Revision Adventure Update

At the end of July, I began my Revision Adventure. Since then, it’s been quite an interesting experience. I have to say that when I began this process, I thought that I would get the same kind of feeling I did when I was writing this novel. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve edited and revised projects in the past, but it has been quite some time. I forgot about the complex nature of revising and how in some ways, it is more difficult to navigate. While I thought that I had the right formula to get through an initial revision, I discovered it needed some adjusting.

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I’m happy to report to you today, that I made it through. It took some altering of time based goals and a lot of contemplation about how to make realistic progress at a decent pace. After a period of discouraging thoughts, I turned back to the main source of inspiration for the novel that I began with a year and a half ago. Luckily, that was the ticket. I realized that now it is more important than ever to give myself credit for any bit of progress I make. New goals are okay. The only thing that matters is that I hang on to the passion that I put into this project, keep my characters close to my heart, and move forward!

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Let’s face it folks…revising and editing a novel is hard! I have now reached a headspace where I am enjoying the process once again and in turn getting very excited about how this novel is turning out. It feels good to be here, but at the same time I know I had to go through that tricky period to get where I am today. As writers we are always learning and always growing. It’s a beautiful thing.

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Thanks for joining me here today. Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. Remember, you can join me here every Thursday for new posts!

Until next time,

Christine

how I love pineapple pizza

Earlier this week, I put a poll on Twitter about what my next post should be about. The result was something I didn’t expect, but hey…this is a fun change of pace!

Yep, we’re talking about pineapple pizza. Now, some of you might be thinking…

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but I’m here to tell you how much I absolutely love it. A few years ago, my boyfriend suggested ordering some one night and I probably had a similar reaction. That is, until I tasted it…

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It was the perfect combination of savory and sweet…throw in some garlic sauce from Papa Johns and you’ve got it made! It’s a fantastic reward for after a hard day of writing. I think the TMNT would approve, don’t you?

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I know there is a lot of controversy about pineapple pizza…but I think it deserves some love!

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Thanks for joining me here today. Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. Remember, you can join me here every Thursday for new posts!

Until next time,

Christine

pasta & pencils

It’s been a month and a week since I finished the first draft of my novel. Since then, I’ve had a rough time adjusting to my revision schedule. I’m only about ten pages in after all this time. With that said, I’ve been pretty good about not beating myself up about that. I’ve been taking some time to read more and to also distance myself from the novel a little bit.

…but…as soon as I began to desperately miss my characters, I knew it was time to get back in the swing of things. One thing that I wanted to share that I did do during the last month is finally work on my world map. It’s something that I didn’t know I would ever end up doing, but it turned out to be a really fun exercise. All of these places obviously live in my mind in great detail, but to put them down on paper was something I never thought I’d explore.

How did I get started, you ask? I turned to Pinterest, of course! I scrolled through tons and tons of pins with great map making tips. While I was scrolling, I came across a very funny suggestion made by someone making a D&D map. They suggested using pasta…

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Yep. You read right. Pasta. (not cooked) So, I got to thinking…this is kind of smart. Really any kind of small dry objects would work. I also saw it done with dice! I mulled the thought over for a few days and ultimately decided that pasta was for me. I am 50% Italian after all…

This is what the process actually looked like…

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I glued down some paper and broke out the noodles…

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Dumped a bunch on the paper…

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…and ya know…spread it out a little until I liked the shape!

 

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After that, I lightly penciled around the shape and messed with it…A LOT!

What was cool about this process was, it was a great way to get started. Once I felt more comfortable with shaping the outline of the map myself, my confidence grew. I started to grab some more paper and sketch some more!

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After a few weeks of tweaking things, I’m just starting to add in some locations, trees, mountains, etc. It’s been fun! Take a look:

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Those white blobs are names I can’t share yet, but at least you have an idea of where I’m at. As you can see, it’s VERY different from my original pasta inspired shape. But that’s kind of cool, right?

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I hope that you’ll take this fun exercise and put it to use in your own writing life. Sometimes it’s just fun to take your characters, your worlds, your ideas, and express them in different ways.

All in all, I’m feeling happy to be back in the swing of things. (That includes, blogging EVERY Thursday for you!)

Thanks for joining me here today. Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay.

