Monday, December 29, 2014

Rough Draft. Finished.


I typed the final scene of my novel this morning. Lastima the mermaid is happy, everything is resolved (okay, not everything, but those things will have to wait until later novels in the series), and my first draft is over 65,000 words, as projected.

I feel so light, as if I've also lost the 20 pounds I've been wishing to lose for the last year and half. As if part of my brain has disappeared. As if my clothing is made of mist, my hair is a balloon, my blood is mere air.

Now I sit on the draft… but I am on the fence about something, and I need input. I have several new readers--readers who have never read a word of my stuff except perhaps news articles or Facebook postings--and they want to read the draft. Now. Not in a year, after I've completed two full revisions of it (which is usually the first time I allow anyone to read ANY of my stuff), but NOW.

What should I do? Should I risk losing all three as readers by giving them a recent draft, one with countless holes, and erratic narrative voice, and goodness knows how many errors? Or do I force them to wait anyway, until I take a month off from the work, return to it, and revise it?

What would you do?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hard Endings

I could write over 50,000 words in November, but can't seem to finish the last 15,000 in December! Ugh!

Of course, part of the reason has nothing to do with writing. I've been baking about 15 kinds of cookies, wrapping presents, etc. I did finish all the (lame) Christmas verses for my Advent calendar, with mixed results… but I'm still short an ending for my novel.


It's not because I don't know the ending. I have it in my head pretty vividly. And I'm only a scene and a half from finishing. It isn't even because I don't sit down and writing. I have my novel page up RIGHT NOW, only I'm here online posting a blog update instead of FINISHING THE DAMN THING! UGH!

If any of you have a suggestion as to WHY it's hard to finish this, I would love to know. I'm at a loss.

But I HAVE to finish it! I need it DONE! I'm ending this blog post RIGHT NOW so that I can go back and work on it!

(Really, though, if anyone can offer insight, it would be more than welcome…)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Winning is Sometimes Everything

I've always loved goals.

Not the seemingly unobtainable goals (weigh less than 125 lbs., be famous, rule a kingdom). Not the goals that do not depend on me (be professionally published, be discovered as an actor).

I love the finite, fixed goals, the ones that come in all shapes and sizes, short-term and long-term. Goals like:

Finish the laundry today
Paint a picture for Christmas Cards

or, say

Write 50,000 words on a novel in November!!!

I write during National Novel Writing Month because it gives me a very specific, finite goal to accomplish, and it puts just enough pressure on me so that I make writing, for one month out of the year, a priority.

And I won! I did it! I set out, worked hard, and accomplished my goal! Yay!

But it's not over. Now I have new goals, for the month of December:

1. Write at least once per week on each blog.
2. Write a new verse each day for the advent calendar (did that last year and the year before).
3. FINISH the mermaid novel rough draft.
4. Revise my play from a 45-minute one-act to a 2-hour full-length play.

Notice how each one of these is a WRITING goal. That means, for the month of December, I will STILL keep writing a priority. And I will make sure I have writing goals set up for January, too, so that writing stays a priority all year round.

If I don't set goals, I will let the rest of my life take over, and I won't write. I can't let that happen.

What are your short-term and long-term goals? What have you won at lately?