Words, Lots of Words

Another week has flown by–where does time go?

Today I hit another milestone with my novel. I am over 30K words! Not quite 31K yet. I started chapter twenty, and as I write, I am finding some inconsistencies with my story, which forces me to go back and tweak things so that the plot is smoother.

Anyone else do this?

It all seems so clear as I am writing, and then two or ten chapters later I decide I want to do ‘this’ instead of ‘that’, and it throws things off just enough I have to go back.

I also spent most of yesterday afternoon scouring the internet trying to find the PERFECT dress…and it wasn’t even for me. It’s for my lead character, and she’s going to a ball. Of course, the dress had to have the perfect accessories, so that was another hour or so.

Then it took me forever to get the description just right, so that when someone reads it, it does the dress, and my character, justice.

No one told me writing a book took so long! *grin*

I am not even done with a first draft … this editing process is going to take a century!

All fun aside, it’s work. Work, that inbetween school, a bill-paying-job and friendships cut into. Work, that involves time, patience, and sometimes a little head-meet-desk moments. Yet, in the end, it’s something that one can be happy with, and proud of.

That’s the goal I keep in mind as I wrestle with adjectives, web shopping for clothes and objects I’ll never buy, and a sometimes frustrating ability to have to do one hundred and one things… other than writing.

Keep the words flowing, Marcia!

(And I still don’t have a title *headdesk*)

I’m Writing – I swear

The radio silence is do to me actually working on my novel. At least right now its a novel. If it manages to go over a certain amount of words, then it’ll turn into a book. I’ll be happy with a strong novel though… especially as my ‘first’ work.

I use first loosely there because I’ve written other things, but never desired to publish any of them. Fear? Yeah. I’ve always had a huge fear of rejection, but when it comes to writing … it’s a bit ridiculous. It took me 10 years to share a short story with a friend … ten years.

Then I started to read a few self-published books out there and thought… why not? It’s my own money, effort. If people don’t like it, I’m not letting anyone (think publisher, etc) down.

So yes, lots of writing. The other day I managed to punch out five rough chapters. I am thinking of going back and adding a chapter in between two of them though, to kind of give the book a little more ‘action’ to it… instead of just dialogue. Though, there have already been a few action scenes.

I’m currently working on chapter fifteen (24,689 words so far).  The novel revolves around a young girl who discovers she’s not so normal after all, and has to find a way to manage this new discovery on her own while also trying to bring together groups of people set on destroying each other.  That’s just a little teaser. As I get more in depth, and even finish a first draft, I may post a couple of excerpts.

I have always enjoyed a strong female lead. Perhaps because growing up it was always a man in the lead being the superhero. Then I started reading books about these kick ass women and thought … now this is more like it. So, I want to have a kick ass female lead. Of course, she has her side-kicks, so it’s not just her completely alone…but it will hopefully get interesting.

Signing off for now! Happy writing, reading and blogging!

Time Management

I will be honest—I absolutely suck at time management. As someone who works full time (not in writing), goes to school, and has somewhat of a life, it’s difficult for me to find time to write. I squeeze it in at odd times of the day.

The problem? I’m recently finding myself in the red for novel writing.

With papers already piling up for class, I have had no time to sit and focus on my novel.

Okay, that’s a lie. I do have the time, but just don’t manage it well enough. I am a procrastinator at heart and love to put things off to the last minute. “Oh, this paper is due on Tuesday, let me freak out on Sunday and Monday to get it done with just enough hours to proof it on Tuesday!” That is my life.

Something has to change though. If I want to get serious, and I want to focus on finishing a book to even get it to the second phase—editing—then I need to put aside some things that I just no longer have time for—like gaming.

I spend way too much of my free time playing video games. If not video games, then watching television. Now that most networks post their episodes after they air, I think I give myself one day where I just catch up on all my television shows, leaving me with six days to manage the rest of my time for work, school and writing. Maybe even have a day for gaming? Maybe.

It’s funny I came across this TIME article today: 6 Things The Most Productive People Do Every Day. A great read if you’re like me and looking to manage your busy life a bit better. I really do need a ‘War Room’ though… I think that might have to be a shed out back just to get away from all my distractions!

How do you manage your time? What key advice do you have for readers who might be struggling with the same issue?

Finding Motivation

Normally (3-5 days out of the week), I am buzzing with energy to write. Especially when everything is falling right into place and it’s flowing so smoothly, I just can’t stop writing (even when my eye-strain begs me to do so).

Yet, as with many writers, the story sometimes hits a bump. The size of the bump is where I can get into trouble. If it’s just a speed bump, I can usually take a day or two to think about how I want to move forward with the story, and get past it.

When the speed bump turns into a hill, and then a mountain, I am typically screwed. I have gone weeks in the past without writing a word. Then I’ll go back to reread the previous chapters and something randomly clicks, igniting the flame in me to continue.

What I’m trying to prevent with a project I now want to take serious, are the mountains; I don’t want to go too long without writing. I have author friends who often tell me about their motivation, and I suddenly realized that I really don’t have a motivation. I write if the story is speaking to me, if it’s not, I don’t touch it (Yes, I hear voices–usually my characters screaming at me in horror in response to what I’ve just done to them).

A great friend of mine, Kam Oi Mary Lee (check out her writing blog here!) is often writing about what’s inspiring her, pushing her to write and keep the story alive, and I I know that I need to find mine.

It can be one thing or many little things, I just don’t know yet. I need to find something that flips the switch back to ‘on’ when the lights start to dim. I am wondering what everyone else out there uses for motivation or inspiration.

What flips your switch back on?

New Beginnings – Writing

I love to write (No kiddin’). I’ve been writing since I could pick up a pencil and paper and think coherently. I’ve lived my whole life in Connecticut, and come from a very strict Portuguese background. My writing allowed me to escape the reality of that life with all its rules and ancient thinking, and create new worlds and interactions through my imagination.

I’ve written many things over the last twenty years of my life, but I’ve never had the desire to publish anything. It was all for me and the close friends I had the nerve to share my blurbs with. I’ve been through the short story phases of writing, the poetry phases, and am now moving into book / novel writing. I actually completed two books that never saw a second edit, but they’re saved, somewhere.

At the moment, I am working on a YA Paranormal book. I’ve enjoyed writing it so far, and it’s something that was inspired when my father was diagnosed with cancer. While the book has absolutely nothing to do with cancer, I need/ed something to keep my life from spiraling out of control, and so I drove myself into this, took more of an interest in the characters, and have decided that I want to publish the book, and eventually dedicate it to my father.

I don’t know when that will be, or when all the drafts will be complete, but I wanted to begin a blog and catalog my journey. Everything is a jumbled mess right now on this blog as I set up a Facebook and Twitter account as well, so things will start appearing here over the next few weeks.

That will be the main purpose of this blog: to share my experiences, struggles and joys as I move through different phases toward publishing (perhaps self-publishing for this first book). I will also do writing prompts here, to keep my mind busy with projects that aren’t just a part of my book, and to give myself a few breaks.

As of right now I do hope to have the first draft of this book done before November, so that I may begin the second book in the series for NanoWriMo, while editing this first one. Wish me luck! As the book becomes more of a reality (and I finally have a title for it), I will definitely share more details about it!