Writing Update (January, 2023)

Happy New Year! I’ve been continuing along with my writing projects as we start into 2023. I wrote the last (final written, not final in order!) chapter of Thorns 1, and am doing my final-final-I-really-mean-it pass through. I printed it to read out loud to my husband, and am jotting the stray notes as I go.  It’s almost entirely things like fixing a repeated word or cutting an unnecessary sentence, so this really is very close to done now!

Meanwhile, I’m also revising Thorns 2, which was originally written way back for NaNoWriMo 2019 (!)  I’m keeping most of what I have but adding in a few chapters in the first third, and I may do some more substantive changes to the end, which I think needed a little more excitement.  Right now I’m building in some threads in the first part that should add some extra danger and tension…but I don’t want to be too specific because, you know – spoilers!

Revision is going a little slowly but it’s moving along so I’m feeling good about that.  Maybe I’ll finally get this published four years after I originally wrote it!

So nothing too monumental to report – just rolling along with the current projects.  But hopefully I’ll have some bigger announcements (like publishing dates!) coming soon.

Writing Update (December, 2022)

After a very busy November, writing has slowed down a bit in December.  However, I did finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo project, otherwise known as Thorns Saga #3!  I did 50,000 words during November, and finished out the project with only another 5,000 words.  I plan to expand significantly in the revision process, so after I finished drafting I read back through it and made notes on additions and new details.  Not sure when I’ll actually do the revisions, but at least I have the plans for them.

After that, I turned back to Thorns #1, to hopefully finally get this finished.  I have one chapter to write still – my most recent revision pass involved moving things around and I need a new chapter to fill a hole, and it gives me the chance to intro some characters who will be more important in later books.  So that’s what I’m working on right now.  Then one more complete review and we should be about there!  I’m hoping to get this one out into the world in the first half of next year.

With that in mind, I’ve been working on a different project that’s not strictly writing, but is related – I’ve been doing cover designs for all five planned books in the series.  So far they’re turning out very nice, so I’ve been enjoying that!  Can’t share them for a while though… 😉

I’m aiming to finish the new chapter in Thorns #1 plus a few other edits by the end of the year, then plan to primarily work on Thorns #2.  Lots of drafts in process!  Hopefully I can get some complete soon. 🙂

NaNoWriMo: End of the Month Update

It’s December 1st, meaning NaNoWriMo wrapped yesterday – and I’m pleased to say that I hit my 50,000 word goal!  This is the first time I have since the pandemic and having a toddler, so it feels especially significant to have got back to that level of writing.

I did a lot of planning throughout the month, trying to build up word cushions before days that I knew would give me less opportunity to write, and that worked really well. I wound up with an easy final day, only needing 835 words, or half of a typical NaNo day.  I finished the month out with 50,076 words, so I’m very pleased with that!

I’m also pleased that I’m most of the way through the novel draft.  I think the total will end up only around 55K words, which is shorter than many of my first drafts in the past.  It seems to be how this series works though – the very first “complete” draft of Thorns 1 was a 27K word novella, Thorns 2 was 67K words at first draft, and Thorns 4 is 62K words.  So 55K is a little short, but not by a lot, and I already have ideas of about four chapters I want to insert, just as a start!  This may also be a slightly shorter novel than some of the others, which I’d be fine with too. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo: End of the Month Update”

NaNoWriMo, Day #19

Nearly three weeks into NaNoWriMo already!  I just passed the 32,000 word mark, which puts me right on track for the 50,000 word goal.  Things haven’t been progressing as quickly as they did in the first week, but I expected that – I built up a significant cushion the first weekend because I expected a number of days when I wouldn’t have as much time to write.  So far that’s kept me above the goal all month, though I’ve almost been through the cushion.

The story is still progressing nicely along the outline.  I just finished the section plotting for the takeover of the capital city, and have just reached the night when everything comes together – which sounds like it would be near the end but it’s actually most of the second half of the outline.

For a rarity, I think I may end up with a complete first draft that really is close to 50,000 words.  Most of my NaNo projects have ended up as partial drafts that I then continue through December or January.  I think this one may actually get to the end or close to it – but I can already see places where I want to add chapters and expand concepts when I come to the revision stage.  That seems to be how this series works – my first “complete” draft of Thorns 1 was only 27,000 words, and now it’s 103,000!

I’ve enjoyed continuing to explore the characters and pulling together the pieces of a conspiracy – though I’d like to dig deeper on both aspects in revisions.  This first round is good for getting the shape of the thing together though.

I’m hoping to have more writing time next week with the Thanksgiving holiday, so hopefully I can stay well on track for the final goal.

Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt, as Elena discusses recent events with a questionable ally.

“Apparently some madman broke into the central guard post last night and set it on fire.”

She shook her head in a parody of sadness.  “Such troubled times we live in.”

“The descriptions are vague, but it seems he was tall, bearded, brilliant with a sword.  These things get exaggerated in the telling, of course, but…”

“Doesn’t sound like me, does it?” Elena said, tapping her own cheek.

He regarded her for a moment, then said quietly, “Your husband was good with a sword.  Haven’t seen him in the practice yard in years, but he used to be.”

NaNoWriMo, Day #11

I usually get a NaNo update out sooner than this – but I’ve been busy writing away at my NaNo project!  As I announced in my October Writing Update, I am tackling National Novel Writing Month again this year, my first time aiming for 50,000 words since 2019 (which, as we all know, was a completely different world!)  I’m drafting Book 3 of my Thorns series, and so far it’s going along very well.

As I’m typing, I passed 20,000 words earlier this morning.  I have slightly over 2,000 words cushion ahead of the daily goal, which is a nice place to be a third of the way into the month.  I had a very productive writing time last weekend – I took Friday the 4th off of work to give myself some extra writing time near the beginning of the month, and today is also a convenient holiday for Veterans Day.

Fitting enough time for writing in around a job and a toddler is definitely a challenge, but I’ve been focusing my NaNo writing on 15-minute word sprints for years, so it’s not entirely new.  I approach every day analyzing how many 15 minute chunks of writing I can get in – I know from experience I typically need four per day to hit the word count goal.  Some days I can only manage three, but that’s why I have a cushion built up!

The story itself is going well also – I try not to get completely caught up in strictly numbers in these updates!  This novel focuses on two supporting characters from the first two novels, Elena and Henry.  It’s been very fun to explore them more, especially Henry who is very quiet normally.  I’m sure that he’s had far more dialogue in the 20,000 words so far of this draft than he did in the previous two books combined! Continue reading “NaNoWriMo, Day #11”