If We Were Having Coffee: Novel Redrafts And Flash Fiction Competition #amwriting

It’s been a while since I’ve written a Weekend Coffee Share post, months in fact, but I’m currently supposed to writing an entry for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Competition so this seemed like the perfect way to procrastinate.

Project StatsI signed up late for Camp NaNoWriMo this month. At the start of the month I was debating whether or not I was going to have a crack at it and decided not to because I tend to find that writing purely for word-count goals make it even harder for me to get myself into the right frame of mind for writing. That said, having  a goal in mind does help drive me forward on projects so when I started rewriting my Shadow Dawn novel around the 10th July, I decided that I’d set myself a 30,000 word goal for the month and use Camp NaNoWriMo to help me hit that target. I’ve got more time to focus on my writing this month as  I’m still waiting for the result of my last AAT Level 3 exam which means I haven’t got any studying to do. However, other social engagements are taking up most of my weekends so my current progress has been limited to what I can write during my lunch hour at work. Hence the pitiful looking bar chart above.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I’m also taking part in the NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction competition. The deadline for round one is 4am (GMT) so I’ve got the rest of this afternoon to sort out my 1,000 words story and submit it, even if the heat is making it almost impossible for me to get on with anything. I’d rather melt than write at the moment so I’m hoping hammering out a post might encourage me to hammer out a thousand words of fiction in a few minutes time. I can easily write a thousand words in a hour so a first draft should be straight forward, I just wish the weekend wouldn’t slip past me so quickly.

*Note: It’s now almost five in the evening as I’ve been procrastinating from writing this post as well. I really need to learn to just get on with things.*

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Tomorrow will mark DVerse Poets Pub coming back off their two week break, something I’ve been looking forward to since their first day of absence. For the last fortnight I’ve been desperate for poetry prompt so I can’t wait until Monday’s Quadrille night.

I’m also trying to work out how to take my poetry to the next level on this poem. When going through the stats on this site I realize that I only reach about fifty views per post most of the while so I’d really like to start bumping that number up. I suppose the upside to that total is that my view total stays quite close to my likes total so I can see that most people who read the poems, go on to liking them. I just need to find a way of getting more people reading them.

Other than that there isn’t much going on this weekend. I hope yours have been slightly more productive than mine and I will now go off and get this flash fiction piece written for NYC Midnight before I find a way to procrastinate right up to the deadline. All the best for the next week and thanks for reading.

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If We Were Having Coffee: A Quarterly Review – Muddling Through 2018

IMG_1745The end of March is closing in and the first quarter of the year is almost done, so now seems about as good a time as any to take a look back over the last three months and see if I’ve managed to get any closer to completing my 2018 goals. Even if you don’t make new years resolutions, we each have targets that we want to see ourselves achieve. Some are small such as finally sorting through that box of pens that moved back home with you from uni, some are larger, like completing the next stage of your accountancy qualifications. Either way, it is important to acknowledge whether or not we achieve them, and if we haven’t, what progress we’ve made and what we need to do to reach that goal.

Writing Goals: 2018

Each year, for the last six years, I’ve told myself that I will finish writing that novel. That novel is still unfinished, but it’s certainly closer to being complete than it’s ever been. This month I managed to write out a chapter by chapter breakdown of the plot and for once I haven’t got an ending that doesn’t feel much like an ending. If that doesn’t make much sense, then what I mean is the last part of previous drafts tended to feel like they just petered out. This time I think that I might have got it right. Of course I still need to get on and re-write the draft.

Aside from finishing my novel, this year’s writing goals include me trying to submit more entries into competitions. In the past I’ve entered one of two competitions a year, for 2018 I set myself the goal of entering at least three writing competitions. So far I’ve submitted to the following:

  • The 2017/2018 International Book & Pamphlet Competition
  • The Laureates Prize (Automatic entry for this is included with the above)
  • The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize

Technically that hits the goal I set myself for the year, so I decided to move the finishing line. Seeing as we’re a quarter of the way through the year I thought it was only right that I multiply that goal by four. Instead of aiming to enter three competitions in 2018, I’m now aiming for twelve. I’ve got a month by month lists of the up-coming deadlines for writing competitions and I’m picking and choosing which ones I want to submit to. Two that I’m set on are the NYC Screen Writing Competition, and The Birdport Prize Novel Competition. Screen writing is not a completely new genre for me but it’s one that I’ve only dabbled in so the challenge should be a fun one. The novel competition will be just the first 5,000 words of my book but it’s a good motivator to get those 5,000 words to a place where I’m happy to show them to the world.

