How Am I Doing?

So, we’re not quite halfway through 2016 yet, but I’ve come to realize that I haven’t given you guys an “update” on what I’ve been up to lately.

April was so wrapped up in Camp NaNoWriMo news, March was a lazy month where I barely got anything done, and I can’t even remember January and February, so don’t even ask about that.

I’m banking on the next four months to be really productive! Well… I hope the rest of the year is productive.

writing update rachel poli

My Monthly Schedule (for the rest of 2016)

May: write/edit
June: outline/edit
July: write (Camp NaNo)
August: write/edit
September: write
October: outline/edit
November: write (NaNo)
December: write (Short Story Sunday)

I try to work out my schedule to collaborate with the NaNo sessions. I also don’t want to be working on the same project two months in a row. Sometimes I get burned out with a project within one month. I couldn’t imagine working on something for two months straight.

So far this schedule has been working well for me.

2016 Writing Goals

1. Prepare George Florence to be query-worthy by the end of the year.

This all depends on how far I get in the novel with my writer’s group. Joining that writer’s group was the best thing I could have done for my novel and I want my group members to be able to read and give me feedback on the entire novel, though I only submit about 20 pages at a time and we only meet once a month.

So I may or may not still be in the editing stage come the beginning of 2017.

2. Finish and edit The Lost Girl for Wattpad.

I have a Wattpad account for a reason. I’m hoping to put last month’s Camp NaNo project on there. Though it still needs quite a bit of work. I’m hoping it will be posted on there in November/December/January. I’m giving myself a little extra time since November and December are busy months.

3. Edit Take Over

This is on the backburner. I wrote this novel a while ago and have edited bits and pieces of it here and there. I do hope to get it published someday, though it’s not my priority at the moment.

If I ever need a break from George Florence or The Lost Girl, I’ll be working on Take Over.

4. Work on short stories

I do plan on entering contests and submitting to magazines. In order to do that, I need to write and edit short stories or poems or something. So that will be done here and there.

So this is where I stand at the moment. I do have a plan even though I sometimes act like I don’t.

If you read my May Goals, you’ll know that I’ll be working on George Florence. It has a lot of editing to get through, but I’ll work on it for the first half of the month, up until the 15 of May. That’s when I submit the next part to my writer’s group and then we don’t meet until the end of the month.

So from the 15 through the rest of the month I’ll work on something else.

It’ll be the same thing with June and so on.

I know I just said that I didn’t want to work on a project two months in a row, but I think taking half a month off in between will be good for now. I have a lot of work to do on George Florence and that novel is my top priority at the moment.

So that’s where I currently stand on my writing projects. I have lots and lots of editing ahead of me.

What are you major goals for your writing? What are you currently working on?

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How I Outline

I’ve made plenty of outlining posts like this in the past. However, things change.

I think we all prepare for our novels differently depending on the project. So I thought I would share how I outlined for my Camp NaNoWriMo project, The Lost Girl.

I decided to outline The Lost Girl differently than how I normally outline.

When I was younger, I never really understood the amount of time, effort, and thinking creating a story took. So when I outlined, I simply wrote “summaries” for each chapter.

That’s how I decided to outline The Lost Girl.

I haven’t outlined like this in a long time, but I’ve had this story idea in my head for quite a few months now. Since the summer, I think.

I decided a while ago that I was going to write this story for Camp NaNoWriMo instead of trying to squeeze it in somewhere along with my edits of George Florence. Needless to say, that’s a long time to put a project on hold when you have a thousand ideas for it swimming in your head.

So I’ve been jotting down notes and writing ideas here and there. Because of this, I decided the easiest way to outline this novel would be to summarize each chapter in order.

Lately, with most of my projects, I’ve been outlining using index cards and post-it notes. I think I may do that as I write the story during April.

I can use the summarized chapters as a guideline and then I can write down what actually happens, scene by scene on post-it notes, to make the editing process go a whole lot smoother.

It sounds confusing now that I’m explaining it, but I think it will work out. If it does, I may just have to combine the two methods for all my novels.

