Quote of the Week

This quote comes from Evan Hunter (Ed McBain), author of King’s Ransom. I’m working on revising Snow, and it’s not easy! I’d rather write a rough draft than edit any day! However, I know editing and revising is something that has to be done, so even though it’s not my favorite, I still try to work on it.

“The only true creative aspect of writing is the first draft. That’s when it’s coming straight from your head and your heart, a direct tapping of the unconscious. The rest is donkey work. It is, however, donkey work that needs to be done.” – Evan Hunter

~ Kayla

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Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: December 19 – 25

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week.

Total Word Count for the Week: 7,850

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Thursday with 2,412 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on Hunger Games fanfiction, a Christmas story, and a new novel idea.

The Good News: I made my goal, and I feel like I got a ton of writing in.

The Bad News: I need to get back to editing Snow.

Lesson Learned: I learned how to procrastinate. Okay, okay, not really!  I’ve been avoiding editing Snow since I finished writing my NaNo novel. I really dislike editing, so I’m not very motivated to do it! However, I really want and need to finish editing Snow. So, I’m going to try and “unlearn” this lesson and start editing soon!

Goal for Next Week:  My goal is to edit a chapter of Snow this week.

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: April 4 – 10

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week!

Total Word Count for the Week: 11740

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Friday with 2037 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel, God Save the Queen.

The Good News: I made my word count every day this week! YEAH!

The Bad News: I’m going to miss the next few days due to my knee surgery. I’ve been writing ahead to keep my NaNo novel on schedule. Hopefully I don’t fall behind.

Lesson Learned: I wrote a bad scene a few days ago and was really down about. The next day I decided to just rewrite it – not delete the old one, but just rewrite a new one after it. Well, it worked out wonderfully, and now I’m back on track. So, my lesson learned is that if I write a bad scene in NaNo, just continue on and write it again.

Goal for Next Week: My goal for next week is 1447 words each day (to make up for the days I’m missing).

If you’d like to share your weekly wrap-up, go ahead and post it in the comments below!

~ Kayla

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: March 21 – 27

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week!

Total Word Count for the Week: 4405

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Wednesday with 805 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on editing Homeland and writing the beginning of the sequel to Snow.

The Good News: Apparently I couldn’t let Snow’s world go, because I came up with an idea for a sequel last Friday and have been working on it all week.

The Bad News: I didn’t make my goal every day.

Lesson Learned: I was pretty convinced that Snow was going to be a single novel. My characters, on the other hand, had other plans! It all started when I wondered what a character who had control over lightning (Snow has control over, well, snow) would be like. Then I began searching for a name that meant “light,” and the idea grew and grew, and now I have the first 4,000 words written. So, my “lesson learned”  is to listen to my characters. They have good ideas. 😉

Goal for Next Week: As next week is Camp NaNo, my goal from April 1st onwards is 1,333 words every day. Let the  NaNo-ing begin! 😀

If you’d like to share your weekly wrap-up, go ahead and post it in the comments below!

~ Kayla

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: March 14 – 20

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week!

Total Word Count for the Week: 4468

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Wednesday with 958 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on editing Homeland and writing Hobbit fanfiction.

The Good News: I have all my characters named for my upcoming NaNo novel!

The Bad News: I didn’t make my goal everyday nor have I been editing as much as I’m supposed to.

Lesson Learned: I read a really good article this week about how to pace the “big reveal” in your novel from Go Teen Writers which you can find here: http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com/2014/03/how-to-pace-big-reveal-in-your-novel.html. In my novels I tend to drop a huge bombshell instead of subtle hints along the way. I’m hoping to apply this lesson to my NaNo novel.

Goal for Next Week: My goal for next week is 600 words each day again.

If you’d like to share your weekly wrap-up, go ahead and post it in the comments below!

~ Kayla

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: March 7 – 13

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week!

Total Word Count for the Week: 5221

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Friday with 1098.

What I Worked On: I worked on editing Homeland and writing Hobbit and Star Trek fanfiction.

The Good News: I found an editing method that is going pretty well. The first chapter is almost edited!

The Bad News: I didn’t make my goal everyday. (I missed it by a couple words two days!)

Lesson Learned: I’ve been working on editing a chapter at a time. At first, I was reading through the whole novel, trying to find all the plot holes. That left me feeling really overwhelmed and stressed, so I copied chapter one into a new Word document and started editing that. I’ve really liked the way that’s working, and I haven’t been as stressed about editing just one chapter. My lesson learned is that I work better with a smaller edit goal in front of me. 🙂

Goal for Next Week: My goal for next week is 600 words again.

