RSW Week 13: Begin Happy Dance!

Week 13: August 31, 2015

How I did (last week): Still chewing away at some prep for the novel. Mostly it’s progressing. Will keep some questions as questions until I see how my characters actually interact when the writing gets underway in earnest in November.

Biggest challenge for this session of RSW: It’s good to be busy, but too may WiPs (drafts or revisions) or two many simultaneous writing events (RSW and Camp NNWM) can make things a little draining.

What I like about RSW:  I like the openness of the goals. Could be planning, revising, drafting, or any combination. It’s a nice communal activity without all of the structure of some other events.

See you all next time! 


RSW Week 12: Coming to the finish.

Week 10: August 24, 2015

How I did (last week): Working on the timeline for the novel to prep for November’s NNWM. Coming along. There are some plot gaps in the first two thirds, but I’m chopping away at those.

Goals this week: Continue to work the novel’s plot arcs and timeline. Writing ideas for two other short stories in my notebook, but so far not prepping anything official in Scrivener.

Biggest challenge: I’m a little tired from the full plate I had during this RSW and the cross-over with Camp NNWM. But, I’m bouncing back.

What I like about my WiP: I like that I still have ideas bubbling up. Always afraid with any gap that inspiration may have dried up.

RSW Week 11: Clean-up and Reset.

Week 10: August 17, 2015

How I did (last week): Still revising. I may let these last two stories (Fading Fast, Home Again) sit a while and come back to them later for the another round of re-write.

Goals this week:

  1. I need to flesh out the timeline for the novel, so I can reconcile with the chapter  sequences I drafted initially.
  2. I need to loop in a few other minor characters to the timeline and ensure the plot lines are crossing and escalating in the right places.
  3. I also need to create a family tree to ensure the ages of the characters and relationships are correct.

A favorite passage (Home Again): 

“My wife and I couldn’t have children either,” he broke in.

Ilene looked up suddenly and then looked down again, fearing that she had embarrassed him.

“It’s not an easy thing for most people to discuss,” he continued. “I wouldn’t condemn all men because of the verbal and emotional constipation of a few,” he finished.

“I don’t condemn all men,” Ilene retorted defensively.

“I’m sorry. I’m getting us off topic,” he apologized. “My wife never really wanted to discuss it either. So, I’m not sure it’s a gender-specific response. Are you sure the reason for their reluctance was related to not being able to have children?”

Ilene looked at him and asked, “What else would it be?”

William looked starkly at her and said, “It may have been about their discomfort with not wanting children. It’s one thing to discuss not being able to have them. It’s different to say your fine with that because you don’t want children to begin with. If they saw your disappointment at not being able to, they would likely be reluctant to add their own feelings about not wanting to.”

Biggest challenge: I have another short story ready to tell, but I think I’ll hold off. Normally, I would charge ahead and start it. But, I’m resisting the urge to have too many irons in the fire.

What I like about my WiP: What I like about most of them: Characters who start out as my puppets. Then, they cut their strings and dance away to the tunes in their own heads while I just watch and write down what happens.

RSW Week 10: Write and learn.

Week 10: August 10, 2015

How I did (last week): Finished the revision to Fading Fast (at least until I can get some readers to provide feedback.) Defined which pieces of the original Mischief plot can be reused for the novel. Moved those bits into the other Scrivener file and roughly placed them in the chapter locations according to my present plot arcs. Also did some work on sketching the timeline for the novel so I can align the chapters later.

Goals this week: Need to start revisions to Home Again. If there is time this week, I’ll try to expand on the idea for the re-plotting of Mischief with the new idea.*   It will be a complete re-write.

* Truthfully, I already did some of this. I had a few ideas and a few more rolled out as I was jotting in my notebook. 

Biggest challenge: Instead of making separate goals for writing events, I’ll likely share goals between them. I’m trying to write so many new stories at the same time I’m revising old ones.  Write and learn.

What I like about my WiP: Uh, too many WiPs.

RSW Week 9: Snip – shift – yank – throw.

Week 9: August 3, 2015

How I did (last week):  Things are going. While revising, I thought of a way to reuse the core of another short story that is being shifted into a novel. Couldn’t keep the original plot line so needed another. Stray idea popped into my mind while tweaking Fading Fast that I can develop and use.

Goals this week: Keep revising. Hoping to finish revision to Fading Fast to concentrate on Home Again. Still aiming to have both through revision by close of August and this round of RSW.

A favorite passage: [Too much in flux to pick something that will stay.]

Biggest challenge: Lots of spaghetti threads and things are messy. I don’t like messy. But, I think I’m cleaning up more ends than I’m creating at this point.