How do you outline any of your projects?

You may also enjoy…
My Planning Process
Outlining: Tips and Ideas

How I Prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo is less than two weeks away.

I’ve been researching, outlining and preparing for April 1st.

Honestly, I think this is the most work I’ve done for a NaNo novel before the actual challenge begins.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve done so far to prepare for The Lost Girl.

I created a map of characters as well as a map of places. This is something I should be doing for all of my novels because I think it helps a lot. However, this is the first time I’ve done it at all.

I used the app Total Recall. It’s an app where you can create web charts (I think that’s what they’re called) or bubble charts or whatever. Here’s what mine looks like, to explain it a little better. This is a map of the different settings of the book:

The Lost Girl Setting Map Peter Pan Rachel Poli

 

I may have missed a few places here and there. I also may add some new places as I write the story.

This helps me with my outline and write in the actual places. Since this novel is a Peter Pan retelling, I don’t want to make up too many new places. I want to stay true to the original story while adding in my own twists and turns.

This will certainly be a good resource to look back at when I write the actual novel.

I also made a map of the characters, but I don’t want to post a picture of it due to possible spoilers.

How do you prepare for your novel? Or do you wing it?

Beyond NaNoWriMo

Beyond NaNo

NaNoWriMo has come and gone. It’s been a week since the end of the 50k-word challenge.

Did you hit 50k words? Did you complete your novel entirely? Do you still have more to go even after the 50k words?

Whether you’ve finished or not, here are some things you can do now that NaNo is over.

Step Back.

Take a break from your novel. Writing 50k words in 30 days is a lot, especially if you’re an overachiever and reach way over 50k within the month. It’s a lot of strain on your brain, your eyes are crossed, and your fingers can no longer type. Give your characters some space and take a rest.

Write Something Else.

If you still have the itch to write or are afraid you’ll get out of your writing routine, write something else. Write a new novel, a short story, or a poem. Take a break from typing and hand-write for a change. If you hand-wrote your NaNo novel, take a break from that and type something up.

Edit.

Okay, okay. If you really can’t part from your beloved novel go right ahead and start editing it. Start rearranging those scenes, deleting whole pages, or just be on the look-out for typos. Print out your novel and gaze upon the beauty of printed words and breathe in the smell of wet ink.

Read A Book.

Writing aside, I’m sure you got a bit behind on your reading during NaNo… Am I right? Read a book in the genre you wrote for NaNo (or a different genre). It’ll give yourself a break, but the creativity will still be flowing through your bloodstream.

Outline Your Next Project.

Hey, Camp NaNo is only four months away.

NaNoWriMo 2015 Vs. 2014

NaNo 2014 2015

I did this last year and thought it was something cool to look back on. So I decided to do it again this year.

I’m going to compare and contrast this year’s NaNoWriMo to last year’s. I think it’ll be interesting to see the differences.

2014: I wrote a collection of short stories of various genres.
2015: I wrote a young adult religious novel titled Second Chances.

I was in the middle of working on George Florence last year when NaNo started and I was running out of Short Story Sundays. So I thought that if I wrote one short story a day at around 2,000 words each, it would suffice for NaNo.

This year I decided to try my hand at a different genre. The idea came to me last minute before November started. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head so I decided to go with it.

2014: I did not have an outline.
2015: I did not have an outline.

You can’t really outline multiple short stories when you’re looking up prompts through the Internet and in writing books.

Second Chances came to me so last minute that I didn’t have time to write an outline. Plus, I had so many ideas swimming in my head that I didn’t really feel as though I needed one.

2014 Stats:
2014 Stats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Stats:

2015 Stats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, my writing in 2014 was kind of all over the place. My writing this year was consistent… Until I decided to take a week off from writing, but I managed to catch up last minute.

2014: I won on November 26 at 50,067 words.
2015: I won on November 30 at 50,746 words.

Despite what the stats look like, I have no idea how I was able to win a few days early in 2014, but win on the last day in 2015. Oh, well. A win is a win.

How did your NaNo go?