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.
One, two, three… one hundred and twenty thousand.
For a while now, I’ve been trying to figure someway to track my progress in writing on here. I don’t know if any apps or widgets that would actually do it. However, I think I have a new plan.
Now, you all probably know about my “new plans.” Just look at my welcome message. I totally haven’t followed that in months. However, here’s the thing. I think it’ll work, so long as I remember.
Because the end of the week for me is Friday, on either Friday afternoon or Saturday evening I’ll post how many words I am into the story and how many I wrote this week. Editing with obviously be done by pages.
So with that being said, I currently have….
17820 words in Mermaids.
I’d like to write two chapters (at least) by the end of next week. And since those are going to both be hard chapters, I don’t think that’s too undershooting (not to mention how many other papers I have to write as well. )
So my school last a writing contest every year. The first year, I really bombed it. My story wasn’t really that great (I didn’t realize that at the time.) and much too long.
This year I worked even harder, because I wanted to win something. I submitted Just Trust Me into the contest.
And I came in third.
Now, you may think that, “Abigail, seriously, that’s just third. That’s–$50. If you’re lucky.”
I’m thinking, “Abigail. You got in third. That’s better than last year. And you still have a couple more chances.”
Moreover, I suspect Ariel, who won, is actually a more detailed writer than I am. Not sure if that’s good or not. Just a fact.
Anyway, that’s my life. This is awesome! Now you have a reason to go read it.
Oh, right, and this is the prelude (I think) to my new novel that I wrote 40 (font size 18) over spring break.
Apparently, it’s not about knowing; it’s about doing.
Almost always, I find inspiration at bookstores. I walk through one, browsing the numerous titles, thinking about how much I’d love to see my own book(s) there, and eventually end up at the writing books. There, I pick up some books, browse through them, and find some glimmer of wisdom to enhance my writing and motivate me to write on the way home.
For the first time in several months, I finally had a chance to go to the bookstore today. No, it’s not for lack of not trying to; I live an hour away from anything decent. And don’t get me wrong–I found several good books–but I also came out rather depressed. Why?
Because every mistake writers make or every “rule” of writing that I read today, I either know about and follow, or haven’t written anything that requires me to followed them. Basically, I know a lot of it.
Worse, one of the “rules” I wasn’t sure about, the author says she doesn’t need to explain it. Moreover, she skips possibly the most important “rule” in that all chapters should end with a question. (That I consider to be a practical explanation of how to build tension and suspense, but that’s another post all together)
I was reading Thanks but This Isn’t for Us, and as i went through each of the suggestions, I found some interesting things. (Like with romance stories it is good to have at least one character who has some reason why he/she can’t be in love.) But almost all of her common goofs, I sat there and explained to my sister that yeah, I know this is a problem for this and this and this.
So here it comes down to it: I apparently know how to write. I need to just sit down and write. After eight years of skimming writing books (I only own two.), writing a few stories, editing my few stories, working through problems and everything else involved with writing, I realize that I know enough I can practically write a writing book.
So in the end, it all comes back to the fact that to be a writer, a real writer, I need to write. Starting tomorrow.
Just Trust Me
I’ve talked a lot about my mermaid story. I’ve talked a lot about how I’m writing it into a novel, and how I think writing short stories to develop characters help.
Blah blah blah.
I’m going to now let you read it.
Here is my story, Just Trust Me. I hope you enjoy it. If anyone does care, I did submit this to my college’s writing contest and I have my fingers crossed.
Read Just Trust Me Here.
Unmotivation–the lack of motivation
It’s not that I have no ideas, though I have suffered from that before at the beginning of a semester. I have a zillion ideas actually.
I came up with one that involved a take-off of Cinderella, where although Cinderella does go to the ball, and she is the most beautiful woman, the prince is already in love with someone else. Stuck on whose POV to write it in.
I have a story that I wrote that I’m questioning now, because I can see people having a problem with a man giving up his allegiance to his country so easily. But I wrote it, so I probably should look at editing it. There has to be something good in there.
I have another story that I need to fix up, because I think I’m going to submit it to the writing contest at school. I had doubts, then a lot of the reviews came back positive, so I might.
Lastly, I want to proofread my mermaid story (Just Trust Me), because that one is being submitted to the writing contest for sure. I’m also basing my topic for my giant research paper this semester on that story, so why not?
