Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Posts Tagged ‘goals

Project 10K (P10K) October – #amwriting

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September was a month of broken nails and split fingers. On the plus side, my boat-home now has three fresh coats of paint on the sides and front deck. The back deck needs another one coat and the roof probably another two. And my hands will recover in time.

I also did some writing and a bit of thinking. I have an idea for a new book, a complete departure for me, and I have started planning it. Unlike how I usually write, I am starting with character profiles and a story arc. These usually grow organically as I write, but this time I’m trying to be a plotter instead of a panster.

I have also decided to go back to school. I can write, I know that, but not well enough. I have been undertaking a number of online courses and am considering an MA in creative writing and am researching courses. I might go off the idea, and won’t start until next autumn, but I’ve made the decision to look into it further.

 

 

In terms of September’s goals, I approached an editor to read my WIP, and now have up to 12-weeks to wait for a reply. I didn’t get back in to looking at Scribophile regularly, but did read and comment on one piece. I kept up with FF and responded to the OLWG prompts, but not in good time. And starting to write this post finally prompted me to write the ‘writing jobs to-do list’ that first appeared as a goal in August. So that’s a win, even if I didn’t do it until October 1st.

 

Goals for October

  1. Complete character profiles of main characters of new book (KQ).
  2. Draw up story outline for KQ from start to finish.
  3. Write 5000 words of KQ.
  4. Read and comment on Scribophile at least 1-hour/ week.
  5. Participate in FF & OLWG.
  6. If I find a time bomb, contemplate to-do list and prioritise tasks.

 

Goals for September

  1. Contribute to Friday Fictioneers prompts. WIN
  2. Post responses to OLWG Sunday prompts by Thursday. FAIL. I’m changing my goal to making sure I take part rather than giving myself time boundaries.
  3. Login and look at Scribophile 1-hour/ week. FAIL
  4. Finish Iowa HWWF MOOC – submit last three assignments and read others’. Mostly a WIN – I didn’t submit the very last assignment but did have something drafted.
  5. Look for an editor for my WIP. WIN – approach sent.
  6. Create writing ‘to do’ list and put on the sidebar/ a new page, to keep me on my toes. FAIL, although it has been started and will be up in a couple of days.
  7. Have fun and not worry too much about low new word creation. Er…. WIN in that I didn’t worry too much about it. FAIL in that I’m not sure I had fun not worrying.

 

 

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Written by Sarah Ann

October 1, 2018 at 8:01 pm

Project 10K – August – modesty is the word

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My workload in July went up and writing went down. August has less work scheduled and there is time for writing. However, my other half is working from home all month so trains of thought will be interrupted and periods set aside for writing are likely to be kidnapped by different priorities.

Attempts to find an agent for my finished novel are on hold until after the summer. Having received detailed feedback from the agent who requested to see my full manuscript, I am now looking for an editor, as feel I could do with their insight in how to be ‘more show less tell’ in the later chapters. That search will begin in earnest in September.

I have signed up for the Iowa How Writers Write Fiction MOOC because I know I need to improve my writing, but have only completed Week 1 and the course is already at Week 3. I hope to be able to catch up and keep up. To wit, my goals for August are modest and nowhere near 10000-words.

 

© Flights of Fancy

Goals for August

  1. Contribute to Friday Fictioneers prompts – so I get one win.
  2. Post responses to OLWG Sunday prompts by Thursday.
  3. Keep up with Iowa HWWF MOOC.
  4. Have fun and gather thoughts for an autumnal push.
  5. Put up goal measures/ to do list on the sidebar, to remind myself what’s to come, as I tend to mislay hardcopy versions.

 

 

Achievements/ not from July

  1. Give up writing goals. FAIL – I wrote some.
  2. Pull self together and write some goals. WIN – here they are.
  3. Contribute to Friday Fictioneers, as that’s an easy one. WIN
  4. Respond to OWLG prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post – already a fail as today is Thursday and I don’t know what last week’s prompts were. FAIL
  5. Continue editing Nano17 and Nano14 as time allows. MASSIVE FAIL – no words were read let alone written.
  6. Finish the ‘just started’ short stories and edit them once. FAIL – ditto as above.
  7. Put up some bars over there on the right to show my progress and motivate me, because it’s a fun avoidance activity. WIN – we all need a bit of fun.

 

Thank you to Gabrielle for hosting this challenge each month. P10K is a great motivator for me, and I do have fun setting goals and keeping track of my writing. Goal achievement is a little more difficult and very patchy.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

August 2, 2018 at 11:02 am

Project 10K – July – #amwriting #amediting

with 5 comments

I was all prepared to post my July goals on time, and then the weekend happened and this week started, neither of which I am going to bore you with.

June was productive and good in terms of goal achievements and I was making notes of success as I went along so here’s something I prepared earlier…..

