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June, already

I’m still getting my head around the fact that it’s June already. I know I keep saying this, but the year is flying past. May kicked my ass. It was one of those months that simultaneously blew past, but also dragged on forever. It was pretty hellish. June is already looking better, and I really hope it stays that way.

My big goal for this month is to get the first draft of my new novella (Burn) written. I began on June 1st, and am currently sitting at just over 6,500 words. I’m hoping to hit 10K by the end of the approaching weekend, which should mean I am around halfway done – that said, I am lousy at predicting word counts, so that could well change.

I’ve done things a little differently this time, having sourced a bunch of images on Pinterest to help guide my character, and myself, through the plot of the story. Several of them have scenes crafted around them, while others just contribute to the general feel of the story for me. I’m really enjoying writing it so far, and have to say that this month, first drafts are easy!

I’m quietly hoping to wrap it up before the end of the month so that I can claim some more time for StR. I only managed 5,000 odd words on it in May, when my goal was 10,000. I feel like getting back to basics with this novella has helped shift my head from the ‘must be perfect’ mind set that was choking my progress just a few weeks ago. Fingers crossed huh?

What’s happening for you this month?

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750 words

Last month, M sent me the link to 750words, and of course, I signed up – it has badges, and stats and sends you an email reminding you to write. I’ve been struggling to reform a regular writing habit and it seemed like just the thing to help me out.  BADGES, people. BADGES.

Initially, it didn’t work. I was sporadic. I couldn’t even get the badge for a 3 day streak. Nothing was really working. Then all of a sudden, BAM, I was writing. 750 words a day, every day. I’m currently on an 18 day streak (it’ll be 19 when I do my writing for today), though yesterday was the first day in which all 750 (actually, 829) words were for a scene in Saving Tomorrow. I even wrote my words after getting back from a work function with hubby – I really needed not to lose my streak, even though it was late and I was exhausted.

I’ve used the site for planning, for outlining, for writing a short story for last months challenge, for starting a new short story, for venting, for problem solving, for writing scenes in my novel – all kinds of things. All of them words. Words I probably wouldn’t have got done otherwise.

I’ve written almost 18,000 words (on the site) this month, which is pretty amazing. Of course, not all on the novel, but all useful, all with a purpose. And I really don’t want to break my streak. I want a new badge, I have to keep writing to see when I will get one! Sometimes, these things work for people, and I am one of those people. I know others, too. I think Tama should sign up for when he starts his new novel (don’t worry, I have told him this myself! not just dropping hints via blog posts 😉 ) because he loves games, he loves badges.

It’s a great site if you need a hand getting back in the habit. I know I certainly did, and I am very grateful for it! I might even sign up for next months challenge and see if I can get 750 words every day for September. If you want a little math that would add at a minimum 22500 words to Saving Tomorrow. That’s a good chunk of novel right there. It might be slower than my progress back when I only had one child, but slow and steady is always going to get you there in the end.

And to be honest, I’m just grateful to be writing every day again.

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Novel Hopscotch

I’ve always been the kind of writer who starts at the beginning of a novel and works her way through to the end. In order. This has been the only way for me to write a novel because most of the time I’ve had no idea what happens next. Diving in without an outline usually means you have to put one foot in front of the other to see what happens.

However, Saving Tomorrow is a different beast (in many ways!). I’ve finally pulled all my bits and pieces together (with a little over 3,000 words so far) and have the beginning of the novel outlined. I’ve jumped around quite a bit, playing with different scenes, different characters, and the different ideas that have been hopping through my head.

I’d heard of those people that write scenes out of order. Always thought they were a little crazy, but now I’M one of those people. Me. I never would have predicted this. Never. And yet here I am, with one file, some outline notes and scenes missing or incomplete.

It’s an interesting feeling, knowing that I can throw my stone on a scene that isn’t working for me and just jump right over it for the moment. Sure, I will have to come back and write it later, but maybe I’ll have a better idea of what goes in it if I’ve filled in the scenes around it.

An interesting concept. I’ll let you know if this is the way it works out.

Right now I am filling in the scenes I missed. Adding the last of the characters I need to, working on firming up the beginning of the novel. I’ve made no notes about the middle or the end, though I know the who, where, what and why of the questions at the core of the novel. I know where it ends, I just have to figure out how to get Delaney there in one piece.

In order to try and do this right I am going to flick through Bell’s Plot and Structure again to refresh my memory on what makes a solid novel. I would love if I didn’t have to rewrite this one from scratch 😉

How do you write a novel? Beginning to end, or jumping around like a kid playing hopscotch?