Tag Archives: Word count anxiety

#ROW80 update

I had what is considered a good writing week for me, although I didn’t write every day.  I managed to get in 3,125 words on my Death by Chocolate story, which I’ve decided is called Back in Time.

I’m having a blast writing BIT and it’s about halfway done, thank God.  When I first started it I thought I might never make it past 1K.  The only weird thing about it thus far is that it’s supposed to be for a YA paranormal romance anthology and as yet, the characters are all adults and there hasn’t been any romance.

I think this is because I’m describing the hell out of everything. I started out writing BIT afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to make the 14K word count, so, for once, the reader’s will know what the characters, scenery and buildings look like. 🙂  I’m doing my usual after-plump while I’m writing it.  It’s a new experience.

Other than working on that story, I’ve done some beta reading and signed myself up for some blog tour action in December.  One of the stories I beta read was written by my cousin.  I really like it – it’s very scientific and thriller-ish and unlike anything that I’d ever write. I’m sure our many greats uncle, Lew Wallace, would be happy to know there continues to be writer’s in his family, although he’d probably think we’re both heathens. 🙂

That be it for the week. I’m going to try to get some more words in on BIT and make a trip to the grocery to pick up something for the potluck at my son’s school tomorrow that won’t send any of the children into anaphylactic shock.

Oh, yes, it’s ladies weekend and #ROW80

I’m allowed to start looking forward to the weekend when it’s only Wednesday, right?  This week has sucked so far, as I’ve got a cold and my washer and dryer crapped out just when I really needed them.  Off to Best Buy we went and procured ourselves a new set.

They were delivered yesterday, but the outlet in my laundry room was designed for a range instead of a dryer. My poor house.  I love it.  It’s orange, has a tree growing in the center of it and has lots and lots of windows, but it was built in 1964 and has apparently had nothing but DIYers (including me) habitate under its skylights. Something always has to be updated or redone because it was slapped together with hillbilly carpentry.

Many thanks to Ben, an electrician, for coming out and putting a new outlet in on such short notice.  Also, thank you for being hot and having an accent. I can’t really remember anything you said to me, but the washer and dryer are all hooked up and I’ve got on clean underwear for the first time this week.

Yeah, so when that’s a highlight you can bet I’m ready for a weekend away with my girlfriends.

We go to my friend’s family cabin at the beach every November – In fact, I think this will be my 9th year. The only time I’ve missed it was when I was, like, two days away from giving birth to my son.  We all lounge about and read US and People magazine, drink Bud Light, eat junk food and just generally have a grown-up slumber party.  On Saturday we hit the outlet mall and get started on our Christmas shopping. We play card games and make up dance routines and try on each others’ clothes. There is some hair braiding, I won’t lie. We, without fail, burn our dinner on the first night and have something fried with ranch dressing on it at the bar the second night.

The best part is we get to be how we used to be for a weekend. Before husbands and kids and jobs and mortgages and all the have-to’s that come with getting older. I get called by my first name and no one asks me to get them anything besides maybe another beer. I can forget that I’m on my second set of washer and dryers in my adult life.

The next best part is on Sunday when we go home and get to see our husbands and kids and we offer to get them anything they want and it’s good to be called Honey and Mommy again.

No matter how successful I want to be as a mother and writer, how driven I am, how much I sacrifice “who I used to be,” it can’t all be about getting ahead.  Sometimes you have to relax, do some 8-counts, play Apples to Apples and not worry about word count or deadlines or if your kids have clean jammies.

My point: Acting like a jackass 18-year-old can be good for you. 🙂

ROW80: I wrote 376 words on Dissent on Tuesday and head plotted the rest of the scene last night while folding, you guessed it, laundry.

Busy Bee and #ROW80

Such a busy week!  We had three RBR tour stops, our last at A Children’s Place Bookstore yesterday, I saw Footloose, took my kids to the pumpkin patch and ended the week last night at Billy’s bar with pizza and vodka tonics and my Cards kicking some World Series butt.

The YA author tour went so well that we’re planning another one in the spring – with even more local authors!  Cheri Lasota, Cidney Swanson, Craig Hansen and McKenzie McCann will hopefully be joining us next time around. (That’s a lot of C’s, people!! Just noticed that.)

If you’re a YA author and live in the Pacific Northwest, drop me a line at: Pacific Northwest YA Authors and we’ll talk. Going on tour as a group makes the experience a little less daunting.  Plus, we have all kinds of fun – where else are you going to meet people IRL that geek out on e-book formatting and platform building? 🙂

Now that the tour is over and all I have to worry about are birthdays and holidays and cleaning my hole of a house, I’m going to try to write every day.  I’ve got three long short stories to write by the end of the year – one I hope to publish by the end of this month.  So, if you don’t see me around on the interwebs quite as often, you’ll know what I’m doing!

