WIPMarathon: August 2015 Check-In

Hey, guys! Sorry I haven’t been posting very much lately. I’ve been a little scatter-brained these past few months. This is the first year I’m not going back to college, so it feels really weird. I’m trying desperately to find a job, but the search has been a bit hopeless so far. But I applied to another job today, so everyone keep your fingers crossed for me!

And now for the WIP update:

Last WC/CC: 113,944 words / 40 chapters

Current WC/CC: 120,191 words / 43 chapters

And my goal for this month was to hit 120k words in this draft, so I’m very proud. *pats self on back*

WIP Issues This Month:

You know what? Things actually went pretty smoothly this month. I never thought I’d say this, but I actually feel like lately, I’ve been really well-organized and consistent in getting things done. Somehow things just “clicked” this month and I was really on a roll when it came to writing every day.

I’m not saying this draft is perfect––it’s definitely not. I’m obviously going to have to cut a lot of scenes when I’m done. And I’m worrying about things like plot structure and believability and consistency and character development, blah blah blah. But I’m just trying to focus on what I’m doing right now and worry about editing later.

What I learned this month in writing:

Quite a lot! Part of what really helped me was reading Write-a-Thon by Rochelle Melander, a book Faye from The Sprint Shack (one of my favorite writing blogs!) recommended. Melander’s book does have a bit of a “self-help” vibe (she’s a life and writing coach), but it did give me a boost of motivation and inspiration.

I took some of her advice, which included keeping a “writing journal” to keep track of my writing progress. So I’ve been trying a bit of a new method: when I sit down to write, I open my Writing Journal (which is a Word document on my computer) and write about my progress, feelings, and daily goals for just a few minutes. I talk about what I’m working on, how it’s going––what’s working, what I might need to fix/change later––and what I’m going to work on today.

This has really helped me to narrow my focus, and to not get overwhelmed with all the tasks ahead of me. When I just write, “okay, today I’m going to write the scene where [x] happens,” I feel like I’m more fixated on that small goal, rather than freaking out about finishing the whole thing. I’ve found that this makes me much more excited to sit down and write every day.

And I have been writing every day, which also has helped immensely. I’ve been using this app on my phone called WriteChain which you can use to log your daily word progress, and it’s helped me to remember to reach my goal every day.

I had a goal this month to reach 120k in this draft, which meant writing about 325 words per day––not bad at all! I’ve found that when I set myself a rather small goal like that, not only do I feel confident that I can hit it every day, but also I’m likely to write more than I need to because I feel like I’m on a roll. It’s a bit weird and unexpected, but it works. With such a small goal, I’ve been writing a lot more than I have in a long time.

What distracted me this month while writing:

Mainly looking for and applying to jobs. But also the usual things … *shakes a fist at the Internet* I’ve also been learning German and how to play the guitar recently so that also can be distracting!

Goal for next month:

Alright so I know I said last month that once I hit 120k I would maybe be at the end of this hellish, never-ending first draft of I Chose the Monster. About halfway through August, I came to realize I’d definitely not be at the end of this draft by the end of the month. But, I mapped out a plan in which I will hopefully, finally finish this draft by the end of September. It will involve a slightly bigger daily word goal than I used this past month, but I am determined to finally get it done. I’m so so so close; I think I have like 5-7 chapters left at most, some of which will be pretty short. So, here’s hoping I can finally do it!

Last 200 Words:

This isn’t literally the last 200 words––because first of all it’s 232 words, and also the last 200 words I wrote were a bit too spoiler-ish. But ah well, close enough, right?

“Oh, my God. What happened? Where’s everyone else?”

“It’s okay. They’re fine,” Gavin says. “They’re just in the other room.”

Juliet lets out a heavy sigh. “And the Morts?”

Again, Gavin and I look at each other.

“We took care of it,” I answer at last.

“What? All of them?” She scrambles off the bed and starts to get up before we can stop her.

I jump to my feet. “You probably shouldn’t––”

“I’m fine.” She stands, sways for half a second and then stumbles over to the window and clutches at the sill. Then she throws the curtain aside.

The daylight blinds me and I turn my head away. When I look up again, I see Juliet take a step back. One of her hands still grips the windowsill, and the other is over her mouth. I don’t even want to know what the balcony looks like in broad daylight. It was bad enough when darkness was falling—the bodies everywhere, piled on top of each other, oozing with bullet wounds.

Juliet sits down heavily on the mattress again.

I skirt around the bed to where she’s sitting. Now I can see the hollow expression on her face.

“Are you okay?” I ask her. She doesn’t answer or even look at me. “Juliet?”

“I can’t remember,” she says quietly. “I can’t remember any of it. But I was there. Wasn’t I?”

*Phew* That was a long update. How was everyone else’s writing month in August? What do you hope to accomplish next month?