If you’d like to share your weekly wrap-up, go ahead and post it in the comments below!

~ Kayla

NaNoWriMo Webinar AKA How to Get Free Ice Cream and All the Pencils You Can Eat

Monday evening, I checked my email and found a message from NaNoWriMo announcing a webinar called From Rough Draft to Published Novel, hosted by NaNoWriMo, Maureen Johnson, and Lisi Harrison. As I’m about embark on my first major edit of a novel, I decided this webinar was just what I needed! I had to sign up!

So, 7:50pm Tuesday night, I grabbed my favorite notebook and purple pen and shut the door to my room so there’d be no distractions. At 8:00pm, I sat (virtually) in the chat room waiting with bated breath for the webinar to start. At 8:05pm the webinar tried to begin, but due to some technical difficulties it was another half hour before it officially began. That was ok, though, because Maureen Johnson (who was the only one who could be heard or seen consistently) kept me well entertained ad-libbing a thirty minute comedic monologue. Then she got serious and said, “It is just you and me,” and that the webinar was not real, just a way that she could communicate “a very dangerous mission” she needed me (and any other webinar attendee) to go on. According to her, “You probably won’t make it out alive. But you get free ice cream and all the pencils you can eat.” Needless to say, I accepted the mission, although still unsure of what it was, and I’m now sitting here, chewing on pencils and eating my free ice cream. 😉 Okay, okay, maybe I didn’t get any free ice cream or pencils, but I did have a great time, even if the webinar hadn’t officially started yet. Ms. Harrison eventually joined the fun, answering questions in the chat room instead of talking.

After the technical difficulties were worked out, the webinar really got started. It mainly consisted of the two ladies answering chat room questions, read and commented on by Grant, the “NaNoWriMo Guy,” which ranged from “How to deal with plot holes?” to “Recommended books for publishing and writing?” to “What is your agent like?” And wow, was it helpful! I learned a ton about editing, agents, and publishing.

I even asked a question that was answered by Ms. Johnson. My question was, “How do you know that the story you were writing was the one?” Ms. Johnson’s answer was that it is “the one you stick with” and that “something seems to come of it, and it seems to grow.” It is “the one you end up working the longest and you keep working on it ’cause you saw a glimmer of something there.” Ms. Johnson also said she likes to test out her story ideas beforehand and that she used to write practice novels when she started writing.

Screen print of my question.  I was so thrilled to have it read!

Screen print of my question. I was so thrilled to have it read!

Other topics covered in the webinar included:

Figuring out where your critiques are coming from

Not being attached to any part of your novel

Deadlines

Word counts (This was after all, hosted by the king of wordcounts, NaNoWriMo. 😉 )

Finding an Agent

At 9:30, the webinar finished. I was pretty disappointed it was already over, but I guess all good things have to come to an end. I learned a lot and had a great time. Thanks to NaNoWriMo, Ms. Johnson, and Ms. Harrison for hosting it! And if Ms. Johnson ever reads this blog post, next time I have computer issues, I’m definitely hiring you to come and fix my computer machines. 😉

You can find a recorded version of the webinar here, which means you, too, can find out how to get free ice cream and all the pencils you can eat. Oh, yeah, and how to edit that book you’ve been working on, too. 😉 I definitely recommend watching it!

http://www.spreecast.com/events/from-rough-draft-to-published-novel

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Monthly Link Share – Writing Tips from Tolkien

Welcome to December’s link share! I hope you find these links as helpful as I did! 🙂

The first link offers writing tips drawn from one of my favorite authors, J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Tolkien was an absolute master storyteller, and there’s no better way to learn than from the best.

http://www.bluezoowriters.com/six-writing-tips-from-j-r-r-tolkien/

The next highly entertaining article is about making editing fun. With my massive edit for Homeland approaching soon, I figured I better start finding some ways to enjoy editing! 😀

http://nancyisanders.wordpress.com/2008/08/25/put-on-your-editors-hat/

This is a post from my favorite writing website, Go Teen Writers. I love first person for a novel, so this was a great article that helped me improve my first person writing.

http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com/2013/11/how-to-reveal-thoughts-of-other.html

As part of my link share, I’m sharing a link to a fellow wordpress blog. Matt Walsh is an amazing and highly prolific writer who publishes well thought-out posts about modern and often controversial issues a couple times a week.

Here’s the link to his blog: http://themattwalshblog.com/

And here’s the first article I read by him, and the one that had me hooked! 🙂  http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/09/11/im-an-introvert-and-i-dont-need-to-come-out-of-my-shell/

~ Kayla