12 goals I have for writing in 2012
My brother pointed out that no one posts lists about the top best 11 things of 2011, which gave me the idea. Why not the top 12 things I want to write for in 2012? Okay, I don’t know if I can do that, but we’ll try.
And while I’m at it, let’s cover my writing highlights for 2011.
Top 11 things that happened to me in 2011 so far as writing goes.
1) I wrote my first synopsis. Boo-yah! And set up everything to send out a novel to a publisher.
2) I came in 3rd on the writing contest with Just Trust Me
3) I started a new novel, mermaids. Completed the pre-draft.
4) I took a creative writing class. (And got an A in it. :) )
5) Realized I know HOW to write a good story. That now I just have to WRITE the good story. (Basically, stop reading books about writing and write already.)
6) Started writing a series story for the newspaper.
7) Wrote for the school newspaper actual news articles.
8) Started a writing group. Which I had to leave because I transfered schools, but hey, it happened. Finally.
9) Kept this blog going (more or less) for two years. That’s a BIG accomplishment for me.
10) Okay. I’m getting desperate again. I almost made 10 posts in Critters in a week. (That gets me MCP, which means I jump to the front of the line.) I missed it by one.
11) Wrote poems. (I should post those, shouldn’t I?)
Okay, so here’s what I plan to accomplish in 2012. I wouldn’t go so far as saying that these are resolutions, although a few of them are. I don’t really like the idea of a new year resolution because it makes it sound like you can only turn over a new leaf on January 1.
So these are just goals I hope to do in 2012.
1.) Send out Shad. This is an easy one. And, okay. I know that was my goal for this year. And I have everything ready to go. But I need to print it at school so that won’t happen until next year.
2.) Finish mermaids/my second novel. Right now, I have the pre-draft done. (Is that confusing? It’s like a really, really, really bad first draft / rough outline. Maybe soon I should post again how i write.)
3.) Write more short stories. I like the short story format. Also, they can be sent out easier and take less time. However, I might be held back here because all of the short stories I read ended sadly. I don’t like sad stories.
4.) Get a rejection letter. Okay. I’d be nicer if I get accepted, but let’s be real. First time writer. Probably not.
5.) Does becoming editor of the school newspaper count for writing? I have that goal.
6.) Edit some of the short stories I wrote. Specifically Shay’s Tadpole and Ka’za. (I know. You don’t know what those are. But I do and that’s what I care about right now. I wrote them both last year. This way, a year from now, I can see how well I did?) Oh, and maybe see about fixing How Johnny Cash Saved my Life so I can actually do something with that.
7) Nanowrimo. Never done it. ‘nough said.
8) Submit a short story. I wanted to do that in 2011 but I keep thinking the new year starts tonight, not last night.
9) Write more consistently for here. :) (Okay. I’m getting desperate for goals. But I do want too.)
10) Write something once a week at least for novels. Okay. I totally just made up that goal. But it’s a good goal. Otherwise, I go for weeks at a time not writing anything.
11) Read more often. I don’t read as much as I should and writing is tied with writing. So I want to read.
12) Use Critters more effectively / more often. I really could have used that this semester when I was working on my story. (Maybe they would have told me that lyrics will be copyrighted early on.)
This final one is something I want to do, but it also relies on someone else, which is why it doesn’t get a number. I want to write out one of my roleplays with a friend. It’d be really awesome.
So like I said, I want to give a word count every week. So anyway, last week I had 17, 820 words in Mermaids. Unfortunately I did not get my goal accomplished. I only got halfway through the second half (dumb school got in the way). However, I am now up to 19,009 words in Mermaids. So perhaps only a 1000 of so words this week, but not too bad if I do say so myself.
As for my goal next week, I want to get to chapter 19 by next week.
New year, new goals
Since this is a new year, and everyone talks about all the new year’s resolutions they are making, the obvious question is:
Have you made any New Year’s resolution concerning your writing?
I haven’t, but as a thought concerning this, I read once that it is better to produce than to spend time. A resolution could be:
I will write for one hour every day.
A better one would be:
I will write five pages a week.
I don’t know about you, but when I get on the computer, even if I want to write, I get on facebook, check that out, check out the stats, check out the weather, and hundreds of other things before I actually start writing. When I do start writing, I’ll sometimes check facebook every couple minutes, or mess with my music, or decide to play music, or any number of other things.
With the second one, I’m committed to writing, no matter how many times I check facebook.
So what about you? What are you doing this year in regards to writing?
The right word.
I might have posted this one before, but Mark Twain said a lot of very wise things, and it fits into the theme I’ve had this month in quotes involving editing, deleting, and the right word.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~ Mark Twain
The more I write, the more I learn that the process is about rewriting, not as much as writing. Yes, we need a plot, and good characters and all, but we can have that, be a terrible rewriting, and get no where.
That is partly why I find this post particularly helpful.
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~ Anton Chekhov
Think about that for a moment. That gives you more than enough of an idea about how to go about rewriting.
Summer is always full of goals. And goals tend to not always be met. So here is my quesiton of the week for you.
What summer writing goals did you have, and how well did you do on it?
See my Friday Post for my reply, since I did basically answer this there.
The Summer of Failing the Writing Goals.
I’m disappointed by this summer.
I had all these goals. I was suppose to make some serious headway into my new novel.
I was suppose to work on writing a synopsis for Shad and hopefully try sending that around.
I was suppose to work on editing some of my smaller works.
