Monday, October 31, 2011

beginning the beginning again...and again...

My readers are probably already completely sick to death of my first two chapters.  I know I certainly am, anyway.  I think I rewrote the first chapter at least three times last week and sent it off for them to read each time.  And each time, I wasn't completely 100% happy with it.  I'm still not sure I am, and I rewrote it one last time yesterday- well, not entirely.  I fixed the transition part that was bothering one of the readers, mostly.  But I did add in a whole new first chapter that's only about 1/3 of a page long.  The book starts from a different perspective now.  Late on Friday night an idea arose that perhaps I should add a few random chapters from Anna's point of view.  Might be an interesting little twist, no?  Her chapters won't be anywhere near as long as Riley or Ella's, just little snippets here and there.  I really like this idea the more I think about it, too.  Thoughts, anyone?

I think I'm done editing through chapter 7 at this point, too.  I know the word count was just over 16k when I finished up last night, so I'm about a third of the way through.  I'm trying not to nitpick too much at this point and just fix the parts that have changed slightly since all my new ideas came about.  The major editing will be done when the book is complete, and hopefully I can still manage to finish up the first draft by the holidays.  But we'll see- I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself.

I don't know why I have such a difficult time writing the opening pages!  Seriously.  I went through this exact same dilemma with IMME, ultimately scrapping the entire beginning and starting completely fresh.  I've already done that with this WIP for the most part, too.  I'm a lot more satisfied now than I was after the first rewrite, so hopefully after a few more edits it'll all fall into place.

In life news, today is me and Dan's 8th anniversary of being together.  It's crazy to me to think we've been together for so long!  But really, the time has flown by.  We've been through a lot together already and I look forward to what else life has to throw at us.  Hopefully all good stuff from here on out.  :o)

Monday, October 24, 2011

here we go again

Well, I don't have a specific word count goal to tell you about this morning.  If you read my last post, you know that instead of moving forward, at this point I actually need to go back and do some major editing/rewriting before I keep going.  Which, ugh.  It's for the greater good, I know this, but it just stinks to have to start all over again regardless.

But start over I did.  Last night I rewrote the first two chapters- not completely, but I took things from the current first and second chapters and rearranged them, added some new stuff, etc.  Also,the story now starts from Riley's perspective instead of Ella's.  I thought that made a little more sense, seeing as how Riley is more the "main" character, being the one haunted by Anna.  I'm going to toss these two chapters off to my readers and see what they think.  I want to make sure how it starts now makes sense before I move on- god forbid I have to start over yet again.  And I know the first ten pages are the most important pages of the book- if you don't "hook" your readers immediately, forget it.  Why would they keep reading it they aren't interested in the characters and the story right off the bat? But anyway, I'm excited all over again for this one and can't wait to keep going with the edits.  And I can't honestly believe I just said that...but it's true!

So it was a productive weekend, even though I'm still sort of under the weather.  I just can't seem to kick this bug I've had for three weeks now, so I guess it's time to finally make a doctor appointment.  We finished the remodel on our laundry room- and I was reminded yet again how much I despise painting- I cleaned the whole house from top to bottom, did a bunch of ironing, cooked a huge pot of pulled pork...ah, how I enjoy being domestic from time to time.

Hopefully before I know it I'll be back to keeping tracking of my weekly word count goals...but for now, back to revisions I go!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Back to the drawing board...square one...whatever...

Sorry for the cliches in the blog title, but it's early, it's rainy and gloomy, and I haven't had nearly enough coffee yet to come up with something witty. 

Anyway, yesterday one of my readers, my cousin Cleen, asked me for more of my story.  I'd written about 20 pages since she'd last read it, so I went ahead and sent it over to her.  But with it I sent questions, asking her what she thought about certain things.  I also asked her what questions SHE had- what sort of stuff was nagging at her as she read?  What did SHE think was going to happen, what did she want to happen, what was she dying for answers to?  It was the first time I ever really asked a reader these types of questions, but I'm not going to lie, here- I needed input.  I was starting to feel confused myself, not sure where I was going with the story (I think I mentioned that before, too).  I needed someone else's perspective on it to re-spark my ideas.

And it worked.

After going back and forth over numerous emails, I had a major breakthrough.  Like, for reals.  I now know EXACTLY what Anna's motivation is, why she's haunting Riley.  The entire story was basically based on this haunting, but until yesterday, I honestly wasn't sure why the hell Anna was bugging Riley in the first place.  I knew she wanted him to find out how and why she died for real, but I was never certain why she did, in fact, die- or what Riley was supposed to learn from it.  Now I do. I still have a few details to figure out, but I know those will come as I write it.  I jotted down a ton of notes and ideas last night, and I can't wait to start implementing them into the story.

Which brings me to the conclusion that I cannot move forward with it until I make those revisions.  I mean, I'd always planned on re-writing the beginning a bit, starting it a little further along into the story, but I planned on going back and doing that when I was completely done writing it.  Now, however, I think I need to rewrite it sooner than later.  There are a few other things I need to add in or swap around, too. 

I'm not sure where these edits will leave me wordcount-wise.  But I know the changes will definitely help push the story along in the right direction.  So as annoying as it will be to sort of start over, I'm even more excited now about this story as a whole.  I think there will be some surprises and twists that people might not be expecting...