Oh, and I am suppose to be working on a novel that will be cool but I have serious writer’s block on, because I have to skim. (I hate skimming)
On top of all that, I have to critique someone’s story because I said I would. I pretty much vanished for her off of the face of the planet because of sickness and school so she is probably wondering where I am. That I will do Saturday night.
And I should write some blog posts, so you don’t just get me rambling since I know you didn’t subscribe for that. :)
So I have things to do. And I have a three-day weekend waiting for me. But none of these options appeal to me. They are all just so… blah. Well, not that blah. I really do like the stories. It’s just that I don’t even know what I want to do exactly. Maybe there are just too many options.
On the plus side for me, one of the teachers at my school is saying we might finally have enough people interested in doing a writing group. So I’ll have some accountability soon and hopefully someone to bounce good ideas off of. Then I’ll know without submitting it to a bunch of people who see all the grammar mistakes I didn’t if it might be good.
And I started writing for the newspaper at school. My first article I copied from my post about bus travel that I wrote for this blog. I suppose I could get a lot of articles if I looked here actually, but I don’t think I will.
So I’m hoping my day off tomorrow will help, because I have been kinda looking forward to this three-day weekend and I don’t want to blow it. I’d rather it in February since I have more to do then, but January isn’t all that bad. And who knows? Maybe I’ll be so motivated I’ll tackle one of the rewrites I have planned to do “some day” after I work on my two stories for my writing contest.
What do you all do for motivation?
He’s dead, Jim!
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had anyone really close to me die. I’m only twenty-two, I only see my grandparents ever so often, and the only grandparent that has died died almost ten years ago, so I don’t remember a lot about him, let alone what it is like.
That being said, I’ve had dogs die on me. And many hamsters. Normally I didn’t notice them die, but then my dog, Rosy, died the Monday before Thanksgiving.
This has been really hard on me actually. I don’t know why. Maybe part of it had to do with the fact that myself and my sister care for her for almost two months, when she became paralyzed, before she died. We took her on walks every night, we got her outside when she had to go pee, we set up a wheelchair, we brought her to bed. My mom helped–oh you better believe she helped–but I was more involved with her than I had been in a long time.
Then one night she stopped eating, her heart started racing, and she couldn’t get up again. We put her down the next afternoon.
The thing is that this has been very different than the last times our dogs have died. For example, we had some old jeans that we chopped the pants off of, and then used a pant leg to carry her outside. We had four of these running around. When she died, we cleaned out the living room where she had been sleeping some, but not well enough. That next Friday, when I cleaned the room for really the first time, I found a pant leg.
Then a week or so later, when I was cleaning out the dogs’ clothes basket. (They confiscated a clothes basket for sleeping in.) I found another pant leg.
Things went back to normal. We started noticing less dog hair in the vacuum cleaner. She was our only dog that shed. No dog; no hair.
Then we moved back a couch and vacuumed underneath it. Tada! More Rosy hair. And this was last week.
We cleaned under the desk and we found her Elizabethan collar, aka, when she was Funnel Face. Which then reminds us of when she ran away and sliced her side on something and I found it after she came back inside and was laying on her living room floor. Or when she got her toe amputated. Or even when she got pressure ulcers and diaper rash at the very end. Those collars didn’t work too well for her though.
We clean the kitchen and we find her collar. Turns out my dad saved them all.
We clean the living room and find a soda bottle ripped apart. Used to give her a toy of a milk bone in a soda bottle. She was really good at getting them out.
Even when my dad bought a new dog, seeing Hope’s (another dog) reaction to the new dog reminded me of when we first brought Hope home. She was this scared little thing that sat in the front seat, shivering, and staring at the speakers the whole four hour long car ride home. We figure this won’t go over well, and instead, she greets Rosy with happiness and joy. After that, Rosy is her guardian, her protector. Wherever Rosy goes, Hope can go too.
The point I’m trying to make is that I knew the little things would remind me they would be gone. I knew the empty place behind the chair where she liked to sleep would be strange. Or not having to tell her to tell off the couch again. Or even taking the dogs on the walk and not taking her. But I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that things–phyiscal, actual things–would stay around to haunt long after she died. So I’ll have to remember this for my stories.