A week into June and I was struggling. I looked at some old drafts of novels that I had planned to submit to new novel competitions, and decided they needed way too much editing to get them to a standard I’d be happy to send off. I decided I needed to concentrate on what I could achieve rather than the remote chance of winning £30000. And then I changed my mind. A couple of mornings were freed up after meetings were cancelled and I got on and re-edited the first 11000-words of my NaNo17 novel, wrote a synopsis, and emailed the lot off. I expect to hear nothing back, but this did refocus the mind on a work that has been neglected since May. The re-edit of the opening words forced me to work through the stumbling block of disconnected thoughts that were words 12-15000, and I was back on track… until the next stumbling block.

Since writing that, the deadline for shortlisted winners to be contacted has passed…… and I didn’t hear anything. I’ve managed to edit a whole 2300-words over the past two weeks.

© Flights of Fancy

Back to earlier…

Mapping my weeks has been helping in that it focuses my attention and I get things done. However, the things that don’t make it from the ‘to do’ list to the ‘to-do-in-this-slot-now-without-excuses’ list tend to be forgotten. There has been no piano or Italian practice, as these have not been scheduled. Moving things from ‘to do’ to ‘to do now’ has resulted in me editing two travel pieces I drafted moons ago and sending them off, probably to hear nothing ever again.

One went nowhere, the other you can read here. 

I submitted my novel to a further 3 agents, heard back from a short story competition that I only just missed out on being short-listed and sent that story on to a publisher who has previously commented favourably on my work…. and who hasn’t been in touch since. I also looked at magazines to submit short stories to and found I have a Submittable account that I’d completely forgotten about, not that I’ve sent anything off. And I started both stories I set as a goal for June.

© Flights of Fancy

 

As I say, June was productive for writing. July has started off badly and so my goals for the month are modest.

 

Goals for July

  1. Give up writing goals.
  2. Pull self together and write some goals.
  3. Contribute to Friday Fictioneers, as that’s an easy one.
  4. Respond to OWLG prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post – already a fail as today is Thursday and I don’t know what last week’s prompts were.
  5. Continue editing Nano17 and Nano14 as time allows.
  6. Finish the ‘just started’ short stories and edit them once.
  7. Put up some bars over there on the right to show my progress and motivate me, because it’s a fun avoidance activity..

 

Achievements/ not in June

  1. Edit the remaining 37500 words of my NaNoWriMo 2017 novel. FAIL
  2. Post responses to the On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post. WIN in ¾ of cases.
  3. Write two new short stories the ideas for which have been rattling around my brain for ages. ERM – I started both, but didn’t finish either.
  4. Contribute to Friday Fictioneer prompts. WIN
  5. Submit my finished WIP to agents – another three. WIN

 

Thank you Gabrielle for keeping me on my toes.

Written by Sarah Ann

July 5, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Project 10K – June – #amwriting #amediting

with 7 comments

As usual, May has been a mixed month in terms of goal achievement. I have submitted more that three short stories. This comprised three flashes, which I consider only half a story, one to a competition (no success), and two online challenges. I also submitted four short stories of 1000-words plus: one to a competition, two to a women’s magazine, and one for consideration for inclusion in an anthology.


Working to the deadline of the end of the month for the anthology and competition entries, and these being new stories, made me realise what I’ve knew before – that I can’t do everything. By scheduling my time to get short stories written to deadlines I have neglected editing my novel. I therefore need to be more choosy around short stories and balance my time better if I am ever going to get another novel ready for submission.

In terms of submitting my current book, I have approached five agents this month as planned. I’ve heard negatively from two, positively from one, and await a response from the remainder.

I have successfully participated in Friday Fictioneers each week.

I have been late for all OLWG challenges – I scheduled my responses to the last two sets of prompts as I posted this.

I managed to edit a paltry 5% of my Nano17 novel.

 

On the plus side, a renewed focus on short stories resulted in me winning the mystery category in a competition.

 

Goals for June (much the same as May)

  1. Edit the remaining 37500 words of my NaNoWriMo 2017 novel.
  2. Post responses to the On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post.
  3. Write two new short stories the ideas for which have been rattling around my brain for ages.
  4. Contribute to Friday Fictioneer prompts.
  5. Submit my finished WIP to agents – another three.

 

Goals for May – summary of achievement/ not

  1. Edit the remaining 39500 words of my NaNoWriMo 2017 novel. FAIL
  2. Post responses to the On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post. (I live in hope.) FAIL
  3. Write new short stories/ adapt old ones for short story competitions – enter three. WIN
  4. Contribute to Friday Fictioneer prompts. WIN
  5. Submit my finished WIP to agents – at least five. WIN

 

Thank you to Gabrielle for this motivational challenge.

