retelling” into an “inspired by”. The whole unrequited love stuff was becoming too similar to …oh, I don’t know – ALMOST EVERY OTHER STORY I’VE WRITTEN. As a result, I decided to make a huuuge change to the overall plot and yeah, it totally can’t be a retelling because it’s far off in its own galaxy now. I think I’m still going to keep that original short story for nostalgia’s sake, but um yeah, yay!!! Evolving story! This is the part when I refrain from making a Pokémon reference and move onto my next bullet point.

• Starless Night – holy mole. In the past few weeks, I have cut a significant chunk of its word count. Like, A LOT of words. I’m really glad about this because I realized how much extra crap and filler I’d had in my most recent draft. In cutting out that chunk, though, I’ve had to sew it back together. I’ve found this to be a long, but satisfying process. And that’s what I’ll be continuing to do in today’s revise-a-thon. Smoothing out transitions and fixing continuity probz (damn you, time trap plot). My goal is to be finished with this stuff by the end of the month… We’ll see. Hopefully today will help that happen.

As usual, I’m accompanied by Jen, my fellow babysitter’s club member. Little side note: I’ve read the first two acts of Jen’s MS and oh my goshhh. The world should be jealous of me because it is completely awesome and I almost wish (almost because wishes can backfire, yo) that I could speed up time so I can read the rest. With that said, let the revisions begin! Or commence, rather. Whatever. You know what I mean. Okay.

10:30 – First up this morning isn’t actual revising, but making a list of key scenes that I KNOW need tending to.

12:00 – I will now be changing all of the dialogue in my MS to Newsies-style speak. And I will use time travel as the explanation. (Jen’s Newsies quoting has led me to listen to Newsies, CLEARLY)

14:09 – Slow progress, but steady progress. I’m just about to ~mess with a chapter that I haven’t really had the need to touch because it’s already fine. I need to include a random detail that becomes important later, but I need to be DISCREET about it. Or, in Arya Stark-style, I need to be quiet as a shadow. Or “sneaky like a fox.”

16:06 – It wouldn’t be a day in the life of Lindsey without a dilemma! So I’ve got this one chapter and I could seriously just omit it from the entire manuscript. With the whole time trap plot, it’s an event that occurs, but it doesn’t have to. It’s totally “deleted scene” worthy, but then it’s also good enough that I think the story and characters would benefit from it. So now I must decide: to keep or not to keep? I have to go to church in half an hour or so, so on the drive there I think this is what I shall be ruminating about. Hmm………..

On a totally unrelated note, one of the tabs I have open right now is a Wiki article on “GEESE”. Is this for my MS? I’ll never tell.

18:11 – Back from church. Decisions have been made to keep that chapter, but by integrating it into other chapters. One of the reasons I wanted to keep it is because I feel it serves in the “character development” department. So I’m going to go choppy chop and distribute it right now.

18:46 – The deed is done. Because I don’t want to read over what I JUST fixed, I shall now take another break to work out. I always try to go do something else before rereading so that my mind is ~freshened, and strangely, good ideas and inspiration always seem to come to me when I’m on the elliptical. So BRB.

22:51 – So I think whatever I did …worked?! I’ll probably have to come back to this in a few days and reread it with a completely refreshed mind, but I don’t have that unsure voice nagging me in the back of my head. Let’s just declare ignorance as bliss for now. xD

23:34 – OKAY, all day I’ve been wondering why my word count seemed too high. I know I added in a few random lines, but nothing crazy. I just realized that I had one of my chapters duplicated. THANK GOODNESS because I was close to having a mini panic attack.

12:16 AM – What what now? It’s past midnight. I guess technically the day is over, so I think I will cease the status updates of this revise-a-thon. Revisions, however, will not stop. Much progress was made today and I was able to clean up A LOT of stuff. Every scene is in the right place now. Everything is in chronological and timey-wimey order. Huzzah!

And so, until next time…

quarter-life freak out.

The E-mail has been sent. The deed is done. 😐

ohhhhhh, we’re halfway there

2 weeks ago (well, 13 days ago, to be precise), I wrote this post in which I declared my goal to send out a query by May 22nd. That would make today the halfway point. Cue the freaking out.

On top of that self-imposed deadline, I also created a series of mini deadlines. One of them is today. Am I any near close to accomplishing the sub-goal I set for myself? Kind of. Cue even more freaking out.

It’s all good, though! I totally passed up an invite from my cousins to see The Avengers to at least attempt to conquer the sub-goal. It’s true that tonight has already had its share of distractions, but I was an ArtSci student for five years and writing under a timer should be no big deal. The plus side is that I’m not being graded and even if I fail, I won’t have to face the wrath of angry profs or cocky TAs. The only one I will have to deal with is myself and that’s punishment enough.

The current word count: 109 188 (yikes). The goal: polish up these three chapters in the middle of The Story. These three chapters contain some of my favourite scenes, so naturally I am being ultra psycho about editing them.

Alright. I’ve got my NEWSIES playlist, a banana-pineapple smoothie (ooh, I should post my recipe~), and a pot of green tea in the works. I may or may not take a Glee break (don’t judge, they’re covering One Direction tonight. Again, don’t judge). I am most likely going to chill in front of the television while NCIS: LA is on (Kensi/Deeks!). This is clearly the worst night to have chosen for this task, but whatever. The night is young and so am I (HAHA). Let’s do this.

BTW, this post may or may not be edited with progress updates throughout the rest of the night~

ETA: 8:40PM – Boy bands forever.

10:23PM – Why are cookies so addictive? Especially European ones. It’s all of the sugar and butter, isn’t it?

10:35PM – As much as I am in love with this story and the characters, I cannot wait until I am working on my other project… the one that’s not about a time trap D:

10:36PM – GAH, it always comes down to these little transition scenes. ALWAYS. Just weld yourself together already T_T

11:54PM – Progress is being made. Woohoo!

12:06AM – Grrr. Distraction in the form of my sister. “Do you want to watch Game of Thrones?” she asks.

1:38AM – It’s almost 2AM and I am watching freaking Contagion. WHY? (On the bright side, more progress has been made!)

2:30AM – So. I didn’t finish THE goal, but I was able to get a lot of other stuff sorted out! So I’m officially declaring this night a success. GOOD NIGHT.