Tag Archives: young adult fiction

Word Count & Nearing the Finish Line

Getting over the hump sure has helped.  In a little over a week I was able to write 10,000 words and probably have another 3,000 ahead of me before putting Skyway aside.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, the scope and placement of Skyway has changed and the ripple effect of those changes won’t be completely felt for the next few months.  The biggest challenge is that Gabby’s faith journey in this novella will be different than intended and I won’t know exactly where she is in her faith journey until I write the two other novellas that precede Skyway.

Therefore, I’ve left the faith aspect in Skyway purposely vague and will fill in those gaps when I see where Gabby is and where she needs to be in the grand scheme of these five novellas.

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This novella has been a challenge, but for all of the right reasons.  I can’t wait to finally put it to bed and start working on novella number two… well, the new novella number two.

 

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Word Count & Getting Over the Hump

This week was a tough one, writing-wise.  As mentioned on our last podcast, the second novella, Skyway, takes place over a continuous 36 hour period.  Because of this limitation and a lot of the moving parts having to do with plot and character, what would normally be a smooth process has been quite a struggle.

Fortunately, we are on the other side of that obstacle and nearing the finish line on this draft.  There’s still one major plot challenge ahead of us, and it’s a biggie, but it’s for the right reasons.  I’ll post more about that next week.  However, I’m excited to get this first draft on Skyway done as soon as possible so I can go back and give it a good reshaping/polishing.

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Another exciting development is we’ll be sending out our first novella, The Homecoming Incident, to our second group of Beta Readers in the next week or so.  When starting with a group of Beta Readers, there is always a bit of coordination and logistics involved in getting the material to them via Kindle or other forms.  That adds some time the first time you do it.  After that, it goes very quickly.

This second group of Beta Readers are all within our target demographic, so I can’t wait to hear what they have to say.

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Word Count & Rewrites

I did a lot of writing, but not that added a lot to the word count. I did add a couple of thousand words to Skyway, but spent most of the time re-writing The Homecoming Incident based on our Beta Reader feedback.  The end result was a couple of hundred more words in total, but a better story as a whole.

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I also invested quite a bit of time hashing out the Skyway plot.  It’s not a complex plot, but it has enough moving parts that, if you don’t take them into consideration, the reader will be pulled out of the story.  I know exactly where I want to story to travel, but the specific steps within it require that all of the tentacles of the story remain connected and believable.

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Word Count & Stumbling Along

I didn’t do it.  I didn’t keep up my 1500 words a day.  I tried, but the empty page glared back at me this week.

My problems were three-fold.  First and foremost, I was burned out.  I have never written 1500 words a day in my life.  Not solely toward a book.  Sure, I probably write more than that just working and emailing.  But the nightly 1500 work effort was new and my creative tank drained to empty.

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Secondly, I lost the story.  The second novella’s plot is more complex than the first one, which was a pretty direct line between beginning and end.  The second novella bobs and weaves and when I needed to attack, I had no more punches left.  There was one evening I spent two hours looking at the screen trying to pry words, any words, out of my head and onto the page.  None were forthcoming.

It wasn’t until I took a fresh look at the story again and worked through some vague plot ideas until they were razor sharp, that the story was able to flow again.  This is the way writers block always rears its ugly head with me.  It’s not that I can’t write.  It’s because I don’t know what I’m supposed to write next.

Lastly, I enjoyed life a little more this week.  Even though you don’t have to keep your Lenten sacrifice on Sundays during Lent, I was still writing 1500 words a day, including Sundays.  This past week, I took the day off.  Monday was also the opening day for Major League Baseball and my son and my best friend took in some innings at the Rays/Jays season opener.  And challenges at work and health issues with family and friends was like a vice grip on my creativity that hindered my writing.

However, once the story cleared up in my head and things settled down in my personal life, the writing quickly returned to form and I was still able to collect a little over 4,000 words this week.  Not bad, all things considering.

Hopefully next week will be less interesting and more productive.

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Word Count & Beta Readers

The first Gabby Wells novella, The Homecoming Incident, is in the hands of my first group of Beta Readers.  Can’t wait to hear their responses, make the tweaks and send it to our second group of Beta Readers.

I’m about one-third of the way through the first draft of the second novella titled Skyway.

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Not all 1500 words a day ended up on the page of Skyway.  Some went to quick fixes on The Homecoming Incident and some went toward outlining Skyway.  All that being said, however, I’m very happy with the 9,000 words I was able to write this week.

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Novella 1 – First Draft Complete

Last night, after a long three days of writing over 10,000 words, I finished the first draft of the Gabby Wells novella called The Homecoming Incident.

I’ll let it sit a couple of days so my brain can recover.  There are a lot of things I need to add to the beginning in order to tie things at the end and make sure there is consistency in the story, but I’m quite happy with the results.

My goals was for the novella to come in around 25,000 words.  This draft came in at over 29,000.  It’ll probably be over 30,000 after the re-writes.

This is the first of five novellas that I hope to write and release prior to the release of the first novel.  I’ll have more on the reasons behind that in an upcoming podcast.

So, I’m going to sit back and give my fingers a rest.

PS – Because of all of the time required to finish this draft, I did not have time to write a Typecasting Tuesday.  I’ll have another one next week.

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Funkified

I’m in a funk.  A writing funk.

I’ve been working on my first novel for a long time.  A LONG time.  Not always in novel form, but the story itself has been in my life everyday for about four years.

Four years.

First as a screenplay idea.  Then as a TV script idea.  And now as a novel idea.  It’s taken so long because it is through this process that I have been teaching myself how to write a novel.  No easy task.  And, apparently, not a fast process, either.

I’m at the point in the writing/rewriting process that I am finding it hard to read a draft and see the story in front of me anymore.  I know it too well.  I’ve re-written it too many times in too many formats that it’s become matrixed into my brain (you know, where they download how to fly a helicopter into your noggin and suddenly you know everything there is to know about flying helicopters).  I read what I think is there instead of what is actually on the page.

I’ve reached a saturation point.

rewrite-specsSo, I’ve brought in some outside assistance at this point to help me finalize this baby.  Readers, editors and the like.  Objectivity and brutal honesty is what I’m looking for.  I don’t care what has to change, as long as it makes the story better.  I am not wed to any character or event with any sort of emotional tie that wouldn’t keep me from killing them off if it would make a more effective novel.  And I think that’s the right approach.

At the end of the day, I don’t want to release the novel until it can be the best story possible.  Michael Hyatt, in his great book called Platform, calls it releasing a Wow product.  It’s not about being a perfectionist (because I am anything but), it is about not settling.  If you know it could be better then make it better until its a Wow product.

So, I’ll keep chugging along.

I’m not at Wow yet.  I’m probably at Cool or Interesting or Huh?

Hopefully I’ll soon leave this funk and move onto Woohoo when the final draft is finished.

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