Word Count: I wrote 788 words on Thursday on my story for the Death By Chocolate anthology.  Right now, the story is called Do Over.  I totally hate that title and am sure it will eventually be called something awesome. 🙂

I’m off to write!  Have a splendiferous ( or glorgious as Kait Nolan would say) week!

#ROW80 Sunday check-in

I didn’t check-in on Wednesday (except on Facebook) because, well, I haven’t written a single word on any of my goals this week.

What I have been doing is marketing/networking for the Pacific Northwest YA Authors site. After Wordstock last weekend, I had SO MUCH to do on Monday that I believe I was at my computer for 12  hours straight with a short break to take my son to and from school.

If you’ve read Glow, then you’ll know why I made Ben a character that once he latches onto an idea, he can’t let go. Nope, didn’t model that characteristic after myself at all. 🙂

Things had settled down a little by Tuesday and I spent the rest of the week contacting people who had signed up to have us speak at their school/library or had traded cards with me and weren’t already connected to me/PacNWYA on all the social media sites.

You guys know how much I love to market and network.

Blargh.

But, now I feel like my part of that is done for a while and the other women in PacNWYA are taking over most of the duties from me.

Back to writing.

We’ve got three tour dates this week, so I’m sticking to my Tuesday/Thursday writing schedule.  I have gone ahead (’cause you knew I would) and added more work for myself by signing on to write a short story for a YA paranormal romance anthology. That story is due in two months and needs to be around 13K, so I’ve got to get on it!

I’m still excited about all the projects I’m working on and now that I don’t have to be all manic marketer until the New Year…Yay!

Other stuff: Like I posted the other day, Jenny Pox by JL Bryan is free right now on Amazon and other outlets.  There is a Glimpse excerpt in the back of it.  I thought it would be a wise move to lower Glimpse to .99 again so that the people who got Jenny for free would be more willing to pick up Glimpse.

I also made Glimpse and Day of Sacrifice FREE on Smashwords.  Just to see what would happen.  I’ve never made anything free before, but my sales have been kind of sluggish, so I thought I’d see if this draws some interest. Plus, Day of Sacrifice is a year old! Woot!

Have a great Sunday you all and I’ll talk at ya again on Wednesday.

Last #ROW80 post for Round Three

This round of Row80 has been crazy!  Because my life is crazy!  I’m writing this at 5 in the evening due to the fact that I spent a good chunk of the day making dips and sauces for a party I’m helping to cater on Saturday night.  Why, on the last week of ROW80, on the first week my son is back to school, on the 80th week (it seems) of going to the doctor twice a week, did I agree to cater a party?

Because I like to cook almost as much as I like to write.

I go on and on and complain a good portion of the time about how busy I am and how I’m never going to finish anything, but the truth is, I always manage to fit the important stuff in.  ROW80 has helped me realize that.

I thought this round had been a bit of a fail for me until I sat down and went over my original goals.  I wanted to finish Takeover and get started on the next DoS story.  I wanted to figure out how the DoS series ends.  Done, done and done. Almost. 🙂

Takeover goes to the beta readers tomorrow and will be published by the end of next week.  The next two stories are simmering in my head.  I actually know what’s going to happen for once!

A little further into this round, I added two more goals.  I wanted to write the TV pilot for Glimpse.  I’m halfway there! The last goal I had was to try to write a story all the way through without stopping to edit.  I did all right with this one.  There were some days where I just couldn’t resist going back and fixing things that were bugging me.  I think that’s okay.  It’s progress.  I had the idea that after the story was finished, I’d go through and identify three things in each scene that could be expanded on.  This trick worked out sooooo well.

If your writing is sparse, like mine, and you have a hard time getting to the word count you want a piece to be, you should totally try this.  I added roughly 3,500 words to Takeover in ONE day using this method.  I swear, the words just fell out of my head when I knew exactly what I needed to expand on.  I mean, stupid stuff like, “describe how this character looks and what they’re wearing.”  Dude, need to know kind of stuff that added paragraphs to the whole story.

Some of you might think that’s a huge duh, but I just never stop to describe what people look like half the time.  I mention it once in the span of one sentence and then never again. (I’m still/always learning, okay?)

