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?

A New Idea For NaNoWriMo

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

Throughout the month of October I’ve been outlining a novel titled To The Fullest for NaNoWriMo next month.

The other day, I stepped out of the shower and a brand new novel idea smacked me in the face.

It had nothing to do with the novel I was planning to write. Nothing to do with George Florence. It wasn’t even an idea I had thought of long ago and just now expanded on. It was brand new and completely out of the blue.

Yet, I didn’t just come up with a new idea. I didn’t say to myself, “Hey, I should write that down and try to work on it sometime.”

No. I thought of the beginning, the middle, and end. I have a title, I know the theme of the novel, I have a tagline, I have a summary. All I need are names for the characters and then I’m good to go to start writing.

I was outlining To The Fullest the other day and realized the novel was going to have to take a much needed unexpected turn in order for it to work. I’m still trying to figure out the details for that one. I’m still unsure how the characters are going to get to the end.

I don’t have much filler for the middle.

As you can see, this random idea is farther along than the one I’ve been outlining for the past few weeks.

I can’t get the new idea out of my head. I keep thinking about it, I keep expanding on it. I have to write things down for it all the time before I forget.

Not once have I thought about To The Fullest since I thought of this new idea.

That’s why–with about two weeks before November–I’ve decided to change my NaNoWriMo novel.

I will be writing a novel titled Second Chances.

Wish me luck.

If you’re on NaNoWriMo, feel free to look me up and add me as a writing buddy: Fiery_Sapphire.

Weekly Wrap-Up 6/8-6/12

Weekly Wrap Up

 

From my June Goals list, this is what I’ve accomplished this week.

Reading:

I’m still reading, but you can be sure there will be a review posted tomorrow. I didn’t post one last week because I realized it was Six on the Sixth day.

Writing:

I am way behind on George Florence. I had a very busy weekend and kind of slacked off this week. I was extremely tired and had the bright idea of not doing anything after work each day. But I guess sometimes you need a few days to do nothing.

I have another busy weekend this week as well, so I don’t know how much I’ll be able to keep up. I’ll try, though.

I also have to work on some contests as there are some deadlines coming up soon.

I’m also going to start outlining Hunter for Camp NaNoWriMo next month. Thanks to all those who voted in my poll to help me decide what to write!

Blogging:

This week I posted a fun video I found of George R.R. Martin “writing” and how easy it is to get distracted. I also posted another Inspiration Station post for Mystery Month called The Perfect Crime.

Overall…

This week hasn’t been very productive. June has always been a busy month for me between birthdays, Father’s day, graduations, end of the school/sunday school years, etc. It’s even busier now that I’ve set writing, reading, and blogging goals for myself.

I plan to play a lot of catch up next week, though. Plus next week is my last week of work so after that I’ll get six and half hours back to each day.

I hope you all had a great week!

Camp NaNo: Should You Outline?

Camp NaNoWriMo is slowly approaching. Hopefully you know what you’re going to write at this point. If not… then I think you need to go get some writing done.

If you do, then that’s great! So what should you do next? You have two options:

1. You can outline your novel.
2. You can twiddle your thumbs until April arrives.

Everyone should know by now that I love outlines and I plan my novels all the time. However, not everyone works that way. Some people are planners and others are pantsers–the people who twiddle their thumbs until April and then free-write the moment NaNo begins.

Do you like following a plan? Do you like mapping out your world? Setting the scenes? Explaining small details about the characters? Then you should probably outline your novel.

Would you rather make things up as you go along? Do you want to get to know your characters as you write the novel? Then you should probably wait for April.

Everyone works differently. Everyone writes differently. Aside from getting that first draft finally done, I think that’s one of the major points of NaNo: figuring out your way of writing.

My Planning Process

Yesterday I discussed different outlining methods for your novel. I talked about three techniques, but there are many more. Many are out there on the Internet and others are private between the novel and the author.

So today, I’m going to share my magnificent outlining secret!

Not really… I’m pretty sure I’ve seen people use this way before even though I thought I made it up myself.

All you need are six items: index cards, post-it notes, a pen, a pencil, a notebook, and tape. I like to use the bigger index cards to fit more notes. I also use colored index notes to make it look pretty. Same goes for the post-it notes; use pretty colors (but that’s totally optional). I use a pen to write on the index cards and post-it notes (because that’s what a pen is for). I use the pencil to number each post-it note (I’ll explain further in a minute). I use a notebook to put the post-it notes and the index cards. I use the tape to hold the index cards in place on the pages.

