Monday, January 28, 2013

Regrouping - Drafting Versus Revision

Both First Drafting and Revision are focused and mentally taxing, so much so, that I am not easily making a successful transition between drafting and revising in a single day. Time to regroup.

This week, I will set aside three (3) days per week at my desk to revise, with four (4) days scheduled for first drafting.

This next week's short term goal is to sit at my desk and revise/edit a certain number of chapters within those three days, and write a certain number of chapters away from my desk, in the next four days.

During the last few months of writing full-time, I welcomed the flexibility to figure out what works best for me and my writing life. Pressing the regroup button. 1, 2. 3. Now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Changing Gears (First Drafting versus Revision)

First Drafting and Revision are completely different activities. The consistent and continued writing of first draft material is an integral part of my full-time writing process. For publication of my books, revision is also a necessary and welcome part of book writing.

Kat Duncan, writer mentor and coach extraordinaire, suggested the following in regard to changing gears between First Drafting and Revision.

Gear down for first drafting, since first drafting is an "in the zone" activity:
  • Peace and quiet
  • Comfortable chair
  • Dim lighting
  • No interruptions
  • Mentally picturing what characters are doing
Gear up for revision/editing:
  • Office-like atmosphere
  • Strong lighting
  • Cup of coffee or tea
  • Short-term deadline
  • Number of pages goal within short-term deadline
Since my goal is to write full-time and to make a living doing the same, a single writing day must consist of doing both; therefore changing gears between First Drafting and Revision is a daily requirement. Following Kat Duncan's suggestions for changing gears has become a key part in my reaching that goal!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

One More Time, Times Three (Series Writing)

I begin 2013, with the first drafts of the first two books in my five book Young Adult series completed, by starting the planning and plotting of Book #3 of the series. The stakes for my characters are higher and the conflicts greater. Which, with a series, is as it should be.

Question: Is writing a series like writing one big book, divided into smaller parts?

Answer: Yes and No. There is the overall story of the series, yet each book is a stand-alone story within itself. Each book tells a story, then together they make up the full story of the series.

Book #3 is leaning toward depicting a world gone wrong, as well as bad. Together, the children provide support for one another. Perhaps it's time, as the ruthless author, to tear them apart, to separate them, and let them fend for themselves the best they can in an even more hostile world? Or, is it time for them to first band together to bond even more closely? To only be separated a little later on?

Time to get out Cathy Yardley's Rock Your Plot Workbook (Highly Recommend Rock Your Plot!) and begin, one more time!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Transitions - First Drafting a Book in 21 Days, BUT....

In mid-June 2012, I left my full-time job to write full time. Shortly, thereafter.... Not THAT kind of writing transition. The life transition I faced involved bringing my work ethic from working for someone else over to working for, well, myself. I thought no big deal, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Juggling work for the company that employs you involves set deadlines. A majority of my work involved proposal submission time frames. To produce a proposal, you follow standard steps, just as you do to produce a book. For a book: brainstorm, plot, character-sketch, generate log line, Story GMC, Scene GMCDs, write the first draft, then revise and repeat. Yet, the time that producing a book was taking...something was off. After all, I finished the first book, didn't I. I'd write the next and the next. I'd get there, some how, some way, some day. SOME DAY?

Yep, it was the set deadline that was missing. In the past fifty (50) days, I first drafted twenty-one (21) of those days. The other twenty-nine (29) days, I revised the first book in the series and struggled with the crud Hubby brought home from his travels. During those 29 days, I did not first draft and did not create new chapters for the series, yet in the 21 days that I actually did write draft material, I finished the first draft of Book #2. (Ta-da!)

Author Dean Wesley Smith's recent blog post, The New World of Publishing: How to Keep Production Going All Year, brought to light the importance of the production of new words. Revise, yes, but in addition to revision or any other writing-type activity, writing new words takes top priority.

To continue to write full time and in order to hopefully make a living doing the same in the not so distant future, I must produce new words. SO, I now I have set deadlines for my writing production, not just, duh, I'm going to write a book, then write another one. My deadlines are realistic and include daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals to reach those deadlines.

It's taken me a while, but in 2013, I am transitioned, baby!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ta-da, Whoot and Yeah, Baby!

My one resolution for 2013 is to celebrate, appreciate and express gratitude (or is that three resolutions? Hmm...).

First Drafting is a struggle for me, or has been, until I finally accepted getting away from the computer to write the first draft on the NEO works best for me. As someone who's spent the majority of her life in front of a computer terminal, coming to grips that I write more prolifically and stronger material away from the computer was a struggle, yet the acceptance is life changing. I am now successfully and prolifically first drafting (Ta-da!)

One thing I appreciate writing-wise is learning that I don't have to write in word count or page count per day and realizing that I can write in units, for instance I set a goal of writing a certain number of scenes or chapters per day and an overall goal for the week. (Whoot!)

I am grateful for the opportunity to write full-time. Thanks to a supportive hubby, a lot of hard work in the last few years (workshops, courses, research) and awesome coaching/mentorships via Savvy Authors, I'm heading into 2013 under the steam of much enthusiasm. (Yeah, Baby!)

Look out world! 2013, the Year of the Kathy, has arrived!