And I did absolutely nothing.
This is very sad for me, because it shouldn’t have been that easy. And maybe I did lack some motivation, and some time. But school really wasn’t that hard. So maybe I’m slightly depressed. I don’t know. But whatever the reason, I didn’t get it done.
Now how bad is that?
If I was paying you for everything that I said I would write but didn’t, I’d be broke. (Though that’s not saying much, considering that I’m almost broke as it is.) Maybe I’d need to take out a loan.
I think part of my problems is really that I don’t know what to do. I don’t. I think that I need to write a synopsis for Shad and I just stop and think, “What on Earth am I suppose to do here?” Maybe I should ask the english teacher at my school. I’m slowly getting a clue and thinking maybe just writing an outline, and then adding on, and all that would work but I honestly don’t know.
The other problem is all my creative juices are leaving. That quote I posted earlier this week from Orsan Scott Card is pretty much the exact opposite of my life at the moment. I walk through the whole day and get almost no plots.
Or maybe, I’m just walking through the day and I do get plots, but I’m understand all the more that I don’t know how to expand a plot, or do research, or anything like that, so I discard them, because I don’t want to write a bad story.
Anyway it goes, I didn’t write what I wanted to. And I think I sound some like my friend, who said that she’s going to work like frantic this weekend and try to get to her goal of 10,000 words for the summer, when she’s at just 800.
The sad part is, I’m even less than her. 5000 words is all I’ve written this summer.
So maybe I’ll join her on Sunday, when I can write again.
So long as I wake up.
It’s not procrastination as much as fear.
I thought I knew what I was going to write about today, until I began to think about myself instead. See my friend as recently began sending query letters to agents and the like and besides all the strange emotions that arouses in me, I find myself feeling oddly hollow. I know I should be happy for her but… she’s the slow writer. She’s the one who takes forever writing almost anything. I’m the fast one. In a way, I should be doing this first.
I’m the one who has had a book to send out for a while.
And this started me thinking. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I get to a point and stop?
I do this a lot in my life. I need to get a job but all I do is say that I’m applying for jobs A, B, C, D, and E, and then maybe I’ll apply for B and E. Nor do I get any of the jobs. I need to buy something and first I use the excuse that I don’t know where to find it. Then, I just don’t do it. I need to get work study so I go to the person in charge of work study and say that I need it. I get the locations and I do nothing. (Well, I talked to one, was turned down, and that was all.) I say that I need to e-mail someone about tutoring a class and I never get around to it.
I wrote a novel and I just let it sit on my computer, doing nothing.
The problem is I don’t know what to do, and then I get so scared that I don’t do anything. It’s not that I don’t want a job, and I don’t want to buy the thing for my computer and I don’t want to be published. It’s that I use my lack of knowledge as a crutch for fear.
So, I’m trying not to be so scared of things. I’m going on vacation next week (will mention later.) and I’m hoping that I can work maybe on my query for Shad. And work on my new novel. And finish with editing When Darkness Swallows, which I haven’t gotten back to yet. And maybe, if I work very hard, I can get over this little issue I’m having of not doing anything and actually get further ahead in my life.
About vacation. I’m going on vacation start next Monday. I do not foresee any serious reduction in posts, since I already have most of them written. However, I will not be able to answer comments as much as normal, since my internet will be limited. (That doesn’t mean don’t comment. i like comments. :) ) I’ll be back in the beginning of August.
What Do YOU Promise?
It is the author’s job to make the reader think that the story will end one way, have the story end a totally different way, and have the reader say the author’s way is better.
I don’t remember where I read this, but I think that this is the best advice ever given to me. It is a challenge–a huge challenge–but when I look back at the books that I have loved, and the books that I haven’t quite loved that much, this is usually the reason why the latter just didn’t match my expectations.
Making the reader think the story will end one way is done through two different means.
Foreshadowing: (v) to show or indicate beforehand; prefigure.
The idea behind foreshadowing is to give the reader a hint that an event might happen before it actually. It doesn’t have to be direct. Actually, I think that it is always better being subtle, but that takes practice. Just know that giving away hints of the ending isn’t always a bad thing to do.
Connect the dots:
If you thought foreshadowing was hard, this is even harder. The goal is that all of your foreshadowings, and all of your fake-outs of foreshadowing, have a reason behind them. Bob might threaten Steve, and this might look really good when Bob is the bad guy, but it turns out Bob is merely protecting his sister, and not actually going to kill him because he’s a sociopath.
So why do you need any of this?
Some of it goes back to the idea of tension in a story. Tension is the idea of having people ask, “What now?” With foreshadowing, you encourage the asking of the questions, while providing very little answers. All of this makes for captivating writing.
Question of the Week, 5/16
I know. I’m actually writing this a little on the late side of Sunday. But I’m now on what is called mid-spring break, the week break between spring break (in March) and summer break (for me, in July). So we might actually get some awesome posts this next week. (I have a few titles in mind that may prove interesting.)
Before getting to the question, I’m going to do a slight modification to the question of the week that I’ve been toying with for a few days. I’m just going to keep the question here and not worry about any summarization and the like. Reason being is two fold. For one, I’m not really get any responses (yet) and for two, I get so many google hits from different and random searches that this way, people who find these posts in say, October, can still get their two cents in.
That all being said, here is this week’s question of the week:
Do you want to be published and if so, why?
Not really related to writing but close enough. (And, if you care, fame and fortune, if your honest answer, is a fair one. :) )