20150125_133655

I’ll use Detective Florence 2 as an example of this untitled outlining method. I have a total of ten index cards (there may end up being more). On one card I wrote a list of characters in the novel; main, secondary, minor, etc. I also wrote their ages and their purpose in the story. The list was too long so I taped a second index card on the bottom to continue the list. One card has a list of plot points; questions that need to be answered by the end of the book. One card is a general list of notes about plot, setting, characters, anything. Since DF2 is a mystery novel, two of the index cards are death details; “who, what, where, why, how, when” questions and answers. Two cards are the culprits plans; again, the who, why, what, etc. questions. It’s a lot of repetition, but mysteries have a lot of information that need to be remembered. I also have an index card with a list of dates and a small summary of what the characters did on each date. It helps keep track of the times and days in the novel for the characters. The last card is editing points, which I don’t create until I start the editing process.

I tape those down on the first few pages of the notebook, as shown above.

20150125_133733

The rest of the pages are filled with post-it notes. I use the pen to write in each scene on post-it notes. Each scene takes multiple post-its because I do a minute-by-minute summary. I don’t say, “this will happen in this scene.” I say, “George will do this” then “Lilah will say that.” Post-it notes are small and my handwriting is big; but I think it’s more helpful to be more detailed rather than give a general summary of each scene. I like to lay each scene out so I know exactly what to do next. Sometimes it changes, but that’s okay; at least I start off with a plan.

That’s exactly why I use post-it notes. If something changes, I can easily add, take out, or simply rearrange the notes. That’s also where the pencil comes in. I number each post-it note–despite they’re already in order in the notebook–so if I move them around I can erase and re-number them instead of crossing out the numbers with a pen.

Since I’ve already edited the manuscript once, some post-its got moved around. Others got cut completely. However, you should never waste an idea you once thought was good or needed. So, in the back of the notebook I stack all the unused ideas together. Some might end up back in the novel and others might appear in the sequel. You just never know.

20150125_133743

If you look closely at the picture, you’ll see there are 15 notes that didn’t make the cut this time around.

Now, why do I use a notebook? When I first thought of this method I used a giant poster and stuck everything on there. I hung it on the wall behind my desk for easy access as I wrote and edited. The thing was, the post-it notes kept falling off the more I moved them around. They lost their stick so I tried taping them down like I did with the index cards. That just ripped the poster so I would have to replace the tape each time I moved a note. It was more tedious than it needed to be.

So I decided to use a notebook. I can close the cards and notes inside so they don’t fall off and they don’t get crinkled up. Plus, you can see from the pictures that there is still some room (mostly just the margins) to add in notes about the notes.

This method is easy, flexible, and doesn’t take much time. That’s why I love it so much. So feel free to try it out for yourselves, regardless of what genre you’re working on. I hope it works just as well for you as it does for me.

 

Outlining: Tips And Ideas

To outline or not to outline… that is the question.

Last week I wrote a post called, “Why Outline?” The title is pretty self-explanatory. Why should you outline your novel? I gave a list of a few (good) reasons, but ultimately the choice is yours whether you want to outline your novel or not. It’s no big deal if you decide not to.

However, if you do decide to outline your novel here are a few interesting ways to do so (if you don’t already have a particular way to outline).

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

The Snowflake Method: Show of hands: who has heard of this before? I have, but have I ever used it? No. I had to do a bit of research for this one because I didn’t really know what it’s about. Basically, it’s a 10-step process on how to organize your writing. You start from a small summary of the novel and go from there. The last step is to begin your first draft.

Now I know it seems like a lot of steps just to go from idea to first draft, but the idea behind it is to start small and take baby steps in organizing your mind and thoughts.

This is to ensure you don’t miss anything while you write the story. All the scenes will be laid out for you, all the characters will be unique and have a certain purpose, and (hopefully) there will be no plot holes.

Does this mean you won’t have to do any editing when the first draft is done? Of course not.

That would be too easy.

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

The Skeletal Outline: You know that pyramid thing you learn in elementary/middle school? Well, some people actually put that to good use when they write their novels.

They use this pyramid (plot diagram, according to the picture) to summarize each part. Each part being the exposition, the rising action, the climax, the falling action, and the resolution. By summarizing, you write certain scenes you want, describe what the characters are going to do and what’s going to happen to them, etc.

Some people use bullet points to highlight key concepts in each part. Personally, I think the bullet points would be easier. Then again, it wouldn’t be as detailed… unless you use a lot of bullet points.

Like the Snowflake Method, I do not use this method. To be honest, I don’t even think of my novels in terms of exposition, rising/falling action, climax, resolution, what have you. I just kind of go with the flow and write the scenes in order as they would go.

However, if I had to choose between these two methods, I think I would go for the skeletal outline. I enjoy making lists and the pyramid seems to do just that. Then again, I’m sure you could modify each method to make a unique one that works specifically for you.

