Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ROW80 Weds update: Steady, steady she goes

Halfway through the month and checking in with progress to date.

Goals for July:     
  • Write/Revise Rivers of Stone minimum 1 hour a day, reporting progress at Camp Nanowrimo. Chapters 1-6 done: 12 out of 13 days. 
  • Blogging: Reporting in for ROW80 x2 each week and posting on writing blog on Fridays. ROW80 posts? Done. Friday blog? in process.
  • Marketing: Work on one event/week & planning. Schedule newsletter. Progress: Allen has breakfast reading for Reaching tomorrow morning. Goal by month end? Years of Stone up on ACX for book 2 audio book! The fantastic voice actor Darryl Kurylo has agreed to read. Not active on twitter or FB this week.
  • Articles: Write one article for SASP newsletter (done) & one more. Article on comfort quilts accepted by The Country Register. 
  • WSQ: Prepped program for Tues meeting. Working on vendors section. Sent Robin interview questions for this Friday.
  • Spokane Authors: Sent application in for Artisan’s Market (book fair) before deadline. 
  • Reading: In process: Finish commenting on Nancy's Justice before August 1. In process: 1 of 16 chapters done. Read 3 lighter books. . At least one indie author & one SASP author. Review: Yasmin Tirado-Chiodini, Antonio’s Will. Review Nancy Hartley’s Justice by SASP Aug meeting.
  • Other: Exercise: 4 out of 4 days this week. Nearly finished with binding on wheelchair quilt (I like this one) and started an applique project.
Quilt block in progress
(rough draft stage)

Gleaned from writing this week: I'm planning to read through the rough draft of Rivers of Stone twice; my overall goal is to finish editing this story before year end. Once at micro level (word choice, missing scenes at chapter level, characters' emotional reactions, anything that I can see), and once at macro level (story structure/arcs, and anything I can see).

The opening chapters seemed unsettled to me and have required much rewriting. Once the story takes off, though, I'm happier with the overall flow. So maybe these early chapters are a little like the quilt block above, as I find my way into the story, some parts are unfinished and ideas about characters/plot are yet emerging. Because the entire draft is complete, I can now look more critically at these opening chapters with a sense of the whole story.

If I weren't such a dedicated pantser, this would motivate me to work on planning/outlining, reading research, and drafting more back story before I begin to actually write the story. 

What about you when revising that first draft? How much work do you do BEFORE beginning to write?

Check in with A Round of Words in 80 Days and read Stephanie Nickles helpful article on understanding your brand. Or see what everyone's up to this week over  HERE. And why not join us?


  1. I do a lot more planning and plotting now than I used to. Every year, I try a new plotting method, and keep the best elements. This year, I'm using The Writer's Coloring Book. SO far, I've liked it the best. It allows lots of space for creativity, and some nice lists that orient my mind toward the characters.

    Sounds like there was a good deal of progress. And some very interesting goings-on.

    1. Thank you, Shan Jeniah. For the next story, I'm going to try a month of reading, planning, and plotting -- before writing. That idea of coloring to explore nonlinear thinking is appealing as well. Have you drawn to explore characters or story ideas or mapped out landscapes? Sometimes I'm surprised by what comes out on the page! Have a great week.

  2. I honestly do my best work when I outline and plan first, then get the whole rough draft out of myself in as short a time as possible, like with NaNoWriMo.

    And I'm woefully, but not hopelessly, behind in Camp NaNoWriMo at the moment.

    1. Everyone talks about that outlining and planning (I've resisted outlining all my life!). I'm keeping up with Camp NaNoWriMo daily, but not posting daily. I hope the writing goes well for you this week! Thanks for visiting!

  3. I'm not much for outlining/planning. I usually get a scene and a character and work from there ... I do have a partly drafted novel though that needs a lot of work before I can continue it because it switches between 3 time zones, so I will do more planning etc on that one.

    I'm also doing Camp because it is a useful motivator for me as I get into 'slumps' otherwise where I can't get started, and am managing to edit roughly every other day. The second half of the month is very busy for me so I set myself a fairly modest goal of 20 hours (=20K words on Camp). Done quite well on that so far and am hoping to fit more in between my second half busy-ness. Good luck with your Camp endeavours.

    1. Wish we were in the same cabin, Pam, as your goals are very similar to mine. Some days are more difficult, but we are making progress! I work closer to what you describe -- a scene, a character and suddenly the story blooms! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I've always been a bit of a planster. I cannot "just write" without some vague idea of where I want to go. That way lies chaos... ;-)

    But that said, methods like the Snowflake Method, etc definitely do not work for me... enough so that I was convinced for a long time that I did NOT want to want to try plotting.

    Lots of great progress despite that bump, Beth. Keep it up!

    1. Thank you, Eden, for stopping by. The Snowflake method intimidates me a bit. But plotting at some point in the drafting helps solidify the story, so I'm a fan of some planning. Depending on the story. A 'planster' sounds like someone who borrows strength from intuitive and logical thinking!

  5. The Snowflake Method has some good points, but it's worth noting that it can become limiting and very linear as well. For some scenes, that's exactly what you need. Sometimes you don't.

    Have you seen Rachel Funk Heller's Writer's Coloring Book? That's really good too.


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