So far we’ve just found a soda bottle, some pants, hair, a collar. But I don’t know what else we might find. And I don’t think that just because she died about a month and a half ago that we’re done finding things either, even if it happens to be a picture on a camera.
To Thank or Not to Thank.
Christmas has come and gone, and with it comes the question of thank you notes. I’ll admit; I don’t write them. This happens for several reasons, but mainly I think that they are stupid, and I am lazy. However, there are bigger problems.
The biggest challenge in writing.
Rewriting is a challenge. All writers know that. The problem is that it takes so long.
So, I wrote a story in October. Edited it. Edited it on paper. Then I sent it to Critters to be critiqued by a bunch of other writers and asked an English teacher friend of my to critique it too. The English teacher saw it before critters and she thought it was pretty good.
However, Critters came back with a few comments. And we’re not talking minor problems here either.
- The character motivation doesn’t make sense.
- The POV character’s arguments look like straw.
- The only action is in the beginning, and that hardly makes it worthwhile to read.
- The POV character doesn’t seem real.
That’s only a few of them, along with a numerous grammatical mistakes.
So I started rewriting it. I
I took all the critiques, highlighted the important things, and fixed those. Then, I made my paper outlines of all my problems and made sure I got bullet points of all the things I want to include and how I knew the characters better.
However, in order to edit this story in a more satisfactory manner, I basically need to completely rewrite the middle scene. This is hard. I did it yesterday, but it was so hard, because I don’t debate well, nor do I have anything to debate with. My brother’s method of debating is repeating the same arguments time and time again, because he is convinced he is right, until I just get so tired of it that I say I’m done. Although he thinks he knows how to debate, he really doesn’t. Anyone else in my family doesn’t debate.
So I’m hoping that I came up with a suitable and believable arguments. Unfortunately, this is for the writing contest at my school and I figured out today that I have no chance of getting this sent out again before the writing contest is over. :(
That’s what makes it so hard. Sometimes, even though you don’t even realize it, the story doesn’t make sense and if you don’t have anyone to check that for you, well, that’s a problem.
When I began writing, I didn’t have anyone to look at my stories. Well, I only had my brother, but he was so young that it didn’t count. That was okay though; I needed the encouragement to keep writing then I think. But when I got the point that I turned out pretty good stuff, in my opinion, then that is when I need the help of others.
So what kind of experiences have you had with rewriting?
No, it’s not my birthday. It’s actually Always A Writer’s birthday. One year ago was when I began this blog. I started it before I knew that most writers in this day and age should have blogs and mostly because I just wanted a place to really look at and rejoice with my writing.
Since then, I have written 276 posts, and 41 pages. I’ve had 155 comments (and 444 spam comments).
Last January, I had an average of 8 viewers a month. Last month (November), we had an average of 19 viewers a month. 4,164 people have viewed parts of this website, and my busy day was March 31st, with a total of 68 people.
Maybe it’s not as busy as some people’s blogs, but I’m pretty satisfied. I’m just hoping that this continues to grow.
So, instead of me rambling on about how difficult it is to rewrite a story (I will do that though. Soon. Since I’m activity doing it right now.), I think that I will give some awards to some posts.
please know the following terms: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, sentences:
This is the most popular post by far, with a total of 679 views. I honestly don’t think a day goes by when someone doesn’t find it via google or something.
The second most common page is on Character Weakness. Sometimes just finding a quick look at possible weakness helps build a character.
A few other of my more favorite posts include All Writers Have Some Mental Illness, How to be a Writer in 5 [Marginally] Easy Steps, and Six Tips on the Art of Killing Characters. The mental illness one is just plain humorous, the how to be a writer one is just helpful, and the art of killing characters is one of the more popular one again.
There are many, many other popular posts and there are just as many posts that got almost nothing, and I still thought would be helpful. Such as Building Religions (Only 9 views since April.), Cultural differences in the MidWest (5 since last December.) The Beneifit of Not Writing Often and even One Sentence Summaries (4 since October 25th)
So that’s about a summary of this past year. Hopefully, next year will be even better (I keep hoping to get Freshly Pressed to be plain.), I’ll learn more, and maybe I’ll even start doing what would be best for me to do. (Such as write synopses.)
Anything you want to see change here?
(And no, I’m not being all stalkerish with the stats. WordPress gives them to me, and I find it helpful to know what people want.)