20150124_151016Chapter Summary: This is how I used to outline. Way back when I wrote fan fiction. 11 years ago. Wow.

Anyway, I have no idea if anyone has ever outlined like this before, but it worked for me way back when. I don’t use that way now, but I still think it’s a decent way to outline your novel.

All I did was summarize each chapter. It’s that simple. As you can see from the picture, it ultimately looks like a block of letters (especially with my handwriting). The highlighted parts show a new chapter. Everything written after each highlight is a summary of that chapter.

I explain what scenes are going to be in the chapter, sometimes I add in some dialogue I would like some characters to say… I even have notes that say things such as: “foreshadowing… yay!” You know, so I remember how to write my plot so readers can figure out the foreshadowing, symbolism, and all that fun stuff. I especially make those notes when I realize I foreshadowed without meaning to. It’s like your subconscious is smarter than you.

There you have it. Three different ways to outline your novel, plus more (if you click on the links below). Two I’ve never used and one I used to use all the time. Everyone works differently and at their own pace. So the outlines listed above may or may not work for you; especially if outlining isn’t even your thing. However, it never hurts to try.

As stated before (many times, actually) I use my own method I made up. Well, I thought I made it up, but I have seen it floating around on the Internet. It’d be pretty cool if I had my own method, though. It’s different, but similar to the chapter summary I used to do.

But more on that tomorrow.

Further Reading:

The Snowflake Method for Designing a Novel
8 Ways to Outline a Novel
7 Steps to Creating a Flexible Outline for Any Story

Why Outline?

Who actually outlines their novels? I know a well variety of people who outline and people who don’t outline. For the people who do not outline, is that a bad thing? No.

Outlining means to lay your novel out flat before you even begin writing it. You write the basic idea, certain scenes you want, character bios, etc. in a notebook, on the computer, on index cards, what have you. It’s almost as if you’ve mapped out your brain so when you do start writing, you’re able to write, write, write!

Outlining is optional when it comes to writing. It’s not like the first draft stage or the editing stage; you can actually skip the outlining stage. It works for some people, but it doesn’t work for others. Some prefer to freewrite from the get-go and go from there.

Via Google
Via Google

Personally, I find outlining to be a huge help, but even I don’t do it all the time.

I think it depends on the kind of project your writing. When deciding if you should outline your novel before writing, ask yourself:

–Are there going to be a lot of characters that need developing?
–How many different ways can my plot go? Will there be any opportunities where the plot will rip and cause a hole?
–Where are my characters based? Is the setting fiction or based off of a real place?

Of course, there’s also genre to consider. I believe that if you’re writing a mystery or a science fiction/fantasy novel, it always helps to outline. If there’s a lot of information the reader will obtain while reading the novel, how can you as the author be expected to remember it all while writing? That’s how plot holes happen.

As I said, outlining is completely optional. Will it hurt your writing? No, of course not. Does your outline need to be complete before you start your novel? No.

Via Google
Via Google

That’s what I love about outlines; there are no rules. You may not stick to your outline (or your characters might not), but that’s okay. An outline is just a guideline.

You can map out your ideas however you want, where ever you want, whenever you want. If you get stuck on your outline at some point, you can begin writing what you have already outlined. By the time you get to the end of your outline, you should have thought of new ideas to continue on.

When that happens to me, I continue to write and outline as I write. It makes editing a lot easier for me.

Speaking of editing… outlining is a great way to help edit; not just help with the first draft.

Once you finish your first draft, you can always refer back to your outline to look up certain characters, change some scenes around, etc.

All in all, outline helps you further understand your novel.

Related Articles:

How to Make a Novel Outline
Writing an Outline of Your Novel
Outlining Your Novel: Why and How

That Time Of Year Again

Another year of NaNoWriMo has come and gone. Did you all win? I hope so. If not, that’s okay. Writing is writing no matter how many words you managed to get down on the page.

Now that the NaNo hype is all done and everyone can finally relax again, we are now into December.

December is probably one of the busiest months of the year. It probably goes by the quickest as well because everyone is always so busy. December is also the last month of the year so people start thinking of New Year’s Resolutions and such.

I have been thinking about 2015 for the past couple of months. Call me strange, but I didn’t want to start anything “new” until the new year because then that would kind of sort of in a weird way make it “official.” Am I the only one who thinks that way?

Anyway, starting in 2015 there’s going to be a few new changes to my blog… posts and layout alike. I’ve been thinking about this for a few months now so I just need to put it all into action. Hopefully you guys will like the new changes. There will be more on that later… as in, the end of the month. All will be revealed/explained New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day. Look forward to it… please.

I will say this, though: part of what I’m going to start doing regularly is working on my Detective Florence series.