I’ve got big plans for the little vacation between rounds. (What?  She’s making goals for between the rounds now?) My website is getting an overhaul.  I’m going to be adding glossaries for both DoS and the Zellie books.  I write stories with a bazillion characters and hate to recap.  This is my solution.  They’ll be available on my website and on Smashwords.  There will be the publishing of Takeover.  I want to write a couple more pages on the TV pilot.  I’ve got to prepare my talk for the Rain Boots Required YA Author tour I’m doing in October.  And, the opening scene for the first Ben book has been written in my head for over a week.  I am so stoked for it and need to get it down on computer.

Oy vey. Thanks for reading this ramble.  Ha!  I’ll be back with even more crazetacular goals for the next round.  Be prepared for more bitching and moaning and then for me to be like, “Dude.  I totally did it.”

Pour some sugar on #ROW80

The first draft of Takeover is complete!  I was having some trouble writing the final scene yesterday – I was at that point where two groups come back together after having separate adventures and I couldn’t figure out how they were going to share their intel with each other without having to recap the whole story.

Then it occurred to me that the last scene I was trying to force myself to write wasn’t necessary if I added a few key paragraphs at other points in the story.  And, that the last line of the second to last scene was an awesome final line and left a good cliffhanger for the next story. (Which I have figured out!!!  Go me!  Knowing what I’m going to write before I sit down to write it!!)

I’m going to spend a week editing and rewriting in preparation for sending it to beta readers at the end of next week.  I hope to publish it before September’s over, but I make no guarantees.   Then I’m onto DoS stories #5 and #6!

To celebrate finishing yet another story that I was sure I was never going to finish, I’m going to see Def Leppard and Heart tonight.  Very excited.  The concert is outside and the weather has turned chilly, so I get to wear ripped up jeans and flannel.  I feel like it’s always a good idea to dress like the band you’re going to see. Unless it’s Lady Gaga or Rhianna.  I can’t pull off the leather hot pants look anymore.

Okay, so maybe I never could.

Rock on and have a buttrockfantastic rest of the week!

La la la, whatever and #ROW80

This is a photo of Charlize Theron in the new movie, Young Adult, from the peeps who made Juno:

When I first saw this it made me feel funny.  It made me feel squeamish and…called out.  Replace that dog with a satchel of Diet Coke and the Hello Kitty t-shirt with the Mickey Mouse t-shirt my friend Kristen got me at a yard sale junior year of high school that I still wear, and yeah, they pretty much got it right.

Every time I’m cruisin’ in my minivan and car dancing to that Hot Chelle Rae song – complete with a killin’ it on the dance floor fantasy – the photo of Charlize pops into my head.

I’m 36, I have two kids, the aforementioned minivan and I should be, I don’t know, listening to the new Wilco.  Strangely enough, that was the music I listened to in high school!

So, how did I get this way?  I blame Zellie.  After being stuck in her head for seven years, I’ve immatured.

Good for the YA/New Adult writing career, not so much for grown-up stories. If I’m ever going to finish the DoS series, I’m totes going to have to start wearing slacks and gently grooving to easy listening.

Say it ain’t so!  La la la, whatever.

#ROW80 update: Monday- I wrote a single paragraph over the course of six hours due to the kids being all up in my grill hopped up on popsicles.  Household chores have gone to hell. Tuesday – I decided I hated the beginning of Takeover, wrote a new one of about 300 words, decided I hated it more, read over all of Takeover that I’ve written so far, decided I liked it, added another 200 words before my writing time was up and then I researched shotguns. For the story.

And maybe the possum family that likes to chill on the back patio.

Kidding!

Clearly I had tons to write about. 🙂 Check y’all later.

 

 

#ROW80 experiment

I’ve spent the past couple of days trying to figure out exactly what was going to happen in Takeover and how those events could lead to three more stories.  I also just couldn’t decide if Alexander was good or bad.  In the end, he’s both, as any vampire/witch should be. 🙂

Today I wrote 400 words on a new scene and then wrote a little blurb for each of the remaining scenes.  This made me happy.  This felt like progress.

Then I went back and looked to see how many words the previous four scenes I’d written were.  The first scene came in at 1,397.  Excellent.  It went downhill from there. 457, 382, 509. Blah.

This tells me that right now, those short little scenes are ideas.  Ideas that need fleshing out.  If I want Takeover to come in at roughly the same word count as the other DoS stories, I’ve got to pump my scenes up considerably.

I thought about making each scene 1,300 words.  I know that my writing is spare and I can always describe things more thoroughly.  But then that seemed weird and sort of artificial.  I mean, I still want the story to be written in my voice and I’m not sure my voice always has 1,000 extra words in it.