Written by Sarah Ann

June 1, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Project 10K – April #amwriting

with 3 comments

© Flights of Fancy

 

March turned out to be more productive on the writing front than I could have imagined. At the end of February I decided to give a month’s notice to reduce my paid working hours come April. The universe had different ideas and I immediately lost my three times a week client, so March provided me with lots of writing time and I was able to meet my goals:

I have finished reading through my WIP.

I have entered some short story competitions and written some new words, albeit not too many.

I have looked at old short stories and started to edit a few.

I am a happy bunny as I go into April, although I do not expect my writing to fare that well this month. The next two weeks are the school holidays so hubby is home and we are entertaining friends and family. Having posted quite regularly in March, I expect my April posts will be infrequent, but I live in hope.

Putting my goals into numerical form with a bar to show how much I’ve achieved has been a great incentive as I’ve seen how far or not I’ve progressed, and I will be attempting to define my goals similarly for April.

 

Goals for April

  1. Participate in Camp Nano – edit the 50000 words I wrote last November. I really don’t expect to get this done but I do need to look at this writing again to see if it has legs.
  2. Write new short stories/ adapt old ones for short story competitions. I have a list of 7 possible deadlines to meet, so let’s aim to enter 4.
  3. Contribute to Friday Fictioneer prompts.
  4. Post responses to the On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post.

 

With thanks to Gabrielle for keeping me motivated and on my toes.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

April 1, 2018 at 5:32 pm

Project 10K – January 2018

with 7 comments

You might be able to tell how well January is going with goals given that we’re a third of the way through already.

The goals for this month are to get the first third of my WIP re-written (1) and ready to resubmit (2) to my prospective agent by the end of the month. I don’t think it will be sent of by 31st but as long as it’s ready for a re-read prior to sending I will be happy. This task has been taken up again this week and is bigger than I’d hoped as chapters chop, change and dive-bomb all over the place.

 

December goals were partially met, and I’m posting all of Flights of Fancy’s badges as achieved in different areas.

  1. Read 9 books and get them back to the library by the end of the month.

Mostly a fail. I read and returned two, am currently reading two, have started two others, and have two unopened by the side of my bed. I’m not sure what happened to number 9 and hope I returned it as I can’t remember doing so.

  1. Edit the first 3 chapters (approx 8k-words) of my book post-pitch.

Partially met and yet the task has grown to the first third of the book.

I’ve written a new Ch1, edited the original Ch1 into Ch2. Ch5 has become Ch3, which pushes the original Ch3 and Ch4 to positions 4 and 5 and I’m not sure they work there. This is very much still a work in progress, and I’m also having to adapt Ch7 to make this all hang together.

  1. Get a 1000-word ‘Christmas’ story ready for my writers’ group on 12th.

Yes, I managed it, and then the meeting on 12th Dec was cancelled because of bad weather. We read our stories to each other this month (9th Jan) instead. The group liked my character, could relate to the frustrations I described, and said my story flowed well. As I told them, in terms of constructive criticism, they were useless.

  1. Participate in one Friday Fictioneers’ challenge – I’ve missed the last two.

Success, I managed to complete two.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

January 10, 2018 at 2:33 pm

Project 10K – November Goals – #amwriting

with one comment

October turned out to be a mixed bag of a month where goals were concerned, with two achieved and one missed. Two out of three isn’t bad though. This month I am committing myself to one thing – to write 50000-words for NaNoWriMo. Trying to get all those down is going to be task enough and anything extra I achieve will be a bonus. So to do this properly, I need to answer some questions. Thank you to Gabriele at Flights of Fancy for the nudges and the badges.

1. Did you meet your writing/editing goals?
Yes, no, yes.
I started off well with my first goal of editing 10000-words of my NaNoWriMo2014 novel, went through a mid-month lull, and ended with me actually beating my target – hooray!
My second goal to write two new short stories for competitions was a complete failure. The ideas for one short story are scribbled down on various pieces of paper, but haven’t been pulled into a coherent shape yet. I gave up completely on the other one.
I wrote stories to three of four Friday Fictioneer prompts and received some encouraging feedback on those.

2. Did you have fun writing?
Yes. I enjoyed seeing my word count slowly increase as I got back in touch with characters I wrote about three years ago. I can recognise where I need to pad out and expand as well as what to cut during the next draft. It’s a slow process, but I will get there in the end.

3. Did the P10K help with motivation?
Definitely. Having a word counter on my blog for all to see made me push myself in the final few days of the month. Committing to ¾ FF stories also pushed me into making sure I took part.

4. Anything else you want to tell us?
I was in Las Vegas for four days – my first trip there. I didn’t lose my shirt, but came home with a cold I am still trying to shake off.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

October 31, 2017 at 1:42 pm

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