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Posts Tagged ‘plotting’

Just a really quick check-in before I get ready for church this morning.

I finished April off with about 4,000 words over my goal for the month. So that’s good. I took the last two days off from writing to do other stuff. Yesterday, I walked over 4 miles in the Juvenile Diabetes walk. Then I went to a Mother’s Day banquet yesterday afternoon hosted by my mom’s church. Sometimes there are other things we have to do besides write.

I’m kind of stuck in the plotting for my second Hemlock Ridge Mysteries series written under my Catherine Lynn pen name. I have the basic plot, but there’s some important stuff I’m not getting. I’ll probably go ahead and start writing, because a lot of my ideas come WHEN I’m writing instead of before. That’s why I like pantsing better. I think better during the process of writing than the process of plotting. I’m trying kind of a combination of both. I know the basic things I need to know for the plot, just not all the details. Does that make me a “plantser”? Hmm, a new word.

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This wasn’t the best week until yesterday when I kicked butt. 🙂 I wrote 2379 words on my WIP under my other pen name (for an anthology). I had a sudden epiphany concerning the plot. I realized the why of the conflict between the hero and shero, so I was fired up. Now you might not think 2379 words is a lot in one sitting, but it is for me. I might have gotten more in, but I started getting antsy about the time because I knew I had to go to a funeral later. (Not anyone close.) That’s why I like to write when I know I have nothing else going on later in the day.

I’m getting ready to plot the second novella in my new mystery series under my other pen name. A co-worker suggested a great murder weapon that would leave no clues, so that’s going to make it more interesting. 🙂

I’m going to try to work on three different WIPs at a time this round, so that’s totally different for me. I don’t know if I can pull it off, but we’ll see. The anthology story will be my first priority, but I want to work on the other two from time to time, maybe just a few words at a time. I love a challenge, and this will definitely be one!

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I almost didn’t post because I didn’t have a whole lot to say. I already talked about my sub-plot issue on my Friday post.I haven’t been writing because 1) I’m proofreading for a client and 2) I’m still plotting another book. I feel like plotting, planning, etc. is still part of writing, so I’m okay with that. I have a novella written under my other pen name almost ready to publish. The cover is almost done, and I have just a few corrections to make. But I can’t think of a TITLE!!! I have the title for the series this starts, but not the actual book. Titles are so hard for me unless the title comes to me, and I write the story around the title. That’s happened a couple of times, once with Soul of a Vampire and again with Fire Wizard. But most of the time, I’m struggling with that title. And since it’s my first mystery, it’s more of a challenge than my paranormal romances. It’ll come to me. I must have patience!

And since this post is pretty boring, for your viewing pleasure, here’s Willow. 🙂

willow 3-22-15

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I’m actually in the middle of writing two stories, which is something I’ve never really done before. Now that I have two pen names, it might be necessary to do this fairly often. Anyway, for the Lauralynn name, I’m writing a sequel to Soul of a Vampire. This one is going to be a little tricky. The story focuses on Jan, the best friend of Tessa, the “shero” in Soul of a Vampire. However, this story is going to have a sub-plot. I’m very weak in the sub-plot area, so this is going to be hard for me. Anyone have any suggestions on how to write a great sub-plot? The biggest problem with this one is I’m afraid the sub-plot might overpower the actual plot if I’m not careful. The sub-plot is going to be an adventure, but a lot of the main plot is, too. The main plot will have a lot to do with feelings, too.

I must get out Susan’s Toolkit and do some work!

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See that little tab up at the top that says “Newsletter”? Click it. You know you want to. Seriously, I’m going to start sending out newsletters about new releases and other news, but I won’t be spamming anyone. You’ll get very few newsletters in a year if you sign up. BUT…if you do sign up, when I get 50 people on my list, I’ll do a drawing for a signed copy of Fire Wizard. /end of promo

My goal is to write for 1 hour, 5 days a week. This is 5 hours a week. I’m a little bit behind on that since I’ve only gotten in a little less than an hour and a half so far, but I can make that up on Saturday since I have most of the day to write. My cozy mystery is going pretty well. It’s my first attempt at this kind of story, so I hope I can do it justice. It’s harder to write than paranormal romance. I’m at the point where the murder is about to happen. Well, at the point where the body is found. That ought to be interesting.

I’m still stewing in my mind about the Sci-Fi romance. I need to start plotting that out before I forget stuff.

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I complete forgot today was the beginning of Round 4! My, how time flies.

So here is what I hope to accomplish this round.

1. Write at least five days a week.
2. Write for at least an hour each time.
3. This is a big goal, but I would love to have my cozy mystery finished by the end of the round. It’s probably not going to happen, but 80 days is 11.43 weeks. Multiply that by 5000 words per week. I could write 57,150 words by the end of the round if I stuck to goals 1 and 2. And I already have a couple thousand words written. Plus, I usually write more than 1000 in an hour now, so there’s a little wiggle room. So it’s POSSIBLE.
4. Get my science fiction romance plotted out.

Goals 1 and 2 and can be measured each check in. But achieving goal 3 can’t happen until the end of the round. And goal 4, well, whenever it’s done.

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I got a whopping 5,348 words written on Fire Wizard this past week. That feels awesome!

I’ve been trying to loosely plot the cozy mystery I’m thinking of doing under a different pen name. I’ll have to say, those people who write these on a regular basis have acquired genius status in my eyes. To have to figure out “whodunit” and why. And then all the investigative stuff. It makes me want to pull my hair out. I don’t know if I can do this or not, but I’m giving it a whirl. It’s good for writers to step outside their comfort zone. If it works, great. If I can’t live with the frustration…at least I can say I took the leap.