So, I’m going to try to do this loosely.  After I finish writing the whole story, I’m going to go through each scene that is shorter than 1,300 words and pinpoint three things that could be expanded upon. I think this will help me complete the first draft of Takeover more quickly because I won’t have to fret over if I’ve written enough.

I realize this is how a lot of people write their first drafts, but I always edit as I go, so it’s new for me.

Wish me luck!  I’m off to go put in some time on the Glimpse pilot that I’ve neglected for a week.  Hope all is well with you guys.

Invasion! and #ROW80

The Benefiels are under attack!

Our garage and my husband’s office have been invaded by fleas.  We’re talking an infestation of Angela’s Ashes proportions.  Ick.

For most of my adult life, I’ve had at least two dogs and three cats.  We’re now down to one dog and two cats…and about a gazillion fleas.

My cats are old. Vampire old. And we have a hard time getting them to come inside in the summer.  The have kitty dementia and forget that the garage is where their food is, so we have to hunt them down every evening and put them in there.  In the past when we’ve tried feeding them outside, we’ve ended up with some pissy raccoons at our backdoor munching away at the cat food and hissing at me when I tried to shoo them away. Raccoons scare the bejeebus out of me.  Also, possums.

So, I was dutifully putting the cats in the garage every evening.  But they stopped eating and kept trying to escape.  We couldn’t figure out why.

Then my husband and I started noticing that when we’d go out to the garage we were being bitten by something.

Like I said, I’ve always had a bunch of pets, so I’m used to some level of flea-ness in the summer, but this was ridiculous.  Now, stepping into the garage to get a soda from the beer fridge had become a stealthy operation.

Just how quickly could we open the door to the garage, lean out into the garage, open the fridge door and grab a beverage?  I’ve come up with sparkling water when I was going after a Diet Coke more than once.

When the fleas started screwing with my Diet Coke consumption, it was WAR.

I began feeding the cats outside again, b.b. gun at the ready in case any raccoons try to trespass on my land and take what’s mine. Never mind I’ve not shot the thing.  How do you keep all the b.b’s from falling out? Whatever.  It’s about intimidation.  The raccoons don’t know I don’t know how to load the gun properly. Or that I have night blindness and will have better luck aiming at the kids ladybug sandbox than a moving target.

Enough about the damned raccoons.

Back to the fleas.  The pets have been liberally doused in Frontline.  We bought a gigantic aerosol can of Sentry Flea and Flea egg killer.  It came in pump spray, but I went with aerosol, because I’m not effing around here, people. This is no time to be a hippie!!

Last night we dropped the kids off at my parents and sprayed the house.  We used the whole can.

And we waited.

After the foggy chemical mist settled, my husband bravely ventured into the garage for a  life-sustaining Dr. Pepper.  He emerged from the garage triumphant.

“There seem to be less fleas on my socks.”

Huzzah!  The was much celebration in the form of TV and movie watching.  I caught the second half of Tess of the D’Ubervilles on Masterpiece Classic and the hubs watched Source Code, which he claims to have figured out in the first five minutes.

Cha.

ROW80 update: I managed to squeeze in another 300 words on Takeover on Thursday. I’m becoming annoyed that it’s not going  faster, so I’m upping my time working on it to two hours a day on Monday and Tuesday.  I’d like for it to be in the 6k range by the end of this week.

The Goodreads giveaway of two copies of the Zellie Wells trilogy has ended.  1,199 people signed up for it, so that was cool.  Congratulations to Denise Zaky and Michelle Fecko.

There will be more giveaways of the trilogy, so if you still want to win one, keep your eyes out for that.

I have some other exciting news to share, but I’ll save that for another day when I can make it the focus of a blog post and not just tacked onto the end of this randomness. 🙂

Happy reading and writing and may you be safe from the evils of fleas.

 

 

 

Mid-week #ROW80 check-in

Quick check-in today: 500-ish words (over, not under) on Takeover on Monday. Two and a half more scenes on the Glimpse pilot yesterday.  Monday and Tuesday seem to be the days I have the most time to fit writing in. I’m aiming for more work on Takeover today.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday are non-stop busy!  Oh, crazy summertime.

Today’s the last day to sign up to win one of two paperback copies of the Zellie Wells trilogy on Goodreads.

Book you should move to the top of your TBR pile: Darkness in the Blood by Vicki Keire.  Don’t be dumb like me, read it sooner than later. 🙂

Thanks to everyone who has reviewed Glow.  It doesn’t look so sad and lonely anymore.