What I like about my WiP: I’m not as happy with these two stories as my others, but these are challenging me in deeper dialog and relationship creation. So, hoping my next stories heavy in these elements will go a little more smoothly.

RSW Week 7: Cue the Theme from Rocky…

Week 7: July 20, 2015

How I did (last week): Completed the draft of Home Again, fulfilling my goal for Camp NNWM. Also completed the rip/re-write of the opening for Fading Fast to help my milk-toasty main character start life with a better spine.

Goals this week: Continue to revise Fading Fast. Define where to separate out the pieces of Mischief (short story) to use instead for the novel to be started in November.

A favorite passage: 

“Liar,” he challenged softly. There was a tone in his voice that made her look up. His face was tight. “You’ve had that look on your face before, at the gate. A repeat performance deserves an explanation. I think we know each other well enough for that, at least,” he finished.

Biggest challenge: The overlapping commitments have eased. So, other than the usual challenges of letting loose one’s inner editor for revisions, all is going well.

What I like about my WiP: It’s in revision. (You asked for honesty.)

RSW Week 8: No pain, no gain

Week 8: July 27, 2015

How I did (last week): I took last week off. After the push to finish my draft for Camp NNWM and the revision hole fix for Fading Fast, I needed a quick break.

Goals this week: I’ll be starting the proper, full revision on Fading Fast. That may take the entire week. If not, I’ll start in on revisions for Home Again.

A favorite passage: 

If Superman had his phone booth, perhaps the ladies’ room would be hers. She nearly choked on her coffee as she suppressed a giggle. Maybe she needed to come up with a catchy name for herself based on her superpower and her chosen fortress.

Biggest challenge: Rip – rewrite – rip again – rewrite again. And so forth…

What I like about my WiP: Every change in the revision is one step closer to a better story.

RSW Week 6: Running Underwater

Week 6: July 13, 2015

How I did (last week): This past week was more about ensuring I’m in step with Camp NaNoWriMo goals. If I don’t finish the draft of Home Again (HA), I won’t have time to revise Fading Fast for RSW. But, I’m in the home stretch for HA’s draft.

Goals this week: Finish draft for Home Again and shift to major revision to opening of Home Again.

A favorite passage: 

As he closed the blades through some of the hedge, the branches didn’t always get cut. Often, the stems simply became bent between the blades. He would force the handles back open and try again. The whole process made the branches appear as though they had been chewed shorter rather than cut. And, in the process, the man was working up quite a sweat with the effort. His glasses continually slid down his face and he repeatedly used the back of his left hand to push them back up. As she drifted slowly across the sidewalk observing him, she heard him breathe an expletive or two at the trimmers. She stopped outside the gate and cleared her throat.

He didn’t turn immediately. His arms dropped to his sides, the trimmers dangling clumsily from his right hand. His shoulders and head drooped as he dropped the ancient contraption onto the grass. Turning, he looked at her with defeat.

Biggest challenge: None, really. I’m happily plugging along.

What I like about my WiP: The relationship between the main characters is shaping nicely.

RSW Week 5: Arrrghhhh!

Week 5: July 6, 2015

How I did (last week):

  • Marked sections in Fading Fast for the first initial revision. Holding the actual start to the revision until I have at least half of the next story, Home Again, drafted as part of Camp NaNoWriMo that started on July 1.

Goals this week:

  • Start working in the revision on Fading Fast.
  • Continue to work on the plot arc for novel.

A favorite passage:

Biggest challenge:

  • Trying to fit in RSW and Camp at the same time. Eek!

What I like about my WiP:

  • The revision will help with flow and a main character issue. I’ll like my WiP better after that tweak.

RSW Week 4: Double-duty

Week 4: June 29, 2015

How I did (last week):

  • Finished first draft of Fading Fast.  Goal was for roughly 10K words, but ended at 12K. There are numerous edits and a scene to rework at the beginning. So I’m free to snip and slice several thousands of words.
  • Didn’t get to do another stroll through my plot arch for the novel. Will not complicate the upcoming week with that, but will delay that second run-through by a week.

Goals this week:

  • Camp NaNoWriMo starts this week and the revisions to Fading Fast are part of the month’s goals. I start a new short story for Camp as well.

A favorite passage: (Just me clapping and chanting “the draft is done, the draft is done!”)

Biggest challenge: The rework on the front will be a little messy. I have to replace one scene entirely and I have to tone down one of the supporting characters or my main protagonist is just frustratingly limp and useless. I need to her to be convincingly pitiable, but still capable of action, so her later story can hold up to the ironic twist it now has.

What I like about my WiP: I had an epiphany on a new ending that just slid in beautifully with a twist-click!