Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not.

Posts Tagged ‘writing

Project 10K – January 2018

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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.

 

 

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Written by Sarah Ann

January 10, 2018 at 2:33 pm

Project 10K December 2017

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Plans for December? Nope. Life has gone slightly awry since the month started.

November goals:

1. Did you meet your writing/editing goals?

Yes, I completed NaNoWriMo successfully.  I wrote 50000 words and that seems to have exhausted my creative juices. I also had a successful pitch event on 27th November with a lovely agent who gave me some great suggestions on my book. Now I need to pull my finger out and make the changes she suggested before resubmission.

2. Did you have fun writing?

Yes, definitely and I want to keep on writing about my new character’s life.

3. Did the P10K help with motivation?

Yes, because posting my plans is a great way to keep me on track and accountable.

4. Anything else you want to tell us?

I don’t think anything else exciting happened in November. It was all about NaNo and the opportunity to pitch.

 

December goals:

December has started like a damp squib – any writing will be a bonus.

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

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

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

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

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

December 9, 2017 at 10:30 pm

OLWG#26 – Micropoetry – #amwriting

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This week’s New Unofficial On’Line Writer’s Guild prompts leant themselves to being an American sentence all by themselves. Very lazily and only slightly adapted, here are 17-sylables:

‘You can learn a lot from books,’ the gypsy woman said. ‘Mine’s out March 1st.’

I need to spend longer than 25-minutes coming up with a response to these, and to stop using the prompts as titles. However, taking each prompt in turn I’ve stuck with poetry this week: a haiku, a cinquain (although having read the original post on these, I’m not sure the stresses are right at all), and a shadorma. Having broken away from the grip of NaNoWriMo, I decided to have a bit of fun.

 

You can learn a lot from books

eccentricity

more read about than achieved

he practised daily

 

The gypsy woman said

Happy,

I see you are.

May it last forever.

On the other hand it may not.

Useless.

 

It won’t be available until April 1st

*Her new book:

glossy front cover,

overpriced,

badly writ.

April fools’ day a good day

to launch such drivel.

 

* ‘The’ did not fit here, feel free to replace ‘her’ with ‘his’.

Written by Sarah Ann

November 30, 2017 at 6:52 pm

#NaNoWriMo – getting there – #amwriting

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NaNoWriMo was progressing well, slowly but surely. It is good to have a word counter that also gives percentages. By the end of day two, I had written 3800 words, which I was reliably informed was 8% of the target, and this gave me hope. Strange the effect percentages can have compared to raw numbers.

The words were flowing freely, but that might be because I am writing a stream of consciousness novel, in the present tense. I wondered if I might get stuck with nothing to say mid-month. I didn’t, and haven’t now I’m nearing the finish, but on day 9, I went back to the beginning. My story had gone off-track; I was venting about my stuff rather than discussing what my character needed to say.

I lost a couple of ‘home alone’ days late in the month as they were filled with other stuff or hubby’s appointments were cancelled. This meant I needed to work harder at the front end of the month. All good in theory, but on 6th Nov I received an email inviting me to pitch my existing novel on 27th. So I had a new priority, learning how to pitch a novel and getting the pitch word perfect. My NaNoWriMo word count fell behind and I have consistently remained about two days behind where I need to be. I worked on my pitch, which got me back into my novel, but the structure of the pitch was superfluous in terms of the lovely informal chat I had yesterday. I am still unsure if I am able to summarise my novel in an enticing way given that Broo Doherty had read my synopsis and first three chapters and had lots of useful advice on how to take the work forward.

The good thing with this year’s NaNWriMo has been that, as I get the bare bones down, I can see where I need to go back and pad out with muscle. As this story takes place in one day, with flashbacks telling the reader how my protagonist came to be standing on the edge of a cliff, there is going to be a lot of cutting and pasting to make a coherent narrative. Character back-stories will need to be developed and incorporated on a third or fifth draft, but I am hopeful I am making notes of these requirements as I go. This is a development from my previous NaNoWriMo attempt in 2014, which was put away and only resurrected relatively recently. As I read through it last month, I noticed the holes and found a whole load of other stuff that needs explaining more fully, as well as characters I’m not sure are needed. Hopefully by the end of this month I will have 50000-words and maybe another 1000-words or more of questions to answer/ research to do to make the story consistent, which is more than I managed last time. I am only just identifying the jobs needed to sort out my 2014 efforts. At 42000-words or thereabouts this time, and with only two-days until the finish, I might not ‘win’ this year, but at least I took part and wrote a story that didn’t exist a month ago.

Written by Sarah Ann

November 28, 2017 at 9:09 pm

The Telepathwriter – Using every opportunity #amwriting

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An elbow to the ribs in the middle of the night, as hubby woke suffering excruciating cramp, got me thinking. He was asleep ten minutes later whereas I didn’t drop off again for another four hours. I read a bit, usually a sure fire way to drop off, but not this time. I scribbled a bit, in the notepad by my bed by torchlight, and worked on some 100-word stories as well as drafting this blog post. After two-and-a half hours of lying quietly growing ever more frustrated, I thought about getting up and making myself a drink and hitting the laptop. However, hubby and I live in a very small space with creaky floorboards and I would have woken him. While he says I’m like a bear with a sore head with no sleep, he is worse.

I was starting to get delusional in my imaginings when I began to wonder how long it will be before the Telepathwriter is invented. The Telepathwriter needs another name obviously, but insomniac writers the world over need it. As we lie waiting for sleep and brilliant ideas weave their way into our minds, we need the electrodes taped to our temples to capture and transmit our thoughts straight to a document file. All those wonderful pre-sleep notions and incarnations will be caught forever. Over-writing will be a thing of the past as immediacy and freshness are caught on the page. No longer will those brilliant story plots be lost when we wake. I haven’t actually planned the machine besides the basic concept. Someone with a more technical or scientific bent needs to draw up some blueprints. Perhaps during another bout of insomnia I might come up with an outline design… if only I can remember it in the morning.

Written by Sarah Ann

November 20, 2017 at 11:35 am

Project 10K – November Goals – #amwriting

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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

Project 10K – September Goals – #amwriting

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Mid-month is probably not a usual time to be goal-setting, but with little paid work materialising, I have been able to move on with my writing. I have even dug out and started to read through, and add to/ correct, the 50588-words I wrote as part of NaNoWriMo 2014. This was a project I had decided to pick up next year, but by talking about this story with others, I became motivated to look at it now. In the past week I have made it to the end of page 7, so only another 158 to go. I doubt I will have finished reading through and making changes before Christmas. However, I am setting myself the target of editing 10000-words in the next two weeks as part of Flights of Fancy’s Project 10K. You can commit to write or edit 10000-words, or set a specific goal to be met if numbers aren’t your thing. And if you succeed, you get a badge to put on your blog at the end of the month. A long long time ago, I used to collect badges, and keyrings, and bookmarks….

At the end of the month, I will answer the questions:

  1. Did you meet your writing/editing goals?
  2. Did you have fun writing?
  3. Did the P10K help with motivation?
  4. Anything else you want to tell us?

And then I’ll set my goals for October.

Have a look at Gabriele’s site for more.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

September 15, 2017 at 10:27 am

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