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I often list other goals besides writing goals on these ROW80 posts. This round, I’m going to focus on my writing goals. I might share some of my other successes from time to time, including weight loss, but my STATED goals are going to be writing related. I’ve been too lax on writing, which caused me not to publish anything but a short story for an anthology in 2013. If it’s in my power, I will publish this year. So….

1) Work on edits for Hearts of Evil based on beta readers’ suggestions. I have two beta readers who are VERY good editors AND proofreaders. I’ve heard you should never mix those and that you should have different people for these three jobs. However, this is working for me. Two of my beta readers are authors. One is an editor in her day job. The other is a well-known “seasoned” author. They kick my butt (in a kind way), so it works. My other two beta readers are, well, readers. One has the unedited version. The other will get the edited version. This last one catches typos that others sometimes don’t. Which is odd since she’s 79 years old and doesn’t see well. LOL

2) Work on plotting Fire Wizard starting today. I have a lot of questions already answered based on Susan Bischoff’s Story Toolkit. She’s a little more detailed than I want to be, but I use what works for me. I now just need to write out what will happen in every chapter.

3) Write 5,000 words per week. I’m not going to specify which days I’ll write like I did last time, I just need to make that 5,000 word goal.

4) Publish Fire Wizard by June 30, 2014. I downloaded a simple publishing worksheet set up by Ruth Ann Nordin. I’ve already filled it in with my projected timeline for this book, including word count goals and first draft. The 5,000 word per week goal won’t necessarily be all about First Wizard, although some weeks it might be. I have another project that I abandoned a while back that I might take back up. More on that later.

I hope your eyes haven’t glazed over yet. I tend to skim when people write blog posts that are really long (unless it’s really exciting!), and I try not to go overboard, but these are my goals, and I needed to talk about them. Now I’m going to pop over to some of the rest of my ROW80er’s blogs and see what they are doing this round. You know, in between doing what I’m supposed to be doing here at work. 🙂

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Has it actually been a WEEK since I’ve posted? Where does the time go?

I know it’s weird for me to have a blog post again involving plotting. I’ve always been such a total pantser. But, lately, I’ve gone over to the dark plotting side. I’ve done a couple of posts about all that. Susan Bischoff, AKA The Pink Hammer, has shared a lot of notes with me, helping me understand how plotting can help. It took me so long to get it into my thick head that just because I do some plotting, that doesn’t mean my characters can’t go in another direction if they want to. I always thought plotting meant I had to be rigid and not veer off the path, but after some strong talking to, I’ve been convinced that doesn’t have to be the case. The class I took at RNC with Lynn Lorenz also helped. All plotting has to do is give some structure and the basic things you need your story to do. If you think of something different, you can change your outline. Or notes. Or however you plot. I use a combination of a spreadsheet and some notes Susan has set up to ask basic questions. I don’t think I’ll ever get as detailed as Susan gets about a story, but there is a happy medium between extremely detailed plotting and pantsing. And I think I’ve discovered that happy medium.

So what does this mean for my current book? Well, I broke it down into 24 chapters (figuring a 50,000 word manuscript with a little over 2,000 words per chapter) to be adjusted if the story is longer or if there are more or fewer chapters. I went ahead and did the chapter headings with section breaks. (Doing the chapters ahead of time is a suggestion by Lynn Lorenz.) I know everyone is used to using page breaks. But you have to use section breaks for print to get the page numbers right. And when I checked my last book on the little thing they use on Amazon to see what your ebook looks like before submitting, I saw that when I use page breaks, it starts the chapter headings right after the previous chapter, but when I used section breaks, it starts a new page. But I digress. That’s not our topic here. 😛 Anyway, I was already almost halfway through my manuscript when I started plotting. So I went back and did the outline on my spreadsheet for chapters 1-10, which I had already written. Then, I did some outlining for chapters 20-24, because I know what needs to happen in the last part of the book. The challenge is going to be plotting chapters 11-19. That 3rd part of the book is always the hardest for me. I want to make sure the plot continues to move forward with no lagging parts. There has to continue to be mystery and eeriness. I think I’m going to add some extra angst to the hero, who is a very FLAWED hero, but redeemable.

Okay, this whole blog post is getting me anxious to start writing when I get home from work. I might let hubby talk me into watching Sleep Hollow before I get started. So now, lunch break is over, and it’s time to get back to my real job. Wait, writing is a real job, right? Unfortunately, this job pays more, so I need to get to work. 🙂

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I didn’t post last week because I was on my anniversary trip. Here’s how I’ve done on my goals this past week.

1) Write at least three hours this week. This didn’t happen. However, I started from the beginning and reread my whole WIP, which is about half finished. I added a little scene from my male main character’s point of view. And I’ve done some plotting for the rest of the story. So I’ve been fairly productive.

2) Do at least 15 minutes of housework per day using the FlyLady challenges. Major fail. But I did do a little housework, mostly picking up things from where they don’t belong. I’ve been slowly getting rid of some things. It’s hard to let go of things, thinking I might use them again. But if I haven’t used/worn it in a year, it needs to go away.

3) Get back to my healthy eating habits. I’m actually doing better. I haven’t made any drastic changes…that usually leads to failure. But I’ve gradually worked on eating better. And I’m still walking on the treadmill every day, so that helps.

This week, I’m keeping my friend’s ten-year-old son while she and her husband go on a business trip. This is an interesting experience. My boys are now men, so it brings back fond memories, although this child is a lot different from my sons. It’s going to be a fun week. I’m looking forward to playing games and watching kid’s shows. 🙂 (I’m being serious, not sarcastic.) The biggest problem is he and his parents are late to bed, late to rise. I’m early to bed, early to rise. I woke him up early this morning by making noise walking on the treadmill. I told him he would just have to adjust. LOL

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