The end of March also brings the start of April and that means three things.

  • NaPoWriMologo-napowrimo
  • Camp NaNoWriMo
  • The A-Z Blogging Challenge

The next redraft of my book will include a lot of writing from scratch as I realized a lot of the current draft is fluff that will probably need cutting. The aim is to use Camp NaNoWriMo to get a rough draft of those chapters down on paper before the start of May so then my focus can really move to editing rather than writing.

National Poetry Writing Month is my favorite challenge of the year and in 2016 I smashed it! Last year not so much, so I need to prove to myself that I can do it again and it will also be a great challenge to get me writing lots of poetry that I can perhaps use for some of those competitions that I want to enter.

Lastly we have the A-Z Blogging Challenge, this is one that I’ve not before. I almost took part last year and then didn’t really write for the whole of April. I’m sure I can work the concept into my daily blogs though and it’s very much a community based challenge like NaPoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo which I love.

Blog Goals

Now a lot of my blog goals co-inside with my writing goals, and if you read this blog regularly you will have seen my 2018 goals listed in previous goals. So far I haven’t managed to hit any of them. I was doing quite well at the start of March, I’d picked myself up out of a slump and was posting pretty much every day. Then we hit mid-month and that fell out of sync.

Stats

As you can see from the stats above. I’ve not been very good about posting in the second half of March and that was something I told myself I was going tackle this year. I have to say though, my house looks fantastic! Two weeks of spring cleaning instead of writing has really got the place looking good.

However, back to the matter at hand. Getting onto a blogging schedule seems to be the problem for me, so the following goals are the ones that I want to have achieved by the middle of the year in the hopes of fixing that problem.

  1. Find a schedule that I can stick to with my blog with at least one piece of flash fiction a week, two/three pieces of poetry, and a chatty blog post about my writing outside of this blog.
  2. Increase my daily traffic so I can finally beat that ‘Best Ever’ view count from October 6th 2015. Yes that’s right, that view count is from almost three years ago and it’s simply laziness that’s kept me from getting close to it again.
  3. Write the second installment for the ‘Case One: The Missing Boy‘. This went up on March 11th and the aim is to write the sequel by April 11th. There have also been a few calls to write a follow up to ‘The Curse Of The Ex-Wife’ but that one is very much on the back-burner for now.

 

So, that’s it for the first quarter of the year. You’ve seen my triumphs and my failures so far in and hopefully I’ve given you a little encouragement to have a look at what you want for yourself this year and achieve it. Let me know in the comments below what you’re aiming for this year and if you’ve managed to achieve any of those goals yet? Perhaps you have some advice for me on keeping up with a blogging schedule, or perhaps you just fancy a chat. Either way, you know where that comment section is and I can’t wait to hear from you.

Thanks for reading and happy writing.

Lost, Found, and Rambling On About Nonsense – Just A Normal Day Then

It we were having coffee, well firstly, let me apologise for my absence. As you have probably realised, I’m not great at maintaining a regular blogging schedule so my attendance at the Weekend Coffee Shares has been somewhat spotty over the last few months. *Ahem* Let me change that to non-existent. I’ve decided to stop saying ‘but I’m back and this time it’s going to be different, I’m going to post on a schedule, build up a reserve of posts to use on the days where I don’t want to write.’ I’ve said it before and it’s never worked so instead I’m going to say this.

I’ve been relatively good this week. Let’s wait until Monday to see about next week.

Apart from my lacking of blogging I’ve had a productive start to 2017. Yesterday I got an email confirming that I’d passed my Accountant Technicians Diploma with distinction, Shadow Dawn is at 61,943 words and growing, and I’ve got some plans lined up for April that I’m feeling pretty excited about. What plans you ask?  Well let me tell you.

