A Novel in 4 Days – Day #3 — The End!

Today is day three of my journey to finish my novel over 4 days this week. I blogged about my plan HERE (10K per day for 4 days to equal 40,000 words) and the results of Day #1 can be found HERE and Day #2 HERE.

On Day #2, I hadn’t hit my goal. I only wrote 8200 words with a goal of 10,000. I was approaching the book’s climax and I got stuck. A little case of writer’s block. I put the story away and talked through my road blocks with my husband and daughter. Between the three of us, we came up with a few ideas on how to twist the story around.

Then yesterday, I had to work at the zoo, so I took the day off from writing. A little recovery time. 🙂

This morning, I was full-force back into it. Cranking out nearly 6000 words today before I picked my kids up from school…but then the story all came together and I wrote two special little words:

The End.

It’s a short first draft, as when I throw down a lot of words in one day the result is like a skeleton. Mostly dialogue, no description, pretty bad writing.

But now the fun begins — editing! Fleshing out my first draft into an actual story I can send off to beta readers.

Honestly, that part takes the most time for me. It’s when the real writing gets done.

Ernest Hemingway had said, “The only kind of writing is rewriting.” Time and time again, I prove this to be true.

So, how many words have I written this week so far?

  • Day 1: 10,157 words
  • Day 2: 8,201 words
  • Day 3: 5,798 words
  • Total: 24,156 words (bringing my novel up to 48,319 words.)

And I know when I’m done editing, it’ll be at least 60,000 words…or a lot more. Even though I wrote “The End,” I’ll still post how the editing goes tomorrow.

My take-home thoughts:

  • I am completely capable of writing 10,000 words in a day! I was skeptical of this, and it’s a great confidence booster to know your capabilities. (But writing 5000 words is much more manageable for life-balance, as I learned today.)
  • A break between major writing days is helpful for plotting when you’re stuck and for the little things…like telling your family you love them.
  • To write this fast, you need to have your major plot points already created. If you get stuck, you come to a screeching halt.
  • I discovered that I work best off a rough outline of plot points, rather than a detailed outline.

So, what will I try with my next novel?

  • Pick four days per month to write 5000 words.
  • Edit on days in between, so there’s not this daunting task of fixing an entire novel at the end.
  • Just get the thing done. Once the plot is down on paper, publishing the novel is so much closer.

And that’s a wrap. Thanks for joining in and all the encouragement. It’s amazing how I can not meet my exact goals, yet feel so accomplished anyway.

How about you? Do you write a little each day or have big writing days where you compose thousands of words?

A Novel in 4 Days – Day #2 — Urgh!

Today is day two of my journey to finish my novel over 4 days this week. I blogged about my plan HERE (10K per day for 4 days to equal 40,000 words) and the results of Day #1 can be found HERE.

Day #1 had gone fantastic. I frantically typed 10,000 words with no hiccups at all. They flowed, scene to scene, chapter to chapter.

Now, we’re ending Day #2…and I’m calling it quits at 8201 words. I just can’t write anymore. Not because I’m exhausted or sick of it, but because I hit a huge wall. Writer’s block.

Urgh!

I even saw it coming, but the characters wanted to do something completely different than what I had planned for them…and I wrote myself into a corner.

Luckily, I have a day “off” tomorrow where I can step back and do a little more planning before returning to the project on Thursday. (Okay, I don’t have it off — I have to work at the zoo.)

So, the detailed play-by-play:

  • 5AM – Started strong, writing 1828 words by 6:30AM
  • 8AM – Wrote another 1838 words by 9:30AM. I even made breakfast for my husband and I. When I was done, I squeezed in that nap, since I had been up since 3:30AM for no reason at all.
  • 11AM – Wrote 2022 words, but I was starting to slow down. It took me 2&1/2 hours to get those words down.
  • 2PM – Wrote 2033 words off and on between getting the kids and losing track of where the story was going. Again, it took me 2&1/2 hours to hit that word count.
  • 5PM – Here’s where I flopped. I just couldn’t get the story to work out. I even skipped ahead and it still didn’t flow. I decided to go out to dinner and give it a rest. We’ll do some plotting tomorrow and play catch-up on Thursday.
  • Total today: 8211 words. Current word count of novel: 42,852 words. Bright side: The end is in sight.

