Category Archives: Writing progress

Thursday’s Children – 2013 Writing Goals

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I know this might be a bit cliche, but in honor of the new year I’m putting my writing goals for 2013 in, well, in writing.  I haven’t done this before, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this serious about my writing before.  I’ve recently received some very positive feedback and encouragement which has helped me focus.  For the first time in a long time I feel like my goal might actually be attainable.

I know there are different thoughts on goals; make them achievable, make them in small increments, make them specific, make them vague.  I’m not sure what is best for me, so I’m just going to make my goals the ones I want most to achieve.  If not done in small increments, they are at least simple, in appearances.

Writing Goals for 2013:
1.  Finish first draft of The Elementals – Book 1
2.  Finish first draft of Juliet Falling
3.  Achieve my monthly goals for my writer’s group (this is where the small increments come in)

While I know this is going to be a lot of work throughout the year, I think I can do it.  No, I know I can do it if I just stay focused and work hard.

So, here goes…

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Finally, a Writer’s Group!

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I went to my first writer’s group meeting on Saturday and I am so excited I can’t wait until the meeting next month.  The group meets once a month at a restaurant in GR and they bring a speaker that either talks about the industry, the craft, or a topic that can help writers in their research.  This month it was a presentation by Rick from Silver Bullet Firearms, to help people with all those pesky questions like:
–          What does semi-automatic mean?
–          What’s the difference between a clip and a magazine?
–          Where does someone go to find the “Black Market?”  (For the record, Rick didn’t know the answer to this, but it’s a  good question nonetheless.)
It was a great presentation and while it doesn’t pertain to my current project, I picked up enough details to at least have an idea on basics should I need them in the future.  I think I know the right questions to ask now, anyway.
The group – Grand Rapids Region Writers Group – is a diverse mix of people.  There are a number of genres represented and writers in every stage imaginable.  Meeting new people is not something I’m very comfortable with, so I can’t say I ‘met’ everyone there, but I did get to talk to a couple of people that were sitting near me and they were incredibly nice.  It’s really just comforting to know that there are people out there like me, people who think in stories and constantly have ideas running through their heads.  People that have day jobs but still find time to write, and make it a priority for themselves.  And, it was comforting to find a group of people like this in GR, not in New York or some other big city. 
They have a mentor program once you become a member, they can help you match you up with another member to give you advice and critiques on your work.  I’m not sure if I’m ready for that stage yet, but I like knowing the option is there. 
All in all I think this is going to be great for me.  Usually when people know I write or ask me about it, I feel like a phony…a poser.  I’m not a ‘real’ writer, I couldn’t possibly be, I’m just some delusional person who thinks in plot lines and character descriptions; the stories in my head are usually much more interesting than what is going on around me.  But this group will ask about my writing and understand where I’m coming from.  We may not have the same motivations or processes or backgrounds, but we all want to get to the same place.  We want to be Writers.

Think Before You Write

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So, I’ve put my writing on hold.  Sort of.  Not really on hold, but I’m taking a few steps back.  I just finished reading Outlining Your Novel:  Map Your Way to Success  by K.M. Weiland.  And I have to say, before reading her book; I was a no-outline kind of person.  Sure I jotted down ideas, came up with a basic synopsis for my book, and knew what the ending as going to be.  I even put a fair amount of thought into the characters and the back story.  But then I started writing and I got through the prologue and about half of the first chapter only to realize I didn’t really know where I was going.  I know the overall story, but I don’t know the all the steps to get there.
I kind of picture it in my head like this; there is really big staircase in front of me, one of those ones that curves around and has landings on every floor.  In my story, I know the landings, but I don’t know the individual steps I have to climb on to get to the landings. 
So, after reading the book (which went quickly – it’s about 175 pages), I’ve decide to go back to the outlining stage.  I’m going start at the beginning of her book and going chapter by chapter and following her advice on creating a detailed outline.  I’m not sure I want to call it an outline because that brings to mind all sorts of scary Roman numerals and parentheses, but you get the gist.  It may be a little time consuming, which is one of the reasons I have avoided an in depth outline in the past.  But I think it will be worth it in the long run.  I think it will help with the actual writing and I think it will help in the crafting of the story; it will be that much better for it.
We’ll see after I get through the exercise if I feel the same way, but I’m thinking I will.  In fact, I think I will be completely pro-outline.  I’ll let you know how it goes.