I started typing up the second draft of Detective Florence back in October and stopped because NaNo started. I had only 140 pages left so now I’m going to continue that. Here’s my plans:

–Type up the last 140 pages of the second draft of Detective Florence by December 15 (10 pages a day)
–Hand edit the first draft of Detective Florence 2 (December 15-31)
–Type up the second draft of Detective Florence 2
Outline Detective Florence 3
Write Detective Florence 3

The first deadline will definitely hold up. I don’t know if I’ll be able to hand edit in 16 days with the holidays and work, but I’ll certainly give it a try. I would like to start writing the third novel by February at the very latest, though. We’ll see how it goes.

Those are my plans so far. 2015 is going to be the year that the first Detective Florence novel is going to be ready for publication… hopefully. I want it to be completed edited and polished by the end of December 2015.

I typed up ten pages this afternoon, so I’m on par for the first day of my plan. Yay! Now I just need to keep this up.

NaNoWriMo 2014 Winner

Winner

I hit 50k this morning on my NaNo!

I wrote 5,000 words this morning in order to finish before work. I am so proud of myself!

I hit 50,055 words and when I tried to validate it on NaNo, the word count came out as 49,985. So I needed to add in some more words. I don’t know how that worked out. Now Word says I have 50,100-something, but NaNo says I have 50,067. I don’t understand it, but whatever–I hit 50k!

As much as I love NaNo, I am so relieved that it is over. I did enjoy writing the short stories because I didn’t have to commit to one story and I was able to get ideas for new novels. However, I did miss writing a novel. Or, I should say, I missed writing Detective Florence. I didn’t think I would since I was begging for a break from it, but once I was away from it for the first week, I started to really miss the characters and such.

So, now that NaNo is officially over (for me, technically not for the month), I decided that I’m going to go back to working on my edits for Detective Florence 2. Then I’ll outline the third novel, write the third novel, and then it’ll be all editing all the time. I’m excited to work with George and Lilah again.

If you’ve won NaNo, congrats! If you haven’t yet, keep going! The end is near!

New Idea

By the title of this post alone you’re probably groaning saying, “she changed her mind again…?” Yes, I did change my mind again!

Kris and I were discussing writing last night as she filled up a notebook and I… haven’t written anything in a while. So, we were discussing the upcoming NaNo session, writing in general, publishing, etc. This is what I explained to Kris:

I decided to write a novel that was a brand new idea about two college students and writing. I’ve realized whenever I get stuck on my writing I end up writing about writing. Yet if it beats the writer’s block, then why not? The thing is, I’m not really all that into the idea anymore. I still like the idea and will keep it in mind in case I ever want to try it again.

However, I had to read the first half of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien for school this week. I read it in two days and now I’m back on a fantasy high. So I thought of writing Saving Time. There are two things wrong with that. One, it’s the kind of story that needs to be outlined. I have many ideas for it and there are a lot of characters and places in the story. It’s not something I can free write or else editing will be a pain and I’ll most likely lose the main idea. Two, I started it in a notebook and I would like to finish it in my notebook. If for whatever reason I can’t get to a computer, I can still work on a novel. I know some people hand write for NaNo and I love that; kudos to all of you, but I don’t have the time to hand write 50,000 words and then type those 50,000 words to validate it. I might as well sit at my computer and bang out 100,000 words if I can. So, Saving Time is out.

The first draft of my story chapter is due next week for my Fiction class. I’m going to submit the first chapter of Detective Florence. Of course, we all know I decided to take a break from that series and now that I have to focus on the one chapter I’m beginning to realize that I miss writing that series. I still have the third novel to write, but like Saving Time, it needs to be outlined. If I don’t outline it, I’ll be stuck and the series will lose its main idea. So that’s out.

You guys are probably thinking that I’m coming up with too many excuses, but trust me; I’m not good at pantsing. I free write every once in a while, but I need that outline for the most part; especially since I recently discovered a great way to outline that works for me.

So, what am I going to write? Kris and I were discussing my Short Story Sunday and then…

Eureka

I realized what I should write for NaNo. I should write short stories. That way I can write about anything I want, any genre I want. Plus, I think the variety of stories will help me get over my writer’s block. I haven’t been able to write in so long that it’s gotten to the point that my brain isn’t used to it anymore and I’m indecisive about it all.

Plus, it will certainly be interesting to see how well I do within a certain amount of pages/words. We all know I tend to babble on, so if an idea sparks it just might end up turning into a novella… but I think it would be cool to have a collection of short stories at the end of the month. It’s something different. It’ll be a nice change of pace for myself.

I’m excited about it whereas I wasn’t too thrilled with my old idea. So I think I have a better chance at winning now that my enthusiasm has come back.