Lesson learned: Taking a break between major writing days to plot and ensure you’re on track may be good. I know I need one.

Only 2 more days to go! I hit the half-way point. 🙂

A Novel in 4 Days – Day #1!

Today I started my journey to finish my novel over 4 days this week. I blogged about my plan HERE (10K per day for 4 days to equal 40,000 words.)

As I stated in the first blog post, I’m not writing an entire novel in 4 days (even though, by some definition 40K is a full novel), but I’m finishing my novel that had about 20K written, adding another 40K to equal 60K. That’s about all I do for a first draft because in all my edits, the thing becomes bigger and bigger. This one will weigh in at about 85K when I’m done.

So, how did day 1 go?

Awesome.

Need I say more?

(No, but I will anyway. 😊 )

I broke up my 10,000 word goal into smaller steps that I knew I could accomplish.

So, my plan and goals were the following:

  • 5AM: I wake up early, so thought I could pound out about 1000 words while sipping on my cup of coffee.
  • 8AM: After the kids are dropped off at school, I wanted to sit down and put 2000 words down on paper.
  • 11AM: While my lunch was in the oven, I thought I’d write another 2000 words.
  • 2PM: Again, 2000 words (one chapter) down on paper…or rather eInk.
  • 5PM: A final chunk of 2000 words today…then just a little more to hit the goal.
  • 7PM: Finish the day with a short 1000 words. This should be easy compared to the rest of the day.

And how did it go?

  • 5AM – Goal of 1000 words – DONE! 1079 Words.
  • 8AM – Goal of 2000 words – DONE! 2071 Words (by 9:21AM – then I took a 30 minute nap.)
  • 11AM – Goal of 2000 words – DONE! 2415 Words (by 1:25PM – but I stalled and ate lunch and worked with my cover designer.)
  • 2PM – Goal of 2000 words – DONE! 2149 Words (started early (1PM) because I needed to pick the kids up by 2:50PM.)
  • 5PM – Goal of 2000 words – ALMOST! 1421 Words (Started early 3:30 – Kids came home. Much harder to write with distractions…then my husband came home, too.)
  • 7PM – Goal of 1000 words – DONE! 1022 words. Started at 6PM and now it’s 7PM and it’s finished & I’m writing this blog post (ha! Another 500 words.)
  • Total today: 10156 words. Exceeded goal! Current word count of novel: 34655 words.

And the best part? Something I didn’t expect?

Once I get writing, the story is all there in my head and the words flow. Each scene lines up like little toy soldiers, waiting for me to knock them down, one by one.

Also, with spreading the goals out like this gave me time to be domestic. Do dishes, pick the kids up, take my daughter to swimming, and go to the house my husband is rehabbing and give him some moral support.

Only 3 more days to go! I can’t wait to share with you how tomorrow goes.

Please Join My Launch Team

Six days into 2018, and I’m finally solidifying my writing goals. The focus of this year will be on my Angels of Sojourn series, which includes Blood & Holy Water and four other stories.

I’m getting some fabulous covers for this series, creating some memorable characters, and trying to gain some new readers & fans.

To do all that, I need your help. I am looking for people to join my launch team. People who will help spread the word of these stories by purchasing the book(s) when they’re specially priced at 99 cents, leave reviews, or help share Facebook posts.

of sojourn

Here’s my (ambitious) plan for the year:

  • Blood & Holy Water: New Cover in Spring
  • Fangs & Fairy Dust: Publishing February 1st in the Darklight & Daydreams anthology, then republishing as a stand-alone novella in May.
  • Fur & Feathers: Publishing late spring/early summer
  • Untitled Novella: Publishing in the Unleashed anthology in August, then republishing as a stand-alone novella in December.
  • Lily & Grimm (or some other titled): Publishing late fall/early winter

And then that may be the end to this series with new things for 2019.

Please join my launch team HERE:

Here’s my tentative calendar.

January

1/15/18: Hexes and Ohs Published

February

2/1/18: Darklight & Daydreams Published (Fangs & Fairy Dust)

March April

Relaunch Blood & Holy Water?

May

Publish Fangs & Fairy Dust independently

June

Publish Fur & Feathers

July August

8/20/18: Unleashed Anthology Published (untitled novella in Angels of Sojourn world)

September October

Publish Lily & Grimm

November

 

December

Publish untitled novella from Unleashed independently.

How about you? What are you focusing on in 2018?

My Writing Journey

My Writing Journey

If anyone is interested more about me (like, way more than you care to know) or just need a little motivation to keep you writing, here’s a summary of my writing journey. (Forgive me if I got a little “preachy” in the piece.)

Thank you E. Paige Burks (and Infinity Flower Publishing) for hosting me on your blog. I really enjoyed writing this piece.

Here’s a little snippet:

My Writing Journey – Perseverance – Joynell Schultz

The quote, “You are your own worst enemy,” sums up my writing journey and affects many artists. Heck, I think everyone struggles with this to one point or another.

As far back as I remember, I loved writing. My favorite part was looking at the finished product and saying, “Hey, I created that OUT OF NOTHING!” Each story always brought me some emotional satisfaction. The characters, their struggle, or just the way the plot was crafted. Not that I’m brilliant…far from it.

I think nearly anyone can write. It’s just a matter of how much work you’re willing to put into the story. It wasn’t until a little over a year ago I had this revelation.

… Read the whole article here: My Writing Journey – Perseverance …

Have a fantastic rest of your day!

–Joy

 

Increasing Writing Productivity – Camp NaNo Style!

Guess what time it is? Camp NaNoWriMo time! I’m so excited. After participating (and failing) regular NaNoWriMo in November, I can’t wait for camp. Camping is so much fun — all due to the interaction with your cabin mates.

My main goal for camp is to write a 15,000 word short story with a title of “Hidden” for a multi-author project I’m participating in, but I have a secret goal…

Since my funk back in December (when I thought all my writing sucked, and I’d should throw in the towel) my productivity has really dropped off. I’m still moving forward, but at a snail pace compared to how most of 2016 went. For April’s camp, I want to get back in a routine. Back focused on what I love to do — write!

When I look at why I don’t get enough words down on paper, there’s two main reasons.

  1. Motivation: The massive drive I had last year is lost. Where did you go? I miss you! I think the urge to publish something kept me going. Now that I have one (soon to be two) books published, I don’t have that same fire.
  2. Distraction: Having published books means I need to spend time marketing and networking. I find myself spending way too much time doing this. (Yeah, have you been following my 1000 “true” fan blog series? Yup. Lots of time devoted to that.)

So, for camp… I’m making a commitment:

I WILL WRITE FOR 30 MINUTES, UNINTERRUPTED EVERY DAY.

This is not revising, outlining, or editing. This is hard-core putting new words down on paper. I’m going to track the number of words per day. I want to see if I learn to write faster and more efficient as the month goes by. In May, I’d love to up that time to a full hour dedicated solely to writing. (With the wi-fi off on my laptop and my phone on “do not disturb.”)

So…what’s my Camp NaNo project? A group of authors are getting together to write short stories (between 5000 and 20,000 words) with the title “Hidden.” The story can be about anything, as long as it has the “hidden” theme. We’re all going to publish our own stories this fall and cross-promote each other. It’ll be a ton of fun, since I love collaboration! (If you’d like to join us, there’s definitely still time and space — Here’s the Facebook group to join about it.)

I made my first draft of the cover here (It’ll still change 100 times before I publish):

 

Here’s the summary of the project: A pregnant fairy godmother flees to the human world to hide her secret as she looks for the father of her child.

(I have a full outline written — it was something to do while I was stuck in an airplane for 4 hours in Paris last week.)

Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo? I’d love to hear about your project.

Where Do You Write?

My answer should be easy. It should be here, at my desk.

my-desk

But it’s not that easy. In fact, I do the least amount of writing at my desk.

The real answer?

I write here:

and here

and here

[But not when driving ;-)]

PLUS about 1000 more places.

We write wherever inspiration hits. Wherever we can grab a few moments.

But, when I want to get serious or I’m on a deadline (of course, all self-inflicted) I come back to my desk to focus and reenergize.

How about you? Where do you write? Do you have a special spot?