As some of you will already know, April is host to two massive writing events. NaPoWriMo [National Poetry Writing Month] and Camp NaNoWriMo [Sister to NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month in November]. This year I’m going to do both.

logo-napowrimoCamp-2017-Participant-Twitter-HeaderYes that’s right. I’m insane enough to think I can write 30 poems in 30 days and do Camp NaNoWriMo.

As the plan stands at the moment, I’m hoping to finish the current draft of Shadow Dawn by the end of March so that I can switch my focus from that story to Solitary Creatures instead. The target is 40,000 words for April, spread over three or four separate stories that all take place around Edwin and Sammy. Doing NaPoWriMo at the same time means that I should also have a daily post for all of April without having to use my Solitary Creatures stuff. That will go up in May instead.

See! Planning. It will all go horribly wrong but the effort is there.

On the plus side, unlike NaNoWriMo, I have completed NaPoWriMo before. You can find all my poems from April 2016 right here on Writing and Works in the drop down beneath poetry. Or you can just click… here. The NaPoWriMo site provides a new prompt everyday and they’re a sign up page where you can find all the participating sites.

It’s a really fun project and a really fun month. If you like poetry then I would highly recommend it.

On another note, I’ve started to notice that when I go back through older posts on this site, (and my older I mean three-six months old), I’m finding bits of flash fiction I’d forgotten I’d wrote. I’m trying to work out a way of bringing some of the older stuff back up to the tip without having to re-blog it constantly. However, I think that might be a conundrum for another day.

On a more exciting turn of events, during the time while I was away from my blog, Writing and Works hit a couple of milestones. We hit 50,000 total views and 20,000 total visitors. I know it doesn’t sound like much compared to the bigger blogs, but it made me happy to see those numbers on my insights screen.

Anywho, enough about me. Let me know how your weeks, years have been going so far. Any plans for April or beyond? Let me know in the comments below. I always love hearing from the people reading my blog, which reminds me! Before I go. About June time I’m thinking about starting up another round of Guest Posts, these ones focusing on writing prompts and creative inspiration. If you think this might be something you’re interested in then give me a shout!

Hope you all enjoyed my little ramble, thanks for reading.

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Darkened Daughter Update

Today all I could think about was writing, but then I got home and suddenly all that motivation decided it would rather talk to me later and right now there was a really good episode of Star Gate on so it should watch that instead. I’m bad at that. I’m bad for telling myself that something I was really motivated about just an hour before could be done just as well tomorrow and really, right now the sofa/bed/chair is damn, flipping comfy.

I’m getting better though.

See tonight I sat down, [after Star Gate] and wrote another 600 words of Darkened daughter and over the last week and bit I’ve written close to 12,000 words of the first draft. I’m a quarter of the way through and I now how a fully mapped out plan of where my characters, and more importantly my plot line, are going.

Don’t get me wrong, it sucks. It sucks a lot. I’m going to have to go back and tear it limb from limb to try and work out why there’s an arm where clearly, there should be a leg. That, at the moment, is not my priority though. My priority is finishing draft one and that’s what I’m doing.

I’m further than I’ve ever been before and as of yet, the steam’s not run out. So I’m off to add some more words to that 600 that I’ve written and hopefully, in three weeks, Darkened Daughter will be on the page. It’s sort of my own, personal Camp Nanowrimo, just half a month late.

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Tara from Darkened Daughter

I Will Make Next Month Awesome April

I’m determined to finally get myself on track writing wise this April.Matthew-by-Millie-Ho

 

  1. Camp NaNoWriMo – I will complete a 60,000 word count and first draft for The Terrifying Life Of Henry Granger. 
  2. I will post an updated wordcount to the Writing and Works Facebook page everyday along with an extract! [Preferable one that doesn’t give too much away. Like two lines that make no sense without context. That should do it.]
  3. NaPoWriMo – I will complete a poem each day of the month. This seems much more doable than point one.
  4. Refer back to point two and adapt to suit point three instead of one.
  5. I will attempt to still get enough sleep to function as a working human being. [Meh. We’ll see how that one goes.]