Until next time,

Christine

preparation begins

Last week, I finished the first draft of my novel. After a week of taking a little break, I realized just how anxious I was to begin revisions. My writing habits have been pretty strict since the beginning of the year, so it felt foreign to not be actively working on my book for an entire week.

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But where to begin? Revising can be a little overwhelming. That’s when I realized it would be important to approach things with healthy expectations, balance, and organization. Normally, when I am trying to get organized I turn to new office supplies. Which brings me to the preparation of my revision adventure.

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The very first thing I am going to do is read through the entire draft and mark away! I developed a bit of a color coding system to help. The first three points: expand, revise, and cut might seem obvious, but this is more of a first session of contemplating those points. I also decided to add character descriptions, world mechanics, and nightmares & visions so I can pay extra attention to the organization and development of those points.

My goal is to make it through this first read through by the end of the next week. So if you happen to see me over the next week, be sure to ask how many cups of coffee I’ve had that day.

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Thanks for joining me here today. Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. Remember, you can join me here every Thursday for new posts! (Even though these past two weeks have had new posts on different days…)

Until next time,

Christine

and a happy CampNaNoWriMo to you

A merry CampNaNoWriMo to you! We have arrived at the Summer edition of the customizable version of November’s National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, and I couldn’t be happier.

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One of the things I adore about CampNaNoWriMo is that the rules aren’t cut and dry. You don’t need to write 50,000 words in 30 days like NaNoWriMo to win! CampNaNo can be customized to fit with your needs, whether that be page counts, word counts, or hours logged writing.

I have arrived at the last 10,000 words of my novel. Therefore, my CampNaNo goals were easy to decide. At five days in, I have written 4,000 words, so there’s only 6000 words left for me. Of course, that is all approximate because I may end up going over, but it feels good to be well on my way to completing the first draft. I’ve worked so hard to get to this point.

Yesterday, I managed to write on and off for around six hours. I ended up writing over 3,000 words. That was simply because I had uninterrupted time. While I adore #5amwritersclub, it has a time limit. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I am always thinking about how I have one hour until I need to head out to my day job. Having a few days off to dedicate uninterrupted time to writing has been my saving grace. The scenes that I’m currently working on are scenes that need extra attention. They are difficult to walk away from because of how focused I need to be when writing them.

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Don’t get me wrong, writing always requires focus, but there are certain types of intense scenes that benefit from big chunks of immersion. Don’t you agree? The next few days will consist of extra cups of coffee and lots of time in front of my computer screen as I celebrate CampNaNo with many hours of writing. I hope that this month brings you high levels of inspiration and that your CampNaNo experience is extra special.

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Thanks for joining me here today. Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. Remember, you can join me here every Thursday for new posts!

Until next time,

Christine

discovering “the end”

As of this very moment, I have crossed over the 45k mark of my novel. I have a target goal of between 60k-65k words to end my first draft with. So, for the past few days I’ve been thinking a lot about the words, “The End.” Truth be told, I only have the slightest idea of how my first draft will end. My entire journey writing this novel has been one built on discovery with my main character. Sure, some things have been very clear to me from the start, but most has been a cloudy mess. I’ve been marching right along beside her through the fog. Now, the end is in sight and I want it to be just right.

I can’t help but think about this quote from The Fellowship of the Ring: 

““Have you thought of an ending?”
“Yes, several, and all are dark and unpleasant.”

–J.R.R. Tolkien

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Perhaps it is because I know this is the first of three books. I already have discovered several things that are meant to happen in the second book and only one thing that I know will happen in the third. So, the big question is…how do you discover “the end”?

Whether that means “the end” to a first book, a series, etc. I have decided that the only thing I can really do at this point is this:

-Rely on my instincts. They’ve gotten me this far. There’s no point in doubting them now.

-Make a list of every plot point I want to cover before the finish line.

-Drink coffee.

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Because this is my first draft, I am very comfortable in the fact that I will be going back and fleshing out many scenes and making major edits. However, I would like to nail down the end of this novel with a sledgehammer. I am filled with exhausted emotion for my main character. I want her to get some relief, but my instincts are telling me that it all isn’t going to be quite that simple. All in all, it’s an exciting process.

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How do you discover “the end” in your projects?

Thanks for joining me here today. Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. Remember, you can join me here every Thursday for new posts!

Until next time,

Christine