For now, though, I just need more coffee.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh well...

As I mentioned last week, the chances of me hitting my weekly word count goal of 3K was pretty unlikely...and I was right:

Total Words Written: 1,843
Total Hours Spent Writing: 2
Total Word Count Overall: 48,128

I'm SO CLOSE to 50k, though!!!  Gaahhhh.  I'll get there this week, hopefully.  I'm trying not to dwell on it too much, because I've just been so freaking busy!!  I'm pretty sure things will quiet down this coming weekend, though, so I should get back on track.  But I still might take a week off after I finish up the chapter I'm on, let my readers plow through it again and then try to figure out where I'm going with it.

Today is my 35th birthday...holy hell.  I thought I would be freaking out a little more than I actually age bracket and all.  But surprisingly enough, I think I'm ok.  Although reality hasn't completely set in yet, either, and I've been so busy celebrating with friends and family that it's been easy to put the actual number out of my head.  One more day of celebrating, too- with work peeps today (Oreo Blizzard cake, NOM NOM NOM) and dinner with the husband tonight...then reality will set in tomorrow. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ain't Happenin'

I already have a sneaky feeling I won't be hitting my word count goal for the week, you guys.  Like, unless I manage to cram in some time to write tonight, it ain't happening.  And, well...I don't know.  It's been a really crazy, busy week at work, and there's been a lot going on socially, and I'm just tired.  I need a night to rest my noggin, I think.  Some time to just be numb and stare at the TV like a zombie.  Or catch up on some reading.  Although, I would like to finish the chapter I started writing earlier this week...

I do think, however, that once I do finish said chapter I might actually take like, a whole week or so off from the WIP.  It's been going well, don't get me wrong, but I'm now past the halfway point and I think I need a little time to sit and gather my thoughts on where the heck this story is really going.  When I first started writing it, I had a much different idea about how all the events would play out.  But as per yoosh, it took on a life of its own the more I wrote.  Now, though, I'm starting to confuse myself about where I even want it to go.  Maybe a few days off to ponder and write ideas down would be better than actually just plugging away aimlessly?  I don't know...I'm not a professional (yet, ahem), so if any writers actually read this blog, I would love to hear about your writing process for situations like this.  How do you take a step back and regroup, without starting to revise before the story is even complete?

Anyway.  It's my birthday weekend, and once again we're heading out to the wineries tomorrow for some good times.  I can't wait to see everyone!  Wine + Friends + Quality Hangout Time = Happy, Happy Josie

Monday, October 10, 2011

Back on Track

As crazy as the past few weeks have been, I'm proud to say I'm back on track as far as word count goes:

Total Words Written: 3,616
Total Hours Spent Writing: 4.5
Total Word Count Overall: 46,285

Whew.  It was actually a bit of a struggle to work up the energy to sit down and write, too.  It's not that I didn't want to- lord knows I'm dying to get this story done- I think I'm just feeling whupped lately.  I was still a bit under the weather all last week, and add on top of that the fact that we're still working on redoing our laundry room (new floor, molding & tiles, plus trying to organize the piles of junk that have accumulated), the faucet in our tub was leaking like crazy, and the new couch we had to order to replace the one that didn't end up fitting through the door was being delivered on Friday...I had a lot on my mind.  Like, a lot.  Even yesterday, when I sat down on our lovely new, fluffy couch to write, I had a hard time getting motivated.  I ended up rereading a few chapters before I finally started plugging away.  I'll have to really make sure I write during the week this week as much as I can, because this weekend I won't be around much.  It's my birthday weekend, woot woot!  Saturday we have a trip to the wineries planned and Sunday is the big family party for all the September and October birthdays at my parents' house.

Oh yea, and in case you missed my Facebook and Twitter posts- I found my missing flash drive!!  I couldn't believe it.  I went to put on a pair of my comfy pants yesterday when we got home and felt something in the pocket.  When I pulled out the flash drive, I almost fell over.  I have no recollection of wearing those pants the night I lost it- they'd been thrown on the chair in my bedroom and gotten buried under various other clothes.  So, thank goodness, it's been recovered for real!!  No one is stealing my ideas, hooray!!

Anyway.  I'm hoping to top the 50K word count mark by next week...and then my readers will get another little preview!

Monday, October 3, 2011

wah wahhhhh

Ugh. Last week kicked my ass.

Total Words Written: 1,172
Total Hours Spent Writing: 2
Total Word Count Overall: 42,640

What the whaaat? Less than 1200 words?? Boooo, hissssss. As you can see, I did NOT do so hot last week. But in my defense, it really was a crazy, crazy week. Add in a dash of a sinus infection over the weekend, and forget it. I was down for the count.

The good news is this week, life is pretty much back to normal. Meaning I should have ample time to catch back up with Ella and Riley. I'm actually off work today, sitting on the couch covered in blankets and cats and willing myself not to cave and turn the heat on. But this means I'll get writing done today, and hopefully a lot of it. I'm exhausted from being sick and running around, but thankfully, writing does not take a lot of physical exertion. And my mind is more than ready to start plugging away at it.

All right, so on that note, I'm definitely planning on getting back up to my usual 3000 word count goal this week. Hopefully more! As soon as I'